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ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 31.12.2014 13:12

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional December 31, 2014


Take Inventory




"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." Psalm 105:4



Where did this year fly to? Just when I get into the groove of writing the correct year, I've got to learn a new one. It's hard to keep track anymore.



That's why right now is a great time to take inventory. Go back over the year and ask yourself: Did I meet all of my goals, or at least some of them? Did I keep all my promises, at least those I remember? Have my relationships strengthened with family and friends? Did my life in the Lord Jesus deepen and grow? If I were to ask a close friend, would he say that I've changed for the better over the last year?



I'm not asking you these things to make you feel guilty. It's just good to close out the old, to tie up all the loose ends, and to bring closure to one year before you begin a new one.

_________________________________________



Did I commit myself to do something yet fail to do it? Lord, give me the courage to make amends with those I failed. Help me to be a promise-keeper and make good on my word.



Did I testify as a Christian in my place of work? Lord, help me to stand up for the faith where I work, because I want to be salt and light to the people around me.



Did I show appreciation to family and friends? Lord, forgive me for unresolved conflicts and arguments left hanging. Help me to deepen my friendship with each family member and each person You've placed in my life.



Did I enjoy being alone with the Lord this past year? Lord, keep reminding me that quiet time with You is the source of my strength. As I commit myself to a special time of prayer and the study of Your Word, hold me to my vows. May I glorify You in the year to come!





Blessings,



Joni and Friends

www.joniandfriends.org
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01 January, 2015, Are YOU Ready?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.01.2015 11:09

01 January, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Are YOU Ready?

“So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”
Joshua 1:10-11, NIV

Joshua was given a big job! He had to stand in the shoes of Moses as leader of the people and take them forward into the land that God had promised them so long ago. The time had now come to step forward in faith, notwithstanding his own misgivings. God had spoken and told him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). He was ready – even if apprehensive and nervous.

This message now had to be relayed to the people so that that they could get ready to move. The officers went through the camp telling them to be ready, for in three days time they were going to cross the River Jordan and enter the land that God was giving them as their own. There must have been a huge sense of anticipation, excitement and, yes, fear, as they wondered what would happen next, when God’s forty year old promises began to be fulfilled.

But God wasn’t going to do it for them. They had to put their own feet down on the ground, one step at a time, and move! God didn’t send a chariot of fire to lift them off the ground and drop them by angelic parachute into the land of promise! They had to move their own feet forward in faith before God would do the miraculous on their behalf. When they came to the river it was only as the priests put their feet in the waters of the river, which was in flood, that God worked the miracle. God didn’t stop the river’s flow and then say “It’s now OK to go.” He required the people to move forward in faith, and as they did so they realised that God was clearing the way for them.

I have met a number of people over the years whom God had called to serve Him. But they were waiting for God to do the miraculous and lift them supernaturally out of their present situation and land them in the place of promise. But sadly, many years later they were still waiting for their miracle – and it never came. When God shows us His plan for our lives he expects us to get ready and start moving forward in faith, preparing ourselves for whatever He has asked us to do. God can then direct our steps as we go. Just as a car has to be moving before the steering wheel can be turned, we have to start moving forward in faith, so that God can then direct our steps.

So, on this first day of a New Year, may I encourage you to look at the land of your life that lies before you and get yourself ready to start moving! Just as Joshua gave the people three days to prepare themselves, why not spend the first three days of 2015 reviewing all that God has already spoken into your life and look to Him for His leading for the days ahead as you step into His plans and purposes? May you know the Lord’s richest blessing throughout the New Year.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your hand on my life at this present time. Help me to step forward in faith into all that you have planned for me in the year ahead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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What's Up Ahead

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.01.2015 15:13

January 2, 2015

What's Up Ahead

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun."

Psalm 37:5-6

I sit so tall in my wheelchair that I need a van with a raised roof. The trouble is, I can't see the road. My friend, Careen, and I once drove from Chicago to Urbana, and I didn't see a single cornfield or farmhouse for three and a half hours! She kept describing lovely country landscapes, but it only frustrated me. I wanted to see. I'm the sort of person who likes to know what lies ahead. If I can't see the whole road, then at least a few feet?!

We are like that spiritually. We say to God, "If you don't mind, please show me where I am going. I don't need to see the whole road, but at least a little bit." We think our faith has to be supported by a bit of evidence. A hint, a signpost, a whisper... something to give us a clue as to what God is doing. We wrongly assume that faith is the ability to take a couple of puzzle pieces and be able to envision the entire picture. Not so. Faith that must be supported by the five senses is not genuine. Jesus said to doubting Thomas, "You have believed me because you have seen me, but blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

Our insistence upon discerning what's up ahead is natural, but it is a hindrance to real faith. It's why God constantly encourages us to trust Him in the dark (Isaiah 50:10). True faith means resting in who God is. He has charged Himself with full responsibility for your eternal happiness, and He stands ready to take over the management of your life. He is wise and good. Trust Him with what's ahead.

No ifs, ands, or buts, dear God. I trust You with the road ahead!

Blessings,

Joni and Friends
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Be a Blessing

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.01.2015 20:52

January 4, 2015

Be a Blessing

"I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore... Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

Genesis 22:17-18

Would you like to know for sure that God's favor rests upon you? The clue is in today's verse. The angel of the Lord was saying to Abraham, "The reason I am blessing you is so that you, in turn, can pass on the blessing to all nations. They will receive something through you and it is in this way you shall know my hand of favor is upon you."

Few of us are called to bless entire nations. But everyone has a circle of family and friends. The surest evidence that the Lord's hand of blessing is upon you is when others get blessed through you. When you encourage fainthearted believers, wounded friends, discouraged saints, curious pagans, or questioning onlookers, you can be sure you have God's blessing. It happens when you point people to the Lord through your unwavering example, perseverance through trials, or spirit of gentleness or gratitude.

The greatest blessing God can ever bestow upon us is Jesus. Get to know Him, and the blessing which results will be something you just have to pass on.

Is the joy of your relationship with Jesus overflowing to those around you? Is their prayer life deepening because of time spent with you in prayer? Has their boldness in witnessing ratcheted up a notch because your witness rubs off on them? If so, God's hand of blessing is upon you. To be blessed is to be pushed deeper, higher, and further into the heart of the Savior, so that His comfort and encouragement can be passed on to others.

I covet Your favor and approval in my life, dear Lord. Keep prodding me to pass on Your joy and encouragement to others, and I will have the assurance of Your pleasure and blessing upon me.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

www.joniandfriends.org
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Viestit: 3288
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King Herod Didn’t Make It – Will You?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.01.2015 11:19

05 January, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
King Herod Didn’t Make It – Will You?

So Herod called the visitors from the East to a secret meeting and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem with these instructions: "Go and make a careful search for the child; and when you find him, let me know, so that I too may go and worship him."
Matthew 2:7-8, GNB

You can guarantee that there will have been one important figure missing from the countless ‘nativity scenes’ around the world at Christmas time – King Herod. This isn’t really surprising; even though he said he also wanted to ‘go and worship’ along with the shepherds, wise men and sundry traditional animals, he didn’t make it to the stable, thank God.

Herod’s desire to ‘go and worship’ was a lie. All he wanted was to remain in power, and this new king was a threat. He wanted to have Jesus killed, and when he couldn’t find him, he took murderous revenge throughout the whole country.

We rightly deplore Herod’s motives and actions, but as we also ‘go and worship’, what motive is really in our heart? Do we want to give glory, praise and honour to our King for His sake, or is it actually for our sake? If we worship Jesus, do we want Him in return to solve our problems, heal us, and ‘make our life better’? Or do we just want to give Him whatever we can? If you were a figure in a nativity scene, what gift would you be bringing?

What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would give a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can, I give him – give my heart.
(Christina Rossetti, c. 1872)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, just like You, I came into this world with nothing but my own life. You gave Your life for me, and all that I can give You is my life. Please accept my heart, my very life. It’s Yours now. Amen.

Today's Writer : Roger Pook

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Hanna recommended to me this Seeds of the Kingdom

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Re: Devotional

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.01.2015 23:00

DAY 1

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Cultivating an awareness and an ongoing experience of God’s presence is vital. His presence working within us is the key to everything and without Him we can do nothing. When God shows up, miracles happen. Life comes out of death, beauty comes out of ashes, dancing takes the place of mourning, futility gives way to fruitfulness, confusion is replaced by order and obstacles bow to His will. When God is at work in and around us, everything changes.

Begin today to zealously, relentlessly and passionately pursue God’s presence. Apart from Him we are nothing, but with it, everything is possible.

What changes do you need to make in your life this year?

Prayer

“Jesus I need You, Your Spirit, Your Life-in me and around me. I’m not content just to know about You, I want to experience Your Presence. I surrender every part of my life to You and ask for You to let me always knowYou are with me. I wat to be whoYou want me to be in this New Year. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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Calvary Christian Center

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.01.2015 07:26




Calvary Christian Center

DAY 2

“Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time and he walked in close fellowship with God. When everything was ready, the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous.” Genesis 6:9, 7:1,

Noah’s walk with God was notably marked by a steadfast faith and a willingness to trust God even when everyone else mocked him. His walk also set him apart from the wicked men and women of the world, none of whom cared to experience the power of a personal relationship with the Creator. Most importantly, Noah’s walk with God clearly represented the fellowship he enjoyed with the Lord.

The wonderful news for you today is that God is just as excited about spending time with you as He was to fellowship with Noah. You are precious in His eyes, and He wants to develop a closer relationship with you. He wants to show you His amazing love in new ways.

To walk with God is to spend quality time with Him. Investing just fifteen minutes each morning, will add up to five and a half hours in these 21 days alone and approximately 91 hours in a year. Gather your devotional, Bible, music, and journal the night before to decrease the chances of putting it off.

Prayer

“Lord, guide my feet so that they will not stray from the path that You have created. I want to walk through my life with You at my side. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

*The second and third days are the most difficult in fasting. Remember to drink lots of water, rest to conserve your energy, read God’s Word and pray.



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Day 3

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.01.2015 23:00

Day 3

“Because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” Corinthians 16:9

If you listen to the whispers of the world, it is possible for you to lose your focus in life. You can get caught up in life and forget about God’s big picture of redemption. You could miss the open door of opportunity swinging wide in front of you. As you walk with God, what is important to Him will become important to you as well. Paul wrote, “God our Savior...desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

So, here we stand at the beginning of a new year with opportunities circling all around usopportunities that could impact the world in an eternal way. God doesn’t open doors for you to simply peer through them. He opens them so you will pass through them with faith that He will empower you to do His Kingdom work. Standing before an open door never resulted in a single changed life, but walking through an open door has changed the lives of millions. Are you willing to walk through it?

Ask God to give you His heart to seek after the doors He will open for you this year. Ask Him for the courage to walk through them.



*This is usually the toughest day of the fast. Stay filled up on the Word, pray for encouragement and drink lots of water. You are crossing over a big hurdle today, so don’t give up! Stay committed to your Sacred Season.
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Viestit: 3288
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God Wants To Do a New Thing in Your Life

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.01.2015 10:09

07 January, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
God Wants To Do a New Thing in Your Life

"Forget the former things; and do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:18, NIV

I’m writing this seed at the beginning of the New Year after re-reading the many messages in cards and letters which came with the Christmas post. For some friends the past year has been trouble free, while others have had hard times in ways they could not have anticipated a year ago. Whatever the past year has held, if we want to embrace the new thing God wants to do in our lives, we’ll have to take a long look back and come to terms with the past, then start looking ahead.

Our text for today was written to the children of Israel at a bleak time. They were in captivity in Babylon. They were looking back to their deliverance from Egypt and journey to the Promised Land generations ago. All their previous victories were doing nothing to set them free in the present. They needed God to do a new thing now. Like them, we can’t depend on past victories. For us, at the beginning of 2015, the question isn’t what’s God done? The question must be what’s God doing in my life right now, and what am I prepared to allow Him to do, in order for Him to fulfil His purposes in me and through me?

‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing’. We can never deserve to receive anything from God. Whatever the past, we’re told not to dwell on it, because we can’t change it. It can teach us, but it mustn’t bind us. Now, at the beginning of this year, we’re given the offer of a new opportunity to look forward. Our text asks ‘Do you not perceive it?’ Maybe God is asking each one of us if we want to open ourselves up to His new thing; asking us if we’re willing to embrace it. It’s God’s new thing, not ours. It might challenge us to move from the security of the past into the unknown, but when we move with God we’re safely anchored in His security.

As you’re reading this seed you may be facing circumstances so overwhelming that you can’t imagine how God can do a new thing. Maybe God wants to change you, do a new thing in you, rather than change the circumstances. In any event, He desires to show you something of Himself that will fill your heart with hope and confidence to know that He’s in the process of doing a new thing. Hear Him say, “I won’t pass you by. I want to do a new thing in your world, a new thing in you and a new thing for you.”

We’re not promised an easy passage. The desert is a dry place and the wilderness is barren. In those circumstances we’re promised the divine presence of the One who never breaks a promise. He never changes and He never fails. So today, why not draw near to God and invite Him to do a new thing in you. You can’t make it happen, so don’t try. Choose to live this day and all your days in obedience to Him. This is a sure sign that you love Him and you abide in His love.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unfailing promises. I come before You with the past I can’t change. I look to the future in anticipation of the new thing You desire to do in me, for me and through me, as I walk in obedience to You. Please do a new thing in me and change me to be increasingly like Jesus. I ask it for His glory. Amen.

Today's Writer : Margaret Silvester
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Viestit: 3288
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DAY 4

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.01.2015 20:19

DAY 4

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4

Jesus was speaking to the crowds on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. When He was finished teaching, he spoke this to Peter. Peter had a choice - either to obey or disobey God. He chose to obey. The result was so many fish that the nets began to break.

Through the simple act of obedience, Peter witnessed a miracle. He realized that Jesus had his best interest at heart, even when he did not understand what Jesus was telling him to do, and he was willing to obey.

What has God asked you to do that you are afraid to do? There are many reasons why we hesitate to obey God: fear of failure, the desire to control our own lives, or fear of what God may require of us. God wants you to trust and obey Him even in the small things. He has blessings for you that open up when you obey. Every time God asks you to do something, He has something good in store for you.

What one area of your life, do you need to trust God and obey His voice when He speaks to you?

Prayer

“Father, help me trust You in the small things and in the big things, knowing You have something good in store for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

*Today, you should begin to settle into the fast. Cravings begin to subside as your body begins to rid itself of toxins. Pray and stay in God’s Word and record His response to your prayers.

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