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Hiding To Sin

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.12.2013 19:29

04 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Hiding To Sin

"I could ask the darkness to hide me, and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you."
Psalm 139:11-12a, NIV

Our daughter Zoe, who is not quite two years old, has developed an endearing habit, which I must say, I find quite amusing. I now know when she says, “Bye” with a particularly cute smile on her face and a look of anticipation, I know she is going to go into another room and get up to something naughty! Whilst we can all have a little chuckle at Zoe, her behaviour is probably something we are all very guilty of.

So very often, when we fall into sin, we know we’re about to do something wrong. We know that God wouldn’t be happy with us doing it, but we try to move away from God, pretend that all’s well with the world and go ahead anyway. It’s almost as if we think God will leave the room when we begin to sin, turn His back, and pretend He doesn’t know it’s happening.

The reality is God knows all too well when we’re about to sin. Just as Zoe thinks by going into a different room she can get away with it, we think we can hide from God in our sin.
This verse clearly states the opposite. We can’t hide from God, even in the darkness of our sin. We may want to hide from God at these times, but the reality is He’s there and He continues to love us just the same.

Zoe has certainly learned there’s often a price to pay for wrong behaviour, and knows all too well that it always ends up in having to face us and having to apologise. With her speech very limited, we soon instituted the rule that to say sorry means you give a hug to the person you upset. Whilst this is a simple mechanism to get around the no talking issue, it’s also a powerful reminder to her that, even though she was naughty and made Mummy sad, she’s still loved, and love is what makes it all feel better and go away. Once the hug is over, so is the issue... never to be dragged up again.

God’s response to our sin is no different. He doesn’t sit in a distant place waiting for you to come grovelling, loaded down with guilt and shame, ready to do whatever it takes to make things better. He simply meets you there and then, in the darkness, with nothing but pure love that can truly make it all better, and it doesn’t cost a thing... well, apart from a little bit of humility.

Prayer: Father God, I know I’m sinful, and I know I’ve tried to hide my sin from you. Meet me in those dark places to bring light, love and healing. Amen.

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

Travelling With Jesus

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.12.2013 11:01

05 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Travelling With Jesus

velling With Jesus"For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; For The Lord will go before you and the God of Israel will be your rear guard."
Isaiah 52:12, NKJV

Over this last year, working with Ellel Ministries in Ireland, I’ve spent many hours in a car with my colleagues. We’ve been travelling away from the centre in order to run courses in other places as well.

One of our journeys takes us up and down the A1. This is a main road, and it’s dual carriageway with speed limits set between 60mph (97 Kph) and the national limit of 70 mph (112 Kph). This road functions a bit like a two-lane motorway, except for one thing. On a motorway if you want to join it from a side road you drive up a slip road, and filter into the traffic, going in the direction you desire to travel. You can’t cross from one side of the motorway, wait in the middle, and then go off in the opposite direction. But this is exactly what you can do on this busy A road.

I once had to cross it. I sat in the car waiting for a break in the traffic to zip into the little sanctuary in the middle. I was praying and hoping the back of my car wouldn’t be clipped by vehicles doing 70mph, rushing past me from behind. Then I was watching very carefully for a gap to move into, with cars rushing past at 70mph in front of me. To turn into the traffic from a standing start and get up to speed fast felt very daunting to me. The way my car shook with the passing of every vehicle was really not comfortable, and I could have panicked and made a rash decision, rather than waiting patiently for the right moment to make my move. It came, and I was safely on my way.

The whole incident reminded me of the scripture that talks about the Lord going before us and the God of Israel being our rear guard. We’re all on a journey of discipleship with Jesus, and sometimes the road is easy and straight, but sometimes we have decisions to make. Sometimes, as we wait, we feel we’re in a vulnerable position, and we can be tempted to make a hasty decision. It seems to me that God promises us great protection if we’ll let Him protect us, and there’s no rush if we wait on His timing, and don’t allow ourselves to be pushed by our circumstances.

The journey we take, even if it has some challenges, is worth it. I wonder where you are right now. Are you on a straight stretch enjoying the view, or trying to cross at a busy time of day? Or perhaps you’re sitting in the middle waiting for the moment to move and wondering if it will ever come? Wherever you are Jesus is with you on your journey.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You know my going out and my coming in. Thank You that You go before me, and You’re my rear guard. Thank You that You’re concerned for my journey of growth, and that You do direct my paths. Please help me stay alert to Your directions, and help me to enjoy the thing You desire to show me along the way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Alison Scarborough
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Philippians 2:5-6

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.12.2013 19:07

Today's Verse for 12/05/2013

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped... — Philippians 2:5-6


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Thought

Jesus did not hang on to his heavenly glory, but surrendered it to save us. Now he asks us to follow his example and share his heart. He wants us to treat each other as he has treated us, thinking of their needs and God's will before our own. Now that's one revolution I hope I get to see fully happen!

Prayer

O Father God, please transform my heart and mind by the power of your Holy Spirit. I want my thoughts to be your thoughts. I want my hearts desire to reflect the passions of your Son. I want my will to be guided by your Spirit. Please forgive my tendency to ruthlessly hang on to my own importance, my own will, and my own self-justification, even when I know it is not right or best. Make my mind more like the mind of your Son. In Jesus' name 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

Jesus’ Supernatural Nature

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.12.2013 19:16

Jesus’ Supernatural Nature

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
The apostle John, who wrote these words, had lived and walked with Jesus for three years. He had seen Jesus in all manner of situations. Years have passed. Now Jesus has gone back to heaven, and John is an aged man. As a Jew, John would have an ingrained resistance to any kind of idolatry. Yet he said of the Lord Jesus Christ that He is fully God and calls Him “the Word.”

What is a word? A word is an expression of an invisible thought. You can’t hear my thoughts, but you hear my words; therefore you know my thoughts. You can’t see my thoughts. My thoughts are invisible. But my word makes the invisible known to you.

Everything that God is, Jesus is. Everything that God has, Jesus has. Everything that God does, Jesus does. Jesus is God. He is fully God. He is not part-God and part-man. He’s not all God and no man. He’s not all man and no God. He is the God-man. Jesus makes the invisible God known to man. He is the very Word of God. He is God’s Word to this human race. He is God in human flesh.

ACTION POINT:
There has never ever been another like the Lord Jesus Christ with a supernatural nature. Read John 1:1-18 today. Have you acknowledged Him, Jesus is the One and Only?

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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

Of Wolves and Lambs

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.12.2013 19:18

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional December 5, 2013

Of Wolves and Lambs

"And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together, and a little child shall lead them."

Isaiah 11:6

Theologians and preachers will debate the timing and meaning of this prophecy. Is it before or after Christ's rule in the Millennium? Is it in heaven or is it on earth? Is it figurative or real?

You can debate it for a millennia, if you like, but I can tell you that I've already seen it come to pass. Really. You could, too, if you received permission from the Colorado State prison system to go to a small workshop in one of its medium security prisons. There you'd find an inmate, his tattoo-covered arms carefully restoring an old wheelchair. He'd tell you he's not doing it for the money. (He's not. He only gets $12 a month compared to the standard $600 a month for the other work in prison.) He'd tell you it's rewarding to him to do something for someone else who's got it worse off than he does. And he'd tell you he's doing it because he loves to. That's my wolf.

And the lamb? Oh, she's a Chinese girl with cerebral palsy who's going to get her first wheelchair because of the wolf's strong arms. She'll go outside of her house for the first time. Maybe go to school. Maybe even watch the Chinese New Year outside, on her own, and not on her father's back this time. That's something she would never have gotten to do if it had not been for the wolf.
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The lamb and the wolf will both have been led by a child -- a child that broke the chains of sin in that inmate's life. A child that can free the Chinese girl to walk the streets of heaven someday. A child that was born in lowlier conditions that either will know. A child who died in more agony than either the wolf or the lamb could ever imagine. A child who heals both of their broken hearts and promises both of them freedom.

Few would call that man in prison a friend, Lord. And few would call that girl lovely. But I join that wolf and that lamb and follow You to Calvary.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

By His Stripes

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.12.2013 10:40

06 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
By His Stripes

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 53:5, NKJV

As I was driving to work the other morning I couldn’t help but notice the sky. It was a very solid and deep grey; it looked as though nothing could penetrate it and somehow seemed very threatening. But across this rather foreboding sky there were red stripes, as the sun was just coming up on the horizon. As I saw it, the words ‘by His stripes we are healed’ came into my mind, and I began to ponder them anew.

On the cross Jesus paid for everything, all our sin, and all the sin of those who’ve sinned against us. It was paid for with every stripe that He took, every agonising step, carrying the cross, as well as the humiliation and pain of the cross itself. Jesus endured all this in obedience to the Father so we can be healed; body, soul and spirit. The problem is we’re so often unwilling to really appropriate this into our lives. It’s not easy to be really honest about our sin, the attitudes we have and judgements we make. And it’s even harder to forgive those who, in their own sin, have caused deep hurt and pain to us.

The way of the cross is not an easy path to take, as it goes against the ways of the world and our carnal nature. But it’s the only way that we find true healing and lasting peace. When we’re unwilling to allow Jesus into our hidden sin and hurt, the inner struggle we face can be enormous. And we can cause hurt and misunderstanding with those we love. But, if we become yielding, open and obedient to Jesus, the struggles cease. I would want to encourage you to take the time to read and absorb Psalm 103, a psalm of praise for the Lord’s mercies.
We’re fast approaching Christmas, where we celebrate the birth of Jesus. But maybe it’s also a good time to think about the reason that He was born. To think again about the price that He has paid for sin, the sin of all mankind.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son Jesus to die that might be forgiven. I ask You to search me, and know, and show me, any areas of my life where I’m not yielded to You. My desire is walk in obedience, yet I know that all too often I fall short of this. Please help to keep my feet on Your path, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today's Writer : Mary-Lou Gregoire
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Philippians 2:7-8

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.12.2013 14:23

Today's Verse for 12/06/2013

...but [Jesus] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! — Philippians 2:7-8


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Thought

Christianity is not for wimps or the faint of heart. Our example is described by words like... "made himself of no reputation" ..."servant" ..."humbled himself" ..."became obedient" ..."death on a cross!" That's tough stuff. And that is our example. The story of the Jesus may begin with a sweet child, but it also begins with him being placed where animals ate their food. While it may be powerful and precious, it is not saccharine and fake sentiment. It is about the price paid to redeem and the people who are different because they know their Redeemer.

Prayer

Almighty God, loving Father, thank you for placing the Gospel story in the real world where I live. Jesus, thank you for being a Savior who has come into my world and faced its toughest edges. Help me as I learn to be sacrificial, obedient, and humble so that I can be used to help others find your grace. In the name of Jesus, the Lord. 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

His Sovereign Nobility

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.12.2013 14:27

His Sovereign Nobility

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“…And the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6b

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Jesus was born a king. Scripture says “…the government shall be upon His shoulder.” In verse 7 of this chapter, this is fleshed out. “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever.”

How is this going to happen? “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” This little baby was born a king and He is a King. We didn’t elect Him and, friend, we’ll not impeach Him. He is King. He is Lord.

ACTION POINT:
Some people say, “Have you made Him the Lord of your life?” Too late for that. God has already declared Him Lord. This is His sovereign nobility. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. If you miss that, you miss the meaning of Christmas. You have to take the cradle, the cross, and the crown together, or you don’t have the true story of Christmas.

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

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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

Faithfulness

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.12.2013 14:29

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional December 6, 2013

Faithfulness

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'" Matthew 25:21

Someone once said to me, "Joni, I wish I could be like you because you'll get a great reward in heaven." I appreciate the accolade, but I see it differently. I already have the reward of seeing the gospel go forth and of watching believers become encouraged because of this wheelchair. The glorious purposes for my suffering are clear to all.

But some saints have suffered for no apparent reason. In heaven, I'm convinced, the highest accolades will go to those godly people who labored loyally yet received no recognition.

May God honor the missionary in the Brazilian jungles who spent fifteen years translating Scripture and then quietly moved on to the next tribe to do the same. May the Lord reward small town pastors who faithfully preach every Sunday morning despite meager numbers in the pews. And the pastors in China who suffer persecutions and interminable jail sentences. May the Lord take the highest delight in the elderly in nursing homes who don't dwell on their plight but rather pray for others. And godly teenagers who hold fast to their virginity despite peer pressure, intimidation, and their hormones. These are the ones who will receive great reward!

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcomings... Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
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Success isn't the key. Faithfulness is. May you be faithful to Him until you hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Father God, teach me to be faithful to the tasks You assign to me without concern for fanfare.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

www.joniandfriends.org

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Exactly What You Need

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2013 07:51

Exactly What You Need

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4:19, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed by the challenges and obstacles we face. But, we have to remember that God equips for every season of life. God will not allow you to face Goliath, He will not allow a major challenge and then just give you a little favor, a little strength, a little wisdom. No, God equips you with exactly what you need to overcome every obstacle. What you have in your hand may not seem like much, but remember, David had victory with only five small stones!

Know today that you have been empowered to accomplish every dream that God has placed in your heart. Oftentimes, the reason you have a huge obstacle is because you have a huge future. You may be facing a big challenge, but you’re a big person serving a big God. Know that no matter what you face, God will meet your needs. You are equipped, you are empowered, and you are headed toward victory in every area of your life!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for meeting my needs according to Your riches in glory. I shake off heaviness today. I shake off worry and doubt, and I put on a garment of praise knowing that You are working things out for my good in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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