Tag Archives: god

Joyce Meyer – Exchange Ashes for Beauty

 

[Cast] all your care upon him; for he careth for you. —1 Peter 5:7 KJV

Do you know God wants to take care of you? It’s true. He wants you to give Him all your cares, your problems, your failures—your “ashes”—and in exchange He will give you beauty.

Many people want God to take care of them, but they continue worrying or trying to figure out the answers to their problems instead of waiting for His direction. They continue to wallow in their “ashes” and expect God to give them beauty. But it doesn’t work that way—God can only give you beauty when you give Him the ashes.

It’s a great privilege to be cared for by the King of kings, so give up your worries and concerns to Him and enjoy His protection, stability, and fullness of joy.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Tried in the Test Tube

 

“These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of His return” (1 Peter 1:7).

A friend of mine has experienced great tragedy in his life – at least ten major things that seem to have gone wrong.

“I see you as a man of God,” I have said to him during several counseling sessions. “I see you as a man who loves the Lord Jesus with all of your heart. In light of all the things that are happening to you, however, I am prompted to ask, ‘Is there any sin in your life? Are you doing anything to dishonor the Lord?'”

“Absolutely nothing,” he said. “My life is transparent before God. He can do anything He wants with me. I have turned my back on business success [he was an outstanding businessman], and I have given everything I have to the Lord.”

The beautiful thing about this whole experience is that this man is rejoicing in the Lord Jesus while enduring things that would break the average person. Every time he emerges from a crisis, his face seems to glow all the more. He is praising God all the more.

He blesses me every time I am with him. “Lord thank You,” I say. “Thank You for his example.”

Those who are mightily used of God often experience, like Job, some degree of adversity. Such adversity may be God’s discipline for disobedience and unconfessed sin, or it may be – as in the case of Job, and I believe in the case of my friend – God’s way of preparing you for a greater testimony for our Lord. “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.”

Bible Reading: James 1:2-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will look upon my trials as part of God’s way of strengthening my faith and my life to prepare me for a more powerful witness for His glory.

Presidential Prayer Team; P.G. – Out-of-Body Experiences

 

Great imaginations, lucid dreams, altered states of consciousness or substantive changed states of being – researchers around the world are seeking to determine the reality of out-of-body experiences. Scientific opinions and ideas tend to discount one significant thing: the spiritual self of the persons claiming to have such an event in their lives. Whatever your personal perspective, realize that there is validity to the recorded experiences that cannot be understood.

I do not know, God knows. II Corinthians 12:3

In his testimonial second letter to the people of Corinth, Paul tells of a man who was placed in an altered state of consciousness in order to receive revelation from the Lord. Theologians disagree on what actually happened. Yet unlike many authors on bookshelves today, Paul records that the impact of such experiences on him was humility. Whether a vision or a modified state of reality, such things, he says, only God knows.

During the world’s difficult and trying times in which you live, you can be confident that God does know – He knows you, he knows the nation’s leaders, He knows the future, and He knows the times. Let yourself be humbled before such knowledge, and intercede for those in authority to trust their futures to Him.

Recommended Reading: II Corinthians 12:1-12

Greg Laurie – Strength in Troubled Times

 

Where will you turn in a time of crisis? When tragedy hits? When disaster strikes? Will it be your favorite magazine? The morning newspaper? The evening news? You will need something to give you strength and direction in your time of need—and you cannot find a better resource than the Word of God.

As one writer said, “One gem from that ocean is worth all of the pebbles from earthly streams.” Just a single pebble from the ocean of God’s Word can make all the difference when tragedy or hardship strikes. How many in their affliction have found comfort from the Scripture?

Trusting in what God has said through the Bible can sustain us and give us direction and hope and comfort when we most need it. Little platitudes or clever sayings don’t help, but the Word of God does. It has been said that “he who rejects the Bible has nothing to live by. Neither does he have anything to die by.”

Things go in and out of style, but the Word of God never goes out of style. It never goes out of date, unlike this morning’s newspaper. The Word of God always will be relevant.

That is why C.S. Lewis once said, “Everything that is not eternal is eternally out of date.”

I urge you to get a good foundation in this Book, because it is only a matter of time until hardship strikes you. It happens in every life, without exception. But if you have a good foundation in the Word of God, then you will be ready for difficulty when it comes. Don’t wait until then to try and catch up.

Get that foundation now.

 

Charles Stanley – Restored by Grace

 

Luke 15:11-16

Independence is a highly valued quality. We teach it to our children, and we demand it for ourselves. There is even a statue called the Independent Man on top of the Rhode Island State House—it stands as a tribute to self-sufficiency and freedom.

The story of the Prodigal Son, however, shows us a less positive aspect of independence—one which, sadly, is woven into the fabric of human nature. The wayward son takes charge of his own life and shuns his father’s care and protection. Fortunately, the story doesn’t stop after revealing the boy’s downward spiral of sin; it also shows us the restoring grace of God.

Sin means acting independently of God’s will. It begins with a desire that is outside His plan. Next comes a decision to act on the desire. When we do, we find ourselves, like the prodigal, in a “distant country,” which is anywhere outside the will of God. To remain there requires deception. We deceive ourselves by thinking that we know better than God and ignoring any consequences. Defeat follows. For a time all may seem fine, but like the reckless son in the story, we’ll find that our way leads to defeat. Finally, we will arrive at despair resulting from famine of spirit, emotions, or relationships. That leads into desperation, where our choices are few and distasteful.

But desperation is not the end of the prodigal’s story. Nor is it the end of ours when we sin. Jesus gave this account of an earthly father’s forgiving love because He desired to point us to the restoring grace of our heavenly Father. God waits with open arms for us, His wandering children.

Our Daily Bread — Jesus’ Eyes

 

Mark 5:1-20

[Jesus] was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. —Matthew 9:36

We were in line at the ice cream store when I noticed him. His face bore the marks of too many fights—a crooked nose and some scars. His clothes were rumpled, though clean. I stepped between him and my children, using my back to erect a wall.

The first time he spoke, I didn’t hear him clearly and so just nodded to acknowledge him. I scarcely made eye contact with him. Because my wife wasn’t with me, he thought I was a single parent and gently said, “It’s hard raising them alone, isn’t it?” Something in his tone made me turn to look at him. Only then did I notice his children, and I listened to him tell me how long his wife had been gone. His soft words contrasted with his hard exterior.

I was duly chastened! Once again I had failed to see beyond outward appearances. Jesus encountered people whose outward appearance could have turned Him away, including the demon-possessed man in our reading for today (Mark 5:1-20). Yet He saw the heart-needs and met them.

Jesus never fails to see us with love, even though we have scars of sin and a rumpled nature that shows in our stutter-step faithfulness. May God help us to replace our haughtiness with Jesus’ heart of love. —Randy Kilgore

Father, may the focus of our lives never disrupt

our ability to see others with the same eyes that

Jesus sees them. Grant us Your heart.

May we yearn to introduce others to You.

 

If you look through the eyes of Jesus, you’ll see a needy world.

Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

 

Morning “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” / 2 Timothy 2:1

Christ has grace without measure in himself, but he hath not retained it for himself. As the reservoir empties itself into the pipes, so hath Christ emptied out his grace for his people. “Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” He seems only to have in order to dispense to us. He stands like the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh unto it. Like a tree, he bears sweet fruit, not to hang on boughs, but to be gathered by those who need. Grace, whether its work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be had from him freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of grace which he has not bestowed upon his people. As the blood of the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet communion between Christ and his Church, inasmuch as they both receive the same grace. Christ is the head upon which the oil is first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same costly moisture as that which fell upon the head. This is true communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch. As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from him, we shall behold him in communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with him. Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own purse.

 

Evening “He did it with all his heart and prospered.” / 2 Chronicles 31:21

This is no unusual occurrence; it is the general rule of the moral universe that those men prosper who do their work with all their hearts, while those are almost certain to fail who go to their labour leaving half their hearts behind them. God does not give harvests to idle men except harvests of thistles, nor is he pleased to send wealth to those who will not dig in the field to find its hid treasure. It is universally confessed that if a man would prosper, he must be diligent in business. It is the same in religion as it is in other things. If you would prosper in your work for Jesus, let it be heart work, and let it be done with all your heart. Put as much force, energy, heartiness, and earnestness into religion as ever you do into business, for it deserves far more. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities, but he does not encourage our idleness; he loves active believers. Who are the most useful men in the Christian church? The men who do what they undertake for God with all their hearts. Who are the most successful Sabbath-school teachers? The most talented? No; the most zealous; the men whose hearts are on fire, those are the men who see their Lord riding forth prosperously in the majesty of his salvation. Whole-heartedness shows itself in perseverance; there may be failure at first, but the earnest worker will say, “It is the Lord’s work, and it must be done; my Lord has bidden me do it, and in his strength I will accomplish it.” Christian, art thou thus “with all thine heart” serving thy Master? Remember the earnestness of Jesus! Think what heart-work was his! He could say, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” When he sweat great drops of blood, it was no light burden he had to carry upon those blessed shoulders; and when he poured out his heart, it was no weak effort he was making for the salvation of his people. Was Jesus in earnest, and are we lukewarm?

John MacArthur – Putting God First

 

“Hallowed be Thy name” (Matt. 6:9).

The Disciples’ Prayer illustrates the priority that God should hold in our prayers. Jesus began by exalting the Father: “Hallowed be Thy name” (v. 9), then requested that the Father’s kingdom come and His will be done (v. 10). He concluded with an anthem of praise: “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (v. 13). His prayer literally begins and ends with God.

“Hallowed be Thy name” exalts the name of the Lord and sets a tone of worship and submission that is sustained throughout the prayer. Where God’s name is hallowed, He will be loved and revered, His kingdom eagerly anticipated, and His will obeyed.

“Thy name” speaks of more than a title such as “God,” “Lord,” or “Jehovah.” It speaks of God Himself and is the composite of all His attributes. The Hebrews considered God’s name so sacred they wouldn’t even speak it, but they missed the point. While meticulously guarding the letters of His name, they slandered His character and disobeyed His Word. Because of them the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles (Rom. 2:24).

Psalm 102:15 says, “The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory.” It’s not the letters of God’s name that the nations fear; it’s the embodiment of all He is. As Jesus prayed, “I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me” (John 17:6). He did that by revealing who God is. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus told Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus is the manifestation of all who God is.

Manifesting the priority of God in your prayers involves acknowledging who He is and approaching Him with a reverent, humble spirit that is yielded to His will. As you do that, He will hallow His name through you.

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His holiness.

Ask Him to use you today to demonstrate His holiness to others.

For Further Study: Read Numbers 20. How did Moses show irreverence for God’s name?

 

Joyce Meyer – Linger in God’s Presence

 

Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him.—Psalm 37:7

Sometimes in our conferences, we just “hang out” in God’s presence. We sing and worship Him, and soon we enjoy the freshness of His marvelous wonder.

When we sense God is working in people’s hearts, we don’t worry about our meeting schedule or agenda. We set everything aside to just enjoy His awesome power working among His people. Many who came feeling bad are refreshed, and the sick are healed during this time of worship and waiting on the Lord. It happens all the time—there is healing in God’s presence.

If you feel discouraged, He will cheer you up. If you feel tired, He will strengthen you. Just sit in His presence and wait for Him to move in your life.

Presidential Prayer Team, A.W. – Passing God’s Polygraph

 

For centuries, people have sought ways to determine if someone is lying. Ancient Chinese and Hindu civilizations asked “suspects” to put a grain of rice in their mouth. If the rice was dry when he spit it out, or if it stuck to his mouth, he was considered guilty. Today, the polygraph – or “lie detector” – doesn’t detect lies at all, but shows physiological changes in a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and perspiration that may suggest they’re trying to hide something. Neither method is accurate. How things appear on the outside doesn’t necessarily match what’s real on the inside.

You, Lord, who know the hearts of all. Acts 1:24

God, though, always knows the inside. In today’s verse, the disciples were replacing Judas and prayed for the Lord to reveal the best choice by looking at the hearts of those selected. They couldn’t choose by looking at outward behavior. They had to know what was really going on inside.

Does your outside and inside match? God knows, even if no one else does. Pray today for the Lord to create a clean heart in you (Psalm 51:10) so you’ll be genuine and free of deception. Intercede also for the nation’s leaders’ hearts to be aligned with God’s Word and for their actions to have total integrity.

Recommended Reading: I Samuel 16:6-13

Greg Laurie – Infiltrate, Not Isolate

 

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance—1 Peter 3:9

Far too often it seems that Christians don’t want to have any contact with unbelievers. Maybe they don’t want to talk to them for fear of being polluted spiritually. But the church needs to infiltrate, not isolate. And to reach our culture, Christians must go where people are.

I am not saying that we should spend time around unbelievers and stay silent about our faith. We should speak up for Christ when the moment is right. At the very least, we should live a godly life as an example of what it is to follow Jesus Christ.

We see Jesus demonstrating this as He adapted His approach with the people He spoke to. With Nicodemus, who was powerful and affluent, Jesus told him that he must be born again (see John 3:1–17). With the immoral Samaritan woman, He reached out to her and engaged her in conversation (see John 4:1–26).

Before we can reach people, we first have to care. And I think one of the reasons we don’t share our faith more often is because we don’t care. We might think another person’s eternal destiny is their problem. If an unbeliever argues with us, we tend to think, Forget it then. I am going to heaven. You can go to hell if you want to. It is not my problem.

But actually, it is our problem, because they need someone to engage them. They need someone to share the gospel accurately with them. So we need to pray that God will give us a burden for people who do not yet know Him.

The great commentator Alexander MacLaren said, “You tell me the depth of a Christian’s compassion, and I will tell you the measure of his usefulness.”

How deep does your compassion go?

Max Lucado – What’s Done is Done

 

What do you do with your failures? Could you do it all over again, you’d do it differently. You’d be more patient. You’d control your tongue. You’d finish what you started. You’d get married first. But as many times as you tell yourself, “What’s done is done,” what you did can’t be undone.

That’s part of what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). He didn’t say, “The wages of sin is a bad mood.”  Or “The wages of sin is a hard day.” Read it again.  “The wages of sin is death.”  Sin is fatal.

What do you do?  Don’t we all long for a father who will love us?  A father who cares for us in spite of our failures? We have that kind of a father.  A father whose grace is strongest when our devotion is weakest.  Your failures are not fatal, my friend!

Charles Stanley – How Temptation Leads to Sin

 

2 Samuel 11:1-17

Hankering, hungering, longing, thirsting, yearning—all of these terms can be used to describe the word “desire.” Eve yearned for the fruit of the forbidden tree; Sarai longed for the promised child; King David hungered after Bathsheba. (Gen. 3:6; 16:2; 2 Sam. 11:2-4). In each case, their desire became so strong that they took matters into their own hands to get what they wanted. Each of them knew the Lord’s instructions, but when tempted, they found a way to justify their actions to obtain the desired goal. And the consequences were serious.

Throughout life, all of us experience longings. We yearn for circumstances or people to be different and crave things we do not have—or more of what we do have. And then we often find ourselves tempted to fulfill these desires through our own actions. Temptation itself is not sin, but acting on our own against God’s Word is. Stop and remember what happened to Eve, Sarai, and King David.

Our Creator, who designed you in His image, knows what it is you long for, and He has promised to give you what profits you most (Isa. 48:17). Compare your desires with the truth of Scripture, and ask God to help you let go of any that do not meet His standard.

Make Psalm 63:1 your heart’s cry: “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” And Jesus, who is the Bread of Life and Living Water, will satisfy you as nothing else ever could.

Our Daily Bread — Black Boxes

 

1 Corinthians 10:1-11

These things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition. —1 Corinthians 10:11

Commercial aircraft carry two flight-data recorders called “black boxes.” One logs the performance and condition of the aircraft in flight, and the other records the conversation of the crew with air-traffic controllers on the ground. These boxes are insulated to protect against extreme temperatures and are fitted with underwater locator beacons that emit sounds to the surface. After an airplane crash, these boxes are retrieved and the data carefully analyzed to determine the cause of the crash. Air safety experts want to learn from past mistakes, among other things, so they won’t be repeated.

As Christians, we too should look at mistakes from the past and learn from them. Paul, for example, alluded to some of the mistakes the Israelites made in their journey from Egypt to Canaan. He wrote that because God was not pleased with them, many died in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:5). Paul went on to explain that “these things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age” (v.11 nlt).

The inspired Word of God is written for our instruction for living (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Thank You, Lord, for the guidance of Your Word. —C. P. Hia

For Your holy Book we thank You;

May its message be our guide,

May we understand the wisdom

Of the truth Your laws provide. —Carter

 

God’s warnings are to protect us, not to punish us.

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Scandal of the Cross

 

There is a striking verse in the New Testament, in which the apostle Paul refers to the cross of Jesus Christ as foolishness to the Greek and a stumbling block to the Jew. One can readily understand why he would say that. After all, to the Greek mind, sophistication, philosophy, and learning were exalted pursuits. How could one crucified possibly spell knowledge?

To the Jewish mind, on the other hand, there was a cry and a longing to be free. In their history, they had been attacked by numerous powers and often humiliated by occupying forces. Whether it was the Assyrians or the Babylonians or the Romans, Jerusalem had been repeatedly plundered and its people left homeless. What would the Hebrew have wanted more than someone who could take up their cause and altogether repel the enemy? How could a Messiah who was crucified possibly be of any help?

To the Greek, the cross was foolishness. To the Jew, it was a stumbling block. What is it about the cross of Christ that so roundly defies everything that power relishes? Crucifixion was humiliating. It was so humiliating that the Romans who specialized in the art of torture assured their own citizenry that a Roman could never be crucified. But not only was it humiliating, it was excruciating. In fact, the very word “excruciating” comes from two Latin words: ex cruciatus, or out of the cross. Crucifixion was the defining word for pain.

Does that not give us pause in this season now before us? Think of it: humiliation and agony. This was the path Jesus chose with which to reach out for you and for me. You see, this thing we call sin, but which we so tragically minimize, breaks the grandeur for which we were created. It brings indignity to our essence and pain to our existence. It separates us from God.  On the way to the cross two thousand years ago, Jesus took the ultimate indignity and the ultimate pain to bring us back to the dignity of a relationship with God and the healing of our souls. Will you remember that this was done for you and receive his gift?

You will then discover that it is sin that is foolishness. Our greatest weakness is not an enemy from without but one from within. It is our own weak wills that cause us to stumble. But Jesus Christ frees us from the foolishness of sin and the weakness of our selves.

This is the very reason the apostle Paul went on to say that he preached Jesus Christ as one crucified, which was both the power of God and the wisdom of God. Come to the cross in these days given for our contemplation and find out his power and his wisdom.

Ravi Zacharias is founder and chairman of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

 

Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

 

Morning “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” / 1 Corinthians 10:12

It is a curious fact, that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, “I have great faith, I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall.” “I have fervent love,” says another, “I can stand, there is no danger of my going astray.” He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountain head, or else the brook will soon be dry. If a continuous stream of oil comes not to the lamp, though it burn brightly today, it will smoke to-morrow, and noxious will be its scent. Take heed that thou gloriest not in thy graces, but let all thy glorying and confidence be in Christ and his strength, for only so canst thou be kept from falling. Be much more in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men’s souls. So live that men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of him; and when that happy day shall come, when he whom you love shall say, “Come up higher,” may it be your happiness to hear him say, “Thou hast fought a good fight, thou hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away.” On, Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, “Uphold me according to thy word.” He is able, and he alone, “To keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.”

 

Evening “I will take heed to my ways.” / Psalm 39:1

Fellow-pilgrim, say not in your heart, “I will go hither and thither, and I shall not sin;” for you are never so out of danger of sinning as to boast of security. The road is very miry, it will be hard to pick your path so as not to soil your garments. This is a world of pitch; you will need to watch often, if in handling it you are to keep your hands clean. There is a robber at every turn of the road to rob you of your jewels; there is a temptation in every mercy; there is a snare in every joy; and if you ever reach heaven, it will be a miracle of divine grace to be ascribed entirely to your Father’s power. Be on your guard. When a man carries a bomb-shell in his hand, he should mind that he does not go near a candle; and you too must take care that you enter not into temptation. Even your common actions are edged tools; you must mind how you handle them. There is nothing in this world to foster a Christian’s piety, but everything to destroy it. How anxious should you be to look up to God, that he may keep you! Your prayer should be, “Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.” Having prayed, you must also watch; guarding every thought, word, and action, with holy jealousy. Do not expose yourselves unnecessarily; but if called to exposure, if you are bidden to go where the darts are flying, never venture forth without your shield; for if once the devil finds you without your buckler, he will rejoice that his hour of triumph is come, and will soon make you fall down wounded by his arrows. Though slain you cannot be; wounded you may be. “Be sober; be vigilant, danger may be in an hour when all seemeth securest to thee.” Therefore, take heed to thy ways, and watch unto prayer. No man ever fell into error through being too watchful. May the Holy Spirit guide us in all our ways; so shall they always please the Lord.

 

 

John MacArthur – Looking Beyond the Temporal

 

“Our Father who art in heaven” (Matt. 6:9).

Author H.G. Wells wrote of a man who had been overcome by the pressure and stress of modern life. His doctor told him that his only hope was to find fellowship with God. The man responded, “What? That–up there–having fellowship with me? I would as soon think of cooling my throat with the Milky Way or shaking hands with the stars.” Poet Thomas Hardy said that prayer is useless because there’s no one to pray to except “that dreaming, dark, dumb thing that turns the handle of this idle show.” Voltaire described life as a bad joke. He added, “Bring down the curtain; the farce is done.” Such is the blasphemy and despair of all who insist that God is uninvolved in human affairs.

The Greek and Roman philosophers of Jesus’ day rejected the fatherhood of God because it contradicted their philosophical systems. The Stoic philosophers taught that all of the gods were apathetic and experienced no emotions at all. The Epicurean philosophers taught that the supreme quality of the gods was complete calm or perfect peace. To maintain their serenity, they needed to remain totally isolated from the human condition.

Scripture refutes all such heresies by declaring that God is an intimate, caring Father. The significance of that truth is staggering. He conquers your fears and comforts you in times of distress. He forgives your sins and gives you eternal hope. He showers you with limitless resources and makes you recipients of an imperishable inheritance. He grants you wisdom and direction through His Spirit and His Word. He will never leave or forsake you.

When you humbly approach God as your Father, you assume the role of a child who is eager to obey his Father’s will and receive all the benefits of His grace. Let that take you beyond your present circumstances and motivate you to dwell on what’s eternal.

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for the joy and purpose He gives you each day.

Commit yourself to pursuing His will today.

For Further Study: Read Exodus 3:1-5 and Isaiah 6:1-5. What attitude should you have when you pray to God?

What does Hebrews 4:16 say you can receive when you approach God in prayer?

 

Joyce Meyer – First, Do What Is Right

 

Invoke blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse you, implore God’s blessing (favor) upon those who abuse you [who revile, reproach, disparage, and high-handedly misuse you]. —Luke 6:28

When we make a decision to forgive, we probably won’t feel like forgiving. After all, we have been treated unjustly, and it hurts. But doing the right thing while we feel wronged is extremely important to our overall spiritual growth. It also glorifies God.

For many years I tried to forgive people when they hurt or offended me, but since I still had negative feelings toward them, I assumed I wasn’t successful in the forgiveness journey. Now I realize that no matter how I feel, if I keep praying for the person who injured me and bless rather than curse him or her, I am on my way to freedom from destructive emotion. To curse means to speak evil of, and to bless means to speak well of. When someone has hurt us, we can refuse to speak evil of them, even if we’re tempted to do so. We can also bless them by talking about their good qualities and the good things they have done. If we look only at the mistakes people make, we won’t be able to like them. But looking at their whole lives gives us a more balanced picture of them.

You cannot wait to forgive someone who hurt you until you feel warm and loving toward that person. You’ll probably have to do it while you are still hurting—when forgiving is the last thing you feel like doing—but doing it puts you in the “God league.” It puts you squarely on the road that is “narrow (contracted by pressure),” but leads to the way of life (see Matt. 7:14). It puts you on the road that Jesus Himself traveled on. Don’t forget that one of the last things He did was forgive someone who didn’t deserve forgiveness, and He did it while hanging on a cross being crucified (see Luke 23:43). I think some of the last things that Jesus did were specially designed to help us remember how important those things are.

Trust in Him: You may want to feel better first, but God wants you to do what is right first, which is to forgive. When you do, you are putting your trust in God.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Supernatural Wisdom – by Faith

 

“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; He will not resent it” (James 1:5).

Often – many times a day – I need divine wisdom, not only in the multitudes of decisions that I must make daily, but also in the witnessing situations the Lord brings across my path. No doubt you recognize a similar need in your life.

All I have to do to have His presence guide me, if my heart is right with Him, is to ask in faith, and He promises the wisdom I need for each day and for each moment of the day.

If we are going to live supernatural lives, and if we are going to demonstrate to others that they, too, can live such a life, then we must begin to think and act differently. And that is possible only as we go to the source of all divine wisdom.

This verse from Scripture assures us that God’s ear is always open to this kind of prayer. And of course the wisdom to which James refers is more than factual knowledge. It is the light of life, in which we can walk without stumbling.

Why does one need to pray to gain this wisdom? Perhaps because prayer is humbling and involves an acknowledgment of our inadequacy. Prayer opens our hearts and lives to the transforming influence of the Spirit of God.

Bible Reading: James 1:6-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Knowing that I need God’s wisdom if I am to serve Him effectively and please Him today, I will obey Him – and claim His supernatural work in my life – by asking for His wisdom when I face a decision.

Presidential Prayer Team; G.C. – Life, Death and GPS

 

It’s amusing to hear of the lady who drove her car into the lake because her GPS said “take a left,” or of the chauffeur who saved his passengers after he realized he’d turned onto the tracks of an oncoming train because the GPS told him to “turn right at the next intersection.” These stories are entertaining – especially since you believe it could never happen to you.

It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority – Acts 1:7

Yet you meet people every day that are completely lost in life, not knowing where they are, or even where they are going. They don’t realize God is all-knowing, all-powerful and has all authority in directing every event in their lives. In the Bible, Jesus says He has prepared a place for those who want to be with Him and, by following His path, will arrive at a wonderful destination. But that’s only if His GPS, spoken from His Word or heard in prayer, is being heeded.

Pray America’s leaders will take an honest, thoughtful look at the directions they’re following for their lives and decisions. Ask God to reveal Himself to them, and that they’d heed His perfect plan for themselves and for this great nation.

Recommended Reading: John 14:1-14