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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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Why Won’t God Heal Me?

Lessons about God’s healing through the Life of Paul

Written by Dan Lee on 14/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Sickness, Health, Healing, Prayer, Sovereignty
But He replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
There are many wonderful stories of healing in the Bible. Jesus healed many people of leprosy, blindness, lameness and other ailments. He even raised Lazarus from the dead!

No doubt you have also heard of God healing people today. God still hears our prayers for healing and has the power to heal and do all kinds of miracles.

So you may be wondering, “What about ME?” I, or someone I love, have been struggling with (name the disease) all these years. And I have prayed for healing, fasted, had people lay hands on me. So why have I not been cured?

I’m afraid that there is no simple, easy answer. But there are some principles we can learn from the Apostle Paul’s example. We hope you will find them encouraging.

1. God Has a Purpose
Earlier in this same chapter, we read: “Of course, I am now referring to the wonderful things I saw. One of Satan’s angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud.” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

It’s interesting that though Paul’s affliction is never specifically named, the PURPOSE for the affliction is given twice — at the beginning and at the end of verse 7: “so that I would not feel too proud.”

In the beginning of the chapter, we see that Paul had some amazing revelations — he was “caught up into the third heaven” and also “caught up into paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:2-3). These experiences were so spectacular that he would have been tempted to boast about them, or to feel superior to those who had not had these experiences.

So God chose to humble Paul with a “thorn in the flesh.” It was not random, nor a whimsical act on God’s part. It had a very specific purpose.

2. God Can Use Anything
That same verse tells us that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was “a messenger of Satan.” How can that be? Was it from God or from Satan? The answer is it was both! Satan, of course, is set against God and His purposes and His people. Satan probably enjoyed tormenting Paul. But, just as at the cross, Satan’s evil plans were turned around 180 degrees to serve God’s purposes. Satan succeeded in harassing Paul, but the result was that God used it to bring humility in Paul’s life.

3. God’s Strength is Displayed
This principle is stated three times in these two verses, in different ways:

“But he (Christ) replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.”

God wants us to develop our gifts and talents and use them for His glory. But when weak, afflicted people achieve great things, it is clear that GOD is the one who did it and He receives the glory.

Our purpose in life is to glorify God — to show His power and His greatness. And even though our circumstances may be painful or uncomfortable for us, God wants to remind us that it’s the eternal things that matter. “Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

4. We Can be Content
“Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Look at that list — a lot more things than just sickness! And yet in all those things, Paul was content for the sake of Christ, because his ultimate goal in life was God’s glory.

So when you or those you love are battling sickness, by all means, pray. But if God chooses to let an affliction persist, look for what He wants to do IN you and THROUGH you – to be humbled yourself; to show God’s great strength in you; and ultimately to give glory to God.

Pray this week:

Lord, I don’t like this sickness or affliction, and I wish I didn’t have it. But I trust that You have a higher purpose for my life, just as You did the Apostle Paul. Lord, humble me and show Your great power in me through this affliction. Use everything in my life, good and bad, to bring You glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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How to Love Your Enemies and Pray for Them

God’s love is hard to understand

Written by Lois on 26/04/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Enemies, Forgiveness, God, Love, Mercy
…may you, having been deeply rooted and securely grounded in love, be fully capable of comprehending…the width and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, fully experiencing that amazing, endless love…

Ephesians 3:17-19 AMP
The love of Christ is so great it can even save His enemies. God’s love reaches out to the whole world and continues through the entire length of our lives. His love is so deep, it can reach you in discouragement and depression. He even reached Lazarus after he had been in His grave four days. This is the Savior’s love.

God is Love
The Bible tells us that if a person knows nothing about love, they can’t know God, because God is love. Jesus displayed His love for His enemies as He was dying. While Jesus was on the cross, He was praying for those who placed the nails in His hands and feet. Is there anyone else who could love like this?

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing” Luke 23:34. Jesus was praying for the Roman politicians and soldiers who were putting Him to death. God responded to this prayer when the soldiers who witnessed the crucifixion admitted the truth by saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.” Matthew 27:54

Do You Offer Love When Offended?
What is your first reaction when you are wronged? Do you plan revenge or show anger? Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:44, “…love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Many people try to get even and punish people who wrong them. Jesus tells us not to do this. If you pray for your enemies, you can overcome evil with good. When we follow Jesus’ commands, we show that He is Lord over our life. We must trust in the Holy Spirit to help us show love to our enemies.

Have You Forgiven Past Wrongs?
Sometimes we hold grudges, even after a person dies. Matthew 5:44-46 says, “…love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven… If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?” We are to separate ourselves from sinful behavior and live holy lives. We should live our lives devoted to God’s desires rather than our own. That means we should forgive enemies of the past as well as in those of the present.

Pray this week:

Father, I want to forgive those who have offended me. I want to show mercy to them.

Did you love your enemies and forgive them?

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Loving the unlovable demonstrates God’s love for us.

Loving Others
Loving the unlovable demonstrates God’s love for us.

Written by Dan Lee on 15/11/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Love, Enemies, Humility, Pride
If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.

Matthew 5:46
We are surrounded by all kinds of people. Some are easy to love. Others, we tend to ignore. Then there are some that act in ways that makes us want to hate them.

Here are three kinds of people we might tend to look down on, or even hate — and what God’s Word says about them:

1. “Servers”
People of many cultures look down on waiters, clerks, or manual laborers. We act as though they exist only to meet our needs and pay no attention to their feelings.

But Peter says in his letter, “And all of you, serve each other in humility, for ‘God opposes the proud but favors the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5)

God’s love means having a humble heart for others.

2. “Sinners”
Jesus told a story about two people praying in the temple: a Pharisee and a despised tax collector. The Pharisee prayed, “I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else . . . I’m certainly not like that tax collector!” (Luke 18:11)

The tax collector, on the other hand, prayed, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)

Jesus said, “I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)

God’s love is available to all, including sinners.

3. “Strangers”
The news today is full of stories about people hating each other because of their race, their beliefs or their feelings toward us.

But Jesus said, “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

God’s love even reaches those who oppose and slander Him.

Conclusion
Every human being is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). When we disrespect or hate another person, we are disrespecting God. As Jesus said when asked to sum up the commandments, he gave just two: Love God, and “Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

When, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we humbly love the Servants, the Sinners, and the Strangers in our lives, people will see God’s love (see also John 13:35), and the Lord Jesus will be glorified.

Pray this week:

Lord, there are many unlovable people in my life. Please give me Your Holy Spirit’s power to love with a humble heart and pray for them, and to bring You glory.

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Life can be hard sometimes. But God provided us with help to teach us. Our help is in the Bible.

Get Direction from the Bible
Life can be hard sometimes. But God provided us with help to teach us. Our help is in the Bible.

Written by GodLife
Series: Look to Jesus
Tags: Bible
Have you ever tried to do something hard without having someone teach you? You probably needed a little help.

Life can be hard sometimes. But God provided us with help to teach us. Our help is in the Bible. But it does so much more than that . . .

A profile of the One Who loves you
The Bible is a love letter from our Creator. He loves you so much that He came to suffer and die so that you could live with Him forever.

Although the Bible may seem complex, God promises that His Spirit will guide you into all truth. He will reveal to you the important facts about Him and what it means to follow Him.

Don't think of the Bible as a book that only specially trained people can understand. The Bible is for everyone. It is full of God's thoughts about Himself, and about us: the people He has loved from before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).

What can you find in the Bible?
You can find real help for your life today. Hope to keep you going. Truth that sets you free and gives your life meaning. Guidance for your relationships with people. Most of all, it tells you about Jesus, who said, "the volume of the book [Bible] is written about me" (Psalm 40:7).

The Bible is God’s story. Jesus created and sustains everything by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3). Yet He humbled Himself and took on a weak human body for us (Philippians 2:8-9). He faced every temptation we have, yet remained innocent and pure. He understands our sufferings because He suffered too. He allows us to be completely forgiven and made perfect because He died on the cross. Jesus showed His power over death when He rose from the dead. Jesus is the true author of the Bible, just as He is the author and perfecter of our eternal salvation.

Look to Jesus in His Word
Reading the Bible is not just looking at stories about Jesus; it really is looking at Jesus. The word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). It’s alive because Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). Though He died for you, Jesus is alive today. He knows your thoughts and plans. As you spend time with Him through His Word, He gives you sure and certain hope that becomes an anchor for your soul (Hebrews 6:19).

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Trust Him For A Miracle

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and
wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the
Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
(Hebrews 2:4).

The New Testament gives numerous accounts
of the miracles Jesus did during His earthly
ministry. John 2:23 tells us that many believed in Him
when they saw the miracles He did. But there were
also many in His day who didn’t believe in Him despite
the miracles. It’s the same thing today; there’re some
who say that miracles don’t exist; but their’s is a twisted
opinion. Some of us have lived in and experienced, the
miraculous; we see, breathe, and experience miracles
all the time.
The very idea of the existence of a God is to believe
in the supernatural. If you don’t believe in miracles,
then you don’t believe in God! A miracle is God’s
supernatural intervention in the affairs of men. God is
a Spirit, and He lives in the realm of the spirit. When
you pray to Him, a God that you can’t see with your
physical eyes, and He answers you from that realm of
life, that’s a miracle. His answer to your prayers is His
response, and that’s what changes things.
God doesn’t need to respond if you don’t need
a miracle. You wouldn’t need Him to do for you what  
you can, and should do for yourself. For example, He
doesn’t help you put on your clothes or shoes, or put
food in your mouth; you can do all that by yourself and
for yourself. If you’re thirsty for water, He doesn’t give
you a drink. But if you don’t have access to the water,
you can act your faith and He’ll grant you a miracle.
When you need a miracle, it means you need
something that only God can do; the moment you act
on the Word, He responds! He never fails to show up,
as He always responds to faith. You can trust Him for
a miracle for your health, finances, academics, job or
business, and for your family.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and
forever (Hebrews 13:8). If you accept and act on
His Word as others did in Bible days, you’ll get the
same results. This is what many are doing today, and
experiencing His miracles. 
Prayer
Dear heavenly Father, I thank
you for your presence in my life,
and your glory that fills my heart!
Thank you for your mercies and
blessings that I experience today
and always. I celebrate your
grace in my life, and the power
to live the transcendent life, in
Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

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Put The Word In You

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among
us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth
(John 1:14).

Jesus is the revelation of God’s Word and the
character of His thoughts, opinions, imaginations
and entire being. He was the Word of God in flesh
and a master of words. The Bible tells us how the
temple guards who were sent to arrest Him, stopped
to listen to Him, and upon hearing His words, went
back without arresting Him.
When the chief priests and Pharisees asked why
they returned without Him, the officers replied, “…No
man ever spoke like this Man!” (John 7:46 NKJV). His
words brought healing to the sick, restored sight to the
blind, unstopped deaf ears, gave the lame new legs to
walk, and raised the dead. His words were different.
The Bible says He cast out demons with His words
(Matthew 8:16). He ruled and reigned with words. He
showed us the power of words; their value and how
to use them. Don’t just talk; speak the Word. Build yourself. Develop your spirit and distinguish yourself. Make your words different and become an excellent person.
This won’t happen, however, until you feed your spirit  with the right information—God’s Word. The Bible says,…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man
out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things”
(Matthew 12:34-35). God gives us His Word so we can receive it, meditate on it, and let it become a part of us. Jesus said, “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4). Remember, food becomes a part of your body when you eat. In the same way, if you’d meditate on God’s Word, you’ll produce God’s words. If you don’t have it in you, it can’t come out of you. Put the Word in you. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).
Confession
The Word of God is in my heart
and in my mouth, and as I speak
it forth, I establish the goodness
of God in my world, effecting
positive changes, and charting
my course in glory. Blessed be
God!

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As You Look You’re Changed

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our
faith…(Hebrews 12:2).
Everything the Father is and has is in Jesus.
Colossians 2:9 says, “For in him dwelleth
all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” He’s the
expression of the totality of divinity. Now you can
understand why He said, “…he that hath seen me hath
seen the Father…” (John 14:9). In the eleventh verse
of the same chapter, He said, “Believe me that I am in
the Father, and the Father in me…” (John 14:11).
Therefore, to behold Jesus is to behold the Father.
Today, we see Him in the Word, for He’s the living
Word. He’s the beauty of God. Another beautiful thing
is that the more you know Jesus, the more you see Him
in, and through the Word, the more you know and see
yourself, because you’re in Him. You can’t know Jesus
without discovering yourself. The Bible says as He is,
so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). So, to know Him
is to know yourself.
No wonder the Bible says, “But we all, with open
face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are
changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The glory of God is Jesus Christ; He’s the effulgence
or brightness of God’s glory, and the express image of His person (Hebrews 1:3). Thus, as you behold the glory of God in the mirror of God (His Word), you’re transfigured from glory to glory. The more you behold Him in the Word, the more you see that you’re exactly like Him: the perfect reflection and reflector of God’sglory. Keep your eyes on Him and be continually metamorphosed from glory to glory. James 1:25 says anyone who continues to look is blessed. In other words, he’s like a tree planted by the rivers of water, forever fruitful, productive, and prosperous in all things. 
Prayer
Dear Father, I thank you for
your Word that transforms me
from glory to glory. As I study
and meditate on your Word, I’m
metamorphosed, and positioned
for the higher life of glory and
triumphs, filled with strength,
courage, faith and wisdom to do
your will, and fulfil my destiny in
you, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

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The Word Perfects Us

how to make ourlives balanced and perfect: it’s with the Word of God. The King James uses the word “perfect,”
rendered “artios” in Greek, which means “a freshness in completeness.” In today’s language, it means to be “up-to-date” or “updated.” So, the Scriptures are
there for you to “update” and upgrade your life unto
perfection. Anyone would be making a big mistake to think they can live a glorious life, devoid of errors, if they ignored the Scriptures. If you want to live in the
perfect will of God, pleasing Him in all things, living the Word is the only way. The Word is given to us to guide us, correct us, build and shape our character in
righteousness and true holiness. If you’re not following the Scriptures properly, you’ll make king-sized errors—embarrassing but avoidable mistakes. Jesus said in Matthew 22:29
NIV, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” The more you study All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works
(2 Timothy 3:16-17).
The Word Perfects Us
Acts 26:19-32
Psalms 19-20
Galatians 6:1-9
Isaiah 40
Confession
The Word of God dwells in me richly in all wisdom, propelling me in perfection and excellence. I have a sound mind, and an excellent life, because I’m yielded to, and led by, the Holy Spirit, who
guides me through the Word. I’m perfect, proficient, and thoroughly fitted for every
good work. Glory to God! the Word, the more you minimize your errors, and ultimately become perfect. One of the definitions of success is the ability to minimize errors. Don’t keep making the same mistakes you made years ago. To keep repeating your mistakes means there’s no growth. But with the abundance of God’s Word in your heart, you’ll grow unto perfection, and
mistakes will be eliminated. Let the Word dwell in you richly; it’ll give you the advantage, and make you perfect in all things. Give it first place in your life, and see the perfections of the Spirit become manifest in your life and in all that you do.
Acts 20:32; Matthew 5:48

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