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Jesus, the Bridge Spanning the Great Divide

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 31.05.2014 20:16

Jesus, the Bridge Spanning the Great Divide

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Ephesians 2:16

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Up in heaven is the holy God.
Down below is the sinful man.
And sin is the dividing rod that separates.

Without God, man has an empty void in his life he knows he must fill, so man is constantly trying to reach God. But he keeps rebounding off the sin barrier.

Then God, moved in mercy by the pitiful plight of sinful man, said, “I will do something.”

God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to make a way. And upon the rough-hewn timbers of a cross, Jesus gave His life so you and I could live forever and live forgiven. Jesus built a bridge between man and God. It’s a bridge man could never build. And a bridge that man can never take away.

God made a way that we couldn’t make . . . for me . . . and for you.

ACTION POINT:
Since Jesus built a bridge of love for you to be reconciled to God, it’s your turn to build a bridge of love to someone who is lost and searching.

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

The Good Christian Prayer Life

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.06.2014 09:50

01 June, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Good Christian Prayer Life

"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:12-13, NIV

I’ve recently been considering my prayer life and, to be honest, felt I wasn’t achieving many of the goals that constitute, the ‘Good Christian Prayer Life’.

I suspect some of this is due to the fact that there’s huge diversity in how we can approach prayer, and it opens up a whole heap of questions: is the traditional Church wrong in using a liturgy; should I just chat and say what I like; should I be on my knees, sitting quietly or standing up and storming the gates of heaven; talk more or sit in silence so I can hear God’s voice more clearly; from a list, or only what I feel in my heart? Not to mention frantically trying to remember all those I blithely said, “I will pray for you” to! Then there’s the issue of when we’re to fit prayer times into a busy day... with the murmurings of “You should always find time for a quiet time,” pricking at our conscience.

In all honesty, I was getting myself into a muddle and a sense of failure and guilt started to creep in.

It was during this time that I rediscovered this precious scripture. God gently and kindly showed me the prayers that I have recently prayed. I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t only the formal prayers in church, during the prayer meetings or the times when I was consciously praying for something in particular that reached God’s heart but included the, “Oh God, Help!” prayers, and those that were just cries from the heart that sometimes don’t even have words.

Each and every one of these prayers was heard because they came from the heart. Each time, I simply called out to a God who I know knows everything and longs to hear my voice call out to Him.

Yet He didn’t just hear my words, he listened... They weren’t just a noise in the background sea of everyone else’s prayers. He intently listened to each one of my words, knowing I was sharing my heart with Him, and that’s important and precious to Him.

All in all, I’ve given up on the idea of trying to find the perfect prayer formula, and I’ve devoted my time of speaking to God to always being from the heart. I know that whenever I call out to Him He’ll be listening, and when I seek Him with all of my heart, I’ll find Him.


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

Revelation 21:2-4

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.06.2014 20:16

Today's Verse for 06/01/2014

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of thing has passed away. — Revelation 21:2-4


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Thought

I don't know about you, but I'm kind of ready for that old order stuff to go away. The end of tears, death, mourning, crying and pain sounds pretty good to me! No wonder the early Christians would say, "Marantha. Come Lord Jesus!" They couldn't wait.

Prayer

Holy God, please help me as I try continue serving you faithfully. My desire is to be steadfast in my love and living for you until the glorious day that so many of your children have longed for over the centuries. I long to see you in your glory and to share in your presence and to join with the saints of all ages praising you around your glorious throne. Through 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

How He Loved

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.06.2014 09:55

02 June, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
How He Loved

"And how he loved his disciples. So He got up from the supper table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel round his loins, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him."
John 13:3, LB

Peter thought that Jesus should not wash his feet, but the Lord was teaching this humble truth to Peter, His disciples and to us. When we’ve received His love and He’s washed us, we can be part of Him and we’re able to follow His new commandment, by really loving one another, with His amazing love in our hearts. Jesus said, ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you’ (John 14:34).

Many of you may feel you’re unworthy to receive anything from the Lord, and yet He would come to you today and kneel down and wash your feet in order to show you how much He loves you. He knew the heart of Judas, yet did He not wash his feet? He can’t force us to receive His love, but Jesus takes our unworthiness and exchanges it for something beyond worth in His eyes.

When we let Jesus wash us we’re receiving from Him, and therefore we become part of Him. Let’s always keep receiving that cleansing, and keep our hearts and hands clean, for He’s made that constant provision for us.

Sometimes I’m tempted to think I’ll wait a little while before getting washed. I’ll wait until I’m in a better place first. But the Lord wants us to come as we are, as soon as our hearts condemn us. He doesn’t condemn us, but washes us completely, and then remembers our sin no more. He picks us up and puts us in a better place with Himself. How He loves!

In His love the Lord says, ‘I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm, I will come to you’ (John 14:18). And in Isaiah 49:15 God tells the children of Israel; ‘Can a mother forget her own child, and not have love for own son? Yet even if that should be I will not forget you.’ These promises are for those that belong to Him.

Jesus said, ‘If you love me and obey me, I will pray the Father and He will send you another comforter and He will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who leads you into all truth’ (John 14:14-15).

May I be forgiven for changing the word ‘demands’ for ‘shall have’, in Charles Wesley’s famous hymn, When I survey the wondrous cross.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine
Shall have my soul, my life, my all.

Today's Writer : Pam Smith
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

A Different Spirit

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.06.2014 10:19

03 June, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
A Different Spirit

"It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said."
Joshua 14:12b, ESV

As the inheritance of land was being allocated to the tribes of Israel in a fair and unbiased way by Eleazer the priest and Joshua the leader of the Israelites, drawing lots, Caleb makes a request to be given the particular land promised to him forty five years ago by Moses. He speaks of the time when he scouted the land of Canaan and was fully convinced it was God’s will for them to conquer it. Sadly there were ten other men who saw things differently.

It’s amazing how some people can witness God moving in power and yet afterwards they don’t want to follow God with all their heart. They seem to forget God’s miracles and lose faith in Him. Fear and unbelief dominate their world view and belief systems, affecting their emotions and actions, controlling their lives and robbing them of their destiny in God’s purposes.

Even though the Israelites had seen God’s miracles with their own eyes there were now only four men of a ‘different spirit’, sold out to God, fully committed to Him and willing to please Him. They were Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua. Caleb pleaded with the people not to rebel against God and not to be afraid. He assured them God was with them. But the bitter rebellion in their hearts meant they were totally impervious to his words and they fully intended to stone him and Joshua to death.

But God intervened at that point and took authority over the situation. He said to Moses that He would bring down judgment against this evil, destroy the guilty and start again with a new race. Moses pleaded for mercy and pardon and God granted this. However there had to be a penalty as a consequence of this rebellion.

God would carry out His Covenant promises made with the Israelites but only Caleb and Joshua would live to see this happen. ‘But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it’ (Numbers 14:24).

So forty five years later Caleb makes his request, but in a humble way, ‘So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said’ (Joshua 14:12). He doesn’t come in a pushy way to assert his rights. He submits to the leadership of Joshua and doesn’t presume upon God. Joshua blessed him and gave him permission to take his inheritance.

On a course called ‘Living for God in a hostile world’ Alistair Petrie was teaching and said ‘Understand that humility always pre-empts entitlement. Lawlessness and entitlement are two tools in the devil’s tool box, even in the Church. Humility will always remove that issue of entitlement. Begin to work in the opposite spirit and the enemy cannot take that’.

What kind of spirit are we of? Caleb was blessed with strength and health. At the age of eighty five he was able to conquer and take possession of the hill country and drive out the giants who lived there.

Prayer: Dear heavenly father, help us to remember Your miracles and wonders and put our faith in You for the future. Help us to work in the opposite spirit when we encounter hostility and rebellion against You. May we follow you with our whole heart as Caleb did. Amen.

Today's Writer : Liz Griffin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Proverbs 15:1

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.06.2014 17:45

Today's Verse for 06/03/2014

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. — Proverbs 15:1


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Thought

Why is it so hard to endure an unjust or unfair criticism? Why do we always have to defend ourselves no matter how ridiculous the charge? Often the problems we have with others simply escalate because we do not choose to forgive and let them go on in the Lord!

Prayer

Precious and Holy God, help me more carefully guard my speech from things you despise, especially gossip, slander, and innuendo. Thank you. In Jesus name and by Jesus' grace 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

How to Find God`s Will

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.06.2014 12:12

04 June, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
How to Find God`s Will

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, 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. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will."
Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV

Many arguments go through the human mind – What does God really want me to do? Why doesn’t God speak to me? I would do God’s will if only He would tell me what it is. Why is it so confusing to know what God’s will is? Sometimes I think I should, and sometimes I think I shouldn’t.

Knowing God’s will, and walking in it, is to fulfil our destiny – the reason we were born. The knowledge of God’s will comes out of relationship with Him, so, when we live in the relationship of Father-child, knowing His will isn’t difficult. To know and live as a free child of God has to do with heart’s desire and consecration of our lives.

Our text for today gives clear direction for knowing God’s will. It begins with, ‘Offer your body as a living sacrifice’. There’s a clear reason for this. We live in our body; we speak, act, think, behave, worship, and serve the Lord in it. To present your body as a living sacrifice is to follow the example of Jesus. God prepared an earthly body for His Son who said to His Father, ‘You prepared a body for me’ and ‘ I have come to do your will, O God’ (Hebrews 10:5, & 7). Within a human body Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world and fulfilled God’s will – the plan of salvation. During the last supper when He took the bread, the Lord Jesus said, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me’ (Luke 22:19).

God gave His Son a body in which to do His will. God has also given each of us a body in which to do His will. That is why, before we can fully know His will and walk in it, we too must offer our body as a sacrifice. It’s the first of three steps, but the most important one, because, once the uncompromising sacrifice of our body – our life – has been made, our heart will be changed.

The second step is ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world’. It simply means don’t live selfishly for your own gain and pleasure. The truth is that step one frees us from the desire of doing anything but pleasing, and living for, our Lord and Saviour. This is a major link to step three of our text ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your mind’, which is the work of the Holy Spirit in the consecrated believer. These three steps lead us into knowing and proving the perfect will of God for our life.

Prayer: Father, thank You so much for Jesus, who offered His body as a sacrifice so I can be saved, forgiven and fulfil Your will for my life. Today, by Your grace, I offer my body as a living sacrifice to be used as and how You choose, for Your glory. Today, may my life honour Jesus and bless others. Amen.

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

The Lesson of Prayer

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.06.2014 21:00

The Lesson of Prayer

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Some time ago I was invited to preach in another state, but my schedule was such that I couldn’t arrange it. When they offered to send a private plane, I could do it.

As we flew over Arkansas, the pilot asked me if I wanted to try my hand at flying the plane, and I said, “Yes!”

Of course, he was sitting right next to me. He could fly the plane without me, but I couldn’t fly it without him. He had his hands on his controls all the while, and he allowed me to participate with him.

That’s the way prayer is. God can do it without you, but God enables you to have fellowship with Him and teaches you a dependency upon Him through prayer.

ACTION POINT:
Meditate on 1 Chronicles 16:23-36. Glory in His presence:

23Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. 24Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. 25For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. 26For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.

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

The Foolish Things

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.06.2014 10:39

05 June, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Foolish Things

"God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful …. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important."
1 Corinthians 1:7-28, NLT

Some years ago I was invited to a women’s meeting. The speaker was the wife of a member of parliament. She was elegant and eloquent, and she sparkled with life and fun. The main thrust of her talk was that she’d asked God what her gifting was, what was she for Him? He told her that she was a ‘foolish thing’. You can imagine that at first she was a little bit perturbed and disappointed at this. However she came to an understanding of it from the passage in 1 Corinthians 1. She often met influential and noble people from all sorts of walks of life, sitting at functions and dinners with them, and God was calling her to be a witness to those people.

After the talk we broke into groups to pray together and there was someone in my group who was quite distressed. She was asking how this woman could say she was a ‘foolish thing’, when she seemed so far from foolish. We had to explain that in the circles she moved in she may have been seen as someone quite unimportant, even foolish, and not necessarily worth listening to. This person in the group was being called by God to set up a women’s group in her locality, and she was terrified because she wasn’t able to read or write. She felt she was far too foolish to lead a group. Wow! Don’t you just love the way God does things? We were able to encourage her and pray for her.

It’s certainly not always easy to be a ‘foolish thing’. It’s not something most of us would put our hands up for. The wise don’t take kindly to being shamed. They don’t really like to have their carefully worked out ways and solutions challenged by the unqualified or uneducated.

I’ve always loved this passage in 1 Corinthians 1. I love the way that, as Paul explains in verse 18, the wise and noble thought they could overcome the problem of Jesus by killing Him but His greatest victory was in His death (and subsequent resurrection of course). They thought they had the way to know God all sorted out through their own wisdom. I love that we walk in a kingdom where God so often uses the people that have been written off by the world to do His work.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, that Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God and that this power and wisdom is available to all who believe. Thank You, Lord, that You don’t measure us by the standards of this world. Help us to be willing to be used as ‘foolish things to shame the wise’ so that they, and we, might know the power of God in the crucified Christ. Amen.

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

Put on the Righteousness of Christ

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.06.2014 19:51

Put on the Righteousness of Christ

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” Colossians 3:12

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Sometimes people will ask if I’m a preacher.

How do they know I’m a preacher before I’ve said anything “spiritual”?

I don’t want them to know that I am a preacher by the way I look. Now, I’m not ashamed that I’m a preacher, but I think a preacher ought to dress and act so that nobody will suspect he’s a preacher. We ought to be transparent vessels of the Lord’s anointing.

We’re not posturing, posing, or somehow going through life trying to look holy or trying to act holy. We just simply are what we are by the grace of God.

ACTION POINT:
What does your outer appearance say about who you are in Christ? Dress in His robes of righteousness and His countenance of glory 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

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