Tag Archives: faith

Charles Stanley – Our Heavenly Place: New Jerusalem

 

Revelation 21:1-8

While Jesus was on earth, John heard Him promise to prepare a place for His followers (John 14:3). Years later, the apostle was given a vision of that place, and he watched the New Jerusalem come down out of heaven. The sight was beyond human description, but he did his best to put this heavenly vision into earthly language. (See Revelation 21:9-27, Revelation 22:1-5.)

John saw the brilliance of God’s glory radiating from the city’s structure, whose foundation gleamed with the dazzling colors of precious stones. The gates were made of pearls and the street of transparent gold. This nearly 1500-mile-long cube-shaped city was designed by the Lord as a place for Himself and mankind to live in perfect intimacy for all eternity. In Revelation 22:3-4, he notes that “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face.”

Though we may have difficulty imagining the physical structure of the New Jerusalem, we understand and rejoice over the fact that certain things will be absent from this heavenly city—namely, there will be no pain, tears, mourning, or death. Sin and every one of its consequences will be removed. All frustration, boredom, and problems will cease. No one will have handicaps, and our bodies will never grow tired or sick.

When the difficulties you face become burdensome, focus on your glorious heavenly future. The only time you will ever experience trouble and pain is in this earthly life. When you walk on the streets of New Jerusalem with the Savior, all the old ravages of sin will be gone, and your joy will be full.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 15-17

 

http://www.intouch.org/

 

Our Daily Bread — Hurry Not

 

Read: Isaiah 26:1–4 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 6–8; Luke 15:1–10

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry.” When two friends repeated that adage by the wise Dallas Willard to me, I knew I needed to consider it. Where was I spinning my wheels, wasting time and energy? More important, where was I rushing ahead and not looking to God for guidance and help? In the weeks and months that followed, I remembered those words and reoriented myself back to the Lord and His wisdom. I reminded myself to trust in Him, rather than leaning on my own ways.

After all, rushing around frantically seems to be the opposite of the “perfect peace” the prophet Isaiah speaks of. The Lord gives this gift to “those whose minds are steadfast,” because they trust in Him (v. 3). And He is worthy of being trusted today, tomorrow, and forever, for “the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (v. 4). Trusting God with our minds fixed on Him is the antidote to a hurried life.

Lord God, You give the peace that passes all understanding.

How about us? Do we sense that we’re hurried or even hasty? Maybe, in contrast, we often experience a sense of peace. Or perhaps we’re somewhere in between the two extremes.

Wherever we may be, I pray today that we’ll be able to put aside any hurry as we trust the Lord, who will never fail us and who gives us His peace.

Lord God, You give the peace that passes all understanding, which is a gift I don’t want to take for granted. Thank You.

God’s peace helps us not to hurry.

By Amy Boucher Pye

INSIGHT

The word peace in Isaiah 26:3 is one of the prophet Isaiah’s favorite words; it’s used over twenty times in Isaiah. The word appears for the first time in Isaiah 9:6 where we find several titles for the promised Messiah, including “Prince of Peace.” Peace is a translation of the great Hebrew word shalom. While peace is certainly an acceptable rendering, more broadly shalom speaks of “welfare,” “prosperity,” “wholeness”—the comprehensive well-being of a person, people, or place. What isn’t immediately apparent in modern versions of verse 3 is that the word translated “perfect” is also the Hebrew word shalom. Thus a literal rendering of “perfect peace” is “shalom, shalom” or “peace, peace.” What’s in view is multiplied peace, true peace, exponential peace. Verse 3 helps us to see that peace awaits those who trust in the Lord as their eternal source of strength—their Rock (v. 4). Such peace allows one to exhale, to rest, to slow down.

Arthur Jackson

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – A Time to Grieve

Recently, a colleague sought an explanation regarding the untimely death of a friend. It was one of those questions that exposes the vulnerability of a confident apologist. How one wishes that the dots could be connected, the blanks filled, and a satisfying response proffered. But lo and behold, that is not to be. In some questions, an agnostic stance appears more honest and reasonable. It’s no wonder Job’s friends made more sense in their silence than in their speeches. In that ancient story of a life whose struggles are articulated exhaustively, Job’s pain is something we still grapple with millennia later.

In her book When Life Takes What Matters, author Susan Lenzkes suggests that this posture of grappling with uncertainty, even angered grappling, can be kindly held by the Christian God: “It’s all right—question, pain, and stabbing anger can be poured out to the Infinite One and God will not be damaged….For we beat on his chest from within the circle of his arms.”(1)

For Job, something similar is true. Somehow his own questioning appears to lose its sting when he sees how wide this circle really is. In the glimpse God offers him from the very foundations of the world, Job’s despair is somehow quieted within a story so much bigger than his pain can comprehend.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – A Time to Grieve

Joyce Meyer – Cultivate Healthy Relationships

The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken to pieces and come to ruin, but there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother. — Proverbs 18:24

Everyone wants friends, and God wants us to have them. He encourages relationships throughout His Word, but it is important to have healthy, safe, and godly relationships.

Some relationships are not safe for us because we are being used, manipulated, and taken advantage of. God wants us to pray for and love everyone, even our enemies, but that doesn’t mean we should let people take advantage of us.

I personally am not interested in having what I call one-sided relationships in which I do all the giving and the other party does all the taking. God does use us at times in the lives of selfish, self-centered people, and we do make sacrifices, but there is a point at which we are hurting people if we let them manipulate us for their own pleasure.

Stand up for yourself and always be willing to confront unhealthy relationships. Speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). You are very valuable and entitled to have good friends who will respect and honor you properly.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me always be a good friend. I ask You for safe, healthy relationships in which I can flourish and grow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Prays for You

 

“Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself [Himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26, KJV).

Prayer is our mighty force for supernatural living and the most personal, intimate approach to and relationship with God. Through the instrumentality of God’s Holy Spirit, we have access to the Almighty, leading the way to supernatural living.

In some theological circles there is much skepticism and hesitancy about the Holy Spirit. We must not forget, however, that Jesus Himself had much to say about the Holy Spirit.

In John’s gospel, for instance, Jesus explained to the disciples that it was necessary for Him to leave them in order that the Holy Spirit should come to them. “He shall guide you into all truth…He shall praise Me and bring Me great honor by showing you My glory” (John 16:13,14 LB).

Just as the Holy Spirit transformed the lives of the first- century disciples from spiritually impotent, frustrated, fruitless men into courageous witnesses for Christ, He wants to transform our lives in the same way. We need only to surrender ourselves and by faith we will be filled with His power.

It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to the Lord Jesus whom He came to glorify. He makes the difference between failure and success in the Christian life, between fruitlessness and fruitfulness in our witness. Through His filling of our lives with God’s love and forgiveness we are “born again” into the family of God.

And it is the Holy Spirit who not only enables us to pray but who also prays on our behalf, as today’s verse clearly points out.

Bible Reading:Romans 8:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Today I will visualize, with deep joy and gratitude, the Holy Spirit Himself praying for me, beseeching God on my behalf.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – The Very Hairs of Your Head

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Bertrand Russell was the fatalistic atheist who concluded, “I believe that when I die my bones will rot and nothing shall remain of my ego.” He can’t be right, we sigh.

He isn’t right! Jesus announces. And in some of the kindest words ever heard, he allays our fear. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31 NIV).

Who inventories follicles? We monitor money in the bank and gas in the tank. But no one posts tiny number signs adjacent to each strand. We style hair, color hair, cut hair. . .but we don’t count hair. God does! That’s how much you matter to him. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered!”

Read more Anxious for Nothing

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Should babies with Down syndrome be aborted?

“If anyone has ever had the arms of a Down syndrome child or adult wrapped around your necks, you will know that you have encountered profound love that comes from the heart.” So states a Kentucky legislator in supporting a law banning abortions involving a fetus with Down syndrome if the diagnosis is the reason for ending a pregnancy.

Indiana and Ohio have already passed such bills, though a federal judge has temporarily blocked Ohio’s law from taking effect. Last Monday, the Pennsylvania House passed its own bill to ban such abortions. The bill passed with bipartisan support in a 139–56 vote.

If the bill passes in the Senate, it faces an expected veto from Gov. Tom Wolf.

In Iceland, nearly 100 percent of women who discover their unborn child has Down syndrome choose to abort their baby. In Denmark, the abortion rate for unborn babies with Down syndrome is 98 percent. The abortion rate in the US for such babies is 67 percent.

Famous people with inherited challenges Continue reading Denison Forum – Should babies with Down syndrome be aborted?

Charles Stanley – A Place Called Heaven

 

John 14:1-6

Because mankind is earthbound until death, misconceptions about heaven are common. Some people imagine it as an ethereal world of formless spirits who float about, whereas others flatly deny its existence. A few have returned from near-death experiences to describe what they saw. Amid all the confusing and contradictory views, we would do well to remember that our only sure source of accurate information about heaven is God’s Word.

Jesus had firsthand knowledge of heaven because He came from there to earth. Shortly before dying, He told His disciples that He would go to His Father’s house to prepare a place for them and then would come back to take them to their new home. Several weeks later the disciples watched the resurrected Jesus ascend, as foretold, into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).

Ever since that day, believers throughout history have been waiting for the Lord’s promised return. Each one will be given an immortal resurrection body similar to Christ’s. It will be physical, visible, and recognizable to others. We will even be able to eat. (See Luke 24:41-43.) Heaven is a literal place for actual, tangible bodies—a place to live, serve God, and worship and enjoy Him forever.

Knowing all the specifics of our eternal destination is impossible, but we can be sure that Jesus will fulfill His promise to come back for us. Stepping into our custom-designed dwelling places, we will each realize that we’re finally home—and throughout eternity can never be separated from our heavenly Father.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 13-14

 

http://www.intouch.org/

 

Our Daily Bread — Judging Origins

 

Read: Judges 11:1–8, 29 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 3–5; Luke 14:25–35

The Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah. Judges 11:29

“Where are you from?” We often use that question to get to know someone better. But for many of us, the answer is complicated. Sometimes we don’t want to share all the details.

In the book of Judges, Jephthah might not have wanted to answer that question at all. His half-brothers had chased him out of his hometown of Gilead for his “questionable” origins. “You are the son of another woman,” they declared (Judges 11:2). The text says starkly, “His mother was a prostitute” (v. 1).

God uses those who listen to His calling and respond in faith. How might He use you?

But Jephthah was a natural leader, and when a hostile tribe picked a fight with Gilead, the people who had sent him packing suddenly wanted him back. “Be our commander,” they said (v. 6). Jephthah asked, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house?” (v. 7). After getting assurances that things would be different, he agreed to lead them. The Scripture tells us, “Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah” (v. 29). Through faith, he led them to a great victory. The New Testament mentions him in its list of heroes of the faith (Hebrews 11:32).

God so often seems to choose the unlikeliest people to do His work, doesn’t He? It doesn’t matter where we’re from, how we got here, or what we’ve done. What matters is that we respond in faith to His love.

Lord, we take great comfort knowing that You don’t show favoritism based on where we’re from. Our heritage is found in You. Thank You for adopting us into Your family.

Many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. Matthew 19:30

By Tim Gustafson

INSIGHT

The details of the story of Jephthah are unique, but the idea of an unlikely person being the hero of the story—well that’s the subtle plotline of the entire Bible. In fact, many times the person we might expect to be the hero—for example, the tall and broad-shouldered Saul—isn’t the hero at all. Disobedience to God led to Saul’s downfall, but it’s David, a young shepherd, whom God calls “a man after [my] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

What set apart those God used to do His work? Whether a prostitute (Rahab), a dreamer (Joseph), a young shepherd (David), a young virgin (Mary), or a former Pharisee (Paul), the common factor is how they responded to God. God uses those who listen to His calling and respond in faith. How might He use you?

J.R. Hudberg

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Christ in Public

God has been in the news a lot lately. From Christian prayers in council meetings, to statements from the highest echelons of the Royal Family and the government, discussion of the place of God and in particular the role of Christianity in Britain today has been in the news on a daily basis. Professor Richard Dawkins continues to argue that religion has no place in the 21st century and debates over his anecdotes continue to capture the twittersphere. It seems it is now acceptable to discuss the Christian faith and belief in God in public. From radio studios to the school gate I have enjoyed being a part of this. The role of God in Britain is being discussed up and down the country in government, education, legislation, and community life in a way that I can’t remember in recent history.

While secularism insists that nothing good comes from religion, isn’t it actually the case that it is a Christian heritage that actually provides us with this free and open society—encouraging people to question and reason for themselves? For many, religious faith is a process, a journey of discovery on the basis of evidence, reason, and personal experience. Christianity has provided the foundation in Britain for an open and tolerant society. It was the great Christian leader Augustine who coined the phrase tolerare malus. He claimed that political structure influenced by the Christian faith must tolerate that which it disagreed with and perceived as wrong for the greater good of freedom.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Christ in Public

Joyce Meyer – Cultivate Healthy Relationships

 

The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken to pieces and come to ruin, but there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother. — Proverbs 18:24

Everyone wants friends, and God wants us to have them. He encourages relationships throughout His Word, but it is important to have healthy, safe, and godly relationships.

Some relationships are not safe for us because we are being used, manipulated, and taken advantage of. God wants us to pray for and love everyone, even our enemies, but that doesn’t mean we should let people take advantage of us.

I personally am not interested in having what I call one-sided relationships in which I do all the giving and the other party does all the taking. God does use us at times in the lives of selfish, self-centered people, and we do make sacrifices, but there is a point at which we are hurting people if we let them manipulate us for their own pleasure.

Stand up for yourself and always be willing to confront unhealthy relationships. Speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). You are very valuable and entitled to have good friends who will respect and honor you properly.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me always be a good friend. I ask You for safe, healthy relationships in which I can flourish and grow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Source of Joy 

 

“So you became our followers and the Lord’s; for you received our message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the trials and sorrows it brought you” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

Mary was so radiant it was as though she had swallowed a light bulb. Wherever she went, there was the radiance of the Lord’s presence about her. She literally bubbled over with joy, and whenever she talked about the Lord her words came so quickly they practically tumbled over each other. She was an exciting, contagious person to be around, and many nonbelievers inquired of her, “Why are you so happy? What makes you so different?”

To which, of course, she would always respond by telling them about our wonderful Lord and how He had filled her heart with His joy.

The verse for today clearly indicates that joy comes from the Holy Spirit, who came into this world to glorify Christ. We are told in Galatians also that the fruit of the Spirit is joy, among other things.

When we are filled with the Spirit and thus growing in the fruit of the Spirit – which includes joy – then we will express that joy by singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. A happy heart inevitably will be reflected in a joyful countenance.

“I presume everybody has known someone whose life was just radiant,” R. A. Torrey said. “Joy beamed out of their eyes; joy bubbled over their lips; joy seemed to fairly run from their fingertips. The gladdest thing on earth is to have a real God.”

In the words of an unknown poet:

“If you live close to God and His infinite grace,
You don’t have to tell; it shows on your face.”

Bible Reading:Nehemiah 8:9-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will not expect to find joy in things, or even in other people primarily, but rather in the source of all joy – God’s Holy Spirit. With His help, I will share His supernatural joy wherever I go.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Called to Courage

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Do you remember how your mom was always saying, “Be home on time,” or “Did you clean your room?” I wonder if Jesus’ disciples ever reflected on the most-often-repeated phrases of Christ. If so, they would have noted, He was always telling us to have courage. “Take courage, son,” he said, “your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2 NASB). “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28). “Don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLT).

Jesus doesn’t want you to live in a state of fear. Nor do you. I’m sure you’ve never made statements like My phobias put such a spring in my step or I’ve been such a better person since I lost hope. Jesus steps out from the storm and asks, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26). You see, hysteria is not from God. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear!”

Read more Anxious for Nothing

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Barbara Bush “ran the family that ran the country”

Barbara Bush died last night. Newsweek is describing her this morning as “the no-nonsense first lady who ran the family that ran the country.”

Public figures from around the world are paying tribute to this remarkable woman. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump said they “join the nation in celebrating the life of Barbara Bush.” They noted that “she will be long remembered for her strong devotion to country and family.”

Former president Obama and his wife, Michelle, issued a statement calling her “the rock of a family dedicated to public service” and “an example of the humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.”

When her failing health was announced earlier this week, I wrote a tribute to this remarkable lady you can read here.

Mortality is a fact for us all

Mrs. Bush’s passing is not the only death making headlines this morning.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Barbara Bush “ran the family that ran the country”

Charles Stanley – Building Lasting Friendships

 

1 Samuel 18:1-4

Genuine friends are rare treasures. In a very limited way, they are shadows of the perfect fellowship experienced within the Trinity. We are made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27); one aspect of this truth is that the Lord created us for meaningful relationships. In fact, it’s difficult to flourish if we live in isolation. By God’s design, we are made to share life with others, as well as to give and receive love.

Friendships come in various degrees—from surface relationships to intimate fellowship. Although you may have many acquaintances, you might remain lonely unless you have at least one or two close friends. If God has blessed you with an intimate friendship, be diligent to devote time and effort to develop and cultivate it.

Jonathan and David exemplified this type of closeness. One was a prince and the other was a shepherd, so they seemed like improbable companions. However, status didn’t matter to them. Besides demonstrating humility, they also showed great respect for each other’s faith and love for Israel. They both felt as committed as brothers and gave generously of themselves. For example, the robe Jonathan gave David—a prized possession of the king’s son—was evidence of his loyalty and love (1 Samuel 18:4). He even risked his life and reputation in order to save David (1 Samuel 20:30-34).

Do you have a person like this in your life—someone with whom to share your joys and sorrows, strengths and weaknesses, fears and pain? Thankfully, Jesus is the best friend we can have, but we also need close relationships with others. What can you do today to build this type of friendship?

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 10-12

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Learning to Know God

 

Read: John 6:16–21 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 1–2; Luke 14:1–24

But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” John 6:20

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mother. I dreamed about getting married, getting pregnant, and holding my baby in my arms for the first time. When I finally got married, my husband and I never even considered waiting to expand our family. But with each negative pregnancy test, we realized we were struggling with infertility. Months of doctors’ visits, tests, and tears followed. We were in the middle of a storm. Infertility was a bitter pill to swallow and left me wondering about God’s goodness and faithfulness.

When I reflect on our journey, I think about the story of the disciples caught in the storm on the sea in John 6. As they struggled against the waves in the dark of the storm, Jesus unexpectedly came to them walking on the stormy waves. He calmed them with His presence, saying, “It is I; don’t be afraid” (v. 20).

What fears do you need to place in the all-powerful hands of Jesus?

Like the disciples, my husband and I had no idea what was coming in our storm; but we found comfort as we learned to know God more deeply as the One who is always faithful and true. Although we would not have the child we had dreamed of, we learned that in all our struggles we can experience the power of His calming presence. Because He is there powerfully working in our lives, we need not be anxious.

Dear Lord, thank You that I do not have to face the storms in this life without You. Thank You for Your calming presence and power carrying me through whatever I face.

We can experience God’s powerful presence even in the storms of our lives.

By Karen Wolfe

INSIGHT

The story of Jesus meeting His disciples on the sea paints a vivid picture of how Jesus fulfilled God’s promises. In Bible times, the sea was seen as a terrifying force of chaos. Only God could walk on the sea (Job 9:8; Psalm 77:19). And in Israel’s central redemption story—their deliverance from slavery—it was God’s power that brought Israel through the sea, leaving Egypt behind (Exodus 14:21).

So when John describes Jesus walking on the waves, we can understand the disciples’ terror (John 6:19)—they were seeing God. Jesus’s response, “It is I” (literally “I am”), confirmed His unity with God, the “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58). By bringing the boat “immediately” to shore (John 6:21, 25), Jesus not only delivered the disciples but also likely pointed to the good news of another exodus from the “sea.” His death and resurrection would bring His people out of bondage into freedom (Galatians 5:1).

In this lifetime, we don’t always experience the full restoration we long for (2 Corinthians 5:4), but we do experience the power that will one day transform all things (4:16–17). Because of Jesus, we don’t need to be afraid (John 6:20).

What fears do you need to place in the all-powerful hands of Jesus?

Monica Brands

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Absent for Easter

A long-time friend of my husband’s paid us a visit over the Easter weekend. Growing up together, life had taken them both in very different directions. I enjoyed listening to their reminiscing about childhood events they had shared together. When the conversation turned to Easter Sunday festivities, a solo-hiking trip was planned even as his family would be elsewhere. How strange, it seemed to me for him to be absent from them on Easter. But as he talked I realized that Easter Sunday was like any other Sunday. There was no recognition of the day or of its significance for Christians around the world.

The conversation left me feeling sad that such a significant day is for most a day of chocolates and eggs, if it is even that at all. There have been Easter Sundays that have come and gone without much notice in my own life as well. Even though I am present in body and mind, my heart is often disengaged from the significance of this day. Thankfully, the Christian celebration of the season of Eastertide invites all to inquire—whether present or absent on Easter Sunday— into how the continuing presence of the risen Lord manifests himself in our day-to-day reality.

The disciple Thomas also missed Easter Sunday, in a way. Remembered in Christian tradition as “doubting Thomas,” he was not physically present when Jesus first appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. Locked up in a room because of their fear of the Jewish authorities, the ten remaining disciples may have been huddled together puzzling over Mary Magdalene’s pronouncement that she had seen Jesus, alive and well, after her visit to his tomb. John’s Gospel does not tell his readers why Thomas is not present with the other disciples; he simply records that on “the first day of the week… Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you….’ But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.” (1)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Absent for Easter

Joyce Meyer – Don’t Keep Records

 

…Love…is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. — 1 Corinthians 13:5

Love forgives; it does not hold a grudge. It is not touchy, easily offended, nor is it fretful or resentful. Some people get their feelings hurt about everything. It is very difficult to be in a relationship with people like this. We have many opportunities every day to get offended; each time we must make a choice.

If we choose to live by our feelings, we will never succeed in this all-important facet of love.  If we don’t forgive quickly, but instead keep records of how others have hurt us, sooner or later the list will get so long that we can no longer be in relationship with these people. That kind of resentment is a part of what causes many divorces. If we can learn this important facet of love and abide by it, we’ll save ourselves—and others—tremendous pain and damage to our relationships.

By keeping records of things that others have done to offend us, we fill ourselves up with poison. Bitterness makes our life attitude, words and thoughts bitter. “Drop the issue, let it go” is what the Amplified Bible says we are to do with offenses (Mark 11:25). it is important to forgive quickly. The quicker we do it, the easier it is.

Let’s begin to behave as if we believe the Bible. In it, God tells us over and over again what to do about those who offend us: love them, pray for them, bless them.

Prayer Starter: Father, please forgive me for holding grudges and “keeping score” of what others have done. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to truly love others the way You do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Listens and Answers 

 

“Mark this well: The Lord has set apart the redeemed for himself. Therefore He will listen to me and answer when I call to Him” (Psalm 4:3).

My 93-year-old mother has known and walked with the Lord since she was 16. In all the years that I have known her, now more than 60, I have never known her to say an unkind or critical word or do anything that would be contrary to her commitment to Christ, made as a teenage girl.

Hers has been a life of prayer, study of God’s Word and worship of Him. The radiance and joy of her godly life has inspired not only her husband and seven children, but also scores of grandchildren and great and great-great grandchildren, and thousands of neighbors and friends.

A few days ago I invited her – for the hundredth time, at least – to come and live with us, knowing that all the rest of the children have made similar invitations. She responded, “No, I prefer to live alone. But I am not really alone, for the Lord Jesus is with me, comforting me, giving me His peace and assurance that He will take care of me.”

So she spends her days in prayer, in study of the Word and in being a blessing to all who enter her home, as the love of God flows through her. Only eternity will record the multitudes of lives that have been transformed through her godly example and her dedicated prayers of intercession.

Surely every Christian needs a daily engagement – with priority claim over everything else – to meet the Lord in the secret place if his life is to be a benediction to others.

Bible Reading:Psalm 5:1-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I recognize that if I am going to live a supernatural life, I must set aside time which will take priority over every other consideration. Only a genuine emergency will take precedence over such an engagement of prayer, study of God’s Word, worship and praise of my wonderful Lord.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Don’t Be Afraid

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Fear. It creates a form of spiritual amnesia. It dulls our miracle memory. It makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is. When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god. When safety becomes our god, we worship the risk-free life.

The fear-filled cannot love deeply. Love is risky. No wonder Jesus wages such a war against fear. The Gospels list 125 Christ-issued imperatives. Of these, 21 urge us to “not be afraid” or “not fear” or “have courage” or “take heart.” If quantity is any indicator, Jesus takes our fears seriously. The one statement he made more than any other was this–“don’t be afraid!”

Read more Anxious for Nothing

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com