In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – How to Seek God

Our longing for the Lord is cultivated through intentional time and effort.

Psalm 105:1-8

Yesterday we learned what it means to seek God, but many of us don’t know where to begin.  

Start with the Scriptures and prayer. Set aside time each day for meditating on God’s Word: Listen for His voice, slowly digest what you read, talk to the Lord, ask Him questions, and apply what you learn. Don’t just read the Bible—study it, perhaps starting with a verse or short passage. Some of you may say, “I’ve never been into that.” My advice: Get into it! The deep things of God don’t just drop into our brains; they are placed there through diligent study. 

Hunger for the Lord is an acquired taste. The more we pursue Him, the greater our craving will be. However, if we ignore God, what little hunger we have will diminish even further. 

Do you find this last statement describes your experience? Then ask the Lord to whet your appetite for Him, and follow through by becoming a seeker. This requires time and effort, two things we want to invest wisely. 

To neglect the Lord would mean cheating yourself of the benefits He promises to those who diligently seek Him. No one wants to go after that which is fleeting. Choose instead to pursue the Eternal One—the source of all contentment, joy, and hope. 

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 21-23

Our Daily Bread — Spiritual Diagnosis

Bible in a Year:

We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord.

Jeremiah 44:16

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Jeremiah 44:16–18, 20–23

Chemotherapy reduced the tumor in my father-in-law’s pancreas, until it didn’t. As the tumor began to grow again, he was left with a life-and-death decision. He asked his doctor, “Should I take more of this chemo or try something else, perhaps a different drug or radiation?”

The people of Judah had a similar life-and-death question. Weary from war and famine, God’s people wondered whether their problem was too much idolatry or not enough. They concluded they should offer more sacrifices to a false god and see if she would protect and prosper them (Jeremiah 44:17).

Jeremiah said they had wildly misdiagnosed their situation. Their problem wasn’t a lack of commitment to idols; their problem was that they had them. They told the prophet, “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord!” (v. 16). Jeremiah replied, “Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you” (v. 23).

Like Judah, we may be tempted to double down on sinful choices that have landed us in trouble. Relationship problems? We can be more aloof. Financial issues? We’ll spend our way to happiness. Pushed aside? We’ll be equally ruthless. But the idols that contributed to our problems can’t save us. Only Jesus can carry us through our troubles as we turn to Him.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

What personal problem has you stumped and how are you tempted to respond in a sinful way? What do you think Jesus might want you to do?

Jesus, I’d rather fail with You than succeed without You.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Our New Bodies

“Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:49).

All believers can look forward to one day receiving new bodies and new images.

Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances present a glimpse of the greatness, power, and wonder that our own resurrection bodies will have. Our Lord appeared and disappeared at will and always reappeared in other places. He was able to go through walls and doors, but He could also eat, drink, sit, talk, and be seen by others. Jesus was remarkably the same as before His death, yet He was even more remarkably changed. The body the disciples and other followers saw after the Resurrection was the same one we’ll see when we go to be with Him. Christ will also appear in the same form when He returns to earth (Acts 1:11).

As it was with Jesus, our perishable, natural, and weak bodies will be raised imperishable, spiritual, and powerful. No longer will they limit us in our service to God. In Heaven we’ll blaze forth the magnificent glory that God so graciously gives to His own (Matt. 13:43). Christ promises to “transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:21).

The future resurrection of believers to the glories of Heaven has always been a blessed hope and motivation for the church through the centuries— and it should be for you and me. No matter what our present bodies are like— healthy or unhealthy, beautiful or plain, short-lived or long-lived, pampered or abused—they are not our permanent bodies. One day these natural, created bodies will be re-created as supernatural. Even though the Bible gives us just a glance at what those new bodies will be like, it is a precious assurance to know that “we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2).

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray for an opportunity to share insights from this study with a Christian friend, especially if he or she has been discouraged recently.

For Further Study

Read Luke 24:33-53.

  • What do verses 37-43 verify about Jesus’ new body?
  • Write down other things from the entire passage that describe how Jesus had changed from the way He was prior to the cross. How had He remained the same?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – How to Live a Balanced Life

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

— 1 Peter 5:8 (AMPC)

Listening to the Holy Spirit will keep us balanced in every area of our life. The Spirit will tell us when we’re spending too much money or not spending enough, when we’re talking too much or not talking enough, or even when we’re resting too much or not resting enough. Any time we are doing too much or too little of something, we are out of balance.

The verse for today states that we are to be well-balanced so Satan cannot take advantage of us. For years, he took advantage of me because I was not balanced in my approach to work. I felt that my whole life should be arranged around work. As long as I was working and accomplishing something, I didn’t feel the guilt that the devil used against me. But that urge to work all the time was not from God; it did not push me toward godly balance in my life. Work is a good thing, but I also needed to rest and have enjoyment.

Each day as you seek to hear from God, ask Him to show you any area in your life that is out of balance and work with Him to make adjustments. We have many things in life to juggle and therefore it is easy to get out of balance, but God is always available to help us in this area. Simply ask Him if you are doing much or too little of anything and make the changes He recommends.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I rejoice today that you will give me all the tools I need to stay balanced in every area of my life. I worship You, and I receive from You all the grace that I need for this day, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Christ’s Comprehensive Love

The Lord takes pleasure in his people.

Psalm 149:4

How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of His people’s interests that He does not consider, and there is nothing that concerns their welfare that is not important to Him. He doesn’t merely think of you, believer, as an immortal being, but as a mortal being too. Do not deny it or doubt it: “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.”1 “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way.”2

It would be sad for us if this covering of love did not tackle all our concerns, for what mischief might be done to us in that part of our lives that did not come under our gracious Lord’s protection! Believer, rest assured that the heart of Jesus cares about your smallest concerns. The breadth of His tender love is such that you may turn to Him in every case; for in all your afflictions He is afflicted, and just like a father cares for his children, so He cares for you. The smallest interests of all His saints are all borne upon the heart of the Son of God.

And what a heart He has, which does not merely understand the nature of His people but also comprehends their diverse and innumerable concerns. Do you think, Christian, that you can measure the love of Christ? Consider what His love has brought you—justification, adoption, sanctification, eternal life! The riches of His goodness are unsearchable; you will never be able to convey them or even conceive them.

Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ! Shall such a love as this have only half our hearts? Shall it have a cold love in return? Shall Jesus’ marvelous loving-kindness and tender care be met with only faint response and delayed acknowledgment? My soul, tune your harp to a glad song of thanksgiving! Go to your rest rejoicing, for you are not a desolate wanderer but a beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord.

1) Matthew 10:30
2) Psalm 37:23

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

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Always Alive — Everywhere!

“And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: snd as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:2-5)

In Luke 24, Jesus had already been crucified and buried in the tomb. The people who loved Him were heartbroken. Three women went to Jesus’ tomb, only to find it empty. As they wonder what happened, two angels reminded them that Jesus had taught His disciples He would rise up again after three days. The angels told the women that Jesus was not dead anymore–He is now among the living!

When the women told this to the rest of Jesus’ disciples, they did not believe the news. Peter and John ran to the tomb, and they also found it empty. They believed, but they were still very confused about what had really happened and where Jesus was if He was not in His grave!

A couple days later, two other followers of Jesus were walking along on a road with a stranger who had joined them. They did not realize it at first, but it turned out that the stranger was Jesus Himself, and He preached to them a message that showed the Gospel story from the Old Testament until His resurrection. Imagine how it would be if Jesus Himself came and talked over the Gospel with you, with His scarred hands and feet and all His knowledge of the Scriptures!

It was not until later that the men finally realized who had been walking and talking with them. In Luke 24:32, they say, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

Does your heart ever “burn within” you when you hear the Gospel story preached? If you are a believer, do you spend time thinking about what Jesus Christ’s resurrection means for you personally? Are you confused like Jesus’ disciples were at first, or have you really come to understand that Jesus is no longer dead? When we talk to Jesus and seek to know Him better, we need to remember to seek for Him among the living. He is not just a story. He is not a dead and buried historical prophet. He is God–so He is everywhere at once–and He is alive!

Jesus Christ is living, not dead! We can seek Him anytime, anywhere.

My Response:
» Do I sometimes pray or listen to preaching as though the Gospel were just a pretend story?
» What habits would I change if I really believed and acted like God is alive and everywhere?
» How can remembering that Jesus has power over death help me be brave in fighting sin and sharing the Gospel?

Denison Forum – The Holocaust survivor who married her American liberator

Gerda Weissmann’s entire family was murdered in the Holocaust. She weighed sixty-eight pounds when she was discovered by two American soldiers a few hours after Germany officially surrendered to Allied forces. After six years under Nazi terrorism, her feet were so frostbitten, doctors feared they might have to amputate. She was critically ill and in and out of consciousness for days as she was slowly nursed back to health at a field hospital.

One of the soldiers who found Gerda held the door of his Jeep open for her. “That was the moment of restoration of humanity, of humaneness, of dignity, of freedom,” she said later. That soldier, Kurt Klein, and Gerda fell in love and eventually married. They moved to the US where they had three children. They were married for more than fifty years until his death in 2002. By her death on April 3 at ninety-seven years of age, she had eight grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren.

In 1996, a documentary about her won an Oscar. When she took the stage with the director, she told a global audience, “In my mind’s eye, I see those years and days, and those who never lived to see the magic of a boring evening at home.” In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded her the highest civilian honor in America, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“We must remember the past or it will become our future”

Yesterday was one of the most somber days of the year for me. Not because of anything happening where I live, but because of what happened seven thousand miles to the east in a country I consider my “second home.”

As the Times of Israel reports, “Israel came to a standstill at 10 a.m. on Thursday as sirens wailed throughout the country in memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II.”

I have led more than thirty study tours to the Holy Land and have been in Israel on Yom HaShoah, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. For two minutes, everything stops. Cars and buses pull over and drivers and passengers stand on the roads with their heads bowed. Ceremonies are held in schools, public institutions, and army bases across the country. An hour later, the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) holds the “Unto Every Person There is a Name” ceremony during which lawmakers read out the names of Holocaust victims.

This annual remembrance is vital not only so the Jewish people can remember those who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators but so the world can vow that such a tragedy must never happen again. One hundred Holocaust survivors stated in a video released yesterday, “One-third of the world’s Jews were systematically murdered” and added, “We must remember the past or it will become our future.”

This at a time when reports of antisemitic activity throughout the world have reached a record high. The number of antisemitic incidents throughout the US in 2021 rose 34 percent from the previous year to the highest number on record. According to a new survey, nearly half of Israelis fear that a second Holocaust is coming.

Why German churches flew Nazi flags

Why would the Nazis and their collaborators believe murdering six million people (a quarter of them children) was morally defensible on religious grounds?

As the German Catholic Church admitted in 2020, German bishops were motivated by nationalism, anti-communist sentiment, and a desire to preserve the church by avoiding confrontation with the Nazis. As a result, many told their followers to support the regime during the war. On Hitler’s fiftieth birthday in 1939, churches even flew Nazi flags and prayed for protection for the “Fuhrer and the Reich.”

Now let’s ask our question differently: Why would Vladimir Putin believe invading Ukraine and murdering Ukrainians is morally defensible on religious grounds?

As Dr. Ryan Denison notes in a recent Denison Forum article, the Patriarch of Moscow has endorsed the war as a holy struggle, describing it as the government’s attempt to protect Russia from the scourges of Western debauchery and stating that, in battling Ukraine, Russia is battling the Antichrist.

It is therefore unsurprising that, as Mark Legg reports in a recent Denison Forum article, Putin’s approval rating has jumped to around 83 percent since the invasion while only 4 percent of Russians think he is responsible for the war.

These are only two examples of using religion for horrifically immoral ends. In Recovering Our Sanity: How the Fear of God Conquers the Fears that Divide Us, Michael Horton explains this tragic phenomenon, noting that many religions across history have been practiced to “manage God’s judgment.” He writes: “We have to be the star of our own life movie. So, individually and collectively, we invent ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’ as ways of avoiding reality.”

If I can construct a religion that permits me to do what I wish and even endorses my immoral decisions, that religion will be both utilitarian and popular. Thus we see the popularity of “sacred prostitution” in the ancient world (having sexual relations with temple prostitutes was viewed as a way of worshiping the gods served by these prostitutes). We find false prophets endorsing the king’s agendas for the sake of their personal advancement (cf. 1 Kings 22). We see the religious authorities inciting the crowds to demand Jesus’ crucifixion (Matthew 27:21–23). From then to now, religions have often been a means to immoral ends.

“Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal”

Let’s bring this discussion home: Is there a transactional dimension to your relationship with God? Are you tempted to worship God on Sunday so he will bless you on Monday? To start the day with prayer (and perhaps this Daily Article) so he will bless your day? To respond in anger if he doesn’t “keep up his end of the bargain”?

The antidote is twofold.

One: Remember that God is the “everlasting King” of the universe whether we acknowledge his sovereignty or not (Jeremiah 10:10). He is not an object to our subject, a means to our ends. Let’s therefore join Paul in praying, “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever” (1 Timothy 1:17).

Two: Celebrate the unconditional love of this king for us today. He loved us “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8) and he loves us today “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). We cannot make him love us any more or any less than he does because by his very nature, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

The Irish writer Thomas Moore invited us:

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel;
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

What “sorrow” do you need heaven to heal today?

Denison Forum