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Devotional 2016

Valvoja: Annukka

He Calms the Storm

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.02.2016 11:54

25 February, 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
He Calms the Storm

"Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm."
Matthew 8:23-26, NIV

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve feared for my life upon the ocean over the years. I went through storms that tossed my boat like a cork on the waves. In those moments sleep was far from my mind, as I, like the disciples, was gripped with fear.

I remember one time in particular, while navigating through some rough water, when a large wave nearly knocked me over the side. If it weren’t for the grace of God, I would have perished that day.

So you can imagine that when I read this passage of Jesus sleeping in the midst of the storm, I’m amazed! Then, when He rebukes the seasoned fisherman for having such little faith, and turns and speaks to the waves, and they obey Him, I’m in awe, as the disciples were.

Do we understand the significance of the fact that we have Jesus in the boat with us as we go through the storms of life? When the storms of life hit, I think most of us react to the circumstances by reverting to the behaviour cycles which we’re familiar with. What is it that we cling to when we’re tossed about in the storm?

In the storms of my life, I want to remember that Jesus is in the boat with me, and He’s undaunted by the severity of the storm. I want to allow the truth of His words to fill me with peace - words like ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’.

Prayer: Jesus, help me to remember that You’re with me through all the storms of life. Forgive me for the times when I’ve reverted to my old patterns of fear. Calm my storm and give me Your peace. Amen.

Today's Writer : Jim Person Jim Person Jim grew up in Alaska and from a small child commercial fished every summer with his family. God called him, his wife Tanya, and their four children to move to Hungary as missionaries in 2003. God then led him to join Ellel Ministries in 2005. Jim is now the Director of Ellel Ministries Central & Eastern Europe Development Centre, where he shepherds and disciples the teams and students under his care. Related Links Click Here to read Peter Horrobin`s blog

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Psalm 23:6

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 29.02.2016 21:14

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm23:6

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Goodness and mercy will pursue you all the days of your life. That’s what the word “follow” literally means in Psalm 23:6—to pursue. Jesus pursued you with His call of salvation, and He will continue to pursue you. His goodness and mercy are like two sheep dogs that follow the flock to assure that there is safe journey to the Shepherd’s final destination. How many times have you questioned God’s provision in your life and wondered if He really cared for you? Well, there's no question here. It says surely, not hopefully. Yes, you and I will stumble, but He will pick us up.

ACTION POINT:
How would you live differently today if you knew that grace and mercy were going to follow your every step? How would you treat others?
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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

Fruitfulness in the Land of Suffering

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.03.2016 11:04

Monday 14th March 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Fruitfulness in the Land of Suffering

"Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, ‘It is because God has made me forget all my trouble … The second he named Ephraim and said, It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."
Genesis 41:51-52, NIV

Last week I spoke to a group of women on the subject of God’s restoration. Sitting back in amazement, I watched the Holy Spirit touch hearts. Tears flowed, tissues were passed around and we all had a fresh revelation of how God exchanges beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of despair (Isaiah 61). It was a very special time.

Today I read another example of God’s restoration in the Bible, and that was in the life of Joseph. He began life as the favoured son of Jacob, who gave him a ‘richly ornamented robe’ (Genesis 37:23) and by doing so, aroused the jealousy of his other sons. At first they plotted to kill him, but settled for selling him into slavery instead.

Joseph was then taken to Egypt, far from his father, his home and everything he held dear. It was a devastating scenario, yet we read that God continued to be with Joseph and gave him favour. In Potiphar’s house he was quickly elevated to a position of responsibility and trust.

It wasn’t long though before Joseph was unjustly accused of attempted rape and found himself an inmate in Pharaoh’s prison. This must have shocked Joseph, but he stood firm in his faith in God and continued to serve Him steadfastly. Several years later, when it seemed that he would spend the rest of his life as a prisoner, Joseph finds himself standing before Pharaoh, The King of Egypt, interpreting his dreams and being exalted to a place of authority and power in his kingdom.

Hollywood loves story lines like this, where the good guy eventually wins and what was wronged, is suddenly righted. Joseph was transported from prison to palace in the blink of an eye. His life story was like a roller coaster ride – full of ups and downs and unexpected sharp corners. He went from exalted son in Canaan, to slave in Egypt, from exalted slave in Potiphar’s house, to prison, and now he was standing before Pharaoh and being commissioned as second in charge of all of Egypt. God not only restored to him what he lost, but added to it. To restore means to return something to a former owner, place or condition, but when God restores He also multiplies.

The story could have ended here but it didn’t. Pharaoh also gave Joseph a wife, who bore him two sons. ‘Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, ‘It is because God has made me forget all my troubles’… and ‘the second he named Ephraim and said, ‘It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering’ (Genesis 41:51-52). The word ‘trouble’ can be defined as meaning ‘misery, distress, weariness and drudgerous labour’ (NIV Hebrew-Greek Word Study Bible). It’s a word with strong negative connotations, and defined Joseph’s previous life story very accurately. Putting this aside though, what encourages me was when God restored Joseph. He caused him to forget his past and rejoice in the fruitfulness he was now enjoying. Every time Joseph addressed one of his sons, he would be reminded of God’s restoration and redemption. What was intended to harm him, God intended for good and was going to use to ensure that the bloodline of the patriarchs continued. From the seed of Joseph and of his brothers, the nation of Israel was birthed. God not only restored Joseph’s losses but brought blessing to others as well.

I wonder if you identify with the troubles and sufferings of Joseph. Perhaps you haven’t experienced physical slavery, but we were all once captives to Satan and have suffered various losses, including failure, relationship breakdown, financial loss, physical injury or illness, bereavement or emotional pain. No one walks through this life and remains unscathed. No one!

I have some good news for you today. Actually, I have some wonderful news for you if you have the courage to embrace it. Our God is the God of restoration and He’s more than able to restore your life, no matter how severe the damage or losses you have suffered. Now that’s worth celebrating! The God of Joseph is also our God too and there’s no shadow of turning with Him. He’s the same today, tomorrow and forever. Praise be His Holy Name.

Prayer: God, I believe that You’re the God who restores. You know me inside out and know where I’m in need of Your restoration. Would You please begin a work in me today, I pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Sue Dare
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Train Arriving at Platform . . . .

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.03.2016 11:42

Thursday 17th March 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Train Arriving at Platform . . . .

“For man sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others. Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their names. Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.”
Psalm 49:10-12

“Now that’s a strange Scripture to use for a seed of the Kingdom!”, I can hear some of you saying. And I agree! But as I was reading through the Psalms in the new English Standard Version, I was struck by the acute simplicity of the message of these verses – it doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, wise or stupid, we are all no different from the beasts of the field, in that there is a limit on our physical life-span.

There is nothing more certain than the fact that a day will come when our earthly lives come to an end. You may even have something important named after you – many buildings, states, provinces and even countries have borne the name of famous individuals – but not even that can make anyone live a day longer than God intends - it does absolutely nothing for anyone’s longevity!

Our news headlines are often punctuated by the news that someone significant has died. I regularly read the obituaries in the Daily Telegraph – very occasionally it’s of someone I once met or knew. The news of someone passing away like this is an almost daily reminder of the truth of our Scripture. It doesn’t matter who you are – one day you will be a headline and then the rest of the world will move on without you. My brother described death as like waiting on the railway platform for your train to come down the line, then stop, pick you up and take you on to your next destination.

The wonder of the Gospel is that, even though physical death is a certainty, believers have nothing to fear. Those who are in Christ have already tasted eternal life and they know where their destination is going to be. They are already in Christ and with Christ and because, as Jesus said, He has gone before to prepare a place for us, we can face the reality of our verse for today without any fear or anxiety. We live in a world where wealth, reputation, and what men think of us has become the pre-occupation of prosperous humanity. We will all leave our earthly possessions behind, but the riches that are the possession of the believer are ours for time and eternity.

As we approach the Easter Season, let us give ourselves to making it a time of great thanksgiving that Jesus is alive for evermore and preparing a place for you and for me. (John 14:1-6).

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to live every day as if it was going to be my last, fulfilling all the purposes You have for me on earth and trusting You who are my security and my life. Thank you for the eternal riches you have prepared for all Your children. In the Name of our wonderful Saviour, Jesus. Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Blessings by the Way

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.03.2016 10:48

Friday 18th March 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Blessings by the Way

"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."
Psalm 32:7, NIV

Sometimes we may be unaware that the Lord sends special blessings to us by the way. We may be going through difficult times, trying to cope, and suddenly find ourselves gazing into the gentle heart of God, in some strange circumstance.

We realise then that Jesus was all-knowing, and He was watching over us all the time. That’s when we’re experiencing one of His special ‘blessings on the way!

Like a loving parent who loves to surprise His children, He knows what we would love to receive, and the right timing for it.

So be grateful for the little things that others do for us, as from Him. Watch out for these ‘special blessings by the way’, so that you don’t miss what’s coming from the Lord.
When the Lord showed me this it meant so much to me.

Prayer: You are my hiding place, You always come to me with songs of deliverance. Whenever I am afraid – I will trust in You. Let the weak say I am strong. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Pam Smith
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Acts 3:19-20

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.03.2016 12:01

Today's Verse for 03/19/2016
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you — even Jesus. — Acts 3:19-20

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Thought

When was the last time that you caught yourself straying from a passionate walk with the Lord? Refreshing times come when we change our hearts and lives to live for God and with God in our everyday lives! In fact, Jesus has told us that he will reveal himself to us as we live obediently for him (see John 14:15-21). His home will be in us until he returns for us and we get to enjoy the ultimate refreshment — going home to be with him forever.
Prayer

Abba Father, I am consciously turning my life over to you today. I ask for your forgiveness for any sin that I have committed. Please refresh me through a deeper awareness of Jesus' lordship and presence in my life today. 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

Ephesians 3:20-21

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.03.2016 12:26

Today's Verse for 03/20/2016
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. — Ephesians 3:20-21

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Thought

We have far greater power than we often realize. That incredible power is at work within us (see Ephesians 1:18-19). This promise of power, however, is tied to two opportunities God gives us daily. First, it is based on actively asking for God to do great things based upon a holy charged imagination. Second, it is based on our living to bring God glory. So let's ask, imagine, and give God glory; then let's praise him for doing far greater things than what we ask or even imagine!
Prayer

Dear Father in heaven, forgive me for my pedestrian dreams, my selfish prayers, and my short-sighted goals. Awaken my heart to your will and open my eyes to your plans by the power of your Holy Spirit. As you do this, dear Father, please do it to your glory and praise. In Jesus' name I ask this. 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

Romans 3:21-22

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.03.2016 11:58

Today's Verse for 03/21/2016
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. — Romans 3:21-22

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Thought

The Old Testament looks forward to a new time, a time when law is not the basis of righteousness. The Law and Prophets testify to this time. This righteousness comes from God and is built on the sacrificial work of Jesus who liberates us from law and brings us God's grace. The real issue for us is trust — many today confuse believing with simply thinking something in one's head, while the Bible sees belief as something that involves our heart and changes our behavior. So what is the basis on which you are building your life today? What is the measure of your righteousness? On what is your security tied? Thank God we can trust our life, our future, and our salvation to Jesus Christ and not to law-keeping.
Prayer

Precious Father, thank you so much for providing me with a Savior in Jesus. Thank you for declaring me righteous through the sacrifice of your Son. Please help me as I entrust my life and salvation to Jesus so that his life and character can be exemplified in the way that I live. In Jesus' holy 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

What’s in a Name?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.03.2016 10:27

Tuesday 22nd March 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
What’s in a Name?

"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes his name in vain."
Exodus 20:7, NIV

The third commandment in Exodus 20:7 is – no using the name of God in curses or silly banter. God won’t put up with the irreverent use of His name. The words ‘in vain’ simply mean emptily, uselessly, or with a worthless purpose.

I’ve noticed a huge blasphemy going on today, all around us. I was listening to a music radio quiz where the girl taking part had won a trip to Australia as a prize, and all she could say was “Oh my God! Oh my God!” On television dramas and soaps blasphemy such as this and using the expletive “Jesus Christ!” is now an acceptable norm.

Do you ever wonder why other gods’ names are not used in a blasphemous way? The reason is that Father God has given Jesus a name which is above every other name, but the powers of darkness hate His name. There’s a clear spirit operating behind blasphemy.

Ancient scribes so feared misusing God’s name that when they came to write the Hebrew name of God ‘Yahweh’, they would first take a bath and use a new pen before writing the word, and even then they left out all the vowels.

God doesn’t forbid us to use His name, but He does forbid its misuse. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, it was ‘Holy be your name’ when addressing Father God. God won’t allow His name to be misused, even though so many seem to be getting away with it for now.

When we receive Christ we take on His great and holy name, because we belong to His family. One of the most chilling verses in this regard is Romans 2:24 ‘God’s name is blasphemed amongst the gentiles because of you’. May that never be said of us. We need to watch our lips and our lives so we don’t take God’s name in vain.

Profanity can be understood as ‘taking lightly that which ought to be taken seriously’ or ‘to treat something sacred with disrespect’. Blasphemy is an act of insulting and showing contempt for God. Isaiah 52:5 is so true today, ‘And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.’ I was surprised to learn that the city of Salford, near Manchester in the UK, has recently attempted to ban cursing and blasphemy in the street. What an amazing step forward for a British city!

Bad language, cursing and blasphemy show how far away someone is from God. They also prove the existence of God, otherwise the enemy would not require the misusing of the holy name so much. It was found that, after the Welsh revival in 1904, when foul-mouthed miners had a powerful encounter with Christ, they had to re-train their pit ponies. The ponies could no longer understand their verbal commands, which were now without the use of swear words!

This 3rd commandment challenges every one of us. Jesus said ‘For out of the heart comes evil thoughts - murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander’ (Matthew 15:19). Someone put it like this – “What is down the well comes out in the bucket”.

So let’s think today, before we speak. Remember the old hymn – ‘How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in the believer’s ear – it soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds and drives away his fear’. Let’s make a decision today that, with God’s strength and grace, we’ll keep ourselves from misusing God’s holy name. We can’t effectively pray ‘in the name of Jesus’, unless we live in the name of Jesus.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we confess the times when we’ve been guilty of misusing Your name. We ask today for Your forgiveness. Please help us to respect and honour Your holy name. Lord, teach us how important this commandment is for those who love You and bear Your name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Jill Southern-Jones
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Luke 3:22

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.03.2016 21:51

Today's Verse for 03/22/2016
... the Holy Spirit descended on him [Jesus] in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." — Luke 3:22

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Thought

God spoke these wonderful words to his Son when Jesus was baptized. God feels the same about us when we follow our Savior's example and are baptized, too! Jesus pours out his Spirit on us (Titus 3:4-7) guaranteeing that we are God's children (cf. Ephesians 1:13-14). No matter what Satan may do to make us doubt it (cf. Luke 4:3), we can confidently know that we are God's beloved children, with whom he is well pleased! Because of the Spirit, we can call God our Abba Father (Galatians 4:6) knowing that the Spirit intercedes for us making even our inexpressible thoughts known to our Father (Romans 8:26-27).
Prayer

Abba Father, I thank you for making me your child and making me an heir of your gracious inheritance. Please give me confidence to withstand the lies of Satan who tries to make me doubt my relationship with you. Thank you for your Spirit who helps even now by interceding for me as I pray. In Jesus' name. 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

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