The Truth that Set’s You Free

1 John 4:13-19

Knowing that God loves unconditionally changes everything. If you believe this truth, fear will no longer have any hold on you. You may be suffering or in terrible pain and as a result feel unloved. But the fact is, you are loved–deeply and personally.

I don’t know why the Lord has permitted your trial, but I do know this: Pain never shouts that God doesn’t love you. That’s the Deceiver’s voice. Did Jesus’ suffering indicate that the Father didn’t love the Son? No. There are hardships in life we can’t always explain, but they can never cancel out or in any way diminish His unconditional love.

Knowing this truth empowers our lives with joy. How wonderful to realize that, whether you’re awake or asleep–no matter what you do or don’t do–His love for you never changes.

This knowledge also brings freedom. You no longer have to keep trying to measure up to some standard in order to be accepted. Since God’s love isn’t based on your performance, you’re free from the bondage of trying to work harder to earn it–which is impossible. You also have the security and assurance of the Father’s unfailing care, even when you’ve failed. Rely on His love–He will never leave you. His Spirit within assures us of this when we keep our hearts open to listen.

If you’ve ever watched the ocean, you know that its waves keep rolling into the shore. Sometimes they crash with unbelievable force, and other times they’re gentle. Either way, they can’t be stopped! Likewise, there’s nothing you can do to stop Almighty God from loving you.

Dr. Charles Stanley

Healing Sickness

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

 

Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.Matthew 4:23

It is sometimes charged that religion is only for people’s souls, that it gives no care to their bodies. But the charge is without foundation. The most casual glance over the gospel story shows that Jesus Himself was deeply moved by the people’s sufferings, and was continually putting forth His power to heal them. Nearly all His great works were miracles of healing.

Then it should be remembered that the whole system of institutions for the relief of suffering and for the care of sufferers – hospitals, asylums for all classes of unfortunate people, and homes for the orphaned and the aged and the insane – is the fruit of Christianity. Wherever angels of mercy go among the sick, the wounded the suffering, ministering in any way to their comfort, there Jesus goes about with sympathy and healing. He cares not alone for men’s souls, but for their bodies as well. Any trouble of ours whatsoever, whether of body, mind, or soul, moves Him with compassion.

It is a great comfort to know that while we may not expect miraculous healing of our bodily illnesses, we are sure at least that our Lord is not indifferent to these distresses; that He designs to us them for our spiritual benefit; that he is ready to give us the grace we need to endure them patiently and submissively; and that He is ready to heal us when His wise purpose in these afflictions has been accomplished. So we may be sure always of the sympathy, love, and help of Christ in all our sickness. He sits constantly in every Christian sick-room, and where faith is strong and clear He gives great comfort and peace. When he was on earth he did not go very often to the places of festivity, but whenever there was anyone sick in a home He was sure to go there. Sickness and pain draw Him to us, and whenever He comes He brings benedictions.

Daily Word…

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

As I look at our world today, I see so many people who are afraid… they’re worried about the future, fearful about the present, and ashamed about the past. These fears act like emotional drags upon their spirit that keep them from becoming all that God has called them to be.

But Jesus Christ came so that those fears that paralyze might be overcome. He is the answer to every fear because He comes into our lives with grace, peace, and joy when we place our faith in Him for the forgiveness of our sins.

So why is it that so many people today—even Christians—live under the oppression of fear and worry? I think that one reason is that they’ve trusted Christ for eternal life, but don’t honestly believe He can make a difference in their lives today. This gives the enemy a foothold, allowing him to create incessant anxiety in their lives.

But in Christ, you have the power to overcome because He has already overcome. You can tell the world and the enemy, “I’m not letting you steal my joy!”

This day, make it your goal to live in the joy of Jesus Christ, trusting fully that He can change not only your future, but your past and present as well because He has already overcome!

JESUS CHRIST CAN CHANGE NOT ONLY YOUR FUTURE, BUT ALSO YOUR PRESENT AND YOUR PAST. SO TRUST IN HIM TO GIVE YOU JOY AND HOPE FOR TODAY!

Pastor Graham

She Ministered Unto Them

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them. – Mark 1:31

That is just what Jesus is doing all the time to people sick in body, to those sick in soul, and to those who are down in any way and unable to rise. He does not stand far off when He would help people and call them to come to Him, but He comes to them with a brother’s warm heart and ready hand. That is the way we should learn to help each other, by extending a strong, uplifting hand to those that are down. Many fall and perish who would be saved for life and glory if someone would come in Christ’s name and help them up.

The example of this woman must not be overlooked. Christ had given her back her life, and what should she now do with it but consecrate it to the service of Him who restored it to her? This she did, not in mere words of thankfulness, not in warm and tender emotions of praise only, but in service; she arose and ministered to her Healer and His friends. Her ministry, too, was of the most practical and helpful kind. She did not sigh for some opportunity to do a great service for Jesus; she simply took up the service that came first to her hand, and set about rendering the commonplace attentions of a housewifely entertainer.

There is a whole cluster of suggestions here. Every sick person who is restored, whether in an ordinary or extraordinary way, should hasten to consecrate to the service of God the life that is given back. Surely it was spared for a purpose, and we shall be disloyal to God if we do not thus devote it. A great many persons are always sighing for opportunities to minister to Christ, imagining some fine and splendid service which they would like to render. Meantime, they let slip past their hands the very things in which Christ wants them to serve Him. True ministry to Christ is doing first of all, and well, one’s daily duties.

True Spiritual Growth


James 1:17-27

If you want to genuinely grow in spiritual maturity, it is not enough to simply be instructed by the Word of God. You may love going to church or listening to Christian radio programs. You might talk about everything you hear and assume you’re growing because your knowledge is increasing. However, if you don’t actually grow closer to God by allowing His Word to change you from the inside out, your head will merely continue to fill with information. You might even sound like a godly person who is admired for the ability to quote chapter and verse. But if you don’t take the next step and allow God to touch others’ lives through you, you’re missing the point.

Spiritual growth is the result of practicing the truth you receive from God. He wants you to give away what He gives you–that is, by loving and serving others and sharing the truth of the gospel. Our example is Jesus, who said that He did not come to be served, but to serve even the lowest outcasts in His society (Matt. 20:28). He could have exalted Himself and spent all His time preaching and teaching. Instead, Jesus did only the Father’s will, which was to reveal His heart of love to a broken world. The Lord sacrificially involved Himself in people’s lives, and He calls us to follow in His footsteps.

God’s plan is to reach the world through you. If that weren’t the case, He would have taken you to heaven as soon as you were saved. But you are here for a purpose–to live out Christ’s life alongside hurting people who desperately need to experience His love.

Dr.Charles Stanley

Daily Word..

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

Revelation 19:11

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned about our Lord through the years is He is faithful and keeps His word. Because of this, you and I can be absolutely certain that He will fulfill every promise that He’s made. He is true to His word!

Now the first time Jesus came, He came in love and mercy. He came as incarnate Deity, extending His love, salvation, and grace into the world. And through that, anyone may experience the grace of God through Jesus Christ. There’s not a person in the world today who cannot know Him this very minute!

But let me tell you, He’s promised that when He comes again, it will not be as Savior, but as Sovereign. It will not be to die upon the cross, but to sit upon the throne to rule and to judge. The first time He came to put away our sins by His sacrifice on the cross. The next time He will come to judge and to make war as the conquering King.

So many people today love the “soft” side of Jesus, yet they forget about the fact that He will also judge. So as you worship Christ, remember that while those pictures of a sweet, gentle Jesus are true, they’re only part of the picture of the Lion and the Lamb who loves, but will also judge.

JESUS CAME IN LOVE, BUT WILL COME AGAIN IN JUDGMENT. SO AS YOU WORSHIP, REMEMBER TO APPRECIATE BOTH ASPECTS OF YOUR SAVIOR!

Pastor Graham

The Full Armor of God

Ephesians 6:13-18

We have a very real Enemy who seeks to deceive and distract us from becoming who God wants us to be. So we must always be alert. Prepare for spiritual warfare by making today’s passage part of your daily time with God. For example, “put on” the various armor pieces as you pray:

Lord, thank You for giving me everything I need for doing battle in Your name. In the power of Your Spirit, I put on my “armor”–

  • Protect my mind and imagination with the helmet of salvation. Focus my thoughts steadily on Your love and power.
  • I claim Christ’s righteousness as my breastplate, protecting heart and emotions.
  • So that I won’t be governed by feelings, wrap Your belt of truth around the core of my being to protect me from deception.
  • Guide my steps in the sandals of peace. Set my feet firmly in the good news of Your redemption and love for the world, and empower me to stand firm against attack.
  • I raise my shield of faith. Protect me from Satan’s arrows as I stand shoulder to shoulder with Your army in a wall of opposition against his schemes.
  • I take up the sword of the Spirit. Plant Your Word deep in my heart in a fresh, exciting way so I will always be ready to deflect and cut down lies with Your truth. I proclaim Your victory today!

You should never be so preoccupied with fighting that anxiety makes you lose your focus on the joy of knowing God. Rather, remain at peace as you “dress” for battle, knowing that you are fully victorious and secure in Christ, and that He has already defeated the Enemy.

Dr. Charles Stanley

Daily Word…

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

John 20:21

Howard Hendricks, the noted Bible scholar and now retired professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, once said, “The greatest threat to Christianity is not Communism or atheism. It is Christians trying to get into heaven incognito without being involved in sharing their faith with others or serving the Lord with their whole hearts.”

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “The cruelest lies are often told in silence.” The fact is that the greatest sin of the average Christian is the sin of silence. And the cruelest lie of all is to know the Lord Jesus and never tell anyone about it!

God has given you the Good News to share and be a witness to others of His grace shown through Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you are chosen of God and commanded of God to share your faith with others. There’s just no other way about it!

So instead of being silent, tell others about Christ. I’m not telling you to stand on the street corners and condemn people. But love others who are in your life today with the love of Jesus and share His truth with them. When you’re obedient to God’s call to give away your faith, you’ll be fulfilled as you live out what you’re called to do!

DON’T COMMIT THE SIN OF SILENCE. INSTEAD, OBEY GOD’S CALL TO POINT PEOPLE TO A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST!

Pastor Graham

Daily Word..

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ

Galatians 6:2

There was a family in our church not long ago who experienced a very difficult time. Their young son was severely injured in a car accident. So one of our ministers went to visit this family. And when he walked in, he saw something wonderful. While that family was in the throes of tragedy, fifteen people from their Sunday school class had their arms wrapped around them, just praying, holding them, and loving them through that situation.

Times like this make it abundantly clear to me that God never intended for us to live the Christian life in isolation. But the problem today among so many Christians is that they’ve bought into an individualistic mindset that says, “I’m doing pretty well on my own. I don’t need anyone else.”

God knows this isn’t the case, which is exactly why the apostle Paul gave us this very important mandate in today’s passage to “bear one another’s burdens….” Sure, you can go for awhile and be fine on your own. But what happens when tragedy strikes… when there’s no money in the bank… or when you just need some encouragement?

Community is one of the most important things you can have as a believer. So find others whom you can share life with, bear one another’s burdens, and build up with the love of Christ!

CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IS A MUST FOR THE BELIEVER. SO FIND OTHERS YOU CAN LIVE LIFE WITH AND BUILD ONE ANOTHER UP!

Dr. Graham

Resting in The Faithfulness of God


1 Corinthians 1:1-9
When plans are frustrated or life just seems to fall apart in some way, people often wonder, Has God deserted me? Why hasn’t He answered my prayers? The Bible offers encouragement for such times by assuring us of the Father’s faithfulness: “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (Deut 7:9).

Five attributes of God make this possible. First, He is omniscient, which means He knows everything, including our every need, thought, frailty, desire, and life situation in the past, present, and future. Next, the Lord is omnipotent, or all-powerful, so nothing is too hard for Him (Jer. 32:17). Then, He is omnipresent–since He exists everywhere at once, He is never beyond reach.

In addition, our heavenly Father cannot lie. Everything that He says is true and reliable. And lastly, God is unchanging. Our circumstances and the world around us may 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 can be 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.

Dr. Charles Stanley

%d bloggers like this: