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What Is True Humility?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.11.2014 20:22

What Is True Humility?

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” James 4:10

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Have you ever wondered what humility is all about? True humility is not thinking negatively about yourself. It is agreeing with what God says about you. The grace of God will exalt a person without inflating him and humble a person without debasing him. I am what I am because of Christ. In this life, you are not going to be sinless, but as you deal with sin in your life, you can come closer to being free from sin. Sinless? No. Blameless? Yes. As you confess and stay prayed up, you can be blameless.

ACTION POINT:
Do you have a concordance in your Bible? Do a study on the subject of “humility.” Start with Philippians 2:5-11.

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AR_headshot.jpgDevotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

What Are You Wearing Today?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.11.2014 11:00

13 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
What Are You Wearing Today?

"Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 13:14, NIV

I wonder how much care you took this morning in choosing the clothes you were to wear today. Whether you’re someone who takes a great deal of time and effort in making sure you’re dressed just right for the day ahead, or someone who just puts on the first garment that comes to hand, we all need to give careful consideration to our ‘spiritual wardrobe’.

The Scriptures tell us that God ‘has clothed us with the garments of salvation and arrayed us in a robe of righteousness’ (Isaiah 60:10). We don’t choose these garments. They’re given to us when we open our lives to Jesus and invite Him in. The garments of salvation include things like forgiveness, redemption, deliverance, healing, hope, protection and purpose. As we grow to understand, and take hold of, all that God’s made available in this way through the death of Jesus, we grow closer to Him, and enter more deeply into the relationship He wants us to enjoy with Him.

The robe of righteousness is provided for us by God, through the sacrifice of Jesus. It covers our unrighteousness. Once we’ve accepted Jesus, God looks at us, and He doesn’t see our sin. Instead He sees Jesus, who took the penalty for our sin. When Isaiah prophetically reflected on these things he was moved to write ‘I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God’ (Isaiah 61:10).

But there’s still a danger. We must take care to remain under the protection of the covering that God’s provided, or we can become vulnerable and exposed to the enemy. If we don’t, it provides an inroad for the enemy, who causes us dis-ease (lack of peace). This can affect us in any part, or all, of our being, body, soul and spirit. If we make decisions and do things outside of God’s will and purpose for us, and which are contrary to His Word, we’re stepping outside God’s covering, and we put ourselves in a precarious position.

Paul encourages the church at Rome with these words; ‘Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh’ (Romans 13:14). The responsibility is on us. We must choose to live a life which portrays Jesus. We can’t do this in our own strength, but we can do it through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul gives these instructions to the Church at Colossae: ‘Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’ (Colossians 3:12).

As we daily choose to put on all that God’s made available for us in our ‘spiritual wardrobe’ we’ll be able to face each day with renewed confidence and purpose.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Please forgive me for the times I’ve ignored the significance of all You made available for me at Calvary. Thank You for the clothing of salvation and the robe of righteousness. Please help me to remain under Your covering so I may give glory to You. Amen.

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

1 Peter 2:15-16

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.11.2014 21:00

Today's Verse for 11/13/2014

It is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. — 1 Peter 2:15-16


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Thought

What does the world most need to hear from me today? A life tuned to the melody of grace that I claim I believe. Doing good, being like Christ, is Peter's answer to opposition, cynicism, and even persecution. We are free in Jesus, but being free means that we don't have to pretentiously prove we are free. Instead, we can live for him who died to conquer death and renounced absolute heavenly freedom so we could find it. We are free to serve others, and most of all to serve God.

Prayer

Holy Father, my Great Emancipator, you have freed me from sin, law, and death at the cost of your precious Son. I open my heart to you today to say I love you. I and want to thank you for this gift of incredible redemption. Please accept the actions of my life and the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my mind and the emotions of my heart today as my offering of thanks. In the name of Jesus, my Sacrifice and your holy Son, 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
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Flourish Like a Palm Tree

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.11.2014 08:30

Flourish Like a
Palm Tree



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree...”
(Psalm 92:12, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Have you ever seen a palm tree in the midst of a great storm? That tree may be bent so far over that it’s almost touching the ground, but when the wind finally stops, that palm tree bounces right back up. What’s interesting is that while that palm tree is hunched over under the pressure of the storm, it is actually becoming stronger.

See, the reason God said we’d flourish like a palm tree is because He knew there would be difficult times. He knew things would come against us to try to steal our joy and victory. But God said, “You’re going to be like a palm tree because when the storms of life blow, you are going to come right back up stronger than before.”

As you reflect on the events of your life, remember, the storms you have encountered have only made you stronger. You are wiser, you are more alive, and you are headed for victory. Your brightest days are right out in front of you! Always remember that with God on your side, you will flourish like a palm tree!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for making me strong in You. I trust that You are working in my life, even in the midst of the storms. Thank You for a new season of blessing as I keep my heart and mind focused on You in Jesus’ name! Amen.

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

Secrets

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.11.2014 11:14

14 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Secrets

"The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them."
Psalm 25:14, NIV

Close personal friendships can be a wonderful blessing from the Lord. Being intimate with another person and being able to share deeply can be very special. However, we only share the secret thoughts of our hearts when we know we can trust the other person with them.

I remember an occasion when one of our small grandchildren came running to me in excitement and said: “We’ve got a present for you … and it’s a secret ... and it’s chocolates!!” She was not mature enough to know what a secret was, or to be trusted with one!

Today’s verse implies that God does trust us with secret things and that He wants to confide in us. What an amazing privilege this is! However, if we are to allow Him to confide in us, we have to give Him the opportunity to speak to us. Do we give Him enough time and space in our busy lives to whisper His secrets to us? When God appeared to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-12 it was not in the great wind, or in the earthquake, or in the fire, but in a gentle whisper or ‘still small voice’. Sometimes in our prayer times we can be so busy giving God our list of needs, and telling Him about our situation (as if He doesn’t already know!), that we miss the still small voice. Psalm 46:10 tells us to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’.

Who are the people in whom God wants to confide? Today’s verse in Psalm 25 tells us that it is those who fear him. Fearing the Lord does not mean that we have to hide from Him, quaking in terror. We need to hold in balance the fact that He is our Father and we are able to approach His throne with confidence, but at the same time having a right sense of reverence and awe at who He is, and a desire not to displease Him.

I had a wonderful relationship with my own father. I loved him and wanted to be with him as much as possible. He made everything interesting and fun for us as children. However, we also knew the things that would displease him, and the fact that there would be consequences if we were naughty! Because of this, and because of my love for him, I tried not to do anything that would displease him. This helps me to understand something of what it means to fear the Lord.

Psalm 34:11 says: ‘Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD’. Let’s come to our Heavenly Father today as His children, ready to listen to Him, and let Him teach us what it means to fear Him. Let’s expect that He will want to confide in us as we listen to Him. What a privilege!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that I can approach You with confidence because of what Jesus has done for me. Forgive me for the times when I have rushed in and out of Your presence and have been so busy speaking to You that I have not allowed You to speak to me. Thank You that You want to confide in me. Help me to learn to be still in Your presence and to listen to You. Amen.
Today's Writer : Jilly Lyon Taylor
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Unwelcome Messages!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.11.2014 13:06

15 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Unwelcome Messages!

“He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honour.”
Proverbs 15:31-33, NIV

There are times in all our lives when we need to hear the truth about ourselves. But frankly none of us like it and the natural instinct of the carnal nature is to rise up to attack the messenger instead of to listen carefully to the message, asking the Lord if there is any truth in what is being said. I can remember several times as a youth rising up on the inside and thinking my father was so wrong in what he was saying. In later life, however, I realised just how right he was at the time and how important his loving correction had been. It saved me from making much more serious mistakes.

In the history of God’s people there were many occasions when the prophets brought unwelcome messages. Instead of listening to what God was saying to the people through God’s prophetic mouthpiece, they often turned on the prophets who had had the courage to tell the people the truth. For example in Isaiah’s day the people turned on him saying, “Don’t give us any more visions of what is right, tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions” (Isaiah 30:10). This is an extraordinary verse of Scripture. The people knew Isaiah to be a Godly man who listened to the heart of God and always spoke the truth. But when the people didn’t like hearing what he was saying, instead, they asked this Godly man to tell them lies! They did not want to hear the voice of God through Isaiah bringing correction. In pride and arrogance they wanted to live life in their own ungodly way. When someone speaks correction into our lives, let’s be careful not to hastily reject the message.

Our Scripture for today contains a salutary warning about the dangers of ignoring the voice of correction. It also gives us a very interesting slant on the consequences of ignoring discipline. It says that he who ignores discipline despises himself! Discipline may not always be given in the best possible way and it’s rarely a comfortable experience! But when it comes, we need to weigh it carefully, for if we reject the message and choose to ‘shoot’ the messenger instead, we are actually despising ourselves. If you despise someone, you look down on them and don’t give them any respect. And if you despise yourself that is exactly what you are doing. You are looking down on yourself and disrespecting the need there may be in your life to prayerfully consider the message and choose to change. The consequences could be serious, as they so often were for God’s people when they rejected the messages of God’s prophets.

Our Scripture encourages us to listen carefully to the voice of correction, for it is through this that we can gain important understanding – but we will never be willing to walk that path unless first we deal with our pride and choose to humble ourselves. As that wonderful Bible teacher Derek Prince used to say, “the way down is the way up!”

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to listen carefully when You bring correction into my life. Help me to welcome it so that I may gain understanding and more fully walk in Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

In Whose Life Do You Live?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 16.11.2014 21:28

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional November 16, 2014

In Whose Life Do You Live?

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." John 15:4

The university gymnasium is packed, and from the platform, I can see every student. The microphone works fine. I can see my notes. But something is wrong. I am only ten minutes into my message, but there's a restlessness in the air. The faces of the students in the front row hold blank expressions. They look as dull as I feel.

I realize that I sound hollow. More than that, I feel hollow. Even though I'm sharing powerful truths from God's Word, I know that my words lack energy. I'm separated from my message - disconnected, out of gear. Before I embark on my next sentence, I breathe a silent prayer - no more going through the motions.

Within minutes I can sense the difference between my effort and God's energy working through me. I feel relaxed, free. There is joy in my voice and the faces of the kids on the front row even begin to brighten.

___________________________________

Nothing is more mechanical than when we attempt to live a supernatural life apart from God. I've done it. You do it. When we live apart from Him, prayer becomes dull, witnessing becomes dry, and relationships sag under the weight of selfishness. Our jobs become routine, and even performing an act of kindness becomes an unpleasant duty. Our relationship to the Lord even becomes a chore.

In case you're feeling a little self-sufficient, remember that in Him you live, move, and have your being. Apart from Him you can't do a thing. So count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ.

Lord Christ, You were raised from the dead through the glory of the Father that I, too, might live a new life. Forgive me when I go through the motions. Let me live through You today, always and only in Your power.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

Jonah: Part 3

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.11.2014 11:02

17 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Jonah: Part 3

"Then they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea."
Jonah 1:15, NIV

Jonah and the sailors took the daring step of obeying God and facing the real cause of the situation they were in. It was a hard choice. It was scary. When the sailors threw Jonah into the sea, Jonah must have thought ‘That’s it. I’m going to die.’
But amazingly – the moment they all obeyed God and took the step to face the real cause of the problem – God stepped in. He provided a rescue plan.

It wasn`t a rescue plan that any man could have thought up. It wasn`t the norm or the usual, but it was a brilliant rescue plan. Jonah was swallowed by a big fish. God sometimes works like that with us. We take a leap of faith to bring ourselves back in line with him and he provides a rescue plan which is so unexpected but so good.

As Jonah was in the sea he felt desperate and overwhelmed, but God came in. In this big fish, Jonah spoke to God and we see how, through the struggle in the water, he reached out to God and allowed Him in, and then was able to feel that sense of safety and mercy. He acknowledged that worshipping anything other than God is pointless (2:9) and re-dedicated himself to God. In the fish, the healing came. The struggles were addressed. What seemed like a disaster to man, became a restoration in God.

What I think is so amazing after all this, is that God then gave Jonah a second chance. He asked him to go to Nineveh again, and this time Jonah went. God is a God of second chances. Jonah failed, but God restored, healed and trusted him again. The Lord does that with us. He rescues us and restores us and trusts us to do important things for Him.

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for who You are; for Your heart of restoration and Your love, which enables You to see the potential You`ve put in me. Thank You for trusting me, when I often struggle to trust You. Thank You for believing in me. I choose to trust You more, and to let You heal the pain in my life, so I can live as You`ve called me to live. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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

An Easy Thing

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.11.2014 10:58

18 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
An Easy Thing

"This is an easy thing in the eyes of The Lord."
2 Kings 3:18, NIV

If I had to ask you to name one thing or situation in your life that you consider most impossible of solving or void of all hope, what would it be?

In 2 Kings 3 we read of such an impossible situation: The king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom joined forces to fight the king of Moab. But after a roundabout march of seven days they had no water left for themselves or the animals. Upon the advice of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, they consulted the prophet Elisha concerning what to do. Elisha enquired of the Lord and this was his counsel:

`Thus says the Lord: ‘Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the Lord says: you will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink"` (2 Kings 3:16-17).

God was about to provide water in the absence of any sign of wind or rain. There would be water. Sometimes the valley we find ourselves in is so dry and there are absolutely no signs of rain to bring relief to our impossible situation or problem. Hope seems lost. Yet God is the God who specialises in the impossible. In fact, the solution to your impossibility - that thing that causes you to lie awake at night and wring your hands in desperation - is `an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord`.

Notice that the three kings and their armies had to do something from their side. They had to make ditches to hold the water. Their actions would give legs to their faith that God would do the impossible, and fill the ditches with enough water for three armies and their animals. Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified) describes this kind of faith as `the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]`.

2 Kings 3:20 goes on to say, `The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was – water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water`. God simply caused water to come flooding into that dry valley from the direction of Edom - a desert area! Easy, right?

Dig your ditches of faith while you wait for God to send the flood of His provision for your particular impossibility! Believe that He is able and that He is willing to come to your rescue. For God this is an easy thing.

Prayer: Lord, it is so good to know that nothing is too difficult for You. Even my greatest difficulty and insurmountable challenge is an easy thing in Your sight. Thank you that You are the One Who comes to my rescue time after time. I trust in You, Father!
Today's Writer : Christel Baxter
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Alpha and Omega

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.11.2014 10:27

19 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Alpha and Omega

"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him."
Colossians 1:16. NIV

Before anything existed, in a realm of complete nothingness, God brought something into being, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1). Some find this difficult to understand. How can God make something from nothing? Scripture tells us He did, but many believe that He didn’t.

Theologian Richard Swinburne states, ‘It is extraordinary that anything should exist at all. Surely the most natural state of affairs is simply nothing; no universe, no God, nothing.’ John Ortberg, author of ‘Faith and Doubt’ writes, ‘But there is something. Notions like the Big Bang, natural selection and evolution explain how the mechanism of change might take place, but they do not explain how existence springs from nothing. The real trick is not changing one thing into another thing. The real trick is creating something out of absolutely nothing.’

I remember my science class at school where we were taught one of the basic laws of physics: ‘Matter cannot be created nor destroyed.’ That of course does not take God into account, for when God is brought into the picture, we’re back to the same conclusion: ‘In the beginning, God created’. God overruled the laws of physics, and did the impossible.

The Bible tells us that God’s existence is without beginning and has no end. ‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God’ (Psalm 90:2). ‘You are from all eternity’ (Psalm 93:2). God is eternal. Always has been. Always will be.

We can either accept that an eternal God created the world, or consider the alternative, which suggests that somehow nothing became something by the generation of energy, causing a tremendous explosion. This propelled the universe into being, and millions of stars were flung into limitless space. But, ‘matter cannot be created nor destroyed,’ except by God.

Jesus said, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last’ (Revelation 22:13). ‘I was appointed from eternity… before the world began’ (Proverbs 8:23). Jesus was with God in the beginning, as a legitimate part of the Trinity, long before He ever walked on the earth as a man, and became the bridge whereby fallen man could return to God. ‘No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6).

The human mind is not capable of understanding the unfathomable depths of God and His creation. Let’s not try to work it all out, but simply take Him at His Word: ‘For whoever finds Me finds life’ (Proverbs 8:35).

Prayer: Lord, I don’t understand eternity, but I do know You love me and care about me. Please help me to be secure in what I know, as I trust You for what I don’t know, and to walk with You in the new life that You offer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

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