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Injustice and Grace

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.11.2014 10:21

03 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Injustice and Grace

"Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope."
Matthew 12:18-21, NIV

“Injustice!” is the cry of peoples in every corner of the planet today. “Have you been treated unjustly? Have you treated anyone unjustly?” In the prophet Isaiah’s words Jesus will ‘lead justice to victory’ (Isaiah 42:1-4). “Is Jesus qualified to do this”, you may ask? Let’s investigate.

After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead the religious authorities decided to kill Him. Although they knew that only the promised Messiah could have the authority to raise the dead, instead of worshipping Jesus as the Messiah, they decided to accuse Him of being empowered by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. They saw Jesus as their ‘enemy’. He opposed all their man-made rules, which they claimed were an authority above that of Scripture. They determined that Jesus had to die. To achieve this goal they violated twenty two laws in the Jewish legal system of that day. That was injustice.

Judas, the betrayer, was vital in the Sanhedrin’s case, as they needed a key witness to verify Jesus claims. Without him they had no case. Judas was paid thirty pieces of silver for his testimony: totally illegal. Judas led the Roman soldiers to Gethsemane to arrest Jesus and betrayed Him with a sacred kiss, the sign to a rabbi of submission, honour and homage. Then he disappeared, and later they discovered his death by suicide.

These events happened on the eve of Passover: totally illegal. The trial was held in secret, not public and before the morning sacrifice: totally illegal. They lost their sole witness, Judas, so they shouldn’t have proceeded with the trial. That too was illegal. Confusion of testimonies in this ‘show trial’ by false witnesses: totally illegal. The leaders all argued for Jesus to be pronounced guilty: totally illegal. Leaders attempted to force a confession of guilt from Jesus: totally illegal. The high priest’s attempt to force Jesus to pronounce the name of God, as an act of blasphemy: totally illegal. The verdict of guilty was a decision taken by acclamation and not by personal vote: totally illegal. The fact that this was unanimous strongly indicates a conspiracy against the defendant: again totally illegal. Pronouncing the verdict of death on the night of the trial without a 24 hour break: totally illegal. The high priest tearing his garment disqualified him in his office, yet he carried on: totally illegal. Jesus was abused and beaten during the trial: totally illegal. Jesus was horrendously mutilated by a Roman flogging: absolutely forbidden.

Throughout the trial Jesus was totally in control. The Sanhedrin wanted it all postponed till after Passover when the crowds had returned home, but Jesus, by exposing Judas as the betrayer, ensured that His trial and execution was at Passover, when the Passover lamb was slaughtered.

Pilate, who wanted to escape making a decision condemning Jesus to death, passed that responsibility over to the crowd. ‘Do I release Jesus or Barabbas’ (who was an insurrectionist and murderer)? he enquired of the crowd. A contemporary historian informs us that his full name was Jesus Barabbas. Barabbas means ‘son of the father,’ Jesus Barabbas means ‘Jesus son of the father’ an extraordinary identity, especially on this occasion. The insurrectionist was set free, and the Saviour received the death sentence of an insurrectionist. That’s the height of human injustice. It was Jesus’ destiny to suffer that injustice. In a remarkable way it demonstrates the depths of His grace. Never in all history has there ever been such a crystal clear act of what God means by grace.

Are you a sinner? Do you struggle to accept the truth that you’re forgiven as soon as you confess and repent? Jesus, in the last stages of asphyxiation on the cross, prayed the most incredible releasing prayer ever: ‘Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’ That prayer applies to us, to you and to me. It’s not because we’re worthy of it, or have earned it. It’s purely the measure of God’s grace. ‘It is by grace you have been saved’ (Ephesians 2:5).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as I ponder upon the injustice of what Your Son Jesus suffered for me, I begin to recognise how You abhor my sin, and that Your grace reaches down into my life, in Your justice and mercy. Thank You, Jesus, that You became the Lamb of God in this world that doesn’t recognise You. You paid the price for my redemption, enabling me to know Your Father as my Father. Please forgive me for any injustice I’ve caused, and show me anyone I need to seek forgiveness from. Amen.

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

Just One More Night With the Frogs

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.11.2014 10:29

04 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Just One More Night With the Frogs

"Moses said to Pharaoh, ‘I leave to you the honour of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people, that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs - except for those that remain in the Nile.’ ‘Tomorrow,’ Pharaoh said."
Exodus 8: 9-10, NIV

Frogs were the second plague God sent the Egyptians to force Pharaoh to free the people of God from slavery, and let them leave Egypt for good. Following God’s instruction Moses declared to Pharaoh that frogs would cover the land of Egypt, but that they would not afflict the Israelites. The frogs appeared everywhere; in the Egyptians houses, their beds, cupboards, and even their ovens! You name it and you would find frogs there! The whole land seemed to be a heaving mass of frogs. Although it doesn’t say so, I`m sure they were far from quiet, and at night it must have been impossible to sleep with their noise and movement all around.

Amazingly, when Moses allows Pharaoh the opportunity to end this plague, and even stipulate when the frogs should disappear, his answer was simply “tomorrow”. Surely he should have screamed out, “Today! Please, just get rid if them. I can’t stand it a moment longer!” But incredibly he didn’t. Tomorrow would do.

As I pondered on this, it struck me that there are a lot of people like Pharaoh around. Do you have a ‘frog’ problem that’s stressing you out? What ‘frogs’ are destroying your peace? Frogs called, anxiety, depression, fear, illness, job worries, debt, suffering, un-forgiveness, and there are so many more! Wherever you turn they’re there, and you can’t even rest at night. Well, Moses certainly had the answer to Pharaoh’s frog problem, and God has the answer to yours. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow.

Prayer: Almighty God, I repent from being complacent about how bad or difficult things are in my life; for putting off turning to You for deliverance until ‘tomorrow’, and the next day and the next. Today I determine to seek Your help, Your salvation, Your healing and Your deliverance. I choose to no longer spend one more night with the frogs. In Your precious name, Amen.

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

Purchased at a Precious Price

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.11.2014 16:29

Purchased at a Precious Price

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Matthew 26:28 says, “For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The word “testament” is from the Greek word diatheke, which means “covenant.” Christ has purchased us with His blood. We have entered into a covenant with Him. The church is the bride, He is the bridegroom. We are betrothed to Him in a covenant bought with His blood.

ACTION POINT:
Samuel J. Stone wrote these powerful words in a hymn we sing in our church, “The Church’s One Foundation.”— “From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride; With His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.”

Let this powerful truth sink deep into your heart today. Meditate on what it meant that Jesus came and sought you, then bought you with His blood.

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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

Set the Blessing in Motion

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.11.2014 09:42

Set the Blessing
in Motion

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
(Luke 6:38, ESV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

God is a god of abundance! He wants to pour out His abundance on you until you are so full that you are running over with His goodness. Notice how this verse starts. It says, “Give, and it will be given to you.” That’s because your giving sets the blessing of God into motion in your life. Giving is like a seed. When you plant an apple seed, it doesn’t just grow a single fruit. That one seed grows into a tree that produces an abundance of apples! That’s what happens when you obey God in your giving. You receive an abundant harvest in return. It’s overflowing, literally “running over!” And when the blessing is running over, it means you have so much that you want to give more. The cycle just keeps repeating itself! Is there something the Lord is telling you to give today? It could be financial, material or even your talents and service to others.

What do you have in your hand that you can use to bless someone else? Take a step today and set the blessing of God into motion in your life. Open the door for His blessing to be running over in every area of your life today!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I choose to obey Your Word. I choose to be a tither and a giver. I choose to obey Your word and step out in faith knowing that every seed I sow will come back in abundance in Jesus’ name! Amen.

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

Ephesians 1:9-10

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.11.2014 20:25

Today's Verse for 11/06/2014

He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. — Ephesians 1:9-10


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Thought

Jesus IS Lord! God's plan was purposed in Christ. God's plan centered on Christ coming at the right time. God's plan was to bring unity in Christ by making him Lord of all! What's more, this plan that brings our salvation brings God great pleasure. God is the only saving God. Jesus is both our Savior and Lord. So the real issue we face today is this: What area of our lives, our hearts, our secrets, our sin, our rebellion, have we not submitted to his lordship?

Prayer

O Precious Father, I know my heart can be deceitful. At times I can even fool myself. But when I kneel in your presence and am convicted by your Word, I find myself reminded of those areas I have not yet fully submitted to your control and Jesus' lordship. Please, dear Father, use the Holy Spirit to gently show and convict of my self-deception so that I may be wholly lost in your will. In the name of Jesus, Lord of lords, 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

Nothing New Under the Sun

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.11.2014 10:51

07 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Nothing New Under the Sun

"That which has been will be, that which is done, is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun."
Ecclesiastes 1:9, NKJV

King Solomon looked at all the circumstances and after much research into many subjects declared that after everything he had discovered in life and everything that had once been achieved, there was nothing new under the sun. But his conclusion was: ‘Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the entire duty of man’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This was true wisdom.

However, Jesus said, ‘Behold I make all things new’ (Revelation 21:5), and Paul said, ‘Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I’ve discovered there are many new things for us in the Scriptures; new mercies (Lamentations 3:23), new plans (Jeremiah 29:11), new destiny (John 3:16), and a new name (Revelation 3:12).

What would you like to become new in your life? Whatever it is Jesus has promised that He’s able to make all things new, if you allow Him to be Lord of your life, and make your desires known to Him.

One of the most wonderful things that I’ve experienced from the Lord is a ‘new perspective’. This has turned the world the right way up for me. God’s view is so different from ours. He says, ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’ (Isaiah 55:9.)

"I am a new creation, no more in condemnation,
Here in the Grace of God I stand.
My heart is overflowing, my love just keeps on growing,
Here in the Grace of God I stand.
And I will praise you Lord,
Yes I will praise you Lord –
And I will sing of all you’ve done.
A joy that knows no limit, a lightness in my spirit.
Here in the grace of God I stand." Dave Bilbrough

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for all the exciting new things that You bring into my life. May I learn to know and love You more, in ever increasing new ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Joshua 24:15

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.11.2014 22:45

Today's Verse for 11/08/2014

If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.... As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. — Joshua 24:15


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Thought

While we can't speak for everyone in our family, we can commit to what everyone in our family should desire: We will serve the Lord! But more than commit, let's set the example and lead the way. "I will serve the Lord, TODAY!" Then we can ask them to join us.

Prayer

Give me wisdom, O tender Shepherd, on how to lead my family to love you more. Please bless my parents and thank you for their faith. Please give me courage and sensitivity so that I can effectively share your truth with my children. O God, please bless those parents who are seeking to raise godly children that will someday marry the children you've given me. I want my house to be a place where you are known, appreciated, honored, and loved. In Jesus' name I humbly ask it. 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

Are You Ready?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.11.2014 11:04

09 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Are You Ready?

"But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold the bridegroom! Go out and meet Him!’ Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order. And the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘There will not be enough for us and for you; go instead to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ But while they were going away to buy, the bridegroom came.......’"
Matthew 25:6–10a, Amp

During the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas I had an email from a friend of mine who lives in Jerusalem. She described how, in the hot weather, one night she decided to leave off some of her clothes, which, when there were possibilities of air raids, she always wore, so that she would be decent to go into the shelter which was in a friend’s basement. Inevitably, just as she was really fast asleep, the siren went off, and she woke in panic trying to find the extra layers. In her hurry and the darkness she struggled to do so and almost didn’t make it to the shelter in time. She told this story as a parable, relating it to the one that Jesus tells about the ten virgins in Matthew Chapter 25.

As we see the turmoil in the Middle East, not just in Israel, it would seem that the end times are really upon us, and many are looking for the imminent return of our Lord Jesus. But will we be ready or are we sleeping?

We desperately need bold men and women in the churches, to warn us of the dangers ahead, and to prepare us for what’s to come. It was encouraging to read of a woman, working among the refugees somewhere in the Middle East, that people are really seeing the difference between the violence of the Islamic State and the love and gentleness of the Christians and the support that they give, not just to other Christians, but to those around them. It’s making many of other faiths think and question their faith. As the darkness gets darker, so the light of Jesus needs to shine more brightly.

How is your own light doing?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Thank You that You are the Light of the World. May that light shine brightly in the darkness, and may the light of Your Holy Spirit shine brightly in me. Help me to be ready and strong for whatever lies ahead. In Your precious name, Amen.

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

Breaking Through the Darkness

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.11.2014 12:03

10 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Breaking Through the Darkness

"Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour."
Habakkuk 3:18, NIV

Sometimes it may seem like the trials and tribulations we face have been orchestrated by an anonymous player behind the scenes. And maybe they have. When that’s the case, calamity comes not only from one direction, but from several at the same time. You don’t have one enemy but many, and they’re coming against you to destroy you.

That was obviously the situation for Habakkuk. His name has, by the way, a very interesting and intriguing meaning: ‘One who wrestles with another’. And Habakkuk was really wrestling with someone, with unseen forces besetting him and his nation from various directions. When he writes down his conversations with God, he begins with the question of why things like violence, injustice, wrong, destruction, strife and conflict are all around him. And even nature seems to share in the attack on the people, by not yielding any fruit. Habakkuk cries out “Where are you Lord in all this? Lord, why are you not granting us victory over our enemies? Lord didn’t you promise us a land flowing of milk and honey?”

There are many who would share with Habakkuk in complaining, but not so many would listen carefully to God´s answer like him. Somehow we find it easier to complain than to listen. But if we did it the other way round, listening before complaining, our darkness would often be lit up by the answer and understanding God gives.

When Habakkuk begins to catch on to what God is saying, and understand that God is sovereign, even in times of trials and tribulation, when waves go high and winds roar, he changes from complaints and questions to awe, and prayer. And when he does a new understanding comes to him. The facts are the same, but the message history brings him, is that God’s so much higher than the enemy and the circumstances Habakkuk is wrestling against. All of a sudden the enemy invaders are no longer frightening and the famine’s not so appalling. There’s hope!

And when hope breaks the hopelessness Habakkuk looks higher than the circumstances, faces other things than the enemies, and begins to sing and shout: “Though I see the hardships, see the enemies, yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour!”

God does never want us to deny facts, or deceive ourselves by painting the picture brighter than it is. But He wants us to listen to His view of the situation, and give us His assurance that He’s greater than our enemies. And when we come around to His perspective we begin to rejoice in the Lord. And the more we rejoice, the more our new assurance will express itself in shouting: ‘The Sovereign Lord is my strength, he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights’ (Habakkuk 3:19). All this in spite of what you see around you, in spite of the mess this world presents!

May this be your experience!

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

Starting Well But Finishing Badly

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.11.2014 10:31

11 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Starting Well But Finishing Badly

"If you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprighteousness … and do all that I command … I will establish your throne over Israel forever … but if you or your sons turn away from me … and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this Temple."
1 Kings 9:4-5, & 6-7, NIV

In the book of Kings we read about the life and rule of King Solomon, David’s successor. In the beginning he wholeheartedly followed God and obeyed all of His commandments. We read that under his kingship, the people of Israel lived in peace on all sides, ate, drank and were happy. The nations around Israel brought tribute to King Solomon, while each of his own people, the Israelites, lived in safety under his own vine and fig tree (1 Kings 4:25). It was a glorious time for Israel. They weren’t bothered by their enemies. The Temple was constructed and dedicated, and prosperity abounded. Solomon was the wisest and most discerning king that ever reigned at the time, and the nations came to listen to him speak (1 Kings 4:34).

In addition to this, Solomon understood the character of God, and we can see this in his prayer of dedication for the Temple in Chapter 8. He knew that God was a ‘promise keeper’; too awesome to be contained in the confines of the Temple he’d just completed, and that God had the nations on His heart. Solomon asked God to not only hear the prayers of the foreigners, but also answer them, so that His glory would be known amongst the nations (1 Kings 8:43). He also knew that God was merciful, forgiving and restorative, and proclaimed this in the hearing of all those present (1 Kings 8:46). Perhaps Solomon learned this from his father David, who sinned greatly, but was also forgiven and restored by his God.

Unfortunately, even though Solomon started his reign in wholehearted devotion to God, the latter part of his life was marked by compromise and disobedience (1 Kings 11:6-11). We read that he allowed himself to be lead astray by his foreign wives, who turned his heart after their gods and away from the Living God (1 Kings 11:4)! The Lord had already warned him what would happen if he did this, but, despite all his wisdom, he failed to heed. King Solomon started well, but ended badly. How that must have broken the heart of God, who wanted His people to continue living in a place of safety, security and abundance.

There is so much we can learn from studying King Solomon’s life (2 Timothy 3:16). I wonder what God is speaking to you right now. May King Solomon’s life be an example to you of how to, and how not to, live your life.

Prayer: Father God, help me to obey You wholeheartedly every day for the rest of my life. Thank You that I don’t have to do it in my own strength, for You’re with me and will empower me to do so. I ask You to lead me onwards and upwards. I want to finish well, and not defame the name of my God, as King Solomon did. Amen.

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

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