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Valvoja: Annukka

Never Too Old to Learn!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.07.2014 09:43

13 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Never Too Old to Learn!

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king ... and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
1 Samuel 16:1-3, NIV

I don`t know about you, but if I were Samuel I would have one burning question to ask God. “Who is it? Just give me his name!” God tells Samuel where to go, what to bring, what family to involve and what to do. But He doesn`t tell Samuel which one of Jesse`s sons He had chosen. Why does He do that? Samuel was the prophet God spoke to and revealed many things. He had used Samuel many times and Samuel had always been faithful. So why not tell Samuel every last detail?

Samuel did as God commended and travelled to Bethlehem. Although only six miles south of Jerusalem, it was a million miles away in terms of excitement and activity. It was a lack-lustre little place, where only Ruth would have warranted a blue heritage plaque on a wall. Samuel gets Jesse to bring out his sons and line them up. Samuel sizes them up and can identify possible kings from their bearing, physique, good looks, dress etc. But one by one God rejects them and reveals to Samuel a vital lesson, `The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.`

Eventually all seven sons of Jesse have been examined and God’s chosen was not among them. At this point I might have been panicking! Samuel asks if there is anyone missing and hears it`s David. He`s the youngest and only fit for looking after the sheep. But Samuel is insistent that he should be summoned. When he arrives in haste my feeling is that he would have been wearing rough work-wear, hair in need of a good cut and comb through, smelling of sheep and much in need of a good bath! But God declares He`s the one!

This encourages me. Firstly, it shows me that no matter how long someone has followed the Lord, no matter how well and how faithfully, there is always something God wants to teach us and that frequently requires us to trust Him and believe that He knows what he is doing, and wont lead us astray. Secondly, it reveals to me that what God wants above all else is our heart. He’s not bothered about our outward appearance, how good our job is, how good-looking we might be, how much money we have, what car we drive or the designer clothes we wear. He is just looking for our heart – is it yearning for Him, is it focused on Him, is it wanting to follow Him above all else. None of us are ever too old (or too young) to learn this.

Prayer: Dear Lord. Thank You that You always want to teach me new things about Yourself and about me; that You want me to trust You and to know You are totally faithful. You are not interested in my outward appearance. All You want or need is my heart. I`m sorry for the times when I`m willing to give You everything but the one thing You desire. Help me to change that, starting today, by the power of Your Holy Spirit living in me. Amen.

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

Lift High the Cross

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.07.2014 09:36

14 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Lift High the Cross

`May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God`
Psalm 20:5, NIV

The Trooping of the Colour, a military ceremonial event held in London each year on the Queen`s official birthday, was held again last month. This event, involving over 1400 soldiers, with 200 horses and over 400 musicians from ten bands takes place in the presence of and with the participation of certain members of the Royal Family and is one of the large tourist attractions of the year.

"The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle and were trooped in front of the soldiers every day to make sure that every man could recognise the colours of his own regiment".(from the Trooping of the Colour Website)

`The actual use of colours,standards or guidons both as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt. In the chaos of battle, not least due to the amount of dust and smoke on a battle field, soldiers needed to be able to determine where their regiment was.` (Wikipedia)

These regimental colours or flags are treated with great reverence as they represent the honour and traditions of the regiment and often are inscribed with the names of battles or other symbols representing former achievements.

As we Christians look to the Cross as our rallying point, we are reminded of the achievement of Jesus, our Commanding Officer: He has won the victory for us. The empty cross reminds us that the one who died there for us is no longer there but is ascended in heaven. In the midst of our daily battles we can therefore take encouragement from the fact that the cross is a reminder of the way we have come and where we are going - it is indeed a very much needed point of reference.

Often in the busy-ness of every day life we are not always able to recognise the effect that the work of the cross is, or indeed should be having on our life. Perhaps we need to take time to look afresh at what the cross of Jesus represents to us, the soldiers enrolled in the service of the King of Kings.

Sound the battle cry! See the foe is nigh:
Raise the standard high for the Lord;
Gird your armour on,stand firm everyone;
Rest your cause upon His holy word.

Rouse, then, soldiers, rally round the banner,
Ready, steady, pass the word along:
Onward, forward,shout aloud, `Hosanna!`
Christ is captain of the mighty throng.

Author William F Sherwin (1869)
Songs and Music (Salvation Army 1922)

Prayer: Dear Lord, Please help me never to forget what the cross stands for and what you achieved there for me. As I daily apply to my life what you did for me at Calvary, please strengthen me and help me to be a good and effective soldier for you. Amen.

Today's Writer : Malcolm Wood
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

You will not be disappointed!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.07.2014 09:34

15 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
You will not be disappointed!

“O Lord, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I – in righteousness will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”
Psalm 17:14-15, NIV

It’s sometimes hard to see the success and apparent prosperity of people who have turned their backs on God, lived their lives in unrighteousness, and made their earthly achievements and material possessions their aim in life – especially when you are going through hard times yourself, as was often the case for David, who wrote the Psalm from which our Scripture for the day is taken. In just the previous verse he was crying out to God to rescue him from the wicked!

But even though David wrestled, as we all do, with these underlying injustices of the present life, there was something much deeper in David’s life which enabled him to be an overcomer, whatever the prevailing circumstances were like. In his heart he really knew what God was like. The nature and character of the God he loved and who loved him was so interwoven into David’s life experiences that he knew he would never be disappointed by God.

In verse 15, David turns his attention away from the present life, away from the fact that not only are those with evil intent in their hearts sinners, but we all are, and makes a remarkable prophetic declaration of faith, something that would only eventually become possible because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, his glorious resurrection and the fact that right now He has gone to prepare a place for you and me the redeemed of God (John 14:1-4). David, a man who openly confessed his own sin declared that “in righteousness” he would see the face of God. It is only with sins forgiven and the slate wiped clean that one day we will be clothed in righteousness divine. And in righteousness, we will see the face of God!

There are times in life when I’ve looked forward to something with great anticipation, but when it actually happened, the realisation was something of a disappointing let down. The little that David had experienced of God was such that he knew, in a way that was beyond human understanding, that when he saw God face to face, it would not be a disappointing let down – but that he would be satisfied – which means full to overflowing with the joy of the experience!

Sometimes people think of death as something to be feared – but to those who know and love the Lord, death has no sting (1 Corinthians 15:54-58). It is the gateway to the clothing room of Heaven – where we experience first-hand the righteousness of Christ and are clothed in righteousness to enter the holy presence of the living God! Human eye has not yet seen or experienced the glorious vision that will then be ours – but we do know that Jesus came to show us what the Father is like - and we can know for sure, therefore, that we will be overflowing with joy – yes, we will be satisfied, in fact more than satisfied – and we will never tire of the experience!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that as a believer who knows Jesus, I will one day enter Heaven clothed in righteousness and that I will, never, never tire of enjoying being in the presence of God. Help me, Lord, to lift up my eyes from all the difficulties that surround me and focus my spiritual eyes on the realities that await me in glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

My Righteousness

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 16.07.2014 14:03

16 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
My Righteousness

"Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour as with a shield."
Psalm 5:12, NIV

‘The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles’ (Psalm 34:17). ‘He will never let the righteous fall (Psalm 55:22). These are comforting words, and should give us confidence and strength in our daily living, along with God’s many other promises of protection.

Why then do we sometimes feel as if we’re walking through a minefield, ‘hard-pressed on every side?’ (2 Corinthians 4:8). As Christians we’re aware there’s a battle raging, and we’re in the middle of it. But it often seems that we’re fighting on our own and God is surprisingly silent. Are we missing something?

‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe’ (Proverbs 18:10). Could it be that we’re not righteous enough? - Perhaps our lives don’t measure up to God’s standards and we don’t qualify to enter the safety of The Tower? Romans 3:10 tells us ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’ And Isaiah 64:6: ‘All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.’ So what hope do we have?

Let’s consider Jesus: ‘It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption’ (1 Corinthians 1:30). If He`s our righteousness, how does that affect us?

‘God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21). ‘Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ. The righteousness that comes from God is by faith’ (Philippians 3:9).

By accepting personally all that Jesus did for us on the cross, and recognising that our unrighteous life was put to death with Him, we can now take up our new identity, born again in Christ, and live in the forgiveness and freedom that He has won for us.
We are the righteousness of God through faith in Christ Jesus. But there’s more ...
‘You also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit` (Ephesians 1:13). Now we can receive His blessings in our own right, and walk into our inheritance.


Prayer: Father, please forgive me for thinking I’m not good enough to receive Your promises. I need to lean on Jesus, who made the way for me to come right up to Your throne of blessing. I repent of all my unworthiness and receive Your fullness, through Jesus Christ. Thank You, Father. Amen.

Today's Writer : Ron Scurfield
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Unique and Created for a Purpose

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.07.2014 10:24

17 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Unique and Created for a Purpose

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
Psalm 139:13-16, NLT

We’ve recently returned from a holiday in beautiful Scotland, and whilst we were there we hired a car, which had a significant registration number. On several occasions we had to remember it, and it was quite memorable. The first part was the initials of our eldest son, which is no big deal really, but the last part was UBU (which sounds like ‘you be you’ when spoken).

Amongst the rugged and generally unspoilt beauty in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland we were constantly reminded of God’s creation and the number plate reminded me daily to meditate on our uniqueness and the words of Psalm 139.

Somehow God seemed to speak to me through those letters UBU. It wasn’t a new revelation exactly, as I know that we’re created by God unique and with a special, unique destiny. That means that there’s no-one else in the whole world who’s like me or you, and God made me and you just the way we are on purpose. And He has plans for us that only we can fulfil. No-one else will do.

We may have got off track with God’s plans and purposes for our lives; but, praise God, in and through Jesus, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can get on track. I felt a new joy at being me. (In the past I used to wish that God had made me somebody else). I got a new revelation; that the words of Psalm 139 are true for every single person I meet.

So I want to encourage you today to be yourself; loved, rescued and redeemed by Jesus, and enabled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Lord, I want to thank You today for making me me. Help me to allow You, Jesus, to cleanse, heal, and redeem any part of my life that’s preventing me from being all that You created me to be, and show me what You have for me to do today. Amen.

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

The Faithful God

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.07.2014 14:40

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional July 17, 2014

The Faithful God

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands." Deuteronomy 7:9

The sun is shining brightly with not a cloud in the sky. The birds are chirping. No disagreements hanging over your head. No pressures. All bills paid. Nothing but clear sailing. Little wonder you find yourself saying out loud, "Lord, this is great. You are wonderful!"

True, we get excited about God when circumstances are delightful, when the weather invigorates us, bills are paid, the medical check-up goes fine, and nobody is holding anything over our heads. When things are good, God is good. If things are bad, then God is off in Tasmania, taking care of little devils, or in the Middle East setting the stage for Armageddon.

We are so prone to let our circumstances--whether good or bad--dictate our view of God. But time and again the Bible tells us that God is faithful. He is not just a faithful God but the faithful God. He is the same steadfast and good Father yesterday, today, and forever. Scripture alone should be our frame of reference for who the Lord really is, for circumstances do not a good theology make.
_______________________________________

Remember this lesson the next time you are quick to tell God how wonderful He is on a golden morning or a peaceful fireside evening. Whether the day is grand or gloomy, every day is a great day to give praise to God.

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." You are God my stronghold... send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me to You, my joy and my delight.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

More Than Enough

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.07.2014 10:10

18 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
More Than Enough

"When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming towards him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do."
John 6:5-6, NIV

As I travel around Europe, I see great need and meet many broken hearted people, who have sad tales to tell. If I’m not careful, my heart can easily become overwhelmed when I compare my own personal inadequacy with their great need. Jesus, on the other hand, wasn’t filled with feelings of inadequacy, but rather with compassion, and out of that compassion He taught the multitudes, and healed those who needed healing. He was vitally united to his heavenly Father, and as a result of that relationship all the riches of heaven were at His disposal. Even in his human frailty and physical weariness He was still able to access ‘God`s much’, which was more than enough.

This really encouraged me, because there are days when my little seems even less adequate than other times. I ask, “What can i possibly give in face of such need”. I’m learning from experience that my little, plus God’s much is more than enough! What amazes me is that my little has value in the eyes of God, and it actually delights His heart when I surrender it to Him. He doesn’t despise my seemingly meagre offering, but instead says “thank you”, blesses it and adds His much to it.

I look back at these times in wonder and celebration because it’s obvious to whom all the glory, honour and praise belongs. Perhaps you’ve been holding back from God ‘your little’. You want to make a difference in this world, but when you look down at your meagre offering, your heart despairs and cries out “It’s not enough!” God’s challenge to you today is to surrender your little to Him and He’ll then add His much. When He does this the blind will see, the lame will walk, the brokenhearted will be healed and the captives will be set free. God’s kingdom will come and His will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Prayer: Father God, my heart’s cry to You is “let it be! Let it be! Let it be! in Jesus’ name”. Amen.

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

Isaiah 41:10

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.07.2014 19:17

Today's Verse for 07/19/2014

[The Lord says] "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." — Isaiah 41:10


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Thought

Fear saps our will power and leaves us feeling depleted and hopeless. Yet very few of us have ever experienced a defeat so complete and bitter as the one God's people faced when Isaiah shared this message of hope. The preservation of Israel through their horrors to the time of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead when all appeared lost, the triumph of the Church through centuries of persecution and opposition are all powerful reminders that underneath us are the everlasting arms of a mighty and loving God who will ultimately bring us to share in his eternal victory.

Prayer

Almighty and Eternal Father, it is such sweet comfort to know that you are always there. Thank you for always being there and guaranteeing my victory! 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

Unless the Lord Builds the House

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.07.2014 11:06

20 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Unless the Lord Builds the House

"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
Psalm 127:1

Much work doesn’t always mean a huge result. The disciples once laboured all night but when morning broke and they counted the results, it was nothing. The nets were empty. Being fishermen, they probably had vivid memories of other nights, when they had laboured less, and caught much more. Why so little this time?

Whether we realise it or not, our hard and long hours of labour do not guarantee results. There’s also another factor that’s of importance when it comes to the results of our labour. Is the Lord in it or not? Are we working with Him, without Him, or against Him?

But the very interesting thing in today´s word, is that the Lord´s building the house does not mean that the labourers aren’t needed, and the Lord´s watching over the city doesn’t mean that the watchmen could just as well go to sleep. Rather the opposite! It’s when the Lord is at work that man’s work really becomes meaningful and produces results. The Lord’s blessing makes all the difference, but the Lord’s blessing doesn’t make our work superfluous.

There’s a story about a pastor who was taking a walk and saw one of his parishioners working hard at breaking up new ground to cultivate it. He watched the farmer for a while, and then said, “You and God together are really making this land bear good crops”. The farmer straightened his back, dried some sweat from his forehead, and answered: “Yes but you should have seen what this land looked like when only God took care of it”.

God is interested in our daily work, and wants to be involved in it with us. We take it for granted that God is interested in the work of an evangelist. It makes us grateful that He’s interested in the important work of a watchman. But is He really interested in the carpenter’s cutting of boards and hammering nails? Isn`t that too mundane for Him?

No. The promise of Jesus was ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age’. No limits, no exceptions, no conditions. He is with us today in everything.

Some of you who read this may wonder if you’re any use to anybody. Your small effort doesn’t seem very important. Couldn’t our great God do it all without you? No, the fantastic truth is that when He builds a house, He needs someone to hammer nails. When He keeps watch over a city He needs someone’s eyes to see the dangers, and someone’s mouth to shout the warning words. You’re needed, and you’re called to be the Lord’s co-labourer, a worker who makes a difference in the place where you are.

Have a good day, as a good and faithful servant. May you see your project succeed today, because you’re working on it together with the Lord Himself.

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

Soaring in the Holy Spirit

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.07.2014 10:23

21 July, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Soaring in the Holy Spirit

"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:30-31, NIV

For ages man marvelled while observing birds mastering the skies - aerobatically perfect. Then man asked, ‘Why can’t I?’ He attached himself to wings, and flapped, and flapped - only to crash! Undeterred he fixed his re-invented wing, attached a motor … and flew! (But not with the ease and grace of an eagle).

I too experienced the excitement of flying. The most thrilling occasions were those with no engine, in a glider, launched into the air by a light powered aircraft until the tow rope was disconnected. The peace, the quiet, only the sound of invisible air smoothly flowing over the wings. Then suddenly up, up, up, upwards, I was thrust carried on the rising air of a thermal current. I was soaring! The thrill, the excitement! Is that how birds feel? The joy, the wonder! Carried on invisible arms, soaring upward and upward. The superlative, unlimited view, with all 360 degrees of the distant horizon.

Isaiah really knew what it’s like, not in a glider, but in the Spirit of God. Challenged as he was for declaring God’s truth, which few wanted to hear, the thermal of God’s Spirit swept him up. So he soared effortlessly like those eagles. Have you experienced it?

My greatest fulfilment comes when the Lord provides illuminating studies of Scripture: perhaps the meaning of a key Hebrew word, or the revelation of the cultural context, or the inspiration of some ancient sage who opens God’s Word, like petals unfolding, exposing the richest colour, with a uniquely perfect design, and exquisite fragrance.

Currently I’m spending every available moment in a detailed study of Jesus’ life and ministry, prepared by a scholarly friend. This is the product of over thirty years of his research and study. This is my pearl of great price. Scenes and situations recorded in the Gospels, that I have read many times, I’m seeing in a totally new perspective. I’d never realised the strategy of Jesus’ ministry, that every detail spoken or actioned by Jesus was significant, even to spitting and putting mud into a blind man’s eye sockets. Repeatedly I feel swept up on those thermals, soaring in the Spirit, as truth’s unfolding before my eyes, and my heart continually cries, ‘Yes, Lord! Yes, Lord! Thank You, Father! I’m soaring with You.’

Soaring is not something we can make happen. It comes from God’s grace and mercy. It’s a sign of His faithfulness as our Father. Its product is total refreshing, no weariness or faintness.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for this day and even the challenging situation before me. You are my only source of hope. Would You come and enable me to soar in Your Spirit, enabling me to see from the eagle’s perspective my life and so release everything to Your Lordship. Amen.

Today's Writer : Murray Dixon
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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