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Devotional

Valvoja: Annukka

Who Do You Think You Are?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.01.2015 10:14

27 January, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Who Do You Think You Are?

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life."
1 Timothy 1:15-16, NIV

The Apostle Paul is a much-admired servant of God, extremely fruitful and powerful in his Christian service. He’s frequently held up in sermons as an example of how we should be wholly committed to God’s cause as he was. Paul saw himself as an example, however, for quite different reasons! He believed (and rightly) that God chose him to be an example to other believers, but not because he was so good. No, it was because he was so bad! If, as a persecutor of the body of Christ, a blasphemer, and an insolent man, he could receive God’s mercy and be transformed by the power of God, then there’s hope for the rest of us (1 Timothy 1:13).

Paul sometimes gets credit for many things I don’t believe he’d take credit for himself. I believe he’d rather point to God’s mercy. The thing I really appreciate about him is how he could see himself from God’s perspective. He saw himself as a helpless sinner in need of grace - a chosen instrument yes, but only because of his weakness - a man chosen by God, but one with many failings. It’s his complete honesty and humility which is so attractive.
In helping people reach out for God we’ve found these two key principles of honesty and humility are essential in finding God’s true healing. We must be able to humble ourselves before God, we must agree with Him on how He sees us and we must be honest about how we see ourselves. God meets us in this place of truthfulness.

We’re privileged to see the Lord powerfully transform many lives, and those whom the Lord really touches and transforms have this in common: a humility and honesty about who they are, who they believe they are, deep on the inside.

Prayer: Father in heaven, thank You for saving and loving a sinner like me. Please help me not to pretend to be any better than I really am, not to cover up the person on the inside. I accept that You love me just as I am and I believe You can show Your mercy to the world by transforming someone like me. Amen.

Today's Writer : Peter Brokaar
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Come, Follow, Go

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 28.01.2015 12:32

28 January, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Come, Follow, Go

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest"
Matthew 11:28

‘Come, follow and go’. These were three commanding words Jesus used as He was leading, teaching and training His followers. They are words that apply to us as we seek to be His true disciples today.

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites all who’re troubled and feel the burden of life to ‘come’ to Him and find rest from those pressures. It’s not a matter of finding an easy solution to the everyday pressures of life, but knowing, with His help, how to cope with such things.

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus called Peter and Andrew, ‘Come, follow me’. There was so much that Jesus had to show them of things that were different from the religion of the Pharisees of their day, the kind of things which could produce dramatic changes in people’s lives, giving new evidence of His power in their lives, and a new relevance and relationship with God.

Then in Matthew 28:19, Jesus’ final word to His disciples before He ascended to heaven was, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them everything I have commanded you’.
Today, it is so important that we, who call ourselves Christians, hear and respond to each of these calls of Jesus on our lives, however young or old we may be. It was as a child that the first call; ‘Come’ became effective in my own life. In teenage years onwards the ‘Follow’ became more challenging. Then in mid-life there came the ‘Go’, and that was where the effect of going and doing the kind of things Jesus spoke of became real experiences. It was through following the teaching and ministry Jesus practised, where applicable, that we saw dramatic changes and miracles in the lives of others.

If as Christians we believe that the power of God is the same today as it was when Jesus and those early disciples demonstrated it, I wonder why it is that there’s so little evidence of the power in many churches. The question is “Has God changed, or has the Church changed?”

Prayer: Father God, I thank You that Jesus came to call us to Himself, instructed us to follow Him in His teaching and ministry, and commissioned us to go to all humanity with the wonderful Gospel message of salvation, healing and wholeness. Thank You for every experience of witnessing You doing wonderful things in the lives of individuals in Jesus’ name, as we’ve taught and prayed for them. All the praise and glory belongs to You, Lord, and I rejoice in all that Jesus means to me. Amen.

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

Hungering for God

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 29.01.2015 21:58

Hungering for God

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
When Jesus said that the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be blessed, He was not talking about someone who had a mere appetite, He was talking about a starving man.

God made us in such a way that we couldn’t exist long without food. What is a starving man interested in? The latest football scores? The flower arrangement at the pink lemonade society? The number of stars in the universe? No! He’s only interested in one thing – food!

In fact, I did some research and discovered that a man can exist about forty days without food, about three days without water, and only eight minutes without air. In the spiritual realm of eternity, man cannot exist one second without Jesus Christ.

ACTION POINT:
May God help us narrow our focus to the glory of God and the saving of souls.

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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

2 Corinthians 12:9

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 30.01.2015 20:27

Today's Verse : 2 Corinthians 12:9

HEARTLIGHT

Today's Verse for 01/30/2015
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. — 2 Corinthians 12:9

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Thought

When I pray, I often catch myself simply wanting God to do what I want, not necessarily what is best or most expedient for those around me or for the good of the Kingdom. I don't like to hear that God told Paul that he had asked enough about deliverance from his problem. Instead, Paul needed to learn that God's gracious strength and mercy were enough to sustain him even in trial. While I know I need to learn this same lesson, it is daunting. I want God to keep things nice and tidy for me. But then I remember I am a follower of Christ. If I am to become like my Savior, then I have to let go of my requirements on God's answers and open up to God's work to redeem others through me, no matter the personal cost. Only then can I truly know that his grace is sufficient for me!
Prayer

Patient and loving Shepherd, guard my heart from discouragement in tough times and guard it from arrogance in good times. I know that without you I have nothing that is permanent. Thanks for giving me a permanent, steadfast hope of heaven with you, because of your grace and strength shared with me. In the name of Jesus 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

Him—Just Him

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 31.01.2015 20:14

Him—Just Him

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
I heard of a lady who memorized so many verses of Scripture that she quoted them back to the Lord in praise to His name. When she grew old and began to lose her memory, she could only remember one verse, “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” She would quote it over and over.

Soon her memory deteriorated more, and all she could remember was just the phrase “committed unto Him.” It brought her much comfort. Finally she came to a place where all she could say was “Him.”

ACTION POINT:
You can distill the Bible down to that one word, “Him.” Can you tune all of your life to that one note of praise? Him.

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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

Nehemiah 1:11

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.02.2015 20:10

Today's Verse for 02/01/2015

O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man. — Nehemiah 1:11


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Thought

God takes great delight when we pray asking for his guidance and help! This is especially true when the focus of our efforts is on building up his people and his Kingdom. Nehemiah comes as God's servant. He's not giving God a "go do" list using prayer to make God his servant. Instead, Nehemiah's heart burns with the needs of God's people. The rest of the book of Nehemiah is proof that God loves his children to pray when the desires of their heart are on his people and his will.

Prayer

Precious and righteous Father, please use me today as your servant. Take my words and use them to bless, encourage, and comfort. Take my influence and use it to mend and inspire. Take my time and fill it up with your concerns. May the glory and honor of all I do ultimately bring glory to you. Your grace has saved me, please now use me to share that grace with others. 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

Hearing the Voice of God

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.02.2015 10:08

02 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Hearing the Voice of God

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
John 10:47, NIV

Is it possible to hear the voice of God? God wants us to listen to His voice. He created us for that purpose. So the real question is - is it possible to learn how to reliably recognise God`s voice when we need to hear it? In my own walk the most profound times that I`ve heard God speak haven`t been when I`ve said "Oh God, please speak". It`s happened when I least expected it! Like God we`re spiritual beings and we`re created for communion and communication with Him.

God can communicate with us through various ways. He can do so through our human conscience. This is a God-given part in our spirit to alert us when we`re about to do something wrong. Then there`s our sense of awe at the created world – God can speak through creation. How many times do we look at a rainbow or a mountain on the horizon and think – Oh wow! Our amazing God created that! Of course, our spirit can respond to God’s spirit. Communication with God sits In our human spirit. It`s how we hear and speak to God. And He can direct our thoughts and use our minds.

Then there`s the witness of the Holy Spirit. This is when our spirit connects with the Spirit of God, giving us peace in the midst of turmoil. He can speak to us through people. God can use anyone to speak to us, and that person doesn`t even have to be a believer.

He can also reach us through the gifts of the Holy Spirit – the interpretation of tongues, words of knowledge, discernment, prophecy, and through dreams and visions. Sometimes we can have a spiritual dream when God`s telling us about the future. God can also talk to us through visions. For example, I saw the vision of the globe rolling up the driveway at Pierrepont while we were checking this place out, when it was up for sale.

But the Scripture is one of the most important ways God will speak to us. Have you had the experience when a verse jumps out of the page? The Holy Spirit will connect with our spirit to communicate truth to us through the Word of God, and will also reveal Jesus to us.

When God speaks to us through any of these ways, we will need to learn to listen. The Holy Spirit will guide us and help us to weigh, test, measure and will confirm that what we`re hearing is of God. James said that we should be quick to listen, and slow to speak... not just merely listen to the word, and so deceive ourselves, but to do what it says.

Let`s realise that He wants to have conversations with us that lead us into an intimate relationship. We`re made not just to hear His voice, but have our living, moving and being in His love. He sent Jesus to reconcile us to Himself, and to enjoy intimacy with Him as God our Father.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You so much that You love us so much, and that Your heart is for us to connect with You through Jesus. Help us by the power of Your Spirit to realise that we`ve been specially created to be in union with You, to be completely connected to You and dependent on You. Teach us to discern, hear and follow Your voice, and to give You space to speak to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Jill Southern-Jones
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

How to Stay the Course and Finish Well

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.02.2015 19:55

How to Stay the Course and Finish Well

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Do you know the way to finish the course? Keep looking to Jesus.

I’ve been preaching the Gospel for over 50 years, and God knows I have my faults and sins. He also knows I have repented and aim to get right with Him each and every day. I am far from perfect, but I can say that this same God has kept me on course. He has kept me preaching the Gospel.

Finishing the course that God has planned for us is never easy. It takes discipline and hard work. It takes picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and starting over. One of these days you are going to have to look back on your life. And I hope you will be able to say that you fought as a warrior and finished as an athlete.

ACTION POINT:
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a). Keep short accounts with God. Confess quickly. Get back on the track.

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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 Problem of the Wayward Mind

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.02.2015 11:53

04 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Problem of the Wayward Mind

"We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:4(b)-5, GNB

Do you have challenging thoughts that seem to have a life of their own and that persist even when you try to push them away? How can we get victory over a wayward mind?

Recently a man told me that he had tried everything he could to block bad thoughts from his mind but without success and he despaired about ever winning this battle.

God’s perfect creation plan was that our human spirit would be the source and director of our life and that the soul, including the rational mind, would be subservient to our human spirit’s leading. However, since the Fall, carnal man has been using his mind to decide what he thinks is best for him; what is his own ‘good and evil’ (Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3). When fallen man lost the connection of his human spirit to God, he increasingly lived out of his soul strength, and his mind, will and emotions became overly powerful.

In the western world particularly we have elevated the mind, especially rational thinking and intelligence, and have furthered the erroneous idea that the mind is our life source and should therefore have ultimate control. But this has effectively exposed our mind to the enemy’s control and his desire is to keep our mind in confusion, despair, unbelief or turmoil.

What was happening to this man was that he was trying to fight this spiritual battle with his own mind strength. So together we looked at those verses from 2 Corinthians 10:1-4 and I asked him to especially read the earlier part of verse 4. ‘The weapons we use in our fight are not the world`s weapons but God`s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds’.

He realised that he couldn`t win the battle in his mind because he was using the wrong weapons. He enemy had created a stronghold and he needed a spiritual weapon for that battle. However, Paul is clear that he also had to play a part, to `take his thoughts captive and make them obey Christ`.

We talked about how you do that and realised that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow (Philippians 2:10) so that the name of Jesus would be a ‘mighty spiritual weapon’ against the demonic holding his thoughts into captivity. Repeating that ‘Jesus is Lord’ would also be a statement of obedience to Christ, so the same phrase would be a weapon that would fulfil all the verse commanded him to do. He had to wield the spiritual weapon but the actual power encounter was not his but the Lord’s.

The man began to feel hope rising and went away with a strategy for the next time the oppressing and distressing thoughts affected him. He wouldn’t try to push them away with his own strength, but was ready to crush down the bad thoughts with the words "Jesus is Lord of my life" and to continue with those words until his mind was cleared and brought under his rightful godly control.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that Jesus has won the battle against the enemy once and for all. Help us to bring our wayward thoughts into submission to Christ Jesus using scriptural truths that will be the power weapon we need. We pray this in Jesus` mighty name. Amen.

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

Keeping the Faith

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.02.2015 19:58

Keeping the Faith

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
I believe with all my heart that the call needs to go out today more clearly than ever before for Christians to keep the faith.

William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said, “The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and Heaven without Hell.”

We are but one generation away from paganism. If this generation doesn’t keep the faith and pass it to the next, there will be no faith.

ACTION POINT:
Are you passing the faith to the next generation? Here is your commission from the Lord: “Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates.” Deuteronomy 11:18-20

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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