Tag Archives: Bill Bright

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Your Joy Restored

 

“Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence: and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation: and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee” (Psalm 51:10-13, KJV).

“The Christian owes it to the world to be supernaturally joyful,” said A. W. Tozer.

How do we attain that joy?

When we refuse to exhale spiritually by confessing our sins, we are miserable. On the other hand, when we do confess our sins, we experience God’s complete forgiveness. He removes our guilt and fills our lives with joy, the kind of joy we will very much want to share with others.

The psalmist also knew this when he wrote: “Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires…Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. Then I will teach Your ways to other sinners, and they – guilty like me – will repent and return to You” (Psalm 51:10,12,13).

There was a time when I allowed moods and circumstances to prevent the joyful launching of a new day with the Lord. As a result, I did not feel that close relationship with Him, that beautiful awareness of His presence that comes from fellowship with Him in His Word and in prayer, and through faithful witnessing of His reality to others.

Without that time with Him, there is no joy and the day often begins and continues in the energy of the flesh. There is no personal awareness of God’s presence, and things just seem to go wrong. We can begin every day with that joyful communion with Christ that gives us the assurance of His presence throughout the day. We are the ones who make that choice. God is available; we are the variable.

Bible Reading: Psalm 51:1-9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will begin this day on my knees, praising and rejoicing in the Lord as an expression of my desire to be with Him. I will read His Word and offer prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. I will ask Him to lead me to others whose hearts He has prepared for this same joyful relationship with God.

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Gift of His Spirit

 

“This is what God has prepared for us and, as a guarantee, He has given us His Holy Spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:5).

A dynamic young business man sat across from me in my office. By almost every standard of human measure he was an outstanding success in both his business and his religion.

He was one of the leading men in his field of specialty in the world. A highly moral, religious person, he was very active in his church. And yet, he was not sure that he was a Christian.

He wanted desperately – more than anything else in the world – to have real assurance, but he did not know how to go about obtaining it. Step by step, I explained to him from the Bible how he could receive Christ into his life and be sure of his salvation.

Soon we were on our knees in prayer, after which he went on his way rejoicing in the assurance of his salvation to begin a supernatural walk with God.

Many pastors and other Christian leaders, I have discovered, also have this same gnawing doubt about their salvation. One pastor who had preached the Bible-centered gospel for 40 years told me that he was still unsure of his salvation.

The wife of an evangelist confided, “During the past 30 years, my husband and I have introduced thousands of people to Christ, but I have never been sure of my own salvation. Never before have I had the courage to share this concern with anyone, but now I am so desperate that I have come to seek your help.”

I explained that we receive Christ as our Savior by faith or on act of the will; then, as a guarantee, He gives us His Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 5:6-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  With God’s Holy Spirit as my constant witness, I will daily give thanks to Him for assurance of my salvation.

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Clothed in Christ

 

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ” (Galatians 3:27, NAS).

You may be surprised, as I was, at the result of our personal surveys having to do with church members and salvation.

Such surveys indicate that somewhere between 50 and 90% of all church members are not sure of their salvation. Like Martin Luther, John Wesley and many others who became mighty ambassadors for Christ, some spend many years “serving God” before they experience the assurance and reality of their salvation.

The pastor of a large fashionable church of 1,500 members once reacted negatively when I shared these statistics, doubting that such large percentages of church members lacked assurance of their salvation.

He decided personally to survey his own congregation at the church where he had served as senior pastor for 15 years. To his amazement and shock, more than 75% of the membership indicated they were not sure of their salvation.

The following Sunday, the pastor arranged for the Four Spiritual Laws booklet, which contains the distilled essence of the gospel, to be distributed to each member of the congregation.

For his sermon he read the contents of the booklet aloud, as the congregation followed him, reading from their own copies of the Four Laws. Then he invited all who wished to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord to read aloud with him the prayer contained in the booklet. Almost the entire congregation joined in the prayer audibly. As a result the church was changed, because changed individuals in sufficient numbers equal a changed church, a changed community and a changed nation.

Have you clothed yourself in Christ?

Bible Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will not take for granted that I have found faith in Christ simply because I belong to a church, nor will I assume that all church members have assurance of their salvation. I shall encourage all who are not sure to receive Christ and be clothed in His righteousness.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Mark of Ownership

 

“He has put His brand upon us – His mark of ownership – and given us His Holy Spirit in our hearts as guarantee that we belong to Him, and as the first installment of all that He is going to give us” (2 Corinthians 1:22).

Some time ago, a young Christian came to share his problems. He was very frustrated and confused, and he spoke of the constant defeat and fruitlessness which he experienced in the Christian life.

“You don’t have to live in defeat,” I said to him.

The young man registered surprise.

“You can live a life of victory, a life of joy, a life of fruitfulness,” I assured him. “In fact, by the grace of God – and to Him alone be the glory – for more than 25 years as a Christian I do not recall a single hour of broken fellowship with the Lord Jesus.”

He was really shocked at that.

“Do you mean you haven’t sinned in 25 years?” he asked.

“No, that’s not what I mean, I replied. “I have sinned regrettably, I have grieved and quenched the Spirit at times with impatience, anger or some other expression of the flesh. But when I grieve the Spirit, I know exactly what to do. I breathe spiritually. I confess my sin to God and immediately receive His forgiveness and cleansing, and by faith I continue to walk in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit.”

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 12:3-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Realizing that a believer can live a supernatural, holy life only as he yields to the control of the Holy Spirit, I will seek to practice holiness in my personal life and encourage other Christians to do the same.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Clothed in Christ

 

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ” (Galatians 3:27, NAS).

You may be surprised, as I was, at the result of our personal surveys having to do with church members and salvation.

Such surveys indicate that somewhere between 50 and 90% of all church members are not sure of their salvation. Like Martin Luther, John Wesley and many others who became mighty ambassadors for Christ, some spend many years “serving God” before they experience the assurance and reality of their salvation.

The pastor of a large fashionable church of 1,500 members once reacted negatively when I shared these statistics, doubting that such large percentages of church members lacked assurance of their salvation.

He decided personally to survey his own congregation at the church where he had served as senior pastor for 15 years. To his amazement and shock, more than 75% of the membership indicated they were not sure of their salvation.

The following Sunday, the pastor arranged for the Four Spiritual Laws booklet, which contains the distilled essence of the gospel, to be distributed to each member of the congregation.

For his sermon he read the contents of the booklet aloud, as the congregation followed him, reading from their own copies of the Four Laws. Then he invited all who wished to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord to read aloud with him the prayer contained in the booklet. Almost the entire congregation joined in the prayer audibly. As a result the church was changed, because changed individuals in sufficient numbers equal a changed church, a changed community and a changed nation.

Have you clothed yourself in Christ?

Bible Reading: Galatians 4:4-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will not take for granted that I have found faith in Christ simply because I belong to a church, nor will I assume that all church members have assurance of their salvation. I shall encourage all who are not sure to receive Christ and be clothed in His righteousness.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – To Encourage Us

 

“These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us, so that we will look forward expectantly to the time when God will conquer sin and death” (Romans 15:4).

Tom had a “short fuse” and frequently exploded in anger when he was disappointed with himself or others. Then he received Christ and began to study the Word of God, obey its commands and walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

His life began to change, gradually at first, until, as he told me recently, it has now been a long time since he has allowed his old nature to express his impatience.

The story is told of an impatient man who prayed and kept praying for God to grant him the virtue he so desperately needed.

“Lord,” he prayed, “give me patience, and give it to me now!”

Patience, however, is a virtue that is developmental in nature, to a large degree. It is the result of walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). It develops out of a good heart and a godly attitude (Luke 8:15). It is spawned sometimes during times of tribulation. Remember, it is a fruit of the Spirit.

Paul writes, “If we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently” (Romans 8:25).

So patience comes from hope and trust in God. And finally, we learn patience through the study and personal application of God’s Word in our lives, as suggested in Romans 15:4, “These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us.”

Bible Reading: Romans 15:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  When delays and seeming denials occur, I will exercise patience, with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Rivers of Living Water

 

“For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me” (John 7:38).

I was explaining to a group of Christians the meaning of Proverbs 15:13-15, “A happy face means a glad heart, a sad face means a breaking heart. When a man is gloomy, everything seems to go wrong and when he is cheerful everything seems to go right.”

God’s Word reminds us that the source of joy is the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:6). So if a man is filled with the Spirit, he will have a joyful heart. When we are filled with the Spirit, we will express love by singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. A happy heart will inevitably produce a joyful countenance (Ephesians 5:18-21).

If we do not have a joyful, peaceful countenance, there is reason to question whether we have a loving, joyful heart. And if we do not have a loving, joyful heart, it is not likely that we are filled with the Spirit.

One Christian leader, who had heard me speak, approached me later. He just happened to have a very somber, stern countenance. He explained to me that this was a new concept to him, and since he was reared in another culture, he felt that his somber countenance was a cultural thing.

“In our part of the world [the Middle East],” he said, “we don’t smile and express ourselves like American Christians.”

Together we analyzed the Scripture and concluded that culture has nothing to do with this truth, since Jesus, Paul and other writers of the New Testament were also born in the Middle East. If we truly understand the Spirit-filled life, whatever our cultural background, the joy of the Lord will flow from us – from our “innermost being shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NAS).

Bible Reading: John 7:33-37

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Recognizing love, joy and peace as trademarks of the Spirit-filled life, I will consciously seek to be Spirit-controlled so that these expressions will be a natural overflow of my life. I will teach this spiritual truth to others today.

 

http://www.cru.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

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Bears and He Gives

 

“What a glorious Lord! He who daily bears our burdens also gives us our salvation” (Psalm 68:19).

Did it ever occur to you that you are disobeying God when you carry your own burdens, when you are worried, frustrated and confused over circumstances? That is exactly what God’s Word says.

In 1 Peter 5:7, God gives a specific command to His children, “Cast…all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you” (KJV). Not to cast all of one’s cares upon the Lord is to disobey Him and to deny oneself that supernatural walk with God among men.

Is it not logical to believe that He who loved us so much that He was willing to give His only begotten Son would also be faithful to keep His promise to bear our burdens daily?

As the psalmist so aptly states, the Lord bears our burdens on a daily basis for the believer, the day will never come when God fails to carry our load, to strengthen us, to impart power to us through His indwelling Holy Spirit – if we but ask.

Marvel of marvels, the psalmist points out, our heavenly Father not only is our great burden-bearer; He is also the very one who gives us our salvation and the assurance of eternal life. How could anyone ask for more!

With the sure knowledge that our sins are forgiven (salvation) and the assurance that He knows all about every burden we face – more important, He bears them for us – our lives should reflect honor and glory to Him by the way in which we share His blessings and the message of His great love with others.

Provision for the supernatural life is promised in the Old Testament as well as the New, as evidenced by this glorious promise in the Psalms.

Bible Reading: Psalm 68:15-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will take careful inventory of my burdens and my worries and be sure that I am casting them all on the Lord with the certain knowledge that He cares for me. I will also encourage those around me to cast their cares upon the Lord.

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Set Upon a Rock

 

“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5, KJV).

Doug and Judy stood at the graveside of their little Timothy – their only child – who had been run over by a drunken driver while riding his tricycle on the sidewalk. It was a senseless, one-in-a-million, freak kind of accident, but their little lad was gone forever from their loving embraces.

As they wept, I consoled them with the promises of God’s Word: “In the time of trouble, He shall hide us in His pavilion, in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide us. He shall set us upon a rock.”

In the words of Jesus, I shared with them His promise, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, KJV). “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, KJV).

Man’s words are never adequate in a time like this. Only the holy, inspired Word of God, revealed through the indwelling Holy Spirit, can help us to comprehend and experience the reality of His promises.

What a joy to be able to tell people – burdened people, grieving people – that we serve God, who not only saves to the uttermost, but who also is the God of all comfort. As His Holy Spirit empowers us, let us share the good news of an all-loving, ever-wise Savior.

Bible Reading: Psalm 27:1-4

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will ask God to help me to be sensitive to the hurts and heartaches of others, so that I can comfort them with the Word of God through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. And when I face grievous troubles, I too will look to the rock, Christ Jesus, and claim His wonderful promises for comfort and strength.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Wait and He Will Help

 

“Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted and courageous. Yes, wait and He will help you” (Psalm 27:14).

Our surveys of hundreds of thousands of Christians throughout the world indicate that most Christians do not witness because of their fear. Even Timothy seems to have had the same problem.

His father in the faith, the apostle Paul, reminded him, as recorded in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (KJV). That is the reason our Lord promised, in Acts 1:8, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses” (KJV).

The Holy Spirit is the only one who can enable us to overcome fear. So, as we claim the promises of God and appropriate the fullness and power of His Holy Spirit, we can know that courage.

A Japanese schoolboy once showed his courage in a way that puts many of us to shame.

“He belonged to a school in Nagasaki containing 150 boys, and he was the only Christian among them all. He brought his lunch to school, as he lived at a distance, and he dared to fold his hands and ask a blessing every day before he ate.

He had some enemies among the boys who went to the master of the school and accused him of ‘doing something in the way of magic’ The master thereupon called the lad before the school and asked him what he had been doing.

“The little fellow spoke up bravely, explaining that he was a Christian, and that he had been thanking God and asking Him to bless the food. At once the master burst into tears, putting his head down on the desk.

“‘My boy,’ he said, ‘I too am a Christian; but I was afraid to tell anyone. Now, with God’s help I will try to live as a Christian ought to live.’ ”

Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I shall, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, be brave, stouthearted and courageous as I go forth to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God’s Word Gives Joy and Light

 

“God’s laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light” (Psalm 19:7,8).

Professor William Lyon Phelps, one of Yale University’s most famous scholars, said, “A knowledge of the Bible without a college education is more valuable than a college education without the Bible.”

Why would he say this? Our verse gives us the answer. The Word of God (1) protects us, (2) makes us wise, (3) gives us joy, and (4) gives us light.

There are many other benefits that come from reading the Word of God. With dividends like these, we are indeed robbing ourselves of untold blessings when we neglect His holy, inspired Word for any reason whatever.

It is my privilege to counsel many thousands of people with just about every kind of problem conceivable – need for salvation, poor self-image, marital problems, financial problems, health problems, loss of loved ones, insecurity, fear, and on and on. One could think of every kind of personal need and problem that man faces, and inevitably there is an answer in the Word of God.

I do not know of any individual who has ever received Christ without some understanding of the Word of God. It is for this reason that I included in The Four Spiritual Laws booklet, which I wrote in the 1950’s, the parenthetical statement on page 2: “References contained in this booklet should be read in context from the Bible wherever possible.”

By 1983, it was estimated that more than a billion copies of The Four Spiritual Laws, which contains the distilled essence of the gospel, had been printed (including translations into every major language) and distributed throughout the world, resulting in many millions of people responding to Christ. Still, it cannot compare with God’s Word, nor can any other piece of Christian or secular literature. There is something unique and powerful about holding the Bible in your hand and reading it with your own eyes, for it speaks with authority and power possessed by no other book ever written.

Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14-17

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: God’s Word is the most important book ever written, and the most important book that I could possibly read. Today I will read it for at least 15 minutes with renewed devotion, dedication and sensitivity to its mighty revolutionary power to transform lives and enable children of God to live supernaturally.

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Refuge for the Oppressed

 

“All who are oppressed may come to Him. He is a refuge for them in their time of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).

The late evangelist Henry Moorehouse once faced a disturbing dilemma. His little paralyzed daughter greeted him as he entered the house bearing a package for his wife.

“Where is Mother?” he asked, after kissing and embracing his daughter.

“Mother is upstairs,” the girl responded.

“Well,” Moorehouse said, “I have a package for her.”

“Oh,” the girl pleaded, “let me carry the package to Mother.”

“Why, Minnie dear,” her father replied, “how can you carry the package? You can’t carry yourself.”

With a smile, the girl continued, “That is true, Papa. But you can give me the package, and I will carry the package – and you will carry me.”

Taking her up in his arms, Moorehouse carried his daughter upstairs – little Minnie and the package, too. Then he saw his own position before the Lord; he had been carrying a heavy burden in recent days, but was not God carrying Him?

In similar fashion, you and I often feel the weight of heavy burdens – sometimes forgetting that even as we carry them we are being carried by our heavenly Father, who is a “refuge for them in their time of trouble.”

Bible Reading: Psalm 9:10-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As I carry my burdens today – large or small – I will recognize that my heavenly Father is carrying me, and I will pass this wonderful truth on to others who are weighted down with the loads and cares of daily living.

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Maintains the Seasons

 

“As long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night” (Genesis 8:22).

On his way to a country church one Sunday morning, a preacher was overtaken by one of his deacons.

“What a bitterly cold morning,” the deacon remarked. “I am sorry the weather is so wintry.”

Smiling, the minister replied, “I was just thanking God for keeping His Word.”

“What do you mean?” the man asked with a puzzled look on his face.

“Well,” the preacher said, “more than 3,000 years ago God promised that cold and heat should not cease, so I am strengthened by this weather which emphasizes the sureness of His promises.”

It is most reassuring to realize that we serve a God who keeps His promises, for He is the same God who makes possible the supernatural life for the believer. Part of that supernatural life is the ability to accept our lot in life, to be able to say with the psalmist:

“This is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24, KJV).

“Springtime and harvest” reminds us that as we sow the seed of the Word of God, He is faithful to give the increase – in His own good time. He simply asks and expects that we be faithful in our part, which is to give out His Word – to plant – at every possible opportunity.

The Christian who lives the supernatural life is enabled by the Holy Spirit to rejoice under all circumstances and to interpret every problem, adversity, heartache and sorrow in a positive light.

Bible Reading: Genesis 8:15-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will give thanks to the Lord for His faithfulness, no matter what the circumstances. I will faithfully plant the Word of God today whenever and wherever possible, realizing that our faithful God will produce the promised harvest.

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Maintains the Seasons

 

“As long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night” (Genesis 8:22).

On his way to a country church one Sunday morning, a preacher was overtaken by one of his deacons.

“What a bitterly cold morning,” the deacon remarked. “I am sorry the weather is so wintry.”

Smiling, the minister replied, “I was just thanking God for keeping His Word.”

“What do you mean?” the man asked with a puzzled look on his face.

“Well,” the preacher said, “more than 3,000 years ago God promised that cold and heat should not cease, so I am strengthened by this weather which emphasizes the sureness of His promises.”

It is most reassuring to realize that we serve a God who keeps His promises, for He is the same God who makes possible the supernatural life for the believer. Part of that supernatural life is the ability to accept our lot in life, to be able to say with the psalmist:

“This is the day the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24, KJV).

“Springtime and harvest” reminds us that as we sow the seed of the Word of God, He is faithful to give the increase – in His own good time. He simply asks and expects that we be faithful in our part, which is to give out His Word – to plant – at every possible opportunity.

The Christian who lives the supernatural life is enabled by the Holy Spirit to rejoice under all circumstances and to interpret every problem, adversity, heartache and sorrow in a positive light.

Bible Reading: Genesis 8:15-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will give thanks to the Lord for His faithfulness, no matter what the circumstances. I will faithfully plant the Word of God today whenever and wherever possible, realizing that our faithful God will produce the promised harvest.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Underneath: Everlasting Arms

 

“The eternal God is your Refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He thrusts out your enemies before you…” (Deuteronomy 33-27, LB).”…with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:8, KJV).

Susan was broken-hearted. She had just lost her first child at birth. The trauma of that experience had affected her relationship with her husband and with everyone else around her. She had become cynical and moody. She blamed God for what had happened and said, “I hate Him. Why would this happen to me? Where was God when I was going through the birth pangs, the excruciating pain of giving birth to a stillborn child? Why didn’t He give me a healthy baby?”

I was reminded of a statement that I had heard in response to a similar anguished plea: “Where was God when I lost my son?”

The answer: “Where He was when His own Son died on the cross for our sins.”

We do not understand the mystery of why God allows tragedy, heartache and sorrow, but we do know that those who trust the eternal God as their refuge will experience the reality of His promise that “underneath are the everlasting arms.”

Sometime later I talked with a godly Christian leader whose son had just taken his own life. Of course this man and his wife were devastated. Their hearts were broken. But what a difference in their reaction. Even through his tears this great Christian was saying, “I know I can trust God. He is a loving God. He is my refuge, and I feel His strength and compassion and care for me and my loved ones. My wife and I and all of our family are rededicating ourselves to Him as an expression of our love and confidence in His trustworthiness.”

Bible Reading: Psalm 91:1-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As an expression of my confidence in God and His love and faithfulness I will make a special effort to visualize those everlasting arms of love spread out beneath me, ready for any fall I may take, like a giant net below a trapeze artist. That will give me courage in the face of every obstacle and assurance despite my weaknesses.

 

http://www.cru.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Your Source of Strength

 

“……the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10b, KJV).

At a London train station one day, a woman was stopped by an elderly man.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” he said, “but I want to thank you for something.”

“Thank me!” the woman exclaimed.

“Yes’m, I used to be the ticket collector, and whenever you went by you always gave me a cheerful smile and a ‘good mornin’.” You don’t know what a difference it made to me.

“Wet weather or dry, it was always the same, and I thought to myself, “Wonder where she gets her smile from; one can’t always be happy, yet she seems to.’ I knew that smile must come from inside somehow.”

“Then one morning you came by and you had a little Bible in your hand. I said to myself, ‘Perhaps that’s where she gets her smile from.’ So on my way home that night I bought a Bible, and I’ve been reading it, and I’ve found Christ. Now I can smile, too, and I want to thank you.”

As you and I seek to be God’s witnesses today, in dependence on the supernatural power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we should be mindful constantly of the fact that the joy of the Lord can indeed be our strength. That joy inevitably will shine on our faces, regardless of circumstances.

In the words of an anonymous poem:

If you live close to God
And His infinite grace, You don’t have to tell; It shows on your face.

Bible Reading: Psalm 16:6-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will make a conscious effort to reflect the joy of my indwelling Lord in such a way that it will glow on my very countenance. While it is true that joy is a fruit of the Spirit, it is also true that the reflection of that joy is my responsibility. But I will go a step further. I will tell everyone who will listen about the one who is the source of my joy.

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God’s Secret Plan for You

 

“God has told us His secret reason for sending Christ, a plan He decided on in mercy long ago; and this was His purpose: that when the time is ripe He will gather us together from wherever we are – in heaven or on earth – to be with Him in Christ, forever” (Ephesians 1:9,10).

One day a distinguished scientist questioned Michael Faraday, chemist, electrician and philosopher.

“Have you conceived to yourself what will be your occupation in the next world?” he asked.

Hesitating a moment or two, Faraday replied, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him.” And then he added, in his own words, “I shall be with Christ, and that is enough.”

Although nearly two thousand years have passed since He walked this earth, Jesus still stands as the ultimate expression of ethics and morality. Whatever one might think about Christians or the church, he will find no blemishes in the character of Jesus.

Perhaps the greatest testimony that can be given regarding the character of Jesus’ teachings is that they are still changing men and nations throughout the world today. Now, as before, those who listen to Him inevitably say “No man ever spoke like this man!” (John 7:46, RSV).

God’s Word tells us that Jesus had the same temptations we do, though He never once gave way to them and sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Our Lord thus stands out as the supreme example of one who practiced the things that He taught to others and that He expects of His followers.

We still stand today in the shadow of God’s sure promise: “For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: He purposes in His sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in Him. And here is the staggering thing that in all which will belong to Christ we have been promised a share” (Ephesians 1:9-11, Phillips).

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:11-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will meditate upon the fact that I am a child of God, and heir of God and joint-heir with Christ; and upon the startling, incredible fact that I am related to Him and share with Him in all of this indescribable privilege and blessing. As a result I will claim His supernatural love and power and will speak more freely to others of my relationship with Him.

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Sure Road to Faith

 

“So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17, KJV).

Martin Luther said he studied his Bible in the same way he gathered apples. First, he shook the whole tree, that the ripest might fall; then he shook each limb, and when he had shaken each limb, he shook each branch, and after each branch, every twig; and then he looked under every leaf. He admonishes us:

“Search the Bible as a whole, shaking the whole tree. Read it rapidly, as you would any book. Then shake every limb – study book after book.

“Then shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters when they do not break the sense. Then shake each twig, by careful study of the paragraphs and sentences. And you will be rewarded if you will look under each leaf, by searching the meaning of the words.”

Seek to know the Lord with all your heart. While you may have no difficulty in worshiping the omnipotent God, you cannot really know God unless you study His Word. The one who spoke and caused the worlds to be framed is waiting to reveal Himself to you personally.

Faith is not given to those who are either undisciplined or disobedient. Faith is a gift of God which is given to those who trust and obey Him. As we master His Word and obey His commands, our faith continues to grow.

It is my strong conviction that it is impossible to ask God for too much if our hearts and motives are pure and if we pray according to the Word and will of God.

Every time you and I open and read God’s Word carefully, we are building up our storehouse of faith. When we memorize the Word, our faith is being increased. When we study or teach a Sunday school lesson, or hear a sermon faithfully expounding the Word, we are growing in faith.

Bible Reading: Hebrews 11:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will read, study, memorize and meditate upon God’s Word daily, knowing that in the process my faith will grow, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

 

 

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Max Lucado – To Love a Stranger

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

“Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay” (1 Peter 4:9).

The Greek word for hospitality compounds two terms: love and stranger. The word literally means to love a stranger. All of us can welcome a guest we know and love.  But can we welcome a stranger?   Every morning in America more than 39 million people wake up in poverty.  When we provide food stamps, we stave off hunger.  But when we invite the hungry to our tables, we address the deeper issues of value and self-worth.  God’s secret weapons in the war on poverty include your kitchen table and mine.

We encounter people.  We detect an urge to open our doors to them.  In these moments let’s heed the inner voice.  We never know whom we may be hosting for dinner.

Read more Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Tell You

“I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you won’t always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to” (Galatians 5:16).

Major conflicts in life are resolved when, by an act of the will, one surrenders to the control of the Holy Spirit and faces temptation in His power.

It should be explained that there is a difference between temptation and sin.

Temptation is the initial impression to do something contrary to God’s will. Such impressions come to all people, even as they did to the Lord, and they are not sin in themselves.

Temptation becomes sin when we meditate on the impression and develop a strong desire, which is often followed by the actual act of disobedience.

For practical daily living, we simply recognize our weakness whenever we are tempted and obey the Holy Spirit’s instructions. When we do not yield to temptation, we breathe spiritually and resume our walk with God.

“At what point does one who practices spiritual breathing become carnal again?” Whenever one ceases to believe God’s promise that He will enable us to be victorious over all temptations. The fact is, one need never be carnal again. So long as a believer keeps breathing spiritually, there is no need to live a life of defeat.

The moment you realize that you have done that which grieves or quenches the Spirit, you simply exhale spiritually by confessing immediately, and then inhale as by faith you claim God’s forgiveness and the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and you keep walking in the light as God is in the light.

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:17-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will consciously seek to obey the Holy Spirit’s instructions revealed to me in His holy, inspired Word.

 

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