In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Our Guide

We can’t always rely on our own thoughts and feelings, but the Holy Spirit is a steady compass for life.

John 16:12-15

God sent His Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. As a member of the Trinity, the Spirit is all-knowing and trustworthy to instruct us with regard to divine matters. But He promises to do so only for those who by faith have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

The primary way by which the Spirit directs us is through the Word of God. The Bible is His revelation to mankind, and every word of it is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). That means we must faithfully read and study the Scriptures—and then trust the Holy Spirit to teach us. 

We cannot rely on our own thoughts, feelings, or experiences for guidance because they’re not the foundation for truth. Nor can we depend on the wisdom of the world or the culture around us—it’s foolishness to God and will lead us astray (1 Cor. 1:18-25).

Because of the Holy Spirit, you don’t have to go through life stumbling around in the dark. His guidance is freely available to you in Christ. So open your Bible and let the Spirit guide you into all truth.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 11-13

Our Daily Bread — A Humble Posture

Bible in a Year:

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Psalm 16:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 16

“Keep your hands behind your back. You’ll be fine.” That’s the loving admonition Jan’s husband always gave before she ventured off to speak to a group. When she found herself trying to impress people or seeking to control a situation, she’d adopt this posture because it put her in a teachable, listening frame of mind. She used it to remind herself to love those before her and to be humble and available to the Holy Spirit.

Jan’s understanding of humility is rooted in King David’s observation that everything comes from God. David said to God, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing” (Psalm 16:2). He learned to trust God and seek His counsel: “Even at night my heart instructs me” (v. 7). He knew that with God next to him, he’d not be shaken (v. 8). He didn’t need to puff himself up because he trusted in the mighty God who loved him.

As we look to God each day, asking Him to help us when we feel frustrated or to give us words to speak when we feel tongue-tied, we’ll see Him at work in our lives. We’ll “partner with God,” as Jan says; and we’ll realize that if we’ve done well, it’s because God has helped us flourish.

We can look at others with love, our hands clasped behind our backs in a posture of humility to remind us that everything we have comes from God.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How do you feel when you place yourself in a humble posture before someone else? How could you depend on God to help you with the tasks before you today?

Creator God, You’ve created the world and all that’s within it, and yet You love me and want to use me for Your glory. Help me to look to You for help and strength.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Joy Versus Happiness

“Rejoice in the Lord” (Phil. 3:1).

Happiness is related to circumstances; joy is a gift from God.

Not long ago it was common to see bumper stickers proclaiming every conceivable source for happiness. One said, “Happiness is being married.” Another countered, “Happiness is being single.” One cynical sticker read, “Happiness is impossible!”

For most people happiness is possible but it’s also fickle, shallow, and fleeting. As the word itself implies, happiness is associated with happenings, happenstance, luck, and fortune. If circumstances are favorable, you’re happy. If not, you’re unhappy.

Christian joy, however, is directly related to God and is the firm confidence that all is well, regardless of your circumstances.

In Philippians 3:1 Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord” (emphasis added). The Lord is both the source and object of Christian joy. Knowing Him brings joy that transcends temporal circumstances. Obeying Him brings peace and assurance.

Joy is God’s gift to every believer. It is the fruit that His Spirit produces within you (Gal. 5:22) from the moment you receive the gospel (John 15:11). It increases as you study and obey God’s Word (1 John 1:4).

Even severe trials needn’t rob your joy. James 1:2 says you should be joyful when you encounter various trials because trials produce spiritual endurance and maturity. They also prove that your faith is genuine, and a proven faith is the source of great joy (1 Pet. 1:6-8).

You live in a world corrupted by sin. But your hope is in a living God, not a dying world. He is able to keep you from stumbling and make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy (Jude 24). That’s your assurance of future glory and eternal joy! Until that time, don’t neglect His Word, despise trials, or lose sight of your eternal reward. They are key ingredients of your present joy.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord for any difficult circumstances you might be facing. Ask Him for continued grace to see them through His perspective and not lose heart (Gal. 6:9).
  • Be aware of any sinful attitudes or actions on your part that might diminish your joy. Confess them immediately.

For Further Study

Read Acts 16:11-40.

  • What difficulties did Paul and Silas face in founding the Philippian church?
  • How did God use their difficulties for His glory?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – It’s Not About You

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.

— 2 Corinthians 10:4 (AMPC)

My father was a very selfish man. Everything in our house was about him. My mother was afraid of him and did everything in her power to keep him happy. He drank a lot, physically abused my mother, was verbally, emotionally, and sexually abusive to me, and my life in general was miserable. Because of all these things, I developed the belief early on that if I didn’t take care of myself, no one would.

Perhaps, like me, you also had poor examples in life and need to “un-learn” some things you learned growing up. Be honest: How do you respond when you don’t get what you want? Do you become angry? Do you grumble and complain? Are you able to trust God to take care of you or do you live in fear that if you don’t take care of yourself, no one will take care of you? Believing you have to take care of yourself leads to selfishness, which leads to an unhappy life.

The Holy Spirit is a great teacher. He will help you learn the lessons you need to know in order to truly value, care for, and love others.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me un-learn every bad lesson I have learned in the past and set me free to learn to love others the way You want me to love them, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –God’s Eternal Plans

Now the records are ancient.

1 Chronicles 4:22

But not so ancient as those precious things that are the delight of our souls. Let us for a moment recount them, repeating them as misers count their gold. The sovereign choice of the Father, by which He elected us unto eternal life, before creation, is a matter of vast antiquity, since no date can be conceived for it by the mind of man. We were chosen from before the foundations of the world.

Everlasting love went with the choice, for it was not a bare act of divine will by which we were set apart, but the divine affections were concerned. The Father loved us in and from the beginning. Here is a theme for daily contemplation. The eternal purpose to redeem us from our foreseen ruin, to cleanse and sanctify us and at last to glorify us, was of infinite antiquity and runs side by side with immutable love and absolute sovereignty.

The covenant is always described as being everlasting, and Jesus, the second party in it, is from eternity. He struck hands in sacred covenant long before the first stars began to shine, and it was in Him that the elect were ordained unto eternal life. In this way a most blessed covenant union was established between the Son of God and His elect people, which will remain as the foundation of their safety when time shall be no more.

Is it not profitable to be conversant with these ancient things? Is it not shameful that they should be so readily neglected and even rejected by the majority of professing Christians? If they knew more of their own sin, would they not be more ready to adore distinguishing grace? Let us both admire and adore tonight, as we sing—

A monument of grace,
A sinner saved by blood;
The streams of love I trace
Up to the Fountain, God;
And in His sacred bosom see
Eternal thoughts of Love to me.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Wants You To Love Him with All Your Mind

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy…mind.” (Mark 12:30)

Have you ever had someone ask, “What are you thinking about right now?” Sometimes when you’re asked, you may be thinking about something totally unimportant or something that would sound silly to share out loud. At those times, it may be embarrassing to answer the question.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit might speak to our hearts and ask, “What are you thinking about right now?” Not because He doesn’t know, but because He wants us to notice our own thoughts. And sometimes we are embarrassed to answer Him. Why? Because we’re thinking selfish thoughts, vain thoughts, worried thoughts, proud thoughts – thoughts that have nothing to do with Him.

God wants us to love Him with our minds. How do we do this? We love God with our minds by thinking about Him and His things. Have you ever really thought about the meaning of a Bible verse that you’re memorizing? Have you ever tried to think of all the ways that you could obey that verse? Have you ever thought about the character traits of God and what they mean to your life? Have you ever thought about the words to a Christian song or a hymn?

Ask God to show you when you are thinking about the wrong things. Ask Him to help you turn your thoughts to Him and love Him with all of your mind.

God wants His people to love Him with all their minds.

My Response:
» When God reads my mind, do my thoughts say to Him, “I love you”?

Denison Forum – Oregon mother sues Meta over daughter’s digital addiction: How is your digital stewardship?

“Every technology is both a burden and a blessing; not either-or, but this-and-that.” 

That’s media theorist Neil Postman in his book Technopoly.

For example, a mother in Oregon is suing Meta (Facebook’s parent company) and Snap, arguing that their respective applications have caused her fourteen-year-old daughter to become so addicted to her phone that “she would get very physical, violent, verbal with me” when the mother attempted to take her daughter’s phone away.

And yet the team behind the YouVersion Bible app reported that 55.8 billion chapters of the Bible were read by its users over the course of 2021.

Our technology is a burden. 

Our technology is a blessing.

How do we ensure it’s more the latter than the former?

Denison Forum would like to thank pureHOPE for the following helpful, practical guidance.

Technology, in and of itself is a very good gift and resource we have been given. But, like many other good gifts, we can easily misuse it and even make an idol of it. I would make the argument that our greatest challenge, or danger, technology presents to us is the assault it makes on our time, our attention, and our relationships.

We only get one life and all of us have a limited amount of time and attention. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically mention social media and the gadgets that invade our modern lives, it does give us much instruction and guidance about making the most of the resources that God has given us and not squandering or misusing them.

Are you “making the most of your time”?

In the book of Ephesians, Chapter 5 there is a great passage that we can apply to so many areas of our lives. As we think about our devices and the devices that are occupying so much of our lives, this passage is extremely helpful!

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15–17 NASB).

Paul is encouraging the people of Ephesus, and for you and me today, to live as God desires us to live. That is to live carefully, wisely and making the most of our time or as another translation says, “redeeming the time.”

When we’re on our devices, so often we are doing the expedient or convenient thing rather than the wonderous or fulfilling thing. We don’t get to ponder and think and take quiet moments of reflection as we once did before the onslaught of technology. We don’t have to wait for anything. It is often in those moments of quiet reflection and stillness where God reveals His glory, and that revelation is what fuels our hope and our trust and our faith in Him.

Often, when we’re on our devices, we are mindlessly wasting our time in an effort to avoid unwanted feelings of boredom or loneliness. It’s what some call Digital Distraction. The average iPhone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day. The average 8-year-old spends 7 hours per day in front of screens. How often are we mindlessly scrolling when we could be engaging with others, engaging with God or simply enjoying a minute of solitude and stillness?

The Psalmist in Psalm 46 encourages us with words that I think can be so helpful for us when it comes to digital distraction. He says, “Be still and know that I am God.” That is so countercultural and so opposed to the natural pull of technology on our time and attention.

You and I gain a deeper awareness of God when we are still. His glory and majesty are best revealed to us in stillness, in silence and in solitude. Our devices, or better said, our tendency to turn to our devices, to avoid the feelings of loneliness and boredom, all too often robs us of that stillness that helps us know God. The ancient discipline of silence and solitude is so foreign to many of us as Christ Followers in the digital age. I truly believe that this lost discipline is one of the biggest barriers to knowing God and the feeling of being known by God in the 21st Century.

Dallas Willard once wrote, “The first and most basic thing we can and must do is to keep God before our minds.”

Is our use of technology helping us or hurting us from doing that?

Facetime vs. face-to-face time

But, it is not only our time and attention that is vulnerable to our use of technology, it is also our relationships. Primarily, I mean our key relationships. Those relationships like family and close friends where our character and compassion are fostered. The community of people God has given us to grow our faith and our joy with one another.

“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 12 NIV).

The technology that existed over two thousand years ago, that was available to the Apostle John, was paper and ink—or papyrus for you scholars out there. I am so thankful for that technology! Because of paper and ink, we have the Bible. Paul uses very similar language in his writings as well. However, John gives us a golden nugget of wisdom when it comes to how we are to live wisely and as God desires for us when it comes to technology. You see, the technology of John’s day also created challenges with relationships. He and other writers of the New Testament like Paul could have chosen to hole-up in some upper room in Jerusalem and spend all their time writing letters of instruction and encouragement to Christ Followers.

John’s words, inspired by the Holy Spirit, teach us technology is to be a supplement, it is to be secondary to human relationships and is never to be our primary way of interacting with one another. You and I were created by God for relationship, and the primary way for us to be in relationship with one another is face to face. Why face-to-face? So “that our joy may be complete.” While every one of us reading this are more connected than anyone else in the history of mankind, we are losing the intimacy, the joy, and the compassion that only a face-to-face conversation can cultivate.

God desires for us to live carefully, wisely, and to make the most of our time. He desires for us to seek out face-to-face conversation and connection. Because he created us and knows what is best for us.

What will your digital stewardship look like going forward?

The Bible tells us to think on things above (Colossians 3:2). Things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. Am I using technology and all of my gadgets and devices to think on these things or are they detracting me from doing so? Is social media fostering these thoughts for me?

This year, let’s put a plan in place that allows us to be better stewards of the technology we have. Let’s model good stewardship for our family and friends. Let’s equip those in our lives we lead to thrive in the digital age so that our joy too may be complete!

Dan Martin is the Director of Partnerships & Training for pureHOPE. His primary role is overseeing partnerships and training opportunities with churches, organizations, and both domestic and international leaders. He frequently speaks on topics addressing family, parenting, marriage, Christian leadership, and technology. Dan lives in the Dallas area with his wife, Kathie. They have three adult children and have now reached grandparent status.

Instagram: @findpurehope