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Devotional

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Defining Your Personal Value

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.02.2014 19:22

Defining Your Personal Value

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Do you try to be the best or do you simply try to do your best? The perfectionist has to be the best. He has to be #1. He can’t accept himself.

The grace of God exalts a man without inflating him, and it humbles a man without debasing him. The person who strives for excellence says, “I am what I am by the grace of God.”

Do you value yourself by what you do or by what you are? You have a choice. You can either choose to see yourself as God sees you, or you can choose to see yourself as the world sees you. Whose opinion will you listen to today?

ACTION POINT:
Is there someone in your life whose opinion matters deeply to you? Instead of defining who you are by their opinions, measure yourself by God’s standard in His Word.

View or Share online | Discover Jesus | LWF.org | Today's Message

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AR_headshot.jpgDevotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Muddy Puddles

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.02.2014 11:40

06 February, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Muddy Puddles

"When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself... I will go home to my father... And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him."
Luke 15:17-20 (abridged) NLT

On a recent walk with my daughter, Zoe had a lovely time jumping in puddles along a muddy track. Initially the puddles were small and shallow, and as the walk progressed, the fun increased; not least because the puddles seemed to get wider, longer and deeper! My warnings went on unheeded and, wonderfully ignorant of the vast amount of water that she was splashing into her wellies, Zoe kept up her enthusiastic jumping and kicking for a long time. The squeals of laughter were loud and clear and her face beamed with her new-found game.

But then it all changed. Burdened by heavy, water-filled wellies and the cold starting to set in, Zoe began to trip, stagger and fall into the muddiest patches that there were around. The fun gone, Zoe simply turned to me, arms outstretched and, with a very glum look on her face said, “Up.”

Of course, as her Mum, I picked her up without thinking, longing to comfort her and warm her up. As she snuggled into my neck, I felt the muddy water seeping through my jeans and I knew she would not be the only one needing a change of clothes when we got home.

As I put Zoe in the car and wrapped her up in my warm coat, I thought about this famous story of the prodigal son. A young man who left his father’s house thinking that life had more for him than his father would allow. His good upbringing must have pricked his conscience many times as he fell into his spiral of wrong behaviour. But, just as Zoe didn’t notice her increasingly wet legs or muddy splashes on her coat, this son just went further and further along the road of enjoyment, with little or no care as to the consequences.

Just as Zoe reached the point where the consequences couldn’t be ignored anymore, so did the son and then there was only one place where both of them knew they would find the comfort, security and restoration they needed.

The father’s welcome in the story, and thus the welcome our Heavenly Father has for us, is one of no concern for His own self but purely for that His children. Our response to this love should be nothing more complicated than Zoe’s, “Up.” No reasoning, no begging, no pleading, no explaining... just “Up,” into the arms of a loving Father who takes on Himself the dirt and grime of our lives, with a heart that is just full of delight to be with His child again.

Prayer: Father God, I know that I sin and I live my life for my own enjoyment at times, with no concern of the consequences. Help me not to fear You but to truly know that You love me so much You wait for me with arms outstretched, waiting to restore me back to life in You. Amen.

Today's Writer : Lindsey Hanekom
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Proverbs 21:21

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.02.2014 20:26

Today's Verse for 02/06/2014

He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor. — Proverbs 21:21


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Thought

Isn't it funny that when we set off to find happiness or joy or significance or meaning, we seldom find it. Instead, when we offer to serve others and give ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord and his work, it is then that we find what we most need.

Prayer

O Giver of every good and perfect gift, I ask today that you give me a chance to serve you and others in a way which shows your kingdom and its glory. If in the process you choose to meet the needs in my own heart, then I thank you. This I pray through your servant Jesus. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Railway Man

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.02.2014 10:23

07 February, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Railway Man

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."
Psalm 23:4-5, ESV

Watching the new film The Railway Man is not an enjoyable experience, but there’s an important message in it. It’s about overcoming the suffering experienced as a result of the worst kind of abuse and cruelty by forgiveness.

Eric Lomax suffered for many years from after being tortured in World War 2. As the years passed, he never found peace or healing. Eventually he meets his former enemy face to face and overcomes the urge to murder him and make him suffer in revenge. Instead he forgives him and the incredible happens; his former enemy becomes his friend.

We don`t often see anything Christian in modern films but, after realistic scenes showing the horror of Eric being tortured, one of the other prisoners of war recites these words from Psalm 23; `Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows`.

In real life Takashi Nagase, the Japanese officer who had been there when Eric was tortured, had suffered greatly too from the trauma. He was impacted in a life changing way when he accompanied allied officers on an expedition up the `death railroad` after Japan surrendered. He was taken along as their translator and said he experienced something new and fresh amongst his ex-enemies.

He thought for a long time about the attitude of the prisoners of war and their `iron will`. He wrote in his autobiography `Some 30 years after the end of the war I realised this solemn fact. It is God that they believe in. It was thoughtless of me of little faith not to have understood this. They were expecting God’s righteousness to be done`.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, I thank You that the long years of damage and pain from trauma suffered by Eric Lomax and Takashi Nagase were healed by the power of forgiveness and real reconciliation in their relationship in such a miraculous way. I pray that their example will help many others to find healing. Amen.

Today's Writer : Liz Griffin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Misunderstood Principle of Submission

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.02.2014 14:27

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Submission is a term that has been grievously distorted because there are men who have used the word as a weapon to club their wives rather than as a hammer to build their homes.

When God tells a wife to submit to her husband, He also tells the husband to love his wife “even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:22-25).

When God tells children to obey their parents, He also instructs the fathers to “provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

When God tells you to submit to Him, it is for your good (James 4:7). Jesus is the head of the church, and He leads by love. The same should be true in the home.

ACTION POINT:
Discuss the principle of submission with your family and friends this week. Contrast what the world would say it means to submit with what God desires for us.

View or Share online | Discover Jesus | LWF.org | Today's Message

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Matthew 5:43-45

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.02.2014 20:25

Today's Verse for 02/08/2014

[Jesus said,] "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." — Matthew 5:43-45


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Thought

We often talk about the privileges of being a child of God - forgiveness, salvation, a future in heaven with him, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and ultimate victory when Christ comes. One of the greatest privileges we get, however, is the opportunity to act toward those who dislike and hate us in a way that reflects the character of God himself. Anyone can return hate for hate, but it takes a child of God to return a blessing and a prayer for his or her enemies.

Prayer

Father, thank you for loving me when I was still an enemy to you. Thank you for risking the death of your Son to offer me the chance to accept or reject your love. As you have promised, please pour your love into my heart so I may love even my enemies as you have loved me. In the name of your ultimate Gift of love, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Book of Phililppians

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.02.2014 20:27

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional February 8, 2014

The Book of Phililppians

"I thank my God every time I remember you. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart." Philippians 1:3,7

When it comes to different styles of writing, the apostle Paul was a versatile author. When writing to the Galatians, Paul sounded fighting mad as he told them in no uncertain terms they were way off track. When he wrote to the Romans, he came off sounding like a theology professor. When he addressed Christians in the book of Thessalonians, Paul sounded like a youth leader.

But Paul's letter to the Philippians is different from the rest. Philippians is not a theology lesson, or a manual on how to solve problems. Philippians is a thank-you letter and, because of that, Paul doesn't watch his words but writes an endless stream of joyful remembrances and encouragements. You can tell that he had fun with his pen and paper.

How poignantly Paul wrote his thank-you letter from a dark, stinking prison cell. That he can say "be anxious about nothing" and "I've learned to be content" while in bruising chains makes the book of Philippians all the more joyful.
________________________________

You may not be in an actual prison, but like the apostle, you may feel chained to a few unpleasant circumstances. If so, are you still able to write a thank-you letter to God? If you need help composing your words, take time to flip open to the book of Philippians and peruse the finest thank-you letter ever written.

Lord, I want to thank You for every good and perfect gift with which You've blessed my life. For friends and family... for smiles and sunny days... for the promise of heaven... for Your grace, which gives joy and peace... and most of all, for the example of people like Paul, whose example inspires us all.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

www.joniandfriends.org
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

I’m Learning To Be Content.

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.02.2014 10:53

09 February, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
I’m Learning To Be Content.

"I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]."
Philippians 4:12 -13, Amplified

Recently I have been travelling a lot more than usual and have found myself being challenged on the subject of contentment. In some of the places I travel to I have access to 24 hour internet, and in other places I don’t. Sometimes I have hot water, or a room to myself, and other places I don’t. Sometimes our plans run smoothly, and we leave and arrive at our destination on time, but other times that’s not the case. There are unexpected delays and there is nothing we can do but sit and wait.

I well identify with the words of the Apostle Paul in today’s reading. Paul said that he’d learnt the secret of being content in all and any circumstance, and the secret was that Christ was his strength. What really stood out to me from his statement was the word ‘learnt’. That word encourages me because it was obviously a process for him, as it is for you and me. Sometimes I also think that contentment’s a choice. It’s very human to focus on what you don’t have, or what’s not happening in your life, instead of focussing on what God’s provided and on what He’s doing.

The New Testament teaches about contentment in other places as well. In Hebrews 13:5 we are exhorted to keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what we have. Whether our bank balances show a large surplus or just enough to cover our basic needs, we can still be content with our lot. What if our bills exceed our income, or there’s no predictable income coming in at all? Paul wrote in Philippians that he’d learnt to be content even in this, as he knew what it was to be in need. He also wrote to his spiritual son Timothy that ‘godliness with contentment is great gain’ (1 Timothy 6:6). May we all learn to acquire this precious treasure by allowing Christ to give us His strength.

Prayer: Father God, I admit that sometimes I’m not content with my circumstances, and I know that You want me to learn to be. Thank You that no matter what befalls me, I can become like the Apostle Paul, because You’re the one who infuses inner strength into me. Amen.

Today's Writer : Sue Dare
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Who You Are in Christ

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.02.2014 13:37

Who You Are in Christ

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
The key to living a victorious Christian life is to discover who you are in Christ. Many Christians have never discovered this. They remind me of the man who had an identity problem and an energy crisis at the same time. He didn’t know who he was and he was too tired to find out.

God doesn’t work from the outside in. He works from the inside out. God doesn’t modify our behavior in order to change us. He changes us in order to modify our behavior.

You’re never going to purify the water by painting the pump. That’s legalism, and that’s a dead end to discovering who you are in Christ.

ACTION POINT:
As you study God’s Word, start a list: begin to write down those phrases that apply to you, like the phrase “in Christ.” Now that you are “in Christ,” the phrase “no condemnation” is one you should write down!

View or Share online | Discover Jesus | LWF.org | Today's Message

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AR_headshot.jpgDevotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Joy of the Lord

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.02.2014 17:01

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional February 10, 2014

The Joy of the Lord

"For the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Stop and muse for a moment on the joy of the Lord. Consider His gift of Spirit-inspired fruit of joy. His oft-repeated command was, "Rejoice!" Fullness of joy is to be found in Him. Finally, for the joy that was set before Him, Jesus endured His cross. In other words, if you're looking for joy, it can only be found in one place or, that is, one Person.

Now place yourself back in time. The sun is warm on your shoulders, and through the golden glow of history in the making, watch this Lord of Joy. He laughs as he holds a neighbor's newborn baby. He smiles while bouncing a three-year-old on His knee. He tousles the hair of a rowdy little boy. Picture His joy to watch a puppy at play, to hear a funny story, to taste a hot and savory stew. Feel His joy when the disciples listened and obeyed. Think of the joy that seized Him at the sight of a glorious sunset... and the joy to know that He created it. And finally, Jesus' joy at seeing His Father's dream fulfilled.

When you meditate on God's smile, His joy will be yours.

It is not possible to always be happy. It is possible to always have the joy of the Lord. Some have described it as a calm-centeredness that tickles at the edges. It's a solid assurance that laughs if given the chance. It is unwavering confidence that can't help but look on the bright side. My friend Tim Hansel once said that joy is peace dancing.

Think of all the things that make up the joy of the Lord, and your smile can't help but last.

If I need a reason to smile today, Lord, it will be found in You!

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

www.joniandfriends.org
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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