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How Much of `All` is All?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 23.05.2014 09:14

23 May, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
How Much of `All` is All?

He answered, `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind`; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.`
Luke 10:27, NIV

At first glance it seems such a stupid question. But, in the six months before I became a Christian it was on my mind every Sunday evening as I walked away from the church service. I knew I was a sinner. I knew that Christ died for me. I knew I needed to give my life to Him. Yet, I found myself bargaining with Him each week over how much of `all` I could give Him and get `saved`, while still holding on to a bit of `me`. It was clear that 70, 80, 90% wasn`t going to work; although I started there! I finally settled on 99% -`that`s my best and final offer Jesus, take it or leave it!` Of course He didn`t take it. You can`t bargain your way into heaven with God.

But aren`t we all a bit like that, at least some of the time? We may have given Jesus `all` at one time and were born again, yet found we have taken back `just a tiny amount` for ourselves? We then wonder why things aren`t working out so well, why our old sinful ways are beginning to surface, and we feel distant from God. The old saying is so true, `Jesus is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all`. The bit that we have taken back from God`s control actually isn`t under our control at all, but the enemy of our soul! It took me ages to understand that.

Putting all we have and are under the Lordship of Christ is placing it in the safest place in the universe. It allows the enemy no room. It brings us back into relationship with Jesus, and brings true peace and joy. So, ‘all’ is exactly that, ALL, everything. One day forty years ago the Holy Spirit revealed that to me and I surrendered all to Jesus. Over the years I have had to do that again a number of times, as I have found myself taking little bits (and sometimes bigger bits!) back. What about you, dear reader? Is it time to really make Jesus Lord of all?

Prayer: Dear Lord, I am sorry for trying to bargain with You about the rightful claim You have to the Lordship of all my life. For the times I`ve taken back parts of my life from Your control, thinking I could do it better. I realise now that what isn`t under Your control is under the enemy`s, and I don`t want that any longer. Right now I give back to You full control of all my life, and make You Lord of it for Your glory. Amen.

Today's Writer : Philip Asselin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

No Offense, No Effect

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 23.05.2014 13:09

No Offense, No Effect

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
A pulpit committee approached me one time and said, “We need a pastor for our church.”
I said, “I know just the guy. He is a fantastic preacher and has a fiery evangelistic spirit, but he has health problems and he’s kind of old.” I continued, “He’s also been in jail several times.”

They began to shake their heads, and one said, “Well, we don’t know whether he’s the man we want or not.”

I said, “Well, don’t worry; you couldn’t get him. He’s already in heaven, and his name is Paul.”

You don’t want a guy who can rub shoulders with the people of this world and not rub any salt in their wounds. Where there is no offense, there is no effect.

ACTION POINT:
Pray for the men who occupy the pulpits in our churches that they would not water down the truth of God’s Word, but be strong to proclaim its power.

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

Getting Rid of the Extras

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.05.2014 09:58

24 May, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Getting Rid of the Extras

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles."
Hebrews 12:1, NIV

I’ve just been clearing out my desk drawers and filing cabinet in preparation for my stepping out of the Glyndley Team now I’m ‘retired’. It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ we accumulate as we go through our daily routines. I’ve been at Glyndley Manor for almost seven years, in a variety of roles, but mostly involving some administration work, and hence a desk. During that time I’ve put into desk drawers, filing cabinets and other places things which I hadn’t remembered were there. A whole black plastic refuse sack of papers, leaflets, and letters emerged from the darkness; things which I probably thought ‘might be useful one day’ but of course they never were! In the drawers I’d put pens, rubbers, rulers, and other normal stationary items, together with headache tablets which I’m no longer permitted to take, screwdrivers (always useful for a man), old style mobile phone cables which don’t fit anything these days, and a front door lock complete with keys – where from I don’t know!

I was reminded as I reflected on this clear-out (which incidentally took several boxes and plastic containers to transport home) that the writer to the Hebrews encourages us to have a spiritual clear-out also. He says ‘Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles’. In order to run the race that’s set before us we must be unencumbered by the unnecessary, as well as the directly obstructive, things in our lives. That doesn’t mean that we’re all to live a minimalist life-style, although we might benefit from doing so. Rather we’re to get rid of the sinful things that get in the way of our service and love for God. Also those things that distract us from God’s ways are to be dealt with firmly, and thrown off.

On a recent course we were teaching that part of maintaining a godly self-image is going through a regular process of self-evaluation and giving ourselves a spiritual check-up. We don’t have to wait until the end of our life to do so. I would have done better to have thrown out those unwanted items from my desk years ago instead of waiting until the end of my work. Maybe we should set a date in our diaries so that every week or month or quarter, whatever God tells us to do, we take a good long look at ourselves and do a bit of spiritual clearing out? You may be surprised at what emerges from the depths of your hidden life.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help us to take a good look at ourselves regularly to see the things that You can see, which are holding us back from serving You as we should. Please enable us to be ruthless in dealing with the excess baggage of our lives so we can run Your race with perseverance. Amen.

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

James 1:19

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.05.2014 13:46

Today's Verse for 05/25/2014

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. — James 1:19


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Thought

Have a brake on your tongue; hit the throttle on your ears. Let your angry email sit three days before responding and make sure you read it and edit it before you send it. Keep you mouth shut and your ears open. They all say the same thing. Now if we would just do it, wouldn't the Christian community so much more blessed!

Prayer

Mighty and Holy God, you are incredible — beyond my comprehending. How you put up with all the drivel, senseless and hurtful speech that I and your other children spew out is beyond my understanding. I ask that you release the Holy Spirit to convict my heart and guard my lips from any form of hurtful speech. I want my voice to be as much yours as my heart is. This I pray through 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

Pain

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.05.2014 09:28

27 May, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Pain

"But I am in pain and despair; lift me up, O God, and save me!"
Psalm 69:29, GNB

Pain is a God-given discomfort resulting from wounding. It’s intended to lead to rightful treatment. Wounding may be in the physical body, the human soul, or the human spirit. Each of these locations within us can experience profound pain, telling us that there’s something unresolved in our being. The fact that something hurts is essential. It means we can begin the process of acknowledging there’s a problem and finding the solution. The writer C. S. Lewis made an interesting comment about this: ‘pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains’.

From the beginning of human life on earth we’ve experienced pain from wounds to the body, and have looked for relief. We’ve discovered substances such as opium which acts as an analgesic, a powerful way of suppressing pain. It may bring a temporary relief but, unless the wound is healed, the pain will return, often more intensely, once the means of chemical suppression has worn off.

Something similar happens with pain felt in the heart. If we’ve experienced the wounding of loss, rejection or abuse, there’ll be strong feelings, such as despair, grief or loneliness, all of which are painful. It’s common for people to develop coping mechanisms to suppress this pain, and defence mechanisms to protect the wounded place. Our ways of coping may include drug abuse, alcohol, over-eating, obsessive exercise or work, pornography, denial, dissociation, or even self-harming to over-ride the inner pain, just like the Gerasene demoniac. ‘Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones’ (Mark 5:5).

Suppressing inner pain may give temporary relief, but only adds to the problem, as it denies the healing that comes through the release of emotions. Pushing away the underlying issue just causes further distress. God wants us to come to Him to find true healing for the hurting place, and, in exchange for our pain, to find His comfort (Isaiah 61:2-3). This may all take some time. Shedding tears is very restorative, when we give the tears to Jesus (Luke 7:44). Through forgiveness of those who’ve caused the pain, and confession of our wrongful ways in trying to deal with it, God can restore our lives to a place of peace. He’s ready, at any time, to hear the cry of our hearts.

Prayer: Father, I don’t like pain, but I realise that You want to bring healing to the wounds that have caused it. I choose to trust You to search my heart and lead me on a path of true restoration. Amen.
Today's Writer : David Cross
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Acts 20:24

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.05.2014 18:50


Today's Verse for 05/27/2014

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. — Acts 20:24


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Thought

How important is grace? Paul said that telling about that grace was more important to him than his life! In fact, that was his life after his conversion to Jesus!

Prayer

Almighty God, Holy Father, thank you for your lavish grace demonstrated and fully expressed in sending Jesus to die for me. As your child, and in thanks to your sacrificial gift, I pledge to you my life, my love, and my all. Through 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

Putting the Emphasis on the Eternal

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 28.05.2014 20:22

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Putting the Emphasis on the Eternal

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Sometimes people in large churches get a lot of grief from “the world” because of the great expenses of building and maintaining their church. I’ve heard, “Why didn’t they take that money and feed the poor?”

Here’s my answer, “People need Jesus.” The social gospel thinks all men need is food. If I had five billion dollars and bought everybody on earth a meal, in several hours they’d all be hungry again.

There’s nothing wrong with feeding the poor. We ought to do that. But the social gospel puts an emphasis on what is temporary. The true gospel puts the emphasis upon what is eternal. Folks need more than soup and soap, they need salvation.

ACTION POINT:
Think about ways that you can get involved with the need to feed, clothe, and house the homeless. Then find the open door to feed them with the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.

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

Scatter Your Enemies

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 29.05.2014 07:36

Scatter Your Enemies

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered...”
(Psalm 68:1, NKJV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

What are you letting arise in your life? In other words, what are you focusing your words, energy and thoughts on? You might say, “Oh, it’s just so hard right now. My finances are tight.” “My health doesn’t look good.” “Somebody walked out on me.” No, you’re focusing on the wrong things. You’re letting defeat, discouragement and self-pity rise up. Why don’t you turn that around and say, “God is still in control. Somebody may have walked out on me, but I know God is going to bring me somebody better.” “I may be hurting right now, but I know God is the restorer of my soul.” “I may have an unexpected debt, but I know God is my provider. He is supplying all of my needs. He is fighting my battles.”

When you give God glory and let Him arise in your life, you can’t stay defeated. No foe can stand against you in the presence of Almighty God. Your enemies will be scattered! They will tremble at your words of faith! Let God arise and embrace the blessing and victory He has prepared for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, right now I release any negative, self-defeating thoughts or attitudes. Instead, I choose to let God arise in my life. I declare that You are worthy, You are holy, and You are the center of my joy, peace and strength in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Don’t Let Others Control You

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 30.05.2014 08:52

Don’t Let Others Control You

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“It is an honor for a man to cease from strife and keep aloof from it, but every fool will quarrel.”
(Proverbs 20:3, AMP)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Did you know that when you allow someone else’s words or actions to upset you, you’re allowing them to control you? When you say, “You make me so mad,” you’re really just admitting that their actions have power over you. As long as that person knows they can push your buttons, as long as you keep responding the same way, you are giving them exactly what they want. Sure, people have a right to say and do things that are upsetting, but we also have a right to not get offended. We have a right to overlook their actions. In fact, the Bible says that it’s an honor for a man to keep “aloof” from strife. In other words, we have to remove ourselves, either physically or emotionally, from strife and offense. It’s not easy, but we can choose to let it roll off of us like water off a duck’s back!

Remember, you don’t need everyone to agree with you all the time. You don’t have to have the approval of others in order to be approved by God. Your job is to be the person God made you to be. Overlook offenses and let go of strife so you can live in peace and victory all the days of your life!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for loving, accepting and approving me just as I am. I know You are doing a work in my life, and I ask for the strength and confidence to overlook offense so that I can honor You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

God Gives Hope

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 30.05.2014 19:26

God Gives Hope
Today's MP3

My grandmother canned her own peach preserves and stored them in an underground cellar. It was a deep hole with wooden steps and a musty smell. As a youngster, I’d climb in, close the door and see how long I could last in the darkness. Not even a slit of light entered that underground hole. I’d sit listening to my breath and heartbeats, until I couldn’t take it anymore. Then I would race up the stairs and throw open the door! Light would avalanche into the cellar. What a change! Moments before I couldn’t see anything—then, all of a sudden I could see everything!

Just as light poured into the cellar, God’s hope pours into your world. Upon the sick, He shines the ray of healing. To the confused, He offers the light of Scripture. God gives hope! Your cup overflows with joy—with grace. Shouldn’t your heart overflow with gratitude?

Max Lucado
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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