Thursday, August 31, 2017

Today’s Verse – Psalm 91:1

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

At the end of summer’s scorching heat, where did you find your shadow of protection and refreshment? When we place our lives in the care of God Most High, we find that his shadow of protection and refreshment covers us. Even in times of difficulty, we know that he has protected us from the worst of Satan’s withering attack and that his presence offers us strength that we may not often see but always can trust.

My Prayer…

Give me eyes to see, O LORD, and a heart to believe that you are there when I cannot see any evidence of your presence. Please be my protection in times of attack and my refreshment in times that bring soul-withering despair. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Date: September 01, 2017
From: “Today’s Verse from Heartlight”
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Category: Today’s Verse (NIV)

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‘The Necessity of Forgiveness’ – Matthew 18:34-35

“The master was very angry, so he put the servant in prison to be punished. And the servant had to stay in prison until he could pay everything he owed. This king did the same as my heavenly Father will do to you. You must truly forgive your brother or sister, or my heavenly Father will not forgive you.”

Matthew 18:34-35

Key Thought

God is gracious and merciful until he finds those to whom he has freely dispensed mercy and they withhold it from others. The key principle of mercy and grace is this: it must be shared when it is received or it is never appreciated. God is very angry with an unforgiving, unmerciful, and uncharitable heart. So let’s be gracious and tender and kind. Let’s do it without regard to social rank or racial heritage or ethnic origin. Let’s do it simply because God’s first done it to us!

Today’s Prayer

Holy God, help me to be more merciful with those who stumble and more harsh with those who refuse to forgive. Please give me a sense of balance so that I may know, celebrate, and proclaim your mercy in its radical glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Today’s Verses in Context

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, when my brother won’t stop doing wrong to me, how many times must I forgive him? Should I forgive him as many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, you must forgive him more than seven times. You must continue to forgive him even if he does wrong to you seventy-seven times. ” “So the kingdom of heaven is like a king that decided to collect the money that his servants owed him. The king began to collect his money. One servant owed the king several thousand pounds of silver. The servant was not able to pay the money to his master, the king. So the master ordered that everything the servant owned should be sold, even the servant’s wife and children. The money would be used to pay the king what the servant owed. “But the servant fell on his knees and begged, ‘Be patient with me. I will pay you everything I owe.’ The master felt sorry for his servant. So the master told the servant he did not have to pay. The master let the servant go free. “Later, that same servant found another servant that owed him a few dollars’ worth of silver. The servant grabbed the other servant around the neck and said, ‘Pay me the money you owe me!’ “The other servant fell on his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me. I will pay you everything I owe.’ “But the first servant refused to be patient. The servant told the judge that the other servant owed him money, and the other servant was thrown into prison. The servant had to stay in prison until he could pay everything he owed. All the other servants saw what happened. They felt very sorry for the man. So they went and told their master everything that happened. “Then the master called his servant in and said, ‘You evil servant. You owed me much money, but you begged me to forgive your debt. So I told you that you did not have to pay anything. So you should have given the same mercy to that other man that is a servant with you. You should have given him the same mercy that I gave you.’ The master was very angry, so he put the servant in prison to be punished. And the servant had to stay in prison until he could pay everything he owed. “This king did the same as my heavenly Father will do to you. You must truly forgive your brother or sister, or my heavenly Father will not forgive you.”Matthew 18:21-35

Related Scripture Readings

Matt. 6:12-15

Eph. 4:32

Matt. 25:41-46


Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware. Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.

Date: September 01, 2017
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Category: What Jesus Did!

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When Jesus Speaks

It’s no secret that I’ve done a lot of prayer these past few weeks regarding where the Lord is leading me. Specific, bold, expectant prayers for clarity and provision. There’s been a lot of asking, listening, and keeping an awareness of His voice throughout the day. What country. What people group. What city. What timeline. What organization. What are you doing, Jesus?

Sometimes, I slip into a mindset that says the more others-focused my quiet time is, the holier it is.

Intercession has a place and a critical one at that. It deserves more energy and attention than we often give it. I need to spend time everyday praying for specifics and going before the Throne of Grace on behalf of others.

BUT, that is not the point of my intimate time with Jesus. I go to Jesus to just be with Him, not for the sake of getting answers about my life. The idea isn’t to walk away with some revelation about what He’s calling me to or where I’m going (although, that’s often a part of it). It’s not to figure things out for someone else. It is literally to just be with the God of the universe and savior of my soul. To read His Word, to worship Him, and to hear His voice.

I go before the Father to hear what He thinks about me, because my soul needs to be reminded who I am and who He is.

May the magnificence and the humility of that not be lost on us! That we get to approach the Maker and Sustainer of the world with boldness and in our brokenness because He wants to be near us. He chose and chooses still to be near us. Over and over again in Scripture, even with the separation between God and the people in the Old Testament, we see Him drawing near to His people. His judges, kings, and prophets speak words about the compassion of God again and again.

Don’t forget: He cares way more about His will and His glory than you do. He’s not going to withhold specific answers or prayers that will disrupt His glory (as if that was possible). It’s okay for your time with Jesus to be selfish, in the sense that you sit with Him to hear His heart for you. It is from that place, of knowing our belovedness, that we become generous in giving, convicted in sin, abounding in service, overflowing with grace, and aware of His work in the lives of others. It doesn’t replace intercession, it needs to be what it flows from.

We hear our God telling us, not in a trite, cliché sort of way, just how much He love us and is for us. And we are, in turn, able to worship more fully the God who loves us enough to walk among us, to indwell us with His spirit, and to sing His faithfulness over us!

The other night, He was clear, in the classic “gracious but firm” sort of God-way, that my orientation and questions have been a little off in my recent moments alone with Him:

You hear me clearest when you hear me saying I want to be with you. I delight in you! I love you. I love being near you. I love watching you draw near to me. You move my heart. I see you – I redeem you! And I take delight in that. You ask to hear me for clarity and you will; you do. But clarity on the specific things you ask comes in a moment. My love for you is everlasting. Knowing what country I’m sending you to is one thing, but knowing just how deeply I take delight in you is another. That’s what you need to hear. It’s what Israel needed to hear. Over and over and over and over – I’m never going to stop reminding you, never going to stop singing it over you because there will never be a time it won’t be true. There will never be a time where you won’t need to hear it. I want to make you glorious! I want to make deserts into gardens more beautiful than you’ve ever seen. I have compassion, such compassion. I have more mercy, grace, and justice than you could ever even comprehend. My plans are good, my hand is strong, and I do not fail. I am your God, I am here, and you are mine. As a treasure, as my beloved, as my delight! Feel my heart for you, read about my heart for you, hear my heart for you, because it overflows and it will never stop. Know, deeply and daily, that I love you.

Let us not forget – our holy, holy, holy God, the Almighty on the throne, not only allows but delights in our approaching Him. For love, for compassion, for grace. Ask Him what He’s doing, ask Him for specifics, but don’t forget or be afraid to listen to His heart for you. Ask Him what He thinks of you. And sit in His presence, letting Jesus speak words of love and delight over you. Open the Scriptures, notice the Holy Spirit. Let Him love you with His everlasting love.

Because when Jesus speaks, things change. Because when Jesus speaks, people are seen. Because when Jesus speaks, His sheep know it. Because when Jesus speaks, it is good. Because when Jesus speaks . . . there is love.

Date: August 31, 2017 at 10:16PM
From: “Internet Cafe Devotions”
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Category: Internet Cafe Devotions

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I Know Your Words and Thoughts!

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me [Ezekiel], and he told me to say, “This is what the LORD says to the people of Israel: I know what you are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds.”

Ezekiel 11:5 NLT

Key Thought

We can scheme, plan, and plot quietly. We can tell our inner thoughts to no one else. The Spirit of God, however, knows our inner thoughts, schemes, plans, and plots. The Spirit not only inspired God’s message in Scripture, but he also convicts, informs, and transforms our fleshly mind and spirit. The Spirit challenges and confronts the thoughts we wouldn’t dare say out loud. When God’s words are spoken, heard, and read, they are directed to the struggle of each heart seeking to be conformed to the will of God. The message of God comes from the Holy Spirit. That message has power because the Holy Spirit convicts as well as informs. Let’s ask the Spirit to speak to our hearts, minister to our needs, inspire our godly longings, support us through our weaknesses, confront our duplicity, and help us know God’s truth!

Today’s Prayer

O Father, please make your will clear to me through the work of your Holy Spirit in my heart. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God’s Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Date: September 01, 2017
From: “God’s Holy Fire from Heartlight”
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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: SpiritFire

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An Everlasting Kingdom

2 Timothy 4:9-22

Dear Father,

Help me not to be in love with this present world. Enable me to live for the sake of your everlasting kingdom.

Help me come to the defense of those who are attacked wrongly or who need defending for your sake.

Stand by us, dear God, and give us the strength to live for you and to proclaim your word fully, as it deserves.

Rescue us from the lion’s mouth. Rescue us from every evil and save us for your heavenly kingdom.

Be with our spirits. Grant abundant grace to us in every way.

To you be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Heartlight appreciates Eldon Degge and Meridian Publishing for permission to make this available on our website. Praying with Paul is available in a very attractive book that may be ordered directly from Eldon Degge.

Date: September 01, 2017
From: “Praying with Paul from Heartlight”
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Category: Praying With Paul

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Matthew 7:1-2 – Verse for Sep. 1st

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Matthew 7:1-2


Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.

Date: September 01, 2017
From: “Daily Wisdom from Heartlight”
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Category: Daily Wisdom (NIV)

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Bedrock Belief

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

All religions, in fact, all worldviews including those couched in the language of unbelief, are built on a belief in something. This something may be an idea, a theory, an ideology, an explanation, a feeling, a skepticism, a method, or other things. However, I want you to realize two truths that Paul reveals in the verses that you are to read today:

  • The basic Christian faith, the good news about Me, is very straightforward and easy to understand. Believing that good news might be hard, but understanding what you must believe is very clear.
  • Christian faith hinges on My resurrection from the dead. My resurrection was an event in history that was investigated and verified. It emboldened fearful and confused disciples to become powerful witnesses. They had no expectation of My resurrection, but then they met Me alive from the dead. They boldly confirmed My resurrection before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council that had condemned Me to death. They then risked their lives to verify My resurrection to others all over the world, some ultimately becoming martyrs for what they proclaimed.

Paul summarized this bedrock Christian faith with four truths, all culminating in My verified resurrection:

  1. I died for your sins as the Scriptures had prophesied.
  2. I was buried in a tomb.
  3. On the third day, I was raised from the dead just as the Scriptures had said.
  4. After My resurrection, I appeared to those who knew Me and thought I was still dead. Paul mentions some of these people by name and points out that some of them were still alive as witnesses to My resurrection. I also appeared to Paul, who was one of My fiercest opponents. Those appearances changed all of their lives forever.

Paul made very clear to the Corinthians that these truths form the bedrock Christian gospel that is necessary for salvation. Notice the words below in bold to see how emphatically he makes this point. Paul’s summary sentence at the end of these verses adds emphasis to this claim of bedrock belief:

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether it was I [Paul] or the other witnesses who brought you the message. What matters is that we keep preaching and that you have faith in this message.

A few verses later he also made the unequivocal observation that “if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless…” (1 Corinthians 15:17 NLT). You must build your life of faith on the bedrock historical truth of My resurrection if you are going to be My disciple.

Verses to Live

Some people try to make faith depend on an elaborate set of principles that are difficult to understand. Paul reminded the Corinthians, and I am reminding you, that the bedrock truths of your faith are not difficult to understand. The challenge is found in believing these four truths and building your daily life upon them.

Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I [Paul] preached to you when we first met. It’s the essential message that you have taken to heart, the central story you now base your life on; and through this gospel, you are liberated [saved] — unless, of course, your faith has come to nothing.

For I passed down to you the crux of it all which I had also received from others, that [Christ] the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for our sins and was buried and raised from the dead on the third day. All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures; it was the perfect climax to God’s covenant story. Afterward He appeared alive to Cephas (you may know him as Simon Peter), then to the rest of the twelve. If that were not amazing enough, on one occasion, He appeared to more than 500 believers at one time. Many of those brothers and sisters are still around to tell the story, though some have fallen asleep in Jesus. Soon He appeared to James, His brother and the leader of the Jerusalem church, and then to all the rest of the emissaries He Himself commissioned. Last of all, He appeared to me; I was like a child snatched from his mother’s womb.

You see, I am the least of all His emissaries, not fit to be called His emissary because I hunted down and persecuted God’s church. Today I am who I am because of God’s grace, and I have made sure that the grace He offered me has not been wasted. I have worked harder, longer, and smarter than all the rest; but I realize it is not me — it is God’s grace with me that has made the difference. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether it was I or the other witnesses who brought you the message. What matters is that we keep preaching and that you have faith in this message.

(1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

Response in Prayer

Father, forgive me. Forgive me for getting distracted when I pursue theological tangents. Forgive me when I become distracted from what is important and make essential Christian doctrine so much more complicated than it has to be. Thank You for loving Me enough to have Jesus pay the price for My sins. Thank You that Jesus faced death and the realities of human frailty and mortality so that I can trust Him to help me when I face such difficult times. Thank You for raising Jesus from the dead and verifying His resurrection with human witnesses who were not expecting His resurrection and who first hid in fear when He died. I am emboldened to believe when I see how their fear turned into fearlessness because of their experience with the resurrected Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2017, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Date:
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Category: Passion for Praise

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Dangerous Food


Today’s category: Doctors
Dangerous Food
      A dietitian was once addressing a large audience in Chicago. "The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago.

      "Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water.

      "But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?"

      A 75-year-old man in the front row stood up and said, "Wedding cake"


View hundreds more jokes online.
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Date: August 31, 2017 at 09:00PM
From: “ChristiansUnite Christian Joke of the Day”
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Category: Joke of the Day

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Prayer Vigil Buried by Sierra Leone Mudslide That Killed 1,000

Freetown churches grapple with tragedy in capital city.

Christians in Sierra Leone are still reeling and recovering from the worst flooding their West African nation has faced in recent memory, after a mudslide covered homes and churches on the outskirts of the capital city two weeks ago.

More than 150 Christians lost their lives and hundreds more have been wounded or displaced in the disaster; the total death toll has surpassed 1,000. This week, bodies swept away by the floods washed up as far away as Guinea, 90 miles up the coast from Freetown.

While most in the mountainside town of Regent were sleeping when the mudslide hit, Power of Praise Ministry was holding an all-night prayer vigil. Pastor David S. Dumbuya, his wife, and his children died. One survivor told the Daily Telegraph that he lost 13 of his relatives who attended the event.

“Everybody died. It covered the whole church,” said Saidu Kanu, World Hope International’s country director in Sierra Leone.

Further downhill, the floods landed on the western and central parts of the capital, where the majority of Freetown’s Baptist churches are located, according to the Baptist World Alliance.

Samuel Conteh, a leader with the Baptist Convention of Sierra Leone, reported that Bethany Baptist Church lost 60 members, making it one of the hardest-hit congregations reported so far. (Regent, alongside Mount Sugar Loaf, also happens to be home to the first Baptist church in Africa, founded in 1792 by a formerly enslaved African American who migrated there.)

Several other churches, including fellow Baptist and Pentecostal churches, have death tolls in the dozens, according to Jonathan Titus-Williams, general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone. Many more believers lost their homes in the disaster. …

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Date:
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Category: Christianity Today

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What If My Worst Fears Come True?

What If My Worst Fears Come True?

What does it mean that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” so much so that “we will not fear” (Psalm 46:1–2)? More poignantly, what do you believe it means? That’s where the rubber of your faith meets the road of your real life.

Crises of faith occur where the rubber of our faith — what we believe should be our experience if we trust God — meets the road of an experience that contradicts (or appears to contradict) our belief. Often this happens when some evil befalls us, leaving us disoriented and confused, feeling angry and disillusioned with God, who doesn’t appear to be following through on his promises.

After all, didn’t Jesus teach us to pray, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13)? And when we do, didn’t David teach us to expect this result: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4)? Isn’t God supposed to be “a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8) from the things we most fear?

Disordered Fears

The answers to those questions are yes — and perhaps no. God does promise to ultimately deliver us from all evil and from the most fearful things, the things that pose the most real danger to our souls. But he does not promise that no evil will ever befall us in this age, nor does he promise to deliver us from what personally strikes the most fear into us.

All of us have disordered fears, and they pose more trouble and heartache for us than we can often comprehend. We tend to have too little fear for the things most dangerous to our souls, and too much fear over things far less dangerous.

We are foolishly tempted to fearlessly and eagerly embrace some of the greatest dangers to our souls (1 Timothy 6:10). And lesser dangers so terrify us, we avoid them like the plague, even though they promise to yield us unimaginable joys (Philippians 1:21; Psalm 16:11).

What I Dread Befalls Me

This is not to make light of the horror that evil can afflict on us, things we rightly fear and rightly pray to be spared from. The Bible records essentially all of them, and some of the Bible’s greatest saints experienced the greatest possible afflictions.

Think of the horror Job experienced, and remember his cry in the full flare of unspeakable pain: “The thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me” (Job 3:25). Though Job was blameless (Job 1:8), God did not spare him (or his wife or children or servants or animals) horrific satanic attack.

Job may be the poster child of biblical saintly responses to ambiguous providences, but the list is long of those who, like the apostle Paul,

suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated — of whom the world was not worthy — wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Hebrews 11:36–38)

Even this passage lists only a few of the fearful evils that have fallen on great saints with extraordinary kingdom-expansion assignments. It does not include the host of other forms of evil that befall believers: horrible sexual abuse, dignity-disintegrating mental illness or dementia, mysterious and seriously debilitating chronic pain, deep depression, the exquisite parental pain of disabled children, the betrayal of marital infidelity and the devastation of a broken family, beloved and prayed-for children walking away from the faith, succumbing too young to the ravages of a disease, leaving spouses desolate and children reeling in grief. This list could be a lot longer.

The question is: If God does not spare us from these sorts of fearful evils, then what sort of a refuge is he? In what way does he deliver us from evil? And how is it that we can actually mean it when we say, “We will not fear”?

Why Are You Afraid?

This is the crux of the issue for us. This is the problem we must come to terms with if we are to endure evil’s onslaught of affliction with our faith intact. For we will not put our faith in a God we do not trust. And we will not trust a God who won’t keep his promises to protect us from the most fearful dangers.

The fundamental question for each of us is not, “God, will you protect me from my worst fears?” but rather Jesus’s question to us, “Why are you afraid?” (Matthew 8:26).

This is the question Jesus asked his disciples in the boat when they were panicking in the storm. It was no mystery why they were afraid. A number of them were experienced boatmen who knew full well this storm could send them to their graves. They were deathly afraid of death. Jesus asked the question to get the disciples to examine where their faith was placed. To drive this home, Luke’s account has Jesus asking them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25).

Jesus asks all of us this question because he designed fear to be a faith-revealer. Fear is a gauge that tells us what we treasure (what we fear to lose and why), as well as what we believe is dangerous. Fears teach us about our own worldview.

If you’re wondering, given what you see in the Bible and in the lives of saints around you, if God is safe, if he will allow evil to assault you and bring suffering into your life, the question you must answer is, “Why are you afraid?”

What Jesus Delivers Us From

The greatest deliverance Jesus accomplishes for us is saving us from our greatest danger: God’s holy and just wrath against our sin (Romans 5:6–9). Has God’s wrath ever made you afraid? For most of us, this is not even close to our greatest felt fear. It’s a fear God must teach us over time. This tells us just how disordered our fears can be, and how important it is that we let the question, “Why are you afraid?” search our hearts. We cannot trust fears that are not informed by reality, which means many of our fears are not trustworthy.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to deliver us from evil (1 John 3:8; Matthew 6:13). And he came to deliver us from all our fears (Psalm 34:4), meaning all that truly endangers our souls.

But the evil he came to deliver us from is not merely external evil, but internal evil: our indwelling sin. And the fears he came to deliver us from are not just fearful external circumstances, but our own internal disordered fears — fears that have their origin in our misplaced faith (unbelief). Which is why he does not deliver us from everything we are afraid of, even horrible evil, because storms that make us panic also show us where our faith is. They teach us to transfer our faith from our perceptions to the omnipotent word of God (Luke 8:25). And the testing of our faith produces steadfastness (James 1:3).

More Than Conquerors

But there is far more going on when we face fearful evil than just our personal sanctification. We all, through the diverse evil we experience, get to participate with God in the grand epic story of evil being overcome with good (Romans 12:21), lies being overcome with truth (John 8:31–32; 44), and hate being overcome with love (1 John 4:4, 8, 19–21). That is why laced through the Bible are statements like,

  • Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)
  • “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
  • “Some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.” (Luke 21:16–19)

We are being delivered from evil through overcoming evil. The most beautiful way this is expressed in the Bible comes from Paul’s pen,

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35–39)

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Do Not Fear What’s Frightening

There are a lot of frightening things in the world. How are we to respond to them? Trust God and “do not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Peter 3:6). Because God in Christ is a refuge for us (Psalm 62:8). He will not allow anything to destroy our eternal life or steal our ultimate joy, even if we suffer every kind of evil in this life. He will rescue us from every evil deed and bring us safely into his heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18).

Trusting God’s promises does not mean that what we fear won’t happen. It means that what we should fear most won’t happen. It means God will deliver us from our greatest real danger. If we feel disillusioned and angry with God because we believe he has not kept his promises, it’s likely that our fears are disordered and misplaced. And it’s possible that deep down we have believed that if we trust and obey God, it will produce some hoped-for outcome we desire, rather than the outcome God desires for us.

But if we follow Jesus’s example and embrace an approach to life that says to God, “not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36), and read God’s promises carefully, and allow his definitions of what is truly fearful and dangerous to guide us, we will find that God is a greater refuge and strength than we ever imagined, and a very present help in the greatest conceivable trouble.

Date: August 31, 2017 at 05:02PM
From: “Desiring God”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2eIKwi2
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Desiring God Blog

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Has Marriage Become My Idol?

Has Marriage Become My Idol?

God never designed marriage to be our ultimate treasure. Here are some signs that we have made our marriage into something God never intended it to be.

Listen Now

Date: August 31, 2017 at 05:00PM
From: “Desiring God”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2eINJyg
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Desiring God Blog

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If you would like to share your thoughts and/or comments… please leave your feedback below. All comments and suggestions are not of our own, but that of our readers and customers. These comments may not reflect our (TLLJCC) views, but are meant for discussion purposes to talk about a variety of Christian subjects.

Giving Back

To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company, works with Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). For every dollar donated, the Feed America network of food banks secures and distributes 11 meals to people facing hunger.

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Wish You’d Done More to Help Houston with This Hurricane? Give Now, But Here’s How to Get Ready for the Next One

The world has a growing need for well-informed, thoughtful engagement with natural disaster relief work.

This morning in USATODAY, I wrote on the role of faith-based organizations in disaster relief. I explained,

Government is essential in the rescue stage — they have the equipment and means to move that equipment. The Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are hard at work right now. Yet, their work alone is insufficient to rebuild the homes and lives of people impacted by natural disasters each year. In fact, over the past decades, we have seen a growing acknowledgement (from government, no less) of the reliable role of faith-based organizations.

The fact is, right now as we move into the relief mode, it is faith-based groups that will lead the way, as the immediatel rescue efforts soon subside.

You will see them on the ground, often in yellow hats. Unfortunately, it is too late for you to join them if you’ve not already been trained.

Lots of Disasters

This may serve as a surprise to some of us, but records are indicating that between 1995 and 2015, a shocking 6,457 weather-related disasters occurred. These disasters left 4.1 billion people injured and claimed 606,000 lives.

Many of us don’t realize the serious toll that natural disasters take on our world each year. People are losing family members, being displaced from their homes and robbed of their personal possessions on a regular basis. Unfortunately, studies continue to indicate that the frequency with which these storms occur isn’t going down any time soon.

The nation—and the world—have watched this week as Hurricane Harvey continues to pour buckets of rain down on the state of Texas. As relief efforts and volunteer workers are pouring into the state, many might not have known how to help or what resources to contribute. …

Continue reading

Date:
From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2wqVdO5
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christianity Today

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To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company, works with Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). For every dollar donated, the Feed America network of food banks secures and distributes 11 meals to people facing hunger.

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Beyond Approval – You Are Wildly Loved

wildly loved 2Who are you? Do you define yourself based on what others think of you? Do you crave the approval of others? You’re not alone.

It’s common to seek approval to overcome feelings of rejection and low self-esteem.  But pleasing one person can cause a problem for someone else. On our quest for approval, it’s impossible to make everyone happy. So how do we fill the void?

It’s not as difficult as you think. God created you with a specific purpose and plan. Because you belong to Him, what He thinks of you matters most (click to tweet). So just what does He think of you?

How God sees you

He designed you with infinite care before He formed you (Psalm 139:16). Remember the Psalmist David? He was quick to recognize the miracle of life and praise God for it:

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14; KVJ

God’s Word is true. You were created in the image of God. He made you uniquely you: with the looks, personality, and abilities you have. You are a masterpiece.

The right focus

While we often get our hearts set on winning someone’s approval to validate our worth, our vision clears when we focus on Jesus. His actions demonstrated a radical love we can’t deny. He was willing to humble Himself and become a man. He lived a sinless life. Jesus died on the cross in our place. When we put our faith in Him, we will live with Him eternally in Heaven.

Wow! Now that’s love – and there’s even more to it.  The apostle Paul mentions a list of adjectives that will fill the void all the human approval in the world won’t satisfy.

Who you are in Christ

Once you’ve accepted Christ’s sacrifice for your sins, God says you are blessed. You have the gift of salvation, the power to do God’s will, and the promise of a future home in Heaven.

You are chosen by God and adopted by Him. If your parents adopted you, you understand they did everything necessary to make you a part of their lives. The same is true with your Heavenly Father – He sent Jesus to make the payment for your sin so that, by faith, you could be restored to Him. Are you sensing His love for you?

He accepts you. You now belong to Christ. You’re on the winning side. Is your approval tank getting full? Wait, there’s more.

You are forgiven. Jesus paid the price for your sins by shedding His blood. No other payment needs to be made. You can move beyond guilt and live in Christ’s forgiveness (click to tweet).

God has redeemed you. You’ve been set free from the slavery of sin. You are free to serve the Lord and to find your approval in Him.

Believing the truth

Do you see God’s plan for you? If you’ve accepted Christ, you belong to Him. He wants you to embrace the truth of who He created you to be. You are accepted, blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, forgiven, and redeemed. You are wildly loved. Leave the approval of others behind and find your acceptance in Him.

God App for Today: Are you addicted to the approval of others? How has today’s lesson helped you realize how God sees you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the truth of Your Word that tells me who I am. Help me live out who You’ve made me in Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tip: Memorize the 7 adjectives from Ephesians so you can effectively fight the need for human approval and be reminded of how God sees you: accepted, blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, forgiven, redeemed.

 

*An excerpt by Maria I. Morgan taken from iNeed God ~ daily downloads for a Mom’s heart. You can receive a  FREE digital copy of the entire manuscript when you subscribe to The Daily GPS. Four other writers contributed to the devotional: Joyce Glass, Paula Tobey, Shannon Cochran, and Jessica Brassington.

 

Date: August 30, 2017 at 10:00PM
From: “Internet Cafe Devotions”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2xBuRsW
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Internet Cafe Devotions

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If you would like to share your thoughts and/or comments… please leave your feedback below. All comments and suggestions are not of our own, but that of our readers and customers. These comments may not reflect our (TLLJCC) views, but are meant for discussion purposes to talk about a variety of Christian subjects.

Giving Back

To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company, works with Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). For every dollar donated, the Feed America network of food banks secures and distributes 11 meals to people facing hunger.

The post Beyond Approval – You Are Wildly Loved appeared first on To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company.