Tag Archives: listen

Daily Bread: The Complacency of Fools Wisdom is available to everyone

Wisdom is available to everyone

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Daily Bread, Foolishness, Wisdom
Prepare
Would you know it if wisdom came knocking at your door? Take time to praise the Lord Jesus Christ for the sacrifice He made on the cross, making it possible to have wisdom and obtain forgiveness from our sinful ways.

Read
Proverbs 1:20-33

Explore
For more than 55 years I have taken the proverbs to heart. When I have wisely chosen to obey implicitly, amazing results have followed. When I have foolishly chosen to ignore clearly revealed divine principles, I have paid the price. I have played the fool.

But there is hope. Although this section of Proverbs is quite stark (just meditate on verses 26 and 27 for a while), the passage actually opens by saying there is wisdom available to all. A spirit filled follower of Jesus Christ can learn vital lessons by simply looking at life – by simply opening their eyes (v.20). Just by watching the world you can learn amazing things!

You must meditate on what you see, through God’s eyes. If you don’t – if you stick to your simple ways (v 22) and reject God when He calls (v 24) – there are serious consequences.

When we open our eyes to what God has before us, the promise is incredible. We can’t ignore it. After rebuking the complacent fool, God almost explodes with joy. “If you only listen – you will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm” (v 33).

Don’t try to change it. It says what it says. Now go live by it.

Respond
Lord, open my eyes that I might live in your safety. I don’t want to play the fool any longer.

Have you gone through a difficult situation and regretted not listening God?

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Choose Your Friends

Have you ever depended upon a friend? If not, you can certainly trust Jesus.

Written by Hope on 24/03/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community, Friends, Relationships
"He told them, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. " (John 15:12-15)

When I was in grade 4 of secondary school, I sprained my ankle. Being on crutches for 6 weeks made it hard to keep up with the other kids. But one friend stayed with me and made sure I didn't get left out. We came from different social and racial backgrounds, but that didn’t matter to either of us. She literally let me lean on her, and I was grateful for her kindness and strength.

Jesus Is Our Friend
Have you ever depended upon a friend like that? If not, you can certainly trust Jesus. He is not just our Lord; He is our Friend, too. He told His followers, "Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one’s friends" (John 15:12-15). My school friend displayed Christ-like love when she sacrificed her time for me.

Chosen Friend
My friend and I were different in many ways, but she still chose to help me. Likewise, God knew that we needed help, and He told His people: "But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob My chosen one, descended from Abraham My friend, I have called you… For I have chosen you" (Isaiah 41:8-9). God and humans are not even close to equal; but because of His friendship with Abraham's descendants, God fulfilled His plan to save humanity from sin.

Act on Your Friendship
We display our friendship with God and our faith in Him by obeying Him, doing what He asks of us: "[Abraham's] faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. …So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone" (James 2:22, 24) Also, being a Christ-like friend to others is a great way to show Jesus' love. Praying for your friends, as Jesus did, is a great way to care: "I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail" (Luke 22:32).

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
The Power of a Friendship!

It's so exciting to know that the Lord of the universe, Jesus Christ, calls us His friends (if we follow His commands, John 15, v. 14)! And he wants us to love each other as He loved us.

Last week we started to identify lost people around us, who don't yet have a living relationship with Jesus. This week's step is to initiate a friendship with one of these people.

Do you care enough for a lost person you see regularly, to start being friends with them? You don't have to rush. Pray about this person you identify. If you are shy, ask the Lord or a friend for help in reaching out. Do something that fits your culture – it may just be inviting them for a cup of coffee.

You do not have to talk to them about Jesus right away. Just become friends and build the relationship. Ask them to tell their life stories, then really listen. Share your story when asked, without preaching. If they invite you to do something you don't feel is right, simply decline politely and without condemning. They will soon understand and accept you as you are – because you accept them as they are.

Whether this is easy or challenging for you, follow Jesus' example and be a friend to someone who needs Him!

Pray this week:

For someone who is brokenhearted and does not realize that Jesus is there for him or her.

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Facing Sexual Temptation

Everyone—from presidents to preachers—is subject to sexual temptation.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Sex, Sin, Temptation
Adultery. It’s a common word and a common occurrence in our society.

But adultery’s stain goes deeper than the individual. More dishonor has come to the name of Jesus Christ by sexual sin than any other sin.

You Will be Tempted.
C.S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters, said, "No man knows how bad he is until he has tried to be good. There is a silly idea that good people don’t know what temptation means."

We must learn from the Lord to enjoy full mastery over sex, His marvelous gift. "For God did not give us the spirit of timidity," Paul reminds us, "but the spirit of power and love and self-control."

Proverbs 4:23 exhorts, "Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it flow the springs of life." How can we do that?

Monitor your fantasizing and daydreaming when your mind is idle. Refuse pornography, whether written or in movies or videos.

You can talk yourself into sexual sin. It happened to a friend of mine. He had won thousands to Christ during 25 years. Suddenly he left his wife and became hard and rebellious, even pretending to return to evangelism. I found out that for years he had secretly watched pornographic films, yet preached heavily against immorality. Eventually, like a serpent, it bit him. It has happened to better people than you and me.

Firmly implant in your soul God’s principles established for our protection.
Believe them, accept them, reaffirm them. Study Malachi 2:13-16 and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, and make Joseph in Genesis 39 a model. He faced, resisted and triumphantly ran from temptation. But be ready! As my mentor, Ray Stedman, said, "Woe to the man who has to learn principles at a time of crisis!"

The Word of God, as our meat and drink, keeps the inner man and woman strong and sensitive on a continuing basis. "Your Word I have hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).

Resisting temptation by quoting scripture still is a mighty tool.

One preacher I know allowed himself to become enchanted by an attractive, sensuous convert who had made advances shortly before he led her to Christ. He resisted and she had converted.

Three years later, he saw her again. He drew close to offer an "innocent" kiss nothing more, he tells us when the young woman started quoting, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). He left in a hurry!

God will remove His hand from your service to Him if you allow lust to lead you to actual sexual immorality. Samson lost his power. "He did not know that the Lord had left him" (Judges 16:20). So many friends started out well—winsome, friendly, authoritative. Where are they now? I can think of half a dozen on the sidelines because of money, sex, or pride. Useless, lonely, fruitless, bitter.

Beware:
Failure does not occur suddenly, overnight, in one blast of a careless moment or the explosion of uncontrolled passion. Dr. George Sweeting of Moody Bible Institute said, "Collapse in Christian life is rarely a blowout. It’s usually a slow leak." When a man takes that fatal step, it has been gestating in his soul for months, perhaps years. Toying, daydreaming. One step at a time, the sensitivity level lowers. Then, the unthinkable occurs.

Have you stumbled in this sensitive area of your life? Confess, make amends, clear yourself with the proper people. Where are you in your walk with God? If you must get reconciled to Him, do it now! "He who comes to me, I will in no way cast out," the Lord has said.

Sexual holiness demands we not play games in flirting, body language, and clothing. In the cases of fallen men I know, they first failed in precisely those areas. Keep friends accountable before drastic failure, discipline, and sadness happen.

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How to Listen for God’s Guidance

What are some ways God guides us in His will?

Written by Hope on 02/05/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Bible, Prayer, Wisdom
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

All people long for direction and purpose in life. As Christians, we can ask the Lord to guide us; we do not have to live without purpose. What are some ways God guides us in His will? How should we be listening for His leading?

Get Quiet with God and Examine Your Desires
Hearing God’s guidance begins with our minds and hearts. The Bible reminds us to “be still” (Psalm 46:10) as we listen for His leading, and to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2). The Scriptures are full of prayers you can use to ask God to focus on Him, such as: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” (Psalm 139:23). Genuinely seek the Lord and “ask our generous God” (James 1:5) to put your thoughts in line with His desires for you.

Ask Yourself: Would Jesus Think This Way?
It’s easier to hear God when your thoughts are in line with His. Choosing God as the ruler of your thoughts is important. Jesus said, “whatever is in your heart determines what you say” (Matthew 12:34). We must also put God as the ruler of what we say, because “The tongue can speak words that bring life or death” (Proverbs 18:21). Again, we can look to Scripture for prayers that God will guide our words: “Let the words of my mouth be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord” (Psalm 19:14). Seek God’s guidance for what you say; think carefully before you speak, making sure each idea is in line with God’s teaching.

Let God’s Word Guide You
Thinking and speaking God’s word helps us live it out! The Bible promises that you can “seek His will in all you do” (Proverbs 3:6) and depend on Him to guide your paths. As you seek God’s guidance for your actions, pray back to God the requests found in the Psalms: “Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness”; “Teach me Your way, O Lord”; “Teach me to do Your will, my God!” (Psalms 5:8, 86:11, 143:10). God can build up your life so that depending on His leading is second nature!

Pray this week:

…that God will help you obey His guidance.

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