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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Leaving a Lasting Impact (and other devotionals)


On Independence Day, consider the question, How do you use the gift of freedom? God gives all believers true liberty through His Son Jesus Christ. Do you squander that blessing or share it with others? The problem is, some people are so focused on their own needs and desires that they fail to impact even their closest neighbor.

Think about the people you see every week. Do you know how many of your neighbors are sick? Are there people in your church who struggle to make it from day to day? Do you know if any of your coworkers are going through hardships? Most likely, there are individuals all around you who could use assistance. But being self-focused limits our ability to notice those people, let alone reach out to them.

Jesus taught His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men” (Matt. 5:13). 

In order for salt to remain useful, it must maintain its purity and potency. Likewise, we must endeavor to lead holy, humble, and loving lives, focusing on the Savior’s will rather than our own.

God has prepared the good works that we are to walk in (Eph.2:10). Our job is to choose to do so.

Whether or not we affect our world positively depends on the focus of our heart. Do you look inward to consider how you can do more to get ahead and add to your lot in life? Or do you look outward and think about ways that you can do more to serve others? 


~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

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Listen as a Disciple

The Lord God has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple. Isaiah 50:4

Do you ever find yourself knowing deep within the depths of your heart that God wants to bring about change, and even though you have been the one praying for it, you aren’t ready when He is ready to answer your prayer? Well, that happened to me today.

In the mornings, I spend time reading the Bible, praying on my knees and worshiping. Then I allow time for silence so that the Holy Spirit can minister to me in the quietness. Sometimes that’s all there is…quietness, which in itself is such a blessing before the day begins. But this morning’s quietness was different. This morning the Lord wanted to impress something on my heart that I didn’t want to hear. My quiet time was cut short by my choice this morning. But the Lord didn’t quit, and right before I left the house, I got a strange impression that I was going to have to face something that I was refusing to hear from the Lord. And that is exactly what happened. Within two hours of my devotional time and one hour from the impression, I heard things that I wished I had heard first in the presence of the Lord. And then I found myself repenting to Him and shocked that it was actually going to come about. Foreknowledge would have eased my heart regarding this matter.

God’s intention is always for our best. We all have to remember that God does nothing without revealing His plans to His servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). He desires to include us in His plans and He even places those desires within our hearts first. God wants to give to us whatever we ask in Jesus’ name to bring Him glory, as He fulfills the desires He has placed within our hearts. If we are in His Word and quiet in worship before Him, we can also be included when He unfolds His plans. Today, take time to just be still before Him and listen. Quiet your heart and allow His heart to minister to you. And I am sure that your day will go better than mine did today.

~Daily Disciples Devotional~

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With Daniel in the School of Prayer

BIBLE MEDITATION:

“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer, and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” Daniel 9:3

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

Only prayer can hold back the flood tide of sin in our nation and the flood tide of judgment. Only prayer can release the cleansing and healing hand of God. And not just any prayer. It’s not the arithmetic of our prayers; that is, how many they are. It’s not the geometry of our prayer, how long it might be. It’s not the rhetoric of our prayer, how eloquent it may be. It’s not the music of our prayer, how sweet our voice. Not the logic of our prayer, how eloquent we become. It’s not the method of our prayer, how methodical we are. But it’s the faith and the fervency of our prayer that counts with God.

ACTION POINT:

God has said in His Word that we are to confess our faults one to another and pray one for another that we may be healed. And “The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) Read Daniel chapter 9 today and see this in action.

~Adrian Rogers~


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