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Not in the Doghouse, in the Morgue

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 31.08.2014 09:46

31 August, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Not in the Doghouse, in the Morgue

"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins."
Ephesians 2:1, NIV

I wonder how many of us realise the extent of our need for a Saviour. It seems to me that unless we feel a great need for a Saviour, we don’t feel that Jesus Christ is a great Saviour! When you listen to the news, and hear people speak, you notice there’s often no fear of the Lord, and no sense of the great need of a Saviour. Man feels he can do everything he needs to do. He can sew fig leaves for himself, and fix everything himself.

We need a Saviour who can forgive our sins and take away our punishment, but that’s not the whole story. The reason we need a Saviour is not that we’re in the doghouse with God and need to be forgiven for offending His glory. We need a Saviour because we’re in the morgue!

In the doghouse, and on the naughty step, you might whimper and say “sorry”. You might make some new resolutions. You might decide to cast yourself on the mercy of God. But what can you possibly do if you’re dead, in the morgue?

We don’t just need an ordinary Saviour – we need a great Saviour! By nature we’re ‘deserving of wrath’. Rebellion runs in our DNA. Left on our own, our default mechanism is to sin! ‘All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath’ (Ephesians 2:3).

In being alive to disobedience, we’re dead to obedience. In being alive to rebellion we’re dead to godly submission and to the Lordship of Christ. In being alive to unbelief we’re dead to faith.

Our great Saviour, Jesus Christ, came to give us a new nature! He breathes into us a spiritual life, so that our hearts will be changed forever. Only then are we drawn, by the Spirit of God, to trust Him and obey Him.

We’re made to be in intimate relationship with God. Jesus said if we love Him we’ll obey Him. He’s worthy of all our love, trust, honour, obedience, thanks and worship. We can only do this by the power of the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in us richly. Jesus said ‘Let him who is thirsty come, whosoever will may come. Let him take the water of life freely’ (Revelation 22:17). Let’s come to the water of life and drink.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for breathing new life into us through the power of Your Holy Spirit, and saving us from a life of disobedience, rebellion and unbelief. We exalt Your name and recognise what a great Saviour we have in You, and that we now have an inheritance in the kingdom of God. Thank You, Jesus, we can now lay hold of the Covenant promises made to Abraham. Thank You that the gift of eternal life is ours through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today's Writer : Jill Southern-Jones
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Exaggeration

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.09.2014 16:26

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional September 1, 2014

Exaggeration

"The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful."

Proverbs 12:22

"I can't believe that my pastor preached for a whole hour-and-a-half last Sunday." Translation: The pastor preached ten minutes longer than usual, which cut into my lunchtime.

"Our junior high group never does anything interesting and our youth leader is really boring." Translation: The junior high group doesn't plan activities in which I enjoy participating.

"It rained all day and I got soaking wet." Translation: It sprinkled lightly, and my hair and sweater got slightly damp.

Sometimes we exaggerate to puff ourselves up in the eyes of friends, playing a competitive game of topping each other's stories. Other times we feel insecure and slant the facts to grab people's attention. Sometimes we play the actor and exaggerate just to add color, drama, or to gain sympathy. Whatever the reason, if we never tell a story the way it happened, we end up hurting ourselves-people will never have a chance to get to know the real person behind the exaggerated stories.

The Bible tells us to "let your 'Yes' be yes, and your 'No,' no" but Christians, perhaps more than most, are guilty of embellishing the truth. We play into the hands of Satan, the Father of Lies, when we distort the facts (Virtue Magazine).
__________________________________________

If you'd like to break the habit of exaggeration, begin by listening carefully to what you say. Shading the truth may seem like one of those gray areas of behavior, but always strive for the ideal: Tell the truth.

Father, show me when I am not living out or speaking forth the truth. Stop me if I begin to shade the facts of stories or events, and help me to see that these are lies. May Jesus, the Truth, speak through me today.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

Friendly Fire

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.09.2014 10:30

02 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Friendly Fire

"You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes."
2 Timothy 1: 15, NIV

The Christian life is often likened to a battle. The armour of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 helps us understand that we’re meant to face the enemy head on. The Roman soldier that Paul was considering when he wrote about it was only protected when facing the enemy. There was no real protection from the rear.

However, sadly, there are times when the wounding comes from the very direction we didn’t expect. This has happened in almost all battlefield situations around the world. The soldier gets wounded or maimed, not from direct conflict with the known enemy, but from ‘friendly fire’ – wounded by his or her own people. `Friendly fire` is described as `weapon fire coming from one`s own side that causes accidental injury or death to one`s own forces`.

Paul mentions such ‘friendly fire’ in the passage we’re considering today. To be honest I don’t like the term. It isn’t friendly, and in the Christian life it really shouldn’t be happening at all. Paul tells Timothy he was deserted by everyone in Asia, especially by the two people he’d trusted the most. That wounding can also come through negative words, gossip, and slander from those we thought were watching our back, not stabbing it!

The wounds of so called ‘friendly fire’ are often the hardest to bear. King David expressed the pain experienced so well in Psalm 55; especially verses 12-14 where he’s referring to the actions of his son Absalom. These wounds bring us down, make us feel deeply hurt, and we can feel tempted to give up. What’s the answer? Paul encourages Timothy in 2 Timothy 2: 1, ‘You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus’. Grace – God’s grace that is in Christ Jesus. The same grace that God told Paul would be sufficient for him in 2 Corinthians 12:9. The same grace that was made perfect in weakness. We’re not to judge others, but to forgive them, and continue to fight on, leaning on Jesus and leaving Him to deal with the situations.

Has this happened to you? Have you been the victim of ‘friendly fire’? If you have then you’ll know only too well how painful that wounding can be. But don’t allow it to take you out of the battle; God’s grace will prove more than sufficient if you employ it. Or perhaps you’ve been the one who has initiated that ‘friendly fire’ and can see the devastating effect it’s had on a fellow brother or sister. Then let the Lord show you how wrong that is – repent, ask the wounded for forgiveness and link together again to face the enemy side by side. Don’t do Satan’s work for him.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You know all about what I’ve gone through or am going through and how painful that wounding from fellow believers has proved to be. I choose now to forgive them and not to allow the enemy to take me out of the battle. I trust that You will prove again that Your grace truly is sufficient for me. Your strength is made perfect in weakness, and I confess that right now I feel very weak – so I qualify! If I’ve been the cause of any wounding of my fellow Christian soldiers, please reveal it to me so I can repent and seek to put things right. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

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

Iniquity

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.09.2014 09:38

03 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Iniquity

"We like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:6, ESV

There is a Hebrew word in the Old Testament which is apparently difficult to translate accurately into English. It is ‘avon’. We could try to use the English word rebellion, meaning rebellion against God, or iniquity, or use the phrase ‘turning our back on God’ but it carries even more meaning than that. It means the evil consequences and the punishment which come as a result of this behaviour.

It’s easy to look at our world today and clearly see evil, both evil behaviour and it`s consequences. There are atrocities of torture and murder and much suffering. It`s not so easy to understand why it’s happening. What is the cause of it all?

Seven hundred years before the time of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah described the root of the problem of our world and what the suffering servant, the Messiah, would do about it. ‘We like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:6).

But long before that, in the time of Moses, the Day of Atonement was introduced by God. There were two scapegoats. One was sacrificed on the altar and shed its blood to make atonement for sin and the other was allowed to live but was sent away into exile in the wilderness. It bore the ‘avon’ of the people. ‘And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness’ (Leviticus 16:21-22).

In God’s purposes everything was leading up to the unique historical event when Jesus was willing to identify with our ‘avon’ and bear the full consequences of God’s rightful judgment on it. ‘For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21). In a moment of time all the guilt and suffering of the human race was put upon our Lord Jesus Christ. It was the perfect sacrifice and was sufficient for the past, present and future needs of every single person.

The apostle Peter explained it this way. ‘He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls’ (1 Peter 2:24-25). There is a way back to God through what Jesus has done on the cross. In turning back to Him we are able to be forgiven, live to righteousness, and be healed from our wounds.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, Thank You for sending Jesus to be our Saviour, Redeemer and Deliverer. Thank You that by His atoning sacrifice our sins are forgiven and we can live to righteousness and receive healing for our woundedness. Amen.

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

Jehovah Shalom

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.09.2014 11:01

04 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Jehovah Shalom

"And Gideon built an altar there and named it ‘The Altar of Peace with Jehovah’. The altar is still there in Ophrah in the land of Abiezrites."
Judges 6:24, TLB

When I look around, everywhere I see the opposite of peace. A storm raging, traffic rushing by, road rage, wars on the news, people hurting people, children fighting, families breaking up, and constant films of crime and degradation.

But our Lord promises peace. He is the promise of peace. Christ is our way of peace. Our peace must start from within our hearts by responding to the Prince of Peace and allowing Him to rule our lives.

Do we spread this peace as we live each day, meet each person, speak each word? Do we have an atmosphere of peace around us? Do we bring peace into a situation? When they see us coming, do they see a calming peace surrounding us and touching them, or do they see a whirlwind of complaints and woes, gossip and turmoil? Just think of those special people who are full of peace, and how they make you feel. Some must wonder “how can I possibly have any sort of peace when my heart’s been broken and torn apart, and my tears are constantly flowing?” Or I’m in a situation I can’t change.

Yet Jesus says, “Dry your tears. Come to Me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. His rest comes with His peace. I’ve been in this sort of place and I know His healing peace and rest will come as you trust Him. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:2).

Peace in your heart brings gentleness and humility. I know I must start with God’s peace in my heart to make anything better in this world, however small an improvement that might be.

My peace I give unto you
It`s a peace that the world cannot give
It`s a peace that the world cannot understand
Peace to know, peace to live
My peace I give unto you. Keith Routledge © 1975 Sovereign Music UK

Prayer: Lord I’m so grateful for the deep peace that is ours through the blood of Jesus. Help me to spread it around this world today, even if it is just to my next door neighbour. In Jesus’ name.

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

Giant Slayer

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.09.2014 08:25

Giant Slayer

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.”
(Proverbs 18:16, NASB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

When people hear the story of David and Goliath, sometimes they think, “That was all God.” And yes, in a sense, it was all God; but God didn’t sling the stone. David had a role to play, too. God gave David the skill that he had to develop in order to be prepared for that defining moment.

Like David, God has put skills inside of you so that you can slay the giants in your life. You have the skills that can open new doors, skills that can lead to an abundant life, but the key is that the skills have to be developed. Every day that you spend growing, learning and improving, you’re getting prepared for that new level.

Today, while you’re waiting for that new opportunity, start sharpening your skills. Study your boss. Study your manager. Learn that position. Be able to step into their shoes. When God sees that you are prepared, then He can open new doors. The scripture says, “Your gifts will make room for you.” Keep developing your skills because there is a giant slayer in you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for depositing in me everything that I need for victory in my life. I choose to be faithful. I choose to sharpen my skills. Help me be prepared for every opportunity You have for my future in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

John 14:23

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.09.2014 19:09

Today's Verse for 09/06/2014

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." — John 14:23


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Thought

At many Christian funerals, the preacher emphasizes how Jesus has left to make a place ready for us to join him in heaven. Then he is going to come back for us. But just a few verses later, Jesus adds this promise. He's telling us that until we can come be with him at his place, he will come live with us here in our hearts. It all hinges on one thing, our willingness to obey him. Not a bad deal, is it? So let's not let obedience be a forgotten word in our lifestyle!

Prayer

Holy God, I know Jesus came to earth and obeyed your will. Give me discernment so that my obedience will not simply be the obedience of your words, but a longing to live according to you will. I long to honor you because you have done so much to save me. Thank you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Meaning of Everything

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.09.2014 19:47

The Meaning of Everything

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“. . . all things were created by Him, and for Him.” Colossians 1:16b

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Do you want to know the meaning of everything? It is Jesus only. You may think that is an overstatement. We live in a great big universe, billions of light years in expanse. And the Bible tells us that “all things were created by Him, and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).

There is nothing made that was not made by the Lord Jesus. The answer to creation is Jesus only. People say, “the world needs saving.” But what the world really needs is redemption. And where is redemption going to come from? Not from a creed, code, or cause, but Jesus only.

The entire universe, the plans of God, and the sweep of all the ages comes down to two words - Jesus only.

ACTION POINT:
When was the last time you shared your faith? Maybe today you can begin a conversation with someone about the expanse of the universe. Who knows where that spark of truth will lead?


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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

My Life is in His Hands

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.09.2014 10:14

08 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
My Life is in His Hands

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39, NLT

Our health is a fragile thing. When we have good health life goes along well, and more often than not we don`t appreciate the blessing of our good health. But especially as we age we realise that we do have mortal bodies. We can certainly have minor injuries or ailments like a sprained ankle or a tooth abscess that, although unpleasant at the time, we make a fairly speedy complete recovery from. However there are times when we go to the doctor and they make a diagnosis that we have a disease that is not going to go away, apart from a divine miracle. Cancer, HIV, quadriplegia are such examples, and the list could go on and on. Sometimes the problem can be managed well, either with surgery and/or medical intervention. But sometimes the news is not so good.

Our life situation has a great bearing on our response to such bad news. Do we have dependent children? Do we have a dependent spouse? We grapple with the financial implications of the illness. Even as a Christian fear can take grip in our hearts and we wonder what will happen, and whether we will be permanently disabled or even if we may die.

If this is something that you are struggling with today, Jesus wants you to know that your life is in His hands! There is nothing that can ever separate you from His love. Today`s scripture from Romans 8 puts it so beautifully - neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God`s love. That also means there is no disease or sickness that can separate you from God`s love either.

Jesus himself is with you in the midst of all you are going through. He is calling you to give Him all your fears for today and all your worries about tomorrow and rest your life in His hands. When you have done that you will find a peace that you never thought possible. Then leave the final outcome to Him. Enjoy and appreciate every day that you are blessed with. It may even be many more years than you imagined. Then when the time does come for you to be joined with Jesus in heaven, death will have no victory and love will prevail!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, You know how I am struggling with my health. I have been so very afraid. I give You all of my fears for today and my worries about tomorrow. I praise You that nothing can separate me from Your love. I now choose to rest my life in Your hands. I give You everything. I trust You with my life and with my death. In Your name, Amen.

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

Keep the Right Things in Your Life

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.09.2014 07:40

Keep the Right Things in Your Life



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he...”
(Proverbs 23:7, NKJV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



God created us as visual beings. It’s so important that we create the right image in our minds because the way we see ourselves is what we move toward. Visualization is simply seeing yourself the way you want to be. It’s creating a picture in your mind of accomplishing your goals, overcoming your obstacles, and fulfilling your God-given destiny. Our imagination is extremely powerful. The way we see ourselves in these pictures that we create, over time, will not only drop down into our spirit, but if we continue to dwell on them, they get into our subconscious mind. Once something is in the subconscious, it’s just like gravity; it pulls us toward it. All these internal forces are released, and more often than not, we become just like we’ve imagined.

If you’ll create a picture in your imagination of something you want, a dream coming to pass, a business succeeding, a picture of yourself healthy and whole; if you’ll keep that image in front of you, that’s what you’ll move toward. If you keep the Word of God in front of you, that’s what will come forth out of you. Keep the right things in your mind and the right things in your life!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for creating me in Your image. Thank You for my imagination and for the ability to change my life by meditating on Your Word. Help me to keep Your truth before me always so I can walk and live in the path You have for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

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