Devotionals

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In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Choosing Love over Rights

Matthew 5:38-48

We talk a lot about rights these days. Yet the attention given to human entitlements hasn’t brought about corporate or personal freedom. Instead, most people are prisoners of jealousy (you have greater rights than I do!), greed (I deserve more!), or bitterness (my rights have been violated!).

Instead of focusing on the privileges due us, we should take the biblical perspective of loving enemies and forgiving persecutors (Matt. 5:44). Believers lay down their rights so they can take up the cause of a holy kingdom. That doesn’t mean that we let people trample on us. Rather, we offer a proper response according to biblical principles. In short, believers should be more concerned about showing God’s love to those who do wrong than about demanding their rights.

Maybe you’re thinking, But he doesn’t know how I’ve been mistreated. Indeed I do not. But what I do know is how Jesus Christ, our example, reacted to terrible abuse. He was betrayed by His friends, persecuted by His people, condemned by His peers, and crucified for our sins. Yet He said, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).

Before assuming that Jesus’ capacity for forgiveness and love is out of reach for mere human beings, remember: His Spirit dwells in believers. We can choose to give away our rights and let God’s love work through us.

Luke 6:29 says to turn the other cheek and give up more than is asked because expressing love outweighs exerting our rights. You can’t lose when you show others the boundless care of the Lord. You gain His blessing, and, hopefully, someone will be saved because of your example.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

 

Time with God

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Read Psalm 119:49-56

“This is my comfort in my affliction,that your promise gives me life.This blessing has fallen to me,that I have kept your precepts. (vv.50, 56)

Affliction. Hard times. Hurt. Pain. Rejection. Sickness. These things can really get us down. They can sap our energy and drain our emotions. They can leave us lonely and listless. We lose hope and lose focus. We stop caring about things we should always care about--our spiritual lives, our relationships, our ministry to others.

If you are facing that situation in your life today you need to know that there is a place you can go to renew your strength. God is there to revive you, to renew your inner life even when your outer life is crumbling and the slats are falling out from beneath your feet.

Where will God meet you in this way? In his word!

When you are going through times of difficulty, that is when you need, more than ever, to spend time in God’s word. The Bible is not just God’s public declaration of truth, it is also his message to you personally. One of the reasons God has put his Holy Spirit into your life is to take the words of the Bible and make them spiritually meaningful to your personal life.

God wants to revive you today through his word. Have you spent much time in the Bible yet today?

For the iPhone app and more from John North and Ambassadors For Christ International, click here.

 

Integrity Moments

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Lessons Learned as a Juror Part III

Recently, I spent three days serving as a juror. One lesson I learned is the importance of restitution.

During the jury deliberation the jury struggled with how to assess an amount for the intangible value of “pain and suffering.”

In Numbers 5, God told Moses, “Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way, and so is unfaithful to the Lord, is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged.

If you’ve wronged someone in business and desire full restoration, consider adding 20% to what you owe them. It’ll provide closure for them and relieve you of ongoing guilt.

Learn more about Rick Boxx and Unconventional Business Network

A Daily Word with Dr. Ed Young

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

God arms me with strength; he has made my way safe. -Psalm 18:32 NLT

Weather has determined the outcome of many battles. It was frustration with hampering conditions that prompted General George Patton to ask his chaplain to write and issue a “weather prayer” two days prior to the Battle for the Bulge. The Allies won by air power, made possible by fair weather. David had skirmished and fought many foes. King Saul sought his life. But when David seemed outnumbered and overwhelmed, God would somehow get him through the fog and storm. God’s covenant promise is that He will make conditions right for victory for you.

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In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Impossible Love Made Possible

Galatians 5:22-23

When a lawyer asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest, He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37, 39). What an overwhelming assignment!

In our own strength, none of us can live up to this obligation, but the Lord has provided a way for Christians to do the impossible. The indwelling Holy Spirit works to produce His fruit in us, and first on the list is love (Gal. 5:22). In fact, the other eight qualities are really just descriptions of its expression.

Whenever we demonstrate kindness, patience, or gentleness, we see the Lord’s love at work through us, especially when the other person has been unkind and doesn’t deserve such pleasant treatment. This fruit is not produced by trying harder to muster good will toward someone who is irritating or hard to get along with. Instead, think of the process more like sap running through a branch on a grape-vine. The branch doesn’t make grapes; the sap does. In the same way, the Spirit flows through us, producing God’s love in us, so that we can pass it on to Him and others.

Agapelove is the reason we are able to care for someone who mistreats us--it’s God’s doing, not ours. Even the adoration we offer the Lord is not something that we can produce in our own heart apart from His assistance. Though the command to love is enormous,God’s grace makes it possible.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

 

Integrity Moments

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Lessons Learned as a Juror Part II

Recently, I spent three days serving as a juror on a personal injury case. There were many lessons learned that I would like to share.

One lesson I learned is that justice doesn’t always prevail in the courtroom. My naïve belief going into jury deliberations was that twelve reasonable people would come out with a fair and impartial verdict. That didn’t happen.

Despite my passionate objections, the jury awarded the plaintiff less money than even the defending attorney believed was due, leaving the plaintiff financially wronged.

Ecclesiastes 5:8 teaches, “If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things.

As Christians in the workplace, we should be purveyors of justice, but don’t be surprised when the world disappoints you.

Learn more about Rick Boxx and Unconventional Business Network

Time with God

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Read Psalm 119:41-48

“for I find my delight in your commandments,which I love. I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.(vv. 47-48)

We often talk about loving God; we talk about loving Jesus, about loving one another. And we love the blessings of God.

But can you say, “I love God’s commands”? What’s there to love about God’s commands? Aren’t they just burdensome? Don’t they make our lives less than they could be?

No! God’s commands truly are something to love. Consider who gave these commands. God, who’s proven his absolute commitment to you by his self-sacrificing love at the cross, is the one who’s given you his commands. If he was willing to do that for us, can we doubt that his purpose in giving us his commands is also good?

Consider also why he gave us his commands. Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-40 that all the commands of Scripture are simply a description of how to love God and love people. Do you desire to love God with your life? his commands will show you how!

Consider the result of his commands in your life. Is there anything so good as the inner peace and joy that comes from a clear conscience, when you know that there’s nothing hindering your relationship with God.

God’s showing you today that there is good reason to love his commandments!

For the iPhone app and more from John North and Ambassadors For Christ International, click here.

 

Two Minute Drills

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

A Promising Future

There are many hundreds of methods out there for maximizing your potential in life, in business, in all kinds of areas. Some are sound, some are not, some are absolutely wonderful (like Game Plan for Life, of course). But even the best can't help but be incomplete in spots. And none of us are able to follow them perfectly, even then.

So while we are wise to gather information and set our goals, to make our plans and chart our progress, we will meet days when not everything comes together. We will encounter challenges that weren't covered in the literature. We will feel the need to make adjustments and wonder why we hadn't noticed this sooner.

But that's okay--because our trust is not in methods and strategies. Though we are certainly responsible for how we handle ourselves, we are not in total charge of where our future is headed. It is no cop-out, after listening and learning and being diligent to pursue best practices, to say, "I cry out to God Most High, who fulfills his purpose for me" (Psalms 57:2).

Any success plan that isn't submitted to God is destined for failure. Any man who thinks he can make it on his own hunches will find out otherwise, the hard way. But when we trust God to do his work in us, he can take even our missteps and turn them into positive gain. He will fulfill his purpose for you.

Pray this prayer: Lord, I worry too much. I push myself hard, but it still leaves so much that seems undone. I need to rest in the knowledge that you are more than capable of accomplishing your will in me.

Please visit Joe Gibbs' Website at www.GamePlanForLife.com for Joe's Video Blog and more!

 

A Daily Word with Dr. Ed Young

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

What we consider as riches tells a lot about us. A friend visited Mother Teresa’s House for the Dying in Calcutta. She asked a helper, “How do you stand doing this day after day?” The woman pointed to a portrait of Jesus, with the caption, My Lord and my God. “He is not only my Lord and my God, but He has given me the privilege to be here His hands, eyes, mind and feet. I count it a privilege,” The woman said. The little lady ministering to Calcutta’s dying was more joyful in her wealth of opportunity than moguls in their mammon.

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In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Posted on May 18, 2018 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

A Faith Worth Passing Down

2 Timothy 1:3-5

The most precious thing we can pass down to children is our faith--the confident conviction that God is who He says and will do all He has promised. Timothy's strong relationship with Christ didn't materialize out of thin air; it grew as a result of his mother and grandmother's example.

Here are ways we, too, can hand down a rich legacy to the next generation:

1. Teach practical biblical principles. Kids need to know God's views on material wealth (Ps. 24:1), meeting needs (Phil. 4:19), and direction in life (Prov. 3:5-6).

2. Model character through lifestyle. How we live--whether with transparency, peace, and perseverance, or with fear, anxiety, and self-reliance--loudly communicates what we believe about God.

3. Serve God by serving others. Actions show that our faith is real (James 2:26). If we want kids not to develop a self-centered perspective, servanthood is key.

4. Intercede for them. Children won't forget hearing us pray regularly for them.

5. Communicate love. Young people need to know we love them the way God loves us--unconditionally rather than based on what they do or don't do. Spoken words of love breathe life into their hearts. And as we affirm them for trusting God, they see that we value their spiritual growth.

As parents, we must be intentional about leading and inspiring our sons and daughters to follow Christ. But even those without children of their own can leave a legacy. The example to follow is Paul: though neither married nor a natural parent, he was a spiritual father to many (1 Cor. 4:14-16).

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

 


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