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Devotional

Valvoja: Annukka

Stand!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.07.2014 09:07

05 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Stand!

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power ... Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
Ephesians 6: 10 & 13, NIV

Yesterday I had the enormous joy of watching my five year old son compete in his first gymnastics competition and win a bronze medal for his display. As they read Kyle’s name out I was rightfully proud and overjoyed at seeing my son stand up and be applauded for his hard work.

As good as his gymnastic display was, I felt a deeper pride for a very different reason. Kyle is the only boy in his group, with only one other (much older) boy in the whole club – both of them surrounded by girls! Throughout the year, a couple of other boys attended, but only for a short time, as they soon announced it was just for girls. This opinion was spoken out to Kyle frequently, but he stood firm, and continued his attendance and practice.

This is where my pride in my son lies most deeply – his steadfastness; even against the harsh words of others, and the obvious lack of other boys around him. When he received his medal, it was a result, not just of hard work in his gymnastics, but of an attitude that stood firm and didn’t let it matter what others said.

It`s a challenge to us all in this world, where there`s a continuous stream of opinion and beliefs thrown at us and the plumb-line of truth is increasingly difficult to find in the sea of political correctness and liberal attitudes. Standing our ground on the truth is becoming increasingly important, and a real test of our faith.

This Scripture reminds us that it`s the armour of God that makes it possible for us to stand firm – truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God. These are the things that enable us to stand against the popular opinion and the increasingly loud voices that would encourage us to give in to a more liberal lifestyle, or give up entirely.

We need not hide. We need not bow to a watered-down Gospel. We can stand up tall, knowing, one day, every eye will see that we stood for truth. And they will watch as we take our place and receive our special reward from God himself.

Prayer: Father God, I`m sorry that I`ve not always stood firm in truth and have allowed myself to be swayed by others` opinions and beliefs. Help me to stand firm in You from now on, until the time comes for me to receive my reward in heaven. Amen.

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

Gifts To God That He Delights In

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.07.2014 10:06

06 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Gifts To God That He Delights In

"Moreover because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that He delights in, for as part of God’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be His and all things happen just as He decided long ago."
Ephesians 1:11, NLB

The Lord doesn’t want us to pretend any more, either to Him or to others. In His gentleness He wants us to realise the real worth He sets on us. As Jesus said `you are of more value than many sparrows, yet he takes care of them`.

We`re so valuable that we`ve become gifts to God, because of what Christ has done for us on the cross, in making us clean. How incredibly great is His power to help those who trust in Him. He knows and understands our troubles, and so He can change and restore the real `me` deep inside. We can be transparent before Him without fear, as His gentleness and love are so great and His presence that He puts within us is a guarantee that He will give us all that He promises.

And when He becomes that precious gift to us we realise that we`re His precious jewels, and our hearts begin to praise Him. This really delights and blesses Him. It says in Zephaniah 3:17 that it causes Him to sing over us with great rejoicing. This is God`s plan for His children. Although we`re weak, poor, and sinful, and we feel worthless, yet the truth is the Lord has made us strong, rich, clean, confident, beautiful, and genuine people.

`I will change your name,
you shall no longer be called, wounded, outcast, lonely or afraid.
I will change your name,
Your new name shall be confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one, faithfulness, friend of God, one who seeks my face` (D.J.Butler).

Paul`s prayer: `I pray that your hearts be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future He has called you to share. I want you to realise that God has been made rich because we who are Christ`s have been given to Him` (Ephesians 1:18).

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

Re: Devotional

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.07.2014 10:30

07 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
What’s On Your Wish List?

"Seek your happiness in the LORD, and he will give you your heart`s desire."
Psalm 37:4, GNB

We can probably recall the good advice we got when we were young: “It`s not good for you to eat between meals. It`s not good for you to leave all your homework until the last minute. It`s not good for you to go out dressed like that. It`s not good for you to hang around with that crowd”.

Looking back, we can probably see that it really was “not good for us”, but it didn’t seem like that at the time! Are we any wiser as adults? In some ways, yes. We have learned a little about life and how it works. But we often have a private ‘Wish List’ of things which seem to be really good, but which actually may not be God’s best for us. We want a career, a house, a good income, foreign travel, interest and excitement, a sense of personal well-being. None of these things are bad in themselves, but maybe God knows better those things that we actually need right now.

What is God’s response to our secret prayers, as we present our ‘Wish List’? We may have grown beyond the `prosperity gospel` and `naming and claiming`, but do we have the right to ask God for our `heart`s desire` if it might not be His best for us? God still wants us to ask, but only after we have first found our happiness just in Him. Then we can sincerely say, “Father, You know that this is what I’d like, but if it’s not good for me, then I don’t want it”.

Prayer: Dear Father, Your goodness and love towards me are beyond my understanding. You also know better than I do what`s good for me and what isn`t. So as I tell You now my heart`s desire, I`m also saying – if it`s not good for me, then I don`t want it. I`m so happy to trust in Your provision for my life. Amen.

Today's Writer : Roger Pook
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

In a Dry Place

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.07.2014 09:22

08 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
In a Dry Place

““This is what the Lord says - he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.””
Isaiah 44: 2-4, NIV

There are times as a Christian that you can go through a very dry or difficult time. It’s not that you have done anything wrong or you don’t love Jesus, but life just becomes a real struggle. If that is where you are at today, take heart. The Bible is full of stories of heroes of our faith that went through such difficult times. Mary is one who springs to mind. How wonderful it would have been to have the angel Gabriel appear before you and tell you that you are going to bear the Son of God by supernatural means. But then imagine the road Mary had to walk, firstly facing the possibility of stoning because she was pregnant and unmarried. Her life would have been filled with sacrifice, and at times hardships, as she obediently lived out her calling, to be the mother of Jesus. Then of course the suffering Mary would have endured as she watched her son, Jesus, nailed to a wooden cross. None of us would have wanted to be Mary then. I can only imagine how desolate she would have felt in the weeks following.

Sometimes life can be like that. The hopes and dreams that you had, especially for your children, can crumble around you and you wonder what went wrong. I wonder if that’s how Mary felt? As parents we hope and dream for the very best for our children (and even grandchildren) and when things seem to go wrong we can be left devastated and afraid of what the future holds.

If that’s where you are at today I want to bring to you todays’s scripture from Isaiah 44. The Lord sees the beginning from the end. Do not be afraid! He knows how dry and thirsty you are and He is promising to pour water on you. He will restore you, just like He restored Mary when her son Jesus was raised from the dead! Not only that, the Father is promising to pour out his Spirit on your children and all your descendants. No matter what has happened and how hopeless things look Jesus can redeem any situation. So don’t give up today, even though the going is hard. Let His promise soak into the dryness and trust Him to restore your children, as well as your hopes and dreams.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I feel so very dry and I am struggling. You have seen my tears and my aching heart. Thank You that You have promised to help me and pour out your living water upon me, not only that You have promised to pour out your Spirit on my children and Your blessings on my descendants. Please Lord, restore my hopes and dreams for I cry out to You. In Your Name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Lynda Scott
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Are You in the Secret Service?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.07.2014 19:03

Are You in the Secret Service?

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Are you ashamed to put a Bible on your desk at work? Are you ashamed to bow your head in the cafeteria? Are you ashamed to invite people to Jesus Christ? Are you ashamed of the One who died for you?

A little boy had a dog, and someone asked him what kind of dog he was. He was just a mongrel, but the little fellow said, “Well, he’s a police dog.” The friend said, “He doesn’t look like a police dog.” The little guy replied, “He’s in the secret service.”

I’m afraid there are many of us who are in the secret service. We ought to be open and bold for the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

ACTION POINT:
Ask God to lead you out in strength and boldness today to live for Him and proclaim His love to others.

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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 Words

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.07.2014 19:06

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional July 8, 2014

Guard Your Words

"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."

Psalm 141:3

It happens so often. You're itching to say something, but before you double-check your words against the Holy Spirit, you let the sentence slip. You drop a precisely timed phrase that manipulates. Toss a few flirting words that entice. Aim a verbal barb that stings. Send a signal that you dare not be crossed.

Whatever the message, you've hit the target with your words. Someone's reputation has been slandered. A heart has become divided. Feelings have been crushed. A testimony is compromised. A spirit is badly bruised.

Someone once prayed, "Before I move, before I speak, perfect wisdom I will seek." That's good advice for the Christian who ignores the Spirit's prompting and proceeds to be slow to hear and swift to speak. Matthew Henry builds on that prayer when he says, "Since my lips are the door to my words, let grace keep that door, that no word may go out which in any way dishonors God or hurts others."

And in case you still think a few, subtle words can't do that much harm, let the following serve as a warning:

"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell" (James 3:6).
______________________________________

Proverbs 13:3 is another reminder, "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." Your mind, will, and emotions are dangerously exposed to ruin when you say things with an impure or hurtful motive. So before you speak, ask yourself, "Will what I say hurt or help? Will it glorify God? Would I be ashamed if others heard?"

Lord, before I move, before I speak, perfect wisdom I will seek.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

How Quickly We Forget!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.07.2014 09:28

09 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
How Quickly We Forget!

"Is the Lord Among Us Or Not?"
Exodus 17:7, NKJ​V

The book of Exodus in the Old Testament is an exciting book to read, especially the first half. It describes the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and then follows their journey into the wilderness, on route to the Promised Land. For centuries the Israelites had cried out to God in their oppression, and at the designated time, God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and raised up a deliverer. He had seen the Israelites` misery. God had heard their cries for help, and by mighty acts, through Moses, He delivered his people. They even plundered the Egyptians as they left Egypt; receiving from them articles of gold, silver and clothing. Laden with flocks, herds and treasure, they hastily and boldly exited the land of their bondage ( Exodus 12:33-35, and 14:8 ).

Before very long Pharaoh and his army are pursuing Israel in the wilderness and the people are absolutely terrified. An understandable reaction, I think. I would have been terrified too. Again God intervened mightily on their behalf, parted the Red Sea and drowned the advancing army of Pharaoh. This enemy would never bother them again. In response, the Israelites break out into songs of praise to God and jubilant celebration. They sing, `I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously. The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song and he has become my salvation` (Exodus 15:1-2). The noise of their singing would have been heard for miles around.

But it didn`t take long for the Israelites to start moaning and groaning about the new hardships they were encountering. After all they`d seen and all they`d experienced, they`re recorded as saying, `is the Lord among us or not?` (Exodus 17:7).

I don`t know about you but I find that statement incredulous. I want to shake some sense into those Israelites and say, `What`s wrong with you people? What do you mean `Is God with us?` Have you so soon forgotten His mighty acts on your behalf? Why don`t you just humble yourselves and ask for God`s help again, instead of moaning and groaning and turning your hearts back towards Egypt? You people are unbelievable.`

It`s so easy to become self-righteous when you read this narrative, and I fell into this trap myself. `I wouldn`t have acted like that` I muse to myself. Then the truth pierces me like a sword and I realise I probably would have. In the same situation I probably would have acted just like they did ... Gulp!

I wonder how often you and I have questioned whether God was still with us, as we encountered various difficulties and heartache. It’s not that we haven`t seen God move on our behalf in the past, because we have. Perhaps not to the scale that the Israelites personally experienced, but we were delivered nevertheless, and just in time. All those instances were not coincidental. We cried out to God in our distress, He heard our cry and sent help from heaven. He even answered sometimes when we didn`t have faith that He would. He`s not just powerful, but merciful and long-suffering as well! I`m so grateful for that fact.

If you`re wondering today `Is God with me or not`, then stop wondering! He is!! I repeat that. He is!! God has promised never to leave you or forsake you, so don`t be tempted to doubt in the darkness what you knew to be truth in the light.

Prayer: Father God, please forgive me for all the times that I`ve doubted that You were still with me. I choose to put my hand in Your hand today and follow close behind You. Thank You that You`re bigger than any problem I have or challenge I`ll face this day. The God who delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt is also my God. I praise His holy name, Amen.

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

Paying the Price

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.07.2014 09:26

10 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Paying the Price

"Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector´s booth. “Follow me”, Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him."
Mark 2:13-14, NIV

One person´s life and experience is never the same as another person´s. We’re all different, we all have our own individual walk. Listening to the testimonies of others can be very encouraging, touching or thrilling. But it can never be a model for us to copy. We all have our own individual walk, because God leads us differently, in ways He’s prepared
for us.

When Levi was called to follow Jesus, his experience of Jesus` call was different from that of Simon, and from that of Philip. By comparison, it might seem easier for Levi to make the decision to follow Jesus than Simon Peter. He had no boat or fishing nets to
leave. Rather, he was let out of a narrow office, freed from boring routines, and he got to see wider horizons. That must have been an easy choice, don’t you think?

But when disaster struck the disciples, as Jesus was crucified, Simon had an easy way out. He just got back to his boat, to the nets and his business. But where could Levi go? He couldn´t go back to the tax collectors` office and say “Hey, I want my job back!”. It was gone, and he was long since replaced by someone else who felt very happy to have received the privilege of a secure job. Levi was redundant.

When Levi was called, he didn´t know things would take such a turn, but must have known
it was a possibility. He certainly gave up a secure employment, even if it wasn’t one with the best reputation in town. As he prepared to leave, for his future as a disciple of this man from Nazareth, he was giving a farewell party to his friends. That band of man weren’t of the best reputation, ‘tax collectors and sinners’, but they were his friends. People of doubtful reputation sometimes develop very strong friendships. They hang on to what they have. But Levi chose to leave the friends he had.

We sometimes think it is easier for those who have little to leave it all and follow Jesus. I’m not so sure about that. Having just a few belongings can make those belongings so much more precious, so much harder to give up. Having only a band of rough and tough comrades can make the sense of belonging that much stronger, that much more difficult to give up.

Levi counted the cost, made his decision and followed Jesus. And there was no way back. Come what may, he’d given his life and future to Jesus. And the price he paid may not
have seemed very high to others, but to him it was everything.

To be radical for Jesus doesn’t always mean giving up a huge amount, but it always means being prepared to give up everything. And when you can´t trust in secure wages or employment, it means placing your future in God´s hand, and trusting that He’ll be faithful.

Levi´s choice meant a life of doing the work of Jesus, and the joy of seeing the Kingdom of God break forth. But it also meant martyrdom and death at the hands of unbelievers. This scenario is becoming more and more a real possibility to many Christians. Knowing this, may we too count the cost, pay the price, and follow our Master wherever He leads!!

Today's Writer : Goran Andersson
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Wake Up!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.07.2014 09:29

Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Wake Up!

"Awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendour, O Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion."
Isaiah 52:1-2, NIV

The Christian life is all based on what Jesus has done for us at the Cross. There is nothing that we can do to win our salvation or to achieve righteousness. He has done it all for us. However, there is a part that we need to play in appropriating each aspect of the Cross for ourselves. Some Christians wait for everything to fall into their lap and become passive in their faith, and then they wonder why God appears not to be at work in their lives!

In today’s verses from Isaiah, Zion is exhorted to wake up and become active in various ways. As God’s people we could also take on the challenge of these words. First of all we need to clothe ourselves with strength, recognising that our strength comes from the Lord and that we need to do everything through His power and not our own. Then the command is to put on garments of splendour. There are many references to spiritual garments in the Bible – garments of salvation, a garment of praise, a robe of righteousness, royal robes. Jesus provides these for us, but we need to remove our filthy rags and receive our new garments by faith, putting them on and wearing them. It can be an important part of our healing to consciously step out of the old cloaks of despair, failure and wounding, and to put on the new clean garments which Jesus has provided for us.

The last part of the reference exhorts us to free ourselves from the chains that bind us. Only Jesus can free us from captivity to the enemy and his power over our lives. Only Jesus can break the chains of slavery to fear, addiction and other bondages in our lives. But we then have to walk free from the chains and not allow ourselves to come under the yoke of slavery again.

Perhaps God is exhorting some of you today to “Rise up” and to “Shake off the dust” of past failures, bondages, despair and hopelessness, to walk in the freedom that Jesus has won for you, and to clothe yourselves with the garments of salvation that Jesus has for you.

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times when I have been passive and have not entered fully into all that You have for me. I choose now to rise up and receive the royal robes that You have given me, and to walk in freedom from the chains that You have broken off my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Jilly Lyon Taylor
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Forgiveness of the King

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.07.2014 19:36

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” Romans 4:7

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
There was a king who asked slaves on a ship, “Why are you in chains?”

One replied, “I don’t know. I was in a crowd when a crime was committed. I am innocent.”

He asked another who said, “I am not guilty but a victim of false witnesses.”

The king proceeded to ask each man the same question and each had a reason why he was innocent. That is, until one man responded, “I am here because I deserve to be here. I have sinned against my God and against my king. And now I am paying the penalty.”

The king stepped back and said, “What are you doing here among so many honest men? Guards, release him!”

ACTION POINT:
Not until we admit our sin are we going to know the mercy and forgiveness of the King. Bow before Him today and admit you are lost without Him.

View or Share online | Discover Jesus | Donate | 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

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