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Devotional 2016

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Ephesians 4:30-31

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 30.04.2016 11:48

Today's Verse for 04/30/2016
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. — Ephesians 4:30-31

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Thought

Don't make God's Spirit grieve! But how do we do we cause the Spirit of God to grieve? By harboring bitterness, unleashing anger-driven rage, fighting with others and slandering their name while plotting to harm them. Not only are these behaviors in direct opposition to the will and character of God, they are are also the exact opposite of the qualities the Spirit is seeking to produce in our lives — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control faithfulness (Galatians 5:22-23). No wonder such evil behaviors grieve the Holy Spirit.
Prayer

Almighty Father, please conform me to be more like Jesus by the power of your Holy Spirit as I commit to display Jesus' character and compassion in my life. 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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Viestit: 3288
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Divine Jewels

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.05.2016 10:40

Sunday 1st May 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Divine Jewels

"Words aptly spoken are like apples of gold in settings of silver."
Proverbs 25:11, NIV

This verse came jumping into my mind recently as I walked on a beach in Scotland on a sunny, but chilly, Sunday afternoon. The British Isles have beaches of all kinds. Some are covered feet deep with sea-rounded flint pebbles, some with graded stones of many different colours and sizes, and some with sand rippled by the sea, or built up into huge dunes. But this beach seemed a most unusual mix to me. It was a perfectly flat wide expanse of yellow sand. Yet, scattered around like chocolate chips in a biscuit, were individual separate stones, as if each one was set apart to show off its individual beauty.

That’s what reminded me of this verse. These were beautiful stones, which seemed to have been placed by a divine hand in settings of golden sand. To add to this thought a knowledgeable friend explained to me that many of the stones were agate, which might, if polished, prove to be beautiful enough to set into a jewellery setting.

Every day we probably speak thousands, or maybe millions, of words. I can’t help wondering how many of them would qualify to be considered aptly spoken and beautiful enough to be considered jewels. Sometimes we may speak apt words after much careful consideration, and even forward planning, to get the words just right. Or maybe we speak them out almost by accident, without consciously recognising their appropriateness in a specific situation. Only God can give us truly apt words for any situation, after we ask Him to be the Lord of our tongue and our speaking.

An apt word may bring gentle comfort or much-needed encouragement. It might bring challenge or even warning of danger ahead. Jesus always spoke apt words. Words to bring hope and healing, or to teach truth to those hungry for understanding. Jesus always had just the right word at the right time. What is certain is that the right word spoken at the right time can be life changing, so it’s a very precious thing.

I couldn’t help collecting a few of these agate stones and bringing them home (maybe one day they will get polished in a stone tumbling machine), and now they are on my dressing table, where they will remind me of a beautiful sunny afternoon beach walk, but also of this very challenging verse in Proverbs.

Prayer: Father, today I ask You to be truly the Lord of my tongue and my speaking. In the multitude of words which I will probably speak today please give me specially chosen apt words for the situations in which I find myself; words that will be precious and beautiful and bring Your life to those who need a unique personal touch from You today. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Denise Cross
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Hidden, But Not From God

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.05.2016 09:32

Monday 2nd May 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Hidden, But Not From God

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."
Hebrews 4:13, NIV

About two months ago as I was walking the land of Ellel Ministries USA and praying, I heard the words “uncover the land.” The Lord confirmed this word through other team members and intercessors and we set about doing so. Our first step in uncovering the land was to do a ‘controlled burn’, where we burnt the tall grasses and weeds that had now covered much of the open space. To our surprise, when the tall grasses were gone, and we began to rake up debris, we could see in certain areas around our pond various kinds of trash and garbage just under the surface – piles of plastic used on strawberry fields, when the land was still farmed over ten years ago, numerous beer bottles, and the rusting inner springs of old mattresses. In total, we carried away three commercial construction dumpsters full of trash. But that wasn’t all. We also found buried in the forest and weeds, just out of site, over thirty-five tyres. Some of these tyres were old tractor tyres – 6 feet tall and 3 or 4 feet wide.

As we’ve laboured to accomplish the clean up of all this uncovered trash, the Lord has reminded me again and again that what we are doing in the physical with the land is exactly what the Lord does with our body, soul and spirit in the invisible. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. We can dress ourselves up with proper jobs, clothes, social lives, and possessions. To the naked eye, we have it together. Many times, we even have ourselves fooled. The things we carry just below the surface have been around so long they seem like part of us. Like the tyres we uncovered on the land, some of which we discovered have been here for up to forty years, we begin to believe some of the ‘garbage’ that has been with us for so long is actually part of us. Like the hills of rubbish that we thought were actually part of the identity of the land, God sees those inner wounds, distorted beliefs, and past sins we carry as an overlay on our true identity and He wants to remove it.

God sees it, but do we? This is one of the greatest challenges in our Christian walk … to truly see things the way the Lord does – especially when it involves us personally. He wants to ‘uncover’ that hidden stuff – not so He can embarrass us or make us wallow in it – but so He can remove it. ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5). He wants to heal us. He’s already done the work. The question is: Do we even know we need healing, or are we believing those things are just ‘normal’. Let’s ask Jesus to show us the truth!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please show us those things we have covered and dressed up that don’t belong in our lives. Show us those things we’ve accepted as our identity, which are actually an overlay and distortion of who You made us to be. We want to know the truth. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Matt Moore
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Selective Hearing

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.05.2016 09:19

Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Selective Hearing

“If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.”
Proverbs 28:9, NIV

Just as we can turn a ‘blind eye’ to things we don’t want to see, we are all capable of selective hearing - of only listening to those things that we want to listen to! Most of the time this is a harmless and sensible way of coping with the myriad sounds that try to invade our personal space and get our attention. But on occasions, we can use this capacity to close our ears and act as if we are deaf in a way that is potentially lethal.

If, for example, you were driving along the motorway and were starting to pull out into the fast lane, and you suddenly heard a loud car horn blasting you from the rear, you would be extremely unwise to ignore it! The sound of the horn was a warning that you were pulling out in front of another faster-moving vehicle and unless you swung back into your own lane there would be a terrible accident. It would not be sensible to turn a deaf ear to the sound of the horn, carry on with your intention to pull out into the fast lane and at the same time pray that the Lord will keep you safe!

The Word of God and the law of God are sometimes like the blast of a horn, warning us of the dangers of what we are thinking of doing. If we turn a deaf ear to what God is saying and carry on regardless, but still praying for God’s protection and blessing on our lives, it would be as stupid and dangerous as the car driver who ignored the warning blast of a horn from another driver.

Our Scripture for today tells us that when we deliberately turn a deaf ear to the things that God has spoken in His law and carry on regardless, but still praying for God’s blessing on what we are doing, then our prayers become detestable to Him. Why should that be? Well, consider for a moment that you are choosing to give in to a temptation to do something sinful, but at the same time you are daily praying for God to bless all the things you are doing, how can it be anything else but detestable to be asking God to bless those things that Jesus died to save us from?

Our daily prayer should be:
Lord, open my eyes and open my ears to see what you’re doing and to hear your voice. When you speak, Lord, I choose to listen. I want to walk in obedience to you. I choose to love, serve and obey You with a glad heart today and every day. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Psalm 5:3

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.05.2016 20:49

Today's Verse for 05/03/2016
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. — Psalm 5:3

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Thought

Prayer is more than asking. Prayer is more than praising. Prayer is more than thanking. Prayer is more than requesting or interceding or kneeling or humbling ourselves. Prayer is expecting that God wants us there, expecting that God hears us, and expecting that God will meet us in our prayer time and do what is best for us and those we love.
Prayer

Loving Father and Eternal God, thank you for meeting me in this prayer time. I know that you hear me and care about what I share with you. Thank you for paying attention to someone like me and accepting me as your precious child. Thank you, 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

Lord, Don’t You Care?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.05.2016 10:27

Thursday 5th May 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Lord, Don’t You Care?

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed."
Luke 10:41-42, NIV

Have you ever encountered a situation in life where you felt overwhelmed or afraid and it seemed to you as if Jesus didn’t come through for you in the way you expected He should? Have you ever found yourself wondering if Jesus even cared? You are not alone. I recently discovered two situations in the New Testament where Jesus was asked “don’t You care?” by people who loved Him and knew Him well.

The first incident took place in the home of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42). Jesus visited the village where they lived, and we read that Martha welcomed Him into her home. I am quite sure that Jesus had a group of His disciples with Him, so Martha would need to work hard to feed these hungry men. Fortunately her sister, Mary, was there to lend a hand … or was she? Instead of falling in alongside Martha, Mary made herself comfortable at the feet of Jesus, and chose to sit and listen to Him teach. Now let’s be honest, if you had a big group of people over for a meal, and there was a lot to do, you would appreciate a little help, wouldn’t you? This was precisely how Martha felt. ‘But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving’.

It seems to me that Martha was not doing so well, even outside of this incident. Jesus called her anxious and troubled about MANY things (verse 42). She was overly occupied and TOO busy. And because of this, her judgement was clouded, and she felt overwhelmed and distracted by something she was accustomed to do with ease – serving a meal. This affected her attitude and even caused her to accuse Jesus: “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?” (verse 40).

We read about another such occasion in Mark 4 when Jesus was teaching next to a lake. At the end of the day, Jesus told His disciples that they should go to the other side of the lake, and the disciples set out with Jesus still in the boat. Jesus, exhausted from a day of ministry, fell asleep. We read, ‘And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled’ (verse 37). This was a storm that overwhelmed both the disciples and their boat. Instead of waking up and coming to the rescue, Jesus remained asleep and was seemingly oblivious of their dilemma. ‘And they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Jesus woke up, rebuked and calmed the storm, and also expressed His disappointment at His disciples’ lack of faith.

When we are tired, facing uncommon pressures and find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and up against yet another challenging situation, we need to take a step back, and regain perspective. Martha reacted out of a place of worry and busyness. The disciples reacted out of a place of fear and unbelief. In both cases it distorted the truth they knew about who Jesus was. Watch your words when you are feeling overwhelmed, tired and anxious. Choose faith over fear, His presence over your programme. Do not allow temporary circumstances to dictate what you choose to believe concerning the One Who is ‘gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love’ (Psalm 145:8), the One who ‘cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully’(1 Peter 5:7). Follow Mary’s example. Choose to sit at His feet. Jesus said ‘few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better’ (Luke 10:42).

Prayer: Lord, so many times I am too busy and distracted and even overwhelmed by the demands of my everyday life. Forgive me for questioning Your Presence and Your goodness in times like these. Help me to choose the better part as Mary did, and to regain perspective at Your feet, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today's Writer : Christel Baxter
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

A Son of Bathsheba

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.05.2016 11:32

Friday 6th May 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
A Son of Bathsheba

She said to him, “My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.’
1 Kings 1:17, ESV

Have you ever felt you’ve failed God completely? We know about King David’s heart, after he committed adultery with Bathsheba; we have Psalm 51 to tell us. But I sometimes wonder what Bathsheba must have felt. Had she wanted to commit adultery with David? Or was she simply a pawn, terrified to say no to a powerful king? Either way, she must have felt a deep sense of shame for the betrayal towards her husband, Uriah. And after the betrayal, Uriah’s death! Not just his death, his murder! Surely, Bathsheba must have suspected what David had done. And it wasn’t just David who suffered the consequences of their sin. Bathsheba also lost her baby son.

She must have been overwhelmed with grief and guilt. But I believe that Bathsheba found full restoration in her heart through God’s forgiveness, as evidenced by the way she appears in Scripture after this event. God chose her son to be king after David. And when the time came to fight for her son’s throne, we don’t find Bathsheba sitting in the shadows, still burdened by the label of ‘adulteress’. No, we find her filled with confidence, approaching the king and reminding him of his promise to her son.

In fact, in 1 Chronicles 3:5, we learn that Bathsheba went on to have four sons with David. Bathsheba seems to have become one of the most influential women in the palace! And God affirms Bathsheba’s restoration even more through her descendants. When we look for the genealogy of Jesus Christ, we find two different family trees. Most people believe that one genealogy is the family of Joseph, Jesus’ adoptive father and one is the family of Mary, His mother. And Bathsheba appears in both families! So whether Jesus was descended from Solomon’s line or from the line of Nathan, God chose Bathsheba as a grandmother to His Son.

Perhaps you’re feeling shame over something in your life. Maybe you were a weak person who didn’t stand your ground and say no to sin. Or maybe you were bold in your sin, like Bathsheba might have been. Either way, God’s restoration is waiting for you. His plan for your life, and the lives of your children’s children, is much bigger than you know.

Prayer: Lord God, my heart is broken over my sin. I receive Your forgiveness and ask now for Your cleansing to renew my heart and mind. I believe You’re a restoring God. I give my shame and guilt to You and I choose to follow the path You’ve planned for my life. Use me for Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Today's Writer : Catherine Bariho
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Lamb Protector

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.05.2016 11:38

Saturday 7th May 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Lamb Protector

"He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and buckler."
Psalm 91: 4, AMP

During the floods in the early part of the year many farmers lost livestock, and huge damage was done to roads, bridges, houses, and land, some of which is still boggy or covered with stones washed down the hillsides. In Scotland, near where my sister lives, a sheep was found stuck in a tree. It was still alive, and when they managed to rescue it they discovered that its fleece was filled with mice, which had crawled in there for protection. Not very nice for the sheep perhaps, but a safe and warm refuge for the mice.

Where do we run to for protection in times of trouble? So often the tendency is for us to try to cope on our own. Perhaps it’s an issue of pride, not wanting to show weakness before friends or family, or maybe we’ve been taught to be self-reliant. Isn’t that a part of our upbringing, learning to manage things on our own, rather than depend on those around us all the time?

We have a Lamb who provides far greater protection than the sheep, one who’s always ready to ‘cover us with His wings’. As I write this, I have a blackbird nesting in the clematis just outside my front door. She eyes me warily every time I go in and out, so I just bid her a quiet “good morning” or “good evening”, and she nestles down on her eggs. Soon the babies will hatch and she won’t be able to sit so low, but she’ll still make sure that she covers her fledglings with her wings to keep them warm and safe. It’s Psalm 91 in action, and a wonderful demonstration of how our loving Father cares for His children, as we put our trust in Him. There are many places in the Scriptures where the Lord tells His people that He’ll be their protector, their shield and their fortress. He doesn’t say that He’ll keep us from difficult and dangerous events, but that He’ll help us through them.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You that You’re completely trustworthy and that I can rely totally on You. Thank You that You keep me safe, and cover me at all times, even when I feel alone. You’re an amazing God and I’m sorry that I sometimes forget that, and look to other means to protect myself. Please give me that gentle nudge to remind me of Your wonderful presence. Thank You, Father. Amen.
Today's Writer : Angela Weir
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Exodus 20:12

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.05.2016 20:22

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
One time I had the privilege of speaking with the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, about his salvation and personal relationship with Christ and prayed with him about that. He looked me in the eyes and said, “I want to tell you, my mother was the most godly person I have ever known.” He then went on to tell me about her influence in his life.

Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother.” This time every year we celebrate our mothers. Oh, the power of a mother’s love!

Do you know what children need? A – B – C:
Acceptance
Belonging
Confidence

ACTION POINT:
Thank God for magnificent mothers! Thank God for the impact of godly mothers in the lives of children.
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Adrian Rogers
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Live as Children of Light

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.05.2016 09:33

Monday 9th May 2016
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Live as Children of Light

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."
Ephesians 5:8-11, NIV

Having given us a verbal quote, a local garage did the necessary work on our car. When we came to pay the bill, we were told that the quote was for cash, and if we paid by cheque it would be 20% more. To save 20% on a bill can seem quite attractive, but to cheat the government by not paying VAT is, of course a deed of darkness, which we must have nothing to do with.

Living in darkness comes so naturally to many people that they think it’s how we’re meant to live. For the believer, living in the dark is tolerating things in our lives which keep us from intimacy with God. Paul challenges believers that their lifestyle should be so dramatically different that it confronts the darkness in the world. The Bible often speaks of lifestyle as a walk, related to progress, growth and maturity. It’s a walk of uncompromising faith and trust in Jesus, sensitive to the Holy Spirit, whose work is to guide us into truth.

Our text for today doesn’t say that you were once in darkness but now you’re in light; it says, ‘You were darkness but now you are light’. In the light we see what isn’t pleasing to God. In the light we confess that secret things hidden in darkness can’t be tolerated in the life of a true believer in Jesus.

Being light or being darkness is an identity issue from which we produce good or bad fruit. Light produces three things. The first one mentioned is goodness – not a passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, and the blessing of others. This isn’t our own goodness, but the fruit of the Spirit. This is strongly in opposition to the fruit of darkness, which grows out of self-centredness and pride. The second fruit is righteousness – simplified this means right relationship with God and with others. We have no righteousness of our own, but we’re made righteous in Christ. To be light implies we’re completely forgiven by God, and we, in turn, have completely forgiven those who’ve sinned against us. The third fruit is truth. Truth means being transparent and open, so we have nothing to hide or fear. Being truth involves always speaking the truth, and is the very opposite to deception – the fruit of darkness.

So, as a believer in Jesus, your true identity is light. There’s been a radical transformation from darkness to light in the Lord, and we’re told to have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but to expose them. We can have things in our lives that we’re afraid, or unwilling, to expose. But exposure of hidden things takes us from a sense of gloom into the full light of a child of God. It’s light which makes hidden things visible, and shows us sin for what it is. It leads us to the arms of a compassionate Saviour.

Because children of God are light they must live conformed to their new identity – as a light of the world, shining to those still in darkness, and daily learning what pleases the Lord.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Jesus who’s the light of life and the light of the world. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who illuminates Your word so that its light is shed abroad in my heart, revealing the true and the false. Thank You that You rescued me from darkness and have chosen me to be light. Please give me grace to live in that identity so I will be light in a world that doesn’t know You, but desperately needs You. I pray that today my life will honour Jesus. Amen.

Today's Writer : Margaret Silvester
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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