Tag Archives: Bill Bright

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Spiritually Minded

 

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6, KJV).

I believe the truth of this verse may speak to a common cause of depression among Christians who allow their minds to dwell on ungodly thoughts and/or over-introspection.

Paul writes: “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.

“For we naturally love to do evil things that are just the opposite from the things that the Holy Spirit tells us to do, and the good things we want to do when the Spirit has His way with us are just the opposite of our natural desires” (Galatians 5:16,17).

Our minds are susceptible to the influence of our old sin- nature and, as such, can pose real dangers to us. As soon as we get out of step with the Holy Spirit and get our focus off the Lord, our minds begin to give us trouble.

“The Christian life is really simple,” I heard a pastor say recently. “It’s simply doing what we’re told to do.” And he is right. We will be spiritually minded, not carnally minded, if we obey the simple commands of God’s Word.

Bible Reading: Romans 8:5-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I will give the spiritual mind priority over the carnal mind in my life.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Are Kings

 

“The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to be king over all, but all who will take God’s gift of forgiveness and acquittal are kings of life because of this one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).

Jack protested angrily, “Why should I be held accountable for the sin of Adam? Why should I be judged and condemned to eternal punishment because of the disobedience of someone who lived centuries ago? I resent that his action should involve me.” I asked my young student friend if he remembered the infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor followed by the declaration of war by then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “Yes,” he said, “I’m a student of history and I remember that event very well.” I reminded Jack that every able-bodied man who was of age was automatically conscripted to join the United States Army to do battle against Japan. “Yes,” he said, “I know.”

“Don’t you think it unfair, following your logic, that the President of the United States should make a decision that would affect young men like yourself? Remember that tens of thousands of them died on the field of battle. Was that fair?”

“Well,” he replied, “that was the only decision that could be made. We had to protect our homeland. We had been attacked and had to defend ourselves.”

“So it was with Adam,” I explained. “The wisdom of the Almighty Creator was attacked by Satan in the Garden of Eden and the battle was lost when Adam and Eve, the epitome of God’s creation, surrendered to Satan’s tempting lies. God, in His sovereignty, wisdom and grace caused the results of the disobedience of Adam to be borne by the rest of us in the human race. But the judgement of God which demands penalty for sin was intercepted by God’s love. while we were yet in our sins God proved His love for us by sending the Lord Jesus Christ to die for us. Now, through accepting God’s free gift by faith, we can become kings of life because of this one man, Jesus Christ.”

Simply stated, one man, Adam, through his disobedience to God, introduced sin into the world, and one man, Jesus Christ, through his obedience to God, paid the penalty for that sin for all who would believe and trust in Him.

Bible Reading: Romans 5:14-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Christ has overcome the sin I inherited from Adam by liberating me from the king of death, and making me a king of light. As an expression of my deep gratitude for His love and grace, I will seek every opportunity to communicate this good news to others who still live in darkness that they, too, may enjoy the abundant supernatural life which I now enjoy.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Produce Lovely Fruit

 

“You didn’t choose Me! I chose you! I appointed you to go and produce lovely fruit always, so that no matter what you ask for from the Father, using My name, He will give it to you” (John 15:16).

Some time ago I asked a leading theologian and dean of faculty of a renowned theological seminary if he felt that one could be a Spirit-filled person without sharing Christ as a way of life.

His answer was an emphatic, “No!” On what basis could he make such a strong statement? The answer is obvious. Our Savior came to “seek and to save the lost” and He has “chosen and ordained” us to share the good news of His love and forgiveness with everyone, everywhere.

To be unwilling to witness for Christ with our lips is to disobey this command just as much as to be unwilling to witness for Him by living holy lives is to disobey His command. In neither case can the disobedient Christian expect God to control and empower his life.

There are those who say, “I witness for Christ by living a good life.” But it is not enough to live a good life. Many non-Christians live fine, moral, ethical lives.

According to the Lord Jesus, the only way we can demonstrate that we are truly following Him is to produce fruit, which includes introducing others to our Savior as well as living holy lives. And the only way we can produce fruit is through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading: John 15:7-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: My part of the “bargain” is to share the good news which will produce lovely fruit; God’s part is to provide the wisdom, love and power, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, to be a fruitful witness. “Lord help me to be faithful in my part, knowing You will be faithful in Yours.”

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – How to Save Your Life

 

“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:23,24, KJV).

Martin Luther once told the maidens and housewives of Germany that in scrubbing floors and going about their household duties they were accomplishing just as great a work in the sight of heaven as the monks and priests with their penances and holy offices.

In the 15th century, a woman – Margery Baxter – had said the same thing couched in different terms.

“If ye desire to see the true cross of Christ,” she said, “I will show it to you at home in your own house.”

Stretching out her arms, she continued, “This is the true cross of Christ, thou mightest and mayest behold and worship in thine own house. Therefore, it is but vain to run to the church to worship dead crosses.”

Her message was plain: holiness is in our daily service.

Your life and mine are worshiping Christ today to the degree that we practice the presence of God in every minute detail of our lives throughout the day. We are taking up our cross when we shine for Jesus just where we are, obediently serving Him and sharing His good news with others.

If you and I want to save our lives, we do well to lose them in obedient service to the Lord Jesus Christ, allowing His indwelling Holy Spirit to work in us and through us.

Bible Reading: John 12:23-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will take up my cross today – shining just where He puts me at this point in my life.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – You’ve Already Won

 

“Dear young friends, you belong to God and have already won your fight with those who are against Christ, because there is someone in your hearts who is stronger than any evil teacher in this wicked world” (1 John 4:4).

“I am afraid of Satan,” a young minister once told me.

“You should be afraid of Satan,” I responded, “if you insist on controlling your own life. But not if you are willing to let Christ control your life. The Bible says, ‘Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.'”

My friend lived in a city where one of the largest zoos in the world was located.

“What do you do with lions in your city?” I asked.

“We keep them in cages,” he replied.

“You can visit the lion in its cage at the zoo,” I explained, “and it cannot hurt you, even if you are close to the cage. But stay out of that cage, or the lion will make mincemeat out of you.”

Satan is in a “cage.” He was defeated 2,000 years ago when Christ died on the cross for our sins. Victory is now ours. We do not look forward to victory, but we move from victory, the victory of the cross.

Satan has no power except that which God allows him to have. Do not be afraid of him, but do stay away from him. Avoid his every effort to tempt and mislead you. Remember, that choice is up to you.

Bible Reading: I John 2:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will with God’s help, stay out of Satan’s “cage,” choosing rather to enlist God’s indwelling Holy Spirit to fight for me in the supernatural battle against the satanic forces which surround me.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – You Cannot Outgive God

 

“For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give – large or small – will be used to measure what is given back to you” (Luke 6:38).

R.G. Le Tourneau was one of God’s great businessmen. He wrote a book, entitled God Runs My Business. Though he had little formal training, he became one of America’s leading industrialists, developing and securing patents for many major improvements in earth-moving equipment. He gave away millions of dollars, and he founded a wonderful Christian college which bears his name. I had known and admired him for many years, but one of my most memorable experiences with him was at his plant in Longview, Texas. As we chatted, I was captivated by this exuberant, joyful layman who was overflowing with the love of God, still creative in his later years, and always proclaiming the truth that you cannot outgive God – the more you give away the more you receive. He had discovered a law of the universe.

The giving of the tithe (ten percent of our increase) is an Old Testament principle. The New Testament principle of giving is expressed in this passage: “The more you give, the more you will receive.” I personally do not believe that that involves indiscriminate giving, but rather that we should prayerfully evaluate all the various opportunities that are available to further the cause of Christ and His kingdom.

New Testament concept makes clear that everything belongs to God. We are custodians, stewards, of that which is entrusted to us for only a brief moment of time. Three-score and ten years (or possibly a little more), and then all that we possess will pass on to another. We are not to hoard, nor are we to pass on large estates to our heirs. That which is entrusted to God’s children is given to them to be used while they are still alive. We are to care for our own, and make provision for their needs, but all that is entrusted to us beyond that amount should be spent while we are still alive, while we can guarantee proper stewardship.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 8:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Mindful of this spiritual principle, that everything belongs to God and He has entrusted me with the privilege and responsibility of being a good steward, I will seek every opportunity to invest all the time, talent and treasure available to me while I am still alive, for the enhancement of the kingdom of God.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – In the World to Come

 

“And Jesus replied, ‘Let me assure you that no one has ever given up anything – home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or property – for love of Me and to tell others the Good News, who won’t be given back, a hundred times over, homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – with persecutions! All these will be his here on earth, and in the world to come he shall have eternal life'” (Mark 10:29,30).

What a wonderful promise. God will return to you and me a hundred times over what we invest for Him and His kingdom.

I believe that millions of Christians like ourselves are awakening to the fact that we must be about our Father’s business. As I observe God’s working in the lives of people around the world through many movements, I am persuaded that the greatest spiritual awakening since Pentecost has already begun.

Jesus said, “Go…and make disciples in all nations.” In order to make disciples, we must be disciples ourselves. Like begets like. We produce after our own kind.

The man who is committed to Christ, who understands how to walk in the fullness of the Spirit, is going to influence others and help to produce the same kind of Christians. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

For some, such a call to discipleship may sound too hard. However, in these verses Jesus tells us that we must be willing to give up everything. That this promise has been fulfilled in the lives of all who seek first Christ and His kingdom has been attested to times without number – not always in material things, of course, but in rewards far more meaningful and enriching.

Bible Reading: Luke 9:23-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Realizing that God has promised manifold gifts, persecutions, eternal life in exchange for faithfulness and commitment to Him, I vow to make that surrender real and meaningful in my life every day.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Faith Can Grow

 

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thous has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21, KJV).

At one stage of my spiritual growth, I was able to trust God for a soul – and He answered that prayer by leading me to one person whose heart He had prepared. Through the years God has increased my faith to trust Him for 6 souls then 20, 50, 100, 1000, 1 million, 100 million souls! Always He has honored my faith and obedience. Now I pray for a billion souls and by faith I believe that a billion will be harvested for the glory of God.

God has not changed; I have changed.

I believe that God deals with us in a similar way with regard to spiritual fruit. As we continue to trust God to develop in us all the various love traits, He honors that faithfulness because we are obeying Him by doing what He commands us to do.

Faithfulness is that trait of the Holy Spirit (faithfulness- love) that makes faith a living reality every day in the life of the believer who is living supernaturally. As we continue to walk in the power, love and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we learn to develop greater confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, in His Word, in our rights as children of God and in the ability of the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower and control our lives.

Faithfulness can be compared to an athlete’s conditioning. A marathon runner does not begin training by running great distances. Instead, he starts with short runs. Then, as his body becomes more conditioned, he increases the distance of his runs until he reaches the full distance of the marathon.

Faithfulness in the life of a Christian also develops over an extended period of time spent in “conditioning.” As we learn to trust God in small things, our faith grows and grows until we are able to trust Him in greater things.

God rewards us for our faithfulness, and each time we see Him respond favorably, He reaches out to us through His Holy Spirit and increases our faith to trust Him for even greater things.

Bible Reading: Matthew 25:14-20

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to cultivate this fruit of the Spirit by being faithful to the calling God has entrusted to me.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Everything Is Possible

 

“Jesus looked at them intently, then said, ‘Without God, it is utterly impossible. But with God everything is possible'” (Mark 10:27).

“An hour in prayer can give the believer enough power to overcome the second most powerful force in the universe,” sagely declared an anonymous observer.

God’s Word gives us many “exceeding great and precious promises” that confirm the truth of this wise observation – and the truth of the scriptural promise that with God everything is possible. One of these precious promises declares, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31,KJV).

Sometimes renewed strength – spiritual strength, God’s strength – is all we need to face the problem or difficulty or testing or trial that confronts us.

In the gigantic tasks God has given us to do in the work of Campus Crusade for Christ, often it is the confirmed realization that with God everything is possible that keeps us going on, trusting God to do that which no man could possibly do.

God’s indwelling Holy Spirit, making possible the supernatural life, constantly empowers and enables us to reach out and attempt great and mighty things for God – always an outreach that involves the needs of others more than our own personal needs, as great as they may seem to be at times.

Bible Reading: Mark 10:23-27

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, give me a heart like Yours – one that reaches out to the ends of the earth, and the end of the block, with the good news of the gospel, always believing that nothing is impossible with Your help.”

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Most Vital Food

 

“Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me. How proud I am to bear Your name, O Lord” (Jeremiah 15:16).

In my earlier years – as perhaps was true of yours – one thing that seemed to sustain me more than anything else was food: three square meals a day, and sometimes something in between. Food is still vital – I would not understate its value – but I have found something far more vital to my happiness and success as a believer in Christ.

Now, I can truly say with the weeping prophet, Jeremiah, that the very words of God are what really sustain me. They are food to my hungry soul. And they accomplish immeasurable good in my life, and thus in the lives of thousands of people whom I am privileged to meet throughout the world.

God’s Word brings joy to my sorrowing heart. Why? Because it has an answer – the answer – to every need, every burden, every problem I will face this day, and in the days to come. Furthermore, it will provide the answers for others whom I contact.

God’s Word truly delights me, as it did Jeremiah. When I need encouragement, I turn to the Psalms. When I need practical wisdom for daily decisions, I turn to the Proverbs of Solomon. And so on with every kind of need I face.

All of this being true – God’s Word sustaining me, being food to my hungry soul, bringing joy to my sorrowing heart, and delighting me – “How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord!”

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 15:15-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: My spiritual food must take priority over all other considerations in my life.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Praise Brings Results

 

“And at the moment they began to sing and to praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to begin fighting among themselves, and they destroyed each other!” (2 Chronicles 20:22).

The armies of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir had declared war on King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah. So Jehoshaphat called the people together and prayed, “Oh, our God. Won’t you stop them. We have no way to protect ourselves against this mighty army. We don’t know what to do but we are looking to You.”

Then the Lord instructed the people, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be paralyzed by this mighty army for the battle is not yours, but God’s! Tomorrow, go down and attack them!…But you will not need to fight. Take your places; stand quietly and see the incredible rescue operation God will perform for you” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17).

After consultation with the leaders of the people, Jehoshaphat determined that there should be a choir, clothed in sanctified garments and singing the song, “His Loving kindness Is Forever,” leading the march. As they walked along praising and thanking the Lord, He released His mighty power in their behalf.

One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned about the Christian life is the importance of praise and thanksgiving. The greater the problem, the more difficult the circumstances, the greater the crisis, the more important it is to praise God at all times, to worship Him for who He is; for His attributes of sovereignty, love, grace, power, wisdom and might; for the certainty that He will fight for us, that He will demonstrate His supernatural resources in our behalf.

As in the case of Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah when they began to praise God and He caused the three opposing armies to fight against each other and destroy one another, God will fight for us if we trust and obey Him. There is no better way to demonstrate faith and obedience than to praise Him and to thank Him, even when our world is crumbling around us and the enemy is threatening to destroy. God honors praise. Hebrews 13:15 reminds us, “With Jesus’ help, we will continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by telling others of the glory of His name.”

Bible Reading: Psalm 136:1, 21-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will continue to praise God and give thanks to Him for who He is. When difficulties arise, I will praise Him all the more and thank Him for His faithfulness. I will depend upon the supernatural resources of God which enable me to live the supernatural life, regardless of the circumstances.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Bring Forth Much Fruit

 

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24, KJV).

Alex was distressed over his constant failure to live the Christian life victoriously.

“I am always failing,” he said. “I know what is right, but I am simply not able to keep the many commitments, resolutions and rededications that I make to the Lord almost daily. What is wrong with me? Why do I constantly fail? How can I push that magic button which will change my life and make me the kind of person God wants me to be, and the kind of person I want to be?”

I turned with him to review Romans 7 and 8, and discussed with him how all of us experience this conflict when we walk in our own strength. But the victory is ours as we walk in the Spirit. It is impossible to control ourselves and be controlled by the Holy Spirit at the same time.

Perhaps you have had that same problem and wondered why your life was not bringing forth much fruit. Christ cannot be in control if you are on the throne of your life. So you must abdicate – surrender the throne of your life to Christ. This involves faith.

As an expression of your will, in prayer, you surrender the throne of your life to Him, and by faith you draw upon His resources to live a supernatural life, holy and fruitful. The command of Ephesians 5:18 is given to all believers: We are to be filled, directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, continually, moment by moment, every day. And the promise of 1 John 5:14, 15 is made to all believers: When we pray according to God’s will, He hears and answers us.

The person who walks by faith in the control of the Holy Spirit has a new Master. The Lord Jesus said, “He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38, NAS). “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24, NAS).

Bible Reading: John 12:25-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Because my deep desire is to “bear much fruit,” I will surrender afresh to God’s Holy Spirit so that He might endow me with supernatural life and enable me to bear much fruit for His glory.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Abound With Blessings

 

“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 28:20, RSV).

“Years ago when my children were small,” declared a godly Baptist layman in South Carolina, who was secretary and treasurer of a large cotton mill corporation, “my salary was too small for my actual needs. Strive as I would I could not keep out of debt.

“This became a heavy cross to me, and one night I was unable to sleep. I arose and went to my desk, where I spent some time in prayer to God for help and guidance. Then I took a pen and paper and wrote out a solemn contract with my heavenly Father.”

Continuing, the layman said, “I promised Him that no matter what testings or trials came I would never turn back. Also, that no matter how pressing my obligations I would scrupulously tithe my income. Next I promised the Lord that if He would let me make a certain salary I would pay two- tenth, then if I made a certain larger salary I would pay three-tenths.

“Finally I named a larger salary, which was far beyond anything I had ever hoped to earn, and told the Lord if I ever reached such a salary I would give him one-half of my income. For many years it has been my privilege to give one- half of my income to the Lord.”

This verse warns the man who is so determined to accumulate personal wealth that he robs God of that which is rightfully His. That man will not go unpunished. God promises. May He help us to give cheerfully of that which He entrusts to us.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 28:21-28

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Whatever I give to the Lord, His servants and His work will be done cheerfully and generously, as He has prospered me.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – How to Stay Pure

 

“How can a young man stay pure? By reading Your Word and following its rules” (Psalm 119:9).

I can live a pure life if I follow God’s Word. That seems to be the clear import of the psalmist’s message in this verse. And if that is true – and I have no doubt it is – then certain things surely should follow.

I will begin today by determining to know His Word and to obey it. Simple logic would dictate that I cannot and will not obey His Word if I am not familiar with it.

In a day when immorality is rampant and divorce is becoming commonplace even among Christians, how important it is that I seek to keep my life pure. Surely I cannot expect to be used of God in a supernatural way to help fulfill the Great Commission unless I am pure. And there seems to be no better way to accomplish that desired end than by reading, studying – even memorizing – His Word, and then, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, by claiming God’s promises and obeying His commandments.

Earlier (Day 18) we mentioned the importance of hiding God’s Word in our hearts, that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Again I would emphasize the value of committing to memory many verses – and even chapters – from the Word of God. In that way, we will have them stored in our minds so that God can bring them to our minds in time of special need and can use them to enable us to live supernaturally.

Basic to living the supernatural life is this matter of spending time in God’s Word, which is quick and powerful.

Bible Reading: Psalm 119:10-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will spend quality time in the Word of God and begin to memorize favorite passages, especially Psalm 119.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Walk in the Light

 

“Later, in one of His talks, Jesus said to the people, ‘I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path” (John 8:12).

The living room of our home was dark when I quietly slipped a key into the lock and opened the door one night, walking slowly and softly so as not to awaken Vonette and our sons who were very young. Though they had been trained to put away their toys, somehow in the rush to get ready for bed that night they had left cars and a train and other favorite play things scattered throughout the living room.

You guessed it! I stepped on one with wheels that almost threw me to the floor before I could regain my balance. Many a person has broken a leg or an arm under similar circumstances, and some have even fallen and hit their heads on sharp objects, resulting in a fatal accident.

So it is in the spiritual realm. If we insist on walking in the darkness, we will inevitably stumble and take risks that can greatly jeopardize our spiritual health and, in some cases, lead to our spiritual death by cutting ourselves off from God.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.” In the first epistle of John we are told, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not tell the truth. If we walk in the light, as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses [and keeps on cleansing] us from all sin.”

There is only one person who qualifies to be the light of the world. That is Jesus. So how do we follow Him? What does it mean to walk in the light? Basically, it means that there is no unconfessed sin. It means that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, that we are feasting upon the Word of God and obeying His commands which include sharing our love for Christ with others.

Bible Reading: I Thessalonians 4:5-8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I shall walk in the light with Christ who is the light of the world, and reflect His light in such an attractive way that those who walk in darkness will be drawn to the light as moths are drawn to a burning candle.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Real Life, Radiant Health

 

“I have been crucified with Christ; and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:10).

George Muller was asked the secret of his fruitful service for the Lord. “There was a day when I died,” he said, “utterly died.”

As he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor.

“I died to George Muller,” he continued, “his opinions, preferences, tastes and will – died to the world, its approval or censure – died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends – and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.”

With that kind of obedience to God and His inspired Word, it is small wonder that that great man of faith, George Muller, saw God perform miracle after miracle in his behalf, helping to support hundreds and even thousands of orphans simply by trusting God to provide.

Men and women of the world today would pay literally millions of dollars for the real life and radiant health promised in Proverbs 4:20-22 to the believer for simple faith and trust in God. “Listen, son of mine, to what I say. Listen carefully. Keep these thoughts ever in mind; let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they will mean real life for you, and radiant health.” To me, these verses encourage reading, studying, memorizing and meditating upon the Word of God.

Being crucified with Christ and hiding His Word in our hearts will not only keep us from sin, but it will also promote real life and radiant health for us, which we will want to share with others.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 4:23-27, 5:1-2

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: By faith, I will recognize that I have been crucified with Christ and will keep His thoughts in my mind throughout this day, meditating on His promises and faithfulness.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Wisdom Brings Peace

 

“Wisdom gives a good, long life, riches, honor, pleasure, peace” (Proverbs 3:16,17).

High up in the Andes Mountains stands a bronze statue of Christ – the base of granite, the figure fashioned from old cannons – marking the boundary between Argentina and Chile.

“Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust,” reads the Spanish engraving, “than Argentines and Chileans break the peace sworn at the feet of Christ the Redeemer.”

Peoples of these two countries had been quarreling about their boundaries for many years, and suffering from the resultant mistrust.

In 1900, with the conflict at its highest, citizens begged King Edward VII of Great Britain to mediate the dispute. On May 28, 1903, the two governments signed a treaty ending the conflict.

During the celebration that followed, Senora de Costa, a noble lady of Argentina who had done much to bring about the peace, conceived the idea of a monument. She had the statue of Christ shaped from the cannons that had been used to strike terror into Chilean hearts.

At the dedication ceremony, the statue was presented to the world as a sign of the victory of good will. “Protect, Oh Lord, our native land,” prayed Senora de Costa. “Ever give us faith and hope. May fruitful peace be our first patrimony and good example its greatest glory.”

The monument stands today as a reminder that only Christ – the Prince of Peace – can bring real peace to the world. And that refers as much to individual peace as it does to national and international peace.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:18-23

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Like Solomon of old, I shall seek the wisdom that brings a good, long life, riches, honor, pleasure and the lasting peace that comes from God’s indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Give Him the First Part

 

“Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income, and He will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (Proverbs 3:9,10).

“Yes, I tithe,” said John D. Rockefeller, Sr., “and I would like to tell you how it all came about.

“I had to begin work as a small boy to help support my mother. My first wages amounted to $1.50 per week. The first week after I went to work I took the $1.50 home to my mother and she held the money in her lap and explained to me that she would be happy if I would give a tenth of it to the Lord.

“I did,” Rockefeller said, “and from that week until this day I have tithed every dollar God has entrusted to me. And I want to say if I had not tithed the first dollar I made I would not have tithed the first million dollars I made.

“Tell your readers to train the children to tithe, and they will grow up to be faithful stewards of the Lord.”

As R. G. Le Tourneau observed years ago, “We do not give to God because it pays, but it does pay to give to God and to serve Him faithful.” Without any question, God honors faithful stewardship – of time, energy, money, all that we have and are.

The importance of tithing is one of the first lessons I learned as a new Christian. Now I realize that that is only the beginning, because everything that I enjoy has been entrusted to me by a gracious, loving Father, who expects me to maximize all that he has put into my hands; therefore, tithing must be followed by offerings, based on clear Word of God that as we sow we reap. The more we give back to God, the more He will entrust to us, but we are to give with a cheerful heart out of a deep sense of gratitude for all that God has given to us.

Bible Reading: Malachi 3:8-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: God will have the first fruits of my life, the first part of my money, my time, my talent, my energy.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Long, Satisfying Life

 

“If you want a long and satisfying life, closely follow my instructions” (Proverbs 3:2).

A famous children’s specialist declared, “When it comes to a serious illness, the child who has been taught to obey has four times the chance of recovery that the spoiled and undisciplined child has.”

Every parent should consider well the implications of that statement. We have all been taught that one of the Ten Commandments was for children to obey their parents.

But it is doubtful that many of us have ever considered that obedience might mean the difference between the saving or losing of a child’s life.

The hymnwriter who said that we should “trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus” well knew what he was saying. A “long and satisfying life” certainly would be synonymous with a “happy life.”

Many Christians have every intention of following God’s instructions – without ever really knowing what those instructions are. That is why it is supremely important for every believer to spend time in God’s Word, the book of instructions for Christians.

Are you one of those who truly want a long satisfying life? Then, are you willing to follow God’s instructions for your life? Are you willing to familiarize yourself thoroughly with His instructions so that you will have no difficulty knowing and following them?

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:1-8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will follow closely God’s instructions in order that I may live a long and satisfying life.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Practicing the Presence of God

 

“How precious it is, Lord, to realize that You are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day Your thoughts turn towards me. And when I waken in the morning, You are still thinking of me!” (Psalm 139:17,18).

Our sons, Zac and Brad, have helped me to understand, in some small measure, the truth of this promise, for in the course of a single day, I will lift them up in prayer many times. I am finite, but God is infinite. My love for our sons is limited, but his love is inexhaustible and unconditional. It is because of God’s love in my heart that I am able to love my sons unconditionally, even as He loves me.

What a comforting, encouraging thought, that the omnipotent Creator, God, who possesses all power and control of creation, loves me enough that He is constantly thinking about me. When I allow Him to do so, He talks to me, expressing His love, wisdom and grace from His Word, through divine impressions and the counsel of wise and godly friends. His eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth to make Himself strong and mighty in my behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Just as He is constantly thinking about me, I have been admonished to pray without ceasing. To talk to Him, to think about Him all the time – as difficult as it may sound – is a joyful reality to those who practice the presence of God, is that the kind of relationship you are experiencing day by day? If not, it can be.

Bible Reading: Psalm 139:1-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Mindful that God loves, cares and thinks about me constantly, I shall seek to live the supernatural life by practicing His presence, by praying without ceasing and by claiming His supernatural power by faith.