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Devotional

Valvoja: Annukka

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.02.2014 10:54

11 February, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

"Thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine."
Isaiah 43:1 Amp

I wonder how you see yourself when you take that first glance in the mirror in the morning. I suggest it’s probably one of three ways. It could be that you take one look and shudder, noting the bags under the eyes, the extra grey hairs or lines on the forehead. Or maybe the glance is so swift that you hardly notice yourself, just a quick check to see if the hair is tidy, and then you plunge into the busyness of the day. Or just possibly you take a bit longer, give yourself a smile and say, “Thank You, Father for making me, me”.
I think there aren’t so many of us who do the third option. To do that would mean that we’re content with our bodies and the person God’s created us to be. In other words, we’ve accepted ourselves for who we are, and what we are.

Self rejection is one of the biggest hindrances to our walk with the Lord. It becomes a blockage in our relationship with Him, and with others, as we don’t feel good enough to reach out to those around us. When we think negatively about ourselves, it can also be the cause of depression, fear and anxiety, because we lose our sense of security in our heavenly Father. When we reject the person God’s created us to be, the enemy likes to ride in and make our body reject itself. So certain diseases, such as those relating to the immune system, can be caused by self rejection.

What we’re saying, even if we don’t consciously think it, is that God didn’t do a very good job when He made us, or that He made a mistake. Really? Does God make mistakes? I don’t think so. Things may have happened in our lives to make us feel like that, but the initial creation wasn’t a mistake. In Psalm 139 David talks about God watching over us as we grew in the secret place and forming us in our mother’s wombs (verses 13 and 15) and in the Bible speaks of the Lord exulting over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). If He’s so pleased with us, shouldn’t we be too? (But I don’t mean in a boastful fashion).

The verse from Isaiah at the head of this seed is for Israel, yes, but because we’re grafted into the family, (Romans 11:17), it’s for us too. Let’s learn to rejoice over what our Creator God has made, and when we look in the mirror next, smile, and thank our Father for making us who we are.

Prayer: Father God, Thank You for making me the person I am. I’m sorry I’ve rejected myself, please forgive me. I know some of my behaviour or attitudes displease You at times, so please help me to deal with them, but help me to like and cherish myself as the precious person You love and sent Your Son to die for. Thank You, Lord, Amen.

Today's Writer : Angela Weir
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Corinthians 13:6-7

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.02.2014 19:12

Today's Verse for 02/12/2014

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. — 1 Corinthians 13:6-7


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Thought

Always love -- pretty tall order and pretty tough stuff. Only God is always. But then Christians are fueled to an always love through the Holy Spirit! Elsewhere, Paul tells us that "The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Rom. 5:5) No wonder this love is always — it is God's love, demonstrated by Jesus' sacrifice, and delivered by the Holy Spirit!

Prayer

Sweet and Glorious God on High, I humble myself before you recognizing your boundless power to love, the incredible need for love in the lives of those around me, and my limited ability to love. Please pour your Holy Spirit into my heart and fill me with the power to love as you do, always. In Jesus' sweet name I pray. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
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Sold out for Jesus

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.02.2014 12:59

14 February, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Sold out for Jesus

"After this, Jesus travelled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary...Joanna...Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means."
Luke 8:1-3, NIV

Recently I have been studying about the healing ministry of Jesus in the four gospels and today was greatly challenged by the above scripture. I could easily have passed by these words by and barely given them a second glance, but I stopped because I felt God speaking to my heart. This was especially significant as I had prayed earlier that He would open my eyes to the truth contained in his word.

The first verse I read reminded me of what an itinerant ministry Jesus had for three years. We are told that he travelled from one village to another, preaching the good news. That meant that he laid his head on many different beds and I know from experience, how wearisome that can be sometimes. There is nothing as sweet as laying a weary body down in a familiar bed, especially when it`s your own.

There`s no place like home, but if Jesus stayed in Nazareth, the multitudes wouldn`t have heard the good news He came to bring. We then read that not only Jesus and His disciples lived this itinerant life style, so did women such as Mary, Joanna, Susanna and many others. They accompanied their Lord from `place to place` but also helped to support the work from their personal property and belongings.

What amazed me was that Jesus allowed them to do this! I want to remind you that this is the same Jesus who caused the payment for the Temple tax to be found in the mouth of a fish and whose Heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Matthew 17:27 and Psalm 50:10). Surely He didn`t need the help of these formally demon-afflicted and disease-ridden women, yet He still allowed them to give. No doubt they did so both generously and sacrificially.

They didn`t give out of a sense of obligation or payment, even though they had much to be grateful and indebted to Jesus for, but rather out of a heart of thankfulness. Through their actions they were saying, `Jesus, we want to be where You are and help You to spread this wonderful good news of the Kingdom.` How their hearts must have delighted their master and king. These women were sold out for the Kingdom of God and were willing to give everything they had and were, for Jesus` disposal.

Their commitment and love greatly challenges me and causes me to look at my own heart. Am I willing to go wherever Jesus sends me and do whatever He asks of me, in order that the Kingdom can be advanced? Is everything I own at His disposal? Am I willing to go from from town to town, from country to country, so that the nations will hear the good news and respond? I also read today Jesus` words in the book of Matthew where He told His disciples that `The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the labourers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust labourers into His harvest` (Matthew 9:37-38). That can be a dangerous prayer to pray because we may find out that we`re the answer to that prayer.

Prayer: Father God, I am greatly challenged by Your word and the price that others have paid for the advancement of Your Kingdom. Help me to be a faithful disciple and child, who after counting the cost, puts my hand to the plough and refuses to look back. Take my Life. Take all that I am. Take all that I have and use it for Your glory. In Jesus` name, Amen.

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

The Truth Shall Make You Free

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.02.2014 19:54

The Truth Shall Make You Free

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Have you ever been to a circus and seen an elephant chained to a stake in the ground? Why doesn’t he break free? Because as a young elephant he was tied to a tree. And try as he might, he couldn’t break free. Now the thought that he cannot break free is ingrained.

How true that is of you and me who have ingrained thought patterns in our lives. We say, “I am chained to this habit and I can’t break free.” Or we say, “I’m not good enough.” All kinds of lies keep us in bondage, but real truth is what God says, not what we think.

ACTION POINT:
Are there any strongholds in your life that keep you chained to the past? Write down these verses and memorize them.

2 Corinthians 10:4
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;”

Galatians 5:1
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Now break free from the lies of the past as you tell yourself the truth!

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

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
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Wet Paint

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 16.02.2014 11:24

16 February, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Wet Paint

"The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.""
Genesis 2:16-17, NIV

I had an Adam and Eve moment last week. I arrived at Ellel Grange and put my briefcase and coat down and decided to wander around the building to say hello to the team and prepare for the day ahead.

Part of my walk took me into an area that was being renovated and painted. It looked great. New paint on the walls and all the doors and skirting boards had been freshly painted. And there were a few signs around that said, “wet paint”.

The temptation was too great and I touched the woodwork to see if the the sign was true! Have you ever done that? There on my finger was this brown wood stain, the sign was true!!

Feeling a little silly I decided to try to hide the stain by rubbing my fingers together to get rid of it. Needless to say that the problem spread. Now everyone who looked at my hands would definitely know that I had touched the wood and ignored the signs.

Suddenly this “sin” was growing and I could not hide it. Instead of going straight to the bathroom to get it cleaned I had tried to cover it up and solve the problem myself and not rely on the cleaning agent that could have cleaned my fingers straight away. I then walked around all day with the feeling of this paint on my fingers and even when it had worn off it still did not feel clean.

As you read this the question is are you touching any wet paint and trying to hide it from the Lord? He is the one who washes us by His blood and cleanses us. When we try to hide the paint it just gets worse and we know in our hearts that it is still there.

By hiding the paint we can carry around guilt, shame and self condemnation. The problem is that our pride can stand in the way of dealing with the problem. The longer it goes on, the harder it is to deal with, and the bigger the mess. `Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy` (Proverbs 28:13).

Have you walked into a building site that you should not be in and seen the wet paint sign and touched it? Have you hidden the results of the paint? If so it needs to be dealt with before the Lord now.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that I can come before You with all the "wet paint" items I have touched. I lay them at Your feet and thank You that You do cleanse me from all my sins, in Jesus` name.
Today's Writer : Paul Lawrence
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Shall I do it?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.02.2014 11:19

17 February, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Shall I do it?

“Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:28, NIV

Have you ever wondered if you might get a tattoo? They used to be a sign of a sailor or of a rebellious, angry person. But nowadays, because it`s fashionable, even Christians sometimes go through the pain of having a tattoo. The tattoo wording might be something like “I love Jesus” but I wonder how Jesus himself feels about that? Are we honouring God by doing something he has told us he doesn`t like? Does it really honour God if we do something he has asked us not to do? In today’s verse God states it as a clear command – “do not put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord”

Suppose when I was young my mother had said that she doesn`t like tattoos and asked me to promise I would never get one. It certainly wouldn`t honour her if I went out and got one, even if it said “I love my mum”! She would feel dishonoured and sad that I had deliberately ignored her wishes. She would probably wonder why I didn`t love her enough to make a choice that pleased her, rather than pleasing myself. In the end, she would feel less loved by me, although she herself would still love me.

Jesus said several times – if you love me you will keep my commands (John 14, v 15, 21 and 23). God isn`t blessed if we do something that he doesn`t like, even if we say we`re doing it for him. Even more so when it isn`t necessary, it isn`t saving our life or essential in some other way. It can even put our physical health at risk, and a glance around the average tattoo parlour`s picture choices would clearly show ungodliness.

People sometimes quote the verse that we are “engraved on the palms of his hands” but engrave is a very different word to tattoo. We are indeed engraved on his hands. The scars of the nails in Jesus` hands are the most precious thing in heaven. They will be there through all of eternity, reminding us of just how much he loves us and that he was willing to suffer torture for many hours on the cross as a choice, in order to buy our freedom.

Jesus didn`t have to do that. He chose to do it because he loves us. What sort of choices are you facing today? What choices am I facing? Whatever those choices are, shall we choose to show God that we love him – in the way that means the most to him – by obeying his commands? It`s not always easy, but I`d like to try. Will you join me?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you so much for what those nail scars on your hands mean. Thank you for loving me so much that you suffered pain and distress on the cross to set me free. I`m sorry for the wrong choices I`ve made in my life. Please forgive me. Thank you for washing me clean and giving me a new start. Please give me your Holy Spirit to help me choose the things that please you. Thank you. Amen.
Today's Writer : Grace Marshall
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Second Coming of Jesus

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.02.2014 20:32

The Second Coming of Jesus

The hope of Christ's return keeps the Church pure




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Publish Date:


Wed, 06/01/2011



The Second Coming of Jesus

Even a brief glance at the New Testament will reveal that the Second Coming of Jesus was never far from the mind and hearts of those earliest Christian believers. The question we have to ask some two thousand years later is, “Were they wrong?” Did they have an expectation of the soon return of Jesus that was misguided? For instance, even Paul, when writing to the Corinthian church about marriage, stated that in view of the “impending distress” it is better not to marry. He felt that time was short and that therefore the believers needed to fix their hope fully on the soon coming of Jesus.

Progressive prophetic fulfilment

From Jesus’ Olivet discourse, the disciples recognised that certain signs in the region and in the world would indicate the soon coming of Jesus. These are: a temple would be standing in Jerusalem; a global world power would invade the city of Jerusalem; the Holy of holies would be desecrated; great distress would befall the region; and believers would have to flee and find shelter. Then, Jesus would come!

They saw all of these signs flashing and growing with each passing day. The “Day of the Lord” was surely upon them! They were therefore both right and wrong, since it is clear from Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 that the events about which Jesus spoke entailed two fulfilments. One occurred in AD 70 and another was yet in the future. Paul is clear, as is John, that the Anti-Christ who desecrates the Temple is destroyed by the visible real coming of Jesus a second time. We are dealing here with what Bible scholars refer to as “progressive prophetic fulfilment.” That is, one vision having two fulfilments over time! These same circumstances have not come together again until our day!

The signs of the end

While there have always been wars, rumours of wars, conflicts and natural upheavals, it was not until 1948 that the crucial building block of a Jewish return to Jerusalem fell into place again. Jesus cited this as the validating sign of the His near coming (Luke 21:24). Now today, as it was in AD 70, there is once again a growing global campaign against a Jewish Jerusalem and indeed a campaign to delegitimize Israel and dismantle her. Conflict and wars are everywhere and great earthquakes and natural upheavals are a familiar occurrence. It is the first time in 2000 years that these “signs” are manifesting again. Like the disciples of Paul’s day, we should look up because our “redemption draws nigh” (Luke 21:28). Jesus is coming and about this we should not have any doubts at all!

The miracle of Israel’s restoration is the validating sign heralding the return of our dear Lord. It is also true that the Word of God portrays Israel’s restoration as taking place amidst great international resistance to it. The nations will eventually mobilize, as they did in AD 70, against Jerusalem and they will try to remove it from Jewish hands (Zechariah 12). They will be thwarted and Jesus will return in glory and splendour to set up His throne in Jerusalem and from which He will rule the nations with a “rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15).

The hope of the Church

This glorious hope of Jesus’ return (Titus 2:11-13) serves to keep the Church pure and clean. It is when we lose this hope that we sleep spiritually and begin to get entangled in the worldly affairs. Jesus warned about this in His parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).

It is always fascinating to note that every time scripture refers to the Second Coming of Jesus, it invites us to embrace an appropriate spiritual response. So Jesus says, “watch and pray” (Mark 13:33-37).

John, in his first epistle, also tells us that if we hold the hope of Jesus’ return in our hearts, we should “purify ourselves” (1 John 3:1-3). That is, live clean and godly lives!

In his first epistle, Peter writes that because the “end of all things is at hand”, we should be loving, prayerful and engaged in the Lord’s business (1 Peter 4:7-10).

Finally, Paul not only greets his readers with the words Maranatha (“the Lord is coming” – 1 Corinthians 16:22), but he also exhorts believers, who have lost believing loved ones, to fix their hope on the Second Coming of Jesus when they will be resurrected to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

The Second Coming of Jesus thus keeps the Church spiritually healthy and when we ignore it we do the people of God a disservice. Now more than ever, Christians should be gazing into heaven and preparing their lives to welcome Jesus back.

“Behold He is coming and every eye will see Him.” These words greet us in the very first chapter of the book of Revelation. This passage goes on to say that “all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him” (Revelation 1:7). Why would they mourn over such a wonderful event? Because they never embraced Him or prepared their lives to welcome Him on the day of His return.

Jesus also warned in his Olivet discourse that the love of many would grow cold (Matthew 24:12). This can only be a reference to Christians who have taken their spiritual eyes off His soon return! May he not be talking about anyone of us!

The mode of His coming

Though many so-called theologians have tried to deny it in recent years, the Bible teaches that Jesus will come visibly and physically to the Mount of Olives. As He went, so He will come again and thus His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which is to the east of Jerusalem (Acts 1:9-11).

His visible coming will be with great glory and the whole world will see this glory as it flashes from the east to the west (Matthew 24:27). As He descends from Heaven in triumph to reign and rule over the nations, a great trumpet blast will take place and the dead in Christ and all believers then alive will rise to meet Him (Matthew 24:30-31; Revelation 2:27-28, 12:5). What a wonderful day this will be and so no wonder we are to get ready as we now see it approaching! (Hebrews 10:25)


Rev. Malcolm Hedding served as ICEJ Executive Director in Jerusalem between 2000-2011 and remains a member of the ministry's international Board of Directors.



By: Malcolm Hedding
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Two Mountains

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.02.2014 21:53

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional February 24, 2014

Two Mountains

"You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm. But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven." Hebrews 12:18, 22-23

My spirit soars when I sit at the base of the snow-capped Sierras. Even though they're grand and glacier-scarred, their beauty makes them approachable. I don't feel that way about Mount St. Helens, the volcano at the northern edge of the same range. That mountain blew its top years ago, and an eerie plume of smoke still rises from the crater. There's nothing approachable about Mount St. Helens.

The twelfth chapter of Hebrews reads like a topography of mountains. Mount Sinai burns with fire and is surrounded in darkness and lightning. Even Moses was afraid of it. But then there's Mount Zion, a place of angelic joy and happy assembly. This mountain is one glorious destination.

Two mountains. Two views of life. One depicts a God of gloom and doom. The other represents a God of joy and forgiveness. How often we find ourselves living in the frightening shadows of Mount Sinai, confronted by our inability to live up to the demands of a Holy God, consumed by guilt, and backsliding in despair. That kind of lifestyle paralyzes you with failure after failure.
__________________________________

Don't pitch your tent at the foot of that fearful mountain. Brush up on your topography and walk in the direction of Zion today.

"May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life" (Psalm 128:5).

Lord of Mount Zion, I give You my striving and straining. I give You my defeat and despair. May I place my trust in You and discover along the way that Your dwelling place, Zion, is where I long to be.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

www.joniandfriends.org

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
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Matthew 22:37-39

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.02.2014 19:32

Today's Verse for 02/25/2014

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. — Matthew 22:37-39


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Thought

Some things are just not very complicated. Living for Jesus can be boiled down to two principles: love God with everything I am and have and love others and treat them like I would like to be treated. Not too hard to understand. I guess it's the living it that is the challenge!

Prayer

O Living and only True God. Please accept the work of my hands, the words of my mouth, the moments of my rest, and the love of my heart as my worship to you this day. I pray that these are pleasing and refreshing to you. In the name your Son, my Lord Jesus, 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

What Is Success?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 26.02.2014 19:54

What Is Success?

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
You’ve heard it said, “The one who dies with the most toys wins.” Is that success? Having your dreams come true? Getting all you want? Earning enough money so that you never have to work again?

May I tell you what success is? And I say this without equivocation. Success is the progressive realization of the will of God for your life. That’s what it is.

It’s not how much money you have. It’s not how famous you are. It’s not how healthy you are. It’s not how many friends you have or how many toys you have acquired. Success is nothing more, nothing less, than the progressive realization of the will of God for your life.

ACTION POINT:
Do you want to know God’s will? Do you want your heart’s desire to come true?

Read Micah 6:8. What does God require of you?

Read Psalm 37:4. What is God calling you to do?

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

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