In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Our Peace: God’s Will

When tough times come, turn away from fear and choose to trust God with the situation instead.

John 14:25-29

Suppose you’re faced with the most tragic situation you could possibly envision. For some of you, this requires little or no imagination because you are presently in the middle of the toughest trial of your life.  

Here’s what it looked like for the disciples: Their hopes and dreams were shattered when Jesus broke the news of His imminent departure. Life as they’d known it was coming to an end. Yet Jesus assured them that He was leaving His peace with them. This was His will for them, and it’s still what He desires for us today. 

The key to experiencing the peace of Christ is to believe in Him (John 14:1). But in addition to believing in Him, we must also trust what He says. God always works for our good, even in hardship. Trusting His motive and purpose is the basis for our peace. 

Life is an obstacle course with trouble lurking around every corner. It’s not a matter of whether storms and trials will come, but when. Yet we don’t have to live in fear and anxiety, because it’s God’s will that we take hold of His peace by trusting Him.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 32-33

Our Daily Bread — A Hole in the Wall

Bible in a Year:

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Proverbs 25:28

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Proverbs 25:16–28

Something was eating my flowers. The day before, blooms proudly lifted their heads. Now they were headless stems. I prowled the perimeter of my yard and discovered a rabbit-sized hole in my wooden fence. Bunnies are cute, but the pesky animals can mow down a garden of flowers in minutes.

I wonder, might there be “intruders” shearing off the blooms of God’s character in my life? Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” In ancient days, the wall of the city protected it against invasion from enemies. Even a small opening in a wall meant that the entire city lay open to attack.

So many of the proverbs are about self-control. “If you find honey, eat just enough,” wrote the wise man (25:16). Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit that guards us, protecting us from losing ground to impatience, bitterness, greed, and other pests that can intrude and destroy God’s harvest in our lives (see Galatians 5:22–23). Self-control is a healthy-mindedness that watches for the holes in the walls of our lives and keeps them patched.

When I inspect the perimeter of my life, I can at times see vulnerable holes. A spot where I give in to temptation over and over. An area of impatience. Oh, how I need the healthy-minded self-control of God in my life to guard me from such intruders!

By:  Elisa Morgan

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Reflect & Pray

What holes do you see in the wall of your heart? How might God’s fruit of self-control help guard your life from such an intruder?

Dear God, please grow the fruit of self-control in my life that I might be protected from intruders.

For further study, read Words Matter.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Standing Firm

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

Keep your spiritual armor on at all times.

Every battle has an offensive and defensive strategy. Paul outlines the Christian’s offensive strategy in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Our defensive strategy is to rely on Christ’s strength and put on our spiritual armor (Eph. 6:10-11). Paul was probably chained to a Roman soldier when he wrote to the Ephesians, so he had a ready illustration of spiritual armament at hand. But unlike Roman soldiers, who removed their armor when off duty, Christians must remain fully protected at all times. That thought is captured in the Greek word translated “put on” in Ephesians 6:11, which carries the idea of permanence—putting it on once and for all.

“Stand firm” in verse 11 translates a military term that speaks of holding your ground while under attack. When properly employed, your spiritual armor serves as a lifelong companion that enables you to fight against the forces of evil and do so without retreat. Just as Jesus personally instructed the churches in Thyatira and Philadelphia to hold fast until He returns (Rev. 2:253:11), so He also instructs us to stand our ground without wavering.

Similar New Testament exhortations call us to hold fast to biblical truth (1 Cor. 15:2), to that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21), to our confidence in Christ (Heb. 4:6), and to our confession of faith (Heb. 4:14). Those are marks of a strong and stable believer against whom the schemes of Satan have little effect.

Suggestions for Prayer

Is there an area of your Christian life in which you’re not standing as firm as you should—perhaps prayer, Bible study, or personal ministry? If so, confess it to the Lord and begin to strengthen that area today. Don’t give Satan a weakness to attack.

For Further Study

Memorize 1 John 4:4 as a reminder of God’s power in your life.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Words Are Fuel for Emotions

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles.

— Proverbs 21:23 (AMPC)

Words fuel good moods or bad moods; in fact, they fuel our attitudes and have a huge impact on our lives and our relationships. If we speak positive and good things, then we minister life to ourselves. We increase the emotion of joy. However, if we speak negative words, then we minister death and misery to ourselves; we increase our sadness and our moods plummet.

But thankfully, we can control what words we speak and the quality of our lives. Why not help yourself first thing every day? Don’t get up each morning and wait to see how you feel and then talk about every feeling you have to anyone who will listen. If you do that, you are giving your emotions authority over you. Instead, get up praising God for His goodness in your life. Let words of thankfulness fuel a life of peace and joy.

Prayer of the Day: Father, thank You that I can choose what kind of attitude I am going to have by choosing to speak words of life each day. No matter how I feel or what is going on around me, I’m going to encourage and strengthen my spirit, not my flesh.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Ask the Right Questions

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 5:18

The individual who looks at his character and position from a legal point of view will not only despair when he comes to the end of his reckoning, but if he is a wise man he will despair at the beginning; for if we are to be judged on the basis of the law, none of us will be justified. How blessed to know that we live in the realm of grace and not of law! When thinking of my standing before God, the question is not, “Am I perfect in myself before the law?” but “Am I perfect in Christ Jesus?” That is a very different matter. We need not ask ourselves, “Am I without sin naturally?” but “Have I been washed in the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness?” It is not “Am I in myself well pleasing to God?” but “Am I accepted in the Beloved?”

When the Christian views his evidences from the top of Sinai, he grows alarmed about his salvation; it is far better for him to view his position in the light of Calvary. “Why,” he says, “my faith has unbelief in it; it is not able to save me.” Suppose he had considered the object of his faith instead of his faith. Then he would have said, “There is no failure in Him, and therefore I am safe.” He sighs over his hope: “My hope is spoiled and darkened by an anxious focusing on present things; how can I be accepted?”

If he had regarded the ground of his hope, he would have seen that the promise of God stands sure and that whatever our doubts may be, God’s oath and promise never fail. Believer, it is always safer for you to be led by the Spirit into gospel freedom than to wear legal fetters. Judge yourself on what Christ is rather than on what you are. Satan will try to spoil your peace by reminding you of your sinfulness and imperfections: You can only meet his accusations by faithfully holding to the Gospel and refusing to wear the yoke of slavery.

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 Patient

“And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him” (Isaiah 30:18).

Judith’s mom keeps telling Judith, “Elizabeth is young. Be patient. She will grow up and understand that she can’t put everything into her mouth or pull so hard she rips papers.” It seemed to Judith that she was going to have to wait forever. But one day Elizabeth would grow up. All Judith had to do was be patient.

The Children of Israel experienced God’s patience on many occasions. The forty years they spent in the wilderness and the time of the judges are key examples of God waiting for His people to turn from their sin and back to Him.

We have examples of God’s patience with individuals too. Peter said some astonishing things while Jesus was walking on the earth. Some of the things Peter said earned him a rebuke (“criticism”) from Jesus. God was patient with Peter, who became one of the greatest preachers of his time.

Isaiah 30:18 says God is waiting for Israel to return to Him. There is a promise that goes with His waiting: He promises grace and mercy. Notice, too, that the end of the verse says that those who wait on the Lord are blessed.

Waiting is a part of trusting that God will show His mercy and grace as we wait for Him.

My response:

» Am I waiting for God to do His work?

» Am I trusting that God will show me His grace and mercy?

Denison Forum – The unprecedented way Liz Truss will be appointed UK’s prime minister today

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is Britain’s new prime minister. She will formally replace Boris Johnson today when she is appointed to her office by Queen Elizabeth II.

The queen has appointed all fourteen of her previous prime ministers at Buckingham Palace in London. However, the ninety-six-year-old monarch is staying at her holiday home in Scotland between August and October. To keep her from having to travel, the new prime minister will travel to her for a ceremony unlike any other in the queen’s seventy-year reign.

British prime ministers lead the political party that gains enough elected seats in Parliament to form a ruling coalition. If their party no longer supports their leadership, as happened with Boris Johnson, they can be forced to resign. Or if a general election replaces their party, as happened with Winston Churchill in 1945, they are replaced as well.

In other words, the new prime minister will only be prime minister so long as her party supports her and her party wins the next general election (which must be held no later than 2025).

Preparing for Martian pathogens

Great Britain’s elective system and the advanced age of her queen both illustrate the finitude of the human condition. Here’s another example: former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was buried in Moscow last Saturday. According to the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin did not attend the funeral because he was too busy.

What Mr. Putin may not realize is that one day the funeral will be his. He is sixty-nine years old; life expectancy for males in Russia is sixty-eight. Americans should take note: our average life expectancy fell from nearly seventy-nine years in 2019 to seventy-six in 2021.

Here’s some good news: new COVID-19 boosters are expected to be made available this week. The new vaccine will be updated for the first time to target the latest version of the virus. However, according to one epidemiologist, we can still expect that every year, around 50 percent of Americans will be infected with the virus and more than one hundred thousand will die.

As another illustration of our mortality, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy warned yesterday that the “world is once again on the brink of nuclear disaster” after heavy shelling brought down Europe’s largest nuclear plant’s transmission line. New research has determined that there are no health benefits, only dangers, from drinking alcohol. A Denver woman fell nine hundred feet to her death while climbing in Colorado. An earthquake in China has killed at least sixty-five people.

And our greatest threats may be threats we don’t yet know to exist: NASA is planning a very special lab for handling samples that will eventually be returned to our planet from Mars. The reason is frightening: Martian pathogens could spawn a pandemic for which we have no defenses.

A sin you and I are especially tempted to commit

Yesterday we noted that “the Lᴏʀᴅ takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 147:11). Here is what he does not “take pleasure in”: the sin of presumption.

Today’s stories illustrate the biblical precept, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Proverbs 27:1). Scripture warns, “No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death” (Ecclesiastes 8:8).

Unfortunately, the sin of presumption is especially tempting for those of us who seek to follow Christ. We know that we have become the children of God when so many have not (John 1:12). We study his word, pray, attend worship, contribute our tithes and offerings, and read content like this Daily Article when so many do not.

Satan would love for us to commit horrific sins that make headlines, but if we refuse, he will tempt us with “smaller” sins than those that make the news. We might then presume that if we commit these sins but are (apparently) more godly than others, we must be godly enough for God.

But “small” sins grieve the Holy Spirit just like public sins: “Whoever keeps the whole law but fails at one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2:10). Pride in our apparent godliness is one such sin.

“What have we done that God didn’t do first?”

To this end, a statement by Max Lucado seems relevant today: “I’m wondering if you’d be willing to join me in a prayer of repentance—repentance from arrogance. What have we done that God didn’t do first? What do we have that God didn’t first give us? Have any of us ever built anything that God could not destroy? Have we ever created any monument that the master of the stars can’t reduce to dust?”

Max concludes: “Let’s humble ourselves before the hand of God. The Bible reminds us that those who walk in pride, God is able to humble. And we don’t want him to humble us, do we?”

Today’s theme became personal for me when I learned, as I noted earlier, that Americans’ life expectancy has dropped to 76.1 years. For a male like me born in 1958, life expectancy is even shorter—just seventy-four years. That is just ten more years. Said differently, according to actuarial tables, I have only 520 more weeks to live.

Now, I agree with David’s prayer to God, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15). My grandfather lived to be ninety-nine years old. However, my father died at fifty-five. I have no idea if this is my last Daily Article or if I’ll be writing for another twenty years.

But I do know this: I must refuse the related temptations to presume that I will be here tomorrow and that I am all I need to be today. I need to be a “living sacrifice” to God every day that I live (Romans 12:1), abiding constantly and intentionally in the presence of Christ (John 15:5) and surrendered unconditionally to the leading and empowering of his Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

So do you.

Oswald Chambers noted, “The secret of the missionary is—I am his, and he is carrying out his enterprises through me.” He then added: “Be entirely his.”

Denison Forum