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Spoken Through the Prophet

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.09.2014 10:15

10 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Spoken Through the Prophet

"It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look."
1 Peter 1:12, NIV

There’s a vast difference between ‘it was said by the prophet’, and ‘it was said through the prophet’. In the first case the prophet is the author of what was said, in the latter case he’s simply the messenger, bringing a message from an unseen authority.

In these days, when worrying things are taking place all over the world, there are many of us who are trying to understand what’s going on. We do sense that the things we see and hear are only the tip of the iceberg, and that much more is going on, unseen by most, and is just waiting to happen. As Christians we search our Bibles, asking “God, where are we in Your timetable right now?”

This brings us to a fundamental question: Were the prophets speaking out of their own under¬standing, or were they messengers, sent with a message from someone else? Were they just people of good intentions, or were they entrusted with something very important, something they didn’t fully comprehend themselves?

Daniel had visions and revelations. He was worried by what he saw, because he couldn’t understand when and how all these things were to happen. And Peter says in 1 Peter 1:10-12 that this was the case with most of the Old Testament prophets, ‘Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. They did not themselves understand the message they were bringing! But they were sent, and they were faithful in delivering their message, and the message was for us!’

We don’t by any means understand all the prophecies of the Bible. But we do know who is the giver of the prophecies, and the sender of the messengers. And He has a faultless record. There are no inaccuracies in His words, no reservations in His promises. And no doubts as to His trustworthiness. It is He, Almighty God who’s in charge, even in troubled times.

And these are troubled times for many Christians. More and more believers are following in the steps of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Jeremiah, Peter, Paul and many others, who trusted God so much they didn’t even fear death. Others are not yet in such severe circumstances, but they’re sensing a storm is brewing.

What should our rock and shelter be in times like these? It’s the Word we trust and stand on. It’s not the result of human reasoning. It’s the eternal truths and everlasting promises of the One who holds in His hands the earth, the heavens, the past, the present and the future. It was He who spoke, and He who sent His messengers. He did so to strengthen and encourage us - to show us that there’s a way through, and to show that evil, violence and death won’t triumph in the end. Christ Jesus will triumph, and with Him all those who’ve chosen to trust and follow Him. God’s Word says that the nation of Israel won’t disappear again. It’s come on the centre of the stage, and it will remain there. He who spoke will fulfill every word He’s spoken.

No wonder Jesus says: ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33). In His steps we follow!

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

Real or Fake

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.09.2014 09:29

11 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Real or Fake

Jesus answered and said “Watch out that no one deceives you.”


There’s a TV series running in the UK at the moment called ‘Fake Britain’. These programmes show how items, which aren’t genuine, are readily available in shops, stores and on line. These false products include children’s toys, designer fashion items, cosmetics, sports equipment, cigarettes, wines and spirits, pharmaceutical drugs, and car insurance. Producing these fake items is big business on an international scale, and the authorities often intercept container loads of these articles, destined for sale in Britain, at a lower price than the real thing!

The danger is it’s difficult to distinguish the false from the real, as they’re made, packaged and labelled to look like the genuine article. But they haven’t passed the quality and safety controls required for sale in this country. This is particularly important for children’s toys, electrical equipment, and drugs. The consequences of using fakes could be devastating. We consumers need to be very discerning as we make our purchases.

As Christians, in these days, we need to be even more discerning over matters of our spiritual care and well being. Jesus warns His disciples against widespread deception in the end times many times. ‘Jesus answered and said “Watch out that no one deceives you”’ (Matthew 24:4). He makes it clear that deception’s not only possible for us Christians, but quite likely. As Johannes Facius says in his book ‘God’s Prophetic Agenda For the End of Days’, the main function of Satan in the last days is to deceive, and if it wasn’t for God’s extraordinary divine protection, the whole of the Body of Christ would be led astray (see Matthew 24:24).

Much that’s new is being introduced into certain areas of the Body of Christ in these days, and although we must never reject things just because they’re new, (remember God often wants to do a new thing in us and through us), new things must always be Bible based, and God-honouring rather than man-honouring. One of our greatest needs at this time is true spiritual discernment, so that with God’s help we can distinguish the true from the false.

Those who have the responsibility for identifying false currency are trained by spending much of their time looking at the genuine article. They’re so familiar with every minute detail of the real thing that identifying the fake becomes a lot easier. Doesn’t it follow then, as we spend time getting to know Jesus better (the genuine), and His word (the truth), we too will be better equipped to spot the fake?

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to get to know You and the truth of Your Word better, so I can see what the enemy’s doing to try to deceive me and lead me away from the truth and a close relationship with You. Amen.

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

Losing

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.09.2014 13:57

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional September 12, 2014

Losing

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'" Matthew 18:1-4

Who is great in God's eyes? Jesus sets up a little child as His answer. Mind you, childhood back in those days was a condition not to be desired by any adult, and Jesus points to the child not as a winsome example of how charming and simple we're supposed to be, but rather how lowly.

When it came to the social ladder, children were losers. In the disciples' eyes, they didn't even qualify for the first rung. Yet if we want to follow Jesus, we must be like children--lacking rights, needing instruction, and enjoying little-to-no respect.

Throughout Scripture, Jesus exalts losers. Whether highlighting children, or hobnobbing with prostitutes and tax collectors, Jesus rubs the salt of lostness into the sensibilities of those who are preoccupied with the sweetness of their successes.

Jesus lifts up the last. The least. The lost. The little. And even the dead. He drives home that He will not reward the rewardable or improve the improvable. His grace is reserved or those who, like a little child, see themselves as... little. Who is great in God's eyes? Whoever humbles himself like such a child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
________________________________________

Malcolm Muggeridge said, "Jesus is not a prophet
to the winners but to losers, proclaiming that the last shall be first, the weak, strong, and the fools, wise. It is the lowly, not the proud, who shall inherit the kingdom of heaven."

When I see a child today, Lord, help me to see who You want me to be.

Blessings,

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

Where Are You, Lord?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.09.2014 10:55

13 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Where Are You, Lord?

"As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God. "
Psalm 42:1 (KJ21)

For a while now I have been struggling to ‘make contact’ with God. I know He’s there and He hears my prayers, poor and weak though they are, but I’ve felt dry and empty. I think many of us go through phases like this. I decided that I would try to do something about it (‘pray more’: doesn’t help when you’re struggling to pray anyway; ‘read the Bible more’: again, doesn’t help when you’re finding it hard to concentrate), so I went to visit a place of pilgrimage.

It was peaceful and beautiful, and I wandered round the different buildings and site enjoying being there, and I could certainly sense the presence of God, but what was I expecting? That God would meet me in a spectacular fashion and that my relationship with Him would be transformed instantly? That He would give me physical healing, which I still need despite a recent eye operation? That He would whisper some precious word to me to fire me up for the future?

None of this happened, and I went away somewhat disappointed. I’d certainly felt His peace there, but I came away, if I’m honest, feeling a bit angry – mostly with myself. I so much wanted to regain that precious closeness which I haven’t felt for some time. As I drove off through the stunning countryside, thoroughly enjoying His beautiful creation, I began to sense that God was smiling at me: “You don’t have to go to special places to find Me because I’m everywhere, yes, even in you, though you can’t always feel Me.”

Has that solved the problem? Not entirely, but it has helped to highlight one or two blockages that needed dealing with. I think that very often the trouble with our relationship with God is that we rely too much on our feelings, instead of knowing by faith that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5b)

Prayer: Please forgive me, Fat.her; it’s me who’s been wandering away. Please show me where I’m going wrong, and what I must do to change. I know that You’ll never leave me, nor forsake me, and that You’ll always be there when I call; it’s just that I can’t always hear You. I love You, Father, Amen.

Today's Writer : Angela Weir
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Too Much At Once

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.09.2014 09:56

14 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Too Much At Once

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:34, NIV

Do you have a good imagination? Perhaps in the past people have told you that you don`t have much imagination, and often it`s parents, teachers or others in our childhood who squash us like that. But actually you may well have a better imagination than you realise.
Are you someone who uses up a lot of energy worrying about what might happen? You imagine every possible scenario, usually the worst ones, and what you might do in each situation. If so, you’re not alone; people who worry a lot have excellent imaginations. However, worrying is a waste of a good imagination!

“I know, I know,” you might say. “I know I shouldn`t worry, but how can I stop? The problems don`t go away.”

Well, firstly we`re often imagining things that are unlikely to ever happen, or are someone else`s problem. If that’s the case, let`s ask the Lord to help us use our excellent imagination more productively!

But what about more general anxiety? That anxiety which causes tension in the body, headaches, stomach upsets and so on. Often the stress is due to real problems, difficult decisions, pressure of work, concern for family members, lack of necessary finance.
Today`s verse is a very practical one. Jesus was speaking to His followers, people who were often worried and stressed with the practicalities of life. Jesus knows we have a lot to worry about, and He isn`t denying the reality of the problems. But He says something which is very helpful here. He tells us to focus only on today`s problems.

Have you ever tried doing that? I find it to be incredibly useful advice. Whenever I find myself getting anxious, stressed or worried, I try to remember to ask myself: How much of what I`m anxious about relates to something that`s actually happening today? I soon discover that a lot of my anxiety relates to things I need to do later in the week, or even things I may never need to do at all.

I’ve found it helps a great deal to focus my attention only on the things I need to do today. Do I need to make a decision today? Which aspect of this big task needs to be completed today? I may have practical needs, but what do I actually need today?

Focusing on today and today’s problems is manageable. Trying to deal with all the problems for the whole week or the whole month is not manageable at all. Jesus is the One who designed us. He knows exactly how our minds and bodies work. They work best if we focus just on today’s problem. We’re not designed by God to carry tomorrow’s problem at the same time.

It’s like moving house and trying to carry all your possessions at once! Yes, they all need to be moved eventually, but one at a time. If I carry the worries of several days at once, it’s like damaging my back trying to carry all the heavy bags and boxes at the same time. It hurts a lot, it damages me and it isn’t even necessary to do it.
‘Give us today our daily bread’ says the Lord’s Prayer. Could you put some of tomorrow’s problems down, and focus just on today’s problems?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your very practical advice. I know You lived on this earth once, and this is what You did with Your problems, so You do know how it feels. Thank You for loving me and caring about how I feel. Please help me to try doing what You’re saying – to focus just on today. Help me to do that now. Thank You. Amen

Today's Writer : Grace Marshall
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Butterflies

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.09.2014 09:56

15 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Butterflies

"Jesus said: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”"
John 10:9, NKJV

This year has been a good one for butterflies. The conditions have obviously been right for them, and I have enjoyed seeing many in the local countryside and in our garden. However, occasionally they’ve come into the house through open doors or windows and I’ve tried to help them escape. On one particular occasion I had opened every window in the room and was trying to encourage a butterfly to fly towards the open window that would bring freedom. However, it continually seemed to fly in the opposite direction, or to choose the windows that were closed, fluttering against the glass in a futile attempt to reach the sunlight. As I watched with mounting frustration, I felt God saying that this was like many of His people.

In Christ we have a way to freedom and an open door to all of God’s blessings and provision in our lives. Jesus tells us that He Himself is The Door (John 10:9), and He’s also the Light of the World (John 8:12). However, like the butterfly, some people seem intent on going in the opposite direction, turning their back on the way to true release, or they’re drawn to things that seem attractive but which don’t bring freedom and healing. Jesus is the only way to salvation, which includes healing and wholeness. He tells us to: ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it’ (Matthew 7:13-14).

We’re told in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that: ‘Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light’. Some of the things he uses to try to tempt and lure people down the wrong path can appear to be full of light and truth – for instance some alternative medical practices or methods of healing. If we don’t know the ‘real thing’ well enough we can easily be drawn to these, but, like the butterfly, we may then find the way to true freedom blocked, and we may become damaged in the process.

Discernment is something that every believer should be asking God for so that we aren’t led astray down false avenues. It’s one of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10). We need to get to know our God better, and be rooted and grounded in His Word, so that any false ways that don’t lead to the life that Jesus promises us will immediately jar in our spirits. Let’s look to Jesus alone as the Door and the Light of the World, and keep asking Him to lead us and to keep us on the right path!

Prayer: Lord, thank You that Jesus is the way that leads to salvation and freedom. Please give me increasing discernment that will alert me to every wrong path and will keep me on the way that leads to life. Amen.

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

The Saucepan of Compromise!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 16.09.2014 09:57

16 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Saucepan of Compromise!

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather round them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
2 Timothy 4:2-4, NIV

I was reminded today of how a frog in a saucepan of cold water doesn’t notice that the water is, ever so slowly, getting warmer – until it is too late! The frog could easily have jumped out of the pan when the water was cold, but by the time the frog realises that the water is getting dangerously hot, it is too late and the frog dies in the now boiling water.

This is a picture of what can happen when, little by little, we dispense with what Paul describes as ‘sound doctrine’. We don’t think a little change from the foundations of truth will do us any harm and then, when we have become used to the change, we are tempted to dispense with a little more, and a little more and a little more, until suddenly we come to our senses and realise that we have walked a very long way from God’s clear pathway for life and have turned our ‘ears away from the truth’.

So much of the church today has compromised on so many aspects of Scriptural truth, especially in the area of morality and Christian behaviour, that many believers no longer know what the truth really is. They choose to follow teachers who will support their life of compromise. They are like the frog, swimming around in a saucepan of increasingly warm water, not realising that the warm fuzzy feeling they are getting is not the blessing of life, but the kiss of death!

In 1 Timothy 4:16, Paul urged Timothy to guard his doctrine, for adherence to the truth would be his salvation – and that of those he would teach. Nothing has changed today. May I urge you to guard your doctrine, jump out of the saucepan of compromise and be willing to receive careful instruction so that you will not discover the consequences when it is too late!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for those who have taught me sound doctrine in the past. Please forgive me for the times I have walked away from living according to Scriptural truth. I choose today to jump out of the saucepan of compromise and diligently apply the truth’s of Your Word in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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

Ephesians 5:8

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.09.2014 13:52

Today's Verse for 09/17/2014

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. — Ephesians 5:8


Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse


Thought

Before and after — that's the story of grace. "I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see." If we could only fully grasp what we so easily sing then life would be filled with more grace and our churches with more confident servants of God.

Prayer

Lord God Almighty, by your grace I know today that I stand before you welcomed into your presence and received as a beloved child. Thank you for rescuing me from all the traps of the darkness and bringing me into your light. Guide my heart and my feet so they will walk your path and show forth your light. Through Jesus 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

Your Life’s Song

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.09.2014 09:40

18 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Your Life’s Song

“Where were you when I laid the earth`s foundation…while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
Job 38:4a & 7, NIV

Our Scripture tells us that the morning stars sang together at creation. Psalm 19:1-2 says, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech’. God’s creation declares His glory. Stars and angels sang while He, like a master conductor, led a symphony of joy at creation. What a beautiful picture of what must have taken place as God spoke the world into being!

I recently attended a conference where Denise Cross, from Ellel Ministries, spoke on ‘Discovering your true identity’. This greatly inspired me to investigate my uniqueness as one of God’s special creations, and got me thinking. Did you know that your life sings a song? And not one of our songs sounds the same! Each of us was uniquely created with our own set of likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, talents and abilities. Not one of us has the same finger print and DNA structure. Max Lucado wrote, ‘We are Heaven’s Halley’s Comet with only one shot to be seen.’ (Halley’s Comet is a comet that only appears every 75-76 years. You may have the privilege to see it possibly once in your lifetime.)

And yet, we’re so often discontent with our life’s song. We attempt to ‘sing’ other people’s songs, and we’re disappointed when we hit false notes and get it all wrong, and we try to re-write the music to resemble a different song. You were never created to be a copy! You’re a precious, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece. In a symphony orchestra there are a number of different instruments, with each one making a different and unique sound. The music is written and planned with different tones and beats and purpose, and it needs different instruments for it to truly come to its fullness!

Allow your life’s song to sound its unique beauty. Submit to the Creator and Master Conductor who lovingly and joyfully created you to be YOU! Let your unique life-song sing to Him. He delights in you!

Prayer: Lord, You’ve given me such a beautiful and unique song to sing with my life. Please forgive me for being dissatisfied at times with the way You created me, and for trying to copy those around me whom I admire. Help me discover and embrace my life-song, and to impact my world for You. I love You Lord! Amen.

Today's Writer : Christel Baxter
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

My God Guides My Footsteps.

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.09.2014 09:27

19 September, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
My God Guides My Footsteps.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV

I don’t know about you, but I’m a planner. Those who know me well will say that is the understatement of the year!! I’m constantly writing lists and checking my diary, as personality-wise I like order, some predictability, and for life to run smoothly.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, except for the times where God allows my plans to be interrupted because He has other things in mind. This happened to me recently. I had a friend visiting on her way to Romania and we’d planned to spend the day sightseeing in Budapest. I had it all mapped out in my head. We would start at Heroes Square, visit another historical site close by known as Vajdahunyad Castle, stroll through the park and perhaps end up crossing the chain bridge, to admire Budapest at night.

Doesn’t it sound romantic and a good plan? None of that was to happen though, because a summer storm came through and dampened my schedule. It rained, and rained, and rained. Not at all part of my plan, but no surprise to God. My friend was not perturbed at all and had already sensed that God had something else in mind for us both that particular day. I, on the other hand, had no idea!

We ended up having a rich time of fellowship together, where God used my friend to speak into my life. That probably would not have happened if we’d gone out sightseeing. My original plan wasn’t a bad one, but God’s plan was far better.

Will you allow God to direct your steps today? Your day may turn out differently to how you planned, but God will be there, in the midst of it, orchestrating behind the scenes. What we sometimes see as inconveniences and frustrating turns of events are actually divine interruptions, if we have eyes to see.

Prayer: Father God, I commit this day to You. I give You permission to divinely interrupt my plans if You have something else in mind. Thank You that I can trust You to direct my steps and bring about Your purposes for my life. Amen.

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

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