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Devotional

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Childlike Trust

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2014 10:29

07 December, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Childlike Trust

"Then Jesus called the children over to him and said to the disciples. “Let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s. And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will ever get within the Kingdom’s gates”."
Luke 18:16-17, LB

My family used to go off to the forest for camping holidays with their three little children. It made me think of how much they totally relied on their parents for guidance, protection and provision. They completely trusted their parents for everything. They would be lifted, carried, dressed, washed and fed, played with and watched over carefully.

Jesus loved the implicit, unquestioning trust in little children. As their mothers brought them to Him He lifted them up and blessed them, saying to the disciples, ‘Forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven’.

I have heard it said that by the time most children are five, they have usually learned 70% of what they need to know in life to survive. Let’s always lift the little ones to Jesus in whatever way we possibly can, by words, actions, in prayer or giving them our time, realising how important they are to Jesus.

Let’s be like them in our trust in the Lord, even when we don’t understand His reasons. When we follow His commands we often discover the blessings of His wisdom and foresight later. Following Jesus is all about relying on Him. He told his disciples, ‘I am the Vine, you are the Branches, if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).

Trust Him with your future, your family, your finances, your health, your destiny and your whole life. ‘Don’t ever forget those wonderful days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you kept right on with the Lord even though it meant terrible suffering… Do not let this happy trust in the Lord die, no matter what happens. Remember your reward’ (Hebrews 10:32 and 35).

Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee, Trust Him when thy strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him, Seems the hardest thing of all.
Trust Him He is ever faithful, Trust Him for His will is best,
Trust Him for the heart of Jesus is the only place of rest. Anon.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to receive the gift of childlike trust in You. You are the true and faithful One, who will never let us down. We give You all the glory. Amen.

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

Prophesying Hope to Ruined Lives.

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.12.2014 10:41

08 December, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Prophesying Hope to Ruined Lives.

"The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins. He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing."
Isaiah 51:3, NIV

I read the most wonderful verse about restoration recently and several times since have returned to meditate on it. In context, Isaiah is prophesying about the people of Israel being restored, after being conquered and taken into exile by their enemies. They felt like they had been forsaken by their God and completely erased from His memory (Isaiah 49:14-15). However this was far from the truth. Through Isaiah and the other prophets, God foretold Israel’s exile, but also their restoration, to follow after they had repented and cried out to Him for help. Not only would God comfort His people and have compassion on all her ruins, but He would also transform her deserts and wastelands, and cause joy and gladness to be found in her again. What a lovely picture of transformation, of grace, of redemption, and, of restoration. How good is our God!

On a more personal note, the same God who promised restoration to the nation of Israel also cares for the individual. That includes you and me, here and now in the 21st century. So many of the people that I meet believe that their lives are nothing more than blackened rubble. Some walk the dangerously fine line that exists between hope and despair. Their cry is ‘my life is ruined and beyond repair’. The pain in their hearts is also mirrored in their eyes, if you dare look long enough and deep enough to see it. God doesn’t want anyone to live with such soul destroying hopelessness. He has called us, His people, to reach out to such as these with the hope and the truth of the gospel. Today is the day to start prophesying over some ruins. God will lead you to those who are ready to receive, if you will remain open to His leading. He looks with compassion on ruined lives and longs to bring His comfort and restoration, but how will they know it, if we don’t proclaim it.

Prayer: Father God, You care deeply for broken down people, whose lives lie in ruin and have no hope. Help me to have Your heart for such as these and reach out to them in Your name. Amen.

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

Let Jesus Lead the Way

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.12.2014 22:31

Let Jesus Lead the Way

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Who knows you better than the One who created you? Who cares more for you than the One Who died for you? Who leads you more carefully than the One Who knows the end from the beginning? There is no greater picture of courage than the picture of Jesus Christ—the Savior Who lays down His life. You can know security because the One Who loves you is compassionate, caring, and courageous. Jesus knows you. He cares for you. He wants to lead you into the abundant life.

ACTION POINT:
Are you willing to lay down your life for the sake of 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

Speak Your Desires

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.12.2014 10:15

09 December, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Speak Your Desires

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart"
Psalm 37:4, NKJV

In recent months I’ve started to learn to play the Saxophone. It’s hard for me to remember a time in my life when I haven’t wanted to play a musical instrument. But somehow in my growing up it was something that was never encouraged - actually in many ways I was discouraged from doing so. Yet it was a desire that never left me, and throughout the years I’ve tried many times with different instruments. But each time I tried anything I was plagued with voices of the past saying I couldn’t, that I was tone deaf, and didn’t have ability to play.

Six years ago I obtained a saxophone and began to play around on it using a teach yourself book. I even learned to play ‘Happy Birthday to you’ for a special friend. But, again, soon got disheartened and put it to one side to collect dust. Over these last few years I’ve walked on a significant journey of healing and discovered who I really am, the true identity that is God-given, and not what myself and others have moulded me to be. In this process the desire to play music has grown stronger, until recently, the very person who so discouraged me, offered to pay for me to have music lessons. From the very first lesson I’ve sensed that this was a life changing opportunity. However, after not too many lessons, I discovered that my saxophone had a leak, which meant I was going to find it very hard to play. I was so discouraged, and felt like a deflated balloon, but I also had a sense that God was at work.

Our Father is not a God who wants to take away the things which bring us life and are part of who He created us to be. Although very disappointed, in that moment I had to choose to be open to Him and what He was going to do. With my saxophone tutor I looked at some possibilities and options that I needed to go away and look into. As I was packing my damaged saxophone away I found myself saying “of course I don`t really want a gold saxophone. What I would really love is a purple and gold one”. What happened next could only have been God. My tutor said he knew someone who was selling one ‘as new’ at a very low price. Wow! Within two days that purple and gold saxophone became mine.

Now I know it’s just a saxophone. But it’s shown me that many of our inner desires are given by God. They’re in line with His plans and purposes for our lives, and they are to bring life and wholeness to us. I wonder how many of us are holding on to secret desires that we’re scared to own or voice. Maybe, like me, you were so discouraged in those things as you grew up. Yet, by being willing to own them, and vulnerable enough to speak them out, God can do amazing things, and bring much healing to you through them. He so longs for us to be who He created us to be.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You have good plans and purposes for my life, and that You long for me to be living in the abundance of life. I’m sorry, Father, that I’m not always able recognise the desires that You’ve set in my heart. But I’m asking You, Father, to show me now if there’s a hidden desire in me which comes from You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today's Writer : Mary-Lou Gregoire
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Receive Grace

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.12.2014 21:53

Receive Grace

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“It is through Him that we have received grace (God’s unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the nations.”
(Romans 1:5 AMP)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Do you want to see more of God’s favor in your life? Receive His grace. Grace is God’s favor, but it’s also His supernatural empowerment. When you have God’s grace and favor, it enables you to accomplish more and be more effective both in your own life and in building the kingdom of God.

This verse says that God’s grace enables us to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples among all nations. Maybe you can’t go to all nations today, but you can make a difference in the lives of the people around you. You can “promote faith” by being an example to others. God wants to empower you with His grace so that you can show love and encourage the people in your life — your coworkers, your family, your friends.

Receive His grace today by simply opening your heart and thanking Him for it. Thank Him for His grace that empowers you. Thank Him for a gift of faith in your life. Let Him empower you to walk forward in the favor and blessing He has prepared!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your promise of grace in my life. Thank You for unmerited favor. I receive Your grace and power right now and invite Your love to flow through me today in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Will God Reject Me?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.12.2014 10:55

10 December, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Will God Reject Me?

"On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."
John 14:20, NIV

Do you feel secure in God’s family? Or do you secretly wonder if he might reject you one day? I used to fear that on the day of judgement God might suddenly produce some reason I hadn’t thought of and would reject me as “not good enough”.

If I think about it rationally, I can see how silly that is. After all, not only is it impossible for me to be perfect, but it’s impossible for anyone else to be perfect too! If God wants only perfect people, then there will only be one man in heaven – and that man is Jesus, the only perfect man. And quite honestly, He didn’t need to come and die on a cross to get into heaven, did he? After all, Jesus was already in heaven!

No, trying to be perfect is not the answer. Of course there are hundreds of imperfect things about all of us. None of us stand any chance of being good enough. It isn’t about being good enough. So why did Jesus choose to come and suffer so much for such imperfect people?

Well, separation from God leads to death, just as cutting a branch off a tree leads to its death. That’s because God is the source of life. Every person on earth is like a branch that has been broken off from a tree – we may not look dead yet, but we have no hope of life unless we can be grafted back into the tree. The tree is God himself (John 15:5-6). He is our only hope of life, but nobody can reconnect themselves to God, however good their life is. It’s impossible because our sin has broken us away from God. That’s why the Bible says that the wages of sin is death. It separates us from the source of life.

So God came to help us. Jesus lived a perfect life, so there was no sin separating Him from God. Jesus was the branch still attached to the tree. He said that if we believe in Him, turn away from sin and choose to obey Him rather than the devil, then we’re like a branch grafted into him. In today’s verse He says that we’re in Him and He’s in us.
It’s as if Jesus is the branch still connected to the tree. We’re branches that were previously broken off, but are now connected to Jesus. So, through Jesus, we become part of the tree again. We receive life through Him, just as sap flows from a tree into the branch. Jesus explains this in John chapter 15.

We don’t have to be perfect when we’re part of Jesus. That’s because we’re part of Him and He’s connected to God the Father. It is just as if we’re His own body (1 Corinthians 12:27). We share His life when we join Him as part of His body. Paul says in Romans that it’s as if we died on the cross too, because we’re joined to Jesus and are actually part of Him (Romans 6:1-8). And of course we share everything He has – including His resurrection from death. Wow, just think about that!

When we invite Him into our lives to save us and direct us, He enters us by His beautiful Holy Spirit. We’re born again and have a new start. The old is gone. We’re never alone or abandoned. We don’t have to be perfect, or to protect ourselves. He’s there with us. God will never reject Jesus. And we’re Jesus’ body, we are part of Him. This is real – let’s accept this wonderful gift, keep our hearts fit for this royal person and enjoy His company.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for coming to rescue me. I’m grateful that You stayed connected to Father God, and that You offer me the chance to be connected to Him through You. I’m sorry for the things I know I’ve done wrong in my life, and I ask You to forgive me and to come into the whole of my life by Your Holy Spirit and to teach me the way to live. Thank You. Amen.

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

Keep It Simple

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.12.2014 10:21

11 December, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Keep It Simple

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8, NIV

Have you noticed how we can be very hard on ourselves, and unforgiving of our mistakes and failures? We hold ourselves to a very high standard, and it doesn’t help that the world we live in also places unrealistic demands on us: You need to be a successful career person and run a ship-shape home. And if you have a family, make sure you have well-behaved children, and that you’re the perfect supporting partner to your husband or wife. Consider your appearance, or the size of your pay-cheque as an indication of your worth.

I know I’m exaggerating somewhat. But what’s the standard you’re holding yourself to? And how do you feel when you seem to be dropping the balls you’re trying to juggle, and make a mess of things? I was encouraged to take a step back and ask God what HIS expectation of me was for this life He’s blessed me with. His answer to me was very simple and yet so rich! ‘Act justly, love kindness and mercy and walk humbly with your God’.

When we do what we know is just and right, His blessings for obedience will come upon us and overtake us! (Deuteronomy 28:2). And the wonderful thing is that ‘His commands are not burdensome’ (1 John 5:3). They aren’t unrealistic and difficult to keep. They don’t place a yoke upon us and weigh us down. He’s given us a Helper – His Holy Spirit – to assist us and support us in this walk of obedience.

When we choose to be kind and merciful, even to those who are difficult to get along with, God’s Word says ‘your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked’ (Luke 6:35). Kindness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and, as such, it displays God’s character. Kindness takes our eyes off our own inadequacies and difficulties and focuses on the needs of another. When we show mercy, we in turn can be assured of God’s mercy for our own weaknesses, because ‘mercy triumphs over judgement’ (James 2:13)!

When we walk before the Lord in humility, He pours out His grace, favour and blessing upon us (1 Peter 5:5), and He’ll lift us up and make our lives ‘significant’ (James 4:10, Amp). Pride caused Satan to fall from the very presence of God. Pride blinds us to God’s greatness and grieves God’s heart. But when we walk humbly with God, and submit to His way, His plan, His best for us, it brings us into a place of safety under God’s covering, where Satan can’t touch us, and where blessing abounds.

Child of God, don’t complicate your walk with the Lord. Don’t work so hard at trying to ‘earn your stripes’ with God. What He requires of you is actually so simple: ‘Act justly, love kindness and mercy, and walk humbly with your God’!

Prayer: Lord, Your expectations of me are so simple and uncomplicated. Please help me to show kindness and mercy to those You bring across my path and to do what’s right in Your eyes at all times. Amen.

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

Our Father

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.12.2014 19:52

12 December, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Our Father

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father …’
Matthew 6:9, NIV

When Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, He told them to begin with “Our Father”, and then He followed by teaching them all the different elements of what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. As this is the first thing that Jesus taught us to pray, it must be important.

Every person who believes in Jesus Christ and receives Him as personal Saviour, has the right to become a child of God (John 1:12). It is at that moment that our adoption, which was planned by God before He even made the world, takes place. God then becomes our Father. We no longer need to be afraid of drawing near to Him, as we can approach His throne with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). We are family! What an amazing privilege to be able to have intimacy with Almighty God! He is King of kings, but He is also our Father. It is from this place of intimacy that all our prayers should come, with the expectation that He hears us and will answer us when we pray according to His will.

As a parent, I used to love giving things to my children (and I still do!). Jesus says in Matthew 7:11: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” It is with this assurance that we can come to our Heavenly Father with our requests.

It is interesting that Jesus did not tell us to pray: “My Father …”, but rather “Our Father”. I wonder if this is because, having been adopted by God and come into relationship with Him as Father, He wants us to be aware that we are part of His wider family, with responsibility to love and support our brothers and sisters. He doesn’t want us to be isolated or independent as Christians, but rather to be aware that we are part of His Body. Our attitudes towards one another are important to Him.

As a mother, I used to hate it if our children were ever fighting or arguing with each other. Now that they are adult, it gives me great joy to see them getting on well, appreciating and supporting one another. I believe that God feels the same about His children. He wants us to be living in love and unity with one another. We are told in Psalm 133 that it is where brothers are dwelling together in unity that He commands His blessing. Perhaps it is in order to remind us of the importance of keeping our relationships right with one another, as well as with our Heavenly Father, that Jesus taught us to pray: “Our Father …”

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, thank You so much that this is how I can address You. Thank You for the privilege of being part of Your family. Please forgive me for the times when I have not been in love and unity with my brothers and sisters in Your family. Please help me to put this right. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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

Christmas Starts With Christ

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.12.2014 10:18

13 December, 2014
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Christmas Starts With Christ

"He is first in everything."
Colossians 1:18, NIV

‘Christmas Starts With Christ’ is the name of a campaign which was launched on Advent Sunday. It’s aimed at helping churches to make Christ, and the amazing story of His birth, the focus of the nation’s favourite time of the year. According to their publicity ‘just twelve per cent of adults know the nativity story, and more than one third of children don’t know whose birthday it is. Meanwhile, fifty one percent of people now say that the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to their Christmas’.

This campaign is praiseworthy, as it might help redress the balance, and alert people once again to the true meaning and significance of Christmas. But my mind went to the bigger picture, not just of Christmas, but of how Christ is central to all things.

In Colossians we read ‘He (Christ) existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can`t see- such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.’ (Colossians 1:15-18). Well might we declare ‘O come let us adore him’.

Once again, as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, and recognise His central place in the whole meaning of Christmas, let’s also remember to acknowledge Him as Saviour and give Him His rightful place as Lord in every aspect of our lives for the next 364 days, and beyond.

‘He is King of kings and Lord of lords for ever and for ever. Hallelujah! Amen’.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, Please help me to put You first at all times and in all areas of my life. Amen.

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

Luke 1:26-28

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.12.2014 19:01

Today's Verse for 12/14/2014

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." — Luke 1:26-28


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Thought

Wow! Such a familiar sentence packed with emotion. An angel comes to Nazareth to visit and speak with a young woman engaged to be married. Before the history shattering news is announced, she is given one key reminder that will be truer than she could imagine, "The Lord is with you."

Prayer

My request, O God, I've sung many times: "Be with me Lord, I cannot live without Thee. I cannot bear, to take one step alone." Father, I need your abiding presence to face the challenges of life. As you have upheld your children through the ages, I am thankful to greet each day knowing that I will not face it alone. 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

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