Tag Archives: Truth

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Spiritual Soldiers

 

More than two million men and women are currently enlisted in the United States Armed Forces. Taking a stand against visible enemies is important for the protection and well-being of the nation. But equally important is taking a stand against invisible enemies – and you’re enlisted. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against…spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) As one of God’s spiritual soldiers, you are to put on the full armor of God, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:18)

I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower. Habakkuk 2:1

When Israel was in a sinful state, God looked for an intercessor. “And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30) Yet you take your post as a prayer warrior for America as Habakkuk says in today’s verse, knowing prayer ushers in God’s will on earth (Matthew 6:10).

Renew your commitment to stand at your watchpost…and as the Holy Spirit brings the nation’s leaders or issues to mind, go to battle and make prayer your top priority.

Recommended Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20

Greg Laurie – Under His Care

 

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord. —Isaiah 54:17

In Mark’s gospel, Jesus made a fascinating statement that some have misunderstood. Speaking of believers, He said, “They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:18). Some, of course, have misunderstood this and have held snake-handling services. But that is not trusting the Lord; it is testing the Lord.

Here is what this statement does mean: If you are a Christian, then you are indestructible until God is done with you. There is a day appointed for your death. And you really have nothing to say about when that day is.

Case in point: Paul the apostle was shipwrecked on an island, and as he was warming himself by the fire, a venomous snake bit him. So he simply picked it up and threw it into the fire. Everyone was waiting for Paul to die, but he didn’t die. Why? His time was not up. But when your time is up, it’s up. And Paul’s day eventually came.

Before that day, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper,” as Isaiah 54:17 says. That means God will keep you and protect you. Even if there is some plot against you, it will not succeed if that is not your time.

So stop worrying about when you will die because you have nothing to say about it. It isn’t up to you. The Bible says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Does that mean you can eat anything you want? I think you should exercise and eat properly. That will improve the quality of your life. But ultimately, the quantity is up to God.

Responding to Suffering By Charles F. Stanley

 

A hurricane wreaks havoc and devastation on a coastal town. Economic hardship pushes families out of their homes. Yet another school shooting leaves young people dead. Perhaps you’ve wondered, “God, why don’t You prevent these tragedies? Why all this suffering?”

The truth is that God could intervene. The Bible teaches that He is sovereign, no matter what happens. But many times, He chooses to allow people the freedom to destroy life, or He lets nature devastate an entire region. As believers, what should our response be when adversity, unexpected tragedy, or suffering comes?

Reaffirm your position in Christ. Remind yourself of who you are and what you have in Him. It helps to do this out loud. You can say something like this:

I know that I am a child of God. I am saved. I have become united with Christ. I am sealed with the Holy Spirit. My eternal destiny is determined, and nothing can change that. The Lord will never leave me nor forsake me. Nothing can touch me apart from what my heavenly Father allows. All things will work together for my good since I love God and have been called according to His purpose in Christ.

The truths listed in the paragraph above are essential to maintaining the right perspective on adversity. Self-esteem and confidence in God are usually the two things most affected by tragedy. In moments of despair, you need a strong dose of truth to relieve your troubled heart and set your feet on the immovable foundation of scriptural reality. Then you are ready to . . .

•Ask God to remove adversity from your life. This is where we usually begin, but it is best to ask after we have gained perspective. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, Paul pleaded for his struggle to be removed. Although God did not answer that request, He didn’t chastise the apostle for it. Neither will He be displeased by your request. Even your prayer for mercy is an expression of dependence and faith.

•Reaffirm the promise of God’s sustaining grace. The Lord may not choose to remove adversity from your life immediately. In that case, it’s important for you to rely on His grace—not your own abilities. People who try to endure suffering in their own strength collapse under the weight of it all. Admit from the start that you do not have the power to withstand the pressure. Cry out to God for mercy. He will hear you. His grace will be sufficient moment by moment to get you through.

•Thank God for this unique opportunity to grow spiritually. You must look for the Lord’s part in your adversity, or you’ll miss it. You are not simply to endure suffering; you are to grow and mature through it. The best way to develop this attitude is to thank Him every day for the spiritual growth in your life.

•Receive adversity as if it were from God. Most of the time, you don’t know for sure who’s behind your suffering, and believe it or not, the source of your adversity makes little difference. God has a purpose for each difficulty He allows.

When you respond to adversity as if it were from Satan, the tendency is to fight it. When trouble lingers, you may begin to doubt God. So, as long as the Lord accomplishes His purpose through adversity in your life, receive it as from Him. And remember, God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Cor. 12:9).

•Read and meditate on passages of scripture that describe adversity faced by God’s servants. Read the story of Joseph, or look at the way God provided for Abraham when he was left with undesirable land. Imagine how foolish Noah felt while building the ark. The Bible contains illustration after illustration of God’s faithfulness in adverse circumstances.

Fill your mind with these truths. Ask God to open your eyes to the human side of these characters so you can identify with their pain and sorrow. Then, dwell on Christ’s promise to care for those who love Him (Matt. 6:25-34.) Just as He was faithful to men and women in the Bible, He will also demonstrate His faithfulness to you.

Suffering is unavoidable. It comes without warning and can shatter or strengthen us. The outcome hinges on our response, not the nature of our adversity. If your heart’s desire is to see God glorified through you, hard times will not leave you without hope.

—Adapted from “How to Handle Adversity,” by Charles F. Stanley

Our Daily Bread — Terrifying Moments

 

Psalm 23

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. —Psalm 23:4

When our first child was born, my wife, Marlene, was in labor for more than 30 hours, creating tremendous stress for both her and the baby. The doctor, a fill-in for her regular physician, was unfamiliar with her and her pregnancy. As a result, he waited too long to make the decision to perform an emergency Caesarean section, and the resulting trauma put our infant son in the neo-natal intensive care unit. There was nothing they could do to help our baby to overcome his trauma-induced condition.

By God’s grace, Matt recovered—but I cannot remember any moment in my life as terrifying as when I stood by his crib in intensive care. Yet I knew the Lord was near as I talked with Him through prayer.

In the terrifying moments of life (and all the other moments as well) nothing can bring comfort to the hurting heart like the reality of God’s presence and care. The psalmist David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4).

When fear is overwhelming, the Lord is there. His comforting presence will carry us through our deepest trials. —Bill Crowder

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll—

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

“It is well, it is well with my soul.” —Spafford

Peace is the presence of God.

Alistair Begg – Claiming God’s Promises

 

Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. – Psalm 119:45

Whatever your particular need may be, you will find some promise in the Bible related to it. Are you faint and feeble because your way is rough and you are weary? Here is the promise–“He gives power to the faint.” When you read such a promise, take it back to the great Promiser and ask Him to fulfill His own word. Are you seeking for Christ and thirsting for closer communion with Him? This promise shines like a star upon you–“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Take that promise to the throne continually; do not plead anything else, but go to God over and over again with this–“Lord, You have said it; do as You have said.”

Are you distressed because of sin and burdened with the heavy load of your iniquities? Listen to these words–“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” You have no merit of your own to plead why He should pardon you, but plead His written promises and He will perform them. Are you afraid that you might not be able to hold on to the end and that after having thought yourself a child of God you should prove a castaway? If that is your condition, take this word of grace to the throne and plead it: “The mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.”

If you have lost the sweet sense of the Savior’s presence and are seeking Him with a sorrowful heart, remember the promises: “Return to me . . . and I will return to you.” “For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you.” Feast your faith upon God’s own Word, and whatever your fears or wants, take them to the Bank of Faith with your Father’s note, which reads, “Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.”

Charles Spurgeon – The desolations of the Lord, the consolations of his saints.

 

“Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.” Psalm 46:8-9

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Samuel 5:1-7

Jehovah still standeth, “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” One generation of idols has passed away, and another comes, and the desolations stand—memorials of the might of God. Turn now your eyes to Assyria, that mighty empire. Did she not sit alone? She said she should see no sorrow. Remember Babylon, too, who boasted with her. But where are they, and where are now their gods? With ropes about their necks they have been dragged in triumph by our archaeologists; and now in the halls of our land, they stand as memorials of the ignorance of a race that is long since extinct. And then, turn to the fairer idolatries of Greece and Rome. Fine poetic conceptions were their gods! Theirs was a grand idolatry, one that never shall be forgotten. Despite all its vice and lust, there was such a high mixture of the purest poetry in it, that the mind of man, though it will ever recollect it with sorrow, will still think of it with respect. But where are their gods? Where are the names of their gods? Are not the stars the last memorials of Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus? As if God would make his universe the monument of his destroyed enemy! Where else are their names to be found? Where shall we find a worshipper who adores their false deity? They are past, they are gone! To the moles and to the bats are their images cast, while many an unroofed temple, many a dilapidated shrine, stand as memorials of that which was, but is not—and is passed away for ever. I suppose there is scarce a kingdom of the world where you do not see God’s handiwork in crushing his enemies.

For meditation: The gods created by man can be destroyed by man, but the Lord made the heavens (Psalm 96:5; Isaiah 37:15-20). The false religions of today become the museum pieces of tomorrow.

Sermon no. 190

28 April (1858)

John MacArthur – Three Kinds of Persecution

 

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me” (Matt. 5:10-11).

Jesus mentioned three broad categories of suffering that Christians will experience. The first is persecution. “Persecuted” (Matt. 5:10) and “persecute” (v. 11) both come from the same Greek root meaning “to pursue” or “chase away.” Over time it came to mean “to harass” or “treat in an evil manner.” Verse 10 literally reads, “Blessed are those who have been allowing themselves to be persecuted.” You are blessed when people harass you for your Christian stance and you willingly accept it for the sake of your Lord.

The second form of suffering is “insults” (v. 11), which translates a Greek word that means “to reproach,” “revile,” or “heap insults upon.” It speaks of verbal abuse–attacking someone with vicious and mocking words. It is used in Matthew 27:44 of the mockery Christ endured at His crucifixion. It happened to Him and it will happen to His followers as well.

The final category Jesus mentioned is slander–people telling lies about you. That’s perhaps the hardest form of suffering to endure because our effectiveness for the Lord is directly related to our personal purity and integrity. Someone’s trying to destroy the reputation you worked a lifetime to establish is a difficult trial indeed!

If you’re going through a time of suffering for righteousness’ sake, take heart: the Lord went through it too and He understands how difficult it can be. He knows your heart and will minister His super-abounding grace to you. Rejoice that you are worthy of suffering for Him and that the kingdom of heaven is yours.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Pray for those who treat you unkindly, asking God to forgive them and grant them His grace.

Pray that you might always treat others with honesty and fairness.

For Further Study:

Throughout history God Himself has endured much mocking and slander. Read 2 Peter 3:3-9, then answer these questions:

What motivates mockers?

What do they deny?

Why doesn’t God judge them on the spot?

Joyce Meyer – God Speaks to Correct Us

 

The Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves. —Hebrews 12:6

We all need to be corrected at times and I believe God’s desire is to speak to us and do the correcting Himself before using other people or situations to correct us. Correction is one of the most difficult things to receive, especially when it comes through others, so God prefers to first help us deal with matters privately. But, if we do not know how to let Him correct us privately or will not receive it, He may correct us in more public ways.

One time we were ministering in a foreign country. I was in a restaurant trying to convey to the waiter what I wanted to eat, but he did not speak much English and I did not speak his language at all. Frustration soon became evident in my attitude and tone of voice. I was behaving poorly in front of people who knew I was in that country to minister and, of course, my example to them was important.

I knew I had behaved badly, but God wanted me to really know, so when Dave and I returned to our hotel room, Dave mentioned the incident and said I had not set a good example for others.

Although I knew he was right, and I knew God was using him to make sure I fully realized how important my behavior is, my inclination was to point out that Dave had acted similarly before. Had I done that, I would not have genuinely received the word of correction and then God would have had to correct me some other way—perhaps in a way that would have been more embarrassing or painful.

Begin to pray and ask God to help you receive correction from Him and to help you recognize when He is sending correction through others, knowing it is always for your good.

God’s word for you today: Don’t resist God’s correction.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Fullness of Joy

 

“Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11, KJV).

“If you have lost the joy of the Lord in your life,” someone once observed, “who moved, you or God? For in His presence is fullness of joy.”

That saint and prophet of earlier years, A. W. Tozer, suggested several ways for the believer to achieve real joy:

Cultivate a genuine friendship with God. He is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Take time to exercise yourself daily unto godliness. Vow never to be dishonest about sin in your life, never to defend yourself, never to own anything (or let anything own you), never to pass on anything hurtful about others, never to take any glory to yourself.

No known sin must be allowed to remain in your life. “Keep short accounts with God” – never allow unconfessed sins to pile up in your life.

Set out to build your own value system based on the Word of God. Meditate on the Word; practice the presence of God. Set priorities as you realize what is truly important. It will be reflected in the standard of values you set for yourself.

Share your spiritual discoveries with others.

Bible Reading: John 15:7-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Knowing that the best witness in the world is a joyful, radiant Christian, I will try to be that kind of believer, trusting the indwelling Holy Spirit to thus empower me and radiate His love and joy through me. I will share my spiritual discoveries with others.

Presidential Prayer Team; J.R. – Only Forward

 

Criminals – particularly arsonists – are often caught because of single, stupid, predictable mistake: they tend to return to the scene of the crime. Investigators often comb video of spectators gathering around the police tape following a fire because there’s a good chance the person who started it will be in the crowd, having returned to view his handiwork.

Repent, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.  Acts 3:19

A similar quirk of human nature can trip you up as you try to avoid those same old familiar sins. You return, time and again, to the same old places, same old routines, same old habits that got you in trouble to begin with. But Scripture urges you to “repent,” which doesn’t just mean saying you’re sorry. It means turning around and running the other way – as far and as quickly as you can.

What are the things in your life today that are hindering your spiritual growth, harming your relationship with God, and hurting your ability to be a voice for His truth in America? Repent and resolve to make a complete about-face today. Don’t return to the scene of the crime…it’s forgiven and forgotten by God. Move only forward with the work He has for you!

Recommended Reading: Ezekiel 18:27-32

Charles Stanley – A Lifetime of Holiness

 

Romans 12:1-3

By placing faith in Jesus Christ, a new believer is sanctified—that is, he is set apart for God’s purpose. Unlike salvation, which takes place in a single moment, sanctification is a lifelong process. We who have trusted in Christ as Savior and allow His Holy Spirit to control our lives are currently being sanctified, no matter what we may feel or how our actions appear to others. We are progressively maturing in our faith.

If we are progressing, then we must be working our way toward something. The apostle Paul explained the Christian’s mission this way: “For those whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). The character, conduct, and conversation of a believer are to reflect Christ, who lives within through His Spirit.

On our own, we would place too much emphasis on conduct and get caught up following rules and rituals that look Christian but do not actually reflect Christ. God, however, has given each believer His Spirit as a teacher and guide. The Holy Spirit’s work is to transform our minds and hearts so our character is markedly different from that of our unsaved peers. Only when we are under the Spirit’s control can we speak and act according to who we truly are: God’s sons and daughters.

Our heavenly Father wants His children to be living examples and reflections of who He is. He doesn’t expect perfection from us—He knows that we cannot be totally sinless as long as we remain in our human body. Rather, He shows us how to think and act so we may “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called” (Eph. 4:1).

Our Daily Bread – Our Daily Bread — Calling You

 

1 Samuel 3:1-10

The LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” —1 Samuel 3:6

A couple of co-workers and I had just gone through airport security and were walking to our gate when I heard my name: “Paging Anne Cetas. Paging Anne Cetas.” It’s not a common name, so we knew it had to be mine. I assumed I had absent-mindedly left something at the check-in point. I checked with an airline agent, who told me to pick up a red phone, give my name, and ask why I was being paged. I searched for a phone and called, but the operator said, “No, we didn’t page you.” I said, “It was definitely my name.” He replied twice, “No, we did not page you.” I never did find out why I had been called that day.

A young boy named Samuel heard his name being “paged” long ago (1 Sam. 3:4). The Scriptures say that he “did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him” (v.7), so the temple priest Eli had to help him understand who was calling him (vv.8-9). God then revealed His plan for Samuel’s life.

The Lord has a plan for us as well, and He calls to our hearts: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). That’s His call to us to receive the gift of His salvation, rest, and peace.

The Savior is calling us to come to Him. —Anne Cetas

Jesus calls me—I must follow,

Follow Him today;

When His tender voice is pleading,

How can I delay? —Brown

Christ calls the restless ones to find their rest in Him.

Alistair Begg – Our Fault

 

God, our God, shall bless us. Psalm 67:6

It is strange how little use we make of the spiritual blessings that God gives us, but it is even stranger that we make such little use of God Himself. Though He is “our God,” we scarcely give ourselves to Him, and we ask so little of Him.

How seldom do we seek counsel at the hands of the Lord! How often do we go about our business without seeking His guidance! In our troubles how we constantly struggle to bear our burdens ourselves instead of casting them upon the Lord, that He may sustain us! This is not because we may not, for the Lord seems to say, “I am yours, soul; come and make use of Me as you will. You may freely come to My store, and the more you come, the more welcome you will be.”

It is our own fault if we do not enjoy the riches of our God. Since you have such a friend, and He invites you, draw from Him daily. Never be wanting while you have a God to go to; never fear or faint while you have God to help you; go to your treasure and take whatever you need–there is all that you can ever want. Learn the divine skill of making God all things to you. He can supply you with everything; or better still, He can be everything to you.

Let me urge you, then, to make use of your God. Make use of Him in prayer. Go to Him often, because He is your God. Will you fail to use such a great privilege? Run to Him; tell Him all your needs. Use Him constantly by faith at all times. If some dark providence has cast a shadow on you, use God as a sun; if some strong enemy has attacked you, find in Jehovah a shield, for He is a sun and shield to His people. If you have lost your way in the mazes of life, use Him as a guide, for He will direct you. Whatever you are, and wherever you are, remember, God is just what you want and just where you want, and that He can do everything you want.

John MacArthur – Are You Avoiding Persecution?

 

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness” (Matt. 5:10).

I heard of a man who was fearful because he was starting a new job with a group of unbelievers whom he thought might give him a bad time if they found out he was a Christian. After his first day at work his wife asked him how he got along with them. “We got along just fine,” he said. “They never found out I’m a Christian.”

Silence is one way to avoid persecution. Some other ways are to approve of the world’s standards, laugh at its jokes, enjoy its entertainment, and smile when it mocks God. If you never confront sin or tell people Jesus is the only way to heaven, or if your behavior is so worldly no one can distinguish you from unbelievers, you will probably be accepted and won’t feel the heat of persecution. But beware!

Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you. . . . Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory” (Luke 6:26; 9:26). The last thing anyone should want is for Christ to pronounce a curse on them or be ashamed of them. That’s an enormous price to pay for popularity!

If you take a stand for Christ and manifest Beatitude attitudes, you will be in direct opposition to Satan and the evil world system. Eventually you will experience some form of persecution. That has been true from the very beginning of human history, when Abel was murdered by his brother Cain because Cain couldn’t tolerate his righteousness.

You should never fear persecution. God will grant you grace and will never test you beyond what He enables you to endure (1 Cor. 10:13). Nor should you ever compromise biblical truth to avoid persecution. In Philippians 1:29 Paul says that persecution is as much a gift of God as salvation itself. Both identify you as a true believer!

Suggestions for Prayer:

Memorize 1 Peter 2:20-21. Ask God to continually grant you the grace to follow Christ’s example when difficulties come your way.

For Further Study:

Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-33, noting the severe persecution Paul endured for Christ’s sake.

 

Joyce Meyer – Watch Your Countenance

 

And the Lord said to Moses, Say to Aaron and his sons, This is the way you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them, The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually). —Numbers 6:22-26

Jesus’ countenance was changed on the mountain as He was transfigured. Our countenance is simply the way we look. It refers to our face. In the church today we need to be concerned about our countenance. One of the blessings that was pronounced upon God’s people was that God’s face would shine upon them and that He would lift up His countenance upon them.

When the world looks at us, they need to see something about us that is different from them. They can’t read our minds or see into our hearts, so our countenance is the only way we can show them that we have something they do not have but really want and need. I believe that we look better when we worship God. Worship puts a smile on our face. It is very hard to keep a scowl on our face while we are being thankful, praising and worshipping God.

If we regularly do these things, our countenance will carry His presence, not the expression of inner frustration and turmoil. Christians are supposed to be joyful people who walk in love. We must ask ourselves, “Would people know that I am a Christian by looking at my countenance most of the time?”

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Cleansed From Sin

 

“But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin” (1 John 1:7).

A pastor I know had once delighted in studying and preaching the Word of God. In his earlier days, he had been a real soul-winner, but the time came when he no longer spent time reading and studying the Scriptures. He became critical, discouraged and pessimistic. Finally, his personal life and his family fell apart.

At one point, he told me, he was thinking about committing suicide. He could have been spared all of this heartache, tragedy and sorrow if only he had continued to study the Word of God, to meditate on its truths and to obey its commands.

As someone wisely said, “Sin will keep you from God’s Word, or God’s Word will keep you from sin.”

Many of the problems we experience in the Christian life are self-imposed. They are the result of carelessness in the way we walk. The promises of God are true; you can stake your life on them. The way to supernatural living is to walk with God in the light of His presence.

“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. So if we say we are His friends, but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying. But if we are living in the light of God’s presence…then we have wonderful fellowship and joy…” (1 John 1:5-7, LB).

Bible Reading: I John 2:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Claiming the power of the Holy Spirit, I will continue to live in the light of God’s presence and explain to those who walk in darkness how they too can walk in the light of God’s presence and in joyful fellowship with our risen Savior.

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – True Experience

 

Isaiah’s prophecies for Israel included ones of great judgment by God because of their disobedience and constant rejection of God’s plan for them. Plush lands would become wilderness with no human occupation. Great sorrow would be upon them.

They shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10

What exactly is your attitude in times of difficulty and trial? For you, as for Israel, circumstances are fleeting. Israel would be driven from its land and taken captive, but God would enable their return and deliver them as they trusted in Him.

The Lord is your deliverer, too…from sorrow due to circumstance, as well as from spiritual pain due to the conviction of sin. Sorrow can be beneficial if it produces a change of heart and a fresh sensitivity to God. Joy can be yours. Being committed to Him and enjoying His sweet fellowship will give you hope and strengthen your faith.

Experience the true joy of a saving relationship with God. Ask for deliverance from the sadness of sin. Then intercede for this nation, that it may have a change of heart and an openness for the Lord. After all, joy is not the absence of sorrow – but it is the presence of God!

Recommended Reading: Psalm 16:1-11

Greg Laurie – Don’t Wait for the Rooster

 

Peter’s denial of Jesus did not happen over a period of seconds or minutes, but over a period of hours. An hour passed from the time the first person said, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean,” to the time Peter denied his Lord for the second time. He had ample opportunity to hightail it out of there, but for some reason he hung around.

His story reminds me that no person is safe from temptation except the one who flees from it. Peter, having been warned by Jesus Himself, should have avoided any place where he could fall. He definitely should have steered clear of all roosters! The Lord had said that before the rooster crowed, he would deny Jesus three times (see Matthew 26:69-75). I would have asked, “Are there any roosters here? Because if there are, I’m leaving!”

But seriously, if someone like Simon Peter could fall, then surely we can, too. First Corinthians 15:33 tells us, “Bad company corrupts good character.” Peter hung around people who were dragging him down spiritually. Are you in a similar situation? Have you entered into relationships where people are dragging you down? Maybe it’s a romance. Maybe it’s a close friendship. Are you finding yourself compromising your principles to fit in, or so that you don’t offend anyone? Perhaps you need to reconsider your friendships. Perhaps you need to make some immediate changes. And even if you have made some mistakes, there is still time to commit yourself to the Lord. That time is now. Don’t wait for the rooster to crow.

Charles Stanley – Sanctification

 

Romans 6:17-22

The Lord has a grand plan for the life of every person, and it can be summed up in a single word: sanctification. If you are scratching your head about what that terms means, you are not alone. Many people—even some longtime Christians—do not know its definition. However, believers should see to it that they acquire that knowledge because it’s an important word, and it defines them.

In its verb form—sanctify—the term means “to make holy” or “to separate.” So when something is sanctified, it is separated from a common use to a sacred one. In the Old Testament, we are told that the Lord sanctified a number of things: He made the seventh day holy, set aside the Levite tribe as priests, and even consecrated places like the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle (Gen. 2:3; Num. 3).

The Lord still sanctifies people today. Before a person receives salvation, he is spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1-3). What’s more, Romans 5:10 tells us that before we come to faith, we’re actually enemies of God. Yet the moment someone trusts in Jesus as his personal Savior, his sins are wiped away, and he is adopted into the Lord’s family. That individual is then set apart as a child of God for a sacred purpose. This means believers are not here simply to chase after personal gain. Rather, they are to serve God and bring Him honor and glory.

As members of God’s family who are called to reflect His glory, believers are referred to as “saints.” This word shares a root with sanctification. We are referred to this way, not because we live sinless lives but because we live a life consistent with the One we represent.

Our Daily Bread — The Best Season Yet

 

Ephesians 5:15-21

See then that you walk circumspectly, . . . redeeming the time, because the days are evil. —Ephesians 5:15-16

Life is a lot like the weather . . . it’s seasonal. It has a way of pushing us into the next season whether we like it or not. And when pushed into the next season, we are often uncertain and even fearful of what it might hold for us.

This is especially true of later seasons of life, when we are haunted by thoughts such as: Will I be left all alone? Will my health hold up? Will my money last? Will my mind stay fresh? As with every season of life, we have to make a choice—to waste the season in fearful thoughts or, as Paul says, make “the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16 ESV).

Regardless of your season, you can count on God’s faithfulness. He says, “‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’” (Heb. 13:5-6).

Because you have God’s presence and provision, you can make the most of your time in every season by following Jesus closely, spending time in His Word and prayer, loving and forgiving more freely than ever before, and serving others with joy and generosity.

God has blessed us with our present season—make the most of it! —Joe Stowell

Lord, give me the grace to accept life right where

it has put me, and help me to overcome the fear

that would waste my days. Give me the wisdom

and desire to make every day count for You.

Life matters—make the most of it!