In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Praying to Our Sovereign God

John 15:7-16

Have you ever wondered why the Lord wants us to pray? After all, He controls everything, and His plans won’t fail because of our lack of intercession. Yet amazingly, through prayer, He allows us the privilege of being involved in His work. Prayer connects inadequate people to an all-sufficient God.

One of the reasons for prayer is that it teaches us to depend on God. That’s why Philippians 4:6 tells us to talk with our Father about everything. James 4:2 adds that sometimes the reason we don’t receive is because we haven’t bothered to ask. However, this doesn’t mean we’ll automatically receive whatever we request. God isn’t subservient to us—He works all things after the counsel of His will, not ours.

Another reason we should pray is because God wants us to bear much fruit. If we abide in Christ and His words abide in us, our requests will align with His will, and we’ll receive what we ask (John 15:7). Then our faith will be strengthened to trust Him in even greater ways. And the more we rely on Him to provide, protect, and guide us, the deeper our relationship with Him will grow. 

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 37-39

Our Daily Bread — Send Me

Bible in a Year:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?” . . . I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Isaiah 6:8

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Isaiah 6:1–8

When Swedish missionary Eric Lund felt called by God to go to Spain to do mission work in the late 1890s, he immediately obeyed. He saw little success there, but persevered in his conviction of God’s calling. One day, he met a Filipino man, Braulio Manikan, and shared the gospel with him. Together, Lund and Manikan translated the Bible into a local Philippine language, and later they started the first Baptist mission station in the Philippines. Many would turn to Jesus—all because Lund, like the prophet Isaiah, responded to God’s call.

In Isaiah 6:8, God asked for a willing person to go to Israel to declare His judgment for the present and hope for the future. Isaiah volunteered boldly: “Here am I. Send me!” He didn’t think he was qualified, for he’d confessed earlier: “I am a man of unclean lips” (v. 5). But he responded willingly because he’d witnessed God’s holiness, recognized his own sinfulness, and received His cleansing (vv. 1–7).

Is God calling you to do something for Him? Are you holding back? If so, remember all God has done through Jesus’ death and resurrection. He’s given us the Holy Spirit to help and guide us (John 14:2615:26–27), and He’ll prepare us to answer His call. Like Isaiah, may we respond, “Send me!”

By:  Francis Neil G. Jalando-on

Reflect & Pray

Is God calling you to do something for Him? What’s hindering you from responding?

Jesus, thank You for calling and enabling me to serve You. Help me to see this as a privilege and to serve You willingly.

To learn more about the Trinity.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Attacks on God’s Character

“Stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).

One of Satan’s most effective tactics is to challenge God’s credibility.

Paul’s exhortation to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11) refers to the various tactics Satan employs in spiritual warfare. One of his tactics is to call God’s character and motives into question by raising doubts about His Word.

He used that approach in the Garden of Eden, when he said to Eve, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1). In one brief statement Satan disputed and distorted God’s Word. God didn’t forbid them to eat from any tree. They could eat freely from every tree except one: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:16-17).

Satan followed his distortion with an outright denial of God’s Word: “You surely shall not die!” (3:4). He implied that God lied when He said that sin will result in death. Satan then went on to tell Eve that if she ate the fruit, she would in fact become like God Himself (v. 5). The implication is that God was withholding something good from Eve, and to keep her from seeking it, He intimidated her with empty threats of death and judgment.

Do you see the insidious nature of Satan’s approach? Tragically, Eve didn’t. Rather than trusting and obeying God, she believed Satan’s lies and concluded that the tree was good for food, a delight to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise. Then “she took from its fruit and ate” (v. 6).

Satan deceives and spreads his lies from generation to generation (2 Cor. 11:14). Although he is subtle, his attempts to discredit God by disputing, distorting, and denying His Word should be obvious to discerning Christians.

Don’t be victimized by Satan’s attacks. Become strong in the Word through systematic Bible study. Yield to the Spirit’s control through prayer and obedience to biblical principles.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Ask God for the discernment to recognize Satanic deceptions, and the wisdom to pursue truth.
  • Pray for God’s enabling as you discipline yourself for diligent Bible study.

For Further Study

Read 1 John 2:12-14. How did John describe those who are strong in the Word?

Joyce Meyer – God Likes the Way He Made You

My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].

— Psalm 139:15 (AMPC)

Have you ever asked God, “Why did You make me this way?” Sometimes the things that we think are our worst faults, God will use to His greatest glory: But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? Will what is formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus (Romans 9:20 AMPC).

Jesus died so that we might enjoy our life in abundance and to the fullest until it overflows. You are not going to enjoy your life if you don’t enjoy yourself. Be satisfied with yourself and celebrate the unique way God made you.

Prayer Starter: Lord God, I know that with Your help, I can exchange my negatives for positive, and I can love the ME that You created, In Jesus’ name, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Prevailing Prayer

I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Jeremiah 33:3

There are different translations of these words. One version renders it, “I will show you great and fortified things.” Another, “great and reserved things.” Now, there are reserved and special things in Christian experience: Every development in the spiritual life does not take place in the same way or in the same time frame. There are the common benefits and feelings of repentance and faith and joy and hope, which are enjoyed by the entire family; but there is an upper realm of delight, communion, and conscious union with Christ, which is far from being the routine enjoyment of believers.

We do not all have the high privilege of John, to lean upon Jesus’ bosom; nor of Paul, to be caught up into the third heaven. There are heights in experimental [experiential] knowledge of the things of God that the eagle’s eye has never seen and the philosopher’s mind has never grasped. God alone can take us there; but the chariot in which He transports us, and the horses with which that chariot is pulled, are prevailing prayers.

Prevailing prayer is victorious with the God of mercy, “In his manhood he strove with God. He strove with the angel and prevailed; he wept and sought his favor. He met God at Bethel, and there God spoke with us.”1 Prevailing prayer takes the Christian to the mountain and enables him to cover heaven with clouds of blessing, and earth with floods of mercy. Prevailing prayer lifts the Christian and shows him his inheritance and transfigures him into the likeness of his Lord. If you would reach to something higher than ordinary groveling experience, look to the Rock that is higher than you, and gaze with the eye of faith through the window of consistent prayer. When you open the window on your side, it will not be bolted on the other.

1) Hosea 12:3-4

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is the One We Should Please

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:6-9)

“Say ‘Mama,’ Stella. ‘Mama!’”

“No, Stella. You can say ‘Daddy,’ better, can’t you! Say ‘Daddy’!”

Jimmy laughed at the expression on his baby sister’s face as she looked back and forth from her mom to her dad. “You guys are going to confuse her!” Jimmy said to his parents. “Stella’s going to come out with something like ‘Dama’ or ‘Maddy’ if you both keep saying your names!”

Dad laughed, too. “You’re right, Jimmy. We probably ought to give her little brain a little break. We don’t want to make her dizzy just trying to make one of us happy.”

“True,” said Mom. “Besides, she doesn’t really have to say our names to please us. Both of us will love her whether she says our names or not!” Then Mom grinned. “But she’s going to say ‘Mama’ first!”

Do you ever get the feeling that there are too many people to please? Your siblings want you to share with them. Your friends want you to play with them. Your parents expect you to behave a certain way. Your teachers assign you projects and want you to listen in class. You might have chores to do and family to visit and pets to take care of. Have you ever thought about how many “rules” there are just for good manners? Saying “please,” saying “thank you,” holding a certain fork a certain way, chewing with your mouth closed, and the list goes on! Sometimes keeping track of all you have to do and say can become very overwhelming!

Colossians 2:6-9 says that if our trust is in Christ Jesus the Lord, we ought to walk in a way that pleases Him. It says that all kinds of people have all kinds of opinions, and you might meet people who will try to spoil (ruin) you with their godless opinions and worthless ideas. But we ought to be rooted in Christ, living to please Him. This passage says that Christ is the fulness of the Godhead bodily, which means that Christ is God! He is the Creator. He is the Redeemer. He is the highest Authority, and all other authorities (like your parents and teachers) were put in their positions by Him! Christ is God. If your goal in life is to please God above everyone else, then you will be obeying His Word. You can be sure that you will be doing what you ought to be doing!

Did you ever think about how God is really the only One we have to think about pleasing? Yes – of course – it is good to practice good manners and be concerned about other people. But ultimately, if we are growing in the knowledge of God’s Son and walking worthy of Christ – then we can trust that we are living in a way that pleases Him. And God is the most important One to please. If we please God, we will usually make our parents and other people happy automatically.

God is the main One we have to be concerned about pleasing.

My Response:
» Is my life pleasing God right now?
» How can I show I am more concerned about pleasing God than about pleasing others?

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Denison Forum – A new Navy weapon could stop you from talking: How to hear the voice of God where we need his wisdom the most

Imagine this: you are talking to someone when suddenly you begin hearing your voice repeating your words back to you. No one else hears this repetition. Science fiction?

Actually, this is an invention by the US Navy called acoustic hailing and disruption (AHAD). It is able to record a person’s speech and instantly broadcast it at a target in milliseconds. Its purpose is to disorient a person and prevent their communication with others. While the device has battlefield potential, it will likely be used primarily for crowd control.

Of course, there are days when being unable to communicate with others might seem to be a good thing. In the cacophony of voices inundating us from the 24/7/365 media blanket that covers our culture, some time-out for silence and solitude so we can hear our Father’s voice is a good idea.

In fact, it’s biblical. And it’s vital for our souls.

“Too many of us are not living our dreams”

This week, we’re discovering reasons and ways to wear Jesus’ “yoke,” to submit our lives to his leadership, empowering, and care (Matthew 11:28–30).

In the Monday Daily Article, we claimed the fact that our Savior is “gentle and lowly in heart” (v. 29), meaning that his will is always best for us. He also assured us that his yoke is “easy,” which means that it fits us perfectly. In yesterday’s article, we focused on the fact that we can trust our omniscient Master when we wear his yoke to lead us into our best future.

Today, we’ll focus on the present. We’ll consider ways Jesus guides those who wear his yoke, revealing his perfect will to us in every circumstance and situation. Then we’ll trust him to redeem our greatest challenges for his greatest glory.

Motivational speaker Les Brown noted: “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” What about your day today most perplexes, grieves, or troubles you? Name that challenge as we learn to submit it to the yoke of our Lord.

Three ways to catch the “wind” of the Spirit

A Norwegian company is developing a floating, offshore wind-power generator that could produce renewable energy. Named the Windcatcher, the structure would contain more than one hundred rotors stacked vertically within a 300-meter-high framework, making it about as tall as the Eiffel Tower.

Think of it: wind you cannot see generates power that changes your life and your world.

The Holy Spirit is such a “wind.” According to Jesus, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

How can we catch this “wind” in our souls? How can we hear the voice of God’s Spirit?

One: Study the word of God.

In response to his critics, Jesus referenced 1 Samuel 21 to justify his disciples and their actions (Luke 6:3–4). He replied to Satan’s temptations by quoting God’s word (cf. Luke 4:1–12). I often reminded my seminary students that the only word God is obligated to bless is his word. Our first response in every circumstance and challenge should be to consult his written revelation.

Two: Listen to the Spirit of God.

Jesus told his followers that when they were brought before the authorities of their day, “do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:11–12). If we will be still and listen for the Spirit’s intuitive voice, he can speak to our spirits and guide our thoughts and lives.

Three: Seek the presence of God.

Before choosing his apostles, Jesus “went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12). He sought his Father’s presence early in the morning (Mark 1:35) and late at night (Matthew 14:23). He prayed before meals (John 6:11), trials (Matthew 26:36–46), and even his own death (Luke 23:46). When we spend time alone with our Father, we can hear his voice and be empowered to obey his purpose.

“The possibility of the life we most desire”

If we will submit today’s challenges to Jesus’ yoke, seeking his direction by his word, Spirit, and presence, we can find his peace in every circumstance. For example, in Living Your Promised Land Life Now, Max Lucado writes:

“As John Wesley crossed the Atlantic, he was reading in his cabin and became aware of heavy winds knocking the ship off course. He responded in prayer. A colleague wrote it down: ‘Almighty and everlasting God . . . Thou holdest the winds in thy fists and sittest upon the water floods . . . command those winds and these waves that they obey Thee. Take us speedily and safely to the haven whither we would go.’”

Lucado continues: “Having offered the prayer, Wesley took up his book and continued reading. On deck, his colleague found calm winds and the ship on course. Wesley made no mention of the answered prayer. His friend wrote: ‘So fully did he expect to be heard that he took it for granted he was heard’” (his emphasis).

When we submit to the yoke of our omniscient and omnipotent Lord, we can have the same confidence.

Br. Curtis Almquist of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Boston observes:

“Each moment, each breath, holds the possibility of the life we most desire. The conversation you are now having is the most important thing. The cup of tea you are now cuddling is the most important thing. The walk you are walking is the most important thing.

“If you are washing the dishes, wash the dishes in such a way that you are really there, and the dishwashing, for the moment, is all you need. Happiness is to be found not when you finally rid yourself of the chore of the dishes, but actually in the extraordinary moment that the dishwashing invites. Breathe your way into the awareness of the sacrament of the present moment. Here and now is where God is to be found.”

What “dishes” are you washing today?

Upwords; Max Lucado –God’s Book Is Enough

GOD’S BOOK IS ENOUGH – September 8, 2021

Where do you feel empty? Are you hungry for attention, craving success, longing for intimacy? Be aware of your weaknesses. Bring them to God before Satan brings them to you!

Satan will tell you, as he did in tempting Jesus, to turn stones into bread. In other words, to take matters into your own hands. If Satan convinces us to trust our works over God’s Word, he has us dangling from a broken limb. Do what Jesus did. In Satan’s temptation of Jesus, three times Jesus repeated, “It is written…”  “It also is written…” “It is written.” God’s book was enough.

Jesus overcame temptation, not with special voices or supernatural signs, but by remembering and quoting Scripture. Do the same. Let God’s words silence Satan’s lies, and see what happens.