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Proverbs 21:4

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.02.2015 20:21

Today's Verse for 02/05/2015

Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin! — Proverbs 21:4


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Thought

"We're number one!" is the cry today. However, the scripture above tells us that it is the wicked who light their own way with their haughty eyes and proud heart. In contrast, God lights the way for his people with his word (Scripture) and with his Word (Jesus), the wicked light their own way with their haughty eyes and proud heart. But arrogance, pride, "uppity-ness" — or whatever name you want to call it — is called sin by God. God is number one and all the other numbers are important only because of him. It's just that simple.

Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, help me place you and your character in the place of most importance in my heart, my life decisions, and in my influence. 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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Three Keys to Knowing God

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.02.2015 12:06

06 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Three Keys to Knowing God

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people and his incomparably great power for us who believe."
Ephesians 1:17-19, NIV

Helpful books have been written on the subject of knowing God. True believers, like Paul, usually have a real desire to know God better. The one certain thing is that God really does desire us to know Him intimately and permanently. The Bible makes it clear that knowing about God is quite different to knowing Him. Knowledge is in the head and intimacy is in the heart.

True knowledge of God is given by the Holy Spirit who alone is able to pinpoint the blockages that stand in the way of closeness and intimacy with God.

Knowing God involves knowing His attributes, his character and His ways so that we know Him for who He is, not simply for the self-centred belief that He is there for me. Trust is the basis for a true relationship with God, shorn of ulterior motives. He is to be loved and obeyed for Himself, not for what I can get out of it. I am saved for His glory not for my own gratification.

I suggest that there are three foundational keys which need to be turned in our hearts for intimacy with God. Firstly, Jesus must be crowned as Lord. He is indeed Lord, Lord over all, over heaven and earth and there is no-one before Him. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. However, if I am to know intimacy with God Jesus must be Lord over all in my life. It is futile to say that He is Lord of certain areas and not Lord of other areas. There is no middle ground for the Christian: Jesus must be Lord of all, or He can`t be Lord at all.

The second key that must be turned in my heart is the key of forgiving others. The resentment and bitterness of harboured un-forgiveness stands in the way of intimacy with God. Forgiveness for many is a journey but the first step on the journey is to make the choice to forgive; the Holy Spirit will then give us the emotion and assurance to know we have forgiven however costly that may be, as we journey with Him. There is no such thing as blanket forgiveness; we must face the hard issues for which we are forgiving a person.

The third key is the key of self-acceptance. Self-rejection is one of the main barriers to knowing the Father’s love. It focuses inwards, dwells on negativity and generates a self-centred morbid type of Christianity; not the robust, simple life of a child of God. God accepts us as we are but loves us far too much to leave us as we are. He begins a work of grace within us, opening the eyes of our heart to see more of Him and less of me. Thus my heart is open to receive the fullness of His love and I love Him and love others in a new way.

Prayer: Thank You heavenly Father that through Jesus You have made the way for me to know You intimately and personally. Thank You for the cross and its power at work in my life today. I choose today to put Jesus on the throne of my heart, to give Him first place and to die to self and selfishness. Please open the eyes of my heart that I may know You better and live for Your glory. Amen.

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

Seeing the Unseen—Moving Beyond Your Five Senses

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.02.2015 21:28

Seeing the Unseen—Moving Beyond Your Five Senses

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Many Christians are so materialistic that they never look past the physical world to the transcendent Christ above. They only experience what their five senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing) bring to them.

When a problem arises, it blows out every candle in their souls, knocks the sun out of their sky, and they can’t enjoy the daily bread of life that Jesus promises.

ACTION POINT:
For some reading this, you have a gigantic problem that to the world has “disaster” written all over it. If you are seeking first His righteousness, God will give you all that you need. You have God on your side—the King of kings, the Lord of lords. And don’t you forget it.

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AR_headshot.jpgDevotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Seasons of Life

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.02.2015 20:21

07 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Seasons of Life

"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV

This evocative scripture has been buzzing around my head over the past few weeks as we have found ourselves facing a significant shift in our family life. Zoe will begin nursery after Easter, I will be taking up more responsibility at work, and as such, we have moved Kyle to the smaller school near to Blairmore. Add to this a heap of other changes in our lives and we have experienced quite a tumultuous time!

Looking back, I can see how God has prepared our hearts, ready for the changes ahead. Just as a flower bulb develops its roots, or the trees prepare to shed their leaves, we too find our hearts being prepared for the next season in our lives.

I could mourn the loss of being a full-time, stay-at-home mum, as it draws to an end. But that would only detract from me moving forward and into a new season, where there are many good things ahead. I just don’t know what they are yet!

This is growth and life...just as the natural world cannot sustain life by staying the same all the time, the seasons of life bring each one of us growth, life and a future.

Holding on to the past, or even the present, what we know and understand, where we have made a name for ourselves and we are comfortable, may feel like a sensible thing to do, but it can deprive us of life. That life may not always be easy... there is no promise in the Bible for us having an easy life, but it will a blessed life. Whatever season we may be going through, God will always be right there in it with us.

Prayer: Father God, You know the seasons of the world and the seasons of life. Prepare my heart for the next season of my life, Lord, and may I move forward, unafraid of what is ahead, but with excitement, and anticipation of Your blessings. Amen.

Today's Writer : Lindsey Hanekom
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

In Him We Live and Move and Have Our Being

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.02.2015 11:28

08 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
In Him We Live and Move and Have Our Being

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’”
Acts 17:26-28a, NIV

This time last year our farm was in the grip of one of the worst seasons we`ve ever seen. What was normally lush green pasture for our beef cattle to graze on was completely dry and brown. The creek and springs which normally water the farm and provide drinking water for the livestock had stopped running, and the dams were nearly all dried up. Of course many other farms were affected across our state and our nation, some in even worse situations than us.

So I did what I could do - I wrote a Seed last February (see the Archives), talking about how the weather can get our attention, having severe effects on our lives at times. I mentioned our desperate need for rain, praying that the Lord would provide for our need. The night after the Seed was published I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me that He had heard my prayers and the prayers of the many across the world that were praying for us. Within 36 hours the rain started. In those early weeks we had the most amazing provision of rain that completely transformed our farm. The creek and the springs started to run again and the dams filled. We were met with a rejuvenated pasture returning to green.

But I what I wanted to share with you is that God didn`t just bring the rain for a month and then forget about it. We`ve had the most extraordinary year since then, with rainfall coming consistently across all the seasons. Only God could do that, and I know it`s Him being faithful to answering our prayers. This year we`re facing the best season we`ve ever had. Praise the Lord!

It`s reminded me in an extremely practical way how deeply our heavenly Father does care for us. Then I found today`s scripture in the Book of Acts, which really resonated with my spirit. It`s His desire that we should inhabit the earth. He even determined the times set for us and the exact places where we should live! I find that amazing. It`s in that context that He desires that we seek Him and reach out for Him, right where we are. That is what happened a year ago when we sought Him and reached out for Him with our need for rain. I love how Paul sums it up ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ Those words always make me think of God being like the oil in our engine. Without oil in a car engine that car won`t go anywhere. With Jesus, God is like the oil in our engine, by which we may live and move and have our being.

Did you realise that God has determined the times for you and the exact place where you`re living? Did you know that He longs for you to seek Him and need Him in your world more than you can imagine. Think of the one most pressing needs you have today. Think of something that you know only God Himself could do for you. It may be extremely practical, like needing rain. Let`s lift up our prayers corporately to our heavenly Father. Don`t think only about your own need, but about the needs of your brothers and sisters around the world who`re all crying out to Him also. Let’s pray for a holy outpouring upon each one, knowing that in Him we live and move and have our being.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, Thank You so much that You care for me and that You determined the times set for me, and even where I should live. Thank You also that You want to be a part of my life in every way and be like the oil in my engine. Today I bring my need to You, something so humanly impossible that I know only You could help with it. I also pray for my brothers and sisters around the world as they lift up their prayers to You. We pray corporately for an outpouring of Your Holy Spirit, and that You would answer our prayers and transform our lives with Your blessings. And to You we give all the glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Lynda Scott
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Encouragement for Your Race Today

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.02.2015 20:09

Encouragement for Your Race Today

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Heaven is intently interested in what is happening here on earth. There is a grandstand in heaven filled with heroes of the faith. They are watching us and cheering us on. We are the runners; they are the spectators.

If the runners of that day were inspired when they ran their race, how much greater should our effort be today with these saints behind us? Do you feel inspired? I do! It encourages me to know that I am not alone out there in the race and that I have men and women who have run the race knowing the pitfalls that are out there.

ACTION POINT:
Friend, I hope you feel encouraged and inspired to run the unique race God has set for you today. Know that we are praying for you and would be honored to hear how God is fulfilling your every need along the way.

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Protecting God’s investment

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.02.2015 12:45

09 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Protecting God’s investment

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moths and vermin destroy."
Matthew 6:19, NIV

I was walking along a road near to Ellel Blairmore House in Scotland when I noticed a small wood on the side of a hill which was surrounded by high metal fencing. The fields either side were occupied by grazing sheep and I could see no sign of burglars approaching! The reason for the high fence was that there are wild deer in the area and they can jump normal fences. I wondered why this wood needed protecting as the trees were young and not very big or in ordered rows. I realised that the young shoots on the trees which were just appearing at the end of the January Scottish winter were very attractive to the deer who love to feed on such tasty vegetation.

I was reminded of the verse in our text for today. The owner of the field was protecting his investment with fencing, but in the light of eternity it had no lasting value. The time would come when the fence would rust, the trees fall down and the owner himself would depart this world.

God has invested heavily into our lives.

I wonder how much effort we put into protecting the lasting treasure that God has given to us – the blessings of restoration into His family, the cleansing of the forgiveness of our sins, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, to name but a few. Do we take our salvation for granted when we have been believers for a while? Do we neglect the cost of forgiveness when we deliberately go against God’s Word? Do we put down our brothers and sisters instead of encouraging them in their work for Jesus? How much do we value our inheritance in Christ? In 1 Timothy 6:20 Paul urges Timothy to guard what has been entrusted to his care, and we must do likewise.

We are reminded in 1 Peter 5 that the enemy prowls around seeking to devour, so we do need to be on guard. Fences won’t keep him out, but godly living, prayer, worship and applying God’s word is very effective! So let’s protect God’s investment in us.

Prayer: Father God, we thank You for putting so much into our lives by your grace and love. Help us by Your Spirit to guard the investment You`ve made in us as we seek to live holy and obedient lives for Your glory. Amen.

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

The God Who Knows Me

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.02.2015 21:03

10 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The God Who Knows Me

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."
Ephesians 1:3-4, NKJV

The other morning I was walking my dog Henry when something amazing happened. It was very early and still dark, the sky was full of stars. Suddenly I saw a bright white streak fall from the sky, and, with a slight whooshing noise, land seemingly close to where I was. As you can imagine I was stunned and amazed. As I stood and looked up into the heavens I thought about the vastness of them and contemplated eternity and who am I in the face of such immenseness.

It was then that I was reminded of another walk along a beach. This walk was taken on a day when I felt at the end of my tether and in a state of despair. I was deeply hurting and angry with the world including God. As much as people told me that He loved me and was wanting the best for my life I couldn`t see it. So I was on the beach telling God exactly what I thought of Him, how He didn`t care about me and wasn`t there for me. Then I heard a voice say "STOP and look down". When I did, there at the end of my foot was a stone smiling up at me. So I picked it up, and saw that the eyes were perfectly round holes that went right the way through the stone.

As I held this stone in my hand I laughed at the goofy expression on its face, and had assurance that God indeed knows all about me, and that in amazing vastness of creation He cares for me. It was a wonderful and profound moment in in my life, and I still have that goofy smiling rock as a reminder.

I wonder what you`re facing today that`s causing you to doubt that the creator of the heavens and earth wants to have relationship with you. Maybe you don`t believe that He knows everything about you and still loves you, and that He chose you before the foundation of the earth. These are the amazing truths we find in Scripture, and yet, all too often, we find them hard to own as being about us. And out of the place of unbelief we try to hide the truth of ourselves from God.

It`s when we become open and honest with God that He truly reveals Himself to us. When we pour out the not so nice feelings and experiences, all the pain, hurt and sin of our lives to Him, He can pour in the immense love that He has for each one of us. The choice is ours. We can carry on feeling desperate and insignificant, or we can be honest before God and allow Him to show how much He cares for us.

Maybe tonight you could go outside, look up into the heavens, and speak the words of truth that before all this He thought about and chose you!

Prayer: Father, the truth that You`re mindful of me is almost to big for me to comprehend. I`m sorry that I question who I am and get angry when it seems You are not there. Today, Father, I come to You and ask You to show me who I am in You, that I might have the assurance of your great love and concern for me. I choose today to be honest before You and am sorry I have tried to hide. Amen.

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

Worth

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.02.2015 15:49

11 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Worth

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don`t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Matthew 10:29-31, NIV

Sparrows were among the humblest birds in Bible times. They were considered food for the poor, and because they were so cheap, the poor could offer them in sacrifice to the Lord if they couldn’t afford a lamb, or a goat, or a bull. A penny is often the smallest denomination within a currency system, and the same was true in biblical times. Matthew 10 tells us that a penny could buy you two sparrows. That’s pretty cheap by any standard.

A study conducted several years ago calculated that the human body is worth only a few dollars if broken down to the very elements it’s composed of. Our body consists of minerals like oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, potassium, sodium, sulphur and several others. When we total the monetary value of them we arrive at a net worth of $4.50. We also have trace quantities of fluorine, silicon, zinc, and a few others, totalling no more than $1 in monetary value. So if we had to calculate our literal value, it’s only about $5.50.

And yet Jesus said that we’re worth more than many sparrows! What gives us value is our Creator Himself. He made us in His own image and stamped it upon our spirits. It’s His stamp of worth. He’s numbered the very hairs on our head, and He says we’re precious and honoured in His sight (Isaiah 43:4). He loads us with good gifts and benefits (see James 1:17). Psalm 103 is packed with the many ways God spoils us and loves us: He’s a God who: ‘forgives every one of all your iniquities, who heals each one of all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy’ (Amplified Bible). That’s amazing – He ‘beautifies, dignifies and crowns us’ with His love and mercy! He gives us worth.

The enemy of our soul goes to much trouble to keep us from realising our true worth in God’s eyes. He encourages us to compare ourselves to others, to exaggerate the weaknesses we see in ourselves, and to believe lies about God and His love for us. The truth is that Father God was willing to pay the ultimate price to redeem us from the stranglehold of Satan. It cost Him much, much more than our literal monetary value mentioned above. ‘For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect’ (1 Peter 1:18-19). No price was too high, because He loves us passionately and completely! ‘So don`t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows`.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You see me. Thank You that I’m of great worth to You, even when I feel insignificant and small at times. Thank You that I’m crowned with Your loving kindness and tender mercy. I love You Lord!

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

The Father’s Love

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.02.2015 10:13

12 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Father’s Love

"See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!"
1 John 3:1, NLT

There’s a saying, which I’ve heard repeated many times, that Jesus has no hands or feet or lips on earth apart from ours, and I understand what is meant; we are called ‘The Body of Christ’ as is explained in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, and we’re all gifted to be a part of that body. It’s important and we do have a part to play.

However, I had a new revelation recently about how God the Father sees us. I had made this year’s batch of marmalade and it was sitting on a tray in my kitchen waiting to be labelled and put away. It was the day when I look after my two and a half year old grand-daughter while her parents are working, so we set about doing it together. I wrote on the labels and then she added a few squiggles and scribbles and then she peeled the label from its backing and stuck it on to the jar for me. Some are stuck a bit too near the lid most are sideways or upside down and have a few wrinkles in them. She was so pleased with herself and I was just filled with delight and love for her. Now every time I see a jar of marmalade my heart fills again with that delight and love. There is a twang of sadness that I would never have allowed that when my own children were small, the labels would have had to be neat and straight.

I realised that this is probably a bit how God sees us. We’re are so pleased with our attempts to help and serve Him, and think He couldn’t manage without us and He just delights and rejoices at our efforts. The idea was confirmed to me when I was reminded of the time when Jesus was on the beach waiting for the disciples to come back from what may have turned out to be a fruitless fishing trip, if he hadn’t rescued it at the last moment. The story is in John 21. When they got back He asked them to bring some of the fish they’d caught, (not by their own efforts but by a miraculous intervention). He didn’t really need it as He already had fish for their breakfast cooking on the barbeque.

We need to be wary of thinking God can’t manage without us. He chooses to include us and use us because it delights Him to do so and it delights us when He does.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, that You have made us Your children and You delight over us. Please make that real for us today by the revelation of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today's Writer : Dotty Cockcroft
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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