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Devotional 2016

Valvoja: Annukka

Devotional 2016

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.01.2016 10:56

by Melody @ DaySpring, via the eCard Studio December 31, 2015

New Year Prayer

A new year is upon us - a time when we naturally begin to think deeper about ourselves, our families, our friends, and the world around us. We long to feel better, look better, “do” better, to grow closer to God and our loved ones - to be better in every way.

As we begin this year anew, we offer this prayer with a hopeful and expectant heart for God’s blessings for you and for us all.

God, we praise you with all that we are (Psalm 103:2-3), knowing our strength comes from joy in you (Nehemiah 8:10) now and always.

We praise you for your mercy, for forgiving our sins (Ephesians 1:7). Remind us that mercy always triumphs over judgment (James 2:13), and that only you, the God of all grace, will restore us and make us strong (1 Peter 5:10).

Renew our hearts in this year, and let your gentle Spirit lead us down the right path (Psalm 143:10).

Please grant us peace in our hearts (Proverbs 14:30). May our burdens lead us to rest in you as we grow closer to you each day (Matthew 11:28).

Let us fill our minds with truth, righteousness, beauty and all things worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

Thank you, God, for your promise to watch over us always (Psalm 32:8) and to hold us up with your victorious right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

Thank you, God, for giving us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Let us take every action in the coming year, fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Amen.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Proverbs 29:18.

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.01.2016 13:38

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Helen Keller was born with sight, but became blind as a young child. Yet she had vision.

A reporter asked Miss Keller, “Is there anything worse than losing your sight?”

“Yes,” she said, “It is to have sight but no vision.”

Do you have a vision for your life at the threshold of a new year? On New Year’s Day, I review the goals for my life. These are spiritual, relational, intellectual, physical, and financial goals. I pray over these and ask for God’s will to be done in each one. I hold them in an open hand and ask that God would give me wisdom as to the direction He wants for my life. I don’t want to be a man without vision. I don’t want you to be one, either.

ACTION POINT:
Begin to think about some goals you would like for your life. Pray and seek the Lord’s face as you ponder the future.
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Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Doing the New Thing

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.01.2016 11:43

03 January, 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Doing the New Thing

"And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins."
Mark 2:22

One of the truths of God that is very precious to me is His unchangeable nature. His Word tells us that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. God never changes, but He is ALWAYS moving. God’s unchangeable nature does not equate to being stagnant and in a rut. God is creative beyond imagination and He loves new things! Look at the following scriptures:

‘See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare’(Isaiah 42:9)
‘See, I am doing a new thing!’(Isaiah 43:19).
‘From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you’ (Isaiah 48:6).
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
‘For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant’ (Hebrews 9:15).
‘And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it’ (Revelation 2:17).

Although the context of each scripture is different, it accentuates the fact that God is always ready and excited for the NEW THING, whether it be a new name, new plans, new life He wants to impart, or new circumstances.

I watched a message on DVD recently by Christine Caine, and she made this profound statement: "Sometimes we miss the NEW thing God's doing because we're looking for the next thing of the SAME thing that God has already done.” This is so true. When we’re preparing for something new, we often have in mind an ‘upgrade’ to what we’re used to.

When God says He’s doing a new thing, it may mean radical change to what we’ve been accustomed to. In biblical times the people would have understood the illustration of the wineskins Jesus used. Wine was often stored in wineskins, made of tanned goat skins. If partially fermented wine was put into the skins, it would stretch the skins. New wineskins were therefore needed for new wine, to allow for the stretching process. If it was poured into old, already stretched skins, this would cause the skins to burst.

When God is doing a NEW thing, we need to be like a new wineskin, ready to stretch and grow according to God’s design of the new. If our mind-set is narrow and unyielding to His design, we will not be able to contain His best for our lives. So, get ready and be willing to S-T-R-E-T-C-H!

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are a God who’s always moving and doing new things. Help me to never be unyielding to the changes and the new things You’re doing in my life, but to allow You to grow and stretch me for the ‘new wine’ You have in store for me. Amen.
Today's Writer : Christel Baxter

"And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins."
Mark 2:22

One of the truths of God that is very precious to me is His unchangeable nature. His Word tells us that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. God never changes, but He is ALWAYS moving. God’s unchangeable nature does not equate to being stagnant and in a rut. God is creative beyond imagination and He loves new things! Look at the following scriptures:

‘See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare’(Isaiah 42:9)
‘See, I am doing a new thing!’(Isaiah 43:19).
‘From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you’ (Isaiah 48:6).
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
‘For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant’ (Hebrews 9:15).
‘And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it’ (Revelation 2:17).

Although the context of each scripture is different, it accentuates the fact that God is always ready and excited for the NEW THING, whether it be a new name, new plans, new life He wants to impart, or new circumstances.

I watched a message on DVD recently by Christine Caine, and she made this profound statement: "Sometimes we miss the NEW thing God's doing because we're looking for the next thing of the SAME thing that God has already done.” This is so true. When we’re preparing for something new, we often have in mind an ‘upgrade’ to what we’re used to.

When God says He’s doing a new thing, it may mean radical change to what we’ve been accustomed to. In biblical times the people would have understood the illustration of the wineskins Jesus used. Wine was often stored in wineskins, made of tanned goat skins. If partially fermented wine was put into the skins, it would stretch the skins. New wineskins were therefore needed for new wine, to allow for the stretching process. If it was poured into old, already stretched skins, this would cause the skins to burst.

When God is doing a NEW thing, we need to be like a new wineskin, ready to stretch and grow according to God’s design of the new. If our mind-set is narrow and unyielding to His design, we will not be able to contain His best for our lives. So, get ready and be willing to S-T-R-E-T-C-H!

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You are a God who’s always moving and doing new things. Help me to never be unyielding to the changes and the new things You’re doing in my life, but to allow You to grow and stretch me for the ‘new wine’ You have in store for me. Amen.
Today's Writer : Christel Baxter
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Hebrews 1:3

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.01.2016 12:27

Today's Verse for 01/03/2016
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. — Hebrews 1:3

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Thought

We talk about Mother Nature, but did you know that Scripture identifies Jesus as the power behind the order of our universe? He sustains our world by his powerful word. Not only did he save us by the sacrifice of his life, but he also sustains us by his word. He sustains us spiritually by his word of teaching and sustains our world by his word of power and grace.
Prayer

Please be with me, Almighty God, as I commit to live for you based on Jesus' word. Help me as I seek to understand it and apply it. More than that, dear Father, please help me to come to know you through his words. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Be Courageous to Do What’s Right

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.01.2016 11:09

04 January, 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Be Courageous to Do What’s Right

"Jesus, knowing that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was now returning to God, got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a servant's towel, He fastened it around His waist."
John 13:3-4, NIV

Have you ever found yourself in a situation when things and circumstances around you were getting darker and more difficult for you to handle?

I know when people mistreat me, judge me, or say something that really hurts, all within me wants to defend and fight back. But then a quiet voice tells me to stick to the truth I know, and not to fight back, even if it may look like I’m being defeated.

As I was reading our text for today, I was deeply touched by the revelation Jesus had about Himself, at that time, on the earth. He knew God had put everything into His hands. He knew that He had power over all. He also knew that He came from God, and was returning to Him.

His identity was deeply rooted in God Himself. He didn’t need any confirmation and approval from others in what He did. He knew who He was, what was He doing and where was He going to. I believe this knowledge was essential for Jesus in His ministry on the earth.

As we read further in John, Chapter 13, we have the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. Peter questioned why Jesus, being the Lord, would want to do such a thing. But Jesus, knowing the real reason for washing the disciples’ feet, answered Peter’s questions and washed his feet. With human reasoning it looked as if Jesus was doing a very ‘humbling’ thing, something that wasn’t fitting with His status. But He knew it was His Father’s will, at that particular moment, for Him to do it.

I believe that doing what’s right, in spite of what others might think, and having a revelation of how to act in a godly way in difficult circumstances, starts from knowing who we are in Christ, and why we do what we do.

Not cursing back, or paying back evil with evil, doesn’t spring out of good intentions towards people, but from the teaching of the Lord to ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself’ (Mark 12:31), ‘overcome evil with good’ (Romans 12:21), and ‘love one another’ (John 13:34).

It's not just human encouragement we need to help us to do what’s right, we need a revelation from the Lord, teaching us His ways. Let’s ask the Lord to show us our true identity in Him, so we may act out of His truth and will, and not out of our ‘good’ intentions.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for calling me Your child and being my heavenly Father. I pray that You’ll reveal to me my true identity in You, so I can act in accordance with Your will, and be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Yulia Kimani
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

2 Peter 1:5-7

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.01.2016 20:04

Today's Verse for 01/05/2016
Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. — 2 Peter 1:5-7

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Thought

Sometimes we get so frightened by the thought of "works-won" salvation that we forget that love and grace ultimately call us to action, and not just reflection. Action means effort. That's exactly what Peter is calling us to make — "every effort." Peter explains why this effort is important in the next few verses. "If we possess these qualities in increasing measure," they help us be productive in our knowledge of Jesus! Let's be productive! As we make "every effort," we can be assured that the Holy Spirit is the power at work producing the fruit that makes effectiveness possible! (cf. Galatians 5:22-25)
Prayer

Mold me and make me, Father, more perfectly conformed to your will and more perfectly consistent with your character. I do not pray this for my glory, but so that you can more effectively use me to share your blessings and grace with those around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Peace For the New Year

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.01.2016 13:11

06 January, 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Peace For the New Year

"Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7, NLT

Invariably, around the last few weeks of December and into the early weeks of January each year, I find myself reflecting on what has been in the year gone by and then dreaming about the year ahead. It’s generally a time to be grateful for all the Lord has done. Oftentimes, when life goes along relatively happily, we can easily give our thanks to God without too much thought.

But when we have had a very difficult year it can feel quite different. Maybe we have lost someone close to us, relationships have broken down, financial ruin may have overcome us, our home has been lost in a disaster or we have faced major challenges with our health. It may have even been a year where we thought we were going to die and we’re amazed to be here at all.

I myself have had such a year. To thank God in the face of major challenges is not easy. But then I came across today’s scripture and realised how perfect Paul’s instruction is, especially for this time of year, and it spoke right to my spirit. No matter what kind of year you have had in the past, Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. What a great place to start a New Year. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. No more New Years’ resolutions for me! It’s so plain - we need to tell God what we need and thank Him for all He’s done. Then once we have followed these few steps Jesus promises us what most of us hunger for more than anything in the world. He promises that we will experience God’s peace! He also promises that His peace will guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus. What an awesome promise for a New Year!

So this year follow the instruction from the word of God and you will experience the peace of God like never before. Jesus will be with you in this year ahead and bless you in ways you can yet only dream.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, How I long to experience Your peace in this New Year. I thank You for all You have done in this past year, no matter how difficult it has been. Thank You that I am still here! Help me this year to not worry about anything, but pray about everything. Help me also to tell You honestly what I need and commit my year ahead to You. Thank You that I will experience Your peace. May Your peace guard my heart and mind as I live in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Today's Writer : Lynda Scott Lynda
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Titus 2:13.

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.01.2016 19:35

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Each time I have walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee, I’ve longed to see Jesus walking there. I would love to see Him walk on the water—planting His footsteps on the sea with the wind in His hair and His garments flowing. I think I’d be a better preacher had I seen Him dying in agony and blood, and to have experienced that Easter morning. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to see Him ascend into the glory!

I didn’t see Him any of those times, but I’m going to see Him. And you’re going to see Him! There’s a blessed hope awaiting us as God’s children. When He returns, He’s not coming as the carpenter, He’s coming as the conqueror!

ACTION POINT:
Thank God for this Good News right now. And ask Him to bring you someone today with whom you can share this particularly Good News of Christ’s return!
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Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

What Itching Ears Want to Hear

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.01.2016 10:59

08 January, 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
What Itching Ears Want to Hear

"For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. "
Jeremiah 29:11-13, NIV

What a wonderful promise we have in the first verse of today’s Scripture. Of course, it’s true, but this favourite verse, which has been called the most misused verse in the Bible, doesn’t stand alone. The people to whom it was written would have loved to take it out of context, because it has conditions that they badly failed to meet. They had been doing their own thing, wilfully disobeying God’s laws, going through the motions of worship which wasn’t in the heart; some were even involved in idol worship.

The Israelites were in exile in Babylon. Their itching ears picked up a message from a false prophet who said that exile was for two years. The reality Jeremiah brought to them was that exile would last for seventy years. Jeremiah’s message was written to people in incredible pain, facing grief and death in slavery. They were devastated; angry at the Babylonians and bitter at God for allowing it. They felt hopeless! Because they couldn’t look beyond the present circumstances they failed to see that exile was God’s plan to restore them to Himself.

Despite their rebellion He had them in mind where they were. He knew their fears, hopes and dreams. However, there were conditions for them to fulfil if they were going to see the plans God had for them become reality. This involved them calling to Him, praying to Him and seeking Him wholeheartedly. If they would turn to Him instead of away from Him, they would know freedom from captivity.

As we enter this New Year God also has a plan for each of us, even if we cannot begin to perceive this. Hopelessness never comes from Him. He is the author of Hope. In the middle of difficult situations we can be assured that God does have a plan. As we surrender to Him, trusting Him with everything, deep peace will flood our hearts.

Scripture, and life’s experiences, teaches that God’s plans are not to make us feel good and happy, nor are they all about us. Though this may be what our itching ears want to hear, His plans are always for His own glory, to fulfil His purposes and to lead us into deeper knowledge of who He really is.

The crunch point is how much will we obey Jesus? Obedience is always the law of spiritual growth and blessedness. The path of obedience is the path of freedom and inner peace, even when we’re walking a rough road. If we refuse to obey we shut ourselves out of His best, and life becomes a constant struggle. God is in control of all our circumstances. He asks us to trust Him, to call on Him, to pray to Him and to seek Him with all our heart. Searching for Him is very different to seeking a solution for our problems. It is seeking Him for who He is with His agenda, longing to be closer to Him and yearning to love Him more.

The promises of God are solid and secure in both good and difficult times; ‘I know the plans I have for you’. Do you just now feel that God is distant? Maybe you need to be reminded of the second promise, ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart’. He is working towards His expected end.

The Bible challenges us to keep God at the centre rather than the periphery of our lives. He will always keep His word. If we pray He will listen to us, if we seek Him with all our heart He will be found by us. Whatever your circumstances at the gateway to 2016, why not speak these words to your heart, and know you are safe with the One who plans every step of the way, with the details hidden in the secret place of His own heart.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful that You never change or turn. Thank You for giving Jesus to make a way to Your heart. Thank You for the plans You have for my life. Please refine my heart and put within me a deep love for Yourself, so I’m filled with an ongoing desire to seek You with all my heart. I pray that Your purposes for Your glory will be increasingly fulfilled through me. Amen.
Today's Writer : Margaret Silvester
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Suffering for What?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.01.2016 12:47

09 January, 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Suffering for What?

"If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs."
1 Peter 4:15, NLT

Most of us would agree that if we’ve done some big sin, like murder, it’s right that we should suffer. But how many of us think we should suffer for prying into other people’s affairs? The New International Version of the Bible calls that being a meddler, and the King James Version calls it being a busybody. How often do we call it trying to help someone? We justify ourselves by trying to believe that our motives are pure, but we’re only deceiving ourselves. Many times this type of behaviour leads to hurting others.

Sometimes we’re absolutely shocked and horrified by what’s happening in someone else’s life. Then we start to talk about it. “Did you hear about…? Isn’t it terrible?” What are we really doing in these cases? Many times I think we’re judging the person. We compare ourselves, and we’re so thankful that we’re not in their place!

James 4:11 says, ‘If you criticise and judge each other, then you are criticising and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you’.

So what does God want from us?

Scripture tells us we should be busy about our own business, and we’re to build one another up. We have a choice of how to respond to people. We can choose to build each other up and encourage the good in each other. Let’s look today for ways to build up those around us, rather than trying to pry into their affairs. Let’s ask God for wisdom in our relationships with others we’ll meet today.

And then we continue reading 1 Peter, which goes on to say, ‘But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!’ (1 Peter 4:16).

Recently I read a blog that really struck me. In it, the author said, ‘Instead of praying, “God, make it better,” I need to pray, “God, make it count”.’ She was being challenged to ask God to make the suffering count for something, rather than just praying for healing and rescue from situations. My husband and I have been meditating a lot on Romans 5:3-4 in the past several months, and that scripture ties in here too; ‘We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope’.

Reading them again in the New Living Translation of the Bible helps me to really apply it to my life: ‘We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation’. I want to make sure, if I am suffering, that I am suffering for God and that it is producing good fruit in my life!

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times when I’ve been a busybody and meddled in other people’s affairs. Forgive me for judging others. Help me to show Your love and compassion to all around me. Give me strength to endure suffering for You and let the trials I go through produce good things in my life for Your glory! Amen.
Today's Writer : Tanya Person
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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