In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – More Than a Savior

Hebrews 1:1-4

Who is this Jesus? It’s a question that has been asked by countless individuals for more than two millennia. And, to be sure, it is the most important question that can ever be asked and answered. After all, it’s how we begin our journey toward salvation.

So it’s essential to answer that question by saying Jesus is indeed our Savior. But He is also more—Scripture refers to Him as “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). No one has ever looked upon the face of the Almighty. In the Old Testament, some people found themselves in His presence, but they were never able to look fully upon His glory. However, when the Son came down from heaven, veiled in human flesh, He bridged the gap between the Father’s perfect holiness and mankind’s sinful condition. That’s why Jesus could say, “The one who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

The way we come to know the Father is by knowing the Son, who is the only full expression and explanation of God. Everyone who through faith trusts Jesus as Savior receives forgiveness of sins and Christ’s imputed righteousness. What’s more, believers are given divine insight into God the Father as well.

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 6-8

Our Daily Bread — Love That Disciplines

Our Daily Bread — Love That Disciplines

Bible in a Year:

Do not despise the Lord’s discipline.

Proverbs 3:11

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Proverbs 3:11–12

When I took a family studies class in college, we were asked to write a “family history”—a record of the key events that make up one’s childhood. This included the patterns that characterized typical family life and the methods of discipline we experienced. We all had at least one instance of a parent misapplying discipline and leaving an emotional or physical scar. Understandably, traumatic experiences like these may affect the way we interpret our heavenly Father’s discipline.

In Proverbs 3:11–12, the wise teacher invites readers to accept God’s discipline. The word discipline could be translated “correction.” As a good and loving Father, God speaks through His Spirit and the Scriptures to correct self-destructive behavior. God’s discipline is relational—rooted in His love and His desire for what’s best for us. Sometimes it looks like consequences. Sometimes God prompts someone to point out our blind spots. Often, it’s uncomfortable, but God’s discipline is a gift.

But we don’t always see it that way. The wise man cautioned, “Do not despise the Lord’s discipline” (v. 11). Sometimes we fear God’s discipline. At other times we misinterpret bad things in our lives as God’s discipline. This is far from the heart of a loving Father who disciplines because He delights in us and corrects because He loves us.

Instead of fearing God’s discipline, may we learn to accept it. When we hear God’s voice of correction in our hearts or experience conviction when reading Scripture, may we thank God that He delights in us enough to lead us to what’s best.

By:  Daniel Ryan Day

Reflect & Pray

How do you recognize God’s discipline? How do you sense the love of God in the midst of it?

God, help me to recognize Your discipline so that I can discover the freedom You offer.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Being a Wise Manager

“‘Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth’” (Matthew 6:19).

Wealth comes from God, and we are to manage it wisely for Him.

John Wesley was a godly man who devoted his life to serving the Lord. What is not as well known perhaps is that he was rich, gaining most of his wealth from his published hymns and other works. At one point in his life he gave away 40,000 pounds sterling—a fortune in those days. When he died, his estate was worth only twenty-eight pounds, for he had given nearly everything to the Lord’s work.

It is not wrong for Wesley, or any other believer, to own possessions or be wealthy. Both the Old and New Testaments recognize the right to material possessions, including money, land, animals, houses, clothing, and every other thing that is honestly acquired. Deuteronomy 8:18 says, “It is [God] who is giving you power to make wealth.” God gives us the abilities and resources to obtain wealth. Job, known mostly for his suffering, was a wealthy man. Theologian Gleason Archer wrote, “Job was reputed to be the richest man of his time in all the region. . . . He was the largest stockholder on Wall Street, so to speak. Thus it could be said that this godly man had proved to be a good businessman, a fine citizen, and a father of a large family. As such he enjoyed the highest standing of any man in his community.” In 1 Corinthians 4:7 the apostle Paul asks, “What do you have that you did not receive?” The implication is that we receive everything, including our material possessions, from God.

You are right to provide for your family, make reasonable plans for the future, make sound investments, have money to carry on a business, give to the poor, and support the Lord’s work. But you are wrong if you are dishonest, greedy, covetous, stingy, and miserly about possessions. To honestly earn, save, and give is wise; to hoard and spend only on yourself is unwise and sinful.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank the Lord for providing for your temporal needs.

For Further Study

Read 1 Timothy 6:17.

  • What are the rich instructed not to do?
  • What does God richly supply you with? Why?

Joyce Meyer – Slow Is Good

Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].

— James 1:19 –20 (AMPC)

In these verses, God is telling us to listen more than we talk. Think about it: If God wanted us to be quick to speak and slow to listen, He would have created us with two mouths and only one ear!

God is also telling us not to easily get offended or angry. If you have a quick temper, start listening more and talking less. Slow is good. Read everything you can get your hands on about managing anger. Repeat over and over in your mind: I am quick to listen and slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to forgive. Trust God to help you manage the feelings of anger. It is vitally necessary for you to be able to control this emotion if you want to enjoy the life God has in mind for you.

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow in anger and quick to forgive. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Our Life

Christ who is your life.

Colossians 3:4

Paul’s marvelously rich expression indicates that Christ is the source of our life. You has He quickened who “were dead in . . . trespasses and sins.”1 The same voice that brought Lazarus out of the tomb raised us to newness of life. He is now the substance of our spiritual life. It is by His life that we live; He is in us, the hope of glory, the spring of our actions, the central thought that moves every other thought. Christ is the sustenance of our life. What can the Christian feed upon but Christ, the living bread? “This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.”2 Remember, weary pilgrims in this wilderness of sin, that you will never get a morsel to satisfy your spiritual hunger unless you find it in Him!

Christ is the solace of our life. All our true joys come from Him; and in times of trouble, His presence is our consolation. There is nothing worth living for but Him; and His loving-kindness is better than life! Christ is the object of our life. As the ship speeds toward the port, so hurries the believer toward the haven of his Savior’s heart. As the arrow flies to its target, so the Christian flies toward the perfecting of his fellowship with Christ Jesus. As the soldier fights for his captain and is crowned in his captain’s victory, so the believer contends for Christ and gets his triumph out of the triumphs of his Master. “For [him] to live is Christ.”3

Christ is the exemplar of our life. Where the same life is found inside, there will, there must be, to a great extent, the same developments outside; and if we live in close fellowship with the Lord Jesus we shall grow like Him. We will set Him before us as our divine example, and we will seek to follow in His footsteps, until He shall become the crown of our life in glory. How safe, how honored, how happy is the Christian since Christ is his life!

1) Ephesians 2:1
2) John 6:50
3) Philippians 1:21

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

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – Jesus Rewards Kindness

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Katie walked toward the back of the lunch room to sit with her friend Julie. Katie and Julie were best friends, and they always did everything together. The other kids in their class even called them “The Twins.”

As she walked to sit by Julie, Katie saw a girl sitting one at a table near the wall. It was Lucy, the new girl. Lucy was quiet, she smelled a little funny, her clothes looked old and worn-out, and she did not have any friends yet. Katie paused for a moment, but then hurried to her usual table without giving Lucy another glance.

Later that afternoon, Katie’s teacher taught a Bible lesson. “Does anyone know who ‘the least of these’ are?” Mrs. Johnson asked the class. The students shook their heads. “Jesus gives some examples of these people in Matthew chapter 25,” she said. “He calls people who are hungry, poor, or lonely ‘the least of these’ because they’re the ones that most people think the least about.”

Katie peeked over at Lucy. She was looking down at her desk. Mrs. Johnson continued, “Jesus told the crowds that He would reward those who help these people, and punish those who are too selfish to help. We have many chances to be kind to people everyday,” she said, “and Jesus will reward you for your kindness.”

The next day at lunch, Katie saw Lucy sitting alone again. Katie slowed down. “Dear Lord,” she prayed, “help me to be kind to Lucy and ‘the least of these.’” She walked up to Lucy and smiled.

“Hi! I’m Katie. Do you want to eat lunch with my friend Julie and me?”

Lucy smiled back. “I’m Lucy,” she said, “and I’d love to eat with you.”

She seems so nice, Katie thought. Lucy had seemed so glad about Katie’s offer, but Katie felt like she’d gotten more of a blessing out of it than Lucy had. It would be a little strange having a new friend hanging out with “The Twins.” But would that be so bad? Katie wondered. Maybe they would just have to be known as “The Triplets” from now on.

In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus describes “the least of these” as the kinds of people we see everyday. He says that when we do kind things to them, it is as though we are doing it to Christ Himself. Jesus promises to bless us if we are kind to His people. We have no excuse for ignoring people who are different. After all, Jesus loved us when we were most unlovable, and Jesus still loves us even though we have nothing unique to offer Him.

Jesus blesses those who help “the least of these.”

My Response:
» Do I know any “least of these” people?
» What can I do to be kind to them today?
» In what ways am I myself a “least of these” person?
» Would Jesus ever ignore me because I was undeserving of His love?

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Denison Forum – In a divided world, Dr. Tony Evans reminds the church that we are “Stronger Together, Weaker Apart”

When Christians fight among themselves, they’re neglecting an often-overlooked biblical truth: Christ has called us to model unity to a watching world. 

With the church in this country divided by race, politics, the pandemic, and a host of other issues, Stronger Together, Weaker Apart: Powerful Prayers to Unite Us in Lovehas a message we desperately need today. 

In the introduction, author Dr. Tony Evans quotes from John 17, often called Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer.” It offers a rare glimpse of private interaction between Christ and the heavenly Father, on the night before Jesus died. 

In verses 20–23, he asks for “complete unity” among his disciples and those who heed their message. “Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me,” he prays. 

“An alternative to the ways of the world”

Stronger Together, Weaker Apart is part prayer book/part Bible study about the importance of unity among believers in spreading the gospel. But too often, the church is just as divided as the outside world. 

“As kingdom followers of Jesus Christ, we have been chosen to model unity, love, and peace as an alternative to the ways of a world that stands divided,” Evans writes. “Yet it seems that division often slithers its way into our churches and Christian organizations as well. Satan’s overall strategies rarely change — whatever he can divide, he can conquer (Mark 3:24). He accomplishes this division through lies, deception, and destruction (John 10:10).” 

Unity is not uniformity, but we shouldn’t let our differences divide us, preventing the church from playing its unique role in our culture.  

“The church is the only authentic cross-racial, cross-cultural, and cross-generational basis for oneness in existence,” Evans writes. 

We are all one

If you model Christlike qualities such as empathy, forgiveness, and humility in service to others, you encourage unity. On the other hand, “Every time you disparage a politician, preacher, neighbor, teacher, coworker, or family member, you are erecting walls with your words,” Evans writes. “We all must learn how to change our thoughts and words if we want to close the gaps that separate us.” 

The book has an appendix with a list of Scriptures about unity, including Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” 

In other words, there should be neither Black nor White, rich nor poor, Republican nor Democrat, for we are all one in Christ. If we truly model that, the world will know that we are his disciples.

Upwords; Max Lucado – Let God Intervene

LET GOD INTERVENE – August 10, 2021

When we are in the midst of the problem, it’s difficult to see a way out. When we have limited resources, it’s difficult to imagine being able to work with what we have. But God already knows how he will solve your problem, my friend. And God has infinite resources. You are the human; he is the divine being. Let Him help you. Let him intervene.

The next time you feel overwhelmed, remind yourself of the one who is standing next to you. What bewilders you does not bewilder him. When you present your needs to him, he never, ever turns to the angels and says, “Well, it finally happened. I’ve been handed a code I cannot crack. The demand is too great, even for me.”

You may feel outnumbered, but he does not. Give him what you have, offer thanks, and watch him go to work.