President Trump responds to Las Vegas shooting
President Donald Trump addresses the nation following a mass shooting at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay resort that has left at least 50 people dead and hundreds more injured.
[Jesus] is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:34
Few sounds are as beautiful as hearing someone who loves you praying for you. When you hear a friend pray for you with compassion and God-given insight, it’s a little like heaven touching earth.
How good it is to know that because of God’s kindness to us our prayers can also touch heaven. Sometimes when we pray we may struggle with words and feelings of inadequacy, but Jesus taught His followers that we “should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1). God’s Word shows us that one of the reasons we can do this is that Jesus Himself “is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34).
We never pray alone, because Jesus is praying for us. He hears us as we pray, and speaks to the Father on our behalf. We don’t have to worry about the eloquence of our words, because no one understands us like Jesus. He helps us in every way, presenting our needs before God. He also knows when the answers we ask for would not be good for us, handling every request or concern with perfect wisdom and love.
Jesus is the perfect prayer partner—the friend who intercedes for us with immeasurable kindness. His prayers for us are beautiful beyond words, and should encourage us to always pray with thankfulness.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for interceding for me with love. Help me to love and serve You with my prayers today.
Visit us at ourdailybread.org/PrayerChangesThings for more resources on prayer.
There’s no greater privilege than praying with Jesus.
From its opening affirmation to its closing declaration, Romans 8 is a powerhouse of encouragement for the follower of Christ. Today’s devotional highlights the reminder that Jesus Himself intercedes for us as we pray (v. 34). But there is even more help for us. Verse 26 tells us, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Imagine—the Son andthe Spirit help us as we pray. What great reassurance that gives!
Do you struggle with your prayers? Knowing that divine help is available encourages us to keep praying—even when we aren’t sure how.
Although the temptation to compromise threatens every believer, we don’t have to give in to it. If we’re aware of the danger and understand the downward progression and consequences, we can remain vigilant and stay on track.
The first step in learning how to avoid compromise is understanding why we find it so tempting. When others pressure us to take part in what we know God has forbidden, giving in becomes easy because we don’t want to feel rejected. But anyone who’s committed to living a godly life must be willing to stand alone and face ridicule or even persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). At other times, in an effort to avoid conflict, we may consent to activities that violate our conscience—then seeking peace at any price can result in disobedience.
The temptation to compromise, however, doesn’t always originate with others; we can be carried away by our own desires. Many Christians have fallen into sexual immorality or pornography, and others are motivated to give in because of greed. If you alter details on your income tax or take a few things home from the office, you’ve stepped over the line of obedience to the Lord. Our choices should be based on scriptural truth, not on our feelings and desires.
In order to stand firm against compromise, it is important to seek wisdom in Scripture and let it set the standard for your conduct. If you begin each day with God in His Word, He will guide your way. Then when the Holy Spirit gives a warning, obey immediately, because giving consideration to the temptation opens a door for Satan.
“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth . . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalm 33:6, 9)
Many is the modern-day evangelical who has attempted to harmonize the plain sense of the Scriptures with Big Bang cosmogony, concepts of stellar evolution, and a uniformitarian framework for Earth history. This exercise seldom results in a tempering of secular thought but rather in a compromising reinterpretation of Scripture, making it say something it clearly does not say.
The Bible says that “the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3), that all things that now exist were simply called into existence at God’s spoken command.
Creation was a true miracle. It was not (as some insist) merely a godly oversight of cosmic processes acting on eternal matter, nor was it the gradual appearance and disappearance of matter in a steady-state transformation. Only a poor regard for Scripture, coupled with an overly high regard for current astronomical theory, could interpret Hebrews 11:3 as the explosion of a tiny, super-dense “cosmic egg” (that did not “appear,” i.e., too small to see), itself the result of a “quantum fluctuation in a vacuum” in a Big Bang which produced the entire universe.
Rather, as implied in the formula “Let there be . . . and there was” repeated many times in Genesis 1, and as described in our text and elsewhere, all things derive simply from His spoken word. Our response should not be to disbelieve and twist but to believe and praise. “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him” (Psalm 33:8). JDM
In these sad times the psalmist probably wrote—Psalm 38. which is entitled—
He feared that he was forgotten by his God, and therefore pleaded to be remembered.
Rebuked I must be, but Lord deal gently with me; chastening I richly deserve, but do not smite me too heavily lest I utterly perish.
Spiritual distress is painful to the last degree. However sweet sin may have been in David’s mouth, it was bitter enough when it had once reached his inward parts.
Psalm 38:4, 5
Conscience laid on stripe after stripe till his soul was wounded in a thousand places, and the wounds became loathsome as well as painful. No ulcers and putrefying sores can match the unutterable vileness and pollution of iniquity.
Thus the penitent are made to feel the smart of sin. The reprobate feel nothing of this, but go singing merrily down to hell; those whom the Lord loves are never allowed to find comfort in sin.
The good Physician understands our case without our needing to explain to him—
“He takes the meaning of our tears
The language of our groans.”
Here begins another tale of woe. While he was in pain within, he was forsaken and persecuted without.
He would not hear Shimei, so as to punish him. A deaf ear is often a great blessing.
He would not deny that he had done amiss, although he was innocent of the worst charges which were laid against him.
God is not only our Saviour, but our salvation. He who has the Lord upon his side has salvation in present possession. Faith sees in this last sentence the sure result of her prayers, and begins to glorify God for the expected mercy. We shall never be forsaken by our heavenly Father. His grace will come to the rescue, and ere long we shall magnify his name for saving us out of all our troubles. Have we all repented of sin? Are we all resting by faith in him?
Jesus, full of every grace,
Now reveal thy smiling face;
Grant the joys of sin forgiven,
Foretaste of the bliss of heaven.
All my guilt to thee is known;
Thou art righteous, thou alone,
All my help is from thy cross;
All beside I count but loss.
Lord, in thee I now believe,
Wilt thou, wilt thou not forgive?
Helpless at thy feet I lie;
Saviour, leave me not to die.
Yesterday we learned from James 1:5 that if you and I lack wisdom, we have the right to go to God and insist that He give us the answers we need. In fact, the Greek tense used in that verse tells us that God actually commands us to come to Him when we need wisdom. Furthermore, the Greek word used to describe us asking God for wisdom indicates that God wants us to be firm and resolute when we request wisdom from Him.
But before God will open His hand and give us the wisdom we need, there is a condition we must meet. That condition is spelled out very clearly in James 1:5, where the Bible says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God….”
The condition we must meet to receive wisdom from God is found in the phrase “of God.” In Greek, these are the words para theou. The word para means alongside of, and it depicts a very close, side-by-side, intimate position next to someone else. The word theou is the Greek word for God. When these words are placed together in a phrase, as in this verse, it pictures a person who comes right alongside of God, who comes as close to God as possible, who stands side-by-side with Him. In this statement, we discover God’s requirement of us before He will give us the wisdom we need. If we want wisdom, we must come right up alongside of God in order to obtain it.
You see, God wants a relationship with us. He doesn’t want to just freely hand out answers to our problems. He wants us to come to Him. And the moment we get side-by-side with God, He opens His hand and reveals everything we need to know and understand about the situations we are facing.
So often, however, believers allow themselves to become too busy with the affairs of life, and they fail to take time out of their hectic schedules to get into the intimate Presence of God. They want God to meet their need “on demand,” but they don’t want to fulfill God’s need to be close to His people.
Rushing into the Presence of the Lord, these believers stay only long enough to make their requests known to Him before they rush out again to resume their busy schedules. They don’t stay long enough for God to enjoy them and to speak to their hearts about the deeper subjects of life that may be the real root of their problems and shortfalls.
When James tells us to “ask” God for the wisdom we need, the word “ask” means we can be very bold and insistent. But for us to get what we request, we must ask “of God.” In other words, we must come right up alongside of God, getting as close to Him as possible, and then make our request. If we will fulfill this requirement of coming close to God and opening our hearts to Him and to His touch, He will then gladly open His hand and show us every answer we need.
But be prepared for God to show you additional things you weren’t expecting to see! When you come into His glorious light, that light penetrates you and reveals defects and dark places in your soul and behavior patterns that need to be changed. But if you stay out of God’s Presence, it is very possible that these defects may never become apparent to your own eyes, for many things can only be revealed by getting into His Presence. Could it be that you have avoided the Presence of God because you are afraid of what you might see in yourself if you came into His glorious light?
Once you fulfill this requirement of getting right alongside of God, He is obligated to give you the wisdom you seek from Him. That is why James says that God “… giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not….” The word “giveth” is the Greek word didontos, which comes from the word didomi. The word didomi means to give, but the form used here is didontos, which describes one who is in the habit of constantly giving. This assuredly tells us that God is not one who holds out on His people or who refrains from giving them wisdom when they need it. Instead, James tells us that God is in the habit of giving wisdom to His people when they need it. He is “the giving God.”
Not only does God give us the wisdom we need when we meet His requirement to come close to Him, but James 1:5 promises that He gives it “… liberally, and upbraideth not….” The word “liberally” is the Greek word haploos. It depicts something that is given generously, abundantly, plentifully, bountifully, and open-handedly. You see, if we’ll meet God’s requirement to come close to Him, He will profusely answer the questions we have and impart the wisdom we need.
The words “upbraideth not” are from the Greek word oneididzo, which means to rebuke or to reprove. However, in this case, the word me is used in front of this word, making the entire Greek phrase me oneididzontes, which means to not rebuke or to not reprove.
In other words, God will not rebuke you or reprove you for asking anything of Him. You are His child, and He wants you to have the wisdom you need for life. You’ll find God to be openhearted and ready to answer any question you ever put to Him. But before He gives you those answers, He first wants you to fulfill His requirement of coming alongside of Him, where He can love you and fellowship with you and where you can feel and experience His love.
In that up-close, side-by-side encounter with God, you will also become aware of all the other areas of your life that need attention. And here’s the good news: In His glorious Presence, God will not only make you aware of these areas that need adjustment, He will also give you the power and ability to change!
James 1:5 says that if you will meet God’s requirement to come close to Him, “the giving God” will give you the wisdom and answers you need. So don’t let yourself rush in and out of the Presence of God too quickly any longer. It’s time for you to learn how to spend time in the Presence of the Lord so He can shine His glorious light upon your life! Let Him bathe you in His glory. Let His glory shine on you and reveal the dark areas in your life that need to be changed. Stay in His Presence long enough to let the wisdom you are seeking sink into your spirit and soul.
Never forget that God is “the giving God” who wants to meet your need. But for that need to be met, you have to come right up alongside Him—and you can only do that by making room in your daily schedule for spending time in His Presence. Are you ready to include God in your schedule today?
Lord, I know that You are a giving God who wants to meet my needs and answer my questions. But I understand now that I have a condition to meet first: You require me to come close to You so You can reveal to me those things I need to know. Please forgive me for rushing in and out of your Presence so quickly in the past—making my demands and insisting on those thing’s I need, but not taking enough time to fellowship with You and meet Your need to be with me. I am so sorry for the times I’ve been in such a hurry that I neglected spending time with You. Starting today, I want to change my daily schedule so I can spend time in Your Presence and come closer to You than ever before!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
I confess that spending time with God is the highest priority in my life. This time with Him is not an option in my life. He wants to give me all the wisdom and answers I need, but first I must meet His requirement to come close to Him. When I get right next to God, He is obliged to open His hand and show me everything I need to see. I live continually in His Presence; therefore, no form of darkness or ignorance nor any defect in my character can remain in my life!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
God will not rebuke you or reprove you for asking for wisdom. You are His child, and He wants you to have the wisdom you need for life. You’ll find God to be openhearted and ready to answer any question you ever put to Him. But before He gives you those answers, He first wants you to fulfill His requirement of coming alongside of Him, where He can love you and fellowship with you and where you can feel and experience His love.
Alfred, a friend of mine, decided to visit Gold’s Gym. This is the place where men the size of boxcars seem to have nothing else to do but “pump iron” by the eon. As he entered, a square-jawed, muscle-bound, steel-gripping specimen grasped his hand and exclaimed, “HI! BIG GUY!”
Now Alfred, an accountant who has never lifted anything much heavier than a paperweight, thought to himself, “Is he talking to me? Does he think I am a ‘BIG GUY?'” And with that he entered Gold’s determined to do something about his sagging coat hanger-sized deltoids.
Talk about THE POWER OF WORDS!
Ever call your kid “stupid”? Or, “lazy”? Or scold him with, “Can’t you ever do anything right?” Guess what? Your words become self-fulfilling prophecies. When I was a teenager, a close relative said to me, “I don’t trust you.” And from that day on I determined to give her reason not to trust me, and I became a juvenile delinquent. Again, THE POWER OF WORDS!
Solomon drove home THE POWER OF WORDS in stating, “The tongue has the power of life and death… ” (Proverbs 18:21a)
Instead of calling the kid “stupid,” why don’t you grab him (or her) by the shoulders and say, “Wow, you are something! Am I ever proud of you! What a privilege it is for me to be your parent!” Like my friend Alfred, the kid might just decide to do something about his coat hanger-sized life and rise to your expectation. Again, THE POWER OF WORDS!
Nathaniel, upon hearing of Jesus Christ, made a derogatory remark concerning his place of birth, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Instead of retaliating, the Master drew attention to Nathaniel’s integrity, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there nothing false“. And Nathaniel’s response? Instant belief: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (John 1:45-51) Clearly, Jesus understood and demonstrated THE POWER OF WORDS.
Paul appreciated THE POWER OF WORDS in asserting, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs… ” (Ephesians 4:29a)
QUESTION: When was the last time you used THE POWER OF WORDS to build up your spouse with a kind word, or a note of encouragement? Or an employee? Or a colleague? Or one of your kids? Silence – saying nothing – is usually interpreted negatively by others as anger, indifference or disapproval… As anything but affirmation.
The behemoth at Gold’s Gym understands THE POWER OF WORDS!