In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – God’s Perfect Love

1 John 4:7-10

God’s love can be hard to understand because it’s not like ours. We tend to love those whose character, attributes, and interests are appealing to us. But in God’s eyes, there is nothing attractive in us that makes us worthy of His affection. We are all sinners who have rebelled against Him.

Out of divine mercy and grace, the heavenly Father chooses to love us. Through the sacrifice of His Son, He demonstrated His love to all those who would receive Jesus Christ. When we trust in the Savior, we permanently become God’s beloved children: Nothing can separate us from His love, which will never end or diminish (Rom. 8:38-39).

What’s more, no one is beyond the reach of God’s love. Jesus made this clear by saving people like a greedy, dishonest tax collector, a criminal on the cross next to Him, and Saul—a persecutor of His church. God’s love isn’t dispensed according to how good we’ve been. On that basis, no one could be saved.

Divine love can’t be fully comprehended by the human mind, but it can nonetheless be ours through faith in Jesus Christ. And from the moment a person receives that love, he or she will forever live under its protective canopy.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 145-150

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Certainty of Deliverance

“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:9-10).

Jesus Christ delivers His brethren not only from sin and its judgment, but also from uncertainty and doubt about that deliverance.

God is a God of wrath. But the wrath due to be poured out on all mankind, Christ took on Himself. That’s what the apostle Paul meant when he said that those who put their faith in Him have been “justified by His blood” and are assured of being “saved from the wrath of God through [Christ]” (Rom. 5:9). As a result of Christ’s atoning work, all Christians are identified with Christ, are adopted as God’s children through Him, and are no longer “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).

But Paul doesn’t stop there because the ongoing intercessory work of Christ has great significance for every believer and the security of his salvation. In Romans 5:10 Paul argues from the greater to the lesser to show that it was a much greater work of God to bring sinners to grace than to bring them to glory. Since God brought us to Himself when we were enemies, we will be reconciled continually now that we are His friends. When God first reconciled us, we were wretched, vile, and godless sinners. Since that was not a barrier to His reconciling us then, there is nothing that can prevent the living Christ from keeping us reconciled.

This truth has great ramifications for our assurance. If God already secured our deliverance from sin, death, and future judgment, how could our present spiritual life possibly be in jeopardy? How can a Christian, whose past and future salvation are guaranteed by God, be insecure in the intervening time? If sin in the greatest degree could not prevent our becoming reconciled, how can sin in lesser degree prevent our staying reconciled? Our salvation can’t be any more secure than that.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to reveal to you how you might even now be insecure about your salvation. Then ask Him to make the intercessory work of Christ more real to you each day.

For Further Study

Read John 5:26; 10:28-29; 14:19; Romans 8:34-39; Colossians 3:3-4; Hebrews 7:25; and Revelation 1:18.

  • List all the securities you can find.
  • How does Christ save you by His life?

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Certainty of Deliverance

“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:9-10).

Jesus Christ delivers His brethren not only from sin and its judgment, but also from uncertainty and doubt about that deliverance.

God is a God of wrath. But the wrath due to be poured out on all mankind, Christ took on Himself. That’s what the apostle Paul meant when he said that those who put their faith in Him have been “justified by His blood” and are assured of being “saved from the wrath of God through [Christ]” (Rom. 5:9). As a result of Christ’s atoning work, all Christians are identified with Christ, are adopted as God’s children through Him, and are no longer “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).

But Paul doesn’t stop there because the ongoing intercessory work of Christ has great significance for every believer and the security of his salvation. In Romans 5:10 Paul argues from the greater to the lesser to show that it was a much greater work of God to bring sinners to grace than to bring them to glory. Since God brought us to Himself when we were enemies, we will be reconciled continually now that we are His friends. When God first reconciled us, we were wretched, vile, and godless sinners. Since that was not a barrier to His reconciling us then, there is nothing that can prevent the living Christ from keeping us reconciled.

This truth has great ramifications for our assurance. If God already secured our deliverance from sin, death, and future judgment, how could our present spiritual life possibly be in jeopardy? How can a Christian, whose past and future salvation are guaranteed by God, be insecure in the intervening time? If sin in the greatest degree could not prevent our becoming reconciled, how can sin in lesser degree prevent our staying reconciled? Our salvation can’t be any more secure than that.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to reveal to you how you might even now be insecure about your salvation. Then ask Him to make the intercessory work of Christ more real to you each day.

For Further Study

Read John 5:26; 10:28-29; 14:19; Romans 8:34-39; Colossians 3:3-4; Hebrews 7:25; and Revelation 1:18.

  • List all the securities you can find.
  • How does Christ save you by His life?

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – Reach Your Full Potential

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.

— 2 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV)

I fully believe that reaching your potential is linked to the way you handle adversity. Adversity isn’t always bad. Adversity can be something to be thankful for because God can use it to strengthen you. Winston Churchill said: “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won,” and I wholeheartedly agree.

If you allow difficulties and challenges to frustrate, intimidate, or discourage you, you will never overcome them. But if you face them head-on and press through the adversities you encounter, refusing to give up during them and moving forward with a heart of gratitude, you will develop the skills and determination needed to be everything you were created to be and experience everything God intends for you.

Prayer Starter: I thank You, Father, that I don’t have to give up when I face adversity—I can meet it head-on, knowing that You are always with me. Thank You for the promise that greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Remember Your Pastor

Brothers, pray for us.

1 Thessalonians 5:25

This one morning in the year we reserved to remind each reader of the importance of praying for ministers, and we earnestly implore every Christian household to heed this request first uttered by Paul and now repeated by us.

Brothers, our work is solemnly momentous, involving good or ill to thousands; we deal with souls for God on eternal business, and our word is either a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. A very heavy responsibility rests upon us, and it will be no small mercy if at the last we be found clear of the blood of all men. As officers in Christ’s army, we are the special target of the hostility of men and devils; they watch for our faltering and work to trip us at the heels.

Our sacred calling involves us in temptations from which you are exempt; above all it too often draws us away from our personal enjoyment of truth into a ministerial and official consideration of it. We meet with many difficult cases, and our wits are at a quandary; we observe very sad backslidings, and our hearts are wounded; we see millions perishing, and our spirits sink. We wish to encourage you by our preaching; we desire to be a blessing to your children; we long to be useful both to saints and sinners.

Therefore, dear friends, intercede for us with our God. We are miserable men if we miss the help of your prayers, but happy are we if we live in your supplications. You do not look to us but to our Master for spiritual blessings, and yet how many times has He given those blessings through His ministers; ask then, again and again, that we may be the earthen vessels into which the Lord may put the treasure of the Gospel. We, the whole company of missionaries, ministers, and students, do in the name of Jesus beseech you: “Brothers, pray for us.”

C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Owns Me

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

Virtually anyone who has any Christian upbringing at all has heard the very first verse of the Bible. And anyone who claims to be a Christian accepts the truth it teaches, that God created us! But how many of you have ever sat down to think just how that fact affects how you live and act every day?

Anytime a person creates something, he has a purpose for that creation. For example, your mom never just goes into the kitchen and starts throwing together some flour, sugar, and milk without having something very specific in mind that she plans to create with those ingredients. A potter never begins spinning her wheel until she knows what she wants to mold that clay into. And a carpenter never begins cutting up a new shipment of lumber into an odd assortment of shapes and sizes until he has some idea of the type of furniture he plans to build. God did not just create you on a whim with no design for you. Instead, when God created you, He had a very specific purpose in mind for you.

Since God created you for a purpose, He has a right to demand that you fulfill that purpose. Back to the illustration of the potter: If you were the one who purchased the clay, took the time and effort to spin the wheel, and used your skill to carefully shape the clay into a ceramic bowl, you would then be the owner of that bowl. You would have every right to decide whether it ought to be used for your morning cereal, or to hold a potted plant! Because God created you, He owns you and has every right to decide your purpose. But you do not have to wonder what that purpose is. Scripture identifies that purpose for you: God called you to salvation even before He created you. Why did He? “That we should be to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:12)

God owns me and has the right to demand that I act in a way that brings glory to Him.

My Response:
» Have I been acting today in a way that gives God the glory He deserves as my Creator and Owner?

The post God Owns Me appeared first on EquipU Online Library.


Read in browser »

Denison Forum – Latest from Tropical Storm Elsa and condominium collapse: Do Americans fear God? If not, why not?

More than four million people in Florida are under hurricane warnings as Tropical Storm Elsa approaches landfall this morning. The system became a Category 1 hurricane yesterday before weakening to a tropical storm early today. Millions of people are facing life-threatening storm surges, heavy winds, potential isolated tornadoes, and heavy rains that could cause flooding up and down the Florida coast.

Meanwhile, the search for victims of the Surfside, Florida, building collapse reached its fourteenth day today. Eight more deaths have been announced, bringing the death toll to three dozen with more than one hundred people still unaccounted for.

Sisters buried in the same casket

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn have been married seventy-five years today, the longest marriage in presidential history. From living in publicly subsidized housing while running a peanut warehouse to becoming governor of Georgia and president of the United States—theirs is a made-in-America story.

Their anniversary is not the only auspicious event on this day. On July 7, 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first female Supreme Court justice in US history. On this day five years earlier, female cadets enrolled at West Point for the first time.

However, the storm in Florida and the condominium tragedy remind us of our finitude as Americans and as humans.

The bodies of two young sisters pulled from the rubble of the Florida condo building were buried in the same casket yesterday alongside their parents. Officials in Montana are searching today for a grizzly bear that killed a woman early Tuesday. Chicago has now recorded more than two thousand shootings so far this year, a 58 percent increase since 2019. And the “woke” culture continues to escalate as Disney removes “ladies and gentlemen” from its Magic Kingdom greeting to be more inclusive.

As we noted Monday, the freedom we celebrated on July 4 is rooted in the declaration that “all men are created equal.” However, as we discussed yesterday, our freedom as finite and fallen people is best exercised under the authority of our Creator. When we fear God, we need fear nothing else, as Oswald Chambers observed.

Why don’t we fear God?

When was the last time you feared the judgment of God so much that you did something you would not otherwise have done? When was the last time you did not do something you would have done for the same reason?

It’s hard to fear what we don’t believe exists. I doubt that you’re worried about an invasion by Martians this morning.

According to Pew Research Center, 10 percent of Americans do not believe in God; another 33 percent believe in some type of higher power but not the God of the Bible. Only 43 percent of those under thirty believe in the one true God.

But denying the existence of something or someone doesn’t change its reality. I’ve never met the Queen of England, but denying her existence makes her no less real. The man who told me “I don’t believe in hell” didn’t change the existence of hell. In fact, if he persists in his rejection of the gospel, one day he will discover for himself how wrong he was.

In addition, many Americans have attended churches where divine judgment and the existence of hell are seldom if ever mentioned. The “seeker sensitive” movement that began in the 1980s was a well-intentioned strategy to make worship services more accessible to nonbelievers. However, if we speak only on topics that lost people want to hear, we are like oncologists who never tell our patients when they have a life-threatening malignancy.

If we don’t help others fear God now, one day they will most assuredly wish we had.

Why should we fear God?

The first reason to fear God is that he is fearsome. He is the Judge of the universe (Revelation 20:11–15) before whom “each of us will give an account of himself” (Romans 14:12). We do well to remember every day that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

second reason to fear and revere God is that his word commands us to do so. The psalmist called us to “serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:1). Jesus was blunt: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

third reason to fear God is that doing so is best for us. The God who is love (1 John 4:8) wants only our best. His will for us is always “perfect” (Romans 12:2). The harder it is to obey his word, the more we need to obey his word.

The king of the universe cannot honor rebellion against his reign lest he deny his holiness and permit that which harms his subjects. He calls us to seek his glory because to do less would be idolatry on his part and ours. Conversely, when we enthrone him in our hearts and serve him with fear and reverence, we experience his best in and through our lives.

A frightening flashback

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss practical steps we can take to fear and revere God more fully. For today, let’s ask ourselves this question: If I feared God more than I do, what would change in my life?

I came across my doctoral dissertation in my library yesterday. Opening it, my mind flashed back to December of 1986 and the oral exams I had to pass before I could begin writing it. During the two-hour test, my professors could ask me anything we had discussed in three years of doctoral seminars. Only if I passed their scrutiny would I be permitted to write the dissertation that would complete my degree.

I spent six months preparing for those exams. I had the highest respect for my professors and actually feared their examination since they held my academic future in their hands. But the experience made me a better student and scholar, which was precisely what it was intended to do.

Paul testified: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). I don’t know that you and I will face his judgment tomorrow, but I don’t know that we won’t.

Are you ready?

If not, why not?

http://www.denisonforum.org/

Upwords; Max Lucado – Beneath the Shadow of God’s Wings

BENEATH THE SHADOW OF GOD’S WINGS – July 7, 2021

Control freaks are easily frustrated. We can’t take control, because control is not ours to take! The Bible has a better idea.  Rather than seeking control, relinquish it. Peace is within reach, not for lack of problems, but because of the presence of a sovereign Lord. Rather than rehearse the chaos of the world, rejoice in the Lord’s sovereignty, as  the apostle Paul did.

From prison he wrote: “The things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ” (Philippians 1:12-13). In the innermost of his being, Paul was a man who believed in the steady hand of a good God; protected, preserved by God’s love. He lived beneath the shadow of God’s wings. Do you?

http://www.MaxLucado.com