Devotionals

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In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Posted on December 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Conviction for the Believer

Romans 1:24-25, Psalms 23

Recently I spoke to a heartbroken woman. Her father was dying, and he was cold toward his family and God. He desired no contact and refused to discuss any spiritual matter.

But God is able to reach anyone--even someone hostile to the faith. Consider the apostle Paul’s conversion! Yet Scripture also teaches that the Lord eventually gives people over to the hardness of their own hearts. There may come a point when He no longer draws them by revealing their need for a Savior.

The situation is different for believers, though. When we, in our humanness, continue to sin, the Holy Spirit convicts us so we’ll get back on track. At that point, we can humbly repent and follow Him or ignore His voice and continue to sin. If we persist in error, our Father will keep calling us back. But the danger is that our hearts may become desensitized and eventually we may cease hearing His warning.

Thankfully, we are children of God, and He loves us too much to let us remain in a sinful pattern. Though chastisement and conviction are never pleasant, He knows our travelling down the wrong road results in much greater heartache. The Lord is a shepherd, using His staff and rod to lovingly bring us to green pastures.

On the Christian journey, there will be temptations to stray, falsely promising to satisfy longings. Stay closely connected to Jesus through prayer and Scripture. Be listening so you can obey immediately when He calls you to change course. In the long run, living God’s way brings the greatest joy.

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

 

Time with God

Posted on December 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Romans 5:20

Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.

God’s grace is greater than all your sin!

You say, “You don’t know the failure in my life. I fail God; I ask forgiveness; then I turn around and fail Him again.” Maybe you would say, “Even today before I started reading this devotional I failed God spiritually; and now I cannot even approach God because I know He doesn’t want to see me.”

I invite you, in your mind right now, to bring all of your sin together into a pile. Heap it up! Bring the sins of your mind--your lustful thoughts, your anger toward people, your unforgiveness, your bitterness.

Bring your words--the hurtful things you have said to people, either in the distant past or just recently. Bring them all together.

Bring your laziness--the times you should’ve been in God’s Word, the times you should’ve been doing things for God and you ended up just wasting those hours.

Bring your actions--things you have done that you know you shouldn’t have done, or things that God called you to do and you didn’t do them.

Bring it all, everything you can think of, and mountain your sin up until it stands as high as the highest peak you have ever seen! But that mountain of your sin will always be in shadow...because there’s a mountain behind it ten times as big--the mountain of God’s grace!

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

 

Integrity Moments

Posted on December 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

It’s Probably Already Enough

Many people pursue wealth at the expense of relationships with family and friends. Why is that? I think it’s because,

• Money appears easier to achieve than healthy relationships, and

• We mistakenly think money will insulate us and give us the upper hand when we have relationship problems.

Proverbs 23 teaches, “Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.

Every person’s soul craves more wealth, regardless of how much we have. Manage wisely and well what you have, and you will be much happier than if you acquire more.

Better yet, invest in relationships with people who don’t care how much money you have.

Today’s Integrity Moment was adapted with permission from the writings of Phillip Cohen.

Learn more about Rick Boxx and Integrity Resource Center

A Daily Word with Dr. Ed Young

Posted on December 14, 2017 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. -John 6:35

The best humans could do until Jesus came was, like Solomon in Ecclesiastes, lament their hunger and look forward to a feast. And when the banquet table was set, many couldn’t believe the bounty and passed it by. Religious people always say that grace is too good to be true. They have to bring something to the table--ceremony, ritual, scholarship, titles, credentials. They are like a gracious lady invited to dinner who inquires, “What can I bring?” But Jesus is the whole feast. “Just bring your appetite,” He answers.

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In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

God's Wisdom Revealed

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

After exposing the futility of worldly thinking in 1 Corinthians 1, Paul introduces Christians to the higher realm of godly wisdom. This kind of knowledge and understanding isn't available through human intelligence and reasoning; it comes strictly through divine revelation. Only those indwelt by God's Spirit have "the mind of Christ" (v. 16) and access to "the things freely given" to them by God (v. 12).

Without this supernatural insight, no one can accurately know the Lord or His ways. Many people say they believe in God yet may not have a correct understanding of Him because their perceptions are based on their own thoughts and ideas. It's easier to custom-design a god to fit our preferences than to make the required adjustments that worship of the one true God demands.

Even believers need to guard against trying to fit God into their preconceived image of Him. The Bible is the only reliable source of divine revelation, but we must be careful to consider the Scriptures as a whole--it's critical that we don't just pick and choose the verses we want to believe. For example, by focusing only on passages that emphasize the Lord's lovingkindness while excluding those that speak of His holiness and justice, we misunderstand His true nature.

Let's seek to know the Lord in truth by considering the entire counsel of Scripture. Divine wisdom is available to every believer through the Holy Spirit, who searches the depths of God. May we never try to limit Him to fit our preferences. Instead, may He enlarge our minds to embrace His thoughts.

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

 

Time with God

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

1 Corinthians 15:53-57

For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, `DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

What Jesus has given us is much more than we have yet experienced!

What we have experienced so far of what Jesus has done in and for us is mostly in our inner spiritual life. Some of that transformation is complete, and much of it is still in process. But the Lord is reminding us today that there is much more! There is coming a day when the transformation will be complete, when this perishable body will be replaced by an imperishable one, “and this mortal will have put on immortality.”

Death gets its power from sin and the law, but neither of those will have any bearing on us when we’re with the Lord forever. We’ll have ultimate victory over sin and death.

It’s been said we’re not ready to really live until we’re ready to die. “Thanks be to God”, we’re ready for both!

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

 

Integrity Moments

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Real Results – Radio version

In February of 2013, Phil and his management team decided to pursue God and see what would happen in their business. They agreed to spend a year using the Bible and prayer to drive personal and professional growth.

The results have been beyond what could have been imagined:

• A peaceful, productive workplace.

• Depression and other mental and physical health problems clearing up.

• Financial peace and strength.

• People quitting tobacco, losing excess weight, exercising, getting out of debt and buying houses.

• Spouses telling how much better life is at home.

• The company getting awards and national press

Their management group of four has grown to ten. Each week they meet to discuss where they've been reading in the Bible and what God is saying to them. It has brought real results.

Today’s Integrity Moment was adapted with permission from the writings of Phillip Cohen.

Learn more about Rick Boxx and Integrity Resource Center

A Daily Word with Dr. Ed Young

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

“... for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment."

Luke 22:37

There is a progressiveness to all the prophecies leading to Jesus Christ. In Genesis, God promises the One who will crush the serpent’s head will be of the human race. Through Abraham, God identifies the nation through which Messiah will come. God shows Jacob the tribe, Judah. In His promises to David, God reveals the Deliverer’s family line. Through Micah, God indicates the Messiah’s hometown. Isaiah is shown the type mother who will bear Immanuel. Like a cinematographer, God slowly zooms in the lens of prophecy until Jesus Christ fills the screen of History.

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In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

Posted on December 12, 2017 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Faith versus Reason

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

The first battle between faith and human reason took place in the garden of Eden. Spurred on by the lies of the serpent, Eve began to look at her situation from a purely logical perspective and decided she was being cheated by God out of something good. Her faith faltered as "reasonable" thoughts of self-interest filled her mind.

I am not saying that the way of faith is never logical, but by operating only on the basis of reason, a conflict with the Lord is inevitable. The reason is that His instructions and actions don't always appear reasonable from a human perspective. Although Isaiah 55:8-9 describes God's thoughts and ways as higher than man's, many people judge divine ideas to be lower than human intelligence.

Paul emphasizes this when he points out that God's choices are illogical by the world's standards. His message of salvation seems foolish, and His messengers appear weak and unimpressive. In an age that thrives on recognition, admiration, and importance, a person who believes the Bible is considered a weakling in need of a religious crutch to cope with life. While this description is given in derision, it's actually quite accurate. Recognizing their helplessness, believers lean on Christ so He can raise them to stand with Him in righteousness.

That day in Eden, sin and self-importance entered the human heart. But all the worldly wisdom that fuels our pride is nullified by God. He is looking not for great and impressive people but for weak, humble servants who can boast only in Christ. The Savior alone is their strength and wisdom.

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

 

Time with God

Posted on December 12, 2017 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Galatians 6:12, 14

Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. ...But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us, He is now the thing that matters to me, not the world!

We owe the Lord Jesus more than we could ever repay Him; yet, He doesn’t come to us demanding payment. His death on the cross for us was a gift to you from the heart of God. It reflects the depth of His love for you!

But while the Lord does not demand repayment from us, our experience of His self-sacrificing love for us, His willingness to face the unthinkable separation from God the Father for us, His humiliation and shame on our behalf -- our experience of that changes us.

We’re now `loved people’, and that unshakable fact is the foundation of our lives. What it means to us is that He’s now the centre of our lives. Making “a good showing in the flesh” doesn’t mean to us as much as it used to. Now we’re willing to lay other things aside in order to be pleasing to Him.

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

 


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