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Kids 4 Truth International – God Comforts the Fearful

 

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” (Psalm 56:3)

Like many people, Maggie was afraid of the dark. She was afraid of the scary things she couldn’t see in the dark. Maggie shared a bedroom with her sister Kathi, and she made Kathi promise not to go to sleep until after she had fallen asleep so that Kathi could protect her from all of the “scary things” in the room.

For the times that Maggie’s fears were very strong, her mother told her to quote Bible verses and pray. Maggie’s mom said that the Lord promised in His Word that He would calm all of Maggie’s fears. Psalms 56:3 says, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Maggie’s mom explained that God did not want her to be afraid; instead He wanted her to trust Him with all her fears. Maggie followed her mom’s advice and began to see how the Lord was more powerful than anything real or imagined. As she quoted verses, she was reminded of God’s control over everything. As a result, she started being less and less afraid of the dark.

Continue reading Kids 4 Truth International – God Comforts the Fearful

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Another Comforter

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“If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:15,16, KJV).

Some time ago, a young businessman came to see me. He was very eager to be a man of God. He wanted to know the fullness of the Holy Spirit in his life, but he said that every time he got on his knees to pray, all he could see was the merchandise he had stolen from his employer.

“God doesn’t hear my prayers,” he lamented. “I feel miserable and don’t know what to do.”

I suggested he confess his sin to his employer and make restitution.

“I don’t have the money to pay for the merchandise I have stolen,” he said. “What should I do? I’m afraid to tell my employer what I have done. I’m sure he will fire me, and he could send me to jail.”

“The Holy Spirit is convicting you,” I told him. “You can never experience the fullness of God’s Spirit and you’ll never be a man of God or have your prayers answered until you deal with this sin. You must trust the Lord to help you make restitution.”

So the next day he went to his employer, confessed he had stolen the merchandise and offered to make restitution. The employer received him warmly and understanding. He suggested that my friend pay a certain amount each month out of his salary until the debt was paid, which he was more than happy to do. He came immediately to tell me what had happened.

“Now God is hearing my prayers,” he said. “Now I know I am filled with the Holy Spirit. My heart is filled with joy and praise to God.”

Bible Reading: John 14:22-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will remain sensitive and alert for any unconfessed sin that might grieve or quench the indwelling Holy Spirit and hinder His working in and through me, robbing me of the supernatural life which God has commanded and enabled me to live, if only I will trust and obey Him.

 

 

Charles Stanley – Strengthening God’s Church

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

We all want the church to be strong, but false doctrine, apathy, and a lack of discipline work together to diminish the local congregation’s influence in the community and beyond. Paul reveals three ways to strengthen the church.

• Be alert to false doctrine. Nothing will water down a church’s effectiveness more than wrong spiritual beliefs. The world largely approves of immorality and iniquity, and we are bombarded by philosophies that mix truth with a bit of falsehood. Unless firmly planted in God’s Word, believers are susceptible to those lies. Standing firm requires that undiluted Scripture be preached from the pulpit and studied by the flock.

• Appreciate God’s servants. Too often church members criticize their leaders more than encourage them. Pastors and others in authority can certainly make mistakes or fall into sin—they’re human. But they have devoted themselves to helping people hear and understand the Word. The congregation is responsible to show support and love. Those who know God most deeply will appreciate His chosen servant. Likewise, caring for the pastor opens a believer to experience the Lord more and thereby know Him better.

• Accept one another. As a fellowship of believers, we’re to develop a spirit of acceptance and oneness. This principle has nothing to do with performance; rather, it’s based on the fact that God has given each of His children a unique role.

Every local body has great potential because of the believers and gifts God has put together. What step can you take now to start strengthening your church?

 

 

Charles Spurgeon – The Destroyer destroyed

CharlesSpurgeon

“That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Hebrews 2:14

Suggested Further Reading: Genesis 3:1-15

At last the day arrived; it was telegraphed to the court of hell that at last Christ would die. They rung their bells with hellish mirth and joy. “He will die now,” said he; “Judas has taken the thirty pieces of silver. Let those scribes and Pharisees get him, they will no more let him go than the spider will a poor unfortunate fly. He is safe now.” And the devil laughed for very glee, when he saw the Saviour stand before Pilate’s bar. And when it was said, “Let him be crucified,” then his joy knew no bounds, except that bound which his own misery must ever set to it. As far as he could, he revelled in what was to him a delightful thought, that the Lord of glory was about to die. In death, as Christ was seen of angels, he was seen of devils too; and that dreary march from Pilate’s palace to the cross was one which devils saw with extraordinary interest. And when they saw him on the cross, there stood the exulting fiend, smiling to himself. “Ah! I have the King of Glory now in my dominions; I have the power of death, and I have the power over the Lord Jesus.” He exerted that power, till the Lord Jesus had to cry out in bitter anguish, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” But, how short-lived was hellish victory! How brief was the Satanic triumph! He died; and “It is finished!” shook the gates of hell. Down from the cross the conqueror leaped, pursued the fiend with thunder-bolts of wrath; swift to the shades of hell the fiend did fly, and swift descending went the conqueror after him.

For meditation: The powers of darkness enjoyed only an hour of apparent victory over the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 22:53), but it resulted in his victory procession with them on public display as his captives (Colossians 2:15).

Sermon no. 166

6 December (1857)

Presidential Prayer Team; C.H. – Perfect Present

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As Christmas nears, people spend hours online and in stores searching for the perfect gift. Would Sue like a picture frame or turquoise earrings? Should you buy Papa John a pair of leather gloves or frame a picture of the grandkids? Everyone wants to give a gift that lasts – something to be cherished for years to come. Inevitably, though, many of those items will be the wrong size or color and others may break in days. “They just don’t make things like they used to,” you think. “Nothing lasts forever.”

The word of the Lord remains forever.

I Peter 1:25

Or does it? As you shop and open gifts to celebrate the birth of your Savior, remember today’s verse. God’s word “remains forever.” It will not break. It won’t shrink. It always fits. It doesn’t even need batteries.

The Bible is a love letter from God to you. As you shop, cook and attend holiday festivities, take time each day to savor the perfect present from your Heavenly Father. Reflect on His words. Read the story of Christ’s birth with your family. Ask God to speak as you read the Bible, and then pray He’ll help President Obama find wisdom and peace from His enduring, eternal words.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 119:89-96 

 

Joyce Meyer – Defeating Doubt

Joyce meyer

And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.

—Ephesians 6:17

There was a man who was sick and who was confessing the Word over his body, quoting healing scriptures, and believing for his healing to manifest. While doing so, he was intermittently attacked with thoughts of doubt. After he had gone through a hard time and was beginning to get discouraged, God opened his eyes to the spirit world. This is what he saw: a demon speaking lies to him, telling him that he was not going to get healed and that confessing the Word was not going to work. But he also saw that each time he confessed the Word, light would come out of his mouth like a sword, and the demon would cower and fall backward.

As God showed him this vision, the man then understood why it was so important to keep speaking the Word. He saw that he did have faith, which is why the demon was attacking him with doubt. Doubt is not something God puts in us. The Bible says that God gives every man a measure of faith (SEE ROMANS 12:3 KJV).

God has placed faith in our heart, but the devil tries to negate our faith by attacking us with doubt. Doubt comes in the form of thoughts that are in opposition to the Word of God. This is why it is so important for us to know the Word of God. If we know the Word, then we can recognize when the devil is lying to us. Then we can speak the Word and get the upper hand over doubt.

 

John MacArthur – Defeating Death

John MacArthur

“By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones” (Heb. 11:20-22).

Commentator Matthew Henry said, “Though the grace of faith is of universal use throughout the Christian’s life, yet it is especially so when we come to die. Faith has its great work to do at the very last, to help believers to finish well, to die to the Lord so as to honor Him, by patience, hope and joy so as to leave a witness behind them of the truth of God’s Word and the excellency of His ways.”

God is honored when His people die triumphantly. When we’ve lived a life to His glory, and joyfully left the world behind to enter into His presence for all eternity, He is pleased, for “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones” (Ps. 116:15).

Many believers who have dreaded facing death have experienced a special measure of God’s grace that made their final hours the sweetest and most precious of their lives.

Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph are examples of men who faced death with great faith and confidence. Each “died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Heb. 11:13). They hadn’t seen all God’s promises fulfilled, but by faith they passed them on to their children.

These men didn’t have perfect faith. Joseph was exemplary, but Isaac and Jacob often vacillated in their walk with God. Yet each ended his life triumphantly. That’s the reward of all who trust God and cling to His promises.

Like every believer before you, you haven’t seen the fulfillment of all God’s promises. But certainly you’ve seen far more than Isaac, Jacob, or Joseph did. How much more then should you trust God and encourage those who follow you to do the same?

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank God for His marvelous grace, which triumphs over sin and death.

For Further Study:

Read the final words of Jacob and Joseph in Genesis 48:1–49:33 and 50:22-26.

 

 

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – Today’s Blessings

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It’s hard to be saved if you’re not first lost. Similarly, it’s difficult to be thankful if you don’t understand the gift that’s been given to you. When you are self-centered, you tend to be oblivious to everyday blessings and focus on the wrong things.

When he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body…Do this in remembrance of me.”

I Corinthians 11:24

The apostle Paul reprimanded the Corinthians for abusing the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. They had turned the remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice into a potluck dinner where the rich served themselves but left the poor in their congregation hungry and wanting. It was a time to remember what Jesus had done for them…a time for spiritual growth and blessing for all.

Christ came and died for you; it was not His life or His teachings that saved the sinner from sin, but His death and resurrection. In response, the believer should approach the Communion service with an unselfish heart and with great thanksgiving.

The tendency to concentrate on issues that bother you instead of looking to Jesus and seeing today’s blessings – spiritual, physical and material – makes for an ungrateful person. Pray for that not to be true in your life or in the lives of those who lead this nation.

Recommended Reading: Psalm 16

Alistair Begg – By His Sovereign Choice

Alistair Begg

But the Lord’s portion is his people.

Deuteronomy 32:9

How are they His? By His own sovereign choice. He chose them and set His love upon them. He did this completely apart from any goodness in them at the time or any goodness that He foresaw in them.

He had mercy on whom He would have mercy and ordained a chosen company to eternal life; in this way, therefore, they are His by His unconstrained election.

They are not only His by choice, but by purchase. He has bought and paid for them completely, and so there can be no dispute about His title.

Not with corruptible things like silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord’s portion has been fully redeemed.

There is no mortgage on His estate; no lawsuits can be raised by opposing claimants. The price was paid in open court, and the Church is the Lord’s estate forever. See the blood-mark upon all the chosen, invisible to the human eye but known to Christ, for “the Lord knows those who are his.”1

He forgets none of those whom He has redeemed from among men; He counts the sheep for whom He laid down His life and remembers carefully the Church for which He gave Himself.

They are also His by conquest. What a battle He had in us before we would be won! How long He laid siege to our hearts! How often He sent us terms of surrender, but we barred our gates and built our walls against Him.

Do we not remember that glorious hour when He carried our hearts by storm, when He placed His cross against the wall and scaled our ramparts, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of His omnipotent mercy? Yes, we are indeed the conquered captives of His omnipotent love. As those chosen, who have been purchased and subdued, we know that the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: We rejoice that we can never be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do His will and to declare His glory.

1 2 Timothy 2:19

Presidential Prayer Team; A.W. – Anger Displacement

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Have you ever seen an angry camel? They can be fairly feisty: biting, kicking, trampling or spitting. According to David Taylor, a wild animal expert, camel handlers in Asia avoid confrontation with their animal when it becomes mad by giving it their coat. The camel jumps on it, bites it and tears the coat to pieces. The anger is placed on something else, allowing beast and human to live in harmony again.

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away.

Isaiah 12:1

The prophet Isaiah often focused on God’s judgment because of broken harmony between Him and His people due to their rebellion. In today’s verse, however, Isaiah is singing a song of praise and giving thanks because he sees the future where God’s people will be freed from their enemies and their sin.

Have you considered what allows God to live with you in harmony even though He’s angry at your sin? Instead of placing His anger on you, He placed it on Jesus on the cross, making you safe from His wrath. Incredible! As you pray today, thank God for turning His anger from you. Ask that He turn the country’s leader’s hearts toward Him so He might deliver them, too.

Recommended Reading: Hosea 14:1-9

 

Alistair Begg – Everlasting Arms

Alistair Begg

Underneath are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33:27

God-the eternal God-is Himself our support at all times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons when the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God until he hardly knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless.

Well, child of God, remember that when you are at your worst and lowest, even then “underneath” you “are the everlasting arms.” Sin may drag you ever so low, but Christ’s great atonement is still under all. You may have descended into the depths, but you cannot have fallen so low as the uttermost; and He saves “to the uttermost.”1

Again, the Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in sore trial from without. Every earthly prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are “the everlasting arms.”

He cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the covenant grace of an ever-faithful God will still encircle him. The Christian may be sinking under trouble from within through fierce conflict; but even then he cannot be brought so low as to be beyond the reach of the “everlasting arms”-they are underneath him; and, while he is sustained, all Satan’s efforts to harm him achieve nothing.

This assurance of support is a comfort to any weary but sincere worker in the service of God. It implies a promise of strength for each day, grace for each need, and power for each duty.

And, finally, when death comes, the promise will still hold good. When we stand in the middle of the Jordan, we will be able to say with David, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”2

We will descend into the grave, but we shall go no lower, for the eternal arms prevent our further fall. All through life, and at its close, we shall be upheld by the “everlasting arms”-arms that neither flag nor lose their strength, for “the everlasting God . . . does not faint or grow weary.”3

1 Hebrews 7:25 2 Psalm 23:4 3 Isaiah 40:28

Max Lucado – Kindness

Max Lucado

They sat on opposite sides of the room, a man and a woman, bidding on an adorable puppy at a school auction. Others dropped off, but not this duo. Back and forth until they’d one-upped the bid to several thousand dollars.

No longer about a puppy, but about victory. This was the Wimbledon finals, and neither player was backing off the net.  Finally the fellow gave in and didn’t return the bid. Going once, going twice…going three times. Sold!

You know what she did?  Amidst the applause, she walked across the room and presented the puppy to the competition. Suppose you did that with your competition. With your enemy.  Suppose you surprised them with kindness?  Not easy?

No, it’s not. But mercy is the deepest gesture of kindness. Paul equates the two in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

from Lucado Inspirational Reader

Presidential Prayer Team; C.H. – Solid Ground

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The foolish man built his house upon the sand (Matthew 7:26). This biblical wisdom has real world practicality. In 2010, Chile had an earthquake registering a magnitude of 8.8. Japan’s 2011 quake/tsunami combo was a whopping 9.0 on the seismic scale.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.

Hebrews 12:28

As much as architects work to create structures that can endure earthquakes, one of the simplest principles still stands – you must build on a firm foundation. All else is sinking sand. The author of today’s passage knew the difference between things that could be shaken and those that could not. In verse 27, he speaks of how the Almighty Father will shake the heavens and Earth to remove “things that have been made” – cars, houses, money, fame. What remains will be the kingdom of God.

Praise the Lord, for His kingdom cannot be shaken. When national policies change, and you wonder how you will fare when new laws are put into place, take heart. God and His purposes remain unchanged. Pray for stability in America – and wisdom for your leaders – in these uncertain times. Then give thanks for your citizenship in the unshakable kingdom of your Lord.

Recommended Reading: Matthew 7:24-29

 

Presidential Prayer Team; H.L.M. – Total Gift

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Can you imagine life without God’s gift of grace? Unfortunately, many live without it. According to a survey from LifeWay Research, 47 percent of Americans feel the weight of a bad choice from their past, even though a majority believe God gives second chances. Nearly 19 percent believe God gives a second chance when a person depends only on Him, followed closely by when a person makes restitution (18 percent), does enough good (15 percent) or promises not to repeat the mistake (11 percent).

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.

I Corinthians 1:4

Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” The work of salvation is for God’s glory and is not accomplished by human effort. Salvation is fully a gift from God!

Of course, when someone gives you a gift, you say, “Thank you.” So every day thank God for His total gift of grace in your life…and for the second chances He has given you. Thank Him also for the grace He has bestowed on this country. Then pray that the nation’s leaders will discover this priceless gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Recommended Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10

Our Daily Bread — Loved To Love

Our Daily Bread

Deuteronomy 10:12-22

What does the LORD your God require of you, but . . . to walk in all His ways and to love Him. —Deuteronomy 10:12

“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” I saw this quotation, attributed to the Wizard of Oz, on a wall plaque in a gift shop.

The Wizard of Oz may be a good story, but it’s not a reliable source of spiritual information. God said something quite different. According to Him, the greatest commandment is to love—to love Him first and then others (Mark 12:29-31). Scripture says nothing about expecting to be loved in return. In fact, Jesus stated the opposite in His most famous sermon: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matt. 5:11-12).

When it comes to love, the important thing we need to know is this: All love starts with God (1 John 4:19). As Moses told the Israelites, God delighted in them to love them (Deut. 10:15), and because of that they were to love others, even strangers (v.19). God’s intent is that the people who receive His love will become the conduit of His love to others.

Apart from God—who Himself is love—none of us could truly love or be loved (1 John 4:7-8). —Julie Ackerman Link

“Love seeketh not her own,” and so

He did not stay as God above,

But chose a manger and a cross

To show that He was Love. —Wilmshurst

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. —1 John 4:8

Bible in a year: Jeremiah 24-26; Titus 2

Greg Laurie – Another Kind of Courage

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Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. —1 Corinthians 16:13

What is courage? Courage has been defined as bravery. It also has been defined as fear that has said its prayers. Mark Twain said, “Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.” A courageous person is not someone who is fearless. (That is, effectively, a stupid person.) A courageous person is someone who can control his or her fear and then do the right thing. It is overcoming the fear that we naturally have.

We no doubt see courage on display among those who are first responders. Certainly the brave soldiers serving our country display courage every day. And we read periodically of acts of heroism, although I wish we could read more often about them because they happen all the time.

But there are other kinds of courage too. There is moral courage, which is the ability to do right in the face of opposition or discouragement. Having moral courage means being an honest person. It means having integrity. It means that you don’t cheat on the test. You don’t cheat on your taxes. And you don’t cheat on your spouse. Moral courage is honoring the vows you made to your wife or your husband when you said, “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish. . . .”

It also takes courage to follow Jesus Christ. We are living in an ABC culture today: anything but Christ. People are fine with whatever you believe, until you say, “I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe the Bible is the Word of God.” At best you become persona non grata. At worst you are public enemy number one. It takes courage to stand up for Jesus Christ, wherever you are. We need more moral courage today.

 

Joyce Meyer – The Importance of Accepting Yourself

Joyce meyer

And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God.—Ephesians 2:8

In 1718, a young child named David Brainerd was born in Connecticut. David lost his father to death when the boy was only eight years old, and his mother died six years later, when he was fourteen. David inherited a large estate, but that could not compensate for the absence of parental love and affection that are so important to any child’s sense of security and happiness.

Brainerd became a well-known American missionary and a powerful preacher, but he felt an unusual burden of guilt, as though he could have been in some way responsible for his parents’ deaths. As a result, he worked very hard to try to earn God’s love and approval. Biographies note that the Holy Spirit tried to convince Brainerd his sufficiency was in Christ, but that truth was never firmly established in his heart. He would gain some insight into this truth, but then fall back into a performance mentality.

People who have written about Brainerd agree that he exhausted himself trying to please God because he always thought he had to earn God’s love. He tried to please God so much that he wore out his body and became too ill to carry out his ministry or even to pray. The young man with so much ability and potential to do great things for God died of tuberculosis at the age of 29.

Brainerd’s story holds a sobering lesson for all of us. We can love God and serve Him with all our might, but we must also receive His love for us. We must believe that He loves us and accepts us completely—and that we cannot do anything to earn His love or merit His grace. As our verse for today reminds us, our position in God is all because of what He does for us, not what we can do for Him.

Love Yourself Today: Nothing you can do will ever cause God to love or accept you more than He already does, so follow His example: love and accept yourself.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; The Godless Church – Special Report

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Morality In America Atheist congregation expands to U.S.

By Diann Noles

In these days of economic uncertainty, moral depravity and world-wide turbulence, people are looking for purpose and relevancy. For many, this means searching for spiritual meaning through traditional religions. But, for a growing number of people, belief in or reliance on any kind of deity is unthinkable. That’s where Sunday Assembly comes in.

The fastest growing “church” in the world with a growth rate of over 3,000 percent, Sunday Assembly – a godless monthly Sunday service for atheists – is being duplicated this fall in 22 cities throughout the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. Organizers anticipate thousands will gather “to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate the wonder of life with no hope of the hereafter.”

Although the gatherings appear to be more of a social club than a church, Sunday Assembly is modeled after the typical Anglican Church for those who identify with a traditional worship service and comunity bond.

“The church model has worked really well for a couple of thousand years,” Los Angeles camera man Ian Dodd explained in an interview with Salon. “What we’re trying to do is hold on to the bath water while throwing out the baby Jesus.” Dodd will be starting the new Assembly in Los Angeles later this fall.

Founded in January 2013 by stand-up comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, the original church’s motto is: “Live Better, Help Often and Wonder More.” According to the Public Charter of the Assembly, “We are born from nothing and go to nothing. Let’s enjoy it together. [We have] no doctrine… no set texts so we can make use of wisdom from all sources… no deity.”

While beliefs differ throughout the congregation, a sense of community is what draws many people. “When I decided there probably wasn’t a God, it made church a lot more awkward,” Evans – a former Christian – said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I always felt like there wasn’t a place to have that same sort of community. I couldn’t get my head around how to do it without offending anyone.”

“I don’t think religion should have a monopoly on community,” wrote Salon columnist Katie Engelhart after attending a service. “I like the idea of a secular temple, where atheists can enjoy the benefits of an idealized, traditional church – a sense of community, a thought-provoking sermon, a scheduled period of respite, easy access to community service opportunities, group singing, an ethos of self-improvement, free food – without the stinging imposition of God Almighty.”

The rapid expansion of the church is somewhat unexpected. While branches have already been opened in England, Australia and New York City, Jones and Evans didn’t foresee the explosion of interest. “The big surprise is that this has become an international movement so quickly, we didn’t realize how powerful the Internet was with an idea – so that’s been amazing,” Evans said.

“If we do it in London and there are 400 people who come, that’s brilliant, but if we find a way to help hundreds of people to set one up then we can have a bigger impact than we could ever dream of,” Jones told The Guardian, a British daily publication. He said their vision is “a godless gathering in every town, city or village that wants one.” They will be touring the U.S. and Canada in November 2013 with stops in seven U.S. cities.

Jones and Evans are excited to bring their brand of “religion” to the world, and particularly the U.S. When asked about possible backlash, Jones and Evans are optimistic about the end result. “In the States you’ve got a whole load of people who get how good church is, religious people totally get why you’d go to church, they think it’s weird that people don’t,” Jones said. “I don’t expect much objection from religious communities. They are happy for us to use their church model. I think it’s more aggressive atheists who will have an issue with it.”

In your prayer time this week, please pray:

That this atheist movement will fade quickly

That the atheist groups that meet in churches will feel the presence of God and turn to Him

That America’s religious freedoms are not negatively impacted by the atheist groups

Diann Noles is a former editor and writer for Christian publications in Tucson, AZ and Portland, OR. She now serves as Public Relations Director for a major Christian non-profit organization. She and her husband Bill live in Tucson, AZ and have two sons and four grandchildren.

Max Lucado – Behind Bars

Max Lucado

In 1965 Howard Rutledge parachuted into North Vietnam and spent the next several years in a prison in Hanoi, locked in a filthy cell breathing stale, rotten air trying to keep his sanity. Few of us will ever face the conditions of a POW camp.

Yet, to one degree or another, we all spend time behind bars. After half-a-century of marriage, my friend’s wife began to lose her memory.  A young mother called, just diagnosed with Lupus. Why would God permit such imprisonment?  To what purpose?  Jeremiah 30:24 promises, “The Lord will not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the intents of His mind.”

This season in which you find yourself may puzzle you, but it doesn’t bewilder God.  He will use it for His purpose. Please be reminded…You will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This

Max Lucado – God’s Presence

Max Lucado

Depression can buckle the knees of the best of us, and a pastor’s wife is no exception. Years ago my wife, Denalyn, battled depression. Every day was gray.  Her life was loud and busy—two kids in elementary school, a third in kindergarten, and a husband who didn’t know how to get off the airplane and stay home.

The days took their toll. But Denalyn was never one to play games. On a given Sunday when the depression was suffocating, she armed herself with honesty and went to church. If people ask me how I’m doing, I’m going to tell them. She answered each, “How are you” with a candid, “Not well. I’m depressed. Will you pray for me?”  Casual chats became long conversations. Brief hellos became heartfelt moments of ministry. She found God’s presence amidst God’s people! He’s waiting on you, my friend. And He will get through this!

From You’ll Get Through This