Tag Archives: nature

Presidential Prayer Team; C.H. – Fair Play

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Imagine an invincible sword – one never to be beaten. Sound like a fantasy-based video game? It’s actually from the annals of history. At the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Boris Onischenko held just such a sword. After registering unbelievable hits in each of his fencing matches, an opponent called foul play. Onischenko was fencing with a tampered sword wired with an electronic device to register a hit…even when he hadn’t touched his opponent! He was expelled from the games and stripped of his medals.

The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:17

The apostle Paul shares in today’s verse about a similar sword, one that will win in any spiritual battle – only this one is fair play. The Word of God is just such a weapon…and while hiding it in your heart will help you live an upright life (Psalm 119:11), God’s Word can actually be used defensively in the ultimate battle: Jesus used the sword of the spirit in His temptation with the devil, saying, “It is written…” then quoted scripture.

You’ve been given a formidable weapon. Ask God to give both you and the Christians in political office wisdom as you use His Word to arm for battle.

Recommended Reading: Matthew 4:1-11

Greg Laurie – By Faith We walk by faith, not by sight. —2 Corinthians 5:7

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The inspired writers of Scripture did not use the phrase walk by faith in a random way. Those three words are there for a purpose. Notice that the Bible doesn’t tell us to sprint by faith; it tells us to walk by faith. To walk speaks of continual, regulated motion. The Bible says Enoch walked with God. Many believers have their bursts of energy. For a few months, they run. Then they collapse for a while. They need to learn what it is to walk with God.

Of course, most of us like things fast. We have microwave dinners, e-mail, cell phones, and instant messaging. We have so much technology to make our lives a little easier and, most importantly, faster. Then, when we come to the Christian life, we say, “All right, what’s the angle? What’s the shortcut?”

Here it is: “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). It’s a day-by-day process.

We are always looking for the angle, for the inside track. But it’s very simple. The Bible declares that the just shall live by faith — not by feeling, not by emotion, not by fear, not by worries — by faith.

I know sometimes that it seems like nothing is happening in terms of our spiritual growth. There are times when we don’t really feel like we are changing, because as we look at ourselves every day, we don’t necessarily see any changes. But as we are walking by faith day by day, month by month, and year by year, we are being transformed.

Colossians 2:6 tells us, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

 

Max Lucado – Sacred Delight

Max Lucado

He should have been miserable.  He should have been bitter. He had every right to be a pot of boiling anger. But he wasn’t. Jesus embodied a stubborn joy!

What is this stubborn joy?  This bird that sings while it’s still dark?  What is the source of this peace that defies pain? I call it sacred delight. What is sacred is God’s!  And this joy is God’s.

Sacred delight is good news coming through the back door of your heart.  It’s the too-good-to-be-true coming true. It’s having God as your lawyer, your dad, your biggest fan, and your best friend.  It’s hope where you least expected it—a flower in life’s sidewalk.

It is sacred because only God can grant it. It is a delight because it thrills. It can’t be stolen.  It can’t be predicted. It is God’s sacred delight!

The Applause of Heaven

Charles Stanley – Why is it wise to wait on God?

Charles Stanley

It is always wise to wait on God. Why?

First, it is wise to wait because God gives clear direction only when we are willing to wait. Remember, we don’t operate like the world operates. Instant gratification of need defines society. But we, as believers, live differently. We don’t take our cues from the world. We take them from God. He will give us clear direction, whether it is guidance for making a move or changing a career or choosing a mate. However, much to the distress of many, He seldom does it quickly. We must wait until He is ready to give direction.

God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Ps. 32:8). We must wait until He is ready to give counsel to us. I know it’s hard. No one ever said it would be easy. However, it is absolutely worth it.

Second, it is wise to wait because God uses that waiting time to get us in step with His timing. Being in step with the Father’s timing gives us a sense of peace. However, when we run ahead of Him, we will constantly be trying to figure out how to make our decisions work. Instead of peace, we will feel the chaos of our choices.

Third, it is always wise to wait because God uses the time of waiting to prepare us for the answer. As earthly parents, we don’t give our children everything they ask for. Sometimes we know that the timing isn’t right. How much more our heavenly Father knows this for His children. He waits until we are able to handle the blessing with grace and trust.

Fourth, it is always wise to wait because waiting strengthens our faith. We might want to say, “Okay, God. I’ve learned as much faith as I care to. You can act now.” But when we realize that God is more interested in our character than in our comfort, waiting is a lot more palatable.

Fifth, it is always wise to wait because God gets our attention and sifts our motives. While waiting and praying for the promotion at work, we have time to think through our motives. Why do we really want that promotion? Do we want it to get more money or so others will think we are powerful? Could it be we want the promotion so we have a greater platform to serve the Lord? If we allow God to sift through our motives, the truth will surface—good or bad. It is amazing what we learn about ourselves through this waiting period.

So it is wise to wait because:

1. He gives clear direction.

2. He gets us in step with Himself.

3. He prepares us for what He has in store for us.

4. He strengthens our faith.

5. He gets our attention and sifts our motives.

Waiting is one of the more difficult things in the Christian life. However, it is never wasted time. God teaches us His path, changes our circumstances, keeps us in step with Himself, prepares us for His answers, and uses times of waiting to sift our motives and strengthen our faith.

The question comes: With all the advantages of waiting, why do we rush ahead as if we don’t have a trustworthy Father? We need to hit the pause button in our lives and take our lives out of the fast forward mode. God will amaze us with what He is doing while we wait on Him and watch Him work.

Adapted from Charles Stanley’s Handbook for Christian Living,” 1996.

 

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When is it wise to wait?

Waiting is one of the more difficult things in the Christian life. However, it is never wasted time. God teaches us His path, changes our circumstances, keeps us in step with Himself, prepares us for His answers, and uses times of waiting to sift our motives and strengthen our faith. (Listen to When is it wise to wait?)

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Adoption

Our Daily Bread

Ephesians 1:3-12

He chose us in Him . . . having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself. —Ephesians 1:4-5

My wife, Marlene, and I have been married for over 35 years. When we were first dating, we had a conversation I have never forgotten. She told me that at 6 months old she had been adopted. When I asked her if she ever wondered about who her real parents were, she responded, “My mom and dad could have selected any of a number of other babies that day, but they chose me. They adopted me. They are my real parents.”

That strong sense of identification and gratitude she has for her adoptive parents should also mark our relationship with God. As followers of Christ, we have been born from above through faith in Him and have been adopted into the family of God. Paul wrote, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:4-5).

Notice the nature of this transaction. We have been chosen by God and adopted as His sons and daughters. Through adoption, we have a radically new relationship with God. He is our beloved Father!

May this relationship stir our hearts to worship Him—our Father—with gratitude. —Bill Crowder

Loving Father, thank You for making me

Your child and giving me a place in

Your family. With a grateful heart, I

thank You for making me Yours.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us. —Augustine

Bible in a year: Genesis 13-15; Matthew 5:1-26

 

Alistair Begg – Take Comfort in God’s Light

Alistair Begg

And God saw that the light was good.

Genesis 1:4

This morning we noticed the goodness of the light, and the Lord’s dividing it from the darkness. We now note the special eye that the Lord had for the light. “God saw the light”–He looked at it with complacency, gazed upon it with pleasure, saw that it “was good.” If the Lord has given you light, dear reader, He looks on that light with peculiar interest; for not only is it dear to Him as His own handiwork, but it is like Himself, for “God is light.”

It is pleasant for the believer to know that God’s eye tenderly observes that work of grace that He has begun. He never loses sight of the treasure that He has placed in our earthen vessels. Sometimes we cannot see the light, but God always sees the light, and that is much better than our seeing it. Better for the judge to see my innocence than for me to think I see it. It is very comfortable for me to know that I am one of God’s people–but whether I know it or not, if the Lord knows it, I am still safe. This is the foundation, “The Lord knows those who are his.” 1

You may be sighing and groaning because of inbred sin, and mourning over your darkness; yet the Lord sees “light” in your heart, for He has put it there, and all the cloudiness and gloom of your soul cannot conceal your light from His gracious eye.

You may have sunk low in despondency, and even despair; but if your soul has any longing toward Christ, and if you are seeking to rest in His finished work, God sees the “light.” He not only sees it, but He also preserves it in you. “I, the Lord, do keep it.” This is a precious thought to those who, after anxious watching and guarding of themselves, feel their own powerlessness to do so. The light thus preserved by His grace, He will one day develop into the splendor of noonday, and the fullness of glory. The light within is the dawn of the eternal day.

1 2 Timothy 2:19

 

Charles Spurgeon – A sermon for the week of prayer

CharlesSpurgeon

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 18:1-8

Continue in prayer once more, because prayer is a great weapon of attack against the error and wickedness of the world. I see before me the strong bastions of the castle of sin. I note the host of men who have surrounded it. They have brought the battering-ram, they have dashed it many times against the gate; it has fallen with tremendous force against it, and you would have supposed that the timbers would be split asunder the first time. But they are staunch and strong; he who made them was a cunning architect, he who depends upon them for his protection is one who knew how to make the gate exceeding massive,—is one who knew the struggle full well which he would have to endure—prince of darkness as he is. If he knew of his defeat, yet well he knew how to guard against it if it were possible. But I see this ponderous battering-ram as it has been hurled with giant force again and again upon the gate, and how as often seemed to recoil before the massive bars. Many of the saints of God are ready to say, “Let us withdraw the instrument. Let us take away the besieging artillery, we shall never be able to storm this castle, we shall never effect an entrance.” Oh, be not craven, sirs, be not craven. The last time the battering-ram thundered in its course, I saw the timbers shake. The very gate did reel, and the posts did rock to and fro; see now they have moved the earth around their sockets. Hell is howling from within because it knows how soon its end must come. Now, Christian warriors, use your battering-rams once more, for the gates begin to shake, and the walls are tottering. They will reel, they will fall before long.

For meditation: Are your prayers stuck in defensive mode as you seek God’s protection? Does your prayer-life ever venture out on the attack? Remember the Saviour’s powerful promise that the gates of hell would be unable to stand up against the advance of his church (Matthew 16:18). May these words before a special week of prayer encourage us to continue in prayer all year round.

Sermon no. 354

5 January (Preached 6 January 1861)

 

 

John MacArthur – Cultivating a Heavenly Perspective

John MacArthur

“God…has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3, emphasis added).

It’s been said that some Christians are so heavenly minded, they’re no earthly good. But usually the opposite is true. Many Christians are so enamored with this present world that they no longer look forward to heaven. They have everything they want right here. The health, wealth, and prosperity doctrine has convinced them that Christians can have it all, and they pursue “the good life” with a vengeance.

Despite the prevalence of such thinking, the old Negro spiritual well says, “This world is not my home. I’m just a passin’ through.”

Paul reminds us of that truth in Philippians 3:20: “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s why we must set our minds on heavenly, not on earthly things (Col. 3:1- 2). Our deepest affections and highest aspirations should center there. Our actions and decisions should reflect heavenly priorities, not earthly indulgences.

Even though we live in a sin-stained world and must constantly fight against its corrupting influences, God hasn’t left us stranded. He extends to us all the rights and privileges of our heavenly citizenship. Let that assurance encourage you today to live to His glory and rely on His heavenly provisions. Take care not to let impure aspirations or trivial pursuits distract you from your heavenly priorities.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Tell Jesus how thankful and full of praise you are because of the place He is preparing for you in heaven (John 14:1-3).

Pray for a greater awareness of the fleeting value of this world and the surpassing value of the world to come (1 John 2:17).

For Further Study:

Read Revelation 4-5, 21

What primary activity are the inhabitants of heaven engaged in?

List some of heaven’s blessings.

 

 

Joyce Meyer – The Invitation

Joyce meyer

What I have forgiven . . . has been for your sakes . . . to keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.—2 Corinthians 2:10–11

Suppose we receive a package from an overnight carrier. After we open it, we stare at a beautiful, oversized envelope, with our name written on it in exquisite calligraphy. Inside, the invitation starts with these words:

You are invited to enjoy a life filled with misery, worry, and confusion.

Which one of us would say yes to such an outrageous invitation? Don’t we seek the kind of life that keeps us free from such pain and distractions? Yet many of us choose such a life. Not that we blatantly make that choice, but we sometimes surrender—even temporarily—to Satan’s invitation. His attack is ongoing and relentless—the devil is persistent! Our enemy bombards our minds with every weapon at his disposal every day of our lives.

We are engaged in warfare—a warfare that rages and never stops. We can put on the whole armor of God, halt the evil one’s advances, and stand fast on the Word of God, but we won’t put a complete end to the war. As long as we are alive, our minds remain Satan’s battlefield.

Most of our problems are rooted in thinking patterns that produce the problems we experience. This is where Satan triumphs—he offers wrong thinking to all of us. This isn’t a new trick devised for our generation; he began his deceptive ways in the Garden of Eden. The serpent asked the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1a). That was the first attack on the human mind. Eve could have rebuked the tempter; instead, she told him God would let them eat from the trees, but not from one particular tree. They couldn’t even touch that tree, because if they did, they would die.

“But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity” (vs. 4–5).

This was the first attack, and it resulted in Satan’s first victory. What we often miss about temptation and the battle our enemy levels against us is that it comes to us deceptively. Suppose he had said to the woman, “Eat of the fruit. You’ll bring misery, anger, hatred, bloodshed, poverty, and injustice into the world.”

Eve would have recoiled and run away. He tricked her because he lied and told her what would appeal to her. Satan promised, “You will be like God. You’ll know good and evil.” What a marvelous appeal to the woman. He wasn’t tempting Eve to do something bad—or at least he phrased it in such a way that what she heard sounded good.

That’s always the appeal of sin or satanic enticement. The temptation is not to do evil or to cause harm or bring injustice. The lure is that we will gain something. Satan’s temptation worked on Eve. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate” (3:6).

Eve lost the first battle for the mind, and we have continued to fight for it since that time. But because we have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can win—and we can keep on winning.

Victorious God, help me resist the onslaughts of Satan, who attacks my mind and makes evil seem good. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – An Infusion of Power

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“Even the youths shall be exhausted, and the young men will all give up. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30,31).

I flew all night from Los Angeles to New York for a very important meeting with the president of one of the major television networks, and after only three hours in New York flew back across the continent to Portland, Oregon, to speak that night at a conference of several hundred pastors.

Every fiber of my being ached with fatigue as I waited for my luggage in the Portland airport. In only 30 minutes I would be speaking to the pastors, yet I felt about as spiritual as a head of cabbage. Suddenly I felt impressed to pray, “Lord, do You have something You would like to share with me?”

Immediately I felt a leading to turn to the 40th chapter of Isaiah. As I read those familiar words, which at that instant had new, inspiring meaning for me, I sensed a surge of strength, energy, and power flow into and through my body. I suddenly felt that I could have thrown my luggage over the building and run to the meeting several miles away.

I could hardly wait to stand before those servants of God and proclaim to them the wonder and majesty, the glory and power, the faithfulness and love of our God. Within a half hour or so, I did have that privilege and God empowered and anointed me for the occasion in a most unusual and marvelous way.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:25-29

Today’s Action Point: As I discover a need for renewed strength today, I will say with the psalmist, “I will go in the strength of the Lord God” (Psalm 71:16a, KJV). I will repeat that solemn declaration throughout the day, and by faith will claim His supernatural strength for my every physical and spiritual need.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – The World’s Priests

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Today’s verse says you “ought always to pray.” The word for “ought” appears no less than 100 times in the New Testament. To the Greeks, it meant a forced compulsion defined by the situation. But Jesus’ explanation revealed that the directive has a much greater implication.

He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

Luke 18:1

It is God’s will that you pray…it is a loving, creative, purposeful will. Its intentions for you promise only hope and a bright future. It is in prayer and in the study of His Word that you are privileged to know Him and His will more.

Charles Spurgeon believed that the Lord’s people are the world’s priests. As such, you can be an intercessor for the needs of those in your midst…the weak who fall into sin or who despair in difficult circumstances, the strong who may grow presumptuous, the sick and the poor. In a world full of idols, wickedness, and people deprived of salvation, the opportunity to pray is constant

Make knowing the Lord your priority in 2014. Study His Word. Intercede for President Obama and the nation’s leaders…that they may know God’s will and do it. Diligently pray and do not lose heart.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 116:1-6, 12-14

Charles Stanley – A Healthy Body

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 6:12, 19-20

We all know there is an undeniable relationship between our health and our ability to reach our full potential. We may labor to have a clean heart, a clear mind, and a balanced schedule, but without a healthy body, we simply cannot do our best. And good health will be

enhanced when we begin to think about our bodies the way God does. In the sixth chapter of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul teaches that our bodies belong to the living God (vv. 19-20). As a result, we all have to make a decision: Am I going to take care of my body, or will I ignore or abuse it?

None of us would walk into church and deliberately make a big mess, smearing red or black paint all over the place. We wouldn’t do that, because we respect the church building as a place where God’s people worship. With that in mind, consider this: The human body, because it is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is far more important than any house of worship that ever existed.

Nevertheless, people often assume that neglecting or mistreating the body is their own prerogative. Whether the issue is substance abuse, abortion, or unhealthy habits, many people will say, “This is my body. I can do with it whatever I want.” But as we read in Scripture, your body is not your possession. Although you can do as you please, you will pay the price for poor decisions. Sin has its consequences, and sin against the body can inflict a penalty that lasts even beyond the present generation. Ask God to help you regard the body as He does so that you will care for it appropriately.

 

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Situation Excellent

Our Daily Bread

Philippians 1:3-14

The things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. —Philippians 1:12

At the First Battle of the Marne during World War I, French lieutenant general Ferdinand Foch sent out this communiqué: “My center is giving way, my right is retreating. Situation excellent. I am attacking.” His willingness to see hope in a tough situation eventually led to victory for his troops.

Sometimes in life’s battles we can feel as if we are losing on every front. Family discord, business setbacks, financial woes, or a decline in health can put a pessimistic spin on the way we look at life. But the believer in Christ can always find a way to conclude: “Situation excellent.”

Look at Paul. When he was thrown in prison for preaching the gospel, he had an unusually upbeat attitude. To the church at Philippi he wrote, “I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Phil. 1:12).

Paul saw his prison situation as a new platform from which to evangelize the Roman palace guard. In addition, other Christians became emboldened by his situation to preach the gospel more fearlessly (vv.13-14).

God can use our trials to work good in spite of the pain they bring (Rom. 8:28). That’s just one more way He can be honored. —Dennis Fisher

Comfort us, Lord, when life’s trials assail—

we fail and stumble so often. Renew us, and

help us to grow so that others may also

know Your goodness and comfort.

Trials can be God’s road to triumph.

Bible in a year: Genesis 10-12; Matthew 4

 

Alistair Begg – God’s Foreknowledge of Us

Alistair Begg

And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

Genesis 42:8

This morning our desires went forth for growth in our acquaintance with the Lord Jesus; it may be well tonight to consider a kindred topic, namely, our heavenly Jesus’s knowledge of us. This was most blessedly perfect long before we had the slightest knowledge of Him. “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”1

Before we had a being in the world we had a being in His heart. When we were enemies to Him, He knew us, our misery, our madness, and our wickedness. When we wept bitterly in despairing repentance, and viewed Him only as a judge and a ruler, He viewed us as His brethren well beloved, and His heart yearned toward us. He never mistook His chosen but always beheld them as objects of His infinite affection.

“The Lord knows those who are his”2 is as true of the prodigals who are feeding pigs as of the children who sit at the table.

But, sadly we did not know our royal Brother, and out of this ignorance grew a host of sins. We withheld our hearts from Him and allowed Him no entrance to our love. We mistrusted Him and gave no credit to His words. We rebelled against Him and paid Him no loving homage.

The Sun of Righteousness shone forth, and we could not see Him. Heaven came down to earth, and earth perceived it not. Let God be praised, those days are over with us; yet even now what we know of Jesus is small compared with what He knows of us. We have only begun to study Him, but He knows us altogether.

It is a blessed circumstance that the ignorance is not on His side, for then it would be a hopeless case for us. He will not say to us, “I never knew you,” but He will confess our names in the day of His appearing, and meanwhile will show Himself to us as He does not to the world.

1Psalm 139:16

22 Timothy 2:19

Charles Spurgeon – A mighty Saviour

CharlesSpurgeon

“Mighty to save.” Isaiah 63:1

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 7:23-28

Remember the case of John Newton, the great and mighty preacher of St. Mary, Woolnoth,—an instance of the power of God to change the heart, as well as to give peace when the heart is changed. Ah! dear hearers, I often think within myself, “This is the greatest proof of the Saviour’s power.” Let another doctrine be preached: will it do the same? If it will, why not let every man gather a crowd round him and preach it? Will it really do it? If it will, then the blood of men’s souls must rest upon the man who does not boldly proclaim it. If he believes his gospel does save souls, how does he account for it that he stands in his pulpit from the first of January till the last of December, and never hears of a harlot made honest, nor of a drunkard reclaimed? Why? For this reason, that it is a poor dilution of Christianity. It is something like it, but it is not the bold, broad Christianity of the Bible; it is not the full gospel of the blessed God, for that has power to save. But if they do believe that theirs is the gospel, let them come out to preach it, and let them strive with all their might to win souls from sin, which is rife enough, God knows. We say again, that we have proof positive in cases even here before us, that Christ is mighty to save even the worst of men—to turn them from follies in which they have too long indulged, and we believe that the same gospel preached elsewhere would produce the same results. The best proof you can ever have of God’s being mighty to save, dear hearers, is that he saved you.

For meditation: Does the church today lack the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:29) because the church is ashamed of the fullness of the gospel, which is God’s power to save all who believe (Romans 1:16)?

Sermon no. 111

4 January (1857)

 

John MacArthur – Understand Your Spiritual Resources

John MacArthur

“God…has blessed us with every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3, emphasis added).

The story is told of a wealthy London businessman who searched many years for his runaway son. One afternoon he was preparing to board a train to London when he spotted a man in ragged, dirty clothing begging money from passengers along the station platform. His first impulse was to avoid the beggar but there was something strangely familiar about him.

When the beggar approached and asked if he could spare a few shillings, the businessman realized he had found his long-lost son. With tears in his eyes and joy in his voice he embraced his son, crying, “A few shillings? You are my son–everything I have is yours!”

That pictures many Christians who are ignorant or negligent of their spiritual resources. They are children of the King, yet live like spiritual paupers.

Paul repeatedly emphasized our sufficiency as believers. In Colossians 2:10 he declares that in Christ “you have been made complete.” In Philippians 4:13 and 19 he says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” and “my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Peter added that God’s “divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3).

The word translated “spiritual” in Ephesians 1:3 speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit. Every blessing you receive, whether material or immaterial, has God as its source.

As a Christian, you possess every spiritual resource you need to fulfill God’s will for your life. You needn’t pray for more love, for example, because His love is already poured out in your heart through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). The same is true of joy (John 15:11), peace (John 14:27), strength (Phil. 4:13)–and every other resource you need. The key to spiritual progress and victory is learning to apply what you already have, not seeking more.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for His abundant spiritual resources.

Ask Him to help you apply them with wisdom and consistency.

For Further Study:

Read Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:6-8

What specific promises does God make in those passages?

What does He require of you?

 

 

Joyce Meyer – Watch Your Words

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

Your life is greatly impacted by the words that have been spoken to you. Likewise, your words impact the lives of those around you— for better or for worse. That’s a sobering thought. Many people have been crippled with insecurity because their parents spoke words of judgment, criticism, and failure to them. These wounded people can be healed by receiving God’s unconditional love, but it takes time to overcome the wrong image they have of themselves.

That’s why it is important to use your words for blessing, healing, and building up instead of for cursing, wounding, and tearing down.

If you’ve been wounded by words, be quick to receive God’s unconditional love. Let Him heal any unhealthy images you may have of yourself. If you have been fortunate enough to escape such damage, determine that your words will bring blessing and healing to others.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Anything at All

dr_bright

“Yes, ask anything, using my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:14).

“What is the most important thought your mind has ever entertained?” someone once asked Daniel Webster, one of the greatest intellects in American history.

“My accountability to God,” he replied.

In John 14:14 we find a marvelous promise, one that surely gives ample reason for our accountability to God!

Yet, in the face of those overwhelming words, most Christians do not live joyful and fruitful lives. Why? Because they have a limited view of God. Most of us sit at God’s banquet table of blessing and come away with crumbs – simply because of our lack of knowledge of God and faith to trust and obey Him.

Nothing is so important in the Christian life as understanding the attributes of God. No one can ever begin to live supernaturally and have the faith to believe God for “great and mighty” things if he does not know what God is like, or if he harbors misunderstandings about God and His character.

Would you like to live a joyful, abundant and fruitful life – every day filled with adventure? You can!

What is God like to you? Is He a divine Santa Claus, a cosmic policeman, a dictator or a big bully? Many people have distorted views of God and as a result are afraid of Him because they do not know what He is really like.

Our heavenly Father yearns for us to respond to His love. It is only as we respond to a scriptural view of God that we are able to come joyfully into His presence and experience the love and adventure and abundant life for which He created us and which He promised us.

Bible Reading: Mark 11:22-26

Today’s Action Point: I will meditate upon John 14:14 throughout the day, and I will claim His provision for a need I have or know that someone else has.

 

 

 

 

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Hang in There

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A famous poster features a cat hanging in a precarious position with the caption, “Hang in there, Friday’s coming!” That poster has been redone in many forms since its debut 40 years ago, using other cute animals from birds to orangutans. Believers in Christ need encouragement at one time or another, too. They need a poster that says, “Hang in there. Jesus is coming!”

Through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:4

The first part of Romans 15 is a “hang in there” Scripture. Paul says God’s Word and perseverance combine to give you hope. He orders believers to help each other and be more concerned for others than themselves. He advises the church at Rome to accept each other and live in harmony.

The determination with which Christians study the Bible and treat each other with kindness will have a lot to do with how well they can “hang in there.” At this time of the year, you may be thinking of goals. Aim to be more considerate of the people the Lord has put in your life, praying for them – and for the leaders and citizens of this nation as well – to find their hope in God!

Recommended Reading: I John 4:7-19

 

Greg Laurie – God’s Dynamite

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Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News — and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power. —1 Corinthians 1:17

There is explosive power in the message of the gospel because Paul says, “It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes . . .” (Romans 1:16, NLT). The word power that Paul used in this verse originates from the Greek word dunamis. It is the same word Jesus used in Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power [dunamis] when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere” (NLT). The English words dynamic, dynamo, and dynamite also have been translated from this word dunamis. Paul was saying the very message of the gospel is the dynamite and dynamic of God.

We often underestimate the raw power of the gospel in reaching even the most hardened heart. We think we need to add to it, dress it up, make it ultracontemporary, gloss it over, or even complicate it. But there is distinct power in the simple message of the life, words, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Never underestimate its appeal. Never be ashamed of its simplicity. Never add to it or take away from it. Just proclaim it, and then stand back and watch what God will do. As Paul said, “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18, NLT).