Displaying Christian Sermons by tag: daily devotional

Rick Warren (March-21-2023) Daily Devotional: Why You Need to Be Open About Your Pain.

“We have spoken frankly to you; we have opened our hearts wide.” - 2 Corinthians 6:11 (GNT)

Do you want to help people who are in pain? Then you need to be willing to share how your own pain got your attention.

Pain is a warning light that tells us something is wrong and needs our attention. You could probably think of many examples of when pain got your attention.

The apostle Paul experienced a lot of pain in his life and freely told the story of his pain to help others. When you’re sharing about your own pain in order to help others, do these three things.

First, be open about your feelings. You can’t mask your feelings and help others at the same time. Paul said to the Corinthian church, “We have spoken frankly to you; we have opened our hearts wide” (2 Corinthians 6:11 GNT). When you’re sick, do you tell others you’re not feeling well? When you’re down or discouraged, do you open up to people about it? Saying you’re “fine” is the easy answer, but it will never contribute to an honest relationship.

Second, be humble about your faults. Paul says in Galatians 6:5, “Each of us must bear some faults and burdens of his own. For none of us is perfect!” (TLB) Since you know you’re not perfect, don’t try to pretend you are. People don’t need you to be perfect. They need you to be real.

Third, be honest about your fears. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:20, “I do admit that I have fears that when I come you’ll disappoint me and I’ll disappoint you” (The Message). Have you ever been open enough to share your fears with someone, even when it made you vulnerable? The greatest Christian who ever lived admitted he had fears. That kind of honesty is required in authentic relationships.

The hurting people around you need to hear about how you’ve struggled and how God brought you through—but they don’t need it tied up with a pretty bow.

We all have feelings, faults, and fears. It’s time we share them for the benefit of others.

Talk It Over

  • How have you benefited from someone sharing about their painful experience?
  • What is a pain you think is too big to share with someone? Why do you think God allowed you to go through that pain?
  • How do you think it could help you to share about your pain with other people?

Daily Devotional (March-21-2023) RENEWED.

Scripture Reference: - “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” Colossians 3:10 (NLT)

Paul starts this passage with writing, “But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.” What a list. And how many times have we tried to do this? The only way we can successfully get rid of these negative characteristics is to change ourselves from the inside. We need to get rid of our old sinful nature. But that’s like trying to get rid of darkness. It doesn’t work. Instead you need to turn on the light! Paul knew this and writes that we are to put on our new nature and be renewed. But how? How does this happen? He writes, “As you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.” God has put in us the capacity to know Him. His Holy Spirit inside us guides us and as we attune ourself with Him, as we meditate on His word, as we spend time in His presence, the renewing of our mind takes place. We literally become renewed, a new mind that comes from knowing Him. Today, spend time with God. Get to know Him, experience His presence and His immense love for you. As you do, you will experience yourself becoming renewed.

Prayer: Father, I want to know You more. I want to experience Your presence more. I want to be renewed more and more so I can be like You! AMEN

David Jeremiah (March-21-2023) Daily Devotional: A Place and a Voice - Turning Point.

Then Queen Esther answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.” - Esther 7:3

 Recommended Reading: Nehemiah 2:1-6 - And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. 2 Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.” So I became dreadfully afraid, 3 and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” 6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

In the battle for civil rights for African American citizens in America, three names stand out: Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. Each, in their own way, stood out against racial prejudice and helped change the course of American history.

A young Jewish girl named Esther changed the world when she was made queen of Persia. A courtier of the king hatched a plan to kill all the Jews in Persia, and Esther risked her life by exposing the plan to the king, saving her people from certain genocide. She realized God had given her a voice, and she spoke up (Esther 4:14). Another example was Nehemiah who approached the Persian king (after the events of Esther) for permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls of the city—another risky request, which was granted.

One person can change the course of history in a day. God has given you a place and a voice to stand for Him (2 Timothy 1:7). 

The man who kneels to God can stand up to anything.  - Louis H. Evans

Joel Osteen (March-21-2023) Daily Devotional: Payback - Today's Inspiration Word.

Today's Scripture: Hebrews 10:30, TLB - For we know him who said, “Justice belongs to me; I will repay them”; who also said,  “The Lord himself will handle these cases.” 

Today's Word: We all have to deal with unfair situations and people who do us wrong. You can’t live very long without someone talking badly about you or leaving you out, without being cheated or having a friend not keep their word. It doesn’t seem right when you’re being your best and someone else’s choices put you at a disadvantage and sets you back. But God says He will repay the exact compensation owed you and settle your account. 

God sees who did you wrong and what it cost you. He is saying, “Don’t worry. I’m going to pay you back. I’m going to make it up to you.” You don’t have to get even or vindicate yourself. The Most High God is going to settle your account. You are not at the mercy of how other people have treated you. They don’t control your destiny. Stay encouraged. God is not going to leave your account in a deficit. No, get ready. Payback is coming. God is a just God. He’s going to settle your account for you. 

Prayer for Today: Father, thank You that You are a God of justice, and You keep the accounts. Thank You that You’ve seen everything I’ve gone through, and payback is coming. I believe that You will settle my accounts and I can leave it in Your hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Charles Stanley (March-21-2023) Daily Devotional: Handling Conflict and Criticism.

Ask God to help you respond to conflict with Christ's love, kindness, and wisdom.

Philippians 1:12-18 - Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

It is clear from today’s passage that Paul was no stranger to conflict—even conflict caused by members of the church. Some people were upset that he preached to the Gentiles rather than exclusively to Jews. They also didn’t like the fact that he taught salvation by grace and not law. And some people were teaching the message with a very different motivation from the apostle’s. 

Notice how Paul responded: He was positive. The tenor of his letter is one of encouragement and resolve. He did not lash out at his critics; he did not defend himself. He defended the gospel, but he did so in love and without harshness. Paul was happy that the name and good news of Jesus Christ were being preached, regardless of whether the motive was sincerity or envy. He was so concerned for the souls of others that he responded out of selflessness rather than selfishness. 

What’s amazing is that Paul wrote this encouraging letter during his confinement in a Roman jail, and the prison guards learned about the gospel from him. Your words and behavior can likewise reflect Christ to unbelievers you encounter. May God help you stay the course as Paul did—even when your situation may involve controversy and criticism.

Joyce Meyer (March-21-2023) Daily Devotional: God Likes the Way He Made You. 

Have you ever asked God, “Why did You make me this way?” Sometimes the things we think are our worst faults, God will use to His greatest glory: But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? Will what is formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus? (Romans 9:20 AMPC).

Jesus died so that we might enjoy our life in abundance and to the fullest until it overflows. You’re not going to enjoy your life if you don’t enjoy yourself. Be satisfied with yourself and celebrate the unique way God made you.

Prayer of the Day: Father, thank You for the life You have given me. Help me to enjoy my life and to celebrate the unique way You created me to be, amen.

Jentezen Franklin (March-21-2023) Daily Devotional: Rebuilding your marriage (2).

“You husbands must give honor to your wives.” 1 Pet 3:7 NLT

 Second, you must listen to each other. This requires time, patience, and focused attention. Too many couples give each other a monologue, without leaving room for genuine dialogue. This is where marriage counseling is effective. It forces both of you to slow down, interpret your spouse’s language, understand their feelings, and discover their needs. When a marriage breaks down, couples are often so busy trying to get their own point across and win the fight that they don’t listen for solutions and places of negotiation. Divorce would be less common if we would listen with open hearts rather than closed minds. Jesus pointed out that the law of Moses permitted divorce “because of the hardness of your hearts” (Mt 19:8).

This means their hearts would not melt to the level of understanding and place of negotiation for the relationship to work. Some couples find it simpler to write each other letters revealing their feelings as they relearn how to communicate at a deeper level. Counselors and marriage enrichment seminars use this technique, and sometimes it works wonders. By putting your feelings down on paper before expressing them, you get to ask yourself, “Is this how I really feel? Is this how I want to express my feelings? Am I saying too much? Or too little?” Unloading on your mate may be a catharsis for you, but what if it buries them? These are some of the questions you must ask in order to rebuild your marriage. And if you both pray and keep your hearts open, God will help you to do it.

Rick Warren (March-20-2023) Daily Devotional: What Is Redemptive Suffering? - Daily Hope.

“[God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” - 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)

One of the purposes of your life is to serve others. And God can use your pain to help you serve more effectively—by making you more sensitive to other people’s pain.

Pain makes you more empathetic to those who are experiencing the same kind of pain you’re in. Rather than focusing on your own pain, you can choose to redirect your focus to helping others in pain.

Jesus wants to redeem your suffering. Redemptive suffering is when you use the pain you’re going through to help other people. This is what my wife Kay and I have tried do with the pain we feel from losing our son through suicide. In the years since Matthew’s death, not a week has gone by without someone—a friend or stranger, well-known or unknown, old or young—calling Kay or me and asking for help, because they know we’ve been through it and we’re willing to share God’s comfort with them.

The Bible says, “[God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer” (2 Corinthians 1:4-6 NLT).

Who is better qualified to minister to a parent grieving the loss of a child than another parent who has experienced such grief? Who is better qualified to help someone with an addiction than someone who has also battled an addiction? Who is better qualified to walk with someone through a cancer diagnosis than someone who has fought their own cancer?

Whatever pain you are suffering right now, God wants to use it to help others if you’ll surrender it to him.

Talk It Over

  • What pain have you experienced that you believe God wants you to use to serve others?
  • In what ways has suffering taught you patient endurance? If that has not been your experience, you can ask God to show you how to “patiently endure” (2 Corinthians 1:6) in whatever pain you are suffering right now.
  • Ask God to show you someone who is suffering with a pain similar to yours. Then ask him to show you how to walk alongside them and offer his comfort.

Will you follow Jesus today?

God proved his goodness through his Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 CSB).

Are you ready to trust God to fulfill his promise of eternal life? If so, pray this simple prayer: "Dear God, I believe Jesus Christ is your Son. I confess I have sinned, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died to take away my sins and that you raised him to life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow him as Lord from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen."

Daily Devotional (March-20-2023) Following the Way of Jesus.

Scripture Reference: Luke 9:23-‬24 NKJV - Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

Discipleship is at the center of the Christian life. To be a disciple means to be a learner. It means following after Jesus, and patterning our life after His.

Jesus tells us that the starting point of following Him is to deny ourselves. Denying ourselves means we choose to put Jessus’ desires above our own. This means that we must come to recognize that we do not have all the answers, or know the right way to go through life.

Discipleship is not something we do once or twice. It is a lifestyle that must be lived out each and every day. We will spend our entire lives becoming more like Jesus.

The way of life Jesus modeled was to suffer on the cross. When we deny ourselves, we choose to humbly follow Jesus. And as we become more like Jesus, we will also need to take up our cross. We will also suffer for doing good, and for denying things that seem enticing in the moment, but ultimately keep us from God. But when we bear our suffering, we represent Christ to those around us.

The paradox of following Jesus is that when we give up our life for His sake, we receive eternal life in return. When we hold onto our life and keep it from Jesus, we don’t get to experience the abundant life that He promises.

Take some time today to consider how you’re living a life of discipleship. Take inventory on the ways you are denying yourself and living for Christ, or living selfishly for your own pleasure and gain. Commit to following Jesus no matter how hard the path gets. And pray for strength and endurance as you follow Him.

David Jeremiah (March-20-2023) Daily Devotional: God’s Justice - Turning Point. 

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? - Genesis 18:25

 Recommended Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 - GOD’S FINAL JUDGMENT AND GLORY - 3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

The patient was only 53 years old. He died at 6:50 p.m. of a massive stroke after suffering a series of seizures. His cerebral arteries were so calcified that when tapped with tweezers they sounded like stone. What caused his stroke? The man had no history of high blood pressure.

His name was Vladimir Lenin. He died in 1924, but in 2012 a group of brilliant doctors gathered to determine his cause of death. Some determined he was slowly poisoned by Stalin. One doctor believed the culprit was high cholesterol. The case was unsolved. Had he lived another 25 years, imagine the damage Lenin could have wrought.[1]

We serve a just God. He will punish evil even if we don’t see His justice on display right away. While we love to sing of God’s love and mercy, we also need His holiness, justice, and wrath. Unrestrained evil must be dealt with, and unjust suffering must be answered.

When Jesus comes again, He will give rest to His people and in flaming fire take vengeance on those who oppose His good and righteous ways. Don’t be discouraged. Evil will not last forever—but the Lord and His redeemed will!

In a moral universe God must of necessity oppose evil.  - Robert Mounce

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As the concept suggests, a preacher is one who practices the art of preaching. The word "preaching" is originally associated with the religious sphere of activity. Language researchers note that of all religious texts, this word - like the type of activity itself - is most closely associated with Christianity. Preachers teach Bible truths when speaking to believers or unbelievers. 

Most of the Bible's sermons are in the New Testament. The sermon, as we find it in the Book of Acts and the Epistles, is expressive, but at the same time brief. It is built on the fundamental truths of Christianity: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The preaching of the Church, in whatever form it is delivered - be it an ardent call to repentance for sins and salvation or the gospel story of a relationship with God and people - is by nature Christocentric.

Christian online preaching isn’t just a statement of spiritual truths, but as a sacred act, during which the preacher, in cooperation with the Lord the Holy Spirit, accomplishes the work of salvation for unbelieving listeners and the process of spiritual growth for the saved. Words spoken by a person cannot strengthen faith, but the biblical sermon in the mouths of preachers has a special power that can transform a person's soul. It is on this supernatural power of preaching that the preacher's authority is established.

Despite the fact that the evangelical Church teaches about the priesthood of every born-again Christian, in the work of biblical preaching, special attention is paid to the character and moral character of the preacher. The moral right to proclaim eternal biblical truths, to preach the Gospel from the pulpit or in another setting on behalf of the Church, can not only be those who know these truths, but who have Christian virtues, a character that reflects Christ. We are talking about a person who sincerely loves God and the people to whom he addresses, deeply interested in the eternal and earthly well-being of his listeners. A person with the good name of a Christian, who has a "good testimony" confirmed by time and the Church. Since we are talking about eternal, enduring truths, the writing of which was inspired by the holy God, proclaim them on behalf of the Author, i.e. of God Himself, it is permissible for the one who knows Him personally, has constant communion with Him and obeys Him implicitly. From the point of view of the essence and basis of the message that he proclaims, the preacher is not the author of his message and therefore doesn’t have the right to change the truths being proclaimed. He represents the interests and fulfills the will of the One who authorized him for this with the authority of His glorious name, and, therefore, the preacher is obliged to accurately convey to his audience what was entrusted to him by God. Freely interpreting Scripture and presenting to the audience their own interpretation of eternal biblical truths, posing as God's revelation on behalf of God, is not only a distortion of the truth, but also an ethical violation that entails consequences. However, in the sermon, it is not forbidden to mention personal experience, as well as the experience of other people, examples from various areas of public life to the extent that these examples correspond to the truth and contribute to a more accurate and understandable message of it.  

Of course, in the modern world, taking into account the development of communications, a preacher is expected to possess the skills of oratory. This is not a strict requirement, but it is always encouraged, as it is an undeniable advantage and serves the greater benefit and success of the preaching work.

There are many preachers in modern Christianity who have achieved recognized success in the preaching work.

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