Tag Archives: spirituality

Denison Forum – Waiting for the Mueller Report and examining five cultural lies: Is your Savior your Lord?

America is waiting for the redacted version of the Mueller Report to be published later this morning. We will not be able to read the report in its entirety since it contains information that was presented to a grand jury and is therefore subject to secrecy rules.

In addition, intelligence officials will redact information that could compromise sensitive sources and methods or hamper other current investigations. And the Justice Department will redact information it believes unfairly infringes on the privacy of “peripheral third parties” and damages their reputations.

What difference, then, will the report make?

Not much in the minds of most voters, apparently. A recent survey found that the report “may not change the minds of many Americans about the president. Barring a bombshell revelation, voters are likely to view the report through the prism of their partisan identities.”

Five lies that explain our culture

Pick a subject, from the president to abortion to gender identity to the environment. Can you think of a single significant issue on which Americans are largely agreed?

What is causing our nation’s cultural divides to grow ever deeper and more vitriolic?

Writing for the New York Times, columnist David Brooks offers some diagnoses of our cultural condition that merit significant attention and personal application. His bottom line: “We’ve created a culture based on lies.” Five of them, to be specific.

Here they are:

One: Career success is fulfilling. Brooks notes that such success “alone does not provide positive peace or fulfillment. If you build your life around it, your ambitions will always race out in front of what you’ve achieved, leaving you anxious and dissatisfied.”

Two: I can make myself happy. This is the lie of self-sufficiency and the deception that happiness is an individual accomplishment. By contrast, “happiness is found amid thick and loving relationships. It is found by defeating self-sufficiency for a state of mutual dependence. It is found in the giving and receiving of care.” Continue reading Denison Forum – Waiting for the Mueller Report and examining five cultural lies: Is your Savior your Lord?

Charles Stanley – Standing in the Storm

 

Psalm 62:1-8

“What am I going to do?” How many times have we all uttered this cry of despair? Sometimes the storms of life come without letup; they seem endless, successively crashing against us until we feel as though we can’t take any more. In those times of desperation, Psalm 62 offers three valuable lessons.

First, we must wait. It’s understandable that we want answers and relief immediately, but the Lord acts in His own perfect time, and He’s never late. Therefore, we must wait for Him to guide us to the next step—even when that means resisting our natural desire to react quickly and take control of circumstances.

Second, we must wait in silence. When we quiet our mind and tongue, we give God an opportunity to speak His words of hope and trust to our heart. Instead of letting anxiety and worry occupy our thoughts, we must focus on God’s promises from Scripture. Then He will give us patience, trust, courage, and the assurance that He cares and is in control.

Third, we must keep in mind the motivation for this waiting—God’s intervention. Our focus is to be on the Lord, not on our troubles, ourselves, or other people. We must learn to filter out whatever is pulling our attention away from trust in almighty God, who is working according to His will and timing.

When the storms of life batter you, make sure that your feet are planted on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. Do not despair, asking, What am I going to do? Rather, ask, What is God doing? And be assured—He is doing something.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 10-12

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Flourishing Like a Flower

 

Bible in a Year:2 Samuel 1–2; Luke 14:1–24

The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field.

Psalm 103:15

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 103:13–22

My youngest grandson is only two months old, yet every time I see him I notice little changes. Recently, as I cooed to him, he looked up at me and smiled! And suddenly I began crying. Perhaps it was joy mixed with remembering my own children’s first smiles, which I witnessed so long ago, and yet it feels like just yesterday. Some moments are like that—inexplicable.

In Psalm 103, David penned a poetic song that praised God while also reflecting on how quickly the joyful moments of our lives pass by: “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone” (vv. 15–16).

But despite acknowledging the brevity of life, David describes the flower as flourishing, or thriving. Although each individual flower blossoms and blooms swiftly, its fragrance and color and beauty bring great joy in the moment. And even though an individual flower can be quickly forgotten—“its place remembers it no more” (v. 16)—by contrast we have the assurance that “from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him” (v. 17).

We, like flowers, can rejoice and flourish in the moment; but we can also celebrate the truth that the moments of our lives are never truly forgotten. God holds every detail of our lives, and His everlasting love is with His children forever!

By Alyson Kieda

Today’s Reflection

In what way can you flourish in this moment? How can you bring joy to another?

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Looking Forward

 

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” — Revelation 21:5

Adapted from the resource Closer to God Each Day Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

So many people live miserable lives because they are conflicted and feel burdened about the mistakes of their past. If you have been unhappy or discouraged because of the things that have happened in your past, I encourage you to change your thinking and set your focus in a whole new direction. Determine to be what God wants you to be, to have what God wants you to have, and to receive what Jesus died to give you.

Your new life in Christ means that you have been completely forgiven of all your sins. God has wiped your slate clean and taken up residence in your heart. You can let the past go and begin to get excited about your future.

When you feel discouraged, say, “I am not going to live in bondage anymore. I cannot do anything about what I have done in the past, but I can do something about my future. I am going to enjoy my life and have what Jesus died for me to have. I am going to let go of the past and go on pursuing God from this day forth!”

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift from God.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for new beginnings and for making all things new. Please help me to let go of the past and embrace the good plan You have for my future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Listens and Answers

 

“Mark this well: The Lord has set apart the redeemed for himself. Therefore He will listen to me and answer when I call to Him” (Psalm 4:3).

My 93-year-old mother has known and walked with the Lord since she was 16. In all the years that I have known her, now more than 60, I have never known her to say an unkind or critical word or do anything that would be contrary to her commitment to Christ, made as a teenage girl.

Hers has been a life of prayer, study of God’s Word and worship of Him. The radiance and joy of her godly life has inspired not only her husband and seven children, but also scores of grandchildren and great and great-great grandchildren, and thousands of neighbors and friends.

A few days ago I invited her – for the hundredth time, at least – to come and live with us, knowing that all the rest of the children have made similar invitations. She responded, “No, I prefer to live alone. But I am not really alone, for the Lord Jesus is with me, comforting me, giving me His peace and assurance that He will take care of me.”

So she spends her days in prayer, in study of the Word and in being a blessing to all who enter her home, as the love of God flows through her. Only eternity will record the multitudes of lives that have been transformed through her godly example and her dedicated prayers of intercession.

Surely every Christian needs a daily engagement – with priority claim over everything else – to meet the Lord in the secret place if his life is to be a benediction to others.

Bible Reading: Psalm 5:1-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I recognize that if I am going to live a supernatural life, I must set aside time which will take priority over every other consideration. Only a genuine emergency will take precedence over such an engagement of prayer, study of God’s Word, worship and praise of my wonderful Lord.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – An Eleventh Hour Gift

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

“We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done one thing wrong.”  These words were spoken on Skull’s hill by a thief.  After a life of crime, he’s reached the bottom—a crossbeam and three spikes.  He begins to wonder who Jesus might be, and he hears the whisper, “Father, forgive them.”

When the other criminal hurls an accusation at Jesus, this thief defends him.  His statement includes facts that anyone needs to recognize to come to Jesus.  We are guilty and he is innocent.  He is not on that cross for his sins.  He is there for ours.  And Jesus performs the greatest miracle of the cross—the miracle of forgiveness.  “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”  A sin-soaked criminal is received by a blood-stained Savior.  Such is the definition of grace.

Read more Six Hours One Friday

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Home

Denison Forum – Buying a T. rex and restoring Notre Dame: Our quest for legacy

 

Would you pay $2.95 million for a baby Tyrannosaurus rex?

The sixty-eight-million-year-old skeleton was discovered in Montana in 2013 by Alan Detrich and his brother. Detrich loaned the fossil to the Kansas University Natural History Museum, then decided to put it up for sale on eBay. Paleontologists warn that the bones are incomplete and shattered in parts. “The asking price is just absurd,” one said.

In other financial news, French President Emmanuel Macron made a televised address yesterday stating that he hopes to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral within five years. “That’s what the French expect; that’s what our history deserves,” he stated. As of this morning, nearly $1 billion has been raised for the project.

Building cathedrals and taking selfies

There’s something about us that wants to own, build, or achieve something of significance that outlives us.

We purchase artifacts and other iconic objects of historic value. We erect massive cathedrals that stand long after those who build them. Those of us with lesser gifts as engineers and builders trace our initials in tree trunks and on concrete. We etch the names of those we love on tombstones made of rock.

And we want to memorialize not just our lives but also our memories and will pay a high price to do so.

Sydney Monfries was just weeks from graduation at Fordham University in New York when she died Sunday after falling from the iconic campus clock tower. She was trying to take a picture of the Bronx under moonlight.

Andrea Norton, a twenty-year-old college student from South Dakota, died last Saturday when she fell one hundred feet off a cliff in Arkansas. She had been taking a group photo with her friends.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Buying a T. rex and restoring Notre Dame: Our quest for legacy

Charles Stanley – God’s Voice Then and Now

 

Genesis 12:1-7

To understand how God may be speaking to us today, we should first examine how He spoke in the past. What made His voice so clear to the heroes of faith?

In the Old Testament accounts, one of the primary ways God spoke to people was by direct revelation. That is, He communicated one-on-one, directly to their spirit. This is what we see in His conversations with Abraham, for instance (Gen. 12:1-3).

Then, of course, the Lord also spoke through His Word. This included the Ten Commandments and the law of Moses, which made it possible for people to know and obey the divine will (Ex. 20:1-26).

Another way that God communicated was through circumstances. For example, think about His interaction with Gideon, who was frightened and needed some extra encouragement (Judg. 6:36-40). The Lord graciously answered his request for a special physical sign of divine presence.

The New Testament mentions more of God’s communication methods. His message can come through angels or the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:19-21; Acts 8:29). There were occasions when God spoke audibly, such as at Paul’s dramatic salvation experience on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:1-19).

Through these various methods, the Lord has continually reassured His people that He cares for them and is present at their side. This is certainly much-needed encouragement for our lives. Yet God may not choose to convey a message in the same way He’s done in the past. However, we know His voice is always clear in His Word when we’re willing to listen.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 8-9

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Celebrating Creativity

 

Bible in a Year:1 Samuel 30–31; Luke 13:23–35

God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures.”

Genesis 1:20

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Genesis 1:1–21

A rarely seen jellyfish waltzed with the currents, four thousand feet deep in the ocean near Baja, California. Its body shone with fluorescent shades of blue, purple, and pink, bright against the backdrop of black water. Elegant tentacles waved gracefully with each pulsing of its bell-shaped hood. As I watched the amazing footage of the Halitrephes maasi jellyfish on the National Geographic video, I reflected on how God chose the specific design of this beautiful, gelatinous creature. He also fashioned the other 2,000 types of jellyfish that scientists have identified as of October 2017.

Though we acknowledge God as Creator, do we slow down long enough to truly consider the profound truth revealed in the first chapter of the Bible? Our amazing God brought forth light and life into the creatively diverse world He crafted with the power of His word. He designed “the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems” (Genesis 1:21). Scientists have discovered only a fraction of the wondrous creatures the Lord created in the beginning.

God also intentionally sculpted each person in the world, giving purpose to every day of our lives before we drew our first breaths (Psalm 139:13–16). As we celebrate the Lord’s creativity, we can also rejoice over the many ways He helps us imagine and create with Him and for His glory.

By Xochitl Dixon

Today’s Reflection

What creative gifts has God given to you? How might you use them for His glory?

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Struggle of Salvation

For Christians, this week is the holiest of all weeks. And yet, it is holy in a most ironic way. In this week, Christians around the world seek to remember and commemorate the final days and hours of the life of Jesus. Beginning with Maundy Thursday and traversing through the horror of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Christians seek to comprehend and remember the passion of Jesus in his suffering prior to celebrating his resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.

His final hours were spent in prayer. Yet the Gospel of Luke tells us that there was nothing unusual about him being in prayer: “And he came out and proceeded as was his custom to the Mount of Olives…and when he arrived at the place…he withdrew from them…and knelt down and began to pray.”(1) As was his custom, he would go to pray. We do not often hear the content of these prayer times, but in this case, in these final hours, we see him gripped with passion. Luke tells us that he was in such agony that his sweat “became like drops of blood.” Jesus had never been in this much distress before—even in his wilderness testing—we have no other portrait of such extreme duress in prayer.

“And being in agony he was praying very fervently,” Luke says. I’ve often wondered about the nature of these agonized prayers. Was Jesus in agony over the physical torture and death he was about to endure? Was he in agony over his disciples; one who would betray him and the others who would all abandon him in his time of need? Certainly, the latter is a real possibility as he exhorts his disciples at least twice to watch and pray that you might not enter into temptation (Luke 22:40; 46). I’m sure he prayed fervently because of both of these reasons.

Whatever the reason for his agony, Jesus’s humanity was on full display in his prayer. He did not want to walk the path that was unfolding before him, and he pleads with God to provide an alternative path, a “plan B” as it were. Matthew’s gospel reveals more of his struggle. He tells his disciples, “I am deeply grieved, to the point of death.” Then he prays to God, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but your will be done” (Matthew 26:38-39). The way of suffering unfolded before him and he would go to his death, despite his anguished prayers for another way.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Struggle of Salvation

Joyce Meyer – God’s Vision for You

 

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,” says the LORD, “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource Battlefield of the Mind Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

God’s plan for the people of the nation of Israel was only for their good. Yet they wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years on what was actually an 11-day journey. Why? Was it their enemies, their circumstances, the trials along the way, or something entirely different that prevented them from arriving at their destination in a timely manner?

God called the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt to go to the land He had promised to give them as a perpetual inheritance—a land that flowed with milk and honey and every good thing they could imagine, a land in which there would be no shortage of anything they needed—a land of prosperity in every realm of their existence.

But the Israelites had no positive vision for their lives—no dreams. They knew where they came from, but they did not know where they were going. Everything was based on what they had seen in the past or what they could presently see. They did not know how to see with “the eye of faith.”

We really shouldn’t view the Israelites with astonishment because most of us do the same thing they did. We keep dealing with the same problems over and over again. The disappointing result is that it takes us years to experience victory over something that could have and should have been dealt with quickly.

I come from a background of abuse. My childhood was filled with fear and torment, and my personality was a mess! I built up walls of protection to keep people from hurting me, not realizing that while I was locking others out, I was also locking myself in. I was filled with fear and believed that the only way I could face life was to be in control so no one could hurt me.

As a young adult trying to live for Christ and follow the Christian lifestyle, I knew where I had come from, but I did not know where I was going. I felt that my future would always be marred by my past. I thought, How could anyone with a past like mine ever be all right? It’s impossible!  

But Jesus had a different plan. He said, The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me . . . to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity] (Luke 4:18 AMPC).

Jesus came to open the prison doors and set the captives free—and that included me. However, I did not make any progress until I started to believe that I really could be set free. I had to get rid of my negative thinking and replace it with a positive vision for my life. I had to believe that neither my past nor my present could determine my future. Only then could Jesus free me from the bondage of my past—and free me, He did. What a marvelous miracle!

You may have had a miserable past; you may even be in current circumstances that are very negative and depressing. You may be facing situations that are so bad it seems you have no real reason to hope. But I say to you boldly: Your future is not determined by your past or your present!

Most of the generation the Lord called out of Egypt never entered into the Promised Land. Instead, they died in the wilderness. To me, this is one of the saddest things that can happen to a child of God—to have so much available and yet never be able to enjoy any of it.

Start believing that God’s Word is true. Mark 9:23 assures you that with God all things are possible. Because you serve a God who created everything you see out of the unseen realm (see Hebrews 11:3), you can give Him your nothingness and watch Him go to work on your behalf. All you have to do is have faith in Him and believe His Word—He will do the rest!

Prayer Starter: Dear Father, I thank You for loving me and having a vision—a good plan—for my life. I pray that You will help me overcome any negative thoughts of problems, past or present, that come against my mind, and make my life what You want it to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – A Healthy, Growing Body

 

“Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times – speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly – and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of His body, the church. Under His direction the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:15-16).

I am concerned, as you no doubt are, that God’s ideal church, in which the whole body is fitted together perfectly, becomes a reality. And if that is to happen, it will mean that I must become a part of that perfect fit.

Within the body of Christ, each of us has a unique function. True, two people might have similar functions just as a body has two hands that function similarly. But those two hands are not identical. Just try to wear a lefthand glove on your right hand!

The hands have similar functions, not identical functions. You and I might have similar abilities, but we are not identical. We are unique creations of God.

Therefore, we should not look upon our abilities with pride or be boastful of them. On the other hand, we should not be envious or look with disdain on others because of their different abilities.

Spiritual gifts include (1 Corinthians 12): wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues, apostleship, teaching, helping, and administration; (Romans 12, additional): leadership, exhortation, giving and mercy.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:7-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  So that I might fit more perfectly into God’s whole body, I will prayerfully seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit to enable me to make a maximum contribution to the body of Christ.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – You Can Come Home

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

 

What do you do when your failures suck the sandy foundation of your future out from under you?  Well, you can blame the world.  Failure invites finger pointing and buck passing.  You are the victim, and the world is your enemy.  A second option is to continue playing the games.  We are masters of the masquerade.  And, well with time, the real self is forgotten.

Or you can do what the prodigal son did.  You can come home.  When Jesus told this parable of the loving father, I wonder, did he use his hands?  Later he stretched his hands as open as he could.  He forced his arms so wide apart that it hurt.  And to prove that those arms would never fold and those hands would never close, he had them nailed open.  They still are my friend.

Read more Six Hours One Friday

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Home

Denison Forum – The fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral cannot destroy the church

The fire that devastated the historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was an accident, according to the president of the Paris region. Donors have already pledged millions of dollars to rebuild the medieval landmark, one of the most iconic in the world.

The Cathedral was begun in 1163 with the laying of the cornerstone and largely completed by 1345. The cathedral towers are both 226 feet tall. They were the tallest structures in Paris until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889.

Around four hundred firefighters battled the blaze for nine hours before extinguishing it. The cathedral’s iconic spire fell, but the towers were saved.

People in Paris lined the streets as the cathedral burned, praying and holding vigils for the monument.

The “emotion of an entire nation”

The Notre Dame Cathedral is a significant metaphor for religion in our times.

Continue reading Denison Forum – The fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral cannot destroy the church

Charles Stanley – How to Seek the Lord

 

Psalm 105:1-7

Although Scripture tells us to seek the Lord, many Christians struggle with this command. Some are so distracted by other interests and responsibilities that God is only a miniscule part of their goals and desires in life. When confronted with their responsibility to pursue Him, they often feel guilty but don’t know how to begin.

When desire for the Lord surpasses our eagerness for other pursuits, following through becomes more natural. But hunger for the Lord can be like an acquired taste. The more we pursue Him, the greater our hunger will be. However, if we ignore Him, what little appetite we have will diminish even further. Do you find that the latter describes your experience? If so, ask the heavenly Father to whet your appetite for Him—and follow through by making the effort to seek Him.

Begin with the Scriptures and prayer. Set aside time each day for meditating on God’s Word—listen for His voice, slowly digest what you read, talk to the Lord, ask Him questions, and apply what you learn to your life. Begin studying the Bible. Some of you may say, “I’ve never been into that.” My advice: Get into it! The deep things of God don’t just drop into our brains; they are placed there through diligent study.

Seeking anything requires time and effort. Will you invest your life in the pursuit of the Eternal One—the source of all contentment, joy, and hope? Or will you go after that which is fleeting? By neglecting the Lord, you cheat yourself of all the benefits He promises to those who diligently seek Him.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 6-7

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — The Marks of Friendship

 

Bible in a Year:1 Samuel 27–29; Luke 13:1–22

You are my friends if you do what I command.

John 15:14

Today’s Scripture & Insight:John 15:9–17

As a little boy growing up in Ghana, I enjoyed holding my father’s hand and walking with him in crowded places. He was both my father and my friend, for holding hands in my culture is a mark of true friendship. Walking along, we would talk about a variety of subjects. Whenever I felt lonely, I found consolation with my father. How I valued our companionship!

The Lord Jesus called His followers friends, and He showed them the marks of His friendship. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you,” He said (John 15:9), even laying down His life for them (v. 13). He showed them His kingdom business (v. 15). He taught them everything God had given Him (v. 15). And He gave them opportunity to share in His mission (v. 16).

As our Companion for life, Jesus walks with us. He listens to our heartaches and our desires. When we’re lonely and downhearted, our Friend Jesus keeps company with us.

And our companionship with Jesus is tighter when we love each other and obey His commands (vv. 10, 17). As we obey His commands, we will bear “fruit that will last” (v. 16).

Walking through the crowded alleys and dangerous roadways of our troubled world, we can count on the Lord’s companionship. It’s a mark of His friendship.

By Lawrence Darmani

Today’s Reflection

What does it mean for you to be a friend of Jesus? How has He revealed His presence to you?

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Decomposition of God

“God is dead,” declares Nietzsche’s madman in his oft-quoted passage from The Gay Science. Though not the first to make the declaration, Nietzsche’s philosophical candor and desperate rhetoric unquestionably attribute to its familiarity. In graphic brushstrokes, the parable describes a crime scene:

“The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. ‘Whither is God,’ he cried; ‘I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I! All of us are his murderers…Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder?…Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.”(1)

Nietzsche’s atheism, unlike many contemporary atheistic mantras, was not simply rhetoric and angry words. He recognized that the death of God, even if only the death of an idol, introduced a significant crisis. He understood the critical role of the Christian story to the very underpinnings of European philosophy, history, and culture, and so understood that God’s death meant that a total—and painful—transformation of reality must occur. If God has died, if God is dead in the sense that God is no longer of use to us, then ours is a world in peril, he reasoned, for everything must change. Our typical means of thought and life no longer make sense; the very structures for evaluating everything have become unhinged. For Nietzsche, a world that considers itself free from God is a world that must suffer the disruptive effects of that iconoclasm.

Herein, Nietzsche’s atheistic tale tells a story beneficial no matter the creed or conviction of those who hear it. Gods, too, decompose. Nietzsche’s bold atheism held the intellectual integrity that refused to make it sound easy to live with a dead God—a conclusion the new atheists are determined to undermine. Moreover, his dogged exposure of idolatrous conceptions of God wherever they exist and honest articulation of the crises that comes in the crashing of such idols is universal in its bearing. Whether atheist or theist, Muslim or Christian, the death of the God we thought we knew is disruptive, excruciating, tragic—and quite often, as Nietzsche attests, necessary.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Decomposition of God

Joyce Meyer – Unoffended

 

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. — Proverbs 19:11

Adapted from the resource Wake Up to the Word Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

One of our first responses when someone hurts or offends us can be to pray: “God, I choose to believe the best. My feelings are hurt, but You can heal me. I refuse to be angry; I refuse to be offended.” It’s important to be firm in your determination that you will not be offended because offense is a trap that pulls us away from God, His people, and His principles.

The word offense comes from the Greek word skandalon. A skandalon was the part of an animal trap that held the bait; its purpose was to lure a victim. Offense is bait that will lure us into a trap of full-blown bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness.

When you are tempted to be offended, choose to forgive right away. Don’t give the bitterness you feel a chance to take root in your life. Choosing to live without offense is one of the wisest choices you can make. If you need to forgive someone, today is the best day to do it!

Prayer Starter: Father, please show me any areas where I may be harboring bitterness or offense. Help me learn to be quick to forgive and hard to offend. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Rich Storehouse 

 

“However, Christ has given each of us special abilities – whatever He wants us to have out of His rich storehouse of gifts” (Ephesians 4:7).

Roger and Len read a popular book on spiritual gifts. Instead of being blessed, they were distressed. They came for counsel.

“What is our gift?” they pleaded, as though I had the ability to immediately discern God’s supernatural provision for them.

“First of all,” I explained, “you should not be exercised over the undue emphasis on gifts, which has been of somewhat recent origin. For centuries, until recent times, men did not make a great deal of that particular emphasis in the Word of God.

“The emphasis was on the authority of the Scripture, the lordship of Christ, the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Great servants of God were mightily used as preachers, missionaries, teachers and godly laymen, without ever being made particularly aware that spiritual gifts were something that needed to be emphasized. The feeling was, ‘Whatever God calls me to do, He will enable me to do, if I am willing to surrender my will to Christ, study the Word of God, obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, work hard and trust God to guide me.'”

I gave them my own testimony of how, though I had been a Christian for more than 30 years and God had graciously used my life in many ways – sometimes my preaching, other times my teaching or administrative gifts, or in the area of helps – I quite honestly did not know my spiritual gift nor did I seek to “discover” my gift. I was very content to know, with the apostle Paul, that I could do all things through Christ who strengthened me, who keeps pouring His power into me. I showed them a quotation from a book on gifts, in which a famous Christian leader declared that for 25 years he had believed he had a particular gift but recently had cause to question whether he possessed it, and concluded finally that he did not.

My word to you, then, as to Roger and Len, is not to be distressed if you do not know your gift. Simply continue to walk in faith and obedience, make Christ the Lord of every part of your life, be sure you are filled with the Spirit, and hide the Word of God in your heart daily.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  For the rest of my life I shall seek the Giver and not the gift, depending upon Him to give me the necessary wisdom and ability and whatever else is needed to accomplish the task which He has called me to do. I shall share this concept with other Christians who are confused over the matter of spiritual gifts.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Behold the Redeemer From Heaven

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

For some, Jesus is the Rabbit’s Foot Redeemer—a good luck charm used to get you out of a jam.  For many he’s an Aladdin’s Lamp Redeemer— Your wish is his command.  For others, Jesus is a Game Show Redeemer— Let’s make a deal! Few demands; no challenges; and no need for sacrifice or commitment.

That’s not the Redeemer described in the New Testament.  And that’s not the Redeemer seen by the frightened woman who was caught in the act of adultery.  The leaders were going to stone her, but Jesus intervened.  If we could somehow transport her to Calvary she would recognize his hands—hands that still hold no stones.  She would recognize his voice, “Father, forgive them…”  And she would recognize his eyes; the eyes that saw her not as she was, but as she was intended to be. Behold!  The Redeemer from Heaven.

Read more Six Hours One Friday

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Home