Walking in the Word
Walking in the Word
Dr. Charles Stanley
People make a lot of decisions on any given day. Most choices present themselves quickly, leaving little time to weigh pros and cons. So we “go with our gut.” However, believers who desire to walk wisely through the perils of this world require something more reliable than flesh-based instinct. We need godly knowledge and principles to guide us, which is why we must meditate on the Word.
I mention meditating on Scripture often in my writing and preaching—and for good reason. The Bible is the key to knowing God and following His will. Believers simply cannot neglect spending time poring over its words. If you want to be certain of God’s perspective on an issue, you go to the source book to fill your mind with truth.
All of us have a sort of grid around our minds. It’s made up of the principles we were taught as children, the habits we’ve formed, and the information we accept as true. New knowledge coming our way passes through that grid and is either assimilated or rejected. Think about TV commercials—those persuasive ads full of beautiful people are designed to steal past your mind’s defenses. Well, the Devil has the same goal of getting past your grid and gaining a mental and spiritual foothold.
Some of the darts that Satan aims at your mind seem harmless or even good—that’s why “going with your gut” is so dangerous. A mental grid plastered with biblical truth is essential for Christians, because it identifies and rejects whatever is sinful, poorly timed, or simply not fit for God’s children.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/.
Jesus, the Bridge Spanning the Great Divide
Pastor Adrian Rogers
“And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Ephesians 2:16
Up in heaven is the holy God.
Down below is the sinful man.
And sin is the dividing rod that separates.
Without God, man has an empty void in his life he knows he must fill, so man is constantly trying to reach God. But he keeps rebounding off the sin barrier.
Then God, moved in mercy by the pitiful plight of sinful man, said, “I will do something.”
God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to make a way. And upon the rough-hewn timbers of a cross, Jesus gave His life so you and I could live forever and live forgiven. Jesus built a bridge between man and God. It’s a bridge man could never build. And a bridge that man can never take away.
God made a way that we couldn’t make . . . for me . . . and for you.
Since Jesus built a bridge of love for you to be reconciled to God, it’s your turn to build a bridge of love to someone who is lost and searching.
The Beatitudes of Anger Management - Part 1
“In your anger, do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).
Friend to Friend
Everyone has to deal with anger. The challenge is to deal with anger in the right way. Anger is powerful - an emotional warning that something is wrong. We have been hurt or rejected. Something has changed and we don’t like it!
Anger itself is not sin. We just have to learn to express anger in the right way. Mishandled anger is destructive but anger that is handled correctly can become a tool for good. God’s Word is filled with tips for learning to handle anger in a healthy and godly way.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
If we are busy, it is much easier to ignore or refuse to face and deal with the real source of anger. Anger that is not dealt with in the right way accumulates over time, allowing bitterness to take root and rage to simmer just below the surface of everything we do, say, think or feel. In order to manage anger, we need to incorporate frequent and regular “stops” into our schedules; time set aside to simply be still and hear the voice of God.
James 1:19-20 “Everyone should be slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
Our first response to conflict is often not a response at all … but a reaction. We jump in with a brutal rebuttal or a thoughtless correction – which is like pouring gasoline on a fire. An explosion is bound to happen. Our first action should be to stop and think instead of rushing to respond in a way that could escalate tensions or provoke an offensive response from others. Listen to the other person before responding. Try counting to ten before saying anything. This may not address the anger directly, but it can minimize the damage you will do while angry.
Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city whose walls are broken down, is a man who lacks self-control.”
Wisdom is doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason. Anger management comes from wisdom rooted in self-control. I love the story of Jesus driving the money-changers out of His Father’s temple. In John 2:15, Scripture says Jesus “made a whip out of cords.” Don’t miss this picture. At the height of His anger, Jesus gathered several cords and braided a whip. I imagine it took several minutes at least to form a whip substantial enough to drive grown men anywhere. I think Jesus was so angry that He knew He needed to cool off, so He deliberately chose to be still, quiet and wise. When we are close to losing control of anger, we need to be wise.
Psalm 4:4 “In your anger do not sin … search your hearts and be silent.”
The longer I work with people the more I realize that there is always a reason for their behavior. Hurt people – hurt people. When you are angry at someone, ask yourself why. Think back to what led up to the conflict. Was it something someone said to you? Has a past problem triggered your present anger? Give yourself time to consider why you are upset and what you should do to handle it in a way that pleases God.
God created us with the capacity for emotions. That means He has a right plan and a right place for emotions in our lives. Anger management is a spiritual discipline that God honors, blesses and empowers. Tomorrow, we will look at four more ways God gives us to control anger.
Father, please forgive me when I allow anger to control what I say and do. I want to honor You in the way I manage my emotions – especially the anger in my life. Fill my heart with Your peace. Help me cultivate the spiritual discipline of anger management and learn how to control my emotions instead of allowing them to control me.
In Jesus’ name,
Now it’s your turn
Evaluate the level of anger in your life. Would people who know you well describe you as an angry person? Identity the source of your anger; then make the commitment to face and deal with whatever is causing your anger. Review each anger management tip. Which one jumps out at you as a starting point for learning to control anger in your life? Read and memorize the verse of Scripture listed with that tip. Pray – asking God to show you the steps you need to take today to manage the anger in your life. Record your thoughts and the truths God gives you in your journal.
Girlfriends in God
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Today's Scripture Reading: Micah 7: 7-35
The earth will be ruined for the people who
live in it.
because of their deeds.
So shepherd your people with your stick;
tend the flock of people who belong to you.
That flock now lives alone in the forest in the middle of the garden land.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead
as in days long ago.
As in the days when I brought you out of Egypt,
I will show them miracles.
When the nations see those miracles,
they will no longer brag about their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths,
refusing to listen.
They will crawl in the dust like a snake,
like insects crawling on the ground.
They will come trembling from their holes to
the Lord our God
and turn in fear before you.
There is no God like you.
You forgive those who are guilty of sin;
you don't look at the sins of your people
who are left alive.
You will not stay angry forever
because you enjoy being kind.
You will have mercy on us again
you will conquer our sins.
You will throw away all our sins
into the deepest part of the sea.
You will be true to the people of Jacob,
and you will be kind to the people of
as you promise to our ancestors long ago.