In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Unrighteous Anger

Beware of the damage that can result when anger is allowed to fester.

James 1:19-21

Anger is a powerful emotion that often causes great damage. It fuels inner resentment and bitterness, shuts down communication, and breaks relationships. If unchecked, it boils over into explosive rage that hurts not only the intended target but others as well. 

While we often try to justify our anger, seldom can it be classified as righteous. We’re rarely offended for God’s honor. Our motives are usually born of self-defense, thwarted desires, or outrage over perceived wrongs against us. James wrote that our anger does not bring about God’s righteousness in our life.

The book of Proverbs gives God’s perspective on the subject. Quick-tempered people act foolishly (Proverbs 14:17), stir up strife, and abound in wrongdoing (Proverbs 29:22). There are also warnings not to associate with such individuals so we won’t learn their ways (Proverbs 22:24-25). In contrast, those who are slow to anger have great understanding (Proverbs 14:29) and demonstrate wisdom by holding their temper (Proverbs 29:11).

Jesus paid our sin debt with His life in order to set us free from sin, and that includes uncontrolled anger. If God has convicted you of unrighteous anger, confess it as sin and ask Him to reproduce Christ’s character in you.

Bible in One Year: Daniel 5-6

Our Daily Bread — A House Undivided

Bible in a Year:

Every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

Matthew 12:25

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ephesians 2:17–22

On June 16, 1858, as the newly nominated Republican candidate for the US Senate from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous “House Divided” speech, which highlighted the tensions between various factions in America regarding slavery. It caused a stir among Lincoln’s friends and foes. Lincoln felt it was important to use the “house divided” figure of speech which Jesus used in Matthew 12:25 because it was widely known and simply expressed. He used this metaphor “so it would strike home to the minds of men in order to rouse them to the peril of the times.”

While a divided house can’t stand, the implied opposite can—an undivided house stands unified. In principle, that’s what the household of God is designed to be (Ephesians 2:19). Though made up of people from various backgrounds, together we’ve been reconciled to God (and each other) through Jesus’ death on the cross (vv. 14–16). In view of this truth (see Ephesians 3), Paul offers this instruction to believers in Jesus: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (4:3).

Today, when heightened tensions threaten to divide people who are otherwise united, such as our families and fellow believers, God can give the wisdom and strength needed to keep unity with one another through the help of the Spirit. This will cause us to be light in a dark, divided world.

By:  Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

How could God use you to be a “family peacemaker”? What Scripture passages could help you counter relational tension and fracture? 

Jesus, please grant me wisdom, courage, and strength to live in ways that demonstrate reconciliation with all people.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Guarding Your Mind and Emotions

“Stand firm therefore . . . having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:14).

True righteousness begins with a right relationship with God.

A Roman soldier would often engage his enemy in hand- to-hand combat. At such times, the weapon of choice was the short sword, with which he sought to penetrate his opponent’s vital organs. For his own protection he wore a molded metal breastplate that extended from the base of his neck to the top of his thighs. It helped deflect any attacks aimed at his heart and abdomen.

The Roman breastplate has great symbolism in Paul’s analogy because to the Jewish people, the heart represented man’s mind and thinking processes; the intestinal area or bowels represented the seat of feelings and emotions. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (KJV). Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jesus added, “From within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts” (Mark 7:21).

During spiritual warfare, Satan’s primary attacks target your thinking and emotions. If he can condition you to think and feel contrary to God’s Word, he has won a significant victory. That’s why he attempts to fill your mind with lies, immorality, false doctrine, and half-truths. He tries to blur the line between righteousness and sin by surrounding you with evil influences that increase your tolerance for sin. He clothes offensive sin in the blinding garment of entertainment. He puts it to music and masks it in humor to confuse you and deaden your spiritual senses. Satan wants to corrupt your emotions and draw you into sinful desires.

Putting on the breastplate of righteousness begins with a right relationship with God, who is the source of true righteousness. From that relationship flows the commitment to cultivate righteousness in your own life by learning and applying His Word. Therein lies the protection you need to safeguard your mind and emotions from satanic deceptions.

Suggestions for Prayer

Focus on strengthening your relationship with God today. Commune with Him in prayer. Meditate on His Word. Seek His grace in responding thoughtfully and righteously to the temptations you face.

For Further Study

Read Proverbs 10, noting Solomon’s description of righteous people.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Love That Is Freely Offered

For You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive [our sins, sending them away, completely letting them go forever and ever]; and abundant in lovingkindness and overflowing in mercy to all those who call upon You.

— Psalm 86:5 (AMP)

In our relationships with our parents or others, we may have had to perform in a certain way in order to earn their love, but God’s love is not like that. His love is freely offered to all who receive it by faith.

Though God does get angry at sin, wickedness, and evil, He is not an angry God. God hates sin, but He loves sinners! He is “good, and ready to forgive.” He is abundant in mercy and filled with loving-kindness.

God will never give up on us, and He will continue to work with us toward positive change in our lives. God never stops loving us for even one second. He meets us right where we are and helps us get to where we need to be.

Prayer of the Day: Lord, thank You for Your great love for me and for not abandoning me alone and lost in my sin. Thank You for Your unconditional love and please help me to show Your love to others, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Grieving Sin

I acknowledged my sin unto you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Psalm 32:5

David’s grief for sin was bitter. Its effects were visible on his outward frame: His bones wasted away; his strength dried up like the drought of summer. He was unable to find a remedy until he made a full confession before the throne of heavenly grace. He tells us that for a time he kept silent, and his heart was filled with grief and his lips with groaning: Like a mountain stream that is blocked, his soul was swollen with torrents of sorrow. He created excuses, he tried to divert his thoughts, but it was all to no purpose; like a festering sore his anguish gathered, and, unwilling to use the scalpel of confession, his spirit was tormented and knew no peace.

At last it came to this, that he must return to God in humble penitence or die outright; so he hurried to the mercy-seat and there unrolled the volume of his iniquities before the all-seeing God, acknowledging all the evil of his ways in the terms of the Fifty-first and other penitential Psalms. Having confessed, a task so simple and yet so hard for the proud, he immediately received the token of divine forgiveness; the bones that had been wasted were made to rejoice, and he emerged from his prayers to sing the joyful songs of the one whose transgression is forgiven.

Do you see the value of this grace-led confession of sin? It is to be prized above everything, for in every case where there is a genuine, gracious confession, mercy is freely given—not because the repentance and confession deserve mercy, but for Christ’s sake. May God be praised, there is always healing for the broken heart; the fountain is ever flowing to cleanse us from our sins. Truly, O Lord, You are a God “ready to forgive.”1 Therefore will we humbly acknowledge our iniquities.

1) Nehemiah 9:17

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 Bigger than Your Toughest Sin

“Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24b–25a).

Have you ever had a dream where you were trying to run away from someone or something scary like a monster, and you just couldn’t run fast enough, or you tripped and fell while you were running? It seems like the dream goes on and on and on. You are just about ready to be captured by the big, ugly creature when you hear your mom calling you for breakfast. What a relief!

Many times, believers can face struggles with sin, when they feel as if they just can’t overcome it. Some believers know they shouldn’t be angry and hateful, but being angry and hateful happens so easily to them. Other believers want to tell others about the gospel, but when they have an opportunity to do just that, they just freeze in fear, and the opportunity slips by.

If you can identify with either of these, take heart! The apostle Paul faced a similar situation. He wrote, “For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do” (Romans 7:19).

This doesn’t sound fun at all. It is a difficult situation to be in as a believer. Believers know that obeying God is their first priority as a child of God. But there is a part inside that still wants to sin, and it is strong. This struggle wasn’t there before the believer put faith in Christ, but now the struggle gets intense sometimes. Take heart; Paul faced this very same struggle too!

Paul described himself as a “wretched man” because of his inability to do what was right. He asked, “Who shall deliver me the body of this death?” Then he said that the solution is to thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord because God is bigger than your toughest sin. Trust Him and thank Him.

God is bigger than your toughest sin. You may not be strong enough, but He is.

My response:

» Do I believe that God is bigger than the toughest sin that can ever tempt me?

» How can I trust Him to help me obey?

Denison Forum – The death of Judge Ken Starr and traits that “were once considered normal”

Kenneth W. Starr, a former federal judge and US Solicitor General, died yesterday of complications from surgery. Judge Starr served as president and chancellor of Baylor University and dean of the Pepperdine Law School. He argued thirty-six cases before the US Supreme Court and served as Independent Counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater and President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

I was honored to be his friend. We met when he came to his post at Baylor in 2010 and stayed in contact across the years after. He was gracious to appear on our Denison Forum podcast; I was privileged to interview him for an Institute for Global Engagement event earlier this year at Dallas Baptist University.

He combined brilliance, sincerity, transparency, and humility like few people I have ever known. In my review of his 2021 book, Religious Liberty in Crisis: Exercising Your Faith in an Age of Uncertainty, I called his work “an indispensable guide to defending religious freedom.”

Judge Starr is survived by his beloved and brilliant wife, Alice Mendell Starr, to whom he was married for fifty-two years, and by their three children and their families.

“The rock on which modern Britain was built”

History is often made by exceptional people like Judge Ken Starr whose names are known to history.

More than twenty-six thousand people filed by Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Scotland yesterday before it was transported to London and spent last night in Buckingham Palace. A procession including King Charles III, Prince William, and Prince Harry will accompany it today as it travels to Westminster Hall, where it will lie in state for four days ahead of the queen’s state funeral on Monday, September 19.

The reason for such a national outpouring of grief and affection is simple: as Prime Minister Liz Truss observed, the queen was “the rock on which modern Britain was built.”

In other historic news, Francis Scott Key penned the words of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on this day in 1814. Two years earlier on this day, Napoleon entered Moscow in an invasion that eventually failed and cost his army more than four hundred thousand men.

On a happier note, after Albert Pujols hit his 697th home run, moving into sole possession of fourth place on Major League Baseball’s all-time home runs list, he gifted the ball to the fan who caught it and then signed two more balls for him. In other sports news, baseball great Ty Cobb’s dentures are going for more than $11,000 at auction. Neither Pujols’s home run ball nor Ty Cobb’s false teeth would be valuable if they were not associated with such historic figures.

However, history can also be made by people whose names are unknown to history.

The US has reached the historic milestone of one million organ transplants; each donor, while unknown to the rest of us, changed a life with their gift. A political leader in Idaho protested a planned “Drag Kids” performance including children “from ages 11–18,” leading to the event’s eventual cancelation. And a nurse saved a three-month-old baby who had stopped breathing during a flight Thursday night. Whatever the little girl grows up to accomplish will be an extension of that nurse’s compassion.

Traits that “were once considered normal”

Watching news coverage of the death of the queen, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas observed: “One is struck by the adjectives used by reporters, commentators and people interviewed outside Balmoral Castle and Buckingham Palace: sense of duty, virtue, integrity, service. What astounds is that these and other character traits the late Queen exhibited were once considered normal and worthy of being taught to children, but today stand in sharp contrast to what is modeled and accepted.”

He added: “One commentator said the Queen’s death is the symbolic end of the Greatest Generation. We pay lip service to the virtues that made the greatest generation great, but no longer promote them, whether it is in public schools, social media, or the wider culture.”

What is being said of Queen Elizabeth II could be said of Judge Ken Starr as well: both were known publicly for traits that were deeply personal. Their exemplary character and humble commitment to service were grounded in the sincerity and depth of their faith.

The queen was tutored as a young girl by the Archbishop of Canterbury and called Jesus “an inspiration and an anchor in my life.” Ken Starr’s father was a Congregationalist minister; the judge’s often-repeated maxim, “Truth is a bedrock concept in morality and law,” came from his family and from his personal faith.

“The true measure of all our actions”

C. S. Lewis noted, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” But here’s the point: someone is watching.

Our names may never be known to history like the queen and the judge, but someone knows us as personally as anyone knew them. The people we live, work, and go to school with matter just as much to eternity as a queen or a federal judge. If they do not follow Jesus, we are the only Bible they may read, the only sermon they may hear.

This makes our personal integrity, or lack thereof, a kingdom issue of eternal consequence.

We cannot expect the people who know us to follow Christ if we do not. We cannot expect them to embrace biblical morality if they do not see that morality reflected in our daily decisions and actions.

By contrast, if Jesus is our first love, the passion of our hearts and king of our days, those who know us will see him in us and be drawn to his transforming love.

The writer of Hebrews encouraged his readers to “remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7). When those who know you “consider the outcome” of your way of life, will they want to imitate your faith?

Queen Elizabeth II said, “The true measure of all our actions is how long the good in them lasts.”

What will be the “true measure” of your actions today?

Denison Forum