Dan ****** (DAN THE CHILD OF GOD) Offline

55 Happily married Male from Boston       223
         
not much to say about me i am who i am either you like me or you dont i have been a christian since i was 22 years old

My name is Dan. I am a 55 years old sadly in April of 2013 i had to put to sleep my cat tiger i had him for 17 years i have 1 cat is 1 yr old his name is Myles who means every thing to me but very sadly i had to put Baby girl to sleep on 3-5-21 2001- 2021. I am a very family oriented person, and would never do anything to hurt my friends or family. I am also very proud of Jesus Christ for he is the one who made me realize better times were ahead when I thought that things were completely gone. If you would like to know anything please feel free to ask me also i love a good cigar been smoking cigars since i was 11 yrs old

DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: July 6
The Believer's Purpose
Galatians 5:13
God has a purpose for your life. If that weren't true, He'd have taken you home to heaven at the moment of salvation. Do you ever wonder why He left you here?
The Lord intends to influence others through you. Our purpose is to be a vessel through which Christ overflows to others--touching those who hurt and desperately need a Savior. Once we are saved, Scripture teaches, our involvement is threefold.
First, we love others. Jesus clearly stated that this was one of the two greatest commandments (Matt. 22:38-39).
Second, we share the good news of salvation (Acts 1:8). Some travel across the world to spread the gospel, while others teach neighbors across the street. The Holy Spirit will direct us to the right people if we are willing to obey.
Third, we serve in a variety of ways, like helping those in need, sharing our resources, and lifting others in prayer. Jesus is our perfect example of all three. His entire life was marked by caring for people--both those who loved Him and those who did not. In fact, the Bible teaches that He humbled Himself and became like us, willing to give up His life for our redemption. There is no greater love; there is no greater act of service.
Scripture clearly defines the believer's purpose. Aligning ourselves with God's intentions for His children--loving others, witnessing, and serving-- bring us great satisfaction. In fact, we're still on earth not merely to hear more teaching but to act on it and share with others what we learn. from Dr. Charles Stanley, Nothing To Prove
I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, “Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?” Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. - Job 42:2, 3, 5
Here’s a paradox for you. Those of you with a healthy sense of self are in the best position to exercise true humility. Why? Because the person with a healthy sense of self has nothing to prove. No agenda to push. No ego to shield. And no need to fret over what others think of you. When you encounter a problem that exceeds your knowledge, you admit without pretense that you don’t know the answer.
Sometimes we Christians can really fool ourselves. We think that since God is all knowledgeable and wise, and since we have His Holy Spirit within us, we should be able to dispense pearls of wisdom like spiritual gumballs. The truth is, the more we come to know God, the more we realize what we don’t know. And that’s O.K.!
The more we experience God’s grandeur and the more we understand our dignity as his sons and daughters, the lower we’ll bow before His throne—with nothing to prove and everything to gain.
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: July 5

Leaving a Lasting Impact

Matthew 5:13-16

On this Independence Day, consider the question, How do you use the gift of freedom? God gives all believers true liberty through His Son Jesus Christ. Do you squander that blessing or share it with others? The problem is, some people are so focused on their own needs and desires that they fail to impact even their closest neighbor.

Think about the people you see every week. Do you know how many of your neighbors are sick? Are there people in your church who struggle to make it from day to day? Do you know if any of your coworkers are going through hardships? Most likely, there are individuals all around you who could use assistance. But being self-focused limits our ability to notice those people, let alone reach out to them.

Jesus taught His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men” (Matt. 5:13). In order for salt to remain useful, it must maintain its purity and potency. Likewise, we must endeavor to lead holy, humble, and loving lives, focusingon the Savior’s will rather than our own.

God has prepared the good works that we are to walk in (Eph. 2:10). Our job is to choose to do so.

Whether or not we affect our world positively depends on the focus of our heart. Do you look inward to consider how you can do more to get ahead and add to your lot in life? Or do you look outward and think about ways that you can do more to serve others? Dr. Charles Stanley, Letting Go and Moving On
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. - 1 Corinthians 13:11

When was the last time you tried to break a habit, an old idea, a negative behavior pattern, or an unhealthy emotional recording from the past? It's not easy! Even though you know you need to, even though you know it would be a good thing to do and will result in a healthier or happier state, it's just a pain. And you'd rather live in the comfort of your misery, or so you think.

We often react like two year-olds whose parents are taking the bottle away. Tantrums, meltdowns, and tears always seem to be a part of the process.

What are you holding on to? What from the past are you hanging on to that you need to let go of? You know the things that tear you down and keep you from emotional health, but you just hang on to.

How many times has God given you the opportunity to give those things up because they keep you isolated and stuck, even poisoning your spirits? But it means letting go. There's that "S" word again . . . surrender.

It takes a willing spirit. But you can walk in the victory that the Lord has already given you, if you choose it. Choose it today!

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: July 4

Formula for Personal Growth

James 1:22

Growing in Christ involves far more than just attending church, tithing, and listening to a sermon. In fact, many believers do these yet remain stagnant in their walk. There are two elements necessary for us to become more like Jesus: instruction and involvement.

The first of these, learning truth, is vital to a healthy walk with God. Our Savior proved the importance of instruction by devoting much of His time on earth to it. The apostle Paul is another example, as he wrote letters to educate Christians about godliness.

So how can we gain knowledge and understanding? One of the most important and effective ways is to read the Word of God. Scripture instructs us that just as newborns crave milk, we are to desire His Word so that we might grow. I pray your spiritual thirst will become insatiable.

Yet simply listening to the truth does not mean that we've acquired it. I know many people who love attending Bible studies and expanding their knowledge base, but their lives remain unchanged. Just as today's passage teaches, we have to apply the Word to our lives. Even so, actual growth requires more than merely inputting information. It requires action. James 2:26 states, "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."

Are we careless hearers, deceived into thinking that we're growing? Or are we listening intently and abiding in the truth? If we're truly maturing, our lives will be increasingly Christlike, and our desires will align more closely with God's heart. Make sure that you are listening and responding to His truth. by Dr. Charles Stanley ---Jesus Didn't Hurry
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1

One of my staff members has a habit of reminding me that Jesus was never in a hurry. I'm always in a hurry, hoping for quick answers and looking for motion in the direction I want to go. But then I hear him say it again ... "Jesus was never in a hurry."

I've thought about that and it makes me think of using a crock pot. The most tender, juicy meat you can fix is in a slow cooker. And, that's how it is with healing. Healing is a process that won't be hurried. It's a slow cooker experience. And if you accept that, it will take the pressure off you to finish it up.

God desires for you to pay attention to Him and His creation in your life each day. When you race through life doing everything as fast as you can, you miss some pretty awesome things along the way. Every challenge, every growth opportunity, every surprise that comes your way is an opportunity for your to look for God.

Healing can be slow, but it doesn't mean you're not growing. Allow it to slow cook and you'll have a tastier recovery filled with some mouth watering nuggets of wisdom. Let the Master Chef do His job with you.

Jesus was never in a hurry. Why are you?

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: July 3

A Clean Heart

Psalms 119:9-11

Reaching our full potential begins with a clean heart—one that loves the Lord and desires to obey Him. However, each of us was born with a nature bent away from God. Jeremiah 17:9 describes the heart as deceitful and inclined towards wickedness. Pleasing self is man’s normal state.Salvation changed our hearts and lives. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin and broke its power over us. By receiving Christ as Savior, we each became a new creation—with a heart sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and a mind that strongly desires to know the Father better. We also received the Spirit’s power to deny our selfish desires and obey God. With clean hearts, we can begin to realize the capabilities our loving Lord has given us.

The best way to maintain a clean heart is by meditating on Scripture. It acts like a mirror in which we see ourselves as God does. Through it, we discover the areas where we have been faithful and also the places where we’ve veered from His path. Expressing genuine repentance brings God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9).

The heart represents the seat of our mind, will, and emotions. When we strive to keep it pure, we will more easily discern the Lord’s plan, submit our will to His, and follow Him obediently.

Becoming the person God planned for each of us to be requires an intimate relationship with Him and a desire to obey His Word. Apart from Jesus, we can’t achieve anything of lasting value (John 15:5). Cooperating with the Holy Spirit’s transforming work will help us keep our hearts clean.from Dr. Charles Stanley-The Strangeness of God
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:8-9

Disruptive peace; majestic meekness; unsettling comfort, these phrases don't seem to make sense. But anyone who's had a personal encounter with God understands that these apparent paradoxes come together in Him.

The Dean of the Chapel of Calvin College, wrote, "The faithful evangelical preacher of God ought to say not only that God is great and God is good, but also that God is elusive and God is strange, because spiritual health depends upon it."

It's dangerous to think we know God's mind, God's will, or God's intentions. In fact, to fear God is, in part, to recognize that His ways are not our ways. For certain, He's revealed Himself to us in Jesus, and He revealed Himself in how He moved and worked through the lives and stories recorded in the Bible. But He hasn't revealed Himself exhaustively. He hasn't ceased to work in mysterious ways. And that's why we surrender to Him. He's greater than we can think or imagine and will work in strange ways, ways we can't even think of or imagine.

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: July 2

Leaving a Lasting Impact

Matthew 5:13-16

On this Independence Day, consider the question, How do you use the gift of freedom? God gives all believers true liberty through His Son Jesus Christ. Do you squander that blessing or share it with others? The problem is, some people are so focused on their own needs and desires that they fail to impact even their closest neighbor.

Think about the people you see every week. Do you know how many of your neighbors are sick? Are there people in your church who struggle to make it from day to day? Do you know if any of your coworkers are going through hardships? Most likely, there are individuals all around you who could use assistance. But being self-focused limits our ability to notice those people, let alone reach out to them.

Jesus taught His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men” (Matt. 5:13). In order for salt to remain useful, it must maintain its purity and potency. Likewise, we must endeavor to lead holy, humble, and loving lives, focusing on the Savior’s will rather than our own.

God has prepared the good works that we are to walk in (Eph. 2:10). Our job is to choose to do so.

Whether or not we affect our world positively depends on the focus of our heart. Do you look inward to consider how you can do more to get ahead and add to your lot in life? Or do you look outward and think about ways that you can do more to serve others?from Dr. Charles Stanley, Trusting God With Your Tomorrows
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." - Psalm 31:14

Do you recall an advertisement that captured your attention?

No matter which medium . . . television, radio, print, or the web, advertisements are created to arrest our attention. Recently, I was caught off guard with a newspaper ad. It pictured a gray-haired senior citizen in a wet suit. The woman was holding up her surf board along the edge of the beach. The ad began, "No matter where life takes you, your health care coverage goes along."

The ad was designed to have you think about your future. No one knows what crisis tomorrow may bring. The life of faith involves living each day trusting God to guide and direct your future. That doesn't mean that you are naïve and ignore things like health care coverage. But for the bigger picture of life, you can trust God. In the unexpected events of life, you can trust God. The Bible describes faith as "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

You may not know where your life is taking you. But you can be sure that tomorrow, God has something prepared for you that you can't see or imagine. That's why we need to learn to trust God each day, no matter what the day holds.

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: Hey y'all sorry I've been gone for so long I've had a lot of issues the last two and a half years my wife got very sick but she's okay now then she had to have a
heart valve replaced I got arrested June 6th 2020 for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on somebody over 63 which is a felony I was going back and forth to court and I went on trial in March 10th of this year and I was found not guilty it's all because I took a stick out of a security door they popped the door open it's a security door with a stick and I grabbed it out of the door just before they walked in and I said you can't be popping the door open it's a security issue half an hour later I was in handcuffs
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: June 6

Live Intentionally

2 Timothy 4:6-8

Paul was a man who lived life to the full. His goals were to know Christ, abide in His power, fellowship in His suffering, and preach the gospel (Phil. 3:10; 1 Cor. 1:17). In doing so, he aligned his aspirations with the Lord's, diligently worked to fulfill his calling, and persevered through opposition, persecution, and suffering. He could face the end of his life with confidence since he'd "fought the good fight," "finished the course," and "kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7).We'd all like to be able to say the same at the end of our lives, but that means we have to follow Paul's example. How are you doing at setting goals for your life? Have you thought beyond the immediate and set some long-term objectives? Our culture is so fast-paced that few of us take the time to actually consider where we're going. But you don't want to finish your life and find out you were on a course other than God's, fighting the wrong fight, and struggling to keep the faith.

Why not set aside some time this week to get alone with the Lord. Then ask His help in setting goals that will take you where He wants you to go. Consider every area of your life--personal, relational, financial, and vocational--but make spiritual goals your primary emphasis. Then write them down.

If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. Maybe it's time to get out of your rut and find a new path. God will help you change direction and accomplish new goals that align with His will. Don't settle for the mediocrity of an unplanned life. Start living intentionally.from Dr. Charles Stanley Reality Can Hurt
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. - 1 John 1:7-8

Discomfort, pain, conflict, spiritual warfare-these are aspects of reality in a fallen world. Healthy faith recognizes them as biblical realities. Healthy faith has you look to Christ for help when you're in the midst of them.

Having a healthy faith certainly doesn't mean you'll always like reality, or that you should become complacent or indifferent to the darker side of life. But it does mean you'll recognize the way things are. You'll be able to admit you've failed, that you're a sinner, and you're stumbling along the way. But you can choose to walk in the light, and enjoy the companionship of family, friends and Jesus Christ himself.

- Steve Arterburn

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill

TODAY'S PRAYER
Father, help me face my realities with faith and hope with the understanding that while today might not be all I hoped it would be, tomorrow and all my tomorrows are in Your hands. Thank you, Lord for your faithfulness! Amen.
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: June 2

Feasting on the Word

1 Peter 2:2-3

Did you ever watch an infant take a feeding? Hungry little ones clutch the bottle, smack their lips, and make soft contented noises. They thoroughly enjoy their nourishment. But there comes a time when milk isn’t enough to satiate baby’s appetite anymore. That’s when a whole world of culinary possibilities opens up.

Comparing new believers to babies, Peter said that they “long for the pure milk of the word” (v. 2). You wouldn’t feed a newborn steak and spinach, would you? Well, baby Christians must sip scriptural truths that they understand. Then, like a growing child, they shoot up as they feast on Bible passages, gradually taking in more and meatier principles and topics.

Believers are not left alone to make sense of Scripture any more than babies and young children are expected to get their own meals. The Holy Spirit, who indwells God’s followers, illuminates the Word. That is, He makes the meaning clear to those who seek to understand. Moreover, according to Ephesians 4:11-16, God has given gifted Christians to the church to act as pastors and teachers. They are charged with equipping the saints for service (v. 12). These leaders instruct, clarify, and motivate people to grow in their personal faith and to fulfill the church’s purpose of reaching the lost.

God’s Word is a feast for our heart, mind, and spirit. This is one banquet table where there is no such thing as taking too much. In fact, the advice many parents give their children at the dinner table applies to the Christian life as well: “Eat up! Scriptural food makes you grow strong."from Dr. Charles Stanley, Folly of Bitterness
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. - Ephesians 4:31

Two shopkeepers owned stores directly across the street from each other. Each spent his days tracking the others' business, and gloating triumphantly each time a customer chose his own store. Over time, they became bitter rivals.

One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers and said, "I'll give you anything you request, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive double. Would you be rich? You can be very rich indeed, but he'll be twice as wealthy. Do you desire a long and healthy life? Request it, but his life will be longer and healthier. What's your desire?"

The man thought for a moment, and with a sly grin, stated, "Strike me blind in one eye!"

Bitterness is relentless and dangerous when allowed to take root in our hearts. It destroys decision-making abilities and compromises otherwise focused and productive lives. Its only remedy is forgiveness freely by Jesus Christ. And if you believe the Bible, we are to dispense it generously to others.

Take a step out of bitterness into forgiveness today. Forgive the unforgivable. You can do it!

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 31

Responding to Accusation

Luke 12:11-12 When conflict occurs, the natural reaction is to blame someone else and defend yourself. But believers must respond differently. Once, I was publicly chastised for a wrong I had not committed. Thankfully, the Lord enabled me to remain calm rather than react angrily. Praying first is always the best response in a crisis. When we do, God supernaturally provides that which we can't muster up ourselves.

We don't have to react to criticism with anger and self-protection the way the world does. Instead, we are called to represent Christ in every situation by depending on Him. In responding as He directs, we bring Him glory and cause unbelievers to want to know the source of our strength.from Dr. Charles Stanley,A Time to Choose
We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies and that our lives had become unmanageable.

There are important moments in life that can bring about changes in our very destiny. These are often times when we are confronted with how powerless we really are over our own lives. These moments can either destroy us or forever set the course of our lives in a much better direction.

Saul had such a moment. After Jesus’ ascension, Saul took it upon himself to rid the world of Christians. As he took off on his quest, "a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me? . . . I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ . . . When he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink" (Acts 9:3-6, 8-9).

Paul—as he was called later—was suddenly confronted with the fact that his life wasn’t as perfect as he thought. Self-righteousness had been his trademark. By letting go of his illusions of power, however, he soon became one of the most powerful men ever: the apostle Paul. When we’re confronted with the fact that our lives aren’t in our control, we have a choice. We can continue in denial and self-righteousness, or we can face the fact that we have been blind to some important issues. If we become willing to be led into recovery and a whole new way of life, we will find true power.

Moments of crisis present us with opportunities for great change.by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop.
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 26
God Is Always in Control
Isaiah 45:5-7
I admit that I often don’t understand why bad things happen. Even so, I believe that God has a purpose for everything He does or permits. My faith is rooted in the biblical principle that says the Lord is sovereign (Ps. 22:28). He is in absolute control of this universe, the natural and political climate of this earth, and my life and yours.
When we are in the midst of a trial, it is hard to resist crying out, “God, Why is this happening?” Sometimes we get the answer and sometimes we don’t. What we can be sure of is that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. He has a purpose for even our most painful experiences. Moreover, we have His promise to “cause all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Rom. 8:28).
Seeing in advance how the Lord will work evil or hurt for our benefit is very difficult, if not impossible. My limited human perspective doesn’t allow me to grasp His greater plan. However, I can confirm the truth of this biblical promise because the Father’s good handiwork appears all through my pain, hardship, and loss. I have experienced Him turn mourning into gladness and have seen Him reap bountiful blessings and benefits from my darkest hours.
As believers, we must accept that God won’t always make sense to us. Isaiah teaches that His ways and thoughts are higher than our own (Isa. 55:9). He sees the beautifully completed big picture. We can rely on the fact that God is in control, no matter how wildly off-kilter our world seems to spin.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Defective Mind
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. - 1 Timothy 6:20-21
The other day I spoke with a very bright thirty-five-year-old man. . . a microbiologist, nuclear physicist. . . well, he has the degree to be a microbiologist, nuclear physicist. Instead, he's a postal worker who comes home to an empty house everyday. This man suffers from social anxiety. He's uncomfortable every moment he's around others. And he's miserable.
Now, I'm all for us feeling good about ourselves and being grateful for the gifts that God's given us. But in the midst of our happy talk, we need to accept that to some degree or another we each have a sick mind. So sick that microbiologists end up delivering mail. Wealthy people shoplift. Healthy people gain 180 pounds. And counselors end up in inappropriate relationships with those they wanted to help.
Our sick minds won't lead us to a place of health and wholeness. You have to reach beyond what's in your head, and reach out for the help you need. Reach out to God. Reach out to others. Be attentive to what the Holy Spirit is saying, in your thought life and in the circumstances of your life. Be responsible and do something!
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 20

A Call to Godly Living

Romans 12:1

The apostle Paul lived in an age when sensuality, the pursuit of pleasure, and rebellion against the Lord were prevalent. In response, he wrote letters urging Christians not to follow in the ways of the world. Like those early believers, we are to pursue godliness by...Life is full of options. Many decisions involve a choice between following God's way or our own. Maturing Christians will increasingly sacrifice their own desires and embrace His will.

A life of godliness is characterized by a heart and mind bent toward the things of God. Although we will live imperfectly, our focus is to be on obeying His will and pleasing Him. Let's commit to becoming more like Jesus, the One who willingly gave Himself to God as a sacrifice for us.from Dr. Charles Stanley,-God Is Not Judging Me
There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. - John 3:18

Why do we tend to give away too much of ourselves to others and neglect to care for ourselves? Often we’re driven by a fear of being judged. We are haunted by a sense that we haven’t done enough or we haven’t done what was expected. And at the root of those fears is the sense that the one who is most critical of us is God himself.

But that’s just not true. John tells us plainly that when we believe in Jesus, God does not judge us. Paul makes this even clearer when he asserts, "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). No ifs, no ands, no buts—absolutely no condemnation, simply because we belong to Jesus. And that freedom from judgment is not based on how we feel about it. It’s reality—based on a transaction we made with God when we affirmed our belief and he adopted us into his family.

So that critical voice we so often hear in our heads is not God speaking; it’s us. God speaks only in the language of love.

Ask Yourself
How loud is the critical, judgmental voice in your head? Who first told you the things that your critical voice now repeats?

Since the critical voice is not telling the truth, how can you argue against it?

Ask God
Loving heavenly Father, thank you for not judging me. Help me not to listen to that critical voice within me, for I know it is not you. Help me to know that I am loved by you and accepted for who I am. by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 18
A Faith Worth Passing Down
2 Timothy 1:3-5
The most precious thing we can pass down to children is our faith--the confident conviction that God is who He says and will do all He has promised. Timothy's strong relationship with Christ didn't materialize out of thin air; it grew as a result of his mother and grandmother's example.
Here are ways we, too, can hand down a rich legacy to the next generation:
Teach practical biblical principles. Kids need to know God's views on material wealth (Ps. 24:1), meeting needs (Phil. 4:19), and direction in life (Prov. 3:5-6).
Model character through lifestyle. How we live--whether with transparency, peace, and perseverance, or with fear, anxiety, and self-reliance--loudly communicates what we believe about God.
Serve God by serving others. Actions show that our faith is real (James 2:26). If we want kids not to develop a self-centered perspective, servanthood is key.
Intercede for them. Children won't forget hearing us pray regularly for them.
Communicate love. Young people need to know we love them the way God loves us--unconditionally rather than based on what they do or don't do. Spoken words of love breathe life into their hearts. And as we affirm them for trusting God, they see that we value their spiritual growth.
As parents, we must be intentional about leading and inspiring our sons and daughters to follow Christ. But even those without children of their own can leave a legacy. The example to follow is Paul: though neither married nor a natural parent, he was a spiritual father to many (1 Cor. 4:14-16). from Dr. Charles Stanley, Reframing Our Work
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31
Too often we view our work as a curse rather than a divine calling. Renowned author Dorothy Sayers is precisely right in observing that we need "a thoroughgoing revolution in our whole attitude to work."
Namely, that our work should be viewed not as a necessary drudgery to be undergone for the purpose of making money, but as a way of life in which we find personal delight and magnify God's glory. Sayers believes work, "should be thought of as a creative activity undertaken for the love of the work itself; and that. . . (men and women), made in God's image, should make things, as God makes them, for the sake of doing well a thing that is well worth doing."
With the right attitude your work can be a source of personal blessing and a vehicle for glorifying God.
- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 17

The Family Influence: Good or Bad

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Proverbs 22:6 tells us, "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." What a great responsibility this places on parents. Records of royal lineage (1 Kings 15-16) illustrate that one's level of submission to God is often mirrored in the offspring's life.

Now, it's true that children eventually grow and make their own decisions. There are godly parents who are heartbroken by their kids' poor choices. Similarly, some from backgrounds full of sinful bondage become righteous people of integrity.As mothers and fathers, we are given a momentous task: to model and teach how to live according to God's Word. Thankfully, we don't have to rely on ourselves for wisdom. Good parenting involves prayerful self-evaluation, godly counsel, and thoughtful course corrections.

Start by considering how you'd answer the following questions if your children were to walk in your way: What place will Jesus, the Word of God, and the church have in their lives? Will they seek God's direction as the ultimate guide for decisions? Will they develop strong godly relationships? Will they know how to handle money wisely? Will they do their best in their vocation? As you seek answers, ask God to reveal truth, since self-examination can be difficult.

In prayerfully considering your impact as a parent, expect to see positives and negatives. The goal isn't self-condemnation, so keep in mind 1) there's no perfect parent and 2) it's never too late. Even if the kids are grown, you can ask forgiveness, share what you've learned, and model a godly life starting now.from Dr. Charles Stanley Promises for Children
We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies and that our lives had become unmanageable.

There is a special kind of powerlessness experienced when we’re unable to take care of the needs of our children or others who are dependent on us. For those of us raised in dysfunctional families, there are grief and fear associated with watching our children suffer, as the effects of our own past fall upon them.

With God’s help, Hagar had faced her life with Abraham and Sarah. When Sarah was finally able to give birth to her own son, she demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be thrown out of the family. In response, Abraham "got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away. 'I don’t want to watch the boy die,' she said, as she burst into tears. But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, 'Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.' Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink" (Genesis 21:14-19).

God doesn’t forget his promises toward us or our children. When we are powerless to help them, God is listening to their cries and ours. We can expect God’s help when we are powerless to help our children. He loves them even more than we do.

Our problems won’t seem so impossible if we let God handle them. by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 10

How to Serve the Church

1 Corinthians 12:18-26

When I talk about serving the church with God-given talents and gifts, people oftentimes think too small. They picture the choir singer or the Sunday school teacher. But if they don't happen to be naturallly adept at singing or teaching, they give up.

It's time we stop thinking in terms of a "Sunday only" establishment. The church is not a place or a time; it is a body of believers, each one uniquely gifted by God to guide, help, challenge, and support the rest. In fact, most service to the Lord doesn't take place inside the church building. It happens out in the world, where we do all the things that Scripture commands.

Most believers are not in a position to influence a lot of people. When we act or speak, only those closest to us notice, but a chain reaction ripples outward to affect an entire community. Paul's metaphor of body parts working together harmoniously is a helpful description of how one small action can have a widespread impact. Consider the way tensing your big toe keeps your foot stable and thereby steadies your whole body. In the same way, a gentle rebuke, a listening ear, or a loving deed benefits the church by strengthening one brother or sister, who then supports another...

We are on this earth to serve the kingdom of God and His church. And we do that by ministering to each other in small ways that steady the whole body as we give extra support to one member. In talking about such service, I am challenging you to find a need that God can meet through you.Dr. Charles Stanley Excusing Sin
For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. - Proverbs 5:21-22

Have you ever been foolish enough to attempt to blame your wrong doing on the Lord?

Several years a Honduran Congressman, Julio Villatoro was charged with bigamy. When asked about the charges filed against him by his wife, the congressman replied, "I have problems with my wife, even though she knows a handsome man is not for one woman but for several. God gave me a physique attractive to women, and I take advantage of it."

Do you ever find yourself making excuses for your sin? Excuses rarely fool anyone except the person making them. They never fool the Lord. When you pardon your own wrong doing, you have set yourself on the path to self-destruction.

Don't make excuses for the sin in your life. Instead make a habit of catching yourself in the act, and go to the Lord immediately for His forgiveness and His loving correction.

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 9

A Caring Church

Luke 10:25-37

Do you realize that believers should not have to look beyond the body of Christ to have their needs met? We are meant to be a self-sustaining body. After several decades in ministry, I have seen only one way for the church to function as it should: believers must commit to give of themselves on behalf of others.For example, a man determines to pray and struggle alongside a hurting brother until the burdensome situation is resolved or peace returns. Or a woman makes herself available to answer a new Christian's questions about the weekly sermon--the two ladies search the Bible and fill their minds with Scripture. And there are countless other ways to serve others, such as driving an elderly member to the service, teaching a Sunday school class, or visiting a weary single mom and listening to her concerns.

Before you become overwhelmed by the variety of needs in your church, let me remind you that loving each other is meant to be a body-wide effort. One person cannot meet every need. But suppose you commit to serving a small group of folks whom God brings into your sphere of influence. If, in order to care for them, you surrender self-focused preferences about resources and time, the Lord will bless you with more joy and contentment than you've ever known.

To serve others before serving yourself is to practice authentic Christianity. I'm certain that if believers commit to meeting as many needs as the Lord brings to their attention, then a lazy church can be transformed, becoming a true body of believers who function together for the glory of God.from Dr. Charles Stanley Finding a Confidant
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - John 1:9

God is always our first and primary audience for confession. But He isn't our only audience. Scripture tells us also to confess our sins to fellow believers. This is an extremely important and beneficial aspect of spiritual growth and health, if conducted wisely.

First, let me say that this type of confession isn't an all-encompassing command. That is, it isn't "spilling your guts" to anyone and everyone nosey enough to listen. Never confess to anyone who isn't spiritually mature.

Second, confession to fellow believers is an act of trust, and this makes you highly vulnerable. The person to whom you confess must be able to keep your confession confidential. If you can't trust your confidant, he shouldn't be your confidant. To be of value, confession must be honest and complete, you must feel safe in your selection of confidant.

So, stay true to God's instruction to confess our sins to one another, but be wise and be cautious.

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 3

The Church What Is It All About

Colossians 1:18-24

Church buildings are plentiful in our country. Locating one may be easy, but wisely deciding which to join involves more effort. God's Word gives us some specific instructions in this matter.

First, let's explore the original biblical meaning of the word "church." The term ecclesia meant a group of people who are called out of the world's system by God's grace for the purpose of assembling to worship and serve Christ. Ephesians 5:29-30 further specifies that believers are the body and Jesus is the head of such a fellowship. Under His leadership, we can enjoy the unity and purpose that He intended.

God's design for this sacred gathering involves worship, instruction, encouragement, evangelism, and ministry to those in need, both within the fellowship and outside its walls. A healthy, vibrant congregation is possible only when members rely fully on the Holy Spirit's guidance. The work of the church is to be done in His power, in humble, prayerful submission to the Lord.

To help you determine whether a church is following the design laid out in Scripture, here are some important questions to ask: Do they believe God's Word is infallible and inerrant? Is the church disciplining her people? Does the fellowship have some kind of missionary or evangelistic program?

Joining a congregation is an important decision, as a fellowship of believers is one tool God uses to mature and encourage His children. Those three questions can be helpful in discerning God's will. Listen for His Spirit to warn or direct as you prayerfully investigate your options.from Dr. Charles Stanley Expect the Unexpected
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. - Proverbs 16:9

Have you ever calculated and carefully planned something . . . only to find that the results were not what you expected?

In January of 1996, a Los Angeles based radio station awarded a pair of Superbowl tickets to the winner of their "Crazy Stunt" contest. For his stunt, finalist Mike Garcia intended to remove his glass eye, swallow it, bring it back up, and replace it in the socket . . . all before a live audience. In preparation, Garcia consumed a massive quantity of food, followed by a 6-pack of beer. Once onstage, the first half of his stunt went according to plan; Garcia effortlessly removed his glass eye and swallowed it. The second half, however, took an unexpected turn.

The gluttonous portions of food and ale had their anticipated effect. But despite his best efforts, Garcia could not retrieve the eye that he had swallowed. He heaved upon stage for more than fifteen minutes and then left the stage tired, disappointed, and missing one eye. Had he known the outcome in advance, he probably would have opted to buy tickets, which probably would have been cheaper than what he spent to replace his prosthesis.

Be careful when you find yourself thinking that you have it all figured out. You could be headed for trouble. We need God's input and direction every moment of the day. Remember that even though we are reading the map, He is at the wheel. Look to the Lord when making the smallest, and seemingly most insignificant decisions.

- Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: May 2

Praying the Promises of God

Isaiah 40:8

Jesus made it clear that we would endure hardship in this life. But God gave His children amazing tools to keep trials from overwhelming us. For instance, He placed His Spirit inside each believer to guide and empower. In addition, He gave us prayer so we could not only communicate and stay connected with our Father but also bring Him our requests.

Today I want to focus on yet another one of His marvelous gifts: the Bible. Scripture is the actual Word of God Almighty. It is truth. It never changes. It enables us in all circumstances, so we have a sure foundation on which to base our lives and decisions.There are thousands of promises in the Bible--countless assurances that we can rely on with perfect confidence. God wants us to learn them so we won't miss out on blessings He wants to give. And wise believers will turn His promises into prayers and the cries of their hearts.

Let me give you an example that relates to difficult decisions. Psalms 32:8 states, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you." We can pray God's words back to Him, saying that we believe He will teach us and reveal His path, while remaining by our side as our caregiver through the entire situation.

When hardships arise, we need a solid foundation on which to stand. Otherwise, our emotions could easily lead us astray through faulty thinking. God is faithful and unchanging, so we can trust in His promises, which enable us to rest confidently and act boldly. from Dr. Charles Stanley--The Big One
Most of us spend considerable time and energy searching for the Big One, that is, whatever it is we think will bring lasting joy and satisfaction. We dream about it, sweat over it; even do without other, smaller things in its pursuit. For we know once we have achieved, possessed, owned, romanced, or conquered the Big One, our lives, once and for all, will be happy and fulfilling. This is true of most humans, not-just three-year-olds at Easter egg hunts.

We desperately do not want to live our lives unloved, unknown, and feeling unalive. We search for meaning, pleasure, esteem, recognition, and freedom. These are not bad goals. The problem is how we try to achieve these goals, what path we take to attain them. We see the Big One, and we're sure it will bring us happiness. It might be in a pile of money, in the heart of a future spouse, on a nameplate on a desk, on the eighteenth green of a posh golf course, or, for that matter, anything that represents success in terms the world understands.

Proverbs 14:12 addresses our quest for fulfillment: "There is a way that seems right to men, but in the end it leads to death,'' which includes perpetual longing, emptiness, and futility. It is the feeling of a three-year-old in the giant green field, holding an empty basket with fake green grass stuck between two of your six teeth. The pursuit of the Big One has been not only a waste of time but also an utter embarrassment. You end up hating the person who attained the Big One, even though you would rather not. You just can't stand the way she dances around the oak tree.

The "way that seems right to a man" might be called the broad path. It is full of all the pleasures of this world. Here you find money, sex, power, which promise happiness but deliver deep emptiness. What seems so certain to fulfill you turns out to be an illusion. In the end the price you pay is your soul.

God desires more for our lives. He wants us to travel the narrow path, which brings fulfillment and meaning. The Bible tells us that those who follow this road must be committed to self-sacrifice, delayed gratification, responsibility, and integrity.

Part of the problem facing Christians is embracing the promises of God. We too often mistakenly think of Him as the Great Killjoy, performing acts of magic, complete with thunder and fanfare, to keep us miserably on our knees. Actually,
though, Jesus said that a life committed to following Him will bring joy, freedom, intimacy, and genuine satisfaction. He said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full," and "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 10:10, 15:10-11). Jesus Christ is the real One. When you pursue the Big One, your pleasure is fleeting, your disappointment is sure. But when you trust in Christ, your life finds true joy and purpose.

Excerpted from "The God of Second Chances" by Steve Arterburn
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: April 30/1
Seeking Guidance: The First Step
1 John 1:8-10
By forsaking the broad worldly way, believers have chosen a narrow path (Matt. 7:13). However, we’re not wandering blindly on it. The Holy Spirit is our guide. He directs our steps toward new opportunities and offers discernment so we can make wise decisions that keep us on course for God’s will.
It is the nature of this journey that we have to stop often and seek guidance. God is pleased to respond to earnest requests for direction, as He wants to keep His followers in the center of His will. But I’ve discovered that many Christians wonder how to pursue divine guidance.
Seeking God’s direction involves a pattern that begins with cleansing—in other words, the first place to look is at ourselves. Ask, “Father, do You see anything in my life that might interfere with my understanding what You are saying?” Sin shuts down the guidance process: it strangles the power flowing from the Holy Spirit and thereby clouds our judgment (1 Thess. 5:19). First John 1:9 tells us that God cleanses unrighteousness when we confess our sins. The Bible also contains a clear warning for those who refuse to relinquish a rebellious habit or attitude—the Lord does not hear their cries (Ps. 66:18). As He brings to mind problem areas, lay them before the cross.
Cleansing is actually woven into the entire process of gaining divine guidance. God brings sin to our attention as we’re equipped to deal with it. So on the way to receiving His clear direction, we may revisit this “first” step often and in that way can experience a time of rich spiritual growth and renewal.
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: April 27
Listening with Purpose
1 Samuel 3:1-10
Yesterday we learned about hearing the Word with eagerness and attentiveness. Now, let’s think about approaching the Bible purposefully, expectantly, and prayerfully.Christians study the Scriptures not just individually but also corporately to learn more about God and His ways. Underlying this simple concept is a big challenge. To gather biblical knowledge with purpose means determining in our heart to obey what we hear (Ps. 119:33). And to do so expectantly means we believe that the Lord is going to speak specifically to us (Ps. 25:4). Sermons, Sunday school lessons, and quiet times on our own are all things to be anticipated. God uses these to build us up, strengthen us, or offer us comfort—He certainly makes listening to Him worthwhile. And obedience is the only proper response to this kind of personal attention.
Approaching the reading of Scripture prayerfully prepares our hearts to listen well and ushers in an attitude of purpose and expectancy. Today’s passage tells the story of young Samuel’s first encounter with God. The priest Eli gives the boy valuable advice—that when the Lord calls, he should say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (v. 9). Pray those simple words with conviction before you open your Bible, and you will hear God more clearly.
If you want to experience God working in your life, come to Scripture with a prayerful, expectant, purpose-filled attitude. The mourner will be comforted. The weary will gain strength. Those convicted of their sin will repent and know peace. All will sense joy. Recognize what a gift God’s Word is.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Out Of Eden
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:13-14
Can we return to the Garden of Eden? A German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, made this observation after studying the Bible’s account of Adam and Eve’s first sin: "So Adam must leave paradise. For every one of us it’s in the past. And only fools think that it can be re-established on this earth. As a rule, those who have promised men a heaven on earth have made it a life of hell. No, there is no road back."
This same German theologian suffered greatly under the Third Reich . . . all due to one man’s attempt to return to Eden . . . to find utopia.
Utopian dreams aren’t usually as brutal as the Third Reich’s. But they’re all around us, and ultimately, no less delusional. That’s because they point us back to Eden rather than forward to heaven, and they ignore the fact that mankind fell with Adam and desperately needs Jesus.
- Steve Arterburn TODAY’S PRAYER
Father God, whenever I think about my lost Eden, of when my life might have been "perfect", remind me that only you are perfect and as I travel this broken road towards Heaven I will learn of you, your nature and immense love for me. Amen
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: April 26
Trained to Discern
Hebrews 5:11-14
In today's world, impatience is all too common a trait. We want food, help, and information fast. Just waiting for the computer to boot up or the "next avail-able agent" to answer our call can cause frustration. But the Lord specializes in slow, steady work. He's more interested in a quality outcome than a speedy process.Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of spiritual discernment. When we become Christians, we aren't instantly wise and knowledgeable. It takes a lifetime to grow to maturity. Some believers, however, don't seem to grow up at all. They get older, but their understanding of God's Word never goes very deep.
This lack of godly wisdom is caused by ignorance of the Scriptures, apathy and complacency about spiritual things, and a failure to apply biblical truths. Discernment requires time and effort. You can't simply move through life, thoughtlessly reacting to situations yet never learning from them. Take time to reflect on your responses and observe the consequences of your actions and choices. If you feel convicted by what you notice, let that motivate you to begin a lifelong pursuit of the Lord and His ways. Start reading the Bible regularly. And as you do, ask the Lord to open your heart and mind to understand what He's saying.
But just reading God's Word isn't enough. Without applying what you've read, all you'll have is head knowledge. Obedience trains us to discern good and evil. Through practice, we learn wisdom and develop spiritual maturity. If you'll begin today and patiently persevere, in time discernment will come. from Dr. Charles Stanley,--Tribute to Jackie Robinson
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. - Ephesians 4:22-24
In 1948 Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. He faced stiff opposition. Pitchers threw at him. Base runners dug their spikes into his shins. Fans mocked him and some even wrote death threats.
To endure this mistreatment, you'd have to be a scrapper. Robinson was certainly no exception.
He was proud and competitive. But he also knew the right way to fight, and that's what set him apart. Before being allowed to play, Jackie was asked what he'd do if another player hit him on the cheek. He answered, "Sir, I have two cheeks." Robinson knew that real strength, the kind necessary to accomplish truly great things, is demonstrated in meekness and forbearance. With that strength, he changed the face of America's favorite pastime, and in the process, helped change the face of America.
We can learn from his example, an inner strength in adversity; not striking back when we're wronged; keeping focus on the task before us. He had a rather Christ-like attitude and example, wouldn't you say?
- Steve Arterburn
I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: April 25

Learning from Failure

Luke 22:31-34

The disciple Peter was a man of great faith and bold action. But as readers of the New Testament know, his brash style sometimes led him to make humiliating mistakes. More than once, this disciple had to wear the label of "miserable failure" rather than that of "obedient servant."

We can all relate when it comes to falling short of expectations. Obedience to God is a learning process, and failure is a part of our development as humble servants. When we yield to temptation or rebel against God's authority, we realize that sin has few rewards, and even those are fleetingFailure is an excellent learning tool, as Peter could certainly attest. Through trial and error, he discovered that humility is required of believers (John 13:5-14); that God's ways are higher than the world's ways (Mark 8:33); and that one should never take his eyes off Jesus (Matt. 14:30). He took each of those lessons to heart and thereby grew stronger in his faith. Isn't that Romans 8:28 in action? God caused Peter's failures to be put to good use as training material because the disciple was eager to mature and serve.

God doesn't reward rebellion or wrongdoing. However, by His grace, He blesses those who choose repentance and embrace chastisement as a tool for growth.

We would probably all prefer to grow in our faith without ever making a mistake before God's eyes, but we cannot deny that missteps are instructive. Failure teaches believers that it is much wiser and more profitable to be obedient to the Lord. That's a lesson we all should take to heart.from Dr. Charles Stanley God’s Grace
The central theme of the Bible is God's love for you and for all people. This love was revealed when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world as a human being, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. Because Christ died, your sins can be forgiven, and because He conquered death you can have eternal life. You can know for sure what will become of you after you die.

You have probably heard the story of God's love referred to as the "Gospel." The word Gospel simply means "Good News." The Gospel is the Good News that, because of what Christ has done, we can be forgiven and can live forever.

But this gift of forgiveness and eternal life cannot be yours unless you willingly accept it. God requires an individual response from you. The following verses from the Bible show God's part and yours in this process:

God's love is revealed in the Bible
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). God loves you. He wants to bless your life and make it full and complete. And He wants to give you a life, which will last forever, even after you, experience physical death.

We are sinful
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). You may have heard someone say, "I'm only human--nobody's perfect." This Bible verse says the same thing: We are all sinners. We all do things that we know are wrong. And that's why we feel estranged from God--because God is holy and good, and we are not.

Sin has a penalty
"For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Just as criminals must pay the penalty for their crimes, sinners must pay the penalty for their sins. If you continue to sin, you will pay the penalty of spiritual death: You will not only die physically; you will also be separated from our holy God for all eternity. The Bible teaches that those who choose to remain separated from God will spend eternity in a place called hell.

Christ has paid our penalty!
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, has paid the penalty for all your sins. You may think you have to lead a good life and do good deeds before God will love you. But the Bible says that Christ loved you enough to die for you, even when you were rebelling against Him.

Salvation is a free gift
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). The word grace means "undeserved favor." It means God is offering you something you could never provide for yourself: forgiveness of sins and eternal life, God's gift to you is free. You do not have to work for a gift. All you have to do is joyfully receive it, Believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ died for you!

You must receive Him
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). When you receive Christ into your heart you become a child of God, and have the privilege of talking to Him in prayer at any time about anything. The Christian life is a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ. And best of all, it is a relationship that will last for all eternity.
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: April 22
Learning from Failure
Luke 22:31-34
The disciple Peter was a man of great faith and bold action. But as readers of the New Testament know, his brash style sometimes led him to make humiliating mistakes. More than once, this disciple had to wear the label of "miserable failure" rather than that of "obedient servant."
We can all relate when it comes to falling short of expectations. Obedience to God is a learning process, and failure is a part of our development as humble servants. When we yield to temptation or rebel against God's authority, we realize that sin has few rewards, and even those are fleeting Failure is an excellent learning tool, as Peter could certainly attest. Through trial and error, he discovered that humility is required of believers (John 13:5-14); that God's ways are higher than the world's ways (Mark 8:33); and that one should never take his eyes off Jesus (Matt. 14:30). He took each of those lessons to heart and thereby grew stronger in his faith. Isn't that Romans 8:28 in action? God caused Peter's failures to be put to good use as training material because the disciple was eager to mature and serve.
God doesn't reward rebellion or wrongdoing. However, by His grace, He blesses those who choose repentance and embrace chastisement as a tool for growth.
We would probably all prefer to grow in our faith without ever making a mistake before God's eyes, but we cannot deny that missteps are instructive. Failure teaches believers that it is much wiser and more profitable to be obedient to the Lord. That's a lesson we all should take to heart.from Dr. Charles Stanley,The Lord is my Light, Whom Shall I Fear
You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe. I am not afraid of anyone. - Psalm 27:1
When Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria in 1956, she laid a wreath at the gravestone of a Scotswoman, Mary Slessor. Mary, however, did not go to Africa under the authority of the British Crown -- Mary served a different King.
The child of a violent, alcoholic father and a devoutly Christian mother, she learned survival skills in the slums of Dundee, Scotland. As a young girl, Mary read her Bible faithfully. Because of her earthly father's violence, she was terrified of speaking in front of males. But she never doubted the unconditional love of her heavenly Father.
When she heard of Dr. David Livingstone's death in Africa, she was deeply moved by his plea for someone to carry out his work. In 1876, she sailed for West Africa. Many fears, the results of her traumatic childhood, haunted her. But one by one she overcame them, and she made herself a part of the African community. She cared for abandoned children, stood firm against abuses, and loved the African people wholeheartedly. When she was awarded the Maltese Cross, she kept it secret. After her death, believers sang "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow" in memory of Mary Slessor, who had found the power to overcome her nightmarish childhood and to reach out to other abused boys and girls.
Instead of working through fear, we sometimes divert ourselves with activity or deny that we are afraid, even to ourselves. Faithful people are encouraged to fear God--in the sense of awe, respect, and obedience. But we are not to be afraid of anything or anyone else. Overcoming personal fears is a lifelong process.
It is possible only in the knowledge that love is greater than fear and that God loves us deeply and dearly.
- Steve Arterburn TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, please help me to conquer and overcome my fears. Teach me to be patient with myself and with you as I work through the process of conquering my fears. I confess Lord, that through you I can do all things. Amen.
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: R.I.P. America!!! You've made it important to not OFFEND ANYONE!! You took the Bible and prayer out of our schools. You took the Ten Commandments from the Courthouse. You're trying to remove "In God We Trust" from our currency. You went soft on discipline. You're making using a public bathroom a traumatic experience, not knowing who may be in there with you or your kids. You went soft on crime. Parents were told 'No you can't discipline your kids'. Teachers were prevented from chastising and disciplining kids in schools. The police couldn't clip a troublemaker round the ear. Kids have rights blah, blah, blah. Well done America!! You shall reap what you sow, and we have lost a whole generation and turned them into selfish, disrespectful brats who have no respect for people and property! Things need to change! Copy & paste if you have the guts to!!!"
What happened to the old days when kids were fearful/respectful of their elders and criminals were fearful/respectful of the police?
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: April 21
A Dark Sabbath
John 19:31-42
Just as Christ once rested in the stern of a boat through a raging storm, He rested in the tomb as storms raged within His disciples. A day after Jesus’ death, fear, doubt, and grief must have cycled endlessly through their minds. Memories of their lives with Him must have played there too: how it felt to stand upon a rolling sea, to feed thousands with a few loaves of bread, or to see Lazarus’ burial clothes heaped in the dirt. No doubt their hearts grew sick with confusion as they contemplated these things.The disciples’ feeble faith shouldn’t surprise us, because if we’re honest, we see it in ourselves. The “little of faith,” as Jesus often called them, failed to believe or remember things the Lord said of Himself—that He’d lay down His life and take it up again. Had His followers faithfully held these things in their hearts, that Sabbath day might have been a time of joyful anticipation.
At times in our lives, God may seem absent, but ultimately we know that He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5). And unlike the disciples, we’ll never experience the dark prospect of a failed Savior. But many times we forget the promises of God. In the face of uncertainty, how frequently do we turn to a “do-it-yourself” Christianity to fix our problems?
Too often we look no further than our own solutions, when what we need is the wonder-working power of Christ’s resurrection and a posture of humility as we wait on Him. If we are willing to wait through the darkness of night, we can rest in knowing that morning will surely come.from Dr. Charles Stanley,Walk In His Truth
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. - John 14:23 KJV
Elisabeth Elliot advised, "Obedience to God is our job. The results of that obedience are God’s." These words serve to remind us that obedience is imperative, but we live in a society that surrounds us with temptations to disobey God’s laws. So if we are to win the battle against temptation and sin, we must never drop our guard.
A righteous life has many components: faith, honesty, generosity, love, kindness, humility, gratitude, and worship, to name but a few. If we seek to follow the steps of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we must seek to live according to His commandments.
When we seek righteousness in our own lives—and when we seek the companionship of like-minded friends—we not only build our characters, but we also reap the spiritual rewards that God offers to those who obey Him. When we live in accordance with God’s commandments, He blesses us in ways that we cannot fully understand.
Are you ready, willing, able, and anxious to receive God’s blessings? Then obey Him. And rest assured that when you do your part, He’ll do His part.
- Steve Arterburn TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, please guide my walk with you. I desire to obey your commandments. Help me to live a life that honors you. Amen
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DAN THE CHILD OF GOD
DAN THE CHILD OF GOD: April 20
The God Who Saves
Ephesians 2:8-9
Recently I was talking with a fellow about his spiritual life. When I asked, "Are you saved?" he answered, "No, but I'm working at it." When I pressed him, he explained that he was making some changes in his life. He had given up smoking and drinking, among other things. I knew that I should help him understand a few important principles, as his only guarantee so far was better health.
What this gentleman needed to realize was that what we do or what we give up for Jesus doesn't amount to much. The Lord isn't looking for people who change a few habits by sheer force of will; He's calling people to surrender themselves to Him. The only action God expects of a "seeker" is to believe in Jesus--that He is who He says, He will do what He says, He has the authority to forgive, and He will equip His people to live a godly life. Because of those convictions, a new Christian is empowered to turn away from his old life--in other words, to repent--and begin the process of becoming "a new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17).
We don't evolve into a saved people by deleting old habits and instituting better religious ones; we are transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ when we believe in Him.
Since salvation isn't something we earn, no one can boast before God. All of our moral living, good deeds, and strenuous efforts to change bad habits amount to a pile of trash compared to the holiness of Jesus Christ (Isa. 64:6). Only His righteousness can cover our sins and make us right before the Father.from Dr. Charles Are You Living for Yourself or God?
Respect and obey the LORD! This is the first step to wisdom and good. - Psalm 111:10
There was a judge named, Edward Thompson who held a firm belief that God could change lives more powerfully than any judicial system. He liked to tell the story of 54 year-old Mary, who appeared before him with 53 previous convictions for drunk and disorderly conduct. She had been jailed six times. But this time the circumstances were different. For one thing, she was in love with an older gentlemen. For another, her son was on his way back from World War II, and she was eagerly awaiting his arrival.
Judge Thompson decided to put Mary on probation with a few conditions. He insisted that she go to church regularly and pray for God to change her. He said, "Try going to church—loving God—and see if it doesn't help you find a new self-respect and happiness."
Would Mary really be changed, or would she appear again in front of his bench, disheveled and disoriented? Judge Thompson rather anxiously checked with Mary's probation officer week by week. Yes, she was attending church services. And she was getting involved in the church's social life.
When Judge Thompson returned from an out-of-town assignment, he was informed, "Mary was back." His heart sank.
A court officer told him, "She came to see you--to thank you and tell you good-bye. She's getting married to that elderly gentlemen, and her probation officer has given her permission to move to California. She's a changed woman."
When we are forced to confront our shortcomings and to find out why we fail, we usually come to one conclusion—we have not lived God's way. Whether our lives are out of control as Mary's, or we are unable to keep our commitments to ourselves and others, the reason is usually that we are not loving God and we are not putting Him first in our lives. Sins and shortcomings occur more frequently when we are living for ourselves and are not loving God as we should.
- Steve Arterburn
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