Tag Archives: Jesus

John MacArthur – Penetrating the Box

John MacArthur

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb. 1:1-2).

Since the beginning of time, man has deceived himself by thinking he can discover God through various religions. But in reality, man lives in a box enclosed within the walls of time and space. God is outside the box, and man senses He’s there but can’t get to Him. Each new religion is but another futile attempt to penetrate the walls of the box and catch a glimpse of God.

Man’s only hope is for God to enter the box, which Hebrews 1:1-2 declares He did: first by letter (the Old Testament), then in person (in Jesus Christ). Regarding God’s Word David said, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2). Jeremiah added, “The Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth'” (Jer. 1:9). Of Christ, the apostle John said, “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. . . . No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:14, 18).

The irony of people thinking they can discover God on their own is that apart from the Holy Spirit’s leading, no one really wants to find Him. They merely want to add a cosmic good luck charm to their lives or satiate their guilty consciences. Paul said, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God” (Rom. 3:10-11, emphasis added).

God could have left us in our sin and ignorance, but He penetrated the box and revealed everything we need to know for redemption and fellowship with Him. What a privilege we have to study His Word and live by its principles! Be diligent to do so each day.

Suggestion for Prayer:

Praise God for granting you the ability to appreciate His Word.

For Further Study:

Read 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, noting how natural (unregenerate) people respond to divine revelation.

 

 

Joyce Meyer – Don’t Leave God Out of the Loop

Joyce meyer

I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!

—Psalm 91:2

When we are frustrated, it is often because we are trying to do something in our own strength, instead of putting our faith in God and receiving His grace and help. Let us learn to pray for what we would like to be changed, and then cast our care on God. If He leads you to take some kind of action, then do it; but if He doesn’t, then wait with peace.

I had to practice trusting God for a lot of things, but particularly finances. At one point in the beginning of my ministry, God asked me to trust Him to provide for my family financially without my working outside the home. I knew that I needed time to prepare for the ministry He had called me to. And working full-time in addition to being a wife and mother to three small children didn’t leave much time to prepare to be an international Bible teacher.

As an act of faith, and with my husband’s consent, I quit my job and began learning to trust God to provide for us. Dave had a good job, but his salary was forty dollars a month less than our bills. This meant we had to have a miracle from God every month.

I remember what a struggle it was to not go back to work—after all, I was a responsible woman and wanted to do my part. But I knew that God was asking me to keep preparing for the ministry He was calling me to and to trust Him for provision. Each month, He provided for our financial needs, and seeing His faithfulness was exciting, but I was accustomed to taking care of myself—all this “walking by faith” was crucifying my flesh big time.

Trusting God for the forty dollars a month we needed to pay our bills and for anything extra we needed was often difficult, but it helped us gain a strong foundation of faith that has helped us throughout our lives. I strongly encourage you to obey God and trust Him in every area of life. Each victory you have will increase your faith for the next challenge you face.

Trust in Him: Little faith can become great faith when we see the faithfulness of God as He meets our needs. You can become a person who enjoys great peace by trusting God.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Recipe for Growth

dr_bright

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2, KJV).

Sam was very impatient with himself. Though he was a new Christian, he could not understand why he was not as spiritual as some of the other students who had walked with the Lord for several years.

I explained to him the Christian life, like physical life, involves a process of growth. A person begins as a baby and goes through various stages of childhood, adolescence and young adulthood to reach Christian maturity. Very few, if any, Christians, I explained to him, become spiritually mature overnight.

Lane Adams, a beloved colleague, gifted teacher, preacher and author, said, “I shrink inside when I think of the times I have mounted the pulpit, recited the conversion experience of the apostle Paul, and then indicated that he went out and turned the world upside down for Jesus Christ immediately.”

He continued, “This simply was not the case. There is a difference of opinion among scholars concerning New Testament dating, but it seems rather plain that many years went by before the Holy Spirit laid the dramatic burden on Paul as a missionary of the cross.”

If you strongly desire to serve the Lord in some particular way, such as teaching, ask the Holy Spirit in faith to empower you to become an effective teacher. Now, it may be that the Holy Spirit will see fit to make you a great teacher overnight, but this is most unlikely. So if it does not happen, do not be discouraged. Have faith!

Continue to ask and believe that the Holy Spirit will make you an effective teacher of the Word of God and be willing to work hardand long to develop your natural ability. The Bible reminds us that “faith without works is useless.”

If we are unique members of the Body of Christ, and we are, if we possess special tasks to accomplish, and we do, then the Holy Spirit will empower us to carry out those tasks. God does indeed have a plan for each of our lives. And He gives us the direction and power of His Holy Spirit to accomplish that plan as we continue to trust and obey Him.

Bible Reading: 2 Peter 3:14-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Recognizing that I am in the process of maturing spiritually, I shall seek to accelerate my spiritual growth by hiding the Word of God in my heart, spending time in prayer, walking in the Spirit and sharing my faith in Christ with others as a way of life.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K.- Called to Give

ppt_seal01

In the first days of the early church, there was an emergency in the Christian community, and Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit,” was called to be one of seven to direct assistance for the needy (Acts 6:2-6). It was an unexpected task that Stephen readily accepted. His willingness gave the apostles time to pray and preach, as God had called them to do, so that the church of believers would grow…both in number and in spiritual maturity.

The word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly.

Acts 6:7

Growing in faith happens as the Holy Spirit communicates God’s truth through Scripture. As Bible commentator Lawrence Richards writes, “The Word of God is a living and active power, a timeless moment at which, in our own time and space, we can meet the living God personally…It is content, giving shape and form to reality, and it is confrontation, the moment of meeting God that calls for our personal response of faith.”

The only gift that counts this Christmas is one you are called to give – God’s truth and saving grace through His Word and your Savior. Pray for this nation, that its people will see His love for them through you…and accept Him.

Recommended Reading: II Corinthians 5:14-21

 

Greg Laurie – The Message of Christmas

greglaurie

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3:16

When I was a kid, I always wanted a family but never had one. I remember one Christmas with my mom when we were living in a hotel. I got up on Christmas morning, excited about opening my presents, but she was passed out from a night of drinking. I looked around and thought, It has got to get better than this.

I believed that Christmas spoke of something greater. What Christmas really speaks of is what we can have in a relationship with Jesus Christ. The primary message of Christmas is that God came to us: ” ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us’ ” (Matthew 1:23).

The message of Christmas is not “Let it snow”; it is “Let us worship” because God is with us. The first Christmas gifts were not from the wise men to the Child. Rather, the first gift of Christmas was the gift of Jesus Christ from God to us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

The message of Christmas means this: You will never be alone in life again. Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). That is an amazing statement. God the Father and God the Son are saying they want to make their home with you and me.

Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). That is a promise to all people. Why? Because of Immanuel—God is with us.

 

Max Lucado – Your Share of Sighing

Max Lucado

No doubt you’ve done your share of sighing. If you have teenagers, you’ve sighed. If you’ve had your motives questioned or your best acts of love rejected, you’ve been forced to take a deep breath and let escape a painful sigh!

I realize there’s a sigh of relief, a sigh of expectancy, even a sigh of joy.  The apostle Paul spoke of this sighing. He said that Christians will sigh as long as we’re on earth and long for heaven. All these sighs come from the same anxiety; a recognition of pain never intended, or of hope deferred. Man was not created to be separated from his creator; hence he sighs, longing for home.

And God sighs, he groans for his people. He groans for the day when all sighs will cease, when what was intended to be—will be!

From God Came Near

Charles Stanley – When God’s Spirit Is in Charge

Charles Stanley

James 1:2-4

A Spirit-filled life does not mean one that is problem-free. Christians who are under the control of the Holy Spirit will still make mistakes, have difficulties, and fall into sin. But there are two definite characteristics that distinguish Spirit-filled followers of Christ from other Christians and from unbelievers.

First, they are not controlled by their circumstances, and second, they refocus quickly after having sinned.

When the Holy Spirit is in charge, our attitude will not be determined by what’s going on around us. In other words, life doesn’t have to be stress-free in order for us to know peace—our spiritual joy won’t diminish even if we should meet with disappointment.

Anyone can be loving, kind, and self-controlled in seasons of blessing. But what happens to our attitude in trying times? The real test of who we are occurs not when things are going our way but when misfortune shows up. If the Spirit is in charge, we will learn to do four things: to love when we want to hate; to practice kindness when we are accused; to respond gently when others are harsh; and to have self-control when temptation strikes hard.

None of us will do all of this perfectly because there is still “self” within us. But when we sin, we will respond quickly to the Spirit’s prompting. He won’t have to work hard to get our attention, because we are under His authority. We will recognize our wrong action, confess it, and refocus on God’s ways.

If you are a Christ-follower, who is in control of your life?

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Integrity League

Our Daily Bread

Psalm 26

He who walks with integrity walks securely. —Proverbs 10:9

We call it the Integrity League, but it’s really just a bunch of guys who get together at lunchtime to play basketball. We call fouls on ourselves, attempt to avoid angry outbursts, and simply try to keep everything fair and enjoyable. We are competitive and we don’t like to lose—but we all agree that integrity and honesty should control the atmosphere.

Integrity. Scripture clearly indicates the importance of this trait. And we honor the God of our lives when we practice it.

Through His Word, God has given us clear reasons to “walk in . . . integrity” (Ps. 26:11). A person who has integrity has the security of a quiet life unknown to the one who “perverts his ways” (Prov. 10:9). The follower of God who lives with integrity is preserved by his confidence in God, for that person waits for God’s intervention in his life instead of running ahead of Him (Ps. 25:21). And the one who practices integrity will be given guidance and clear direction (Prov. 11:3).

Why should we care about life’s “Integrity League”? Because obeying God this way shows that we trust Him with our lives and that we want to shine His great love on others. —Dave Branon

Dear Father, help my word be true. Help my

actions be honest. Help my life to

reflect Your holiness and shine God’s light

for all to see. Help me to live with integrity.

Integrity is Christlike character in workclothes.

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 42-44; 1 John 1

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Enough

Ravi Z

Black Friday is the name Americans have given the day after Thanksgiving, though the concept is catching on in Canada and Europe. It is called “black” because store-keepers know it as the time of year when sales move further into the black and farther into profit margins. Cyber Monday is a clever addition to the frenzied consumer holiday, luring black Friday shoppers and their less adventurous counterparts to continue their purchasing online. Evoking both buyer and seller competition, steep sales and loud advertisements make for frenzied scenes and the need for stamina. Those who watch as bystanders still sense the fervor that begins on Black Friday and continues in a hectic race until Christmas. When everyone around you seems to be running, standing still is easier said than done.

Each year the commencement of the Christmas shopping season overshadows the commencement of a far quieter season. The season of Advent signals the coming of Christmas for Christians, though not in the way that Black Friday signals the coming of the same. “Advent is about the spirituality of emptiness,” writes Joan Chittister, “of enough-ness, of stripped-down fullness of soul.” It is a far cry from the hustle of the holidays that is a race for storing things up. Speed-hoarding through the days of Christmas preparation, Christmas itself even becomes somewhat anticlimactic. “Long before December 25th everyone is worn out,” said C.S. Lewis more than 50 years ago, “—physically worn out by weeks of daily struggle in overcrowded shops, mentally worn out by the effort to remember all the right recipients and to think out suitable gifts for them. They are in no trim for merry-making… They look far more as if there had been a long illness in the house.”(1) Quite the opposite, Advent is a season meant to slow us down, to open windows of awareness and health, to trigger consciousness. It is about finding the kind of quiet mystery and the sort of expectant emptiness that can offer a place for the fullness of God as an infant among us.

Of course, for even the quietest of hearts, this God who becomes human, the incarnate Christ, is still a mystery. But mystery, like beauty and truth, is well worth stillness, wonder, and contemplation. And this mystery—the gift of a God who steps into the world he created—is rich enough to make the most distracted souls bow. “Let anyone with ears listen!” said Jesus repeatedly throughout his life on earth. “But to what will I compare this generation?” he added. “It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn’” (Matthew 11:15-17). You and I can open our minds to hear the great and unsearchable things we do not know, things like the Incarnation that we may never fully understand but are always invited to know further. Or we can simply look and act for all of Christmas to correspond with societal whims and unconscious distractions—fighting to be heard in the cultural debates about what we call or don’t call the season, arguing about public billboards and private mangers.

Christ will come regardless. The hope of Advent is that it is always possible to make room for him. I’m reminded of Etty Hillesum, a young Jewish woman who composed a remarkable series of journals in the darkest years of Nazi occupation before being sent to Auschwitz, where she died in 1943. In one of her entries, Etty wrote, “[S]ometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.”(2) Advent can be this simple; the invitation of Christ is this simple. Let anyone with ears open them. Contemplating Christmas need not mean defensive words, Christmas wars, lists and budgets, endless labor, and fretful commotion.

Advent, after all, is about the riches of being empty-handed and that is an abruptly countercultural posture; empty-handed, so that we can fully hold the mystery before us and nothing less; empty-handed, like the God who came down from heaven without riches or power, but meek and small—full, expectant, and enough.

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

(1) Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life: The Diaries 1941-1943 (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1983), 93.

(2) C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001), 305.

 

Alistair Begg – A Beautiful Bride

Alistair Begg

You are altogether beautiful, my love.

Song of Songs 4:7

The Lord’s admiration for His Church is very wonderful, and His description of her beauty is very glowing. She is not merely beautiful, but “altogether beautiful.” He views her in Himself, washed in His sin-atoning blood and clothed in His meritorious righteousness, and He considers her to be full of attraction and beauty. No wonder that this is the case, since it is simply His own perfect excellency that He admires; for the holiness, glory, and perfection of His Church are His own glorious garments worn by His well-beloved spouse.

She is not simply pure or well-proportioned; she is positively lovely and fair! She has actual merit! Her deformities of sin are removed; but more, she has through her Lord obtained a meritorious righteousness by which an actual beauty is conferred upon her.

Believers have a positive righteousness given to them when “he chose us in him” (Eph. 1:4). Nor is the church barely lovely-she is superlatively so. Her Lord styles her “most beautiful among women.”1 She has a real worth and excellence that cannot be rivaled by all the nobility and royalty of the world.

If Jesus could exchange His elect bride for all the queens and empresses of earth, or even for the angels in heaven, He would not, for He puts her first and foremost! Like the moon she far outshines the stars. Nor is this an opinion that He is ashamed of, for He invites all men to hear it. He sets a “behold” before it, a special note of exclamation, inviting and arresting attention. “Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!” (Song of Sol. 4:1). He publishes His opinion widely even now, and one day from the throne of His glory He will declare the truth of it before the assembled universe. “Come, you who are blessed by my Father” (Matt. 25:34) will be His solemn affirmation of the loveliness of His elect.

1 Song of Solomon 1:8

 

Joyce Meyer – Use Your Words to Heal

Joyce meyer

There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

—Proverbs 12:18

Words have a tremendous impact on all of our lives. I know people who have lived lives of crippling insecurity because their parents spoke words of judgement, criticism and failure to them on a regular basis. These people can be healed only by receiving God’s unconditional love. They have been wounded in their souls (their inner selves, their mind, will and emotions), a place to which only God has total access. Isaiah 61:1 says that Jesus came to bind up and heal the brokenhearted. He is the lover of our souls and through Him we can be secure and successful.

However, once people are wounded by the words of others, it takes time to overcome the wrong image they have of themselves. That is why it is important that we learn to use our words for blessing, healing and building up and not for cursing, wounding and tearing down. Ephesians 4:29 says: “Let no foul or polluting language; nor evil word not unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it many be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.”

Generally speaking, if we believe in people, they will make a huge effort to live up to our confidence in them. We learned this through dealing with employees in our ministry. We found that if we promoted someone we believed had potential, they would begin to act differently as soon as they were informed of their promotion. They work harder to become what we have told them we believe they can be.

Multitudes of people need someone to believe in them. They have been wounded by wrong words, but the right words can bring healing into their lives. You can change someone’s life today by encouraging them to be all they can be.

Love Others Today: Lord, show me someone who needs Your healing love and allow me to share it with them through my words.

Greg Laurie – Christmas Is a Promise

greglaurie

“The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” —Matthew 4:16

For those who have lost a loved one, as my family has, Christmas can be really difficult, especially because it is so filled with memories. So many of those memories are triggered. And when you see other people having fun, it can actually bring a lot of sadness to you. It can even bring you to the point where you would just like to skip Christmas altogether. Have you ever wanted to cancel Christmas? I have.

I am not saying that we should cancel the celebration of the birth of Christ, of course. I am not saying that we should unstring our lights and put away our presents. But let’s cancel the version of Christmas that has no place for God. Let’s cancel the version of Christmas that says, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Let’s cancel the version of Christmas that consists of endless hype and activities without any thought of Jesus.

Let’s get back to what Christmas truly is: a celebration of the birth of Jesus. I like Christmas, actually. I think that at its very best, Christmas is a promise. At its best, Christmas is spending time with family and friends, enjoying holiday meals, laughing together, exchanging gifts, and worshiping together. I think all of these are a glimpse of things to come—because Christmas is really a promise of heaven, a promise of something better.

You might look around and say, “I wish my loved one who is with the Lord could see this.” You are looking at twinkling lights, but don’t you think what they are seeing is better than what you are seeing? You may be experiencing temporary joys, but your loved one is in the presence of God, seeing the Lord in all of His glory. Now that is a Christmas worth celebrating.

 

 

 

Max Lucado – God Revealed

Max Lucado

When God chose to reveal himself to mankind, what did He use?  A book?  A church?  A moral code?  No. To limit God’s revelation to a cold list of do’s and don’t’s is as tragic as looking at a Colorado roadmap and saying you’d seen the Rockies!

When God chose to reveal himself, he did so through a human body. The hand that touched the leper had dirt under its nails. And his tears—oh, don’t miss the tears—they came from a heart as broken as your or mine ever has been. People came to him.  Touched him.  Followed him. He refused to be a statue in a cathedral or a priest in an elevated pulpit.  He chose instead to be Jesus.

Remember that the next time you find yourself amazed at your own failures. It’s man who creates the distance. It’s Jesus who builds the bridge!

From God Came Near

 

Alistair Begg – Winter in the Soul

Alistair Begg

You have made summer and winter.

Psalms 74:17

My soul, begin this wintry month with God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind you that He keeps His covenant with day and night and serve to assure you that He will also keep that glorious covenant that He has made with you in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son.

Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it is upon you just now, it will be very painful to you: But there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation. He scatters the frozen dew like ashes over the once fresh green meadows of our joy. He dispenses His icy morsels, freezing the streams of our delight.

He does it all; He is the great Winter King and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore you cannot murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills are of the Lord’s sending and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill harmful insects and restrain raging diseases; they break up the clods and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!

How we prize the fire just now! How pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw near to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and keep working, unlike the lazy man who refuses to plow because it is too cold; in the summer he will have nothing and will be forced to beg for bread.

 

Joyce Meyer – Exercising Authority

Joyce meyer

For it is disgraceful for a woman to talk in church [for her to usurp and exercise authority over men in the church].

—1 Corinthians 14:35

Part of the problem in Corinth was that women may have been usurping authority over men, which is a wrong attitude that some women who teach or preach can develop. They may think their position allows them to exercise authority over people. I cannot be responsible for what other women do, but as for me, I can honestly say that when I teach God’s Word, I don’t see myself exercising authority over men or women.

I use the gift of communication that God has given me to fulfill the call on my life to teach. I want to help people understand God’s Word so they can easily apply it to their daily lives. When I hold a public meeting, I believe I have authority over that meeting and that I am responsible to keep order, but I have never felt that I was taking authority over people. It is difficult to know exactly what was going on when Paul wrote this letter, but we cannot take this verse to mean that women were forever forbidden to speak in church. We must look at all of the other Scriptures that clearly indicate that God regularly used women.

Lord, I am not interested in having authority over any other person, but I do want the confidence that comes from having the authority of Your Word working in and through my life. Amen.

 

Charles Stanley – Caution with Spiritual Gifts

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 12:14-30

Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians addressed a problem in the church. People valued only certain gifts and were focused on who had which ones. Believers with the “better” gifts were esteemed above others, while those with “lesser” abilities weren’t considered as important. Spiritual pride was rampant, which is a problem that can still occur in the church today. We should remember:

Caution #1—God doesn’t give every person the same gift. Each believer receives at least one endowment according to the Spirit’s purposes and choosing. While we are all called to be merciful, some are given the gift of mercy. Their remarkable ability to minister to the hurting and outcasts of society can be explained only through the Holy Spirit.

Caution #2—We can’t tell others, “You should have this gift.” It is God’s business to decide who has which ability. Consider, for example, the gift of faith. When we encounter believers struggling with doubt, we should not criticize them for what they lack. Rather, we should encourage them toward greater faith.

Caution #3—We must not place undue value on certain gifts. All of them are important and necessary to the body. We are to discover which gifts the Holy Spirit has given us and should be content with His decision.

In our zeal to follow Christ, we sometimes view giftedness as a way to assess one’s salvation, spiritual maturity, or importance in the church. We should let go of false ideas about the value of divinely given abilities and celebrate the unique gifting of each individual believer.

 

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Attending To Our Words

Our Daily Bread

Psalm 66:10-20

Certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. —Psalm 66:19

A week after C. S. Lewis died in 1963, colleagues and friends gathered in the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford, England, to pay tribute to the man whose writings had fanned the flames of faith and imagination in children and scholars alike.

During the memorial service, Lewis’ close friend Austin Farrer noted that Lewis always sent a handwritten personal reply to every letter he received from readers all over the world. “His characteristic attitude to people in general was one of consideration and respect,” Farrer said. “He paid you the compliment of attending to your words.”

In that way, Lewis mirrored God’s remarkable attention to what we say to Him in prayer. During a time of great difficulty, the writer of Psalm 66 cried out to God (vv.10-14). Later, he praised the Lord for His help, saying, “Certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer” (v.19).

When we pray, the Lord hears our words and knows our hearts. Truly we can say with the psalmist, “Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!” (v.20). Our prayers become the avenue to a deeper relationship with Him. At all times, even in our hours of deepest need, He attends to our words. —David McCasland

My Savior hears me when I pray,

Upon His Word I calmly rest;

In His own time, in His own way,

I know He’ll give me what is best. —Hewitt

We always have God’s attention.

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2

 

Alistair Begg – Much More Than This

Alistair Begg

And Amaziah said to the man of God, ‘But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?’ The man of God answered, ‘The Lord is able to give you much more than this.’

2 Chronicles 25:9

This seemed to be a very important question for the king of Judah, and possibly it is of even more significance for the tried and tested Christian. To lose money is never pleasant, and when it involves principle, we are not always ready to make the sacrifice. “Why lose what could be put to good use? Is it not possible to pay too much for truth? Remember the children and our small income!”

All these things and a thousand more would tempt the Christian to participate in dishonest gain or prevent him from carrying out his conscientious convictions when they involve serious loss. Not everyone views these matters in the light of faith; and even with the followers of Jesus, the idea that “we all have to live” carries quite a bit of weight.

“The LORD is able to give you much more than this” is a very satisfactory answer to the anxious question. Our Father holds the funds, and what we lose for His sake He can repay a thousandfold.

Our part is to obey His will, and we may rest assured that He will provide for us. The Lord will be no man’s debtor in the end.

Christians know that an ounce of contentment is more valuable than a ton of gold. The person wearing a threadbare coat over a good conscience has found a spiritual treasure far more desirable than any he may have lost.

God’s smile and a dungeon are enough for a true heart; His frown and a palace would be hell to the trusting soul.

Let the worst become worse still, let all the talents go, we have not lost our treasure, for that is above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. In the meantime, even now the Lord makes the meek to inherit the earth, and He keeps back nothing that is good from those whose walk is blameless.

 

 

John MacArthur – An Unlikely Heroine

John MacArthur

“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace” (Heb. 11:31).

Our final Old Testament hero of faith is an unlikely addition to the list. Not only was she a prostitute, she also was a Gentile–and a Canaanite at that.

The Canaanites were an idolatrous, barbaric, debauched people, infamous even among pagans for their immorality and cruelty. Yet in the midst of that exceedingly wicked society, Rahab came to faith in the God of Israel.

Joshua 2:9-11 records her confession of faith to the two men Joshua had sent into Jericho as spies: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And when we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (emphasis added).

Rahab demonstrated the genuineness of that profession by risking her life to hide the spies from the king of Jericho, who sought to capture them.

Because Rahab lied to protect the spies (vv. 4-5), some people question the validity of her faith. Surely genuine believers wouldn’t lie like that–or would they? Abraham did. Sarah did. Isaac did. Jacob did. But the important thing to understand is that God honored their faith, not their deception.

As with all the heroes of faith before her, Rahab’s faith wasn’t perfect, nor was her knowledge of God’s moral law. But because she trusted God, she was spared during Jericho’s conquest, then given an even greater honor. She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, the great-great-grandmother of David, thereby becoming an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5).

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for receiving even the vilest sinner who turns to Him in faith.

For Further Study:

Read all about Rahab in Joshua 2:1-24, 6:22-25, and James 2:25.

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Peace and Joy

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“Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).

Don and Ann wanted with all their hearts to please the Lord and worked at being victorious Christians. They diligently kept their quiet time and memorized Scripture, and they were faithful in church attendance. They did everything right. But as they said, “Even though we’ve claimed the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith and tried to understand and apply identification truths [in which they sought to identify themselves with Christ, his crucifixion, burial and resurrection,] we just don’t seem to be enjoying the Christian life. There’s something missing.”

“In Philippians 4,” I told them, “you will find a surefire spiritual formula for victory in the Christian life. Just allow the Holy Spirit to make this passage a reality to you and apply the following as He enables you:

As an act of your will, decide that you’re going to be full of the joy of the Lord. You are the one who decides whether you’re going to rejoice or be discouraged and sad. Demonstrate before all men an unselfish, considerate attitude. Remember that the Lord can come at any moment, and be prepared.

Do not worry about anything.

Pray about everything.

Thank Him in faith for His answers.”

The results of practicing these steps is the most priceless and wonderful experience one can know, the supernatural peace of God that cannot be purchased or acquired in any other way. In order to succeed in this formula for supernatural living, of course, you must already be studying the Word of God, applying its truths to your life daily, living in the power of the Holy Spirit and sharing your faith in Christ with others.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 12:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today, as an act of my will, I shall claim the supernatural resources of God by faith and continue to experience and share the abundant life which is the heritage of all who trust and obey Him