Tag Archives: Truth

Joyce Meyer – Exercising Authority

Joyce meyer

For it is disgraceful for a woman to talk in church [for her to usurp and exercise authority over men in the church].

—1 Corinthians 14:35

Part of the problem in Corinth was that women may have been usurping authority over men, which is a wrong attitude that some women who teach or preach can develop. They may think their position allows them to exercise authority over people. I cannot be responsible for what other women do, but as for me, I can honestly say that when I teach God’s Word, I don’t see myself exercising authority over men or women.

I use the gift of communication that God has given me to fulfill the call on my life to teach. I want to help people understand God’s Word so they can easily apply it to their daily lives. When I hold a public meeting, I believe I have authority over that meeting and that I am responsible to keep order, but I have never felt that I was taking authority over people. It is difficult to know exactly what was going on when Paul wrote this letter, but we cannot take this verse to mean that women were forever forbidden to speak in church. We must look at all of the other Scriptures that clearly indicate that God regularly used women.

Lord, I am not interested in having authority over any other person, but I do want the confidence that comes from having the authority of Your Word working in and through my life. Amen.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Strength and Peace

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“He will give His people strength. He will bless them with peace” (Psalm 29:11).

Scott, a professing atheist with the morals of an alley cat, insisted that he had peace in his heart. Though rare, it is possible for people to harden their hearts so much that God ceases to draw them to Himself, and they experience a counterfeit peace.

The psalmist, of course, is talking about a different kind of peace. Ocean voyagers in the storm are at peace because they know the ship is sound and the pilot is skillful. In the same way, we as believers are at peace because we serve God who gives His people strength and blesses them with peace.

“His people,” of course, refers to those who have placed their trust and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior. None other may claim such a wonderful promise.

Significantly, “strength” comes before “peace.” This is God’s strength: “Who would certainly fail without it. Then this very same strength results in peace, God’s peace “that passes all understanding.”

God’s strength enables us to contend with the powers of darkness, within the world and within our own natural depravity.

Peace, the great blessing of the gospel is two-fold:

Peace with God through Christ, and

Peace of mind.

Strength and peace to live the abundant, supernatural life is available to all His people. You may claim your share today by faith.

Bible Reading: Psalm 71:9-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:> Those two great blessings, strength and peace, will be mine today in direct proportion to my faith and trust in Him, who is my peace.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; P.G. – Beyond Measure

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Setting her giant bowl before her, Grandma reached into the flour sack and took out handfuls of whiteness. She then added a couple scoops of sugar, salt poured from the hollow of her palm, and numerous shakes from the cinnamon can – ingredients never measured, but combined in just the right amounts. When her snickerdoodles emerged fresh, soft and thick from the oven, they seldom had the chance to cool before being snagged by eager hands.

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

John 1:16

The Bible says God measures out His grace: “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7) Romans 12:3 reads, “For by the grace given…each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Does the Lord dole out His grace to you by holy handfuls? Or does He carefully measure: this for you, that for another? He’s likely more like Grandma….reaching into His own immeasurable fullness and lavishing you with grace and more grace. Favor. Blessings. Goodness. Love.

In this season of cookie baking and gift giving, remember the greatest of all gifts – the grace given to you by God’s only Son Jesus. Reflect on America’s need to again accept that immeasurable grace, one person at a time…starting with the nation’s leaders.

Recommended Reading: Romans 8:28-39

Charles Stanley – Caution with Spiritual Gifts

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 12:14-30

Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians addressed a problem in the church. People valued only certain gifts and were focused on who had which ones. Believers with the “better” gifts were esteemed above others, while those with “lesser” abilities weren’t considered as important. Spiritual pride was rampant, which is a problem that can still occur in the church today. We should remember:

Caution #1—God doesn’t give every person the same gift. Each believer receives at least one endowment according to the Spirit’s purposes and choosing. While we are all called to be merciful, some are given the gift of mercy. Their remarkable ability to minister to the hurting and outcasts of society can be explained only through the Holy Spirit.

Caution #2—We can’t tell others, “You should have this gift.” It is God’s business to decide who has which ability. Consider, for example, the gift of faith. When we encounter believers struggling with doubt, we should not criticize them for what they lack. Rather, we should encourage them toward greater faith.

Caution #3—We must not place undue value on certain gifts. All of them are important and necessary to the body. We are to discover which gifts the Holy Spirit has given us and should be content with His decision.

In our zeal to follow Christ, we sometimes view giftedness as a way to assess one’s salvation, spiritual maturity, or importance in the church. We should let go of false ideas about the value of divinely given abilities and celebrate the unique gifting of each individual believer.

 

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Attending To Our Words

Our Daily Bread

Psalm 66:10-20

Certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. —Psalm 66:19

A week after C. S. Lewis died in 1963, colleagues and friends gathered in the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford, England, to pay tribute to the man whose writings had fanned the flames of faith and imagination in children and scholars alike.

During the memorial service, Lewis’ close friend Austin Farrer noted that Lewis always sent a handwritten personal reply to every letter he received from readers all over the world. “His characteristic attitude to people in general was one of consideration and respect,” Farrer said. “He paid you the compliment of attending to your words.”

In that way, Lewis mirrored God’s remarkable attention to what we say to Him in prayer. During a time of great difficulty, the writer of Psalm 66 cried out to God (vv.10-14). Later, he praised the Lord for His help, saying, “Certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer” (v.19).

When we pray, the Lord hears our words and knows our hearts. Truly we can say with the psalmist, “Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!” (v.20). Our prayers become the avenue to a deeper relationship with Him. At all times, even in our hours of deepest need, He attends to our words. —David McCasland

My Savior hears me when I pray,

Upon His Word I calmly rest;

In His own time, in His own way,

I know He’ll give me what is best. —Hewitt

We always have God’s attention.

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2

 

Alistair Begg – Much More Than This

Alistair Begg

And Amaziah said to the man of God, ‘But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?’ The man of God answered, ‘The Lord is able to give you much more than this.’

2 Chronicles 25:9

This seemed to be a very important question for the king of Judah, and possibly it is of even more significance for the tried and tested Christian. To lose money is never pleasant, and when it involves principle, we are not always ready to make the sacrifice. “Why lose what could be put to good use? Is it not possible to pay too much for truth? Remember the children and our small income!”

All these things and a thousand more would tempt the Christian to participate in dishonest gain or prevent him from carrying out his conscientious convictions when they involve serious loss. Not everyone views these matters in the light of faith; and even with the followers of Jesus, the idea that “we all have to live” carries quite a bit of weight.

“The LORD is able to give you much more than this” is a very satisfactory answer to the anxious question. Our Father holds the funds, and what we lose for His sake He can repay a thousandfold.

Our part is to obey His will, and we may rest assured that He will provide for us. The Lord will be no man’s debtor in the end.

Christians know that an ounce of contentment is more valuable than a ton of gold. The person wearing a threadbare coat over a good conscience has found a spiritual treasure far more desirable than any he may have lost.

God’s smile and a dungeon are enough for a true heart; His frown and a palace would be hell to the trusting soul.

Let the worst become worse still, let all the talents go, we have not lost our treasure, for that is above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. In the meantime, even now the Lord makes the meek to inherit the earth, and He keeps back nothing that is good from those whose walk is blameless.

 

 

Charles Spurgeon – Manasseh

CharlesSpurgeon

“Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:13

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 1:18-25

It takes ten thousand times more faith to be an unbeliever than to be a believer in God’s revelation. One man comes to me and tells me I am credulous, because I believe in a great First Cause who created the heavens and the earth, and that God became man and died for sin. I tell him I may be, and no doubt am very credulous, as he conceives credulity, but I conceive that which I believe is in perfect consistency with my reason, and I therefore receive it. “But,” saith he, “I am not credulous—not at all.” Sir, I say, I should like to ask you one thing. You do not believe the world was created by God. “No.” You must be amazingly credulous, then, I am sure. Do you think this Bible exists without being made? If you should say I am credulous, because I believe it had a printer and a binder, I should say that you were infinitely more credulous, if you assured me that it was made at all, and should you begin to tell me one of your theories about creation—that atoms floated through space, and came to a certain shape, I should resign the palm of credulity to you. You believe, perhaps, moreover, that man came to be in this world through the improvement of certain creatures. I have read that you say that there were certain monads—that afterwards they grew into fishes—that these fishes wanted to fly, and then wings grew—that by and by they wanted to crawl, and then legs came, and they became lizards, and by many steps they then became monkeys, and then the monkeys became men, and you believe yourself to be cousin ape to an orang-utan. Now, I may be very credulous, but really not so credulous as you are.

For meditation: If Manasseh, the greatest of idolaters (2 Chronicles 33:3), could be converted and worship the one true God, your most ardent evolutionist neighbours or colleagues can be converted and worship the God who created them!

Sermon no. 105

30 November (1856)

 

 

John MacArthur – An Unlikely Heroine

John MacArthur

“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace” (Heb. 11:31).

Our final Old Testament hero of faith is an unlikely addition to the list. Not only was she a prostitute, she also was a Gentile–and a Canaanite at that.

The Canaanites were an idolatrous, barbaric, debauched people, infamous even among pagans for their immorality and cruelty. Yet in the midst of that exceedingly wicked society, Rahab came to faith in the God of Israel.

Joshua 2:9-11 records her confession of faith to the two men Joshua had sent into Jericho as spies: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And when we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (emphasis added).

Rahab demonstrated the genuineness of that profession by risking her life to hide the spies from the king of Jericho, who sought to capture them.

Because Rahab lied to protect the spies (vv. 4-5), some people question the validity of her faith. Surely genuine believers wouldn’t lie like that–or would they? Abraham did. Sarah did. Isaac did. Jacob did. But the important thing to understand is that God honored their faith, not their deception.

As with all the heroes of faith before her, Rahab’s faith wasn’t perfect, nor was her knowledge of God’s moral law. But because she trusted God, she was spared during Jericho’s conquest, then given an even greater honor. She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, the great-great-grandmother of David, thereby becoming an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5).

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for receiving even the vilest sinner who turns to Him in faith.

For Further Study:

Read all about Rahab in Joshua 2:1-24, 6:22-25, and James 2:25.

 

 

Joyce Meyer – God Loves Us Enough to Change Us

Joyce meyer

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

—Psalm 91:15

God uses His refining fire to change us and make us into the people He wants us to be. I realize that it isn’t easy to change. I have been studying God’s Word for more than thirty years, and I still have to work at many things and allow God to change me in certain ways. I’m still not where I need to be, but I thank God I’m not where I used to be.

If we become stubborn or unwilling to repent when God’s refining fire comes to reveal a behavior that needs to be changed in us, then love gets stubborn. Let me explain. We know that God is love, and He is a jealous God. He doesn’t want anything in us to occupy the place that belongs to Him. And love, God Himself, will be jealous enough and stubborn enough to stick with us until He gets His way. Love (God) will show us things we don’t want to see in order to help us be what we need to be.

Fire devours all impurities and leaves all that remains ablaze for God’s glory. A lot of the old Joyce Meyer has been burned up in God’s refining fire over the years. It definitely has not been easy, but it definitely has been worth it.

God’s refining fire may come to you in different ways. You may have a nudge in your heart to stop doing something and start doing something else; you may feel convicted as He speaks to you through His Word; or you may hear from His Spirit directly in your spirit. However it comes, God will bring His refining fire to your life. When it comes, don’t resist it, but trust God and let the fire work.

God’s word for you today: God is changing you daily and today you are better than you were yesterday.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Peace and Joy

dr_bright

“Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).

Don and Ann wanted with all their hearts to please the Lord and worked at being victorious Christians. They diligently kept their quiet time and memorized Scripture, and they were faithful in church attendance. They did everything right. But as they said, “Even though we’ve claimed the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith and tried to understand and apply identification truths [in which they sought to identify themselves with Christ, his crucifixion, burial and resurrection,] we just don’t seem to be enjoying the Christian life. There’s something missing.”

“In Philippians 4,” I told them, “you will find a surefire spiritual formula for victory in the Christian life. Just allow the Holy Spirit to make this passage a reality to you and apply the following as He enables you:

As an act of your will, decide that you’re going to be full of the joy of the Lord. You are the one who decides whether you’re going to rejoice or be discouraged and sad. Demonstrate before all men an unselfish, considerate attitude. Remember that the Lord can come at any moment, and be prepared.

Do not worry about anything.

Pray about everything.

Thank Him in faith for His answers.”

The results of practicing these steps is the most priceless and wonderful experience one can know, the supernatural peace of God that cannot be purchased or acquired in any other way. In order to succeed in this formula for supernatural living, of course, you must already be studying the Word of God, applying its truths to your life daily, living in the power of the Holy Spirit and sharing your faith in Christ with others.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 12:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today, as an act of my will, I shall claim the supernatural resources of God by faith and continue to experience and share the abundant life which is the heritage of all who trust and obey Him

Presidential Prayer Team; J.R. – Pester Power

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Last holiday season the British charity Mother’s Union proposed a ban on one of the most enduring Christmas traditions: the Christmas list. Parents should ditch the list, the charity said, because they create disappointment at what should be a time of happiness for all the family. The charity’s research showed that a majority of parents had been pressured into buying gifts beyond their budgets or inappropriate for the child’s age. Noting the influence of “pester power” on her son from relentless advertisers, one supporter of the campaign noted that “the world just seems full of people wanting to make money out of him.”

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers.

Philemon 1:4

Too often, your prayers are little more than Christmas lists in which you pray for the things you want while forgetting the blessings God has already given. The apostle Paul was imprisoned when he wrote his epistle to Philemon, but look at the focus of his prayer: he was expressing gratitude, not soliciting gifts.

Today as you pray for America’s leaders and the concerns of the day, balance your petition with words of thanks for the blessings already received – especially for friends who, like Philemon, have brought “much joy and comfort” to your life. (Philemon 1:7)

Recommended Reading: John 15:9-17

 

 

Greg Laurie – Are You a Lukewarm Person?

greglaurie

Have you ever eaten something that turned your stomach? This is exactly how Jesus feels about lukewarm people.

Jesus uses this phrase in Revelation 3 when He says to the church of Laodicea, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15–16 NKJV). Some churches make the Lord weep; others make Him angry. The Laodicean Church made him sick.

What does this mean for us? Keep in mind that these words are for believers today. So the question is, are you spiritually hot, cold, or lukewarm? Don’t answer that too quickly, because the lukewarm person is often the last to know.

Why is being lukewarm such an issue? G. Campbell Morgan wrote “There is more hope for the man outside the church in all his coldness than for the man within the church who is near enough its warmth to appreciate it and far enough from its burning heat to be useless to God and man. There is a greater chance for the nonbeliever who has NOT heard the gospel than the man who has become an evangelized nonbeliever.”

Let’s make sure that we are not lukewarm spiritually.

 

 

Charles Stanley – The Gifts of the Spirit

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 12:1-13

God has prepared work for His children to do, and He equips us through spiritual gifts. Let’s examine three passages of Scripture that talk about these divinely bestowed abilities.

In Ephesians 4, Paul discusses the gifts that represent the offices of the church (v. 11). The Spirit manifests these capabili- ties in those He has chosen. He expects them to be used “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (v. 12 NIV).

In 1 Corinthians 12, the spiritual gifts are considered in regard to their function for the greater good—the Spirit of God gives these capabilities in order to bless the body of Christ. If we do not identify our gift and fulfill our role in the functioning of the church, then we are of little use, much like a broken hand or a plugged-up ear. The Lord has a purpose in mind for our service, and without us, our church will lack something.

Lastly, in Romans 12, Paul deals with how believers are to express their gifts. For example, those with the gift of giving are to give generously. If one has been bestowed with mercy, it is to be dispensed cheerfully. And leadership should be exercised with diligence (v. 8). God’s family benefits not only from the gifts but also from the way they are used.

Living in the power of the Holy Spirit means identifying and employing our spiritual gifts as He directs. We will find both the motivation and confidence we need for service when we operate in them. Do you know yours? If not, then seek godly counsel and become a blessing to others.

 

 

 

Our Daily Bread — First Impressions

Our Daily Bread

1 Samuel 16:1-7

For man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. —1 Samuel 16:7

As I shopped for groceries one day, I was perceived as a thief by one person and a hero by another.

As I exited the supermarket, an employee said, “Excuse me, Sir. There are too many unbagged items in your cart.” This is evidently a strategy used by shoplifters. When he saw that they were products too big to be bagged, he apologized and sent me on my way.

In the parking lot, a woman glanced at my gold embroidered sportsman’s cap. Mistaking it for a military hat, she said, “Thank you for defending our country!” Then she walked away.

The supermarket employee and the woman in the parking lot had each formed hasty conclusions about me. It’s easy to form opinions of others based on first impressions.

When Samuel was to select the next king of Israel from the sons of Jesse, he too made a judgment based on first impressions. However, God’s chosen was not any of the older sons. The Spirit told Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature” (1 Sam. 16:7). God chose David, the youngest, who looked least like a king.

God can help us view people through His eyes, for “the Lord does not see as man sees; . . . the LORD looks at the heart” (v.7). —Dennis Fisher

If we could view through eyes of faith

The people we meet each day

We’d quickly see God’s gracious hand

In all who come our way. —D. DeHaan

First impressions can often lead to wrong conclusions.

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 35-36; 2 Peter 1

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Accolades of Worth

Ravi Z

There are a great many companies that think very highly of you and all that you deserve. You deserve the best. You deserve a vacation. You deserve to splurge on this because you’re worth it. Even in the midst of economic downturn, flattery remains one of the most effective psychological drivers that compounds debt. In a HSBC Direct survey during one such downturn, forty-two percent of the consumers interviewed said they had splurged on themselves in the past month despite hardship. Twenty-eight percent cited their reason for the splurge as simply “because I deserve it.”(1)

Of course, each of us who has ever bought into the idea that L’Oreal thinks I am worth it or BMW believes I deserve the ultimate driving experience probably realizes that we have done exactly that: we have bought the idea, paid for both the product and the flattering suggestion. No one is giving away these things because they think we are worth it; their flattery is quite literally calculated. In effect, it’s not that they think so highly of us, so much as that they want us to think highly of ourselves. Whether we see through the empty sycophancy or not, Geoff Mulgan believes it is working: “‘[B]ecause you’re worth it’ has come to epitomise banal narcissism of early 21st century capitalism; easy indulgence and effortless self-love all available at a flick of the credit card.”(2) The enticing words are an invitation to reward ourselves, and it just so happens we agree that we’re worth it—and they are glad.

There is of course much that can be drawn from reflecting on the intemperate desires of a consumer culture, and the Christian season of Advent, as some attempt to consider desire and its delay, provides the space and invitation to do so. The days before Christmas present the world with an opportunity to question the psychological drivers of empty flattery and consumer seduction. And while the worldview of a consumer may not be as easily kept in check as our shopping lists, the message of the incarnation gives a startling commentary on a similar kind of compliment, but a very different transaction. Choosing to become human, Christ has indeed proclaimed our worth. But there is nothing required to accept the unfathomable gesture of a God who takes on flesh.

Accepting the accolade proclaimed in Bethlehem does, however, confront the very banal narcissism that epitomizes our numbed consumer hearts. When it comes down to it, we may find that we in fact prefer the consumer transaction that tells us that being human is about what we can buy. We may find that there is something comforting and familiar in paying for our sense of worth and value. We might find it baffling to accept the idea that something deemed a gift could come to us fragile and broken. Or maybe it is the personal nature of his humanness that we find altogether unnerving—namely, he was not simply born a child in first century Bethlehem, he was born a child in first century Bethlehem for you. It is far easier to accept an empty compliment.

Yet in these days of Advent, we are given good reason to try out the harder road. With the worth of the world in mind, Jesus was born of a peasant girl in a poor manger. He became a human child, who would become a man, who would be put to death. It is strange to imagine a God who would concede to such a plan. God could have instead come down in glory and power for all to see. It would have silenced the crowds, forced them to look; it would have proved that he was no mere human to look us eye to eye. And it would have made him a God to whom we could not say no, even if it was only to say yes out of fear or force. No instead, he was mindful of us; he became one of us. When we turn to him with nothing to give but love, we know why.

It is a declaration of human worth that makes every other seem empty, narcissistic, or fleeting at best. And it is worth expending everything to consider what his humanity has to say of our own. What are mere mortals that you should think of them, human beings that you should care for them?

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

(1) “Making Peace with Your Plastic,” The Wall Street Journal, Sept 8, 2008.

(2) Geoff Mulgan, “Because You’re Worth It,” guardian.co.uk, June 12 2006, accessed March 1, 2009.

 

Alistair Begg – Approaching Rebuke

Alistair Begg

You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people. . . . You shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.

Leviticus 19:16-17

Slander emits a threefold poison, for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person who is being slandered. Whether the report is true or false, we are by this precept of God’s Word forbidden to spread it.

The reputations of the Lord’s people should be very precious in our sight, and we should regard it as shameful to help the devil dishonor the church and the name of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur.

Many rejoice in putting down their brothers and sisters, as if in doing so they raised themselves. Noah’s wise sons cast a covering over their father, and the one who exposed him earned a fearful curse.

We may ourselves one of these dark days need leniency and silence from our family; let us offer it cheerfully to those who require it now. Let this be our family motto, and our personal bond: Speak evil of no man.

The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by talking behind his back.

This approach is manly, brotherly, Christlike, and under God’s blessing will be useful.

Do we shy away from it? Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience and commit ourselves to the responsibility, in case by tolerating sin in our friend we become partakers of it.

Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful friends and family. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in His warning given to Peter, the prayer with which He preceded it, and the gentle way in which He endured Peter’s boastful denial that he needed such a caution.

 

Charles Spurgeon – The warning neglected

CharlesSpurgeon

“He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 33:5

Suggested Further Reading: Haggai 1:1-6

Men have got time. It is the want of will, not want of way. You have time, sir, have you not, despite all your business, to spend in pleasure? You have time to read your newspaper—have you not time to read your Bible? You have time to sing a song—have you no time to pray a prayer? Why, you know when farmer Brown met farmer Smith in the market one day, he said to him, “Farmer Smith, I can’t think how it is you find time for hunting. Why, man, what with sowing and mowing and reaping and ploughing, and all that, my time is so fully occupied on my farm, that I have no time for hunting.” “Ah,” said he, “Brown, if you liked hunting as much as I do, if you could not find time, you’d make it.” And so it is with religion, the reason why men cannot find time for it is, because they do not like it well enough. If they liked it, they would find time. And besides, what time does it want? What time does it require? Can I not pray to God over my ledger? Can I not snatch a text at my breakfast, and think over it all day? May I not even when I am busy in the affairs of the world, be thinking of my soul, and casting myself upon a Redeemer’s blood and atonement? It wants no time. There may be some time required; some time for my private devotions, and for communion with Christ, but when I grow in grace, I shall think it right to have more and more time, the more I can possibly get, the happier I shall be, and I shall never make the excuse that I have not time.

For meditation: How much time do you make to spend alone with God each day? What do you do with him for the rest of the day? (Colossians 3:23).

Sermon no. 165

29 November (1857)

 

John MacArthur – Conquering in Conflict

John MacArthur

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days” (Heb. 11:30).

Forty years had lapsed since the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land. That unbelieving generation had perished in the wilderness. Now Joshua was leading a new generation into the land. The first obstacle they faced was Jericho–a well- fortified city that was near the mouth of the Jordan River.

Some city walls of that day were wide enough at the top to allow two chariots to ride side-by-side. That was probably true of Jericho because of its strategic location. That, coupled with the caliber of its army, made the city virtually impregnable– especially to unsophisticated Israelites, who lacked military training.

But what is impossible for man is easy for God. And the stage was set for Him to demonstrate His power and for the Israelites to demonstrate their faith and humility.

One can only imagine how embarrassed the Hebrew people felt as they marched around Jericho once a day for six days. That certainly is not your typical military strategy. But on the seventh day, after marching around the city seven times with the priests blowing their rams’ horns, the priests gave one final blast, the people all shouted out loud, and the walls of the city collapsed (Josh. 6:20). Faith had reduced a formidable obstacle to a crumbled ruin.

Can you identify some spiritual obstacles you’ve faced recently? How did you handle them? You’ll always have them to deal with in your Christian walk, but don’t fret. See them as opportunities to exercise faith and see God’s power on display in your life. Continue to trust the Lord and demonstrate your faith by courageously doing what He has called you to do.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask God to help you humbly trust in God’s power when you face spiritual conflicts.

For Further Study:

Read about the conquest of Jericho in Joshua 6:1-21. Note each occasion where the people obeyed one of Joshua’s commands without hesitation.

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Just as He Promised

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“God, who called you to become His child, will do all this for you, just as He promised” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Have you ever substituted your own name in a promise like that? I have, and the result is staggering, overwhelming. “God, who called Bill Bright to become His child, will do all this for me, just as He promised.”

Include your name in the verse, and the effect will be the same for you. It is incredible that before the very foundation of the world God chose and called you and me to become His children. His foreknowledge makes possible many of the mysteries we puzzle over today.

Your sanctification (setting apart) – and mine – depends upon God, and since He has begun a good work in us, He will see it through to completion. God requires holiness (another word for sanctification) and He is the resource upon whom we may call for accomplishment of that requirement.

While it is true we will never be completely and totally holy in this life, it is equally true that provision is made for us to be holy. Every moment that you and I are under the control of God’s Holy Spirit, is a moment that we are holy! Looked at in that light, the task of acquiring holiness does not seem so impossible to attain.

The principle is clear: God never gives a command without the enablement to obey it.

Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will see myself as a child of God, the beneficiary of His multitudinous blessings, capable of living a supernatural life and bearing fruit for His glory through His enablement

 

 

Presidential Prayer Team; P.G. – Indescribable and Incredible

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It’s that time of year when you probably concern yourself with selecting just the right Christmas gifts to give to the special people in your lives. Catalogs have come regularly to your mailbox, and merchants haven’t hesitated to remind you that today is Black Friday…so named because it is the day of the year when many retailers’ balance sheets are no longer in the red! Come and buy! You’re urged to be extravagant!

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

II Corinthians 9:15

You know incredible gifts when you see them. Nieman Marcus offers flamboyant and unique holiday presents. Oprah would regularly surprise her audience with goodies they didn’t know they needed from among her favorite things. Literature abounds with tear-rendering classics of the Little Match Girl or O Henry’s Gift of the Magi.

Unfortunately, amidst all the hustle and bustle, the tinsel and lights, the most inexpressible gift of all is too often just an oh-by-the-way “reason for the season.” Why not make this Christmas your time to contemplate the extravagant, unique, indescribable, incredible Gift that has been given you by the Father of Lights…who has given you every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Thank Him! Generously tell your family, friends and strangers of this wonderful Gift. Pray for all to receive Him with gladness.

Recommended Reading: II Corinthians 9:6-15