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  • Jesus Christ, The Son Of God
    Jesus Christ, The Son Of God John 20:30-31 In today's verses, John wants us to know that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God" (John 20:31). But why is it so important that we believe He is God's Son? The most obvious reason is because our salvation, and therefore our eternal destiny, depends upon our faith in this truth. But after salvation, Christ's divine identity should continue to affect us. For one thing, knowing the Son leads to a deeper understanding of the Father. Since Jesus is both God and man, He is uniquely qualified to provide us with such insight. As we study His life, the aspects of God's character and ways that are difficult for our human minds to grasp come to life through Christ's teaching and example. He also shows us who we can become. The Lord is committed to transforming each of His followers into the likeness of His Son. Though we won't reach perfection in this life or ever attain Christ's divine attributes, His character can be worked out in us as we yield to the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our example for godly attitudes, words, and actions. Another way Christ affects us is by inspiring our gratitude. He left the glories of heaven in order to become our Savior, and when we recognize that sacrifice, we are filled with thankfulness and praise. Let Jesus motivate you to live in purity. He abides within every believer through His indwelling Holy Spirit. That means selfish and sinful thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions have no place in our lives. Be mindful that He is always with you, and let Him direct your choices and purify your life. http://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/daily-devotions/jesus-christ-the-son-of-god?firstItem=226d56ec-fe24-4e25-9c42-3ee3dededede&month=3&year=2014
    Word_of_Go... 00:03:59 258 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • A Man Worthy Of Our Praise
    A Man Worthy Of Our Praise Matthew 8:23-27 In today’s reading from Matthew 8, the men who traveled with Jesus on a stormy night asked something that ought to make us sit up and take notice: “What kind of a man is this . . . ?” (Matthew 8:27). We would do well to ponder that same question. Then we’ll begin to see the big picture of who Jesus is. The Lord and His disciples were making their way across the Sea of Galilee to the region of the Gadarenes. Then a powerful storm hit—imagine a violent wind causing such turbulence that waves were covering the deck of their wooden boat (Matthew 8:24). Even the experienced seamen on board were certain that their death was imminent. But Jesus was sleeping. He was resting quietly during a storm so frightening that the writer chose the Greek word seismos to describe it. (Our phrase “seismic activity,” which is used of earthquakes, comes from the same root.) What kind of man is this who can sleep while the boat heaves and pitches? The answer is, the One who created the seas and knows how a storm brews and what energy causes a wave to stay in motion. That’s the kind of man—a divine Being cloaked in humanity, who rebuked the winds and sea so that they became perfectly calm. Scripture indicates that both the air and the water were instantly stilled. Such is the power of Jesus, the Creator and Lord over the universe. All the Bible stories about Him add to the big picture that He is the only man worthy of glory, honor, and praise (Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 5:12). http://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/daily-devotions/a-man-worthy-of-our-praise?firstItem=96685017-e2ef-4099-8b2b-1d6c30abb996&month=3&year=2014
    Word_of_Go... 00:03:16 200 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • A Man Worthy Of Our Hope
    A Man Worthy Of Our Hope 1 Peter 1:3-5 Christ’s resurrection is not open for theological debate. There are many people who think it’s sufficient to believe that Jesus lived and died. However, the Savior’s restoration to life is central to what He claimed about His identity and to Christianity as a faith. Picking up on our question from yesterday’s devotion, we must ask what kind of man is this who rose from the dead? The answer is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died for our sins and rose again because death had no power over Him. The resurrection validated Jesus’ entire ministry. All along, He said and did things to reveal that He was Lord. When the Lamb of God—the perfect sacrifice for sin—conquered death, He confirmed His identity. Who but the Creator could return to life? We could also answer the question by saying that the kind of man who returns from the dead is one worthy of our hope. Since Jesus Christ affirmed God’s power to give His followers eternal life, their earthly existence is not marching toward an end; rather, it is the opening chapter of a beautiful and infinite relationship with God. The apostle Paul said that at death, Christians are absent from the body and present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). So the best is yet to come! Apart from Jesus’ resurrection, there is no hope. People who chase after their own version of immortality don’t have assurance of life after death, because there is none. Believers, however, face the end of earthly life with the confidence that nothing can separate them from the love of God. Death is just a short trip home. http://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/daily-devotions/a-man-worthy-of-our-hope?firstItem=ebcef186-5aa6-437d-a056-1f6dc8805e4a&month=3&year=2014
    Word_of_Go... 00:03:54 238 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Resting In God's Faithfulness
    Resting In God's Faithfulness 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 When plans are frustrated or life just seems to fall apart in some way, it’s not uncommon for people to wonder, Has God deserted me? Why hasn’t He answered my prayers? Deuteronomy 7:9 offers encouragement with assurance of the Father’s faithfulness: “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Five attributes of God make this possible. First, He knows everything, including our needs, thoughts, frailties, and desires—past, present, and future. Next, the Lord is all-powerful, so nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17). Then, He exists everywhere at once and is never beyond reach. In addition, our heavenly Father cannot lie. Everything that He says is true and 100 percent reliable. Lastly, God is unchanging. The world around us and our circumstances seem to be in a constant state of flux. And the Lord may even modify the way He chooses to interact with mankind in different generations. But His character is always the same. So when Scripture tells us that God is faithful, we can rest confidently upon that promise. Circumstances often prove painful. But even when situations seem overwhelming, believers can trust that our sovereign Lord knows all, is in control, and lovingly works everything for His children’s good. We can rest confidently, knowing that the unchanging God of all creation is taking care of us.
    Word_of_Go... 00:03:14 286 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • God Is At Work
    God Is At Work John 5:15-19 Throughout the Bible, we observe God at work in people’s lives. Sometimes He acts in dramatic fashion, as when He parted the Red Sea to let the Israelites escape from the Egyptian army. At other times it may appear that He’s not taking any action. Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother needed His help, but Christ delayed before traveling to their home (John 11:3-6). In fact, He was preparing an even greater miracle. The Holy Spirit helps us recognize God’s presence and handiwork. He does this by cultivating our ability to discern when and where the Lord is at work. In addition to spiritual discernment, we must develop patience because God operates according to His timetable, not ours. Abraham was promised numerous descendants, but there was a long wait before his wife conceived—in fact, he and Sarah were beyond childbearing years. Impatience can cause us to take matters into our own hands and make mistakes. The Lord’s efforts can bring delight, as was the case when Hannah became a mother (1 Samuel 1:27-2:1). His plan can also lead through painful times, which was Joseph’s experience. Before the Lord elevated him to a position of authority to help his family, Joseph was sold into slavery and unjustly imprisoned. Jesus told the disciples that His Father was always at work and so was He. We will be encouraged and strengthened in our faith when we recognize the ways in which God is operating. These glimpses of His handiwork will motivate us to stay the course and help us maintain a godly perspective on life. http://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/daily-devotions/god-is-at-work?firstItem=2511afca-0863-46ff-9375-604e0cc5457e&month=3&year=2014
    Word_of_Go... 00:03:41 307 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • When We Feel Guilty
    When We Feel Guilty Isaiah 43:10-11, 25 Many teachers find true-or-false questions to be a useful tool in determining what students know. Some people seem able to discern right away what is true. Others ponder the question at length and realize they are simply not certain what the truth is. How would you answer the following questions? True or False? It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to convict us of sin. The answer is TRUE (John 16:8). When we have sinned, God’s Spirit will cause us to have feelings of guilt, which convict us of what we’ve done wrong. He does this so that we will ask God’s forgiveness and be restored to a proper relationship with Him. True or False? All guilty feelings are due to sin. The answer is FALSE. We can experience a sense of guilt for reasons other than our sin—for example, a wrong view of God. We feel guilty when we imagine the Lord is noticing our mistakes, pointing His finger at us, and pronouncing judgment. Other times we feel guilty and do not know why. Romans 8:1 proclaims the truth that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The Bible also teaches that the Spirit-filled life is designed to be one of joy and peace. Spend this week getting to know God better through what the New Testament reveals about Him. Look at the love and compassion Jesus had for the crowds that followed Him (Matthew 14:14), the widow (Luke 7:13), the leper (Mark 1:40-42), and the tax collector (Matthew 9:9-12). Accept the truth that God loves you, and allow any false guilt to melt away. http://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/daily-devotions/when-we-feel-guilty?firstItem=2511afca-0863-46ff-9375-604e0cc5457e&month=3&year=2014
    Word_of_Go... 00:03:19 239 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Dealing with Feelings of Guilt
    Dealing with Feelings of Guilt Ephesians 2:1-10 Guilt can be like a poison working insidiously on the inside to create havoc in our thoughts and emotions. The antidote is to understand why we feel guilty and to know how to apply scriptural teachings on the subject. Misunderstanding grace results in guilty feelings, which make us think that in order to be a “good” Christian, we must clean up our act ourselves. In contrast, the message of grace is this: At the cross, Jesus paid our sin debt in full and declared us righteous in His sight. We do not have to measure up; through Christ, we have been made acceptable exactly as we are. Another thing that can make us feel guilty is confusion about confession and forgiveness. Some believers are concerned about hidden sins that they haven’t yet identified; others worry about whether they’ve confessed enough to be forgiven. It is true that 1 John 1:9 tells us to confess our wrongdoing, but doing so is not what makes us forgiven. It is what Jesus did at Calvary that provides forgiveness of all our sins. Refusing to let go of the past can also produce guilty emotions, because some of us feel undeserving of forgiveness—knowing what sins we have committed can lead to an ongoing sense of shame. Jesus Christ died on the cross so that all our sins—past, present, and future—could be forgiven. This is part of the miracle of grace. The truth of God’s Word frees us from the prison of false guilt and allows us to live life His way. Are you walking in freedom?
    Word_of_Go... 00:02:59 218 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Responding to Conflict
    Responding to Conflict Proverbs 15:18 When conflict occurs, people often look for someone to criticize. Though it happened long ago, I still remember being severely chastised during a meeting at an organization. Because of God’s enabling, I was able to react in a godly manner. Turning to the Lord in prayer is always the best way to respond in a crisis. As we do, we can ask for Him to provide. . . Spiritual discernment. God knows and understands perfectly the source of the problem, and He can enable us to comprehend it, too. Perhaps there has been a communication breakdown, a feeling of jealousy on the other person’s part, or a mistake on ours. With the Spirit’s assistance, we will gain insight. A quiet spirit. Our human nature will want to react quickly so that we can defend ourselves or stand up for what we think is right. Before we act, we must deliberately focus our attention on God and experience the inner peace that He promises (John 14:27). Wisdom. The Lord told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would give them wise words to say when they faced hostile authorities (Luke 12:11-12). He will do the same for us. If tempted to speak hastily, we should ask the Spirit to put a seal on our lips until God reveals it’s time to respond and gives us the words to say (Ps. 141:3). We do not have to react to criticism with anger and self-protectiveness, as the world does. God has called us to represent Him in every situation the same way Christ did—through dependence on the heavenly Father. Next time someone speaks critically to you, how will you respond?
    Word_of_Go... 00:02:16 204 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • Maintaining a Quiet Spirit
    Maintaining a Quiet Spirit Proverbs 26:4 When conflict arises, we frequently want to rush in and defend our position. Perhaps we even feel justified in blaming others. However, James 1:19 gives different advice for dealing with tension and disputes: "Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger." In other words, more can be accomplished through a calm approach to the situation. Scripture also suggests that we . . . • Pray. First, we should ask the Lord to guard our mouth and give us the right words to say (Luke 12:12). Also, we ought to request discernment concerning the root issue, including insight as to whether we might be at fault. • Aim to see with divine perspective. Our sovereign God works all situations for the believer's benefit (Romans 8:28). He not only uses difficulties to teach us but also allows us to demonstrate the life of Christ by the way we respond. • Forgive. Even if someone has hurt us by causing the conflict, we should forgive. Jesus died to pardon all of our sin, and we, in turn, should forgive others. In fact, if we don't, our lives will become burdened by resentment and broken relationships. • Respond. If we've done something wrong, we should apologize and ask forgiveness. But if we're not in the wrong, we can still express appreciation that the other person took time to share his concern. Also, we should affirm that we will carefully consider his comments. How do you respond to conflict? Pray for the strength to stay calm and do what is right, even during difficult, emotional situations.
    Word_of_Go... 00:03:37 237 0 Downloads 0 Comments
  • How to Conquer Your Fears
    How to Conquer Your Fears Psalms 27:1-3 I’ve walked with the Lord for nearly seven decades. I have read the Bible cover to cover many times, preached thousands of sermons, and written pages upon pages of study material. But let me tell you something that may surprise you: In spite of all that, sometimes I’m afraid. And I imagine you are, on occasion, as well. After all, we live in a scary world! Any of us can feel frightened by failure, ridicule, loneliness, or something else entirely. For me, one area of vulnerability relates to preaching. Sometimes, early in the week, I get a nagging feeling that I won’t have everything I need to deliver Sunday’s message, and the uneasiness persists throughout the week. In response to that, I pray harder, study longer, and read my Bible more closely. I am driven to do absolutely everything I can to succeed whenever I stand to proclaim God’s Word. I decided long ago that I wouldn’t let apprehension stop me from doing what God calls me to do. However, before I take my stand against fear, I must first admit it is there. That’s the key to conquering feelings of trepidation. There’s no shame in admitting you are fearful. In the Psalms, King David confesses several times that he is afraid (Psalms 34:4; Psalms 55:4-5). However, his confession is wrapped in prayer, acknowledging the Lord’s power over both his apprehension and his enemies. That same power is available to you today. God wants to cast out the fear and doubt in your life. Go before Him right now and say, “Lord, this is what I am afraid of . . .”
    Word_of_Go... 00:03:40 199 0 Downloads 0 Comments
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