Monday, September 25, 2017

A Prayer for When You Fear Death

TODAY'S DEVOTIONAL - September 25th
A Prayer for When You Fear Death
By Greg Laurie

"The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?" – Psalm 27:1

Have you ever been stung by a bee? It's not a fun experience. But though it's painful for the person being stung, it's fatal for the bee.

When a honeybee stings a person, it can't pull its little barbed stinger back out. This is a one-time experience for them. They had better think carefully about who they are going to sting, because once they do it, they are not going to survive.

When a bee stings you, not only is the bee's stinger left in you but also part of its abdomen and digestive tract, as well as nerves and muscles. This massive abdominal rupture kills the bee shortly after it stings.

That is what happened when Jesus died on the cross. In his enduring hatred for God's Son, Satan thought it would be a great idea to have Jesus betrayed, arrested, beaten within an inch of His life, and then crucified and put to death on a Roman cross. The devil said, "This is my moment. I am going to sting Him. I will have a role in His death. When He dies, that is the end of Him." Everything went according to Satan's plan, and like a bee, he flew off thinking he had succeeded.

But everything went according to God's plan as well, and the sting of death was its own defeat. As 1 Corinthians 15:54 –55 says, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"

Where is the sting of death for the believer? It is ripped out, because at the cross, Jesus took the stinger out of death. This is a great truth. As Christians, we no longer need to fear death because our souls will live on forever with Christ.

Dear Lord, we will face many terrifying events throughout this life, but may we never forget that the ultimate victory belongs to you. Through your sacrifice, death has been defeated. As we continue to walk in your truth, help us to set our eyes on Heavenly things.

Amen.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

How to Cry Out to God

TODAY'S DEVOTIONAL - September 24th
How to Cry Out to God

And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. Matthew 14:29-30 KJV

The phone rings, and you answer. A sullen voice informs you of a tragedy. Your heart is so heavy that you feel as though you could die. What do you do?

Bad news, danger, and pain all cause us to look for help. As believers, we dwell with the almighty God, who is able to aid us. At those moments when we are sideswiped by life's circumstances, we should cry out to Him.

In the Bible, crying out refers to speaking audibly with great emotion concerning an urgent need. God invites us to use this form of prayer to communicate that we desperately need His mercy.

It takes both faith and humility to share our heart's concern aloud. Crying out, then, is a way for God's children to express trust in the Lord's ability and willingness to help. By calling upon Him with such urgency, wealso lay down our pride and any attitude of self-sufficiency.

The Word of God assures us that our Father hears our cries and responds. In Psalm 3:4, for example, David wrote, "I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered from His holy mountain." When we call aloud for help in Jesus' name, we invite His power into the situation. Remember that there is strength in just speaking His name.

When we cry out to God, He may remove the problem immediately, yet we often have to wait for His perfect timing. Harsh circumstances might even be allowed to remain for His good purposes. But we can always count on His comfort and presence, which enable us to live with joy and hope.

Dr. Charles Stanley