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The Five Keys of Successful Living

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 16.05.2014 09:20

16 May, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Five Keys of Successful Living

“Be on our guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything on love.”
1 Corinthians 16:13, NIV

In this Scripture Paul hands us a key ring, from which five keys are hanging. They are keys which have been given to us by the Lord to use on our journey of faith. They are keys to successful living – not success as measured by the very materialistic world in which we are living, but success as seen from the perspectives of the spiritual realms and eternity.

Paul was a great teacher. He had the wonderful gift of being able to encapsulate profound principles in just a few words. If followed, these principles will enable believers to not just live out their days on planet Earth, but to live well, in harmony with our Creator and in anticipation of enjoying eternity in fellowship with other believers with Him.

The first key helps us to recognise that we are living in a world where Satan has been given authority by man as the god of this world. As such Paul warns us to be on our guard against everything that the enemy can throw at us to try and take us off course. Secondly he urges us to stand firm in the faith – that means in what we know to be the truth from the Word of God. In 1 Timothy 4:16 Paul tells Timothy “to watch his life and doctrine closely”, knowing that if we get off course and finish up in deception the consequences for the believer are serious.

The third and the fourth keys urge us to be courageous and strong – in much the same way as Joshua spoke to the children of Israel as they entered their Promised Land, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

The final key reinforces the message of that wonderful 1 Corinthians chapter 13 – do everything in love. For without love in our hearts even the good things we do are of little value.

So, as you press on to make a success of everything you do for the rest of your days, keep this key ring in your spiritual pocket – and never forget to use the keys on a daily basis!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for these wonderful keys to living the Christian life. Help me, Lord, to always remember that they are intended for daily use and I pray that you will strengthen me day by day with Your Holy Spirit to live for You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Gaining Perspective

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.05.2014 09:08

17 May, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Gaining Perspective

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Romans 8:18, NKJV

"Your journey until now is the perfect journey for the song God has planned for you". Upon hearing these words recently I was stopped in my tracks. How can this be? So many hardships come our way, and so many prayers seem unanswered. Sometimes it feels as if we`ve tried so hard to trust, believe and persevere, but opposition keeps coming. And then we fall into the trap of comparing our lives to those of others, and all we notice is that their lives seem to be working out perfectly! We ask what we`re doing wrong and why God isn`t helping us? Does He really care, and is He aware of us? How long will we have to walk this difficult road ?

But if we go back to the Bible, we`ll see that the Lord says we`ll experience hardships, and being a Christian doesn`t guarantee a problem-free life. If we look at Paul`s life and the hardships he (and almost everyone else in the Bible) endured, we gain a better perspective on our own lives. Unfortunately we tend to allow the images we see in social media paint a picture of what life is about. But we only see the outside images, the ones that people allow us to see. And that`s never the whole story. All these outside influences eventually allow discouragement to sink into our hearts, and we tend to withdraw from God.

God teaches us in His Word that there is a proper time for all things to happen. We can`t control our lives or even attempt to explain God`s ways in human terms. All He asks is for us to trust Him, to wait patiently, and to endure opposition, with our eyes focussed on Him. When we look away from Him, we focus on the world and our vision becomes blurred. We become disgruntled, discouraged and miserable. What we should never forget, is that opposition makes us stronger.

God has a perfect plan for our lives, so let`s rest in the knowledge that Paul shares with us in Romans 8:38. `And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God`s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow. Not even the powers of hell can separate us from God`s love`.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love` (Romans 5:3-5).

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You that You love me unconditionally. Thank You that You understand my fears and insecurities. Please strengthen my faith and my inner man, so that no form of opposition will discourage me. I submit to You and Your plan for my life. I rejoice in the fact that You`ve engraved my name in the palm of Your hands. I rest in Your will and love. Amen.
Today's Writer : Annalene Holtzhausen
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Prayers of Jesus

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.05.2014 19:46

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional May 17, 2014

The Prayers of Jesus

"One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God." Luke 6:12

When Jesus went off to quiet places early in the morning to pray, what did He pray about? If you could have been close enough to cup your ear, what would you have heard him say to His Father? What was on His heart and, for that matter, the heart of His Father?

If we could find out, don't you think it would change the way we pray? The way we live? Well, we don't have to guess what Jesus discussed in prayer. We already know. The entire seventeenth chapter of John's gospel reads like a secret recording, a word-for-word transcript of the Lord's prayer life. And guess what was on His mind? You and I!

Jesus devoted the major portion of His great intercessory prayer to us. He prays that we might know God in the fullest sense. That we might obey and understand and accept His word. He prays for certainty and assurance. For our protection and unity. He prays for our joy. Our sanctification. Our zeal in witnessing.

I could go on, but you can read it for yourself in John 17. Isn't it poignant that as Jesus faced a torturous death, He did not think of Himself but of us?

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you" (John 17:20-21).
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If the Lord had others on His mind when He spoke to the Father, shouldn't we pray the same? Jot down a list of names of people you know and then open up your Bible to John 17. Pray for these loved ones, using the same wisdom (perhaps even the same words) as the Lord. And praise God that this is the way Jesus, our great Intercessor, prays for you.

As You live to intercede, Lord, let me live to intercede, as well.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

Hebrews 6:10

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.05.2014 19:37

Today's Verse for 05/18/2014

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. — Hebrews 6:10


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Thought

So much assurance in such a short verse! God is not unjust — boy is that an understatement: if he produced the atoning sacrifice for our sins, what will he deny us if we seek after him? He will not forget our work and love — an eternal record of the good we have done! When we help our brothers and sisters in Christ, we bless him! We are HIS people!! That's real motivation to keep on maturing in Christ.

Prayer

God, you are so gracious. Thank you. Words cannot express my joy at hearing such a simple and profound statement describing your virtues. I am so glad I am your child. Through my brother Jesus I pray. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.

Today's Verse Illustrated
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Grateful—for We Are Blessed!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.05.2014 17:59

Grateful—for We Are Blessed!

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Sometimes we complain when we shouldn’t.

I remember one time driving across the country with a gentleman. At the time, all of our children were in private schools and Joyce and I were “dying of maltuition.” I began complaining a little bit to the man about the great cost of sending a son to college.

He looked at me and said, “I’d give anything in the world if my son would go to college.”

I thought, “Oh, what an ungrateful spirit I have!”

Do you ever complain about dirty dishes? There are lots of folks in Third World countries that would like to have some dirty dishes. We are to be thankful in all things.

ACTION POINT:
Rejoice in God’s blessings in your life. Nip that temptation in the bud to complain and grumble about your life 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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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Guard Your Heart

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.05.2014 09:45

20 May, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Guard Your Heart

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
Proverbs 4:23, NIV

Language is amazing. We speak with different accents and a lot of people even manage to speak more than one language. With language we can tell where someone has spent time, where they were born, and, in Britain, it’s possible to work out which village someone is from.

I myself have an unusual situation with language. My mother’s British and so is my father, and yet everyone in Britain says that I’m from Africa when I speak. The reason for this is that I spent most of my years growing up there. Mixing with people from Africa, where I was born, influenced the way I spoke and used language, and even had an effect on the way I acted, from a cultural perspective. You wouldn’t have guessed that my home culture was British.

However, an interesting thing is now happening. When I went back to Africa for a visit people said I was from Britain. I’ve spent so much time in Britain that my accent has changed, enough for people in my home country to start asking where I’m from. If you live long enough in a place it influences the way you speak.

The same thing happens in our lives when we get into the wrong places. If we start spending time in bad company it starts to corrupt our character and our walk with the Lord. The bible says ‘Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

What we feed ourselves starts to have an effect on our lives. The things we speak about are influenced by what’s in our heart. Jesus said ‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of’ (Luke 6:45).

So we need to guard our heart, and be careful where we spend most of our time, as it affects our heart, our relationship with the Lord, and influences the way we speak and think.

The question today is: Where are you spending most of your time, and is it starting to influence your heart? Are you starting to recognise a change in your accent and thinking? Are you straying into the wrong areas and staying there too long?

Prayer: Father, I pray that You will help me guard my heart from areas that influence me in a way that’s negative. I want to keep my heart and mind pure before You so that when I speak people know that I’m Your child and out of my mouth will flow Your words of life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Paul Lawrence
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Letting God Work In and Through You

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.05.2014 20:35

Letting God Work In and Through You

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
One of the greatest secrets I have ever learned is this: God doesn’t want me to do anything for Him. He wants to do something through me.

People say, “Well, I just serve God in my poor, little, old weak way.”

I feel like saying, “Well, quit it. He doesn’t want you to serve Him in your poor, little, old weak way. He wants you out of the way, so He can flow through you!”

We need to make ourselves available to God and say, “God, I’m tired of being inhibited. I want to be inhabited by You. I want You to live Your life through me.”

ACTION POINT:
Where have you been standing in the way of God instead of surrendering to God and letting Him live through you?

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

Living Sacrifices

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.05.2014 15:14

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional May 21, 2014

Living Sacrifices

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship."

Romans 12:1

What immediately comes to mind when you hear the word "sacrifice"? Articles in National Geographic magazines about bloody offerings in Aztec temples? The streams running red with lamb's blood outside the temple of Jerusalem? Whatever comes to mind, it's probably not a pretty picture.

But sacrifice is what God asks of us. Living sacrifice. Now that tickles my imagination. I picture myself on an altar, and as soon as God strikes the match to light the flame of some fiery ordeal, I do what any living sacrifice would do. I crawl off the altar!

This is exactly the dilemma Christians face. First, we are to present our bodies, that is, give them in the Lord's service as a freewill offering. And because our sacrifice is a living one, it involves a choice. The gift of salvation does not require us to become a living sacrifice...we are not forced onto the altar...we are not coerced to stay on that altar. It is a choice we make out of love.
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If presenting yourself as a living sacrifice seems downright distasteful, if you find yourself trying to devise a way of serving God that seems more agreeable to your comforts, remember this: Jesus sacrificed everything for you. Please don't argue with the Lord about how heavily He stokes the fire of your trial. Just get back up on the altar. It's your spiritual worship!

I realize, Lord, that my trust and obedience is all You ask of me through my trials. Forgive me when I sneak off the altar or try to turn down the flame of my trial. As my High Priest, You know best how to tend the altar.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

What God Has Prepared

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.05.2014 10:15

22 May, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
What God Has Prepared

"No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him – but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit."
1 Corinthians 2:9-10, NIV

Whilst looking at a tree from a window, a small bird flitted from branch to branch pecking at things my eye couldn’t see. I knew that bird could see food. There are things, unseen by human eyes, but which little birds can see as attractive and nourishing, and which they find attractive enough to go for.

All this reminded me of the words of the above verse, because for many people there’s little, if any, thought given to what God has prepared for their future, especially after life here on earth is over. Life can be so legitimately crammed full of work, home, family, recreation and all manner of things, to the point that there’s no preparation for life after death.

God sent his Son, Jesus, into this world for the purpose of preparing the way for all humanity to be with Him in heaven when they die. In John’s Gospel Jesus says: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved’ (John 3:16-17).

The simple message here is that God has provided a way for us to enter His holy Kingdom, and into eternal life through His Son Jesus. This is by Jesus dying to take the punishment our sins deserve. But firstly, we have to personally recognise that Jesus died to take the punishment for our sins, and then accept that His death was on our behalf. This is the only way that our sinful nature can be cleansed and forgiven by God.

We can spend our lives pecking at what we might think satisfies us at present, and miss the very thing that God created us for – to be in relationship with Himself, through having our sin dealt with. The above verse tells us that God has prepared our future, after this life, but the real challenge to us is, have we accepted this for ourself? Make sure you don’t miss this wonderful opportunity.

Prayer: Father God, I thank for what Jesus accomplished when He died for a sinner like me. I know that I’m sinful, and ask You to please forgive my sin, because Jesus died for such as me. Please accept me as I am, for Jesus’ sake I pray. Amen.

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

Press Past the Mountain

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.05.2014 20:14

Press Past the Mountain

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.’ ”
(Deuteronomy 1:6, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Have you been facing a mountain for so long that you feel like you are just sort of stuck there? Maybe at one time you knew you would break that addiction. You knew you would beat that sickness. You knew you would get married. But, you’ve gone through disappointments. It didn’t happen the way you thought.

Today, God is saying to you what He said to the people of Israel. “You have dwelt long enough on this mountain.” It’s time to move forward. God has new levels in front of you, new opportunities, new relationships, promotions, breakthroughs. But, you’ve got to stir up your fire. You’ve got to get a vision for victory. The dreams, the promises that you’ve pushed down and thought, “Oh, it’s not going to happen. I’m too old. I don’t have the connections. I don’t know the right people,” God has it all figured out. If you will start believing again, start dreaming again, start pursuing what God put in your heart, God will make a way where you don’t see a way. Press past the mountain and move forward into victory!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for Your grace and mercy on my life. Thank You for empowering me to overcome every obstacle and press past every mountain. I look to You to lead and guide me into victory in every area of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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

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