All posts by broboinhawaii

Bible believing christian worshiping God in Hawaii

Charles Stanley –Profiting From Pain

 

Romans 5:1-5

We have so many blessings for which to be grateful. And greatest of all is our salvation, because it’s the “hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). Someday we’ll step out of this life into the marvelous glories of heaven, which we can’t even imagine at present. But we can joyfully thank God for such an amazing prospect. It’s the hope that helps us endure all the hardships we face on earth.

However, Paul mentions another cause for exultation: our tribulations (Rom. 5:3). People rarely think of suffering as profitable and see no reason to rejoice, but God promises to use it for good. Oftentimes adversity results in spiritual growth. In times of pain, the façade we typically display is withdrawn to expose who we truly are. As our security or comfort is shaken, our true priorities, spiritual crutches, pride, and self-reliant ways are revealed. God may use the opportunity to strip away everything we depend on until nothing competes with Jesus’ reign in our life.

The Lord prioritizes spiritual growth over ease and comfort, and He knows how to develop perseverance and proven character within us. We may be tempted to fight or cry for a way out of hardship, but that gains us nothing in the end. Yet we can profit from pain by accepting the Father’s work in times of difficulty, knowing that He is shaping us into the image of His Son.

Instead of focusing on the pain or loss, turn your trials into a cause for hope. According to 2 Corinthians 4:17, “Momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.” That’s why we can exult in our tribulations.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 23-25

 

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Our Daily Bread — Acts of Kindness

 

Bible in a Year:Leviticus 19–20; Matthew 27:51–66

[Tabitha] was always doing good and helping the poor.

Acts 9:36

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Acts 9:32-42

“Estera, you got a present from our friend Helen!” my mom told me when she got home from work. Growing up we didn’t have much, so receiving a present in the mail was like a second Christmas. I felt loved, remembered, and valued by God through this wonderful woman.

The poor widows Tabitha (Dorcas) made clothes for must have felt the same way. She was a disciple of Jesus living in Joppa who was well known in the community for her acts of kindness. She was “always doing good and helping the poor” (Acts 9:36). Then she got sick and passed away. At the time, Peter was visiting a nearby city, so two believers went after him and begged him to come to Joppa.

When Peter arrived, the widows Tabitha had helped showed him the evidence of her kindness—“the robes and other clothing that [she] had made” (v. 39). We don’t know if they asked him to intervene, but led by the Holy Spirit Peter prayed and God brought her back to life! The result of God’s kindness was that “this became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord” (v. 42).

As we’re kind to those around us, may they turn their thoughts to God and feel valued by Him.

By Estera Pirosca Escobar

Today’s Reflection

Dear Lord, help me to follow You and show kindness to those around me, so they can see You in me.

Learn more about caring for hurting people at christianuniversity.org/CC205.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Tear Down Your Walls with Faith

 

For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: “It is Zion, for whom no one cares!” — Jeremiah 30:17

Adapted from the resource New Day New You – by Joyce Meyer

To avoid pain, some of us build walls around ourselves so we will not get hurt, but that is pointless. God has shown me that it is impossible to live in this world if we are not willing to get hurt. People are not perfect; therefore they hurt and disappoint us, just as we hurt and disappoint others.

I have a wonderful husband, but occasionally he has hurt me. Because I came from such a painful background, the moment that kind of thing happened, I used to put up walls to protect myself. After all, I reasoned, no one can hurt me if I don’t let anyone get close to me.

However, I learned that if I wall others out, I also wall myself in. The Lord has shown me that He wants to be my protector, but He cannot do that if I am busy trying to protect myself. He has not promised that I will never get hurt, but He has promised to heal me if I come to Him rather than try to take care of everything myself.

If you build walls around yourself out of fear, then you must tear them down out of faith. Go to Jesus with each old wound and receive His healing grace. When someone hurts you, take that new wound to Jesus. Do not let it fester. Take it to the Lord and be willing to handle it His way and not your own.

Receive this scripture as a personal promise from the Lord to you, For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: “It is Zion, for whom no one cares!” (Jeremiah 30:17).

With the help of the Lord, you can survive hurt and disappointment and find your completion “in Him.”

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for being my Protector. Help me to live today and every day in freedom—not putting up walls out of fear, but embracing the relationships in my life, knowing You will help me and heal me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Saved From Our Troubles

 

“This poor man cried to the Lord — and the Lord heard him and saved him out of his troubles” (Psalm 34:6).

It was a high-security penitentiary — filled with murderers, drug pushers, bank robbers and others who had committed major crimes and many who would never see the light of day again outside those bleak, gray prison walls. At an evangelistic service, however, one inmate after another stood to share how Christ had forgiven him of his sins and how, even though he had committed murder or some other serious crime, he knew with assurance that he was now a child of God.

Many of these men expressed in different words, as I sat there listening with tears streaming down my cheeks, “I am so glad I’m in prison, for it was here I found Jesus Christ, and I would rather be in prison with Christ in my heart than to be living in a palatial mansion without any knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness through His Son.”

Often I talk with people – on planes, on campuses, at public meetings – who are poor, not only materially but also physically and spiritually. What a joy to be able to share with them the good news that God cares.

A “poor man’s” first cry must be one of repentance and confession, so that a divine relationship is established: Father and son. Conversion must come by the Spirit of God, before deliverance can come in the less important areas of one’s life.

But after the Father-son relationship has been established, how wonderful to be able to assure such a one that God truly cares – enough to “save him out of his troubles.” Oftentimes that entails enduring such troubles for a time, but never more than we are able to bear. The supernatural life promises victory – in the midst of adversity.

Bible Reading:2 Corinthians 5:14-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will assure people whom I encounter today who are in trouble that God cares and promises deliverance. There is nothing more important that I could do for another person than to help him know Christ, so I will seek out those who are in need of a Savior so that they, too, can experience the liberating power of God’s love through Jesus Christ.

 

http://www.cru.org

Charles Stanley – The Believer’s Valley Experiences

 

Psalm 23:1-6

Today’s passage is probably the most beloved psalm in the Bible. It’s filled with comforting descriptions of green pastures, still waters, a banquet table, and an overflowing cup, all of which point to restoration and God’s abundant goodness and mercy.

But right in the middle of the psalm is “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4). We may be tempted to think this verse doesn’t fit the context, but it actually conveys a core truth about the believer’s life: Although our Shepherd constantly guides and cares for us, we will experience periods of hardship, suffering, and darkness. It’s just part of living in a fallen world.

However, God gives us amazing promises in the midst of the dark valleys. We never walk through them alone, because the Lord promises to be with us. Even when we can’t feel His presence, He is there. And His Word is our primary means of comfort—nowhere else can we find the relief we seek. All our coping methods will leave us empty, but the truths of Scripture assure us of God’s love and strength, which enable us to endure and even grow through difficult experiences.

As the Good Shepherd, Jesus protects and guides His lambs through every trial. Even in dark valleys, we cannot be snatched from Him (John 10:29). His rod beats away predators trying to drag off one of the flock, and His staff’s crooked neck pulls a wandering sheep back from danger.

If you’re presently traveling through a dark valley, remember that the Lord is with you. His goodness and mercy are still following you because your Shepherd never forsakes His beloved lambs.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 20-22

 

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Our Daily Bread — Sinking into Grace

 

Bible in a Year:Leviticus 17–18; Matthew 27:27–50

[God] grants sleep to those he loves.

Psalm 127:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 127:1-2

Finally, on January 8, 1964, seventeen-year-old Randy Gardner did something he hadn’t done for eleven days and twenty-five minutes: he nodded off to sleep. He wanted to beat the Guinness Book World Record for how long a human could stay awake. By drinking soft drinks and hitting the basketball court and bowling alley, Gardner rebuffed sleep for a week and a half. Before finally collapsing, his sense of taste, smell, and hearing went haywire. Decades later, Gardner suffered from severe bouts of insomnia. He set the record but also confirmed the obvious: sleep is essential.

Many of us struggle to get a decent night’s rest. Unlike Gardner who deprived himself intentionally, we might suffer sleeplessness for a number of reasons—including a mountain of anxieties: the fear of all we need to accomplish, the dread of others’ expectations, the distress of living at a frantic pace. Sometimes it’s hard for us to turn off the fear and relax.

The psalmist tells us that “unless the Lord builds the house,” we labor in vain (Psalm 127:1). Our “toiling” and our relentless efforts are useless unless God provides what we need. Thankfully, God does provide what we need. He “grants sleep to those he loves” (v. 2). And God’s love extends to all of us. He invites us to release our anxieties to Him and sink into His rest, into His grace.

By Winn Collier

Today’s Reflection

God, I’m so anxious. I churn inside. Would You help me trust You with my night, with my day, with my life?

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Estranged

In the eyes of an eight-year-old, the most wonderful thing about Lake Michigan was grandpa’s boat. Sailing was a love of his and I was a glad participant. A particularly rare treat was spending the night on the boat, gently being rocked to sleep by the bobbing waves and steady clanking of metal against mast. My grandpa tried to show me the Milky Way, directing my eyes by way of the North Star. He told us the meaning of the boat’s name, a word that sounded funny at the time. “Nomad,” he said, “is the word for a wanderer, a drifting, homeless traveler.” Feeling like the darkened sky could swallow me up in seconds, under the stars, I felt the same.

One of the things I am comforted by in the Christian religion is the insistence that I am a wanderer, a stranger in a foreign and yet familiar land. “Hear my prayer, O LORD,” pleads the psalmist, “and give ear to my cry; do not hold your peace at my tears. For I am your passing guest, an alien, like all my forebears.” In the book of Hebrews, amongst the testimonies of those who have lived and died, we are told that besides having in common a life of faith, these men and women had in common the suspicion that they were people living as aliens, journeying toward the very God who makes home home. “All these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth.”(1)

In his book Reaching Out, author Henri Nouwen defines a stranger as someone who is “estranged from their own past, culture and country, from their neighbors, friends and family, from their deepest self and from God.”(2) There are perhaps few of us who cannot find ourselves within that definition in some way each day. At the sound of breaking news, in the silence of anguished prayer, in the distraction that consumes years, there is a sense of alienation that wells up within us. Longing for promises in the distance, we wait estranged and encouraged by the hope that all is not yet as it will be.

Along the road to Emmaus, Jesus walked with two of his disciples who did not recognize him. On their way, the disciples talked about the events that gripped them with confusion and sorrow: their crucified leader, their lost hope, the ‘idle tale’ of an empty tomb. The one who traveled with them talked about the Scriptures, explaining events and promises down the centuries from Moses to the prophets. When they arrived, they invited him in to have a meal with them, and as he broke the bread, their eyes were opened: This stranger who walked with them was the one they knew. Home was once again in their midst.

On this road, there are always parts of ourselves that wander off with guilt or resentment, or get stuck somewhere on a tangent. But there is a great difference between wandering like a nomadic soul and walking as a stranger heightened by the hope that going home is a lifelong journey walked in thankful awareness of life with the Spirit. Often we are aware how long is the journey and how trying the conversations that must be had along the way. But we may find ourselves encouraged by fellow strangers in our midst. In the form of a tired traveler, Christ came to show us how to be human, how to find ourselves home again. As a stranger in a foreign land, salvation came searching for all who find themselves estranged.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) cf. Psalm 39:12, Hebrews 11:13.

(2) Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out (New York: Doubleday, 1986), 49.

 

http://www.rzim.org/

Joyce Meyer – Take a Laugh Break

 

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” — Psalm 126:2

Adapted from the resource My Time with God Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

We need to laugh more. It is good for the soul and adds health to our body. One of the reasons we may not laugh more is because we think too much about things that have no ability to bring joy.

Thinking of what I have lost in life is not a joy-bringer, but thinking about what God has done for me and His promise to do even more does bring joy.

Thinking about the people who have hurt us in life is not a joy-bringing thought, but thinking about the grace God has given us to forgive and trust Him for vindication makes us want to laugh (at least it does me).

God often reminds me to laugh more. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get too serious and I need to have a “laugh break.” There are lots of things to laugh at or about if we will just take the time to do it.

I believe laughter is much more important than we may realize. We aren’t too old or too busy, nor do we have too many problems to laugh! Start paying attention to how much you laugh and try to do it as often as possible.

Prayer Starter: Father, I believe You gave me the ability to laugh for a reason, and I want to take advantage of all the benefits of laughter. Help me take every opportunity to laugh and to make others laugh too. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Reap in Joy

 

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5,6 KJV).

How long has it been since you have shed tears of compassion over those who do not know our Savior as you pray for their salvation? Is God using you to introduce others to Christ? Is your church a center of spiritual harvest? If not, it is likely that you and other members of your church are shedding few tears over the lost.

It is a promise of God that when we go forth with a burdened heart sharing the precious seed of the Word of God, proclaiming that most joyful news ever announced, we can be absolutely assured – beyond a shadow of doubt – that we shall reap the harvests and, in the process, experience the supernatural joy that comes to those who are obedient to God.

It is a divine formula. But where does that burden and compassion for the souls of men originate? In the heart of God. And it is only as men are controlled and impowered by the Holy Spirit of God that there can be that compassion. It is not something that we can work up, not something that we can create in the energy of the flesh, but it is a result of walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit, with minds and hearts saturated with the Word of God.

The Old Testament references to sowing are often accompanied by sorrow and anxiety, evidenced by the tears to which the psalmist refers. As a result, the time of reaping is one of inexpressible joy.

Bible Reading:Proverbs 11:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will ask the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within me to give me a greater burden of the souls of those around me, so that I may indeed weep genuine tears of compassion as I go forth sowing precious seed. I know that I shall reap abundantly and, in the process, experience the joy which comes to those who obey God by weeping, sowing and reaping.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – The Unending Presence of God

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

In the Bible, 2 Corinthians 6:1 says that we are “God’s fellow workers.” Rather than report to God, we work with God.  We are always in the presence of God.  There is never a non-sacred moment!

Is it possible to live—minute by minute—in the presence of God?  Jesus enjoyed unbroken communion with God, and God wants that same abiding intimacy with you and me.  He wants to be as close to us as a branch is to a vine.  You know it’s impossible to tell where one starts and the other ends.  What good news! We are NEVER away from God!  And he is NEVER away from us!  As we search the Bible, we realize that unbroken communion with God is the intent and not the exception.  Within the reach of every Christian is the unending presence of God.

Read more Just Like Jesus

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

 

Denison Forum – President to announce $8 billion for border wall

News broke yesterday afternoon that President Trump will sign a border security compromise package that averts another government shutdown. However, this package does not include all the funds Mr. Trump has requested for continued construction of a barrier along our southern border.

ABC News reports that the president plans to announce today his intention to spend about $8 billion on the border wall with a mix of spending from congressional allocations, executive action, and an emergency declaration.

As a nonpartisan ministry, my purpose is not to offer a personal opinion on the political issues involved here. Nor is it to focus on the border wall itself, a subject I addressed recently.

Rather, my goal today is to consider the divisive response to these developments.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders: “The president is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country.”

Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer responded: “Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall.”

Being Baptist and working for IBM

There are clearly significant debates dividing Americans today. Many of us are fundamentally opposed on foundational issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and euthanasia.

Continue reading Denison Forum – President to announce $8 billion for border wall

Charles Stanley –Created to Love God

 

Deuteronomy 5:6-11

Jealousy is an undesirable, negative emotion, which is fueled by anger or selfishness. According to James 3:16, “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” From today’s passage, however, we see that there is a different perspective on the word when it’s applied to God: “For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Deut. 5:9).

This seems like a contradiction, but jealousy has a second, more positive meaning, which has almost been lost in our modern culture. It describes God’s vigilance in guarding our love for Him. Since we were created to love and worship Him, anything that competes for our devotion is a just cause for His jealousy.

The most important commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). Without this complete devotion to Him, we will pursue our own interests and neglect godly principles and goals. No idol—whether a person, dream, pursuit, or possession—is worthy of worship. But a holy and just God, whose deep love for mankind moved Him to send His Son Jesus Christ to die in our place, deserves and demands our total love and loyalty.

God hates idols of every kind because He knows anything that draws our attention away from Him is dangerous. In fact, focusing only partially on the Lord is a sure way to stumble, get wrapped up in sin, and miss His blessings. For both our protection and His glory, the heavenly Father calls us to be true to Him by living in an obedient, loving, and worshipful manner.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 17-19

 

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Our Daily Bread — Out of Context

 

Bible in a Year:Leviticus 15–16; Matthew 27:1–26

She turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

John 20:14

Today’s Scripture & Insight:John 20:13-16

As I queued up to board my flight, someone tapped my shoulder. I turned and received a warm greeting. “Elisa! Do you remember me? It’s Joan!” My mind flipped through various “Joans” I’d known, but I couldn’t place her. Was she a previous neighbor? A past coworker? Oh dear . . . I didn’t know.

Sensing my struggle, Joan responded, “Elisa, we knew each other in high school.” A memory rose: Friday night football games, cheering from the stands. Once the context was clarified, I recognized Joan.

After Jesus’s death, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early in the morning and found the stone rolled away and His body gone (John 20:1–2). She ran to get Peter and John, who returned with her to find the tomb empty (vv. 3–10). But Mary lingered outside in her grief (v. 11). When Jesus appeared there, “she did not realize that it was Jesus” (v. 14), thinking He was the gardener (v. 15).

How could she have not recognized Jesus? Was His resurrected body so changed that it was difficult to recognize Him? Did her grief blind her to His identity? Or, perhaps, like me, was it because Jesus was “out of context,” alive in the garden instead of dead in the tomb, that she didn’t recognize Him?

How might we too miss Jesus when He comes into our days—during prayer or Bible reading, or by simply whispering in our hearts?

By Elisa Morgan

Today’s Reflection

Dear God, give us eyes to see Jesus, however He comes—in a familiar context or surprising us in an unexpected one.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Man of Sorrows

“Prosperity, pleasure, and success may be rough of grain and common in fibre, but sorrow is the most sensitive of all created things.”

Those are the words of the famed pleasure seeker, Oscar Wilde. In his De Profundis, written in prison, he wrote with profound earnestness about how much sorrow had taught him. He went on to add, “Where there is sorrow there is holy ground. Some day people will realize what that means. They will know nothing of life till they do.”

As I reflect on those words, I take note first of the one who wrote them. A life of pain was the farthest thing from his mind when he made his choices. In that sense, none of us ever really choose sorrow. But I take note of something else in his words. His claim is bold; he is not merely confessing an idea written across his worldview, but one he insists is written across the world: Sorrow is holy ground and those who do not learn to walk there know nothing of what living means. What he means at the very least is that some of life’s most sacred truths are learned in the midst of sorrow. He learned, for example, that raw unadulterated pleasure for pleasure’s sake is never a fulfilling pleasure. Violation of the sacred in the pursuit of happiness is not truly a source of happiness. In fact, it kills happiness because it can run roughshod over many a victim. Pleasure that profanes is pleasure that destroys.

Sorrow on the other hand—while never pursued—comes into one’s life and compels us to see our own finitude and frailty. It demands of us seriousness and tenderness if we are to live life the way it is meant to be lived. One of the most important things sorrow does is to show us what it needs and responds to. Wilde said it himself: “Sorrow is a wound that bleeds when any hand but that of love touches it, and even then must bleed again, though not in pain.”

Of all the descriptions given about Jesus, there is one that unabashedly stands out to confront us. It is a description uttered by the prophet Isaiah, prodding mind and heart at once: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Like one from whom men hide their faces; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:3). Whether holding glimpses of global suffering or personal pain and loss, Isaiah’s is a fitting description to reflect upon.

Maybe you are at a time in your life when hurt is writ large upon your thoughts. Jesus is not unacquainted with your pain. In fact, he draws near particularly with a hand of love. Your wound may still bleed for a while to remind you of your weakness. But he can help carry the pain to carry you in strength. This could indeed be holy ground for you. It most certainly was for him.

Ravi Zacharias is founder and president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

http://www.rzim.org/

Joyce Meyer – Start a Blessing Box

 

You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. — Deuteronomy 15:10

Adapted from the resource Love Out Loud – by Joyce Meyer

Here’s an idea: Get yourself a big box and start going through your possessions, asking God to show you what you have that you can use to bless others. Fill it up with things that are nice but that you no longer need.

Look in cabinets, drawers, closets, the basement, and the garage. You will fill up your box quickly! Don’t keep something for years in case you ever need it—if you’re anything like me, by the time you need it, you will have forgotten that you have it and go buy another one anyway.

Take the clutter that is frustrating you and turn it into blessings. Keep the box in a handy place and start asking God to show you who needs to be blessed.

One woman I know, who is a radical giver, got all the things together she wanted to use to bless people and displayed them on her kitchen table. She invited several friends over and told them to take anything they wanted from the table. She urged them to keep on taking until everything was gone.

I encourage you to be a giver and look for ways in which you can use what you have to be a blessing to others.

Prayer Starter: Lord, thank You so much for Your goodness and blessings in my life. Help me to always be mindful of other people’s needs and look for creative ways to share Your blessing with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Deliverance from Fears

 

“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4, KJV).

Susie seemed outwardly to be a well-poised, lovely young wife and mother with everything under control. She was active in her church and attended other Christian gatherings during the week. But secretly she was filled with fear from which psychologists and psychiatrists with whom she consulted were unable to set her free.

She became very discouraged and depressed. “What can I do?” she asked through her tears. “I have everything to live for and no real reason to be afraid, but my days are consumed with worry and dread and fear, as I anticipate all kinds of evil things happening to me, to my husband , to my children.”

“Do you believe that God in heaven has the power to remove your fears, Susie?” I asked.

“Yes, of course,” she replied.

“Do you believe He loves you?”

“Yes, I believe that.”

“Do you believe He wants to remove that fear from you?” And I read her the above passage.

We turned together to 1 John 5:14, 15: “If we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears and answers.” This is the promise that every believer can claim whenever there is a command or another promise. I asked her if she would like to join with me in a prayer of faith that God would deliver her according to this promise.

Together we prayed, and though there was no immediate, dramatic deliverance, with the passing of days God set her free. Day after day she claimed by faith this and other promises from God’s holy, inspired Word.

Are you plagued with fears? Are your days consumed with worry? Saturate your mind with God’s truth — God’s supernatural promises – and begin to claim by faith this supernatural life which is your heritage in Christ.

Bible Reading:Psalm 34:1-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: At the first sign of a fear in my life, I will commit it to the Lord and trust Him for deliverance, and I will seek to help others whose hearts are filled with fear. I will seek to introduce them to the Prince of Peace – the God of all comfort.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Learning to Listen to God

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

I believe we can learn to listen to God if we are equipped with the right tools. The first tool is a regular time and place.  Select a slot on your schedule and a corner of your world, and claim it for God. Take enough time to say what you want and for God to say what he wants.

The second tool is an open Bible.  Pray first, asking God to help you understand it.  Study the Bible a little at a time.  Read until a verse “hits” you.  Then meditate on it and write it down.

The third tool is a listening heart.  We know we’re listening when what we read in the Bible is what others see in our lives.  If you want to be just like Jesus, spend time listening for him until you receive your lesson for the day—and then apply it.

Read more Just Like Jesus

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – How to get a marriage license at baggage claim

If you’re planning to get married today in Las Vegas, you can apply for your marriage license here, then pick it up at the baggage claim area at the airport. Alternately, if you or your travel partner is named “Valentine,” you can get free air travel to Iceland today.

A “Smooches from Pooches” kissing boooth is waiting for you at Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina. Master violinist Patrick Contreras will serenade you at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California. If you forgot to get a Valentine’s Day card for your loved one, you might head to Chicago Midway Airport, where they’re distributing free cards today.

“Love others like God loves them.”

As Janet Denison noted in her blog, the history and legends surrounding Valentine’s Day remind us that today is “a perfect holiday to allow God to use you as a witness to his perfect love. Love God with everything in you. Love others like God loves them. Let people know you are a Christian this Valentine’s Day by sharing God’s perfect love with them.”

God’s word repeatedly calls us to love as we are loved:

  • “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34; cf. John 15:12).
  • “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
  • “Love one another with brotherly affection” (Romans 12:10).
  • “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly” (1 Peter 4:8).

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Charles Stanley – A Gift for Every Believer

 

1 Peter 4:10-11

Even though the Bible clearly states that every believer receives a spiritual gift, some people nevertheless think they were overlooked. So these men and women meander through life refusing opportunities to serve. Other folks are so busy wishing they had a different ability that they do not use the one bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Both of these attitudes hinder the body of Christ.

God has a specific purpose and ministry for every Christian. Our spiritual gifts help us to fulfill His plan. We learn which one (or ones) we possess by getting involved in the life of the church. In other words, a believer will know his divinely appointed abilities when he begins to exercise them.

Moreover, the Lord has a purpose in mind when He bestows spiritual gifts on His children. Christians are to exercise their special skills for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7), and everyone profits when believers do God’s work though the power of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are used in a variety of ways, including to equip, edify, and encourage one another (Eph. 4:11-13).

To appreciate how various gifts work to build up the body of Christ, we may have to broaden our understanding of words like evangelist, prophet, and teacher. Biblically, these terms describe co-laborers who share Christ, spiritual mentors who explain biblical truths to new believers, friends who uplift the discouraged, and others doing similar work.

Every member of the Christian fellowship is important, and each one has a task to do. Where God has gifted us and opened doors of opportunity for ministry, He also provides the strength and courage to exercise our abilities.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 14-16

 

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Our Daily Bread — The Battle

 

Bible in a Year:Leviticus 14; Matthew 26:51–75

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.

Psalm 39:7

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 39:1-7

As artillery rounds fell around him with an earth-shaking whoomp, the young soldier prayed fervently, “Lord, if you get me through this, I’ll go to that Bible school Mom wanted me to attend.” God honored his focused prayer. My dad survived World War II, went to Moody Bible Institute, and invested his life in ministry.

Another warrior endured a different kind of crisis that drove him to God, but his problems arose when he avoided combat. As King David’s troops fought the Ammonites, David was back at his palace casting more than just a glance at another man’s wife (see 2 Samuel 11). In Psalm 39, David chronicles the painful process of restoration from the terrible sin that resulted. “The turmoil within me grew worse,” he wrote. “The more I thought about it, the hotter I got” (vv. 2–3 nlt).

David’s broken spirit caused him to reflect: “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is” (v. 4). Amid his renewed focus, David didn’t despair. He had nowhere else to turn. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” (v. 7). David would survive this personal battle and go on to serve God.

What motivates our prayer life doesn’t matter as much as the focus of our prayer. Godis our source of hope. He wants us to share our heart with Him.

By Tim Gustafson

Today’s Reflection

Father, our hope is in You. Forgive us for seeking answers apart from You. Draw us close to You today.

 

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