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The Valley of Dry Bones

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2013 10:16

07 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Valley of Dry Bones

"Speak a prophetic message and say, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.” So I spoke as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet - a great army."
Ezekiel 37:9b-10, NLT

Lately I have been singing and meditating on a song by Chris Tomlin called ‘Awake My Soul’. It is a very stirring song and is based on the scripture of Ezekiel 37. It has caused me to go back to the scriptures and study it again. It is a prophetic vision that Ezekiel sees of a valley strewn with dry bones. The Lord asks Ezekiel if these bones can become living people again. God then tells him to prophesy to the bones. Ezekiel prophesies life and breath. Then one of the most graphic images in the Bible happens ‘Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons’ (Ezekiel 37:7). Imagine seeing that! The bones came together then muscles and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them. Once more Ezekiel prophesies to the breath and they come to life and stand to their feet - a great army.

The most stunning part of this amazing prophecy is the 4 verses that follow. I want you to get it, so this is what happens next: Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones - all hope is gone. Our nation is finished’. Therefore prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes the Lord has spoken’”.

The vision that Ezekiel was having was of our day. Israel has come to life and it is standing on its feet, as a great army. Israel has become a nation again after so many centuries in exile. Even today thousands of Jews are returning to the land of Israel from all the nations of the earth. This passage in Ezekiel is just one of many passages from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible that shows the heart of God to restore the nation of Israel.

Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ came to Israel to bring the message of salvation to the Jewish people. The message of salvation was later extended through Paul and Peter to the Gentiles (all who were not Jews). The universal Church will not be complete until Jew and Gentile come together as one in Christ. The Sovereign Lord is one who is faithful. His Word will be fulfilled. His purposes are to make His Bride, the Church, both Jew and Gentile, complete and ready for His return. My encouragement to you today, wherever you are, is to hear God’s heartbeat for the restoration of His Church and to do whatever it is He lays on your heart. And we all pray: May your Kingdom come and may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Prayer: Sovereign Lord, we stand in awe of you that you can make dry bones live. We praise you that you are fulfilling your prophecy through Ezekiel and that Israel is rising again, a great army. We align ourselves with your purposes to make your Bride, the Church, both Jew and Gentile, complete and ready for your return. Come Lord Jesus. Amen.

Today's Writer : Lynda Scott
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— Philippians 2:9

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2013 18:44

Today's Verse for 12/07/2013

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name... — Philippians 2:9


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Thought

For Jesus, Graciousness + Guts + Giving + Grit = Glory. Just one of those equations in salvation math that doesn't make much human sense, but from the perspective of faith, it is powerful wisdom. Jesus came to our world because of the graciousness of God. Jesus had the "guts" to leave behind heaven and face the hardships of humanity, and give of himself to serve others. Jesus had the grit to endure the horrors and humiliation of the cross. So God has shared with Jesus his glory and placed him above all others. The apostle Paul wants to remind us that God doesn't forget our sacrifices, our obedience, and our hardships. He does honor them with his pleasure and his glory because Jesus' sacrifice has made us holy!

Prayer

Holy Father and Lord God, I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son and my Savior and Lord. I surrender my heart to have no rival interest to the lordship of your Son. Thank you for your wonderful gift of love in him. In Jesus' name. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Viestit: 3288
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His Unquestioned Lordship

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2013 18:56

His Unquestioned Lordship

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 “Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Can you imagine what it meant to Mary to hear the angel say to her, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus”? Or for those Jewish shepherds the night of his birth to hear the angels say, “…born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”?

What does that word “Lord” mean? What did it mean to these shepherds? It meant “Jehovah” to them. Jehovah, God Almighty. When the angel said, “a Savior which is Christ the Lord,” the angel was saying He is co-equal, co-eternal with the Almighty.

Jesus Christ is called “Lord” far more than He is called “Savior.” He’s called “Lord” 747 times in the New Testament. He is Lord. Every so often someone says, “Well, I decided to make Him Lord.” Too late for that. He is Lord.

ACTION POINT:
You cannot “make” Him Lord; He already is. Can you receive Him as Lord? Yes. You can bow your knee to Him and say, “O Lord, You are the King. Therefore, I yield my heart to You.” Receive Him today as your Lord. Will you submit to His Lordship?”

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Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Finding Meaning

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2013 18:59

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional December 7, 2013

Finding Meaning

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15

Suppose you're walking down a street when you are accosted and forced to carry a huge and heavy basket on your back. You're ordered to walk three blocks, turn left, go two blocks, turn right, then proceed straight on. Staggering under the weight, you stumble on, bewildered and angry. The whole thing is meaningless and haphazard. When you are halfway down the third block, you finally bellow, "What gives?!"

The truth is then revealed. The burden you are carrying is your child, injured and unconscious. "Whaat!" On top of that, you discover you are not trudging through a meaningless rat-maze, but the most direct route to a hospital emergency room.

Immediately you straighten. Adrenaline and fresh energy quicken your pace and you move forward with a new attitude. Why the change? The suffering you're going through involves a relationship. Not just any relationship, but one with your child. Your relationship gives your burden meaning. Even your twisted path makes sense. You know where you are going. Your journey has a positive end -- the hospital -- and this instills hope.

Suffering has no meaning in itself. Left to its own, it is a frustrating and bewildering burden. But given the context of relationship, suffering suddenly has meaning.
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You are not alone in your hardships. You have not been blindsided and ambushed by suffering, only to trudge on in senseless disappointment. God is with you. He is deeply involved in your circumstances. You have a Savior who can completely empathize with your weaknesses. In other words, you have relationship; and this, like nothing else, is what gives your circumstances powerful meaning. Intimacy deepens between you and God in the midst of hardships -- and intimacy makes for meaningful relationships.

Lord, press my soul up against Your breast through my pain and problems. And as You do, thank You for deepening the intimacy between us. This, like nothing else, gives my hardship meaning!

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

Love Much

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2013 19:05

Love Much

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, many [as they are], are forgiven her — because she has loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little.”
(Luke 7:47, AMP)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Did you know that forgiveness opens the door for love to operate in your life? This scripture passage is talking about the story of the woman with the alabaster box of costly perfume. She was a notorious sinner in her day, and when she saw Jesus, she fell at His feet and began washing them with her tears and drying them with her hair. She knew she was forgiven. When she received Christ’s forgiveness, love was the automatic response. She was forgiven of much, and her love was extravagant.

Do you want more love in your life? Do you want to feel more of God’s love and have stronger relationships with the people around you? Open your heart to forgiveness. Receive Christ’s forgiveness and extend it to others. When you are forgiven much, you will love much. As Christ’s love flows through you, your faith will be strengthened, your hope will be renewed, and you will be empowered to live the abundant life He has in store for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your forgiveness which opens the door for Your love to flow through me. Show me Your love and help me to be a light and example of love everywhere I go in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen
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Viestit: 3288
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Lift Your Eyes

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2013 23:07

Lift Your Eyes

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
(Psalm 121:1–2, NKJV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

What are you looking at today? Are there challenges in your life to overcome? Don’t just look at your problems day in and day out; lift up your eyes and look toward heaven. You will naturally move in the direction that your eyes are looking. If you are always looking at your problems — meditating on them, feeling sorry for yourself, telling everybody about them — you will become consumed by them. But when you look up, your life will start to move up. When you keep your eyes on Jesus, it is also a sign of your faith and expectancy. The Bible tells us that faith is what moves the hand of God. When you have an attitude of faith and expectancy, you open the door for His power in your life. Decide today to focus on the goodness of your God. Lift your eyes and heart to Him and begin to praise Him with your words. As you lift your eyes, your help will come, and you will live the victorious life He has in store for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Heavenly Father, today I choose to lift my eyes to You. I will look to You for my help. Thank You for showing me Your salvation and deliverance. I bless You today in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen
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Viestit: 3288
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Death Where is Your Victory!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.12.2013 10:19

08 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Death Where is Your Victory!

"Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ "
John 11:25-26, NIV

Recently a friend of mine went home to heaven and I felt Jesus speak the above words to my grieving heart. It wasn’t a rebuke but rather a question that needed clarifying, purely for my sake, not for God’s. He already knew the answer to His question but it was me who needed to verbalise the answer.

‘Yes I do believe this Lord’, I found myself responding. As I meditated on my response, the comfort of God enveloped me. The tears still flowed of course and under such circumstances, they should. Grieving was an appropriate response but so was my statement of faith.

In context, these words were actually spoken to Martha, by Jesus, over 2000 years ago. Her brother Lazarus had been dead in the tomb for four days and by her response in the verses earlier, it was obviously not the outcome she had hoped for. In verse 21 & 22 we read Martha says to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’

Such faith filled words from a grieving woman! I wonder if Martha knew what Jesus was about to do, or did the words simply flow from her spirit through her mouth, before she had time to intellectually dissect them? I don’t know, but she did protest when Jesus commanded ‘take away the stone.’ Martha was worried about the potential smell of a rotting corpse and was quick to explain so.

Did Jesus raise a frustrated eyebrow or simply smile to Himself? Remember that He was good friends with Martha and her family and knew them very well. We are not told anything about Jesus’ body language in this story. His next statement would have quickly got her attention though, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?1" Then Jesus proceeded to raise Lazarus from the dead.

My friend is no longer with us here on earth, but she is wonderfully alive with God in heaven. The Apostle Paul tells us that to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8) and that thought comforts me. My friend knew Jesus as the resurrection and the life, and for her the toils of this earthly life are now over.

Despite the sense of loss I still feel, I am happy that for her that there will be no more night, no more mourning, no more sorrow and no more pain. Also one day I know there will be a wonderful reunion between her and those who are presently still on earth, so I don’t need to grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). For those of you who are grieving right now, I pray that you too would know the comfort of the Lord.

Prayer: Jesus, I do believe that You conquered the power of death on the cross and it no longer can hurt us. ‘Where O death, is Your victory? Where, O death, is Your sting?’ Eternity with God is our inheritance. Amen! Amen! Amen! (1 Corinthians 15:55). Amen.

Today's Writer : Sue Dare
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Philippians 2:10-11

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.12.2013 19:18

Today's Verse for 12/08/2013

...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — Philippians 2:10-11


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Thought

I love the fact that I do each day what everyone will one day do: bow before the majesty and proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ to honor the Father's glory. How wonderful it is to be able to make that proclamation because of grace rather than in fear at the end of a life that has been spent in what is rebellion, denial, and waste.

Prayer

Father, I do praise you for the truth about Jesus that will one day be realized fully by everyone who has ever lived. May my life display that truth in the way I treat people today. May my lips suitably proclaim that truth so others can know Jesus as Lord today. In Jesus' name. 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

Lord of All? Or Not at All?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.12.2013 20:00

Lord of All? Or Not at All?

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power…” Romans 1:3-4

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
May I ask you a personal question? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord? You do? Then may I ask you another question? Is He your Lord?

Let’s be more specific.
• Is He Lord of your tongue?
• Is He Lord of your time?
• Is He Lord of your treasure?
• Is He Lord of your talents?
• Is He Lord of your testimony?
• Is He Lord in deed as well as word?

Is He truly Lord? Now, don’t answer too quickly.

ACTION POINT:
Think about it: It’s one thing to sing “Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.” It’s another thing to mean it. Crown Him “Lord of all” in your life today.

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

Gaining Through Losing

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.12.2013 20:03

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional December 8, 2013

Gaining Through Losing

"For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it."
1 Timothy 6:7

Cecile Van Antwerp has lived in a wheelchair many more years than I, plus she resides in a nursing home. When I went to visit her, I was struck by the small size of her living alcove -- just enough room for a bed and chest of drawers in the corner by a window. Yet with photos, a flower arrangement, a colorful afghan, and a plaque on the wall above her headboard, she has made it her home. She has scaled down her heart's desires and fashioned a small, cozy nest out of a tight, cramped space. And she's content.

Gaining contentment does not mean instantly having things "your way." Gaining contentment means equalizing your desires and your circumstances. Cecile, at one time, may have wanted a large, spacious living area, but since that wasn't in the realm of possibility, she "subtracted" that desire and, with God's grace, adjusted her desires to her circumstances. The world doesn't do it this way. The world will have you trying to improve your circumstances to match your desires, whether it's health, money, beauty or power.
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But it is wiser to subdue your heart to match your situation. Christians may not be able to rule their life circumstances, but they can rule their hearts: "The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position..." says James 1:9. Jeremiah Burroughs says...

Here lies the bottom and root of all contentment: when there is an evenness and proportion between our hearts and our circumstances. [A Christian] is the most contented man in the world and yet the most unsatisfied man in the world; these two together must needs be mysterious... He is contented if he has but a crust... yet if God should give unto him Kingdoms and Empires... he should not be satisfied with that. A soul that is capable with God can be filled with nothing else but God.

Lord, help me to learn what Cecile learned about You. That You are enough. That Your grace is sufficient.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

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