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Devotional

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Plans That Succeed

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 26.04.2014 09:26

26 April, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Plans That Succeed

"Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."
Proverbs 15:22, NIV

Today’s scripture makes it very clear that a wise man or woman will seek the advice of others before making any serious plans or decisions. That is, if they want them to succeed!

Some Christians decide not to take this biblical advice, whereas others take it a step too far and find themselves asking everybody and their dog what they think about their future plans.

We need to follow God’s instruction but we also need to be wise about who we allow to speak into our lives. Too many pieces of advice may dilute or discourage you from the clear plan God has given you, especially if that advice comes from people who have little or no faith in the God of the miraculous. At the same time, some wise counsel may help you to see your situation from another perspective. It could save you from making a serious mistake.

An important thing to mention here is that you don’t have to act on all the advice that you’re given! Some people may speak into your life and as they’re speaking, the Holy Spirit is confirming what they’re saying. Others may give advice that sounds very good and sensible but you know it’s not God’s counsel coming out of their mouths. The important thing is that you listen.

In my experience it’s often the advice I don’t want to hear that I most need to hear! ‘The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice’ (Proverbs 12:15).

Can I encourage you today to ask God “Who should I allow to speak into my life?” He may want to use some key people in your life to make His plans even more clear to you.

Prayer: Father, I’m sorry for the times that I’ve acted hastily and not sought the advice of others. I’m also sorry if I’ve blamed You for the plans that haven’t succeeded in my life, when perhaps I was being a fool by not seeking advisers. Thank You for the counsel that’s in Your Word, and for the wisdom I can gain from it. Help me to humbly ask for advice from the right people at the right time, and, as I do so, I ask that You would guide me even more clearly into the plans You have for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : David Steele
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Hebrews 7:25

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 26.04.2014 20:07

Today's Verse for 04/26/2014

Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. — Hebrews 7:25


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Thought

Jesus didn't just come and die for us. He wasn't just raised to give us life. No, as incredible as those gifts are, he adds another blessing to all he has done for us: until he can come and take us home to God, Jesus lives to ask God for grace in our behalf. Jesus is not only our Savior, he is our defender and brother at the Father's side!

Prayer

Precious Savior, my Jesus, how I love you. You sacrificed heaven for me. You gave up dignity to redeem me. You destroyed death to assure me. But today, I am most thankful and most aware that every prayer I offer and every step I take you are in the Father's presence to bless me. Thank you. 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

Transformation

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.04.2014 10:07

27 April, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Transformation

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
Romans 12:2, NAS

Christian transformation should result in a significant and good change of character in a person. Some behaviour in people’s lives may be changed for the better by human effort or strong discipline, but true transformation of the sinful heart is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). He causes us to become progressively more like Jesus as we surrender to Him in every part of our lives.

Every born-again believer in Jesus has been transferred in spiritual location from darkness to light (Colossians 1:13), but each one of us still needs to be transformed in our spiritual condition, from an image that conforms to the world, to an image that conforms to Christ. It’s a change so big that the old me is being completely replaced by a new me, able to reveal an image of Jesus to others (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Our part in the process is to present to God every sinful and damaged part of our lives for deep metamorphosis into men and women of holiness and wholeness. We need to choose for the shaping of our image to be by the hands of the Divine Potter, and not by our carnality and the relationships which have wrongly influenced our lives. Beware also of the world’s counterfeits: there are hundreds of therapies purporting to transform our inner condition, but only Jesus deals with the sin of the world, which is the root issue. As each individual believer yields to the One who truly can work miracles, the transformation of whole communities is even possible. Humanism says that virtuous lives can be achieved simply by human reason and human effort. Such ideas are well-meaning but will never lead to a transformed world.

Prayer: Father, thank You that I’ve been spiritually transferred from darkness into light. I’m willing to put myself afresh into Your hands, so that I can be fully transformed. Amen.

Today's Writer : David Cross
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

True Friendship

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.04.2014 19:45

True Friendship

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
True friends will put an edge on your life. They will make you a sharper person. Not all my friends do that for me, but my best friends do. Have you ever had a friend who loved you so much that he would even hurt you in order to help you?

Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” What truer words of love can be spoken than from the heart of a friend who is going to spend an eternity with you? Even if those words hurt, they are words that will heal.

ACTION POINT:
Do you have a friend who sharpens you as iron? It will only take you a moment to send that friend an encouraging note or postcard. Do it today.

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

Investments and Returns

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 28.04.2014 10:58

28 April, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Investments and Returns

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man."
Proverbs 24:33-34, NIV

With spring in the air the fields around Blairmore House look stunning, as the farmers have prepared the ground and seeded it for this year’s produce. It’s interesting that one neighbouring farmer told me that February, when a lot of fields are usually still unploughed and frozen over, is actually his busiest month. He does a lot of work for other farmers with seed preparation. A wise farmer always plans ahead and understands the obvious: without adequate preparation there will be no harvest.

In our Christian lives, it’s imperative that we too sow into the future harvest. We absolutely must make investments if we’re to expect returns. Today I want to look very briefly at three areas we’re required to sink investments in.

First of all, we should invest in ourselves! We’re important, we matter, and we have immense value. Therefore, every bit of effort spent on improving ourselves is well spent. If we choose now to invest in growing spiritually, in learning and honing new skills, in gaining more wisdom and understanding, later in life these investments will pay off. What’s more, the more we develop ourselves the more we will have to give to others. This is worth pondering!

Secondly we should be investors in others. I wonder if you’ve ever heard of the following saying: ‘To get everything you want, help others get everything they want’. I don’t know whether or not you agree with this, but certainly you can agree to somewhat similar words of Jesus: ‘Give and it shall be given to you’. The Lord requires us to be on the lookout for others, and what better way is there than seeking to invest in someone else’s future? As we care for others the Lord promises to care for us.

Finally, it’s important that we invest in God’s Kingdom. ‘Thy kingdom come’ teaches us that God’s Kingdom ought to be our primary concern in life. Jesus guaranteed that when we do so, we’re gaining treasures in heaven, which no one can ever take away from us. If we can learn anything from the current economic instability, surely it’s that all worldly treasures are transient at best. Right now is a great time to start making the most stable as well as rewarding investments of all. God is no man’s debtor and He will never go bankrupt. His promises stand!

Today I would urge you to consider your ways and to evaluate what you’re investing in the future and how you’re doing it. God, in His kindness, has written down some very sound advice in His Word. May He help us heed it!

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times when I’ve been slothful. Please help me to start investing more wholeheartedly in Your Kingdom, in others and also in myself. Thank You for Your rock-solid promises that one day I’ll get a reward! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Peter Brokaar
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Character of Jesus

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 29.04.2014 09:39

29 April, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Character of Jesus

"The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him."
John 8: 3b-6, The New Living Bible

As I was recently reading today’s verses I was impacted in a new and fresh way with something I hadn’t thought of before.

Of course I know that Jesus taught that we should forgive, and He also forgives us. And I know the power of that forgiveness. I know too that He’s loving and compassionate. What struck me from the passage was that these qualities must have been a solid part of His character and personality. They weren’t just mentioned in one of His passing sermons. They were who He was (and still is). They must have been obvious to everyone, because they were really annoying to the highly educated, teachers of the Law.

Why were the Pharisees so annoyed with Him that they wanted to trap Him? It was because they were threatened by this love, compassion and forgiveness. Their lives were all about being ‘experts’ on the Laws of the Old Covenant, and their interpretation of those Laws were very harsh. In their striving to keep the Law they managed to put themselves and those they taught into bondage.

The Pharisees knew Jesus would want to be compassionate and forgiving to this woman, and so they hoped He would say that the Law of Moses was wrong. I praise God the Bible says we can have the mind of Christ. This means that we too can have the wisdom that Jesus had in dealing with this situation. He said that the one without sin should throw the first stone.

It’s a great story. And as I read it I realised afresh that love, forgiveness and compassion must have been spilling out of Jesus all the time. That must have been why they were so angry with Him and why they wanted to trip Him up and set a trap for Him. It wasn’t just an intellectual disagreement about a sermon He preached. Yet even when Jesus confronted them He managed to do it in a loving and un-condemning way.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that Your Holy Spirit shows us new things from Your word every day. Thank You that we can have the mind of Christ, and wisdom from God. And thank You for Your love, compassion and forgiveness. Would You continue to transform us every day to be more like Jesus. Amen.

Today's Writer : Dotty Cockcroft
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Understanding by Doing

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 30.04.2014 09:28

30 April, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Understanding by Doing

"I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ."
Philemon 1:5-6, NIV

There was great excitement and some disruption, as a new dishwasher arrived at Ellel Glyndley Manor. The young people’s team, and other team members who were able to, had been washing dishes by hand, as the old one had been broken for a while. (This had meant washing more than a hundred dishes as well as saucepans at times!) Praise God for the anonymous donation of a brand new machine. The House manager had to train the team how to use the new dishwasher, and there was much consulting of the manual, and trying to remember the instructions given by the person who installed it. As important as it is to read the instruction manual, and talk to the installer, the machine still didn’t do the washing up until it was actually turned on and used. In fact there was no real understanding of how it worked and what problems could arise until it was put into action.

I thought of this as I read the verses in Philemon. It’s important to hear all about faith, and how Jesus works in other people’s lives. It’s really good to study the Bible, and pray to our Heavenly Father. But, unless there are some actions (partnership in faith), there will be limited understanding. Better understanding comes when we start using what we’ve learnt to do the stuff!

I’ve found that the more I do what God asks of me, the more I understand His ways, His plans and the depth of his Glory. The more we take part in what’s asked of us, the more there is ‘deepening’ of our ‘understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ’.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the depth and riches of all the good things that You have for us to know. I ask that my understanding would be deepened as I walk in Your ways, that my faith would grow as I do what You’ve asked me to do, and that my relationship with You would become closer. Amen.

Today's Writer : Jennie Berry
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Are You Listening?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 30.04.2014 20:14

Are You Listening?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts...”
(Hebrews 3:15, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

In 1999, I was eating dinner at my house one evening. My father called and asked me if I would speak for him that Sunday at Lakewood. In my 36 years, I had never ministered one time before. I didn’t have any desire to be in front of people. I liked being behind the scenes. I said, “I’m sorry, Daddy. That’s just not who I am. I’m not a minister.” He laughed and said, “Well, that’s fine, Joel. At least, I wanted to ask you.”

When I sat back down to finish eating my dinner, something said so strongly, “Joel, you need to do it.” It wasn’t out loud. It was just an impression, a knowing. I can’t explain it. It didn’t make sense to my mind. Every voice of reasoning said, “Don’t do it,” but I couldn’t get away from it. I called my father back and said I had changed my mind. I ministered for him that next Sunday. What I didn’t realize is that would be the last Sunday of my father’s life.

Friend, when you feel the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit, don’t harden your heart. Don’t ignore it. Listen and respond. He knows the future and has your best in mind. Trust Him and listen to His leading!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for leading and guiding me. I choose to tune in to You. Help me to hear Your voice, to know You and follow You all the days of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Wrong Turns, Wrong Roads, Dead Ends

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.05.2014 11:51

01 May, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Wrong Turns, Wrong Roads, Dead Ends

"In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:6, NIV

Colin and I were driving up the motorway in a direction we don’t normally go, and we didn’t know the area very well. The motorway was congested and I was in the left hand lane, wanting to go straight on. Suddenly there was a sign saying ‘exit only’, and I had to come off where I didn`t want to. I got on to a side road and started looking for a way to get back on the motorway. Horror of horrors at that exit I couldn`t get back on! So I thought of taking a detour to try to get back.

I took another turn without really knowing where I was going. The signs were all places I hadn`t heard of, hadn`t been to, and didn`t want. Then, as I took another turn, I found it was a ‘no through road’. As I came to the farm gate and looked at the field of cows, I realised it was a ‘dead end’.

Actually in my car I have something called SmartNav and I can press a button and go on to a call centre. They can see exactly where I am, as my car is trackable by satellite. I can tell them what destination I want, and they’ll guide me through.

Why didn’t I do that as soon as I came off the motorway? I got completely lost, because I thought I knew a better way. Then God spoke. He said, ‘It’s so easy to take a wrong turn. It’s so easy to get on a wrong road. But you can be sure taking wrong turns will end up in a dead end.’

Taking wrong turns in our life causes us to take a wrong road, and it leads to a dead end. ‘I will direct your path’, says God, ‘submit your way to me and I will direct the way you should go’.

In 1 Samuel 15, Samuel confronts Saul over his disobedience. Saul had enjoyed the blessing of God, but then he failed to carry out His instructions concerning the Amalekites. God had said to destroy all the Amalekites and their possessions. Saul had allowed Agag the king to live and the soldiers to loot their possessions. When he was confronted by Samuel he lied about what he’d done and blamed his team! From this time on, his life was marked with fear and paranoia. He continued to make wrong turns and go down wrong roads. Finally he faced an absolute dead end. He fell on his sword in the battlefield. He and his sons died altogether on the same day. What a terrible end to a king who started so well. Dead ends lead to death.

What do we do when someone personally confronts us about our sin? I believe we should respond by pausing, and allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us through that person. God’s the only One who can help when we’re lost, we’ve done it our own way, and we’ve made a mess. The only thing to do then is to submit ourselves to God, and ask Him to navigate our way back on to the sure road that leads to life.

Prayer: Father God, You’re all wise and ever faithful. We can be confident that when we make a mess of our lives, having taken the wrong turn, we can turn back to You and You’ll help us to find our way back. Help us Lord to repent, be obedient, and be willing to submit to Your lordship in every area of our lives. We want to turn away from doing it our way to doing it Your way. Thank You, Jesus, for You’re the way, the truth and the life. Amen.

Today's Writer : Jill Southern-Jones
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

1 John 5:14-15

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.05.2014 21:01

Today's Verse for 05/02/2014

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him. — 1 John 5:14-15


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Thought

Confidence before God. That's sort of an oxymoron if you meditate upon it. Yet through the presence of Jesus at the Father's right hand and the intercession of the Holy Spirit, we can have confidence and come boldly before the Creator of the universe and know that he not only hears us, but also cares for us. Wow, what an audience! Oh, and one final thing, he also ACTS on what we ask.

Prayer

Abba Father, for the grace of your listening ear I thank you more than words can say. Through the authority of Jesus my brother and by the grace of your interceding Holy Spirit, I offer you my thanks and love this day. 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

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