Tag Archives: love

Alistair Begg – With All Your Might

Alistair Begg

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever your hand finds to do” refers to works that are possible. There are many things that our heart finds to do that we will never do. It is good for it to be in our heart; but if we would be eminently useful, we must not be content with forming schemes in our heart and talking of them; we must practically carry out “whatever your hand finds to do.”

One good deed is worth more than a thousand brilliant theories. Let us not wait for large opportunities or for a different kind of work, but just do the things we “find to do” day by day.

We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we will never have any time but now. So do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God.

Endeavor now to bring forth fruit. Serve God now, but be careful about the way in which you perform what you find to do-“do it with your might.”

Do it promptly; do not fritter away your life in thinking of what you intend to do tomorrow as if that could repay today’s laziness.

No one ever served God by doing things tomorrow. If we honor Christ and are blessed, it is by the things that we do today.

Whatever you do for Christ, throw your whole soul into it. Do not give Christ a little halfhearted labor, done as a matter of course every now and then; but when you serve Him, do it with heart and soul and strength.

But where is the power of a Christian? It is not in himself, for he is perfect weakness. His power lies in the Lord of Hosts. Let us then seek His help; let us proceed with prayer and faith, and when we have done what our “hand finds to do,” let us wait upon the Lord for His blessing. What we do in this way will be well done and will not fail in its effect.

Charles Spurgeon – Preaching! Man’s privilege and God’s power!

CharlesSpurgeon

“For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.” Mark 6:20.

Suggested Further Reading: James 1:19-25.

If you would hear the word to profit, you must hear it obediently. You must hear it as James and John did, when the master said “Follow me,” and they left their nets and their boats and they followed him. You must do the word as well as hear it, yielding up your hearts to its sway, being willing to walk in the road which it maps, to follow the path which it lays before you. Hearing it obediently, you must also hear it personally for yourselves, not for others, but for yourselves alone. You must be as Zaccheus, who was in the sycamore tree, and the Master said, “Zaccheus, make haste and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.” The word will never bless you till it comes home directly to yourself. You must be as Mary, who when the Master spoke to her she did not know his voice, till he said unto her, “Mary”, and she said, “Rabboni.” There must be an individual hearing of the truth, and a reception of it for yourself in your own heart. Then, too, you must hear the truth penitently. You must be as that Mary, who when she listened to the word, must needs go and wash the feet of Jesus with her tears, and wipe them with the hairs of her head. There must be tears for your many sins, a true confession of your guilt before God. But above all you must hear it believingly. The word must not be unto you as mere sound, but as matter of fact. You must be as Lydia, whose heart the Lord opened; or as the trembling gaoler, who believed on the Lord Jesus with all his house and was baptized immediately. You must be as the thief, who could pray, “Lord, remember me,” and who could believe the precious promise given, “Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”

For meditation: To want to hear the preaching of God’s Word and to enjoy hearing it are good things as far as they go, but by themselves they do not go far enough (Ezekiel 33:30-32).

Sermon no. 347

26 November (Preached 25 November 1860)

 

 

John MacArthur – Rejecting the World’s Passing Pleasures

John MacArthur

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:24-25).

For forty years Moses enjoyed the best of everything Egypt had to offer: formidable wealth, culture, education, and prestige (Acts 7:22). Yet he never forgot God’s promises toward his own people, Israel.

Then, “when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him; but they did not understand” (vv. 23-25).

Somehow Moses knew he was to deliver his people from Egyptian oppression. Although it would be another forty years before he was fully prepared for the task, by faith he forsook the pleasures and prestige of Egypt and endured ill-treatment with God’s chosen people.

Humanly speaking, Moses made a costly choice. He seemed to be sacrificing everything for nothing. But the opposite was much more the case since Moses considered “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the [greater] reward” (Heb. 11:26).

Sometimes obedience to Christ seems very costly, especially when evil people prosper while many who faithfully serve God suffer poverty and affliction. Asaph the psalmist struggled with the same issue: “Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure” (Ps. 73:12-13).

But be assured that the eternal rewards of Christ far outweigh the passing pleasures of sin. The wicked have only judgment and hell to look forward to; you have glory and heaven. So always choose obedience, and trust God to guide your choices, just as He did with Moses.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God that the righteous will one day be fully rewarded.

Seek God’s grace to be obedient when you’re faced with difficult choices.

For Further Study:

Read Stephen’s account of Moses in Acts 7:20-39.

 

Joyce Meyer – Don’t Stay Angry

Joyce meyer

Cease from anger and forsake wrath; fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.

—Psalm 37:8

The Word tells us another way to resist temptation: “When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]” (Ephesians 4:26–27).

Paul said that we should forgive people to keep Satan from gaining an advantage over us (See 2 Corinthians 2:10–11). If someone offends you, get over it quickly so you won’t leave open a door for the devil. It is a sin to hold anger and bitterness, so never go to sleep mad. If you forgive everyone before you fall asleep, freedom from wrong attitudes in your heart will help you start your day right the next morning.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – Creation Shouts

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Well-known journalist and television commentator Charles Krauthammer was asked if he was an atheist or an agnostic. He responded that being an atheist was not a possibility; the world’s complexity could only lead you to believe in the mystery of it all. But his next statement exemplified today’s verse: Krauthammer would not accept that the “mystery” was capitalized and spelled G-O-D.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him.

Romans 1:21

Why is that? Do people see their achievements as something only they could’ve done? Do they reject the idea of a “higher power” because they don’t want to be held accountable? No matter what man thinks, God is God and has the right to be worshipped. His creation shouts Creator, and man’s God-given abilities to observe, understand and interpret gives evidence that you can not only know that God is…but you can know who He is.

Dear one, pray that the truth of God will be your testimony. The vacuum in man screams to be filled, and that void will be replaced with something more. Intercede for the people and leaders of this nation that they will know the Lord and give Him thanks and praise for all He is and all He does.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 145:3-13

 

 

Greg Laurie – A Pivotal Moment in Church History

greglaurie

Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” —Acts 10:28

A pivotal moment arrived in the spread of the gospel by the early church with the conversion of a man named Cornelius. His conversion was significant because Cornelius was not a Jew, but a Gentile.

For us living today in the melting pot called the United States of America, that doesn’t mean a lot. But it did mean a lot to the first-century Jew. Despite the fact that Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel, that really wasn’t happening. Christianity was running the risk of becoming a sect of Judaism.

But that all changed when God impacted one man, and that man was Simon Peter. Peter was pretty much like any other Jew living in his time. He was proud of his heritage, and I don’t mean that in a critical way.

The Jews of this time, however, wanted nothing to do with non-Jews, or Gentiles. So God wanted to redirect the early church to go to the non-Jews and bring them the message of the gospel. And the Lord did that through Peter.

Acts 10 tells us that while Peter was waiting for lunch one day in Joppa, he went up on the housetop to pray. Then he fell into a trance and saw the sky open, while something resembling a sheet was lowered that contained all kinds of unclean animals. Then a voice said, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat” (verse 13).

This wasn’t about food as much as it was about people. God was saying: “Peter, time to leave your comfort zone and reach a whole new group of people—the Gentiles.”

Soon after, Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius and his relatives and friends, and they believed. Peter obeyed God and left his comfort zone, and it changed church history.

 

Charles Stanley – Developing Patience

Charles Stanley

Galatians 5:22-25

We have all kinds of excuses for why we are not patient: stress, ill health, other peoples’ mistakes, running late, or simply having a bad day. But impatience can cause us to make poor decisions, hurt others, or damage relationships.

God wants something far better for us. He knows that patience helps us to stay in His will—where His favor rests upon us. We achieve strong, loving, lasting relationships when we are willing to wait for others to change. In so doing, we also become happier ourselves.

How do we develop this attribute? First, we must view our lives as God does and recognize difficulties as disguised opportunities to learn patience. We must leave behind the mistaken assumption that success in the Christian life means an absence of problems. God’s purpose is not to provide us with ease, comfort, and pleasure but rather to grow us up into Christlikeness. Patience is one of those “grown-up” qualities we’re to have.

Second, we have a personal responsibility to pursue the quality of patience and train ourselves in it. We must learn to resist our bad habits, wrong thinking, and negative behavior patterns from the past. Practice responding with kindness and love, even if the other person is unjustly accusing you.

It takes time, energy, and effort to change our thinking and our responses. Fortunately, we don’t do this alone—the Holy Spirit is committed to producing this fruit in our lives with our cooperation. See difficulty as God does, and then respond patiently.

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Spiritual Plagiarism

Our Daily Bread

John 1:1-18

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. —John 1:14

When I teach English composition, I require students to write in class. I know that in-class writing is their own work, so in this way I become familiar with each student’s writing voice and am able to detect if they “borrow” a bit too heavily from another writer. Students are surprised to learn that their writing voice—which includes what they say as well as how they say it—is as distinctive as their speaking voice. Just as the words we speak come from our hearts, so do the words we write. They reveal who we are.

We become familiar with God’s voice in much the same way. By reading what He has written, we learn who He is and how He expresses Himself. Satan, however, tries to make himself sound like God (2 Cor. 11:14). By using God’s words in a slightly altered fashion, he comes up with convincing arguments for things that are untrue. For example, by convincing people to do things that simulate godliness, such as trusting in an outward regimen of self-discipline rather than Christ’s death for salvation (Col. 2:23), Satan has led many astray.

God went to extremes to make sure we’d recognize His voice. He not only gave us His Word, He gave us the Word made flesh—Jesus (John 1:14)—so that we will not be easily deceived or misled. —Julie Ackerman Link

Instill within my heart, dear Lord,

A deep desire to know Your Word,

I want to learn to hear Your voice

That I may make Your will my choice. —D. DeHaan

Your Word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it. —Psalm 119:140

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 24-26; 1 Peter 2

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Truth on Its Head

Ravi Z

G.K. Chesterton took the word “prolific” to a level that, as a writer, simply makes me feel tired. In his lifetime, Chesterton authored over 100 books and contributed to 200 others. He penned hundreds of poems, five plays, five novels, and some 200 short stories, including the popular Father Brown detective series. He wrote over 4000 newspaper essays, including 30 years worth of weekly columns for The Illustrated London News, and 13 years of weekly columns for The Daily News.  He also edited his own newspaper, G.K.’s Weekly.

As one can easily imagine after such an inventory, G.K. Chesterton was always writing—wherever he found himself, and with whatever he could find to write on. So, in the tearoom he scribbled on napkins. On the train, in front of a bank teller, or in the middle of a lecture, he was known to jot hurriedly in a notebook, or even on the cuff of his sleeve.

Chesterton’s eccentric approach to writing, in fact, matched his eccentric approach to life in general. His public image was one out of a Shakespearean comedy. If he were not recognized in the streets of London by the flowing black cape and the wide brimmed top hat he always wore, he was given away instantly by the clamoring of the swordstick he always carried—for nothing more than the romantic notion that he might one day find himself caught up in some adventure where defending himself might become necessary.

He rarely knew, from hour to hour, where he was or where he was supposed to be, what appointment he was to be keeping, or lecture he was to be giving. The story is often told of the time he telegraphed his wife with the note, “Am at Market Harborough. Where ought I to be?” His faithful wife, Frances, wired back, “Home,” knowing it would be most promising for all involved if she could physically point him in the right direction. Chesterton seemed to live out one of his own clever paradoxes: “One can sometimes do good by being the right person in the wrong place.”

In fact, paradox, in more ways than one, is an ample word for G.K. Chesterton. It was one of his favorite things to point out, stir up, and call to mind. He described paradox as “truth standing on its head to gain attention,” and often evoked such jestering truisms throughout his dialog. With declarations bizarre enough to escape defensive mindsets, but with a substance that could blow holes in fortresses of skepticism, G.K. Chesterton, as absentminded as he may have appeared to be, challenged the world to think. With humility, wonder, and genius, Chesterton taught us, in the words of Father Brown, that often it isn’t that we can’t see the solution; it’s that we can’t see the problem.

In his disarming manner, such that even his opponents regarded him with affection, Chesterton exposed the inconsistencies of the modern mindset, the unfounded and unnoticed dogmatism of the unbeliever, and the misguided guidance of the cults of comfort and progress. He marveled that religious liberty now meant that we were no longer allowed to mention the subject, and that “there are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.” To the convicted agnostic he said, “We don’t know enough about the unknown to know that it is unknowable.” To the social Darwinist he said, “It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.”

And to all who would listen, Chesterton devotedly pled the case for Christ: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

To everyone his life affected, and continues to affect, G.K. Chesterton, with and without words, made a boisterous point about delighting in life to the fullest; life that is fullest, first and foremost, because there is someone to thank for making it full. He writes:

You say grace before meals.

All right.

But I say grace before the play and the opera,

And grace before the concert and the pantomime,

And grace before I open a book,

And grace before sketching, painting,

swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;

And grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

Chesterton was a man alive with the gusto of resurrection, the marvel of truth, and the thankful foresight of a coming King among us.

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

Alistair Begg – Liberty from Captivity

Alistair Begg

. . . To proclaim liberty to the captives.

Luke 4:18

No one but Jesus can give deliverance to captives. Real liberty comes from Him alone. It is a liberty rightly granted; for the Son, who is Heir of all things, has a right to make men free.

The saints honor the justice of God, which now secures their salvation. It is a liberty that has been dearly purchased. Christ reveals it by His power, but He bought it by His blood. He makes you free, but it is by His own bonds.

You go clear because He bore your burden for you: You are set at liberty because He has suffered in your place.

Although the purchase price was great, Jesus gives it freely. He asks nothing of us as a preparation for this liberty. He finds us sitting in sackcloth and ashes and invites us to wear the fitting garment of freedom; He saves us just as we are and without any help from us.

When Jesus sets us free, the liberty is perpetually enjoyed; no chains can bind again. Let the Master say to me, “Captive, I have delivered you,” and it is done forever.

Satan may plot to enslave us, but if the Lord is on our side, whom shall we fear? The world, with its temptations, may seek to ensnare us, but He who is for us is mightier than all those who are against us. The movements of our own deceitful hearts may harass and annoy us, but He who has begun the good work in us will bring it to completion in the end. The enemies of God and the antagonists of man may gather their forces together and come with concentrated fury against us, but if God acquits, who is he that condemns?

The eagle that flies to its rocky perch and afterwards soars above the clouds is no more free than the soul delivered by Christ. If we are no longer under the law but free from its curse, let our liberty be practically displayed as we serve God with gratitude and delight. “I am your servant; the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.”1

1 Psalm 116:16

Charles Spurgeon – Comfort for the desponding

CharlesSpurgeon

“Oh that I were as in months past.” Job 29:2

Suggested Further Reading: Galatians 4:11-20

There is such a thing, my dear friends, as your getting into a terribly bad condition through the ministry that you attend. Can it be expected that men should grow in grace when they are never watered with the streams that make glad the city of our God? Can they be supposed to grow strong in the Lord Jesus, when they do not feed on spiritual food? We know some who grumble, Sabbath after Sabbath, and say they can’t hear such and such a minister. Why don’t you buy an ear-trumpet then? Ah! But I mean, that I can’t hear him to my soul’s profit. Then do not go to hear him, if you have tried for a long while and don’t get any profit. I always think that a man who grumbles as he goes out of chapel ought not to be pitied, but whipped, for he can stay away if he likes, and go where he will be pleased. There are plenty of places where the sheep may feed in their own manner; and everyone is bound to go where he gets the pasture most suited to his soul. But you are not bound to run away directly your minister dies, as many of you did before you came here. You should not run away from the ship directly the storm comes, and the captain is gone, and you find her not exactly sea-worthy; stand by her, begin caulking her, God will send you a captain, there will be fine weather by and by, and all will be right. But very frequently a bad minister starves God’s people into walking skeletons, so that you can tell all their bones; and who wonders that they starve out their minister, when they get no nourishment from his ministrations.

For meditation: God provides leaders to build up his people so that they can go on to build up one another (Ephesians 4:11-12). The absence of the leader will show whether the flock can stand on their own feet in the Lord (Philippians 1:27; Colossians 2:5).

Sermon no. 51

25 November (1855)

 

 

 

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – That You May Know

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Death—something to be avoided at all cost. People pray against it. They thank the Lord when He watches over their loved ones and keeps them safe. But everyone knows eventually (unless Christ returns first) that everyone will die. Do you still have hope? Yes, indeed!

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 15:57

In the apostle Paul’s day, some people claimed there was no resurrection. Paul said if there was no resurrection then even Christ didn’t rise from the dead. He then exhorts, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Corinthians 15:22) And John adds, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” (I John 5:13-14)

Pray now, knowing the same God who raised Christ from the dead will answer your prayers in the name of Jesus. Intercede for a spiritual revival in this country and that many people will be saved. And thank the Heavenly Father for your present victory and eternal hope in Christ.

Recommended Reading: I John 5:1-15

 

Greg Laurie – The Unpopular Truth

greglaurie

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. —1 Timothy 2:5

One of the most often-asked question regarding the Christian faith goes something like this: “What about the person who has never heard that Jesus is the only way to God? What about the person in the middle of the jungle who has never heard the gospel?” (They are always in a jungle for some unknown reason—or in the desert.)

The teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to God has never been popular. But maybe it has never been more controversial than it is today. If you want to get someone’s blood boiling, then say that Jesus is the only way to God. The “coexist” bumper sticker on their car will catch fire.

The idea that you would have the audacity to say that Jesus is the only way is, in effect, saying that other religions are not true. That is the way it works itself out, and people don’t like it. It is acceptable if you say that Jesus is a way to God. But when you dare to say that He is the only way, then you can be certain that will have some pushback.

But here is what it comes down to. We have to say what the Bible says, whether it is popular or not. It is not for me to edit the message of the Bible; it is for me, as a Christian, to simply deliver it.

It would be like a doctor’s discovering a very serious problem with a patient’s health, but then being unwilling to say what that problem is, because it might make that patient uncomfortable.

We have to tell people the truth about their real condition, which happens to be sinful, and then seek to save them, which is to point them to Jesus Christ as the only solution.

 

Max Lucado – Stunned by Grace

Max Lucado

I’ve never been surprised by God’s judgment, but I’m still stunned by His grace.

God’s judgment has never been a problem for me. In fact, it always seemed right. Lightning bolts on Sodom. Fire on Gomorrah. Good job, God! Egyptians swallowed in the Red Sea. They had it coming.

Discipline is easy for me to swallow. Logical to assimilate.

But God’s grace? Anything but. Do you need examples? How much time do you have? Peter denied Christ before he preached Christ. Zacchaeus, the crook… the cleanest part of his life was the money he’d laundered. But Jesus still had time for him. The thief on the cross, hung-out to die one minute, heaven-bound and smiling the next.

Story after story. Surprise after surprise! Search the pages. Read the stories! Find one person who came seeking a second chance and left with a stern lecture. Search. You won’t find it.

Charles Stanley – Created to Love

Charles Stanley

Have you ever wondered if your life has a purpose? The Word of God says it does—one that is both noble and desirable: Every believer was created by God to love and be loved.

God loves you personally and individually, without limit or qualification. He desires to shower you with His affection and kindness. Let me assure you of several things:

God’s love is the most important thing we can know about Him.

The very essence of God’s being—in other words, His personality and nature—is love (1 John 4:8). It is the reason Jesus came to earth, lived a victorious life, and then died to restore man’s relationship with the Father (John 3:16). The most important decision we can ever make is to receive this gift of God.

The Lord’s affection is absolute, unwavering, and sacrificial. Moreover, God’s love is not subject to favoritism. He cares for the sinner as much as He does for the saint. In our human pride or our desire to be “somebody special,” we may find that fact difficult to swallow. But God grants love to each person.

The Bible tells us that the rain falls on the just and the unjust, and the sun shines on the righteous and the wicked (Matt. 5:45). This means that with or without faith in God, everyone experiences certain benefits and blessings from Him. But the person who receives Jesus as Savior is in a position to reap the blessings that accompany an outpouring of love into his or her life.

The Lord’s love is not based upon what we do, what we have, or what we achieve. He freely gives it to us simply because we are His creation. You cannot win or earn more of God’s favor—it has nothing to do with performance. Accept and delight in that truth.

The most important response we can make is to reciprocate God’s love.

John said it simply and eloquently: “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19, NKJV). And Jesus said the first and foremost commandment was this: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). The only acceptable response to God’s great outpouring of love toward you is to love Him back.

We can choose to rebel. And while this doesn’t affect God’s nature, it will change us. Those who refuse to acknowledge and receive divine love cut themselves off from great blessing. Not only that, but such individuals typically yield to anger, hatred, and bitterness. To harden one’s heart toward God is the supreme act of rebellion—in doing so, a person hurts himself far more than he hurts others. Humbly receiving God, on the other hand, brings good into one’s life.

Satan constantly tries to convince us that if we follow Jesus, we will have to give up personal freedom, identity, and pleasure. But those who live apart from God’s love inevitably discover their rebellion did not make them any freer. They may not go to jail, but they end up in emotional or psychological prisons—caught in addiction or trapped by feelings of resentment. The longer they live separated from the Lord’s love and mercy, the less pleasure they find in life. In that situation, it is easy to become cynical, jaded, critical, and in the end, apathetic to nearly everything.

But those who embrace and reciprocate God’s love enjoy inner freedom they never imagined. They develop as individuals, discovering hidden talents and abilities. They experience true delight in God’s creation and know the joy of perpetual discovery.

When we choose to love and obey God, we can be sure He will guide us toward doing what will bring about the greatest fulfillment in life.

God’s love is our ultimate reason to hope.

If we know with certainty that God loves us and desires good for our lives, what is there to fear? Hope in Christ is for everyone. It compels us not to remain in a state of dread, doubt, or worry but to seek transformation by the Holy Spirit’s power. Trust encourages us to anticipate God’s best and look for the dawning of a new day.

Our heavenly Father is generous—even extravagant—in His love. Open your heart and let the Lord shower more of His good gifts upon you. You won’t regret yielding your life to Him.

Adapted from “Discover Your Destiny” (1997).

 

Related Resources

Related Video

Loving God

If you ask the average person if he loves God, his answer will probably be “yes.” However, words alone are not proof of love. In fact, we use the word love rather loosely, ascribing it to the most treasured people in our lives as well as our trivial preferences. In this message, Dr. Stanley explains why the Lord should have a prominent place in our hearts and why our love for Him should permeate every area of our lives. (Watch Loving God.)

 

 

Alistair Begg – Abundance in God

Alistair Begg

But there the Lord in majesty will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams.

Isaiah 33:21

Broad rivers and streams” produce fertility and abundance in the land. Places near broad rivers are remarkable for the variety of their plants and their plentiful harvests. God is all this to His Church. Having God she has abundance. What can she ask for that He will not give her? What need can she mention that He will not supply?

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food.”1

Do you want the bread of life? It drops like manna from the sky. Do you want refreshing streams? The rock follows you, and that Rock is Christ.

If you still have any need, it is your own fault; if you are deprived, you are not deprived in Him, but in yourself. “Broad rivers and streams” also point to business.

Our glorious Lord is to us a place of heavenly merchandise. Through our Redeemer we have business with the past; the wealth of Calvary, the treasures of the covenant, the riches of the ancient days of election, the stores of eternity-all come to us down the broad stream of our gracious Lord.

We have business, too, with the future. What ships, laden to the water’s edge, come to us from heaven! What visions we have of a new heaven and a new earth!

Through our glorious Lord we have business with angels-communion with the bright spirits washed in blood, who sing before the throne. Better still, we have fellowship with the Infinite One. “Broad rivers and streams” are specially intended to set forth the idea of security.

Rivers were often a defense. Beloved, what a defense God is to His Church! The devil cannot cross this broad river of God. How he wishes he could turn the current, but do not fear, for God abides unchangeably the same.

Satan may annoy, but he cannot destroy us; no galley with oars shall invade our river, neither will a majestic ship pass through.

1 Isaiah 25:6

 

 

Joyce Meyer – Watch What You Say

Joyce meyer

And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities.

—Hebrews 10:24

I have written in this devotional about the importance of loving people with our words .The carnal (lower, sensual) nature points out flaws, weaknesses and failures. The flesh is quick to talk about the things others do wrong or the mistakes they make. It likes to gossip, and say things like, “Did you hear that So-and-So got fired for being late so many times?” or, “Did you hear that So-and-So’s husband left her for another woman because she nagged him all the time?” The flesh seems to feed on the negatives in life. It sees and magnifies all that is wrong with people and things. But the Bible says in Romans 12:21 that we are to overcome evil with good.

Walking in the Spirit (continually following the prompting or leading, guiding and working of the Holy Spirit through our own spirit instead of being led by our emotions) requires being positive. God is positive, and in order to walk with Him we must agree with Him (see Amos 3:3).

It is easy to find something wrong with everyone, but 1 Peter 4:8 says, “love covers a multitude of sins.” Love does not expose people’s faults and talk about them; it covers them. Believing the best about people and speaking words that build them up is one way of loving them.

Parents, employers, friends, husbands, wives, children—all of us need to make a commitment to love people by saying nice things about people in the privacy of our own thoughts and with the words of our mouths. We need to build confidence in others by speaking well of them. We need to speak positively when talking to them and when talking about them to others. Use your words to bless others and cover their faults and shortcomings.

Love Others Today: Lord, help me to choose my words carefully today.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Everything Belongs to Us

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“Now we are no longer slaves, but God’s own sons. And since we are His sons, everything He has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned” (Galatians 4:7).

In the sense of being under the servitude of sin, you and I are no longer servants or slaves. We are sons, children of God, adopted into His family, and are to be treated as sons.

What a glorious privilege is ours in Christ!

In our exalted position as sons, of course we are to be treated as sons. We are to share God’s favors, His blessings. And as sons, it follows that we have responsibilities – not only to our heavenly Father, but also to other sons (and daughters) in Christ.

All that God has, Paul is saying, belongs to us as well for we are His sons. But there is another side to our exalted position – obedience to the Lord. And His calling is sure: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

If we are following our Lord, we are becoming fishers of men – soul-winners. We are regularly and naturally, as a part of our daily routine, sharing the good news of the gospel with those whose lives we touch.

That does not necessarily mean buttonholing people and making a nuisance of ourselves; it does mean being available for God’s Holy Spirit to speak through us in every conversation as He chooses. It also means being “prayed up,” with no unconfessed sin in our lives.

Bible Reading: Revelation 8:14-17

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With the Power of the Holy Spirit available to me by faith, I will behave like a child of the King – a son of the Most High. I will live a supernatural life for the Glory of God

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – Failing Faith

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He was going to die soon and couldn’t bear the thought of what he imagined was divine disapproval. Living in the “before Christ” period, Hezekiah saw nothing in death but darkness. So he prayed, expressing the conditions as he understood them and asking to live.

The living, the living, he thanks you, as I do this day.

Isaiah 38:19

God heard his prayer, miraculously healed him and added 15 years to his life. For that, Hezekiah praised Him and His faithfulness. This remarkable experience should have caused him to draw so close to the Lord that he would never doubt His love again, but it was not so. He chose to be friends with Babylon, a nation that represented all that was humanly impressive but totally opposed to God.

In light of Hezekiah’s failing faith, examine your own life. Has God brought healing in your life, physically or spiritually, but you’ve neglected to give Him thanks? Are you relying on the Lord and Him only?

Living in the “after Christ” time, you know that, as a believer, death is not darkness but presence with the Lord (II Corinthians 5:8). Give thanks in that. Then intercede for the leaders of this nation that they may rely solely on God and His faithfulness and give Him never ending thanks.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 67

Charles Stanley – Expressing Patience

Charles Stanley

Ephesians 4:1-3

We’re called to demonstrate patience in times of conflict. As believers, we have an obligation to exhibit this quality because God knows there is great power in showing restraint. Our natural tendency is to shout back when we are wrongly accused, but to reflect Christ, we must choose a different path. We should:

• Stay quiet when verbally attacked. A person’s anger can feed our own and lead to a shouting match. Instead, we should allow him to have his say.

• Listen without responding. In our silence, it may be easy to mentally shut out the verbal assault, but we should listen to the other person’s concerns.

• Pray for whoever is attacking. We probably do not feel like praying, but feelings often get in the way of what God would have us do.

• Control our thoughts. It can be tempting to dwell on the injustice of a situation instead of focusing on God and what He thinks of us.

• Control our emotions. We’re to rely on the Holy Spirit to give right responses.

• Be ready to forgive. We are to be patient when wronged and willing to release our hurt (2 Tim. 2:24).

• Speak encouraging words. It’s good to express appreciation when someone brings a concern to our attention—and to ask forgiveness if we’ve made a mistake.

To our human flesh, these practices may seem foolish and ineffective, but in fact, the opposite is true. There’s great power in patience because so few practice it well. Responding rightly makes an impression on non-believers, who’ll notice something in you that they also want.