True Hope for a World in Turmoil
Pastor Adrian Rogers
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." John 12:32
For the first time in history, man is afraid of what he knows. His head and his hands have outrun his heart, and we are being faced with things for which we have no answers. There's the plague of AIDS, the tinderbox in the Middle East, the outbreaks of famine, irregular weather disturbances, and much more.
But we don't have to wring our hands and say, "What is the world coming to?" We can look up and say, "Who is the world coming to?" It's coming to Jesus! Praise God!
Call your church today and ask if there is a place where you can volunteer in the area of community outreach. Perhaps there is a soup kitchen, a nursing home, a homeless shelter, or a children's center where you can serve.
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.
REPENT: The Second Step in Effective Prayer
Yesterday we began to look at what makes for effective prayer by using the acronym P-R-A-Y. The first step is praise. Today, I want to focus on the second letter of our acronym, "R", which stands for repent.
By repentance in prayer, I mean taking the time before God to search your heart and repent of anything that has come between you and Him. Psalm 19:12-13 expresses it well,
Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Verse 12 begins with the question, "Who can understand his errors?" The psalmist is telling us, "You will not always know when you do something wrong. You will not always know when you get into an area that is not right."
What David is pointing to are the secret faults and presumptuous sins which can still have dominion over you—even though you may not be aware that what you did was wrong.
For example, sometimes we can allow attitudes to get into our hearts that we don't realize are inconsistent with God's character. Or sometimes we can do and say things that are detrimental, not only to us, but to others, and not really understand the damage we have done.
How do you deal with these sins? You come before God and say, "God, put the spotlight on anything in my life that has raised a barrier between You and me, and I will repent of it."
So when you pray, ask God to reveal any sin in your life you may be overlooking. God will honor your heart of repentance.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God
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The God of Comfort
Dr. Charles Stanley
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
When I am praying about a situation, I call upon the Lord, using one of His names that identifies my need. So in periods of difficulty or pain, I ask for my Comforter to come (Is. 40:1, 51:12, 66:13). I trust that He will encourage my heart, relieve my burdens, and help me through trials.
However, many people cannot see God as a comforter. They misinterpret names like "Judge" to mean a tough disciplinarian or "King" to mean a distant and distracted deity. They imagine He is either waiting to rain down punishment or too busy to notice our puny life. Someone with such a wrong concept won't even notice the Lord's offers of consolation as they walk through valleys. Instead, that person is likely to struggle with unbelief, frustration, and perhaps bitterness toward God.
Jesus Christ was the representation of God the Father on earth—and the symbol of all His names. He always responded to hurt and distressed people with soothing words and kind actions. He did not judge the Samaritan woman for her serial marriages. Instead, Jesus offered her new life (John 4:14). He gave relief to the bleeding woman (Luke 8:48) and solace to Jairus' grieving family (Luke 8:52). And the Lord is as ready to comfort and strengthen believers today as He was back then.
Human beings heap shame and blame upon themselves and each other, but the Lord doesn't operate that way. He is the God of comfort, a trait that shows up in another of His names: Shepherd. The Shepherd uplifts His followers, even through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23:4).
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/
THERE IS A WAY . . . great song!
You say love is just a word, just four letters in a row
Just a thing that people say, or they never tell you so
And you use every excuse, to let nobody in
Now this cloud you bring around, has become your only friend
And everybody saying that it's going to go away, but it don't go
And everybody's telling you one day it's going to change, but you don't know
If it's really going to end
But there is a way, there is a spark
There is a hope that you can hold on to
There is a lifeline come to the rescue
Just like a hand that's waiting for you
And if you believe in this I promise that you won't be alone
There is a way, the truth and the life, and the way
But if love became a man, if the word had flesh and bone
Would you recognize His face, if He came to bring you home
You think you're all alone, gotta do it on your own riding solo
Is there someone you can call, when you stumble and fall?
Cause you don't know, if you'll be getting up again
Don't you think your life's worth saving?
Don't you know that love's amazing?
Don't you want to lay your troubles down?
Lay them down
If I thought love was just a word, I might feel the same way too
But there's so much more than that, and it's waiting here for you