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Daily Devotional 10/25/2021

Life Principles to Live By

”Anticipating the Lord’s Return”

This is part of Charles Stanley’s devotional, “Life Principles to Live By” posted on the YouVersion Bible app, adapted from his book, 30 Life Principles

Questions to consider:

  1. How often do you think about the Second Coming of Christ?

  2. How should the promise of His coming influence our daily living?

Today’s reference: Revelation 22:12

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.

1 Thessalonians 5:8

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

Comments by Charles Stanley:

Life Principle 30: An eager anticipation of the Lord’s return keeps us living productively.

Throughout Scripture, we find three admonitions given to us about the Lord’s return:

1. We’re to watch faithfully. The Word of God encourages us to stand fast in the faith with courage and strength (1 Cor. 16:13), watching soberly and arming ourselves with faith, love, and salvation (1 Thess. 5:8). As we watch, we’re to remain especially aware of false prophets, discerning the spirits and rejecting all who do not confess that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh (2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1-2).

Jesus spoke to John in a vision and gave this great promise to those who remain watchful: “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake” (Rev. 16:15).

2. We’re to work diligently. Why does Jesus leave us here on earth after He saves us? Why aren’t we born again, then immediately taken into the Lord’s presence? Simply because we still have work to do!

We’re to be the Lord’s witnesses, telling of the love of God and the atoning death of Jesus Christ. We’re also to testify to others about all He’s done in our own lives, both with our words and by our example. As long as there remains a soul on earth who hasn’t heard the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, we still have much to do.

3. We’re to wait peacefully. More than four hundred times in Scripture, the Lord commands us to not fear but to enjoy peace—and He calls us to peace as we await His return. We’re taught in the Bible that apart from Jesus, there is no peace … not within a human heart and not among human beings or nations. With Jesus, we can experience peace that surpasses our rational capacity and settles deep within (Phil. 4:7). We are to seek and find this peace as we await the Lord’s return.

When the Lord comes, will He find you among those who love Him and call Him Savior and Lord? Will He find you doing what He’s commanded of you, eager to see Him and ready for His appearing? You have it within your grasp to positively answer these questions. So how will you choose to respond to the Lord’s call upon your life?

The fact is, He is coming again!

Quote:  ‘All loneliness, angers, hatreds, envies, and itchings that Hell contains, if rolled into one single experience and put in the scale against the least moment of the joy that is felt by the least in Heaven, would have no weight that could be registered at all.’ Excerpt, The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis

Disclaimer: The purpose of this devotional is to engage the reader with Scripture promoting the many studies published by the YouVersion Bible app. A strong devotional life leads to a life of devotion. This is not intended to promote any one person’s perspective other than the Supremacy of Christ in all things. 

Check out / Participate with / Pray for

Possibilities Africa:  https://usa.possibilitiesafrica.org/

Love Counts Now:  https://lovecountsnow.org/

Todd Becker Foundation:  https://toddbecker.org/

Crossroads Center Rescue Mission:  https://www.crossroadsmission.com/

Collage Center:  https://collagecenter.com/

Ted and Judy Olsen:  http://www.globalfellowship.org

Fred and Janet Young:  http://www.worldventure.org

A Data Evaluation Tool For The Great Commission:  https://stratus.earth/

Finishing The Task:  http://www.FinishingtheTask.com/

Activate Global: https://mybridgeradio.net/activate/

Posted by Bob Bednar

Daily Devotional 10/24/2021

Life Principles to Live By

”What We Can Learn In The Valley”

This is part of Charles Stanley’s devotional, “Life Principles to Live By” posted on the YouVersion Bible app, adapted from his book, 30 Life Principles

Questions to consider:

  1. What have you learned from your experiences in the valley?

  2. How can a valley experience mature you better than a mountaintop experience?

Today’s reference: James 5:10

As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted

        and saves the crushed in spirit.

Comments by Charles Stanley:

Life Principle 29 (continued): We learn more in our valley experiences than on our mountaintops.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that many of the Life Principles are focused on how you respond to adversity. This is because of the precept found in Life”

Principle 29: We learn more in our valley experiences than on our mountaintops.

God often leads us through difficult times to teach us. Of course, you may be disheartened while staring up at the obstacles that surround you. Your challenges may be so immense and your choices so limited that you feel weak—completely unable to crawl out of the valley. You may even be tempted to think, Is this it? Is this all there is? Is this the end of my story?

If that’s the case, then be encouraged. This is not the end of your story. Things will change because God’s will for you is “good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). However, right now, there is something that God wants you to learn. Consider how He is working in your life. What is God teaching you through this valley?

There are two words in the New Testament for patience. The first has to do with difficult circumstances and means to stay the course or endure. The second is more personal because it has to do with how we relate to other people. It means to stay away from rage or furious outbursts. The believers that James was writing to could have gotten angry and struck out at their persecutors. They were even beginning to turn on one another. However, James admonished them to be patient and trust God. He wrote, “We count them blessed who endure ... the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (James 5:11).

Is your trial exposing areas of anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness in your life? Are you finding it difficult to persevere because you don’t trust God with certain issues? Then you are starting to understand what He wants you to learn through your trial. Remember, you will be blessed if you endure. Therefore, embrace what He’s teaching you.

Anytime you experience adversity, it is because God wants to show you His power and love. He may be getting your attention to free you from some emotional bondage or destructive habits. There may be an attitude or behavior in your life that is hindering His work, and He needs to eliminate it. Perhaps there is some precious quality that He wants to develop in you.

Whatever the reason for the trial, God never means it for your harm. Rather, He means it for your good, so that you can you can become everything that you were created to be and experience His abundant blessings. Therefore, respond in the way that honors Him. Stay close to Him in prayer and through His Word—obeying whatever He tells you to do.

Learn through your valley experiences so that God can prepare you for the mountaintops, because your story is not over. The best is still to come.

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)

How will you live out Life Principle 29 this week? Discuss the valleys that you’ve been experiencing and what God is teaching you through them. Then spend time in prayer, asking God to draw you into intimate communion with Himself and to transform your life, so that you can affect the world for the sake of His kingdom.

Life Lessons to Remember

 Adversity gets our attention (see Ps. 77:2).

 Adversity leads to examination (see Ps. 77:6-12).

 Adversity leads to a change in behavior (see Ps. 119:67).”

Quote:  “Trauma stories do not first come out with a beginning, middle and an end. They come out in broken pieces, disordered and perhaps unclear.” - Diane Langberg

Disclaimer: The purpose of this devotional is to engage the reader with Scripture promoting the many studies published by the YouVersion Bible app. A strong devotional life leads to a life of devotion. This is not intended to promote any one person’s perspective other than the Supremacy of Christ in all things. 

Check out / Participate with / Pray for

Possibilities Africa:  https://usa.possibilitiesafrica.org/

Love Counts Now:  https://lovecountsnow.org/

Todd Becker Foundation:  https://toddbecker.org/

Crossroads Center Rescue Mission:  https://www.crossroadsmission.com/

Collage Center:  https://collagecenter.com/

Ted and Judy Olsen:  http://www.globalfellowship.org

Fred and Janet Young:  http://www.worldventure.org

A Data Evaluation Tool For The Great Commission:  https://stratus.earth/

Finishing The Task:  http://www.FinishingtheTask.com/

Activate Global: https://mybridgeradio.net/activate/

 

Posted by Bob Bednar

Daily Devotional 10/23/2021

Life Principles to Live By

”The Valley Experiences in Our Lives”

This is part of Charles Stanley’s devotional, “Life Principles to Live By” posted on the YouVersion Bible app, adapted from his book, 30 Life Principles

Questions to consider:

  1. What good could result from terrible experiences?

  2. How can you and I encourage each other during the dark times of life?

Today’s reference: James 5:10

As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted

        and saves the crushed in spirit.

Comments by Charles Stanley:

Life Principle 29: We learn more in our valley experiences than on our mountaintops.

Adversity, anguish, trials, tribulations, and heartaches operate as lessons in the school of experience. They bring us to a place of new insight and understanding. They can alter our perceptions of the world, our views of God, and lead us to change our behaviors. The Lord, of course, is the ultimate Teacher. He’s the One to whom we must look for the meaning of any lesson related to adversity.

God allows adversity for at least three reasons:

1. To Get Our Attention

The Lord uses a wide variety of methods to gain our attention when necessary—and adversity is one of them. Don’t delay in responding to the Lord when He moves to get your attention. Respond quickly and humbly. Hear what He has to say to you.

2. For Examination

At times, God allows adversity to motivate us to self-examination. The winds of adversity blow away the surface issues and force us to cope with things on a deeper level. Nothing has the ability to drive us closer to God than tribulation. It removes the cloak of denial and reveals who we really are, as well as what we believe about God, His deity, and faithfulness.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians, “A man must examine himself” (1 Cor. 11:28). In other words, “Take a straight forward look inside and discover what’s driving, motivating, and enticing you.” If it’s anything but God, then it’s not right. He needs to be your motivating factor at every turn in life.

3. To Change Behavior

It isn’t enough that God desires to get our attention or encourage us to take a truthful look at our lives. We must also allow His Spirit to have free access to every area. Unless we change our response and behavior, we’ll never benefit from adversity or grow as a result of it. God provides a challenge, and we have an opportunity to obey or disobey Him. The choice is ours, and the consequences that come belong to us as well.

If you’re willing to allow God to surface the inner rubbish of your life—and if you’re willing to change what needs to be changed—you’ll emerge from adversity closer to Christ, more mature as His child, and with far greater potential to reflect the love of God to the world around you.

Quote:  “Trauma stories do not first come out with a beginning, middle and an end. They come out in broken pieces, disordered and perhaps unclear.” - Diane Langberg

Disclaimer: The purpose of this devotional is to engage the reader with Scripture promoting the many studies published by the YouVersion Bible app. A strong devotional life leads to a life of devotion. This is not intended to promote any one person’s perspective other than the Supremacy of Christ in all things. 

Check out / Participate with / Pray for

Possibilities Africa:  https://usa.possibilitiesafrica.org/

Love Counts Now:  https://lovecountsnow.org/

Todd Becker Foundation:  https://toddbecker.org/

Crossroads Center Rescue Mission:  https://www.crossroadsmission.com/

Collage Center:  https://collagecenter.com/

Ted and Judy Olsen:  http://www.globalfellowship.org

Fred and Janet Young:  http://www.worldventure.org

A Data Evaluation Tool For The Great Commission:  https://stratus.earth/

Finishing The Task:  http://www.FinishingtheTask.com/

Activate Global: https://mybridgeradio.net/activate/

Posted by Bob Bednar

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