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What to Do When You Mess Up - Greg Laurie Daily Devotion - January 16, 2015

God can turn around any mess you make, if you surrender yourself completely to Him! He is the God of second chances.

  Friday, January 16, 2015 What to Do When You Mess Up So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. - (Romans 5:21) There is a game I like to play with my granddaughters that I call Squiggles. I will tell them, “Just put down anything you want on a piece of paper. Make any line—just a little drawing. I don’t want it to be anything.” So they will draw some crazy little lines. Then I will take their squiggles, their lines on paper with no rhyme or reason, and I will turn them into something. Usually it’s a funny face or a character. In a much greater way, God can do the same for you. Maybe you have messed up. Maybe you have made a mistake and have done a wrong thing. Guess what? We serve the God of second chances. So you can come to Him and say, “Lord, I have really messed up. Can you help?” His answer is yes. God will come and redeem the mistakes we have made. Even Christians can wander away from the Lord. Even Christians can make bad decisions and do really bad things. We are effectively capable of doing anything, even as followers of Jesus, because we still have free wills and old natures. However, if you are a true Christian, even when ... read more

Is Suffering Inevitable? - Crosswalk the Devotional - Jan. 15, 2015

Peter suggests that you can suffer for doing good, or you can suffer for doing bad. Either way, though, you suffer.

  Is Suffering Inevitable?  by Shawn McEvoy, Managing Editor, Crosswalk.com For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 1 Peter 3:17, NAS Suffering. It's not standard daily devotional fare, because let's face it, usually we want to begin or end our day being uplifted, or even better, lifting up God, rather than focusing on our pains and problems. But there's the rub... we all have pains and problems. Christian and non-Christian. Lifelong disciple and baby believer. Red and yellow, black and white. Everyone, from the moment he or she was born, has struggled, tried, failed, hurt, sinned, misunderstood, and reacted. Humanity shares a true brotherhood over suffering, one that we might understand a lot better if suffering weren't also so relative. By which I mean, one person's issues may sound simple, easy-to-solve, even petty to another. "That's nothing compared to what I've had to endure!" But the fact is, your sorrows and difficulties are real to you. It's one reason why I'm no fan of when people say a certain place or time in their lives isn't "the real world," as if the spot they are currently tucked away at is immune from any degree of difficulty. Suffering is very real, and there's certainly no reason any Christian would expect life to be otherwise. We purport to follow a "Suffering Savior." His stripes have healed us, and wow do we seem to feel them ... read more

Time to Drop the Rock - Girlfriends in God - January 14, 2015

If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and if you are still feeling condemned, know that the condemnation is not coming from God.

January 14, 2015 Time to Drop the Rock Sharon Jaynes Today’s Truth “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11 NIV). Friend to Friend Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery recorded in John 8:1-11? If you aren’t familiar with it, stop right now and read it for yourself. The Pharisees had brought this half-dressed woman to Jesus right in the middle of His teaching a crowd and tried to snare Him in a trap. Should she be stoned or set free? As this woman listened to the Pharisees question Jesus, she understood his dilemma. If He set her free, the Pharisees would accuse Him of ignoring the Law of Moses and deem Him a heretic.  If He sentenced her to death by stoning, then His teachings of grace and forgiveness would be negated.  The religious leaders already held the stones in their clenched fists, anticipating His reply. Their hearts were as hard as the rocks they held in their hands. But rather than give a quick answer, Jesus moved His gaze from the trembling woman and stooped to the ground. With His finger, the very hand of God-made-man, He began writing in the dirt. A frigid chill swept through the Pharisees pious robes. Suddenly they felt the rawness of naked exposure as Jesus’ eyes looked up at each of them and without a word, uncloaked their sinful thoughts and desires. With one look from Jesus, ... read more