In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Equipped to Fulfill God’s Calling

The Lord is all we need for the challenges before us.

Exodus 3:1-14

When Moses learned he was to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egyptian bondage, his initial reaction was, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?” (Ex. 3:11). But God assured him, “I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12 NLT). The Lord’s divine presence was a key part of Moses’ equipping as a leader. And God’s response to believers today is the same. We can confidently accept the responsibility He gives us—no matter the role—because He has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). 

But Moses wondered whether the Hebrew people would listen to him. He had been away from Egypt for a long time, and his last interaction with the Israelites had been a negative one (Exodus 2:11-14). What kind of influence could he have? God responded that the only credential Moses needed to give them was that he was sent by God—the I AM (Ex. 3:14). In addition, the Lord gave Moses a helper: his brother Aaron.

When the Lord gives us a task, He will bestow the spiritual authority we need to carry it out, and He will provide us with people to help. God has promised to equip us for His work. What is your response when asked to serve?

Bible in One Year: Amos 5-9

Our Daily Bread — People Who Need People

Bible in a Year:

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.

Romans 16:16

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Romans 16:3–16

In his hall-of-fame career as a sportswriter, Dave Kindred covered hundreds of major sporting events and championships and wrote a biography of Muhammad Ali. Growing bored in retirement, he started attending girls’ basketball games at a local school. Soon he began writing stories about each game and posting them online. And when Dave’s mother and grandson died and his wife suffered a debilitating stroke, he realized the team he’d been covering provided him with a sense of community and purpose. He needed them as much as they needed him. Kindred said, “This team saved me. My life had turned dark . . . [and] they were light.”

How does a legendary journalist come to depend on a community of teenagers? The same way a legendary apostle leaned on the fellowship of those he met on his missionary journeys. Did you notice all the people Paul greeted as he closed his letter? (Romans 16:3–15). “Greet Andronicus and Junia,” he wrote, “my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me” (v. 7). “Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord” (v. 8). He mentions more than twenty-five people in all, most of whom are not mentioned in Scripture again. But Paul needed them.

Who’s in your community? The best place to begin is with your local church. Anyone there whose life has turned dark? As God leads, you can be a light that points them to Jesus. Someday they may return the favor.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

Who are the people you know you can count on? Ask God to give you that kind of friend. How can you be a friend like that?

Father, what a friend I have in Jesus! May I be that kind of friend to others.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Spirit and Adoption

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:14-16).

The Holy Spirit confirms in our hearts the reality of adoption into God’s family.

In first-century Rome, people did not practice adoption exactly the same as they do today. A father sometimes adopted a young man outside the family to be the primary heir of the father’s name and estate. If the father considered his natural sons unworthy, he would find someone else with the qualities he wanted in a son. The adopted son would then take precedence over any of the real sons in the inheritance process. Thus the new son received many rights and privileges he would not have had otherwise; he was not merely a second-class citizen rescued from homelessness.

Likewise, it requires more than a natural birth process for us to become members of God’s family. We become God’s children because He sovereignly chose to grant us spiritual rebirth (John 1:12-13). That’s the substance of biblical adoption.

Therefore, adoption and regeneration are both terms that describe how God brought us to Himself (see 2 Cor. 5:17). Regeneration makes us sons and daughters and prepares us for our eternal inheritance. Adoption names us “sons of God” and actually gives us the title to our inheritance. Once this occurs, all our former debts (sins) are canceled, and we have a right to be in God’s presence without condemnation.

The entire process of adoption is superintended by the Holy Spirit, who repeatedly confirms its reality in our hearts. He transfers us from an alien family into God’s family and thus “bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16). If you are a Christian, you can, by the indwelling Spirit, know that you are legally and eternally God’s child.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask the Lord to give you a renewed sense of joy and thanksgiving throughout this day as you remember the blessings of being his adopted child.

For Further Study

Read Genesis 12:1-8.

  • What commands and promises did God make?
  • Had Abraham known God in the same way prior to this passage?
  • Does God’s promise in any sense parallel the concept of adoption? Explain.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Be “God Loves Me” Minded

…God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.

— 1 John 4:16 (AMP)

I remember when I began my ministry. When I was preparing for my first meeting, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to teach, and what came to my heart was, “Tell My people I love them.”

“They know that” I said. “I want to teach them something really powerful, not a Sunday school lesson out of John 3:16.”

The Lord reminded me that if people really knew how much He loved them, they would act differently than they do.

As I began to study the subject of receiving God’s love, I realized I was in desperate need of that message myself. I had a subconscious, vague sort of understanding that God loved me, but I needed deeper revelation. The love of God is meant to be a powerful force in our lives, one that will take us through even the most difficult trials without us ever doubting God’s love.

Prayer of the Day: Thank You, Father, for Your never-ending love for me, and I receive that love right now, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Law of Love

I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

Luke 6:27

When you read the Bible and it describes Christianity, and then you look at yourself, do you ever wonder whether you’re a Christian at all? I know I do.

Neither our assurance as believers nor God’s love for us hinges on our ability to live out certain Christian principles; rather, both depend on what Christ has achieved for us on the cross. Even so, the Bible teaches us to look for evidences of our salvation in the present. If we truly are the Father’s children, we are bound to display a love for others that resembles Jesus’ love for us.

Jesus calls for us to love people in a way that is not related to their attractiveness, merit, or lovability. We know that this is exactly how God loves us—His love is not based on us cleaning up our act, deserving His attention, or demonstrating that we’re predisposed towards or useful to Him. None of these things contribute to God’s love for us. No—“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, emphasis added).

The greatest measure of our faith, then, is love—love that reflects the love that we have received in such abundance. We engage in agape love—unconditional, sacrificial love—because it is an expression of the character of God and all He’s done for us. We don’t exercise this kind of love for our enemies because we are blind to who they really are but because we have gazed at God’s love for us. Jesus says that when we see others as they are—in all of their ugliness and spitefulness, all of their cursing, all of their hatred, and all of their unwillingness to pay us what they owe us—we are to be realistic about all of it, and then love them. Seeing all of that enmity, says Jesus, I want you to love your enemies.

By nature, we are incapable of displaying such love. But consider the kind of difference we would make to our culture if we were prepared to live out, in both everyday and extraordinary ways, a Christlike love which seeks to do what’s best for those who have acted in enmity towards us. That would be revolutionary—without any question at all.


Acts 9:10-28

Topics: Forgiveness Loving Others

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Wants Us to be Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

It was Billy’s turn to read his verse in the morning devotions. The Phillips family was reading in the book of Matthew, chapter 5. Billy read verse 3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

“Dad,” he asked, “what does ‘blessed’ mean?”

His father answered, “It means ‘happy.’”

“How can a poor person be happy? He doesn’t have anything to be happy about?” Billy wasn’t sure how this verse could be true.

His father answered wisely. “It doesn’t just say a poor person is happy. It says those who are ‘poor in spirit’ are happy because they will live in the kingdom of Heaven.”

Billy wasn’t sure what all that meant. “What does it mean to be ‘poor in spirit’?”

“It means a person is not proud. There is a saying about proud people that goes something like this, ‘He’s full of his wee self.’ That means a person who is proud is filled up with himself. He doesn’t have room for others, let alone for the Lord. All he thinks about is himself. All he cares about is himself. You know what it means to be poor, don’t you, Billy?”

“Sure. It means someone doesn’t have much of anything.”

“That’s right. In this case the person doesn’t have much of himself. His life isn’t full of himself. He has room for the Lord and others. This is true of those who are going to Heaven. They have realized they are nothing great in themselves and they need Jesus to forgive their sins. They also know they need His help to do what is right and to make the right decisions. The proud person doesn’t think that way. He thinks he is good enough by himself and doesn’t need God or anyone else. He has all he wants as long as he has his pride.”

Billy started to understand what his father was saying. “So the person who doesn’t think he is good enough by himself is the one who will come to Jesus and get saved from his sins, and then he will know he is going to Heaven. And that’s why he’s happy. But the person who doesn’t want the Lord is a proud person and will never come to Jesus because he doesn’t think he needs God. And he will not go to Heaven. He has nothing good to look forward to. And when he dies, he will never be happy again. It that what it means, Dad?”

His father answered, “That’s pretty much it, Billy.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Billy. “Last year I understood I was a sinner and not good enough to go to Heaven, and I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and save me. And I still know I’m not very good all by myself. I still need the Lord to help me not to sin and help me do what is right. That means I’m poor in spirit, and I can be happy because I know I will be in Heaven with Jesus forever. Sometimes it really is good to be poor, isn’t it Dad?”

“It sure is, Billy. It sure is.”

My response:

» Am I poor in spirit?

» Do I know I need Jesus to save me?

» Do I know I need Jesus to help me live?

Denison Forum – Family takes world tour before children lose their vision

This story is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time: a Canadian family is on a world tour so their three children with retinitis pigmentosa can build their “visual memories” before they lose their eyesight. So far, they have seen elephants, zebras, and giraffes in Namibia before moving on to Zambia, Tanzania, Turkey, Mongolia, and Indonesia.

“There are beautiful places everywhere in the world, so it doesn’t really matter where we go,” their mother explains.

When good things happen to good people, we tend to credit the good people with little thought for the God from whom “every good gift and every perfect gift” comes (James 1:17). However, when bad things happen to good people, we tend to blame God even though he “cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13).

If Christians must account for evil in a world we claim was made by a loving Creator, skeptics must account for good in a world they claim was produced by chaotic chance.

I cannot help them with their problem, but I can offer three thoughts for ours.

One: Some suffering is the cost of living in a fallen world

God allows some suffering as a result of living in a fallen world (Romans 8:22). The law of gravity affects sinners and saints, atheists and missionaries alike.

If a chess master allows a novice to take back a move, the game can continue; if she allows a novice to take back every move, there can be no game. If God intervened every time the law of gravity was about to harm someone, there could be no law of gravity. He would likewise be forced to suspend all speech lest some words harm some people and even all brain activity lest some thoughts turn to sin.

In addition, God sometimes allows natural disasters and diseases to show us our finitude and need for his providence and provision. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” led him to transforming reliance on his Lord (2 Corinthians 12:9–10). God wants to redeem our “thorns” in the same way.

Two: God permits the consequences of misused freedom

A health care expert says the sharp rise in sexually transmitted diseases in the US is “out of control.” The CDC warns that people who smoke cigarettes are fifteen to thirty times more likely to die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. These are examples of the passive judgment of God whereby he responds to our sins by allowing us to experience their results.

A parent would never allow her three-year-old to experience the consequences of choosing to walk into a busy street, but she might allow her twelve-year-old to experience the consequences of refusing to do his homework.

In the same way, God sometimes judges sin by allowing its consequences. He said of his sinful people, “I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord Gᴏᴅ” (Ezekiel 11:21). Paul reported that the Lord responded similarly to “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18) when he “gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity” (v. 24), to “dishonorable passions” (v. 26), and to a “debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (v. 28). He does this to bring sinners to repentance, confession, and reconciliation with himself (1 John 1:9Proverbs 28:13).

However, such consequences often affect the innocent as well as the guilty. With congenital syphilis, infected moms pass the disease on to their babies, potentially leading to deafness, blindness, or even death for the child. Second-hand smoke causes nearly thirty-four thousand premature deaths from heart disease each year in the US among adults who do not smoke.

Three: God brings judgment against unrepentant sinners

If the consequences of our misused freedom do not bring us to repentance, God sometimes turns from passive to active judgment.

His warning to Judah is his warning for us as well: “I will make the land desolate, because they have acted faithlessly, declares the Lord Gᴏᴅ” (Ezekiel 15:8). His character does not change (Malachi 3:6). What he has judged in the past, he must judge in the present.

However, as with his passive judgment, God’s active judgment affects “the land,” including the faithful left in it. When God punished Judah with exile to Babylon, Daniel was exiled as well. Jesus warned that when Jerusalem fell, “women who are pregnant” and “those who are nursing infants” would suffer along with everyone else (Luke 21:23).

The spiritual life is a mountain

Here’s my point: faithful Christ followers must work with urgency for moral and spiritual awakening not only for the sake of unrepentant sinners facing judgment but for our sake as well.

Transformational encounters with God empower our faith in the face of disease and disaster. And they lead sinners to repentance before natural consequences or divine punishments for their sins affect us, our children, and our grandchildren.

Jesus called us to “walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you” (John 12:35). Either we walk in the light of Christ or we are overtaken by the dark. You and I are moving forward with Jesus or we are moving away from him. The spiritual life is not a level road but a mountain: we are either climbing up or we are sliding down.

And as we go, so goes the nation we are called to serve as “the” salt and light (Matthew 5:13–16).

We founded Denison Forum in 2009 to be a catalyst for moral and spiritual awakening. I am more convinced today than ever that the need for such a transforming movement of God’s Spirit is urgent and that the time is short.

For the sake of our culture as it slides further and further into immorality, and for the sake of our own families and communities, you and I must humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Then, and only then, will he “heal our land.”

Denison Forum