DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Perfect in Weakness
When I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 CORINTHIANS 12:10
God’s idea of strength and man’s idea of strength are opposite one another.
The Lord told Paul, “My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Having learned this lesson, Paul could then say, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). A paradox? Not really. Only when Paul admitted his own weakness and was willing to get out of the way, could God take over and work.
If we try to do God’s will in our own strength, then we can take the credit for whatever gets accomplished. But that isn’t God’s way! When we let His strength work through us, then He alone will get the glory—and that is as it should be.
In the Old Testament God repeatedly told the leaders of Israel to reduce the size of their armies, or He announced in advance how their victory would be won. Why? So they would place their trust in Him and not in their own strength. As someone has said, “God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack for God’s provision.”
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
“Be angry, and do not sin:” do not let the sun go down on your wrath. – Ephesians 4;26
For most people anger is not premeditated. We usually find our emotions erupting over unexpected incidents. The emotion of anger is not a sin; but left unchecked, it can mushroom quickly into sinful behavior. You can be angry and not sin when you follow these guidelines:
Do not be quick to become angry (James 1:19). If your anger triggers instantly, you have a sin problem. The lord instructs us to be patient when wronged and long-suffering when abused (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
Do not hold on to your angry feelings. When you secretly nourish anger, you have sinned. Quickly out angry episodes behind you as you trust Christ to replace your anger with His love. Leave the results of your circumstances with sovereign God who can accomplish far more than your fury.
Do not justify your anger. Although there are occasions when anger is justified ( a thug beating an elderly man on the sidewalk in front of your home), they do not occur often.
Are you handling your anger by biblical standards? Or is anger handling you? If the latter is true, admit it as sin and trust the Lord Jesus Christ to remove your anger by loving through you.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Pull The Root Of Bitterness
My dear child,
Did someone who should have been a friend turn out to be an enemy? Has your surprise turned to hurt? Has your hurt turned to righteous indignation and you indignation to
anger? Can you now feel that anger putting out little roots of bitterness that will dig into the soil of your tender heart and hold tight? Let me help you now, my child. For bitterness will not only poison your life, but it will ruin many other people. Whatever pain you are in, however much you feel you have been wronged, pull up that bitter root before it takes over and spoils the spiritual climate of your whole life.
My Son stands beside you. He lives within you. More than anyone, he understands what it is like to be betrayed, denied, mocked, and wronged. And yet, listen to his haunting words. Let them echo down the caverns of your pain: “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.”
Can you say these words in your situation? Only my Son can give you the grace and the power to do so.
Let him do it. – God.
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’[d] is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Do It Now!
Agree with your adversary quickly . . . —Matthew 5:25
In this verse, Jesus Christ laid down a very important principle by saying, “Do what you know you must do— now. Do it quickly. If you don’t, an inevitable process will begin to work ’till you have paid the last penny’ (Matthew 5:26) in pain, agony, and distress.” God’s laws are unchangeable and there is no escape from them. The teachings of Jesus always penetrate right to the heart of our being.
Wanting to make sure that my adversary gives me all my rights is a natural thing. But Jesus says that it is a matter of inescapable and eternal importance to me that I pay my adversary what I owe him. From our Lord’s standpoint it doesn’t matter whether I am cheated or not, but what does matter is that I don’t cheat someone else. Am I insisting on having my own rights, or am I paying what I owe from Jesus Christ’s standpoint?
Do it quickly— bring yourself to judgment now. In moral and spiritual matters, you must act immediately. If you don’t, the inevitable, relentless process will begin to work. God is determined to have His child as pure, clean, and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will allow His Spirit to use whatever process it may take to bring us to obedience. The fact that we insist on proving that we are right is almost always a clear indication that we have some point of disobedience. No wonder the Spirit of God so strongly urges us to stay steadfastly in the light! (see John 3:19-21).
“Agree with your adversary quickly . . . .” Have you suddenly reached a certain place in your relationship with someone, only to find that you have anger in your heart? Confess it quickly— make it right before God. Be reconciled to that person— do it now!