Tag Archives: Peace

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

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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.)

 

 

Our Daily Bread — What Time Is It?

Our Daily Bread

Galatians 3:26–4:7

When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son. —Galatians 4:4

The old adage is true: Timing is everything! That’s why Paul’s statement, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” intrigues me so much (Gal. 4:4).

A quick look at history reveals that the coming of Christ was at just the right time. Centuries earlier, Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world, bringing with him the Greek culture and language. On the heels of his demise, the Roman Empire picked up where Alexander left off and expanded the territory under the unifying influence of the culture and language of the Greeks. It was under Roman rule that the crucifixion took place, where the blood of Christ was shed for us. It was under the rule of Rome that conditions were made ready for the spread of the gospel across three continents: good roads, territorial boundaries free of “passport” restrictions, and a unifying language. The providence of God had put all the pieces in place for the perfect time to send His Son.

God’s timing is perfect in everything. While you are waiting, perhaps wondering why God doesn’t seem to be acting on your behalf, remember that He’s working behind the scenes to prepare His moment of intervention at just the right time. Trust Him. He knows what time it is. —Joe Stowell

Lord, in Your infinite wisdom and power, You work

behind the scenes to prepare all things for just the

right time. Teach me to wait well and to trust You

to know when the fullness of time has come.

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work. —Marshall

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1

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

 

 

Charles Spurgeon – The character of Christ’s people

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“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:16

Suggested Further Reading: Leviticus 19:35-37

Look at Jesus’ character; how different from every other man’s—pure, perfect, spotless, even such should be the life of the believer. I plead not for the possibility of sinless conduct in Christians, but I must hold that grace makes men to differ, and that God’s people will be very different from other kinds of people. A servant of God will be God’s man everywhere. As a chemist, he could not indulge in any tricks that such men might play with their drugs; as a grocer—if indeed it be not a phantom that such things are done—he could not mix aloe leaves with tea or red lead in the pepper; if he practised any other kind of business, he could not for a moment condescend to the little petty shifts, called “methods of business.” To him it is nothing what is called “business;” it is what is called God’s law, he feels that he is not of the world, consequently, he goes against its fashions and its maxims. A singular story is told of a certain Quaker. One day he was bathing in the Thames, and a waterman called out to him, “Ha! there goes the Quaker.” “How do you know I’m a Quaker?” “Because you swim against the stream; it is the way the Quakers always do.” That is the way Christians always ought to do—to swim against the stream. The Lord’s people should not go along with the rest in their worldliness. Their characters should be visibly different. You should be such men that your fellows can recognise you without any difficulty, and say, “Such a man is a Christian.”

For meditation: When the Christian thinks to himself “But everybody else does it”, he is thinking of denying Christ (Ephesians 4:17,20).

Sermon no. 78

24 November (Preached 22 November 1855)

 

 

 

John MacArthur – Acknowledging God’s Sovereignty

John MacArthur

 

“By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones” (Heb. 11:22).

God uses your present circumstances to accomplish His future purposes.

Like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joseph was an heir to the covenant promises of God. His hope was firmly fixed on God, and he knew that some day his people would be at home in the Promised Land.

Although he spent all his adult life in Egypt, never seeing the Promised Land for himself, Joseph’s faith never wavered. At the end of his life, he instructed his brothers to remove his bones from Egypt and bury them in their future homeland (Gen. 50:25). That request was fulfilled in the Exodus (Ex. 13:19).

But Joseph’s faith wasn’t in the promises of future events only, for his life was marked by exceptional trust in God and personal integrity. His understanding of God’s sovereignty was unique among the patriarchs. Even though he suffered greatly at the hands of evildoers (including his own brothers, who sold him into slavery), Joseph recognized God’s hand in every event of his life and submitted to His will.

Joseph said to his brothers, “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life . . . and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Gen. 45:5, 7-8). Later, after their father’s death, he reassured them again: “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to . . . preserve many people alive” (Gen. 50:19- 20).

The genius of Joseph’s faith was understanding the role that present circumstances play in fulfilling future promises. He accepted blessing and adversity alike because he knew God would use both to accomplish greater things in the future.

Joseph is the classic Old Testament example of the truth that God works all things together for good to those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). That’s a promise you can rely on too.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Reaffirm your trust in God’s sovereign work in your life.

For Further Study:

Read of Joseph’s life in Genesis 37-50.

 

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.

 

Our Daily Bread — Living Letters

Our Daily Bread

2 Corinthians 3:1-11

Clearly you are an epistle of Christ . . . written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God. —2 Corinthians 3:3

In November 1963, the same day that President John F. Kennedy was shot, another leader died—Clive Staples Lewis. This Oxford scholar, who had converted from atheism to Christianity, was a prolific writer. Intellectual books, science fiction, children’s fantasies, and other works flowed from his pen with a strong Christian message. His books have been used by God in the conversion of many, including a politician and a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

Some are called to tell others about Christ through their writing, but all believers are called to be “epistles,” or letters of Christ, in the way we live. The apostle Paul tells us, “Clearly you are an epistle of Christ . . . written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God” (2 Cor. 3:3).

Certainly Paul does not mean we are actually pieces of paper upon which God’s message has been written. But as living “letters” we can illustrate how Jesus Christ makes a difference in how we treat others and strive to live with integrity.

Few will have the influence that C. S. Lewis did, but we are all called to bring glory to the One who loves us and has redeemed us! —Dennis Fisher

Dear Lord, You have called me to be a witness for You

wherever You have placed me. Every day my life is on

display. Help me to live in such a way that others will

want to know You and the abundant life You offer.

We are Christ’s “letters of recommendation” to all who read our lives.

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 20-21; James 5

Charles Spurgeon – Love’s commendation

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“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 2:5-9

I could almost conceive a parliament in heaven. The angels are assembled; the question is proposed to them: “Cherubim and seraphim, cohorts of the glorified, ye spirits that like flames of fire, at my bidding fly, ye happy beings, whom I have created for my honour! Here is a question which I condescend to offer for your consideration: Man has sinned; there is no way for his pardon but by someone suffering and paying blood for blood. Who shall it be?” I can conceive that there was silence throughout the great assembly. Gabriel spoke not: he would have stretched his wings and flapped the heavens in a moment, if the deed had been possible; but he felt that he could never bear the guilt of a world upon his shoulders, and, therefore, still he sat. And there the mightiest of the mighty, those who could shake a world if God should will it, sat still, because they felt all powerless to accomplish redemption. I do not conceive that one of them would have ventured to hope that God himself would assume flesh and die. I do not think it could have entered even into angelic thought to conceive that the mighty Maker of the skies should bow his awful head and sink into a grave. I cannot imagine that the brightest and most seraphic of these glorified ones would for an instant have suffered such a thought to abide with him. And when the Son of God, rising from his throne, spoke to them and said, “Principalities and powers! I will become flesh, I will veil this Godhead of mine in robes of mortal clay, I will die!” I think I see the angels for once astonished.

For meditation: Man had sinned; man must suffer. Only a real, yet sinless man could take his place; God the Son alone qualified for the task (Romans 8:3).

Sermon no. 104

23 November (1856)

 

John MacArthur – From Jacob to Israel

John MacArthur

“By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped” (Heb. 11:21).

Jacob’s life can be outlined in three phases: A stolen blessing, a conditional commitment, and a sincere supplication.

From the very beginning it was God’s intention to bless Jacob in a special way. But Jacob, whose name means “trickster,” “supplanter,” or “usurper,” tricked his father into blessing him instead of his older brother, Esau (Gen. 27:1-29). As a result, Jacob had to flee from Esau and spend fourteen years herding flocks for his Uncle Laban.

As Jacob traveled toward Laban’s house, God appeared to him in a dream (Gen. 28:10-22) and made him the recipient of the covenant promises first made to his grandfather, Abraham, then to his father, Isaac.

Jacob’s response is revealing, for he “made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God'” (vv. 20-21, emphasis added). Jacob’s conditional vow said in effect, “God, if you’ll give me what I want, I’ll be your man.”

Despite Jacob’s selfish motives, God did bless him, but He humbled him too. By the time he left Laban’s house, Jacob was ready to yield to God’s will unreservedly. Note his change of heart in Genesis 32:10: “I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which Thou hast shown to [me].”

Then the Lord appeared in the form of a man and wrestled with Jacob all night (v. 24). Jacob refused to let Him go until he received a blessing. That wasn’t a selfish request, but one that came from a heart devoted to being all God wanted him to be. That’s when the Lord changed Jacob’s name to “Israel,” which means “he fights or persists with God.”

Like Abraham and Isaac before him, Jacob never saw the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises. Yet on his spiritual journey from Jacob to Israel, from selfishness to submission, he learned to trust God and await His perfect timing.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Pray for grace to consistently pursue God’s will, and patience to wait on His perfect timing.

For Further Study:

Read Jacob’s story in Genesis 27-35.

 

Joyce Meyer – Anger

Joyce meyer

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

We all get angry, but we must be careful to understand why we are angry. Many people who become frequently angry have a root of insecurity in their lives that wipes out their confidence. Those who are easily offended and touchy are insecure. They must be treated well to feel good about themselves. And if not, they get angry.

God never tells us not to feel anger, but He does give instructions on how we process our anger. When we stay angry, we open a door for the devil to work in our lives. Most of the ground gained by Satan in the Christian’s life is gained through bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. People who easily fly into a rage always make a bad landing. When our emotions are out of control, so is our life. Anger makes our mouth work faster than our mind. We end up saying and doing things we are sorry for later.

Staying angry and harboring unkind feelings toward others is disobedience. We must realize sustained anger is sin. If we don’t look at it for what it is, we may be tempted to hang on to it.

Lord, help me to understand my anger and to never let it be sustained and destroy my confidence. May I be quick to forgive others and keep my life in control. Amen.

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Filled With Good Things

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“He fills my life with good things! My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” (Psalm 103:5).

One day a poor woman greatly desired and sought a bunch of grapes from the king’s conservatory for her sick child.

Taking a half a crown, she approached the king’s gardener and tried to purchase the grapes. Rudely repulsed, she made a second effort – with more money. Again she was refused.

Finally, the king’s daughter heard the crying of the woman and the angry words of the gardener. When she inquired into the matter, the woman told her story.

“My dear woman,” said the princess, “you are mistaken. My father is not a merchant, but a king. His business is not to sell, but to give.”

Plucking a bunch of grapes from the vine, she gently dropped it into the woman’s apron.

What a picture of goodness and bounty of our wonderful Lord! He fills our lives with good things, and even as we approach and reach old age, He renews our strength and vigor so that in effect we become young again.

This truth was impressed upon me anew when I reached my 60th birthday in late 1981. Age really did not seem to matter at all; God continues to give liberally – not only all good things that are needful, but also a renewal of strength and vigor for each day and for each task. I seem to have as much strength and energy at 60 as when I was 30 – with far more experience and wisdom.

Bible Reading: Psalm 103:1-8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will dare to believe God is filling my life with good things. Even when a particular thing may not seem good at the moment, I will still praise and thank Him as an expression of my love, gratitude and faith

 

Presidential Prayer Team; J.R. – Thanks In Advance

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The Civil War visited tragedy on every community. One in every four soldiers –some 620,000 in all – never came home. You can imagine the relief and jubilation that swept the nation when the conflict ended. On May 23, 1865, a celebratory “Grand Review” was held in Washington, D.C. “The sight was simply magnificent,” wrote General William Tecumseh Sherman, who had watched his troops march up Pennsylvania Avenue. “The column was compact, and the glittering muskets looked like a solid mass of steel, moving with the regularity of a pendulum. I believe it was the happiest and most satisfactory moment of my life.”

Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession.

II Corinthians 2:14

A greater celebration still awaits believers when Christ leads the “triumphal procession.” All of the heartache and disappointment of the past will be over…forever. In the words of the songwriter Esther Kerr Rusthoi, “It will be worth it all / when we see Jesus / life’s trials will seem so small / when we see Christ.”

No matter how you’re feeling today, go ahead and give thanks to God – in advance! As His child, your future triumph is certain. And pray that others in America, including its political leaders, may also live in the knowledge of Christ’s coming victory!

Recommended Reading: Colossians 3:1-13 `

Greg Laurie – What Every Growing Christian Needs to Know

greglaurie

A father was talking with his daughter and her 5-year-old friend, Kristin, about birthdays. Kristin’s was March 30 and the father’s was March 27. The father said, “You know what Kristin? Our birthdays are three days apart!” She looked up at him and then said, “Yeah, but you grew much faster than I did!”

Why is it that some people grow faster spiritually than others? Why is it that some people make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ and then fall away, while others make a commitment that lasts a lifetime?

It all comes down to doing everything we can to grow spiritually. We need to understand that there is God’s part and there is our part.

The Bible tells us to “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12 NKJV). A more accurate translation of that verse would be, “Carry to the goal and fully complete.” What this means is we are “working out” what God has “worked in.”

But then that scripture goes on to say, “For it is God who works in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.” Clearly there are some things only God can do, and some things only you can do. For instance, only God can save a person. Only God can forgive and forget our sins. Only God can change the human heart.

But at the same time, only I can believe. Only I can repent. Only I can follow.

 

Our Daily Bread — Overshadowed

Our Daily Bread

Luke 1:26-38

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. —Luke 1:35

The assassination of US President John F. Kennedy stunned people around the globe 50 years ago today. The day after the shooting, an article in The Times (London) spoke of the reverberations being felt throughout world financial markets. It carried the headline, “All Other Events Overshadowed by US Tragedy.”

There are times in our lives when a death, a tragedy, or a sudden turn of events eclipses everything else. It happened to an unmarried young woman who was told that she would become the mother of the promised Messiah, God’s Son (Luke 1:26-33). When she asked how this could happen, the angel Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you” (v.35).

The impossibility in Mary’s life was overshadowed not by darkness but by the brightness of God’s glory and power. Her response continues to leave us in awe: “Let it be to me according to your word” (v.38).

In the coming weeks, as we read again the Christmas story and consider the birth of Jesus into our world, it’s worth pondering the word overshadowed. It speaks so powerfully of the Lord’s presence in our hearts and His ability to outshine the darkest moments. —David McCasland

I’m overshadowed by His mighty love,

Love eternal, changeless, pure,

Overshadowed by His mighty love,

Rest is mine, serene, secure. —Ironside

In every situation, we are overshadowed by God’s mighty love and power.

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 18-19; James 4