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Thursday, November 15, 2018

NOVEMBER 15, 2018 Attitude Is Everything Joyce Meyer Ministries daily devotion

...He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
— 1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMPC)
Some of the challenges we face in life may be very difficult ones, but God never allows more temptation to come upon us than we can bear. In fact, with every temptation, He always provides a way out.
The scripture above not only says He provides a way out, but it also says He gives us the strength to bear up under trials with patience. That means we can go through them with a good attitude! Maintaining a good attitude in the midst of something unpleasant is the key to victory, and it enables us to enjoy the journey.
Prayer Starter: Lord, thank You for being with me through all of life’s difficulties. Help me today to keep a good attitude, knowing You are working on my behalf behind the scenes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Dangerous Distractions - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotion 15 November


Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:35 nlt
Artist Sigismund Goetze shocked Victorian-era England with a painting entitled “Despised and Rejected of Men.” In it, he portrayed the suffering, condemned Jesus surrounded by people of Goetze’s own generation. They were so consumed by their own interests—business, romance, politics—that they were shockingly oblivious to the Savior’s sacrifice. Indifferent to Christ, the surrounding crowd, like the mob at the foot of Jesus’s cross, had no idea what—or who—they had missed.
In our day as well, believers and unbelievers alike can easily become distracted from the eternal. How can followers of Jesus cut through this fog of distraction with the truth of God’s great love? We can begin by loving one another as fellow children of God. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35 nlt).
But real love doesn’t stop there. We extend that love by sharing the gospel in hopes of drawing people to the Savior. As Paul wrote, “We are . . . Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
In this way, the body of Christ can both reflect and project God’s love, the love we so desperately need, to both each other and to our world. May both efforts, empowered by His Spirit, be a part of cutting through the distractions that hinder us from seeing the wonder of God’s love in Jesus.
Read the Discovery Series booklet Truth with Love: Sharing the Story of Jesus at discoveryseries.org/hp141.
To a world living in the fog of distraction, we bring the light of the good news of Jesus.
By Bill Crowder | See Other Authors

INSIGHT

Consider those Jesus chose as His first disciples (Luke 6:13–16). While they were all men and all Jewish, there was much that could (and sometimes did) divide them. Most were from Galilee in the north, but one (Judas Iscariot) was from Judea in the south. While most were fishermen (Mark 1:16–20), Matthew was a tax collector (Matthew 10:3) who served the Romans—harming his own people. Matthew would have been despised by everyone, especially Simon the Zealot (v. 4), a member of a radical Jewish group determined to drive Rome out of Israel. Add to that the attempts by James and John to seek higher places of honor in the kingdom (Mark 10:35–37), and you have a fertile environment for friction. These factors and more would have intensified the difficulty of loving one another. Yet, just as we love God because He first loved us, we love one another—despite our differences—in the power of the love we have received from God. As we seek to dwell together as followers of Christ, loving one another isn’t easy, but it’s vital.
Do you need God’s help to love a particular person in an intentional way this week?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

NOVEMBER 13, 2018 God's Approval - Joyce Meyer Ministries daily devotion


For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
— Galatians 1:10
There is an epidemic of insecurity in our society today. Many people are insecure and feel bad about themselves, which steals their joy and causes major problems in all their relationships.
I know the effect insecurity can have on lives because I experienced it myself. Those who have been hurt badly through abuse or severe rejection, as I have, often seek the approval of others to try to overcome their feelings of rejection and low self-esteem.
They suffer from those feelings and use the addiction of approval to try to remove the pain. They are miserable if anyone seems to not approve of them in any way or for any reason, and they are anxious about the disapproval until they feel they are once again accepted. They may do almost anything to gain the approval they feel they have lost—even things their conscience tells them are wrong.
For example, if a person is met with disapproval when she declines an invitation, she might change her plans and accept the invitation just to gain approval. She compromises herself for the sake of feeling approved.
Prayer Starter: Lord, it’s true that You are the only one whom I need to please. Today, help me to not compromise myself or be a slave to pleasing others, no matter what I feel. I seek Your favor alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bound to Encourage - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotion 14 November


Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24
The Steven Thompson Memorial Centipede is a cross-country meet unlike any other. Each seven-member team runs as a unit, holding a rope for the first two miles of a three-mile course. At the two-mile mark, the team drops the rope and finishes the race individually. Each person’s time is, therefore, a combination of the pace the team kept and his or her own speed.
This year, my daughter’s team opted for a strategy I had not previously seen: They put the fastest runner at the front and the slowest right behind her. She explained that their goal was for the strongest runner to be near enough to speak words of encouragement to the slowest runner.
Their plans depicted for me a passage from the book of Hebrews. The writer urges us to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess” (Hebrews 10:23) as we “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (v. 24). There are certainly many ways of accomplishing this, but the author highlighted one: “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (v. 25). Gathering together with other believers as we’re able is a vital aspect of the life of faith.
The race of life can feel like more than we can handle at times, and we may be tempted to drop the rope in hopelessness. As we run together, let’s offer one another the encouragement to run strong!
Jesus, thank You for the hope You offer. Thank You for never discouraging us. Help us imitate You by encouraging each other today.
Encouragement is water to the soul.
By Kirsten Holmberg | See Other Authors

INSIGHT

By the blood of Jesus our high priest (Hebrews 10:19–22) we can enter the Most Holy Place, that is, we can come directly into God’s presence. However, the author is using these two ideas—Jesus’s sacrifice and our access to God—in tandem. The point in this passage is not because Jesus sacrificed for us we can enter God’s presence, but rather because we have a path to God, we are now to act. We are to draw near to Him (v. 22), hold to our hope (v. 23), encourage each other (v. 24), and meet together (v. 25).
A significant aspect of this passage is the author’s repeated use of the first-person plural. Seven times the author uses this construction and three times it’s in the exhortation “let us” (vv. 22, 23, 24). The implication is that our salvation has a community impact. Together we are part of the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12). The Christian life is to be lived in relationship with others, encouraging each other to be more like Christ.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Dumb Sheep, Good Shepherd - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotion 13 November


As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. Ezekiel 34:12
My friend Chad spent a year as a shepherd in Wyoming. “Sheep are so dumb that they’ll only eat what is right in front of them,” he told me. “Even if they’ve eaten all the grass in front of them, they won’t turn to look for a fresh patch—they’ll just start eating dirt!”
We laughed, and I couldn’t help but think about how often the Bible compares humans to sheep. No wonder we need a shepherd! But since sheep are so dumb, not just any shepherd will do. Sheep need a shepherd who cares about them. When the prophet Ezekiel wrote to God’s people in exile, captives in Babylon, he compared them to sheep led by bad shepherds. Instead of caring for the flock, Israel’s leaders had exploited them, profiting from them (v. 3) and then leaving them for the wild animals to devour (v. 5).
But they were not without hope. God, the Good Shepherd, promised to rescue them from the leaders who exploited them. He promised to bring them home, put them in lush pastures, and give them rest. He would heal the injured and go after the lost (vv. 11–16). He would banish wild animals, so that His flock would be safe (v. 28).
Members of God’s flock are in need of tender care and direction. How blessed we are to have a Shepherd who is always leading us to green pastures! (v.14).
For more on the topic of spiritual growth, see christianuniversity.org/SF212.
Am I listening for the voice of my Shepherd?
By Amy Peterson | See Other Authors

NOVEMBER 12, 2018 Retire from Self-Care Joyce Meyer Ministries daily devotion


And they answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus [as your personal Savior and entrust yourself to Him] and you will be saved, you and your household [if they also believe].”
— Acts 16:31 (AMP)
God wants to take care of you, and He can do a much better job of it if you will avoid a problem called independence, which is really self-care.
The desire to take care of yourself is based on fear. You are afraid of what might happen if you entrust yourself totally to God and He doesn’t come through for you. The root problem of independence is you trust yourself more than you trust God.
People love to have a backup plan. You may ask God to get involved in your life, but if He doesn’t respond as quickly as you’d like, you take control back into your own hands.
But God has a plan for you—and His plan is much better than yours. So, give yourself to Him and see what happens. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Prayer Starter: Father, I can’t do it on my own. Help me to place my trust in You and turn over complete control. I want Your plan for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Who’s Driving? - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotion 12 November

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

My neighbor Tim has a figurine on his dashboard of a “wild thing” based on Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are.
Not long ago Tim was following me through traffic and made some abrupt moves to keep up. When we arrived, I asked, “Was that the ‘wild thing’ driving?”
The following Sunday I forgot my sermon notes at home. I “flew” out of the church to retrieve them, passing Tim along the way. When we met later, he joked, “Was that the wild thing driving?” We laughed, but his point hit home—I should have paid attention to the speed limit.
When the Bible describes what it means to live in a relationship with God, it encourages us to “offer every part of [ourselves]” to Him (Romans 6:13). I took Tim’s response to me that day as a gentle reminder from God to yield my “lead foot,” because I am to give all of myself to Him out of love.
The question of “who’s driving?” applies to all of life. Do we let the “wild things” of our old sin nature drive us—like worry, fear, or self-will—or do we yield to God’s loving Spirit and the grace that helps us grow?
Giving in to God is good for us. Scripture says that God’s wisdom takes us down “pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17). Better to follow where He leads. 
Loving Lord, thank You for the grace You give us to obey You, and the peace You give us as we stay near.
What God requires He also inspires.
By James Banks | See Other Authors

INSIGHT

Paul dismisses the notion that God’s grace permits us to do whatever we want. In fact, he finds the idea preposterous (Romans 6:2). God’s grace frees us to choose life in Him. That’s why Paul says, “Offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness” (v. 13).
Today, what do I need to offer to God?

NOVEMBER 15, 2018 Attitude Is Everything Joyce Meyer Ministries daily devotion

...He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure,...