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What God Wants You to Know
6 months ago

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Romans 8:14-17

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The Lord “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”  1 Tim. 2:4.  In other words, God would like all of humanity to accept Christ as Savior. Today we will explore certain truths that the Father longs for His children to know.

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• Salvation. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict us of our sinfulness and bring us to the knowledge that Jesus Christ died for our sin. When we receive the Lord as our personal Savior, we are reconciled to God and accorded full fellowship with Him. This happens the moment salvation occurs. Our sin debt is paid in full so we are free from guilt. Also, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit for eternity and set apart for God’s service.

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• Identity. What is our identity in the Lord? Believers are children of God. The Bible calls us “joint heirs with Christ”—in other words, we share in the wealth of the Lord Jesus. Also, we have been transformed from sinners into saints. We may not always act saintly, but a true saint is someone who has been saved and set apart for the purposes of God.

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• Position. Jesus Christ is always present to guide and provide for the believer. Through Him, we have instantaneous access to God the Father.

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• Mission. Our primary mission in life is to demonstrate Christ to the world. Believers should live in such a way that others see the life of Jesus within us. And because we understand the wonder of our salvation, our identity in Christ, and our position to the Father, we share about the Savior with other people. God wants everyone to know the truth.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

Putting Off Procrastination
6 months ago

Monday, December 30, 2013

Acts 24:24-27

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Some people like to say that they are “born procrastinators.” According to Scripture, that is impossible for believers. Procrastination can be a form of bondage in a person’s life, and the Lord, who wants the best for His followers, didn’t design us to be enslaved.

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Procrastination has several common causes. The first is an attempt to dodge discomfort. Many people put off taking action because they feel uncomfortable or anxious about the ramifications. In today’s passage, Felix sends Paul away, fearing the apostle’s talk about righteousness, self-control, and judgment.

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This can show up in our spiritual life— we sometimes delay Bible reading and meditating because we are afraid God will bring to the surface a matter we need to confront. Then, if such a subject comes up, we often choose to procrastinate about dealing with it. Issues like pride, self-control, or guilt may not be comfortable to face, but dodging them obstructs God’s purpose in our life.

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The second cause for putting things off is self-doubt. Those who consider themselves inadequate to complete a task may choose not to begin it. Related to this is another factor: fear of making a mistake or failing in an endeavor can make postponement seem preferable.

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Procrastination is no laughing matter, particularly in the spiritual realm since delaying on an assignment from God is the same as disobeying Him. Are you prone to delay? Identify problem areas and the feelings that accompany them. Then confess your tendency, and rely on God’s strength to overcome it.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

When God Is Silent
6 months ago

Saturday, December 28, 2013

John 11:1-6

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As Lazarus was dying, his sisters  urgently called for Jesus to come. Imagine how their grief must have compounded when He didn’t instantly respond to their request.

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God’s silence is difficult to accept. We want Him to leap into action at our call, particularly if we are hurting or afraid. But since He promises to meet our needs, we can be sure that a silence from heaven has purpose.

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• Silence grabs our attention. The disciples knew that Jesus could heal, so they must have wondered why He delayed instead of rushing to His friend’s bedside. But the Lord wanted them to witness something even greater: His power over death. They had been confused by His statements about conquering death, and they needed to understand that He could fulfill His own resurrection prophecies   Mark 9:31-32. The miracle at Lazarus’s tomb was part of their preparation.

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• Silence teaches us to trust. Mary and Martha sent word of Lazarus’s illness because they anticipated the Lord would heal him. But if that expectation was not met, would their faith waver? Martha answered the question by stating that she believed Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of God”  John 11:21-27.  The women’s trust was rewarded with a stunning miracle: their brother’s return to life.

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At times, the only thing we can hear when we pray is our own breathing. That can be frustrating and frightening. But Scripture says God is always with us, and His silence won’t last forever  Ps. 38:15; Heb. 13:5.  Cling to those promises as you seek the purpose behind His silence.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

God's Emphasis on Jesus' Return
7 months ago

Friday, December 27, 2013

Colossians 3:1-4

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The idea of eternity is a hard one to grasp. Though it is difficult to wrap the human mind around the concept of endlessness, God wants His children to live with an eternal perspective. So throughout Scripture, He stresses Christ’s second coming to help us think about our life in those terms.

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Realizing that Jesus could return at any time keeps the church’s focus right. Paul reminds us to set our minds on heavenly things rather than on the things of earth  Col. 3:2. Though we live in the material world, we’re to consider long-term impact when deciding where to spend our time, money, and energy.

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One critically important decision for us involves obeying God’s call to evangelize. Every believer has a personal responsibility to share the gospel with people in his or her sphere of influence  Matt. 28:19.  The goal of the church, as well as individual believers, must be to take along as many as possible into eternity. But for that to happen, believers need to get busy sharing the good news before Jesus returns. People won’t come to Christ unless they’ve heard the story of His grace, mercy, and redemption.

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The Word of God emphasizes Jesus’return so that believers will live with an eternal mindset. Christ can come back at any time, and when He does, those who have trusted Him as Savior will experience uninterrupted, never-ending life in His presence. In preparation for that day, we must live now with our feet on the ground, our hands busy for God, and our spiritual eyes watching for the Savior’s arrival.

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

THANK YOU
7 months ago

LET US ALL THANK OUR SISTER Jeanette G. FOR DAILY PERFORMING THE VERY GREAT MINISTRY THAT "YHWH" TRULY HAS ANOINTED HER TO PERFORM

The Promise of Christ's Return
7 months ago

Thursday, December 26, 2013

John 14:1-3

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The return of Jesus Christ—a vital part of God’s redemptive plan for humanity—was foretold by prophets, affirmed by angels, and discussed by Jesus and Paul. In fact, more Old Testament passages are devoted to Christ’s second coming than to His first. And in the New Testament, the Lord mentions His return more often than His death.

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The second coming of Christ will be the Devil’s final defeat. God prophesied Satan’s end when He told the serpent, “He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel” Gen. 3:15.  Satan appeared to have won a tremendous victory when Jesus was crucified. But the Resurrection dealt the Enemy a lethal blow by proving Golgotha to be but a “bruised heel.” Christ’s return will seal the Devil’s fate because God has promised to remake the earth. When He is finished, we’ll live in a world as perfect as the Lord intended before Adam and Eve tainted Eden with sin.

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The Father wants us excited and hopeful about Jesus’ return because that event is the culmination of His plan for humanity. Many centuries of Christians spreading the gospel are leading to the moment when all who choose to serve God will be gathered together on a new earth. To keep our hope alive, He has told us what to expect.

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Although we don’t know the day or hour of the second coming, Jesus Christ’s final biblical prophecy reminds us to live and evangelize with a sense of urgency: “Yes, I am coming quickly” Rev. 22:20.

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If we are saved and serving, we can say with John, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

The Shepherds' Obedience
7 months ago

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Luke 2:8-20

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Since the Savior’s birth was the greatest news of all time, shouldn’t God have announced it to important people like kings and nobles? Instead, He sent His angel make the announcement to insignificant shepherds. They were absolutely awed by what they heard and witnessed—the long-awaited Messiah had finally arrived. Though their message probably seemed strange to others and could have resulted in ridicule, they wanted everyone to hear the good news.

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We must become bold like those shepherds. It’s our job to take the gospel to people who haven’t heard, but many believers lack the courage to share their faith. At times we don’t feel knowledgeable enough, and yet we understand far more than the shepherds did. They had this one experience with angels, but we have the written Word of God available anytime we choose to open it. Don’t let the fear of rejection, embarrassment, or inadequacy keep you from sharing the only message that can change someone’s eternal destiny.

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Today you probably won’t get a message from an angel, but through Scripture or by an inaudible “whisper,” God still speaks to those who are humbly listening. The real issue is what we do after hearing from Him.

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The shepherds left immediately to find the newborn Messiah—just think what they’d have missed had they refused to leave their sheep! Are you quick to obey God’s instructions? By hesitating, you could miss great opportunities. Ready obedience is the key to experiencing the Lord’s plans for you.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

An Intimate Look at the Birth of Jesus
7 months ago

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Luke 2:1-7

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Every year around Christmastime, we read the account of Jesus’ birth, but perhaps we’ve let the familiarity of the story dull our concentration. More often than not, we skim over the well-known verses, telling ourselves we already understand all there is to know about the story. But without a deeper, more intimate look at our Savior’s birth, we’ll miss some of the truths the Lord wants us to learn and apply to our lives.

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From a human perspective, there was nothing special about this scene. Mary and Joseph were just an ordinary couple having a baby. Because poor people were so common, even the lowly setting of a stable as a birthplace was no big deal. Yet this was the most significant event in human history.

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Conceived by the Holy Spirit, that baby was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy—the Creator and sovereign Ruler of the universe became Immanuel, God with us  Matt. 1: 23.  The Son of God and Savior of the world was lying in a cattle feeder!

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Who could ever have imagined God’s plan—to send His Son into the world as a baby who would grow up in an ordinary family? It’s such an unimpressive way for the Messiah to make His entrance. The lesson is that we can’t judge a situation on the basis of appearance.

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Likewise, events that seem ordinary in our lives may be occasions when God is doing something awesome. Since He works continually to achieve His will, every event and choice in our lives has significance. We just need the eyes to see beneath the surface and the faith to believe that He’s working.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.



This post was modified from its original form on 24 Dec, 6:33
7 months ago

Jesus: God of the Universe

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Scientists are continually making new discoveries about God’s creative nature that reveal His awesome power and incredible genius. However, these newly discovered stars, planets, species, and elements that scientists have somehow missed for centuries are not new to God, who created them and set them all in perfect motion. Just as He set the universe in motion, He set His plan for salvation in motion thousands of years before Mary and Joseph made their history-making trip to Bethlehem.

Nearly 750 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah prophesied that “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Jesus’ glorious yet humble birth was not random, but a thoughtfully laid out plan unfolded in perfect detail. The baby in the manger was none other than God Himself.

The One who created the universe did an impossible thing: He entered a virgin’s womb in order to become a man and overcame the same difficulties and temptations we face. He “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

The true message of Christmas is this: God became human in order to come to the earth to rescue us from sin, death, and our own failed lives. Do you believe that the sinless came to carry your sins, the perfect died for the imperfect, and the only man who ever lived a holy life died a criminal’s death to satisfy the justice of God for you?

This Christmas, ask yourself, “How have I responded to Jesus?” Acknowledge in prayer today that He was willing to become an infant and be born in a stable in order to reach you. In His presence, marvel that, as a King, He left Heaven for a lifetime of humiliation and death on the cross. Rejoice that He triumphed over death in His resurrection. Thank Him that you will one day live with Him in Heaven for eternity.

Linger with God awhile today. Do not rush this loving conversation as you tell God how much the presence of Jesus in your life means to you. Allow God a few minutes to communicate to you how extravagant, sacrificial, and unfaltering His love is, no matter how much you may have sinned. If you long to know more about God, His love, and His nature, you need look no further than Jesus.

Prayer: Thank You, precious Lord, that I can spend eternity with You because of Your sacrifice. You are the fulfillment of everything I could ever desire, and I draw near to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

Jesus Christ, Our Messiah
7 months ago

Monday, December 23, 2013

Luke 4:16-21

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Jesus didn’t go around flaunting His power or greatness. Since He had come to do the Father’s will  John 6:38, redeeming the lost was His priority and purpose. However, the Lord didn’t hide His identity from the world either. When necessary, Jesus clearly identified Himself as the Messiah.

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One of Jesus’ most beautiful sermons was given to an audience of one—a woman drawing water from a Samaritan well. After listening to Jesus’ teaching on living water and His prophecies of a change in the way people worshipped God, the woman mentioned the promised Messiah. The Lord replied, “I who speak to you am He”  John 4:26.  Her response was to gather as many townsfolk as she could find to listen to this man who knew her life story and offered love and redemption anyway.

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When the time came for Jesus to reveal His identity to the priests and religious leaders, He did so by reading the prophecy of Isaiah 61 and then claiming to be its fulfillment Luke 4:18-21.  He announced that He was the One who would preach the gospel to the poor, release the captives, and give sight to the blind. He didn’t use the word “Messiah,” nor did He have to. All Israel knew that Isaiah’s words applied to God’s “Anointed One.”

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Some modern thinkers would like to marginalize Jesus as simply a good man with a message of love. But He was the first to proclaim Himself as more than that. He is the virgin-born Son of God, who came to bear the sins of mankind and die on the cross. He is the Messiah.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

Good News of Great Joy
7 months ago

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Micah 5:2

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The Hebrew Scriptures—that is, the Old Testament—included many prophecies about the coming Messiah. A few of them probably left Israelite scholars and laymen alike scratching their heads and wondering how one individual could fulfill such lofty promises. The birth of such a person would be “good news of great joy,” just as the angel proclaimed  Luke 2:10.   The Messiah would be . . .

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• A descendant of Abraham seated on David’s throne. There is a reason that both Matthew and Luke painstakingly trace Jesus’ genealogy  Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38:  the Messiah’s family line mattered. God promised that all nations would be blessed through the house of Abraham  Gen. 22:18,  and Isaiah prophesied that Christ would reign forever on David’s throne  Isa. 9:7.  The gospel writers showed that Jesus could claim direct lineage from both of these men.

• A man born in Bethlehem who comes out of Egypt. The Messiah’s place of origin must have caused confusion. Though His predicted birthplace was Bethlehem, He was expected to come out of Egypt  Mic. 5:2; Hos. 11:1.  We know that a census brought Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to tiny, insignificant Bethlehem just in time for the Christ child’s arrival. And Matthew’s gospel explains the rest of the mystery: the family fled to Egypt to avoid Herod’s jealous rage  Matt. 2:13.

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God was specific in describing the Messiah because He wanted people to recognize the Anointed One and rejoice in His coming. That’s exactly what happened when the King of Kings rode a donkey into Jerusalem  prophecy: Zech. 9:9; completion: John 12:12-15.  Jesus is the promised Christ—this truly is great news and reason to rejoice.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

7 months ago

His Name is Jesus

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

In the Bible, we see great value placed on names and several instances of God giving a new name to His people along with a new life or mission. Sarai became Sarah, Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, Simon became Peter, and Saul became Paul.

God personally named Jesus and sent the angel Gabriel to explain the significance of this all-important name. In Matthew 1:21, God tells Joseph, “You are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." God knew that, 2,000 years later, people would say that Jesus was “a savior” and not “the Savior.” For this very reason, God defined His name and mission clearly, setting Him apart from the prophets before Him and the founders of all other religions.

Today, many people do not feel like they need salvation because they think their sins are nominal. But every one of the six billion people living today was born with sin. This sin was passed along to us genetically from Adam and Eve—the root of a sin system that exists in every person, and can only be transformed through Christ’s sacrifice.

At Christmas, we celebrate the Savior’s birth. The perfect, sinless Son of God came from heaven, lived the most difficult of lives, and died on the cross. He shed His blood and rose again on the third day to prove His power over death and sin, and through faith in His finished work, we can experience everlasting life that starts today and continues through eternity.

We say “Merry Christmas” because we know that our sins—past, present and future—are all forgiven when we come to Jesus Christ. His birth, death, and resurrection have brought us peace with God as His plan of redemption has shown goodwill toward men. It is a gift we celebrate, not just at Christmas, but every day of our lives.

When you say “Merry Christmas,” what do you mean? Have you surrendered every part of your life to God? Have you acknowledged your sin and called out for help on the totally reliable name of Jesus who came to save you from all of your sins? Ask for His empowerment in the name of Jesus as you surrender everything.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the sacrifice of Christ that has brought me life. Give me the strength to surrender all to You today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

Jesus: The Son of God
7 months ago

Friday, December 20, 2013

Matthew 16:13-16

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What difference does it make who Jesus is? Why should we take Him seriously? The way we answer these questions will deeply impact our belief system, mold our character, and influence our lifestyle. They will also determine where we spend eternity.

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Jesus identified Himself as the Son of God and stated that He and the Father are one. In other words, whoever has seen Christ has seen the Father  John 10:30; 14:9.  Conversely, those of us who long to know God must draw near to Jesus—He alone reveals the Father.

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The Son of God was sent here to give His life as a ransom for many. The purpose was to rescue us from slavery to sin and prepare us for our heavenly home, where we’ll spend eternity. Notice that in describing His mission, Jesus said He “did not come to be served, but to serve”  Matt. 20:28.  Those who belong to Him are to imitate His life of service.

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Jesus testified that He does exactly as the Father commands John 14:31.  This, too, is an example for us. His life of obedience shows us how to please God. Jesus knew why He came, and He did what was asked in order to glorify His Father John 17:1.  There’s a plan and purpose for every one of us as well, and we likewise glorify the Lord by our obedience.

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Matthew 28:18 gives another reason to obey: since Jesus said, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth,” we are to live in submission to Him.

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Do you believe Jesus’ testimony? If so, thank Him for the difference He has made in your life. Then share with others how knowing Him has impacted you.

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

How We Can Relate to God
7 months ago

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Matthew 13:18-23

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Scripture teaches that when one is born from above by the Spirit, that person becomes a child in God’s family. Such wording expresses the nature of our relationship with God: He interacts with us as a father does, and we should respond like loving, obedient children. God took the first step in the relationship by opening His family to us. Man’s initial response involves saying yes to Jesus and trusting Him as personal Savior. But even after accepting that invitation, we’re still responsible to respond in a way that keeps our fellowship with Him strong.

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Our part consists largely in noticing when the Father is speaking so we can learn to become good listeners and obedient followers. That is why we need to spend time in the Bible, where the Father speaks clearly. Many pretend to be interested in hearing from God and yet invent excuses for neglecting His Word. Some say, “I read Scripture but don’t understand it.” Do you think God would write us an important message in a way we wouldn’t be able to understand? If you keep reading the Bible, the Spirit of God, who inhabits the believer’s heart, will give you understanding.

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Once we are born into God’s family, nothing—not even sin—can destroy our relationship with the Father. However, disobedience can interrupt our fellowship with Him by breaking communication, in which case restoring broken fellowship is essential to spiritual growth  1 John 1:9.

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Do you belong to God’s family? If so, are you obeying your Father? Obedience is crucial to a deepening relationship with our loving Creator.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

7 months ago

Prince of Peace

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Before Jesus’ birth, Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be the Prince of Peace – a Savior whose authority would bring release from the burden of sin. Although we often search for peace in the wrong things—in financial security, relationships, or recreation—God is the only One who can bring us true peace.

The Hebrew word shalom is often translated “peace,” but its full meaning has a deeper richness to it. Shalom is a sense of completeness and soundness and living well. It implies safety, good health, prosperity, tranquility, and contentment. Shalom means favor, fulfillment, restoration, harmony, and reconciliation. God is Jehovah Shalom, the God of peace.

Shalom meets the human heart’s deepest longings and is the greatest measure of contentment. True shalom cannot exist in a heart that is void of Jesus Christ. Shalom cannot exist in a heart that is divided between a love of God and a love of the world. There is no room for peace in a heart that is harboring anxiety, distrust, greed, anger, or bitterness.

The Messiah is referred to as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. Although the text translates to “prince,” the original meaning of the word embodies the power of the king. The prince here has the full authority, delegation, and dignity of the king. Only when the Prince of Peace rules in our hearts and minds can we have peace. Until we submit to His authority and power, our peace will be incomplete.

We can know eternal peace because Jesus Himself became our peace through His sacrifice (see Ephesians 2:14-18). When we allow Him to reign, peace begins to fill our homes, our workplaces, and our relationships. An inner assurance fills our hearts and our minds as we begin to trust in Him.

Are you experiencing shalom in your life? Or is there an area where you have not let Jesus reign? Confess to God the roadblocks you have placed that are preventing God’s all-encompassing peace from filling your heart. If you are unsure of what is creating discord in your heart, seek the Holy Spirit’s discernment to show you. Submit to the Prince of Peace’s leadership today.

Prayer: Jesus, You are my Prince of Peace, and I give up control to You today. Show me the areas where I have not allowed You to reign. Thank You for lifting my burdens and giving me rest in You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

The God Who Relates to Us
7 months ago

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

John 15:14-17

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As much as our heavenly Father cares about our salvation, He also places high priority on another aspect of our Christian life: He is interested in building a relationship with you and me—the kind that Jesus built with His disciples.

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Can you imagine a higher compliment than for the God of the universe to say, “I want a personal, intimate relationship with you?” What this means is that our heavenly Father wants to make it possible for a mutual sharing of the highest order. He is interested in genuine conversation and listening. He longs to spend time with you. He seeks openness and transparency with no dark, hidden secrets between you and Him.

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God created us in His image, which means that we can reason and experience emotion, free choice, and commitment. He wants to love us and have us love Him in return. He thinks of us not merely as servants, but as friends in whom He can confide. That is why Jesus said to His disciples, “All things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

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It was a special privilege for the disciples to live, work, and interact with the incarnate Christ. But we are also privileged because this very day, two thousand years later, the Father desires to build as warm and intimate a relationship with us as His Son did with those first-century followers. Our God is not some distant, transcendent deity. He’s close. And He is ever calling us to greater intimacy with Him. Won’t you respond to Him today?

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

The God Who Reveals Himself
7 months ago

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hebrews 1:1-4

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People have all kinds of distorted impressions of God. As a result, their view of life is awry—for example, they may think life is just a matter of fate. But the Lord of the universe leaves nothing to chance.

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Because God wants us to approach life correctly, His Word gives us a clear picture of what He is like. One way He reveals Himself is through the material world. The Bible says that the heavens “declare the glory of God” and “pour forth speech” about the Author of creation  Ps. 19:1-2 niv.  They are telling of His strength and magnificence. Likewise, the wind, waves, and natural disasters show forth the power of our awesome God. And in a similar way, all the cycles of nature, with their vivid colors and changing patterns, tell of our Maker’s creative genius.

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Another way God chooses to reveal Himself is through man’s conscience. Even people who have never heard of God’s laws instinctively know what is right and what is wrong  Rom. 2:11-15.  There are atheists who would never lie, steal, or kill. This standard comes from God, who has impressed a moral sense on every person’s conscience.

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Many people obey their conscience yet fail to believe in God or recognize that they are accountable to Him. The fact is that unbelief doesn’t cancel your accountability to the Lord. The evidence for His existence is undeniable, but He will not force anyone to believe. Everybody has a choice to make: Will I worship a god of my own creation, or will I worship the One who created me?

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

How God Sees the Unbeliever
7 months ago

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ephesians 2:1-5

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God’s Word is always true but not always popular. When it runs counter to cultural preferences, the message of the gospel can be uncomfortable to hear and may lead to challenge and confrontation. We need to know biblical truth, including the fact that God sees unbelievers as . . .

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• Dead in their trespasses and sins  Eph. 2:1.  As newborn babies, we are physically alive but spiritually dead. Spiritual death came to all generations through the first Adam  Rom. 5:12;  spiritual life comes only through Jesus, the “last Adam” 1 Cor. 15:45.

• Unable to grasp spiritual things  1 Cor. 2:14.  Those who are spiritually dead can’t perceive the things of God. Divine truth can’t penetrate because their “receiver,” or spirit, is dead within them.

• Not part of God’s family  John 1:12.  Spiritually, there are only two families in the world: God’s and Satan’s  John 8:44.  A person is born into God’s family—or “born again”—by trusting in Christ’s sacrifice and receiving Him as Savior.

• Under wrath  Eph. 2:3.  Unbelievers, even kind and loving ones, are under judgment. A sin debt is owed  Rom. 6:23,  and it can’t be paid by kind or loving acts of service. Jesus paid on our behalf, and only by trusting in His substitutionary sacrifice can we escape God’s wrath.

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Unbelievers are in grave danger, but most do not realize it. The good news is that God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ is still available. Have you reached out for the hand of your Rescuer? If your answer is yes, are you pointing others to the One who wants to rescue them?

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

7 months ago

He Will Set You Free
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

More than likely, when Paul was a young man he had a dream to know God fully. His quest for knowledge led him to study under one of the greatest rabbis of his day.

As he grew in knowledge, he became a Pharisee and then was elected to the Sanhedrin. Only the most noted of Jewish scholars held these positions. Paul was one of them. His heart, though charged with the wrong motivation, longed to worship God. Then one day, God revealed Himself to Paul through the life of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is only one way to interpret what happened to Paul on the Damascus Road and that is to say it was life-changing (Acts 9:1-9). Christ did not just appear to Paul; He embraced him. Only the Lord knows what rested deep in Paul’s heart—but like Moses, once he turned aside to study the things of God, it was enough to move God into action.

Maybe you are feeling the weight of your circumstances closing in on you. You have longed to be free, but you have remained shackled to this world in ways that only God knows and understands. If you seek Him, He will set you free from the sin of worry, doubt, fear, hopelessness, lustful feelings, and more. When you pray with a sincere heart, the Lord will be found by you. Then your witness and testimony will become a way to glorify God and lead others into His throne room of mercy and grace.

Prayer: Lord, I confess that I need Your purifying touch on my life. There are things I have done and said that do not honor You. Forgive me as I mention each one to You and receive Your forgiveness and eternal love. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Good Man or God?
7 months ago

Saturday, December 14, 2013

John 5:16-29

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Jesus has been a subject of contention throughout human history. Even today opinions about Him vary widely. One common belief about Him, however, is that He was a good man—but not God. Those who hold this view usually appreciate some of His teachings, but they are obviously not familiar with His claims.

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The religious leaders who came face to face with Christ would never have called Him a good man. In their eyes, anyone who claimed to be God was a liar and imposter. Just look at some of His amazing statements from John 5:

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• Jesus referred to God as His Father, making Himself equal        with God (v. 18). 
• He declared that He did the same works as the Father              (v. 19).
• Christ said He would raise the dead to life with just His voice    (v. 28-29).
• He claimed that the Father had given Him all authority to          judge (v. 22).
• Jesus demanded equal honor with God (v. 23).
• He promised to give eternal life to those who believe in Him      (v. 24).

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A “good” man wouldn’t make these statements unless they were true. If Jesus were just a man, His death on the cross would be of no benefit to anyone. But if His claims to be God’s Son are true, your salvation depends upon believing in Him.

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Anyone who is serious about finding out who Jesus is must consider His claims. It’s a matter of eternal life or death. No one who denies His deity will enter heaven, because He is the only way to the Father (14:6) Now is the time to believe—not when you stand before Him at the judgment.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

7 months ago

The Hand of Providence

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

What would you do if you discovered that a plot had been formed against you? Maybe the conspiracy resulted when someone misinterpreted something you said. Or perhaps it came from the overflow of jealousy.

Regardless of how it originated, the fact remains that you are under attack. In Acts 23, Paul had been arrested because of his witness of Jesus Christ. The Jews were so incensed over Paul’s defense of the Gospel that the commander of the Fortress of Antonia in Jerusalem “was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces” (Acts 23:10).

Soldiers were sent to rescue Paul from the hands of the angry mob and to bring him back to the fortress. In the next verse, we read: “The following night, the Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome’” (Acts 23:11).

Paul needed this encouragement because the next day he received word that the Jews had formed a conspiracy to kill him (Acts 23:12). More than 40 men were involved in the plot. However, God in His providence allowed Paul to discern their motives and to realize that no harm would come to him. As Paul’s enemies drew near, the commander transferred the apostle by night under heavy guard to Rome. Paul was on his way to accomplishing what Christ had given him to do—he was unharmed because his trust was in the One who could save him from all danger.

It is heartbreaking to learn that we have enemies—people who seem bent on our destruction. But remember, when your faith is in Christ, He is your refuge and strength.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You see the way before me and that You will make a way for me to go—even when it appears that the way is blocked. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light” (Psalm 18:28).

Can Eternal Life Be Earned?
7 months ago

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mark 10:17-22

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Sometimes teenagers decide on a course of action first and ask for input later. And then, if the response is one they don’t want to hear, they often react negatively. Believers can act the same way toward God.

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One day a wealthy man came to Jesus and asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  Mark 10:17. Having spent his days keeping the commandments, he wanted to know what else needed to be done to secure his position in heaven. The man erroneously believed that eternal life could be earned.

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Satan, the great deceiver, promotes the false idea that man can make himself acceptable in God’s eyes. Many of us have fallen victim to the Devil’s lies and approach God on the basis of our conduct or performance. Just like the rich man, we may have thought, God will accept me because I am doing the right things. Or perhaps we have assumed that our good deeds outweigh any wrong we have done.

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In thinking this way, we have established our own standard of acceptability and ignored God’s. He says we all have a flesh nature bent away from Him, and nothing we do will pay for our sin debt. Only faith in Jesus, who died in our place, makes us acceptable to God. Through the Savior, we are forgiven of our sins and receive life everlasting. Apart from Christ, we face eternal punishment.

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The rich young man chose to walk away from Jesus. How do you respond when the truth of Scripture conflicts with what you believe? Do you embrace God’s standard or turn away to follow your own desires?

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

God's Love Offered to the Hurting
7 months ago

Thursday, December 12, 2013

John 4:7-27

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Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”  John 14:9.  His life clearly revealed God’s loving character and compassion towards people. Let’s take a closer look at one of the examples mentioned yesterday: from the Savior’s interaction with the Samaritan woman, we can learn much about our heavenly Father’s tender love and care for us.

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• Jesus initiated contact. Much to His disciples’ dismay, Jesus deliberately went out of His way to meet the woman from Samaria. In that day, Jews did not associate with Samaritans and in fact avoided traveling through their region. But God does not adhere to man’s rules or prejudices. He brings a message of hope and new life to all who listen and believe.

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• Jesus knew her pain and heartache. She must have felt worthless, abandoned, and unloved after being divorced by five husbands. We all have emotional baggage that weighs us down and causes us pain. Our Father knows when we have deep hurt or secret shame.

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• Jesus offered her forgiveness and love. He drew out the details of her situation in a nonjudgmental way so that she would be receptive to His offer of forgiveness and a relationship with God. He understood what she needed—to feel loved, valued, and accepted—and knew a relationship with Him was the answer.

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God sees us today as clearly as He saw the Samaritan woman. He knows our hurts, and He wants to bring us healing and restoration. Won’t you accept His love? Submit to the Holy Spirit’s transforming work so that you can be brought to spiritual wholeness.

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

Those Who Hurt
7 months ago

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mark 10:46-52

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When in pain, we may question whether God cares or even knows about what we’re going through. Our adverse circumstances can give us a wrong view of Him.

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Scripture teaches that our triune God is omniscient. In other words, He knows all things. No action, person, or situation—past, present, or future—is hidden from Him  Ps. 33:13-15; Heb. 4:13.  The Lord “searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought”  1 Chron. 28:9 niv. Because of His perfect knowledge, He knows us intimately and understands what we really need  Matt. 10:29-30.  What’s more, God’s love and concern for us does not change, even if our pain has resulted from our own sinful actions.

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Jesus repeatedly demonstrated His Father’s care for people. He met with Nicodemus, one of the religious leaders, and without condemnation or accusation, showed him the way to the Father John 3:3.  Another time, the Lord visited Zaccheus, a man whose dishonesty had hurt many financially. And Jesus even initiated conversation with the Samaritan woman, a social outcast. He also delayed His journey in response to the cry of a blind beggar—He showed compassion to Bartimaeus and affirmed his faith. Because of Jesus’ life, we can be certain that our heavenly Father cares about us.

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God’s love extends over us, and He wants us to come to Him with our questions and pain. Don’t allow trials to cloud your thinking about God’s deep concern for you. Accept Jesus’ invitation and bring your burdens to Him  Matt. 11:28.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

No Work for God Is Unimportant
7 months ago

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Colossians 4:7-18

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The final lines of Colossians seem to have little theological impact. Most of the names listed, except for Luke and Mark, are unfamiliar. We could easily skip these verses and jump to 1 Thessalonians. But Paul’s closing words to the Colossians carry the subtle message that no ministry is unimportant.

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It isn’t hard to recognize Paul’s amazing contributions to the faith—much of the New Testament is made up of his divinely inspired letters. The people mentioned in his Colossian missive seem to pale in comparison, but the apostle considered all of them important enough to include. For instance, Tychicus, the first mentioned, played a big role—wherever he appears in Scripture, he is running errands for Paul  Acts 20:4Eph. 6:21, 2 Tim. 4:12.  Thanks to this man, the Colossian letter traveled over 800 miles to its destination, then moved from church to church to be read repeatedly and copied. Tychicus’s job was important in spreading the gospel; without his assistance to Paul, modern believers might not have this valuable letter.

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We tend to judge types of service as important or unimportant, and too often pride prevents our approval of a particular ministry. We want a big, impressive job to prove to everyone how much we love the Lord. But God desires the exact opposite: He wants our love for Him to motivate us to do anything He asks, no matter how insignificant or unnoticeable it may seem.

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What is God asking you to do that you are resisting? Repent of your pride, and humble yourself to do all that He desires. None of His work is unimportant.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

When Things Seem Impossible
7 months ago

Monday, December 9, 2013

John 6:5-14

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Years ago, our church was preparing to purchase some costly property, and our desire was to accomplish the transaction without going into debt. One week before the deadline, we had accumulated less than half the money; raising the rest seemed impossible. I mentioned our need to the congregation, and after the first service, a young couple came up and gave me the husband’s wedding band to use toward the payment. They insisted I take the ring in spite of the fact that they were barely getting by and had a baby on the way.

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During the second service, I pulled out the ring and told about this couple’s sacrifice. Then the most amazing thing happened. People started streaming down the aisle and giving all kinds of things—boats, houses, jewelry, cars. At the end of that service, we had exactly the amount we needed.

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Nothing is impossible for our Father. He used an inexpensive ring to raise over two million dollars in one day, just as He once borrowed a sack lunch to feed five thousand people.

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We often make the same mistake the disciples did in today’s passage—we ask the wrong question: “What am I going to do?” Instead, we should ask the right one: “Lord, what are You going to do?” God has a plan to guide us safely through every seemingly impossible situation if we will simply trust Him instead of our own resources.

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Look to your heavenly Father for whatever you need. He has promised to provide for His children, and He knows the best way and timing to do so.

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

7 months ago

Thank you for shedding light on that one.  I'm sorry I was so far out in left field that I couldn't figure it out for myself.  I think it was the word "landfill" that threw me for a loop.

 

7 months ago

The devotion talked of gifts that you receive,and of all the gifts you will ever get,Jesus is the best one,for many reasons.Many other gifts are in the landfill in a short time,because they are not valuable.He is.....He is not worthless like so many other gifts we scramble and save to buy,and they end up useless.Comparing HIM to other gifts,like the devotion did.Do you overstand now?Sorry for not clarifying it earlier.

7 months ago

...also,HE do not end up in the land fill by next year......hopefully.....

Kaya.......what on earth are you talking about?  If "who" doesn't end up in the land fill?  I'm totally lost on this post.

7 months ago

...also,HE do not end up in the land fill by next year......hopefully.....

A Gift from the Father
7 months ago

Saturday, December 7, 2013

John 3:16

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Think about all the presents you’ve received in your life. Some may have seemed heavenly, but Jesus Christ is the only gift any of us will ever receive that came straight from heaven. Without a maker, without a beginning or end, He is unlike any other gift in human experience. And although He arrived as a tiny infant, He is precisely what all mankind desperately needs.

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When you placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you could not have been given a gift that was more practical or necessary. Sin had so wrecked humanity that we were all under the wrath of God and in desperate need of forgiveness and deliverance from our guilt, shame, and fleshly behaviors. We had emotional needs, material needs, and all manner of brokenness.

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So God the Father sent His only begotten Son into our lives. He knew that no other gift could ever provide for our needs or fulfill our longings as completely as Christ Jesus.

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He came in human flesh. That’s what the incarnation is all about. God came into this world with a body like ours so that we could see Him, touch Him, and understand Him. And yet the tragedy is that most people never “unwrap” this gift. They keep Him a baby in the manger scene or categorize Him as just a teacher or preacher. But this will never do. If you do not unwrap the gift, you will never know what is inside. To open the present, open the Bible. The more you get to know Jesus, the better you will understand how perfect the gift is for you.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

Strengthening God's Church
7 months ago

Friday, December 6, 2013

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

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We all want the church to be strong, but false doctrine, apathy, and a lack of discipline work together to diminish the local congregation’s influence in the community and beyond. Paul reveals three ways to strengthen the church.

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• Be alert to false doctrine. Nothing will water down a church’s effectiveness more than wrong spiritual beliefs. The world largely approves of immorality and iniquity, and we are bombarded by philosophies that mix truth with a bit of falsehood. Unless firmly planted in God’s Word, believers are susceptible to those lies. Standing firm requires that undiluted Scripture be preached from the pulpit and studied by the flock.

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• Appreciate God’s servants. Too often church members criticize their leaders more than encourage them. Pastors and others in authority can certainly make mistakes or fall into sin, they’re human.  But they have devoted themselves to helping people hear and understand the Word. The congregation is responsible to show support and love. Those who know God most deeply will appreciate His chosen servant. Likewise, caring for the pastor opens a believer to experience the Lord more and thereby know Him better.

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• Accept one another. As a fellowship of believers, we’re to develop a spirit of acceptance and oneness. This principle has nothing to do with performance; rather, it’s based on the fact that God has given each of His children a unique role.

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Every local body has great potential because of the believers and gifts God has put together. What step can you take now to start strengthening your church?

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

7 months ago

The Promised Land

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

As the people of Israel stood at the doorway to the Promised Land, fear gripped their hearts. Moses had sent spies into the land, and out of 12 men, only two returned with positive reports. Joshua and Caleb filed this report: “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30).

These two men had witnessed God’s deliverance at the Red Sea. They had been fed by Him in the wilderness, led by His Spirit both day and night. They believed the same God who had fought for them, delivered them from their enemies, and provided for their every need would fulfill His promises.

“We can do this,” were the words that Caleb spoke to Moses.

However, the others who had gone with Joshua and Caleb filed a different report. Theirs was a chronicle of fear and dread: “We went into the land . . . and it does flow with milk and honey! . . . But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large” (Numbers 13:27-28). Their blow-by-blow account goes on: “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are” (Numbers 13:31). They continued with their bad report until the people no longer believed God would do what He said He would do.

Fear prevented them from enjoying the goodness of the Lord’s blessings. Israel finally made it into the Promised Land, but not until they had spent 40 years wandering in a wilderness!

When life gets you down and you want to give up, don’t. Turn your heart to God. He has only His best for you, and He is faithful to carry out His word.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You know my future and will provide for me throughout my years. Show me where I am afraid to follow You, and replace my fear with faith. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5).

The Next Steps to Growth
7 months ago

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ephesians 4:14-16

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Yesterday’s devotion covered three steps to Christian growth: renewing our minds through Bible reading, confessing sin, and repenting of that sin. Today we will look at three more factors that will build us spiritually.

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Any believer—whether mature or new to the faith—would be wise to receive godly counsel. I have seen some great men and women take a terrible plunge away from God because they were too proud to admit weakness. The Lord sees us as we truly are; we lack the ability to view ourselves objectively, which is why it’s important to have a friend who will be completely honest about our faults and mistakes. A godly counselor won’t be critical or condemning but rather will prove to be loving and kind.

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We also grow spiritually when we serve God by serving others. At times this may mean ministering to someone who tends to bring out our worst qualities. Getting involved in his or her life, though, can help us learn patience, acceptance, and love.

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One additional step is to respond properly to pain and difficulty. We all wish our greatest growth came during the calm times of our life. But the truth is, we make the most spiritual progress when we face adversity. Focusing on the Lord instead of on the source of our heartache is the appropriate response.

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So the question is, Do you really want to move ahead in your Christian walk?  To do so requires time, attention, and commitment. But if you choose to journey down God’s pathway to growth, you can expect to become more like Christ every day.

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

The Pathway to Spiritual Growth
7 months ago

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2 Peter 3:18

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Not many people can say that on the day they accepted Christ, someone explained how to grow spiritually. Sadly, some believers aren’t ever taught. God wants His children to bear the image of Christ, but we do not grow in our faith unless we take action.

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First, we are responsible for renewing our mind  Rom. 12:2. Though God saves us and gives us a new spirit, He does not give us a new brain. Our minds have many trenches that have been dug or worn by rebellion, self-focus, or habit. That is why it’s important to meditate on the Bible, which expresses the thoughts of God. Meditation is more than reading, it involves thinking about what the words mean and then applying truth. There’s no way to grow spiritually without absorbing Scripture into our thinking.

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A second step toward Christian maturity is being ready to admit and assume responsibility for failure. When we deny our sins, we delay spiritual growth, but as we learn to confess wrongdoing, the opposite happens—growth is inevitable.

The third step naturally follows the second: after confession should come repentance. This is more than a mere acknowledgement of wrongdoing or a promise to try harder. Repentance means that we commit to make an about-face and head in the opposite direction from our sin.

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Our Father’s goal is for all believers to continually make progress toward Christlikeness. With these steps, you’ll develop in that direction. And the most important consequence is that your relationship with God will deepen.

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

The Power Within
7 months ago

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Acts 1:6-9

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The pressure is on. At times it seems that the problems in our lives are multiplying, and there can be enormous temptation to choose ungodly solutions. If we are to make good decisions, we need divine power and wisdom. The way to obtain that, according to James 1:5, is to ask God, who longs to bestow it on all who have yielded to His plan.

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Stop to consider the potential available and already residing within each believer. The Holy Spirit’s power—which we see in the work of Jesus Christ, who resisted the Devil’s temptations, raised Lazarus from the dead, and chose God’s will over His own  Luke 22:42—produces Christlike character in us. It’s not something we can harness or turn on and off at will. Rather, the Spirit of God knows exactly when and how to utilize it in our life.

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One of God’s primary uses for this power is to cultivate spiritual fruit in His followers  Gal. 5:22-23.  Unbelievers are attracted to the light of Jesus within us when we demonstrate inner quietness and steadiness in the face of difficulty. They recognize Spirit-filled behavior is not the typical human reaction. When spiritual fruit is revealed in our lives, it is like shouting the message, “Jesus is real!”

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Divine power gives us the authority as well as the spiritual energy needed to carry out God’s plan. The Holy Spirit releases His power so that our lives glorify the Father and demonstrate that God does rescue and transform people through His Son Jesus Christ. Won’t you yield to the Spirit’s control so that He may work dynamically in your life and circumstances?

Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

When God’s Spirit Is in Charge
7 months ago

Monday, December 2, 2013

James 1:2-4

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A Spirit-filled life does not mean one that is problem-free. Christians who are under the control of the Holy Spirit will still make mistakes, have difficulties, and fall into sin. But there are two definite characteristics that distinguish Spirit-filled followers of Christ from other Christians and from unbelievers.

First, they are not controlled by their circumstances, and second, they refocus quickly after having sinned.

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When the Holy Spirit is in charge, our attitude will not be determined by what’s going on around us. In other words, life doesn’t have to be stress-free in order for us to know peace—our spiritual joy won’t diminish even if we should meet with disappointment.

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Anyone can be loving, kind, and self-controlled in seasons of blessing. But what happens to our attitude in trying times? The real test of who we are occurs not when things are going our way but when misfortune shows up. If the Spirit is in charge, we will learn to do four things: to love when we want to hate; to practice kindness when we are accused; to respond gently when others are harsh; and to have self-control when temptation strikes hard.

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None of us will do all of this perfectly because there is still “self” within us. But when we sin, we will respond quickly to the Spirit’s prompting. He won’t have to work hard to get our attention, because we are under His authority. We will recognize our wrong action, confess it, and refocus on God’s ways.

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If you are a Christ-follower, who is in control of your life?

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Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

7 months ago

A Cave of Rejection

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Maybe you have just heard a negative remark that someone said about you and the temptation to become fearful is gripping your heart. Waves of panic sweep over you as you wonder what you will do. David would understand your plight.

On the run from Saul, who was a vicious and relentless ruler, he wrote these words:

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation. . . . I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies (Psalm 18:2-3).

David, the future king of Israel, was forced to leave his home and the ones he loved. Almost overnight, he became a hunted criminal, though he had done nothing wrong.

Now, he was the commander of a thrown-together army, which was made up of bandits, murderers, and social outcasts. Alone and hiding out in a cave of rejection, David wondered how life had turned out so differently from what he had planned.

Today, you also may feel like a cave dweller. Friends have betrayed you, peers scorn your name, and even family members have turned against you. At night, tears stain your pillow as you wonder if God will hear your cry.

God has given you a marvelous promise: If you will seek Him, you will find He is right beside you. No matter how deep your valley may seem, God’s love for you is deeper.

He is your faithful Lord and Savior, your best friend, and your eternal source of hope and encouragement. Hang in there. Don’t give up. God has a wondrous plan for your life.

Prayer: Lord, I cannot imagine life without You. Today, I turn to You in the midst of my fear. Show me the greatness of Your love, and be my sole encouragement. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. . . . He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:1, 4).

 

DAILY DEVOTIONS ~ DECEMBER
7 months ago

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