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Simple Yet Profound Truth

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.11.2014 10:30

20 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Simple Yet Profound Truth

"God is love."
1 John 4:8b, NIV

I was changing the sheets on my nine year old niece’s bed today, and stopped to read a little note that she’d taped to the wall, at the height of her pillow. It read ‘If you’re feeling lonely or a little sad, know your daddy loves you and when He sees you He’s always glad.’ The note was written in her very distinct, and somewhat wonky, handwriting. I asked her later whether her daddy had dictated that message to her, and surprisingly she said “no!” He absolutely adores his little girl, so I was a little confused. “Who told you that message then?” I asked, and she pointed to herself.

“Is it true?” I further questioned and she enthusiastically affirmed that indeed it was. “How true is it then?” I asked teasingly, and she reached out her arms as far as they would go. “Really, really, really true”. We both threw back our heads and laughed. Anastasia further explained to me that she likes to read the note whenever she is feeling sad or lonely as it helps her to feel better. “How cute”, I thought to myself as I watched her skip out of the room.

Dutifully I finished changing her bed, but before leaving, paused and read the note again. I sensed that God was trying to say something very important to me through it, and I didn’t want to miss it. Sometimes God speaks profound truth in a very simple way. Pondering over my niece’s relationship with her earthly dad, I realised what a nice feeling it is to know that your parents love you. My mother especially told me this repeatedly as I was growing up, and I found it very comforting. Knowing the love of my Heavenly Father is even more important though, and God wants each of His children to know His love experientially. Father God absolutely and unquestionably adores each of His children and has a special place in His heart reserved for everyone. Maybe you’re finding that a little hard to fathom right now, but quoting the words of little Anastasia, this is ‘really, really, really true’. Not only is our God loving in character. He is love. I repeat - He is love! Think about this for a moment. Love describes not only what He does, but who He is! Even the best, earthly father’s or mother’s love pales in comparison with the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Perhaps you’re feeling a little lonely or sad today. Can I suggest that you write yourself a little note and tape it next to your pillow, like my niece. We all need reminding sometimes that Father God loves us and that when He sees us He’s always glad.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that I am greatly loved by You and this is really, really, really true. When I’m struggling, help me to run to You and let You love me. Amen.

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

1 Corinthians 1:4-5

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.11.2014 21:07

Today's Verse for 11/21/2014

I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way - in all your speaking and in all your knowledge. — 1 Corinthians 1:4-5


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Thought

The apostle Paul was amazing. He is writing one of the most problematic churches and yet finds reasons to give thanks for them. First, he is thankful for them because Jesus died for them. When God extends his grace to others, how can we not do the same? Second, he recognizes the areas of their abuse are also a reason to give thanks - they may have distorted it, but when reigned in to honor God, these gifts could bless their church. Even though he has tough words to follow, Paul's example reminds us that a child of God is something to be cherished, even if that child has problems.

Prayer

Gracious Father, give me the heart to see reasons to be thankful for all of your children. I confess that it is often so easy for me to view others based on how they view me, share my theological opinions, or how much trouble they cause me. Forgive me, for I know if you had done the same with me, I would have never been one of your children. Please help me rejoice in your children. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


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

River of Offence

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.11.2014 10:08

22 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
River of Offence

"A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city; disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel."
Proverbs 18:19, NIV

How can we avoid the perils that the enemy throws at us, and those situations that cause us to be offended? It comes down to where are we placing our security? Or, more specifically, in what or whom we trust?

In my youth I wasn’t close to God. In fact, I was in rebellion towards Him. There was a day when, through many poor choices, I found myself on a raft heading towards a logjam on a turbulent river. My brother, a friend and I went camping, and during that trip I lay on a raft that had been turned over to make a ‘waterbed’ on the river. This upside-down raft was tied to a branch overhanging the river. My brother played a joke on me and cut the rope securing the raft. He cut that in which I was placing my trust. Since I’d placed my security in the rope, I became offended, and was very angry with my brother. In this anger I determined to get revenge. Crouching low, in order to stay atop the overturned raft, I floated towards the logjam and I made my plans. When the overturned raft bumped against the outer log I acted on my plan, which was to step out of the raft on to the log and walk to shore across the top of the logjam, allowing the raft to float away, thus making my brother retrieve the raft or lose it.

However, when I stood up to make that step, the raft folded in half and I found myself being sucked under the logjam in the river. So it is with us when we fall under offence caused by what others do to us. You see, as my brother cut the rope in which I had placed my security, he had cut my lifeline.

What do you trust in? Is it tangible items that you possess, or is it your relationships with others? When we place our trust in things, money, certain beliefs, or even people, our life is tied to them. When we do this, we set ourselves up to be trapped by offence when this ‘lifeline’ is threatened.

After I’d slipped below the waters of the river, I began to struggle against the current that was pulling me under. We often try and defend ourselves when we become offended which leads to further offence, and, just like it was with me in the river, we quickly lose our strength. But there is a way out if we chose to listen to that still small voice speaking in our spirit. In my case, I heard a command to stop trying to do it in my own strength, and to turn and look at my situation. As I listened, God showed me the way out.

He will do the same for you. Are you struggling with an offence right now? Stop struggling, and listen for His voice, His solution, and turn, and follow His way out. He always provides a way out of every situation in which we find ourselves. If we listen to Him we’re set free.

Prayer: Oh Lord, here I am trapped in offence! Help me find the way out! I choose to quiet myself and listen to You right now. Show me the solution to my situation, and help me to obey Your ways to get out of the turbulent waters under which I’ve slipped. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

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

Just Keep Praying

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.11.2014 21:00

Just Keep Praying

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
There’s an old song with the refrain “Just keep on praying ‘til light breaks through.” When you don’t feel like praying, that’s when you need to. You need to pray until you do feel like praying. You see, you’re not praying by yourself. The Spirit is praying through you and for you, helping to present your petitions to the Father — petitions that perhaps you yourself are not even capable of expressing. Do not approach God with your hands full of the brass of your emotions. Rather, approach Him with hands and heart full of the sweet incense of His worth. Just keep praying.

ACTION POINT:
How’s your prayer life? Do you say grace before meals and squeeze in a quick prayer before you drop off to sleep each night? Take some time today to talk to the Lord.

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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

The Food of Life

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 23.11.2014 11:59

23 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Food of Life

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
John 6:50-51, NRSV

Food is a relational subject, and is part of the language of many cultures, inspiring friendship and fellowship.

But just as food is necessary to sustain natural life, and links us to family, friends and culture, so Jesus instructs us to eat the right food which sustains us for eternity, for our own well-being, uniting us to the family of God, enjoying friendship with Jesus, and absorbing us into the culture of the Kingdom of God.

Bread has often been referred to as the staff of life, and the Scripture itself bears this out as in John 6:48 Jesus revealed to the people ‘I am the Bread of Life’, lovingly given by our heavenly Father for the life of the world.

Jesus brought this discourse after the people had witnessed the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, and He turned their attention to the importance of the true and living Bread, encouraging them not just to focus on the food that nourishes the body alone, but on that which nourishes us spiritually. This was the place where the people didn’t understand that He was speaking to them about feeding on Him, so He could become part of them.

Each time we read the bible it becomes part of us and we’re changed by the living Word of God and we’re transformed more and more into the nature of Jesus. That which goes through the ‘eye’ gate of the bible is akin to food which has a good effect on our minds, hearts and souls. Sadly the reverse is also true. If we feed on that which isn’t good for us, then the consequences won’t be good.

The bible also tells us that, by virtue of our union with Christ, we’re tasting of the heavenly gift (Hebrews 6:4), but we’re also warned of the dangers of withdrawing our allegiance to God once we have had the privilege of partaking of His divine gift to us.

We need Christ, the Bread of life, and the more we read the bible, the more we get to know Jesus. Are we suffering from spiritual malnutrition because other things have crept in unawares and have gradually taken the place of the Word of God in our life? In the same way that physical hunger drives us to eat a good meal, so spiritual hunger should encourage us to delve into the Word of life. Do we ask the Holy Spirit to open up the truths of God in the bible so that we access wondrous things in His divine Law?

Anyone who comes to Jesus comes to life. The Bread of life brings salvation, healing and wholeness. Once we’ve tasted of the heavenly gift, it’s not for our benefit only. We’re then equipped to share it with others.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus, and for imparting the Bread of Life to each of us in a hungry world. Lord, we’re sorry for all the times when we don’t take the time that we should to read and imbibe your precious word that is so vital to each one of us. Help us Lord to value it above all else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Patricia Lake
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Psalm 100:4-5

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.11.2014 09:12

Today's Verse for 11/23/2014

Enter [the Lord's] gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. — Psalm 100:4-5


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Thought

Worship is always about entering - entering into grace, entering with thanksgiving, entering to share with others, but most of all, entering into the Lord's presence in a special way. But our entering is not the basis of worship. Instead, worship is about the Lord's faithfulness, goodness, and enduring grace. We come to God like so many before us, with God waiting for us. We come to praise him for all he has been, all he is, and all he will be. We come to enter and worship. We can do this simply because God is faithful, through all the generations, to wait for us to come.

Prayer

Faithful God, the Almighty Rock of Israel, the God on whom the generations trusted, you alone, LORD, are God. I praise you for your enduring grace and mercy. I praise you because I want my heart tuned to your will. I praise you, because I want to prepare for my longest lifetime, the one in your presence. I praise you in Jesus' name. 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

No Footholds

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.11.2014 10:20

24 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
No Footholds

"Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
Ephesians 4:26-27, NIV

I don’t know about you, but I find God teaches me lessons through the everyday events of life just as much as from my study of the Scriptures.

We had a situation with a leaking shower in a cottage we jointly own with other supporters of the Ministry at Glyndley Manor. It didn’t seem a big issue at first – the on/off knob was a bit stiff, but then it started leaking. We asked someone to look at it and came to the conclusion that a part needed replacing. As it was a fairly new part we spoke to the supplier, who agreed to order a new one for us under guarantee.

On the agreed date the old part was removed and the supplier was visited to collect the replacement. However, on arrival at the store we discovered that the part hadn’t been ordered (or maybe it had been sold to someone else?) and the time and effort was wasted. Not good for the blood pressure for someone with recent heart problems!

The supplier apologised and a further replacement was ordered, which was subsequently collected, fitted satisfactorily (we hope) and the old part returned at no extra cost. There was three weeks of stress, wasted time and frustration to accomplish something that only took an hour to fix eventually. During all this, the toilet seat came loose, kept getting loose and was re-tightened several times, and eventually had to be replaced. But that’s another story…

The effect this had on me was not good. I got frustrated, tried not to be outwardly angry, but inside I was not happy. I was cross. Furthermore, lots of other things were going on, which built on my anger, and the devil got in. I didn’t sleep well. I got over-tired, and overwhelmed, (even though I teach on this!) and lost sight of the God who can do anything.

We often refer to Ephesians 4:27 in a general way about not giving footholds for the devil, but verse 26 gives us the context of it: ‘be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity’. Continuing anger, however justified or righteous, allows the devil to come in and cause us significant upset. His often-used tool is distortion, as things get out of proportion and build up to explosion point, or in my case despondency and defeat.

What is God’s response in this? The Psalmist says ‘I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me’ (Psalm 120:1). And Isaiah reminds us to ‘Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near` (Isaiah 55:6). In other words, rather than let the devil have an opportunity, we should just tell God about it and look for His answers to our problems. It seems simple really, but in the midst of difficulties we can so easily lose our perspective and let the enemy in.

So next time your taps drip, seek first the Kingdom answer, and please remind me to do the same!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You’re interested in the practical things of life, and particularly how we handle them. Please remind us to call on You in our distress and seek You while You may be found, so that, instead of anger and frustration, we may experience peace and optimism, and then we’ll see the devil flee from us. Amen.

Today's Writer : John Berry
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

God’s Plan and Purpose for Your Life

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.11.2014 09:29

God’s Plan and Purpose for Your Life

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
If Jesus is Lord of your life, then not only is your entire life ordered, but so is every single step within your life. God has a plan for the plumber as well as the preacher, for the mechanic as well as the missionary. And if, for instance, God calls you to be a mechanic and you become a missionary, you are accepting second best! To find God’s will is the highest achievement in your life. Success is not spelled M-O-N-E-Y. Nor is it spelled F-A-M-E. Success is the continuous realization of the will of God—what God desires for your life. God does not make clones; He makes children! There is an ultimate purpose for your life as His child —to be like Jesus.

ACTION POINT:
Do you have children? Share with them these important insights about their future.

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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 12:28

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 26.11.2014 21:48

Today's Verse for 11/26/2014

Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. — Hebrews 12:28


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Thought

We are receiving the triumphant and glorious victory of God in his Kingdom. We will join with the angels and the saints of old and live with the Father forever in victorious and never ending joy. But this Kingdom doesn't just begin when Jesus returns. This Kingdom has started now in his Church, his people, those in whom God's will is cherished and obeyed. So our worship should be filled with awe that the holy God of Israel is also the lowly God in Jesus who has redeemed us and made us to be a holy people unto himself. What else can we do but worship with heartfelt thanksgiving and wonder struck awe.

Prayer

Holy and Righteous Father, all things are yours. Thank you for sharing your blessings, your promises, your hope, and your victory with us in Jesus. Please help me to live a more thankful, victorious life before my unbelieving friends and as an example to my children so they may come to share your glorious Kingdom and ultimate victory. In Jesus' mighty name I pray. Amen.


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

Unanswered Prayer

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.11.2014 10:23

27 November, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Unanswered Prayer

Then he (the angel) said to me, “Do not be afraid Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days.”
Daniel 10:12-13, NAS

Prayer that seems to receive no response from God is not an unusual issue! The psalmists in the Bible frequently commented on God’s apparent silence (Psalm 83:1, for example), and even Jesus went through the experience of feeling utterly forsaken on the cross, as He cried out with the some of the first words of Psalm 22, which say: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Far from deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest’.

Jesus truly knows how we feel when prayer seems to be unanswered.

However, our not hearing an answer from God does not mean that He’s not listening. Our relationship with Him is essentially one of faith, which requires our walking in the assurance of God’s word, before it is seen as fact. This can be hard, but waiting on God for an answer, particularly when praying for healing, can also be a precious opportunity to grow in our knowledge of truth about Him and, more likely, the truth about ourselves. This may be in areas such as unbelief, unforgiveness or unreality about the root issues of the problem. These truths are revealed not to condemn us, but to challenge us in places that could be giving the enemy an opportunity to resist the healing that God has for us.

I’m sure that Daniel was impatient to receive an answer to his prayer for explanation of the vision which he had received, but he was probably very surprised at the reason given to him for the delay in receiving God’s response.

Our part on the journey of wholeness and freedom is to humble ourselves before God, make our requests known with persistence (Luke 18:7), walk in the truths that He reveals, and wait for Him to respond how and when He decides it’s appropriate to answer the essence of our prayer.

Prayer: Dear Father, unlike Daniel, I’m seldom going to be fully aware of the significant contention in the heavenly realms that surely exists over every step forward that I make with You, but I choose to trust You in the waiting for answers to my prayers. Amen.

Today's Writer : David Cross
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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