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Devotional

Valvoja: Annukka

When Will You Get Around to Reading This?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.10.2014 09:45

25 October, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
When Will You Get Around to Reading This?

"Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare."
Proverbs 20:13, NIV

I took a long time thinking about writing this. I put if off, found something else to do, came back to it, got distracted and almost didn`t write a seed for today. It`s with a certain irony that the topic I wanted to write about was procrastination.

There are a number of verses in the bible that deal with this area but the verse that really stood out for today is from Proverbs 24:33 that says;

`When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked, and received instruction. "A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest," Then your poverty will come as a robber And your want like an armed man.`

Ecclesiastes talks about seasons in our lives and a time to do something. Maybe it`s to move jobs, plant seeds for the winter harvest, write that email to a friend, fix the leaking gutter or even talk to someone about the issues in our lives that we`ve been hiding, and the problem keeps getting bigger.

The proverb warns us that, if we don`t deal with something now, then we won`t reap fruit later, and could end up in poverty. There are addictions, inner pain, family situations, work situations that we`d rather not deal with, but find more pleasurable distractions to take away the pain, and the fear of dealing with the items. We distract ourselves with TV, work, internet, football, cooking and so the list goes, but the items remain and we end up the poorer for not dealing with the issues.

As you think about your day ahead with the Lord, what are the things that you`re procrastinating about, that you know if not dealt with may cause physical or spiritual poverty in the future? Perhaps the fear of man is in the way and you need to ask the Lord for strength to go forward and deal with things.

How do the following two verses apply to you?

`Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry` (Proverbs 19:15).
`Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare` (Proverbs 20:13).

Prayer: Lord, as I go through this day, will You please help me as I tackle the areas that I`ve been putting off in my life. Thank You that You`re always with me. In Jesus` name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Paul Lawrence
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

A Merciful Delay

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 26.10.2014 18:48

A Merciful Delay

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Have you ever wondered why Jesus has not yet returned? I’ll tell you why. Because our Lord is waiting on people to be saved. He’s waiting on your family member, your neighbor, your co-worker, or maybe you, but one of these days soon, and very soon perhaps, Jesus will come.

You see, it is the mercy of God that holds back the Second Coming of Jesus, but the justice of God and the judgment of God require that one day He will come.

Even now, the raging waters of God’s wrath are furiously pounding against the dam of His mercy. And one of these days, the dam of God’s mercy will give way to God’s judgment, and the day of the Lord will come. Our Lord is coming!

ACTION POINT:
Does the Lord’s return make your heart beat faster because you anticipate His coming or dread His coming?

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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

Hebrews 4:12

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.10.2014 20:47

Today's Verse for 10/27/2014

The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. — Hebrews 4:12


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Thought

How often do you let God do major surgery on your spirit as his Spirit uses the Word to encourage, judge, motivate, convict, instruct, and inspire? With such a great tool so readily at hand for most of us, let's not let a day go by that we don't let God use his word on hearts.

Prayer

Almighty God, your will is my heart's desire. But I realize that I need to be fed more consistently by your Word revealed in Scripture. Give me strength and consistency in my walk with you through your Word. Through your Spirit, inspire me to change what needs to be changed and to be blessed and encouraged in the areas that I need it most. I turn to you and trust in your Word to point me in the way of life. I pray in the name of your ultimate Word, Jesus of Nazareth. 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

Suffering

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 28.10.2014 10:50

28 October, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Suffering

"If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name."
1 Peter 4:15-17, NIV

We’re hearing so much lately about the persecution of Christians around the world. In many countries Christians are being killed or imprisoned for their faith. It’s becoming increasingly difficult in many western countries to speak up for what we believe. Coming from ‘Christian’ nations, we’re appalled at the lack of morals, and the way our countries are turning their backs on God.

But I heard a pastor say something the other day that made me really stop and think. He said, “Christians around the world are known more for what we stand against than for what we stand for”. I thought about these words, ‘If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name’(1 Peter 4:15-17). This word ‘meddler’ is translated in other versions as ‘busy-body’, ‘troublemaker’, and ‘troublesome meddler’. No matter how it’s translated, it’s something that’s easy to do, interfering in the affairs of others. But God tells us specifically not to do it!

Please understand, I’m not saying that we can’t speak up for what’s right. But I question how often we try to make unbelievers live by God’s laws and then suffer for being meddlers. I want to show the world what we stand for. I want to show them that there’s hope for a full life in Christ. After all, it’s only through our relationship with Christ that we can hope to live godly lives. How can we expect others to do it without Christ?

So, next time we feel the need to set someone straight, let’s stop and ask God if this is what He wants us to do, or if we’re meddling in affairs we shouldn’t. Let’s learn to know His voice and listen to it, so that when He tells us to speak up, we’ll be ready. We know that when we face persecution for Him that He’ll help us through it.

Prayer: Lord, please help us to hear Your voice clearly. Give us the wisdom to know when we shouldn’t speak, and the boldness to speak when we should. Please give us all the strength to face the persecution that lies ahead, so we can be a shining light for You in a dark and fallen world. Help us to be known for what we stand for rather than what we stand against. Amen.

Today's Writer : Tanya Person
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Overcome with Good

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 29.10.2014 08:27

Overcome with Good

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
(Romans 12:21, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

The scripture says, “We overcome evil with good.” In other words, when somebody’s rude or inconsiderate, don’t sink down to their level. Don’t be rude and inconsiderate back to them. No, if you are going to rise higher, if you are going to overcome, you have to do just the opposite. You have to show kindness, grace and mercy. It isn’t always easy; in fact, it’s almost never easy. It takes a lot of humility to treat someone with respect who is disrespecting you. But do you know what happens when you walk in humility? God gives you His grace. He empowers you to walk in His goodness. Scripture plainly says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Today, walk humbly with God and overcome evil with good. Show mercy and sow mercy. Receive His grace, receive His power, and receive His strength to be everything He’s called you to be.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for the grace to overcome in this life. I choose Your goodness. I choose Your ways. Help me to show Your love and walk in peace in every circumstance in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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


ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 30.10.2014 09:04

Love Gives

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
(John 3:16, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Have you ever thought about how love affects giving? Someone once said, “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” Love prompts us to give of ourselves, our time, abilities and resources. The Bible tells us that God is love, and the world will know that we are His followers by the love we show. Giving is what shows our love!

We are entering into a time of the year that the world knows as the season of giving, but let’s remember to take time to focus on the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal, abundant life through Jesus. If you’ve never received this gift, open your heart and pray this simple prayer: “Lord Jesus, I come to You today, giving You all that I am. I repent of my sins and confess that I need You. I believe You died and rose for me. Be my Lord and Savior and make me new today. I receive Your love and Your gift of eternal life.” Then, go out and share the gift of love with someone else because it’s the gift that will last in eternity!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for loving me and setting me free. I choose to serve You with my whole heart all the days of my life. Help me to love others the way You love me. Give me opportunities to be a blessing everywhere I go in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

House Arrest

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 30.10.2014 10:49

30 October, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
House Arrest

"This letter is from Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle and a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles. I am writing to you God’s holy people in Ephesus who are faithful followers of Jesus. May grace and peace be yours."
Ephesians 1:1-2; 3:1, NIV

‘Famous Church Planter Arrested!’ This was the headline, circa AD 57. Paul the apostle, preacher and writer, was imprisoned for the last four years of his life - two years chained night and day to a Roman guard; two under house arrest in Rome. His ministry seemed truncated. Paul was ageing. His eyesight was failing. In later letters all he could do was sign his signature; his words transcribed by others on to tablets made of papyrus (a precursor of the iPad perhaps?). He knew that the time of his death was near. He was cold and tired, and often alone. He pleads: ‘Come before winter. Bring my cloak and my books’.

I’d be tempted to become introspective. Why, why, why? I’d begin to doubt God’s call on my life. Had I missed the mark so badly that He’d to remove me? I could easily fall into depression and bitterness.

Not so with Paul!

He knew the call to be an apostle. He knew he was called to be an authoritative messenger, sent forth as an advocate of a new principle, or system, or way of living. He knew that call was irrevocable. Paul’s commitment to that call, that mission, remained firm until the end. Only the vehicle was changed. Imprisoned, Paul continued to preach and teach. Word by word, and line by line, he wrote. God breathed the words and Paul wrote.

Paul knew isolation. He lived in a virtual world. All he had were his thoughts and his words. Paul shared his heart, his struggles and his prayers, through writing. He encouraged. He exhorted. He challenged.

Paul longed for others to experience the fullness of grace and peace that comes from living in real relationship with Jesus. He demonstrated how to live as a child of God between salvation and destination.

Living in utter isolation in pain and in tears, Paul never knew the impact of an old man’s letters written from prison. His words are the bedrock of the Christian faith throughout the ages. His words were preserved with the same care as the writings of the patriarchs, prophets and psalmists.

I’m the fruit of his words. So are you! Paul is seated today with the millions and millions of those who have been changed eternally by his story and his writing.

Are you imprisoned today? Under house arrest? Are you doubting your call? Your impact? Are you isolated by illness, or ageing, or family circumstances? Are you a young mother imprisoned by the demands of children? Are you in a season of transition, not knowing what the future holds?

Hang on! You were designed before the foundations of the earth for a unique destiny. The Father wrote your story and knows the beginning, the end and the messy, imprisoning middle.

Be assured that God began this good work within you and will continue His work until it’s finally finished on that day when Jesus comes back .

Prayer: Father, show me again about my design and my destiny. Help me see my life circumstances as a platform, not a prison. I pray for more of Your grace and peace. Amen.

Today's Writer : Linda Fode
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Quiet Outworkings

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 31.10.2014 11:17

31 October, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Quiet Outworkings

"Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?"
2 Kings 2:14, NIV

The prophet Elijah is about to be taken up to heaven to meet face to face with his God, and Elisha, his successor, is walking close beside him. Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses separate the two and Elijah is taken up in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). In response to this, Elisha tears his clothes as an expression of grief. His spiritual father would walk alongside him no more. Picking up Elijah’s cloak Elisha strikes the Jordan River with it, as he’d seen Elijah do earlier. ‘Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah’, he cries out and God answers his question with a miraculous sign, parting the Jordon waters before him (2 Kings 2:14). God didn’t answer with mere words, but through actions. The same Spirit that was resting on the prophet Elijah was now resting on the shoulders of Elisha. Those around him could not deny that fact. The only difference was that Elisha had a double portion of the Spirit and would accomplish even greater things than his master (2 Kings 2:9-10).

As I was reading this narrative I was reminded of an episode that happened in my life many years ago, when working for another Christian charity. I came back from a walk and discovered Elisha’s words posted on the front door of the building that I both lived and worked in. In bold letters were written ‘Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ (2 Kings 2:14). I was very discouraged at the time and remember saying in my heart that I didn’t think He was there. How wrong I was! Just because we can’t perceive God’s working, doesn’t mean that he isn’t at work. Sometimes we’re looking for the spectacular, and fail to see what God’s doing. The truth of the matter is that God is always at work, quietly, behind the scenes, and is bringing His purposes to pass. Where is the God of Elijah? we muse to ourselves, and a small still voice within whispers “I’m here. Trust me”. Yes God is in the spectacular, but also in the seemingly mundane happenings as well.

Much of the miraculous in our lives is outworked through small steps of faith and obedience, and released to us in bite-sized pieces. Suddenly we realise that the sin we struggled with for so long is no longer a problem, that the mountain of financial lack has been moved – not all at once, but a shovel load of dirt at a time. Someone we’ve been consistently praying for announces they’ve become a Christian, or a difficult situation we’ve been dealing with is rectified. I thank God for the spectacular, but I also thank Him for His quiet outworkings in my life

Prayer: Thank You, Father God, that the ‘God of Elijah’ is also my God. I thank You for Your spectacular interventions in my life, but also for the quiet outworkings. You’re my God, and I love You. I trust You to bring about Your will and purposes for my life. Amen.

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

A Threefold Promise

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.11.2014 10:09

01 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
A Threefold Promise

“For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
Proverbs 2:6-8, NIV

I love the promises of God! There are three especially precious promises within these two verses from the Book of Proverbs.

The first promise relates to what the Lord offers to give us directly – wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Many is the time when someone has asked me for advice, an opinion, for prayer or for direction in their lives – when I would love to have referred them to this Scripture. Sometimes people think that it is only someone in public ministry that can help them! But the truth is that God has promised wisdom, knowledge and understanding to all believers. As we read his Word, and meditate on its truths we will find that the Spirit of God speaks into our hearts with God’s revelation for our situation.

The second promise relates to those who are upright – that doesn’t mean those who can stand tall physically, but it does mean those who choose to walk tall spiritually – who commit themselves to a life of truth and integrity, living in accordance with God’s Word and in the safety of His commandments. For those who walk uprightly like this God promises to be a shield of protection and to give us victory in the things that he puts before us to do.

The third promise tells us that the Lord will also guard the way ahead of us and protect us on the journey of life. That doesn’t mean to say that we won’t face problems, but it does point us in the direction of a narrow walk of faith. I love the story that John Bunyan tells in his book Pilgrim’s Progress, of how Christian was climbing the ‘hill difficulty’ and there were two lions on the road ahead of him. He immediately went into fear and was at a loss what to do. But in faith he kept walking in the middle of the road with the lions roaring at one side and the other. It was only when he reached the place where the lions were that he realised they were chained and that if he walked right in the middle of the road there was a narrow path of safety where the lions were unable to reach him.

The Christian life is a commitment to walking along that narrow path – the path where we will truly hear the voice of the Lord encouraging and directing us, the place where we will experience the shield of His protection and the path which God has promised to guard us on each step of the journey. I pray that as you put your feet down, one step at a time, on the pathway of life, that you will know God’s clear direction as He speaks to you along the way.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the wonderful promises contained within these verses of Scripture. Help me to not just be blessed by knowing they are in Your Word, but by experiencing for myself the fulfilment of the promises 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

How to Train a Horse

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.11.2014 10:55

02 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
How to Train a Horse

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones."
Proverbs 3:5-8, ESV

Wow! What an amazing experience to go to the ‘cowboy’ church in Florida! A crowd gathers each Sunday to watch as Skipper Calder demonstrates how to train horses. As they are watching and listening they get to learn the truths of the Gospel and how to live the Christian lifestyle.

I learnt we have to develop good relationships with horses by spending time with them, using good communication skills and teaching them to trust us as leaders. Our goal is for the horse to surrender to our will, and not to follow its own inclinations.

Horses have a limit as to how far they are able to trust in any given situation. At a certain point there is a wall in their minds that blocks them from going forward. Fear stops them being able to trust they’ll be safe.

People also have these walls, making it difficult for them to trust God. In our verses for today it talks about ‘leaning on our own understanding’ rather than trusting God, and about being ‘wise in our own eyes’. The result of doing this leads us towards evil rather than good. There is so much deception, and we can be led astray. We can miss God’s best plan. We can even end up opening our lives to curses rather than blessings.

It was fascinating to watch how a horse with an irrational fear of blue barrels and tarpaulins was gradually and gently led to overcome this fear. The trainer had to make the right thing to do easy and the wrong thing hard, until the horse was ready to make its own choice to do the right thing.

Quite a bit of time was spent getting the horse to stand fairly close to the objects it was frightened of and was wanting to avoid. When it did well it was encouraged and rewarded with treats. Mouthfuls of hay were then put out on a blue barrel and on the blue tarpaulin stretched out on the ground. The horse’s owner let it feed from his hand and slowly led it to the feared objects. Eventually it was tempted to reach the hay laid on the barrel and put its feet on the blue tarpaulin to take hay from his hand. Then hay was left on the tarpaulin and time given for the horse to wander around the arena and think about it. Should it take the risk and venture on to the tarpaulin by itself to get that hay?

A horse must never be forced to do anything. We must work out how to make the horse think it’s all its own idea to do it. Then it discovers for itself that there’s a rich reward in changing its old pattern of behaviour. In the same way Father God respects our free will choices but offers us a rich reward for trusting that His way is the right way and following His path. ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones’ (Proverbs 3:5-8).

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, please help us to overcome those fears that block us from knowing Your good and perfect will for our lives. Help us to make the choice to trust You and do things Your way. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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

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