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Devotional

Valvoja: Annukka

Only a Call Away

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.02.2015 10:13

13 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Only a Call Away

"God is our refuge and strength always ready to help in times of trouble."
Psalm 46:1, NLT

We are in the process of arranging the installation of a `Panic Button` for my 91 year old mother who lives on her own. As a family we are trying to comply with her desire to remain in her own home, as long as she is able, by providing as much support and help as possible. Part of this is for her to have a button hung round her neck. If she should need help in an emergency, she can press it and it automatically puts a call through to a call centre. This centre is staffed 24/7, and they ascertain the level of help required and notify someone to come to her assistance.

The verse above reminds us that God is our ever present help in times of trouble. Wherever we are, whatever our circumstances, by His Spirit, He is with us and wants to help us. He is available 24/7 and is only a call away. No button, no telephone line and no wireless signal required!

Elsewhere the psalmist could testify to the fact that `The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help, He rescues them from all their troubles` (Psalm 34:17).

The Lord Himself promises to `rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honour them` (Psalm 91:14-15).

So often we don`t avail ourselves of the help, comfort and support that`s so readily available. We struggle on in our own strength to overcome the discomfort, pain, and fear which we encounter, when help is only a call away!

O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry,
Everything to God in prayer.
(Joseph M Scriven 1855)

`Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him while he is near` (Isaiah 55:6).

Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive me for not always calling on You when I should and struggling on in my own strength. Please help me to rely more on You, and bring everything to You in prayer. Amen.

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

You Can Have A Clean Heart and Renewed Mind

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.02.2015 20:24

You Can Have A Clean Heart and Renewed Mind

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to Thee; but his heart is not with Thee.” Proverbs 23:7

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
A teacher asked a little boy to finish this proverb: “Cleanliness is next to...” And he said, “Cleanliness is next to impossible.” Well, friend that little boy wasn’t that far wrong, was he?

It’s amazing what people do to try and purify themselves – fast, pray, kneel, walk, self-flagellate, hibernate, isolate. But sadly, they discover that human efforts aren’t the pathway to purity because they keep doing what Zig Ziglar calls “stinkin‘ thinkin‘.” Before we can hope to have a life of purity, we must have a clean thought life.

God works from the inside out. He knows that you cannot purify the water by painting the pump.

ACTION POINT:
When was the last time you memorized a verse of Scripture? It’s easier to stay away from “stinkin’ thinkin’” when your mind is focused on the Word of God. This is a good time to memorize yesterday’s passage, Psalm 51:10-13: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.” Start working on memorizing this passage today.

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AR_headshot.jpgDevotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Hebrews 13:17

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.02.2015 22:06

Today's Verse for 02/15/2015

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. — Hebrews 13:17


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Thought

We often fail to realize that one of the very best ways we can make Kingdom leadership better is by being better followers. Kingdom leadership means that leaders will have to answer to God for how they have led. Kingdom citizenship means that we will be held responsible for how we have obeyed and blessed our leaders. What have you done to show your love, respect, and support for your church leaders lately?

Prayer

Almighty King, all authority and dominion belong to you. You alone are worthy of power and the right to rule. Please bless our leaders at church that they may lead by serving and following Christ. Please empower me to follow their leadership in ways that exalt the cause of Christ and bless the leaders in your Kingdom. May my life never be a burden to them or an embarrassment to you. In Jesus' name I ask it. 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

Done and Dusted!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 16.02.2015 22:23

16 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Done and Dusted!

“He, himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24, NIV

Our English language is full of some very strange and quaint sayings. Working in the international environment of Ellel Ministries, I often see some very quizzical looks on the faces of both team members and visitors to our training courses and schools! I thought they were understanding me clearly, but then, judging by the look on their faces, it was obvious that they had absolutely no idea of the meaning of what I had just said!

The problem is simple. I have been brought up to know and love the rich cultural diversity of a very old language, which uses thousands of sayings drawn from our history and literature, which are very meaningful to me and which most people understand, but others can often be mystified by. For many of these people, coming from all over the world to serve or learn at a Centre here in the UK, English is their second language. They have learnt, often extremely well, the basics of English grammar and vocabulary, but when it comes to the hundreds of colloquial phrases that English people can use in their every day speech, they can be very confused!

For example, I was talking to one of the internationals on our team who asked about something I’d been working on and I spontaneously responded, “Oh that’s done and dusted!” A glazed look came over her face, that I’ve come to know so well. She understood the words ‘it’s done’, but why would I need to dust it as well, when I wasn’t talking about anything to do with cleaning the house? ‘Dusting’ was the last thing that was in my mind. I explained in the best way I knew how that the thing she was asking about was not only finished, but that it had been ‘put to bed’! I thought I was making myself very clear, until I saw that glazed look again, this time with a smile of misunderstanding! To try and explain ‘done and dusted’, I had instinctively used another, even more confusing phrase, ‘put to bed’, out of my publishing past, which is used when a writing and printing project, such as a newspaper, is finally completed and there is nothing more to be done on it. It’s finished, life can move on.

Eventually she understood what the phrase ‘Done and dusted’ actually meant. The job was finished, over, completed, a piece of history, nothing more needed to be done on it, life could move on. The reason I have gone to such lengths to explain what this simple phrase means is that this exactly describes what Jesus has done for us! “It is finished!”, Jesus cried out from the cross. There is absolutely nothing we can add to the work that He completed on our behalf – we cannot do anything to try and earn our salvation or make it better, it’s a finished work, it’s done and dusted, it’s a done deal.

And oops, I’ve gone and done it again! And if you don’t know what ‘it’s a done deal’ means, can I suggest you read our Scripture for today? I’ll leave you to work out exactly what it means when applied to the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. What an incredible blessing - exchanging my sinfulness for His righteousness. Now, for the benefit of my American friends, that’s what I consider a humdinger of a good deal!

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that there is absolutely nothing more that needs to be done about my sin. Your work on the cross is totally finished and I no longer need to worry about it. Thank You so much for the amazing divine exchange that took place at Calvary – your righteousness for my sinfulness. I’m so grateful that You made full provision for me and that because it’s ‘done and dusted’ I can look forward to eternity with You. Hallelujah, What a Saviour! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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

What You Really Believe, You Will Act Upon

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.02.2015 20:24

What You Really Believe, You Will Act Upon

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Fifteen college professors who taught human motivation were asked to write a concise statement on human motivation. After hours of study, they said: “What the mind attends to, it considers. What the mind does not attend to, it dismisses. What the mind attends to continually, it believes. What the mind believes, it eventually does.”

How much of the Bible have you read? More importantly, how much are you applying to your life?

Many read the Bible like a math book rather than a love story. They get the words, but they don’t get the music.

ACTION POINT:
It is not enough to simply read the Word. You must ask God to teach you. Psalm 119:18 says, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” Go to Him today and ask for that.

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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

No Longer Hungry, But Satisfied

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.02.2015 21:31

No Longer Hungry, But Satisfied

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek Him: your heart shall live for ever.” Psalm 22:26

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Have you ever wondered why people stumble into pornography? Perhaps you even struggle in that area. It’s because they are not feeding on Jesus. They are seeking satisfaction in the evil pleasures of this world, rather than the eternal promises of eternity.

Suppose you just finished a wonderful meal and somebody knocks on your front door. You answer it, and they hold forth a plate full of stale crumbs saying, “Take this. Eat.” You would say, “No thank you, I don’t need that. I’m already satisfied.”

ACTION POINT:
When you feast on the goodness of Jesus, you won’t be down a dark alley eating tin cans with the devil’s billy goats. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Joy Inexpressible

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.02.2015 12:07

19 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Joy Inexpressible

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15:13, NIV

Mary Magdalene stood weeping by the entrance to the tomb (John 20:11). She had been with Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the cross. And now the Son of God, who had transformed their lives and raised so many hopes for the world, was dead.

After the Sabbath following the crucifixion she had gone to the tomb with Mary the mother of James to anoint His body (Mark 16:1), but had found the tomb empty (John 20:1). ‘They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put him’ (John 20:13). Her grief was compounded by shock and bewilderment. Then Jesus spoke her name: “Mary” (John 20:16). She turned and immediately recognised the truth. He was alive! Her emotions jumped from despair to joy, and she excitedly ran off to tell the disciples (Matthew 28:8).

One of the disciples, John, spent three years in the company of Jesus, and had been His constant companion. He was one of the ‘inner circle’ and is referred to in Scripture as ‘the one Jesus loved.’ John was probably closer to Jesus than anyone else who has ever lived, and here he gives a first-hand account of his experience:

‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard … seen … and our hands have touched, this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and… proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us… so that you also may have fellowship with us and his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete’ (1 John 1:1-4).

John wants us to share with him the overwhelming joy he knew during the time he spent with Jesus. He realised that in Him was eternal life; and that this life is available to all who would receive Him. Mary Magdalene ran to share with the disciples her excitement in the news that Jesus was alive, and the joy that filled her heart when Jesus spoke her name brought a new hope into her life. Do we know this eternal life in Jesus? Has He called us by name (John 10:3-4)?

As we accept the Word of truth and receive Him to ourselves, He comes to live within us by the Holy Spirit: ‘Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.’ (Ephesians 1:13-14). And then our joy is complete: ‘Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1 Peter 1:8).

Prayer: Jesus, as I begin to realise the depth of relationship You long to share with me, and the promise of my spending eternity with You, I just want to rest in the security of Your love and enjoy Your continuing presence in my life. Let it be Lord, and thank You. Amen.

Today's Writer : Ron Scurfield
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Stepping out in faith

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.02.2015 11:45

20 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Stepping out in faith

"Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we travelled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into the land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey".
Numbers 14:5-8, NLT

One night while I was living in Scotland I remember watching the local news. On this broadcast they showed clip of a press conference given by Donald Trump the American entrepreneur. At the press conference he was sharing details of his plans to construct the biggest and best golfing complex in the world, just north of Aberdeen.

He was meeting with the local authorities to submit his plans that day. There were some obstacles in the way, but if these were overcome it was his desire to build this complex in Aberdeen.

His final words were, "If the authorities here in Aberdeen agree, I will build it here. If they do not, there`s no problem. I will just go somewhere else where they will let me build the complex."

There are many times in our walk with the Lord when He will ask us to step out in faith and trust Him to do something in us and with us. This will call for complete obedience on our part. The Lord will not act until we allow Him to.

In the reading today the Israelites had just returned from spying out the promised land. Even though they saw it was a land full of milk and honey, the fear of the people living there prevented them from trusting the Lord and stepping into their inheritance. Only two of that generation, Joshua and Caleb, trusted fully in the Lord, and they stepped into their personal inheritance. The others died in the wilderness. The Lord may be asking you today to step out and trust Him. Don`t be afraid, for He`s with you. Like Joshua and Caleb, trust Him and step out into your inheritance.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me today to choose and follow You with all my heart, as Joshua and Caleb did. Help me to trust You with my future, and to walk into all of the plans You have for me. Amen.

Today's Writer : Trevor Davies
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Writing Our Own Bible?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.02.2015 12:35

Seeds of the Kingdom


21 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Writing Our Own Bible?

"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”"
John 8:31-32, NIV

In John chapter 9 we read about Jesus healing the man born blind. Why ever did Jesus spit to make mud? It was Jesus directly challenging the Sanhedrin, the rabbis ruling the nation. Long before Jesus’ time the rabbis made laws intended to be ‘a fence’ protecting the Jews from inadvertently breaking the Law of Moses. By Jesus’ day they’d made thousands of these rules. But more than that, they exalted these man-made rules above the authority of Scripture, also exalting themselves, claiming that their authority superseded that of Moses, while thinking they were still honouring Moses. It was pure deception. Jesus’ strategy is to directly confront them with the truth, both in word and in deed.

One of these rules, incredibly, forbad spitting, and then putting the mud on the eyes of a blind man. Jesus deliberately did this. Then He instructed the blind man to go and wash off the mud. The nearest water was the pool Siloam. He obeyed Jesus and was totally healed. It happened to be at the Feast of Tabernacles, when a multitude of Jews were at the pool witnessing the miracle. The word travelled like wild fire.

But that’s not all. The Jewish understanding was that the only person who could heal a person born blind was the Messiah! Now the rabbis were in deep trouble, as the multitude of Jewish witnesses were proclaiming Jesus the Messiah, because of what they had just witnessed. Then the rabbis judged the Messiah a sinner for desecrating the Sabbath by healing him.

The healed man is twice interrogated and belittled by these furious rabbis who are determined to condemn Jesus. His naivety is so appealing: ‘One thing I know. I was blind and now I see!’ Contrast this with the enormity of the event and the faith it’s instilled: ‘Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind! If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.’

The young man’s faith wins the argument: ‘“Lord I believe,” and he worshipped him.’

Today, we’re immersed in a world that doesn’t know Jesus, which rejects Jesus, and which is totally blind to him. Tragically, that attitude has permeated the church. Jesus concludes the chapter with a frightening statement of intention: “For judgment I have come into this world.” Peter was later to understand that judgment begins ‘with the family of God:’ that is us.

Have you been seduced by the rewriting of the Bible, widely prevalent today? The narrative goes like this. ‘Euthanasia is showing mercy. Abortion is delivering the mother from awkward circumstances. Marriage is redefined and obsolete: let’s live together as partners. The Ten Commandments are out of fashion. All religions lead to God’.

These values are based on circumstances, not absolutes, and are justified by stating “After all, God is a loving God”. Yet Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world.’

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed soon after Hurricane Katrina. The interviewer asked her “How could God let something like this happen?” Anne Graham replied, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

Prayer: Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive my foolish ways! Would You ignite fire for Your Word within me. Renew my hunger to live it, impart to me passion to model it and compassion to pray it in the place of my abode. I pray that truth will triumph over deception, that honour will supersede disrespect and shame, and forgiveness conquer bitterness and hate. In Jesus’ name.

Today's Writer : Murray Dixon
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Hindsight

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.02.2015 10:59

22 February, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Hindsight

"His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realised that these things had been written about him."
John 12:16, NLT

It seems so amazing that the disciples, who were with Jesus every day, didn’t recognise all the ways in which Jesus was fulfilling the Scripture, until after He went to heaven. As I was pondering on this, I thought about how often we’re like this too! God does things in our lives, but we may not see it immediately.

There’s an expression, ‘Hindsight is 20/20’. This is frequently used to say that, after a situation is over, it’s easy to see what we should have done. But I realise it might also be applied to seeing how God has worked in a situation. Frequently it’s only as we look back that we can see that God was working on our behalf.

When Jim and I moved to Hungary, we knew God was calling us to make the move, but we didn’t really know what it was that we were being called to do. We got involved with another mission group praying for Hungary and the surrounding countries. We were praying for God’s blessing for the countries, for the relationships between the countries and for God to expand His kingdom.

Now, almost 12 years later, we look back and we’re amazed. What started as ‘one-day prayer’ journeys has actually turned out to be the foundation for the work that we’re now doing right now. We’re travelling back and forth from our home in Hungary to bring God’s kingdom truths to the surrounding nations! As we reflect back over the years we can see that God was getting us ready and using us to prepare the way, through prayer. We serve an amazing God!

In the story of Joseph and the cupbearer, Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him when he was restored to his position, so Joseph could get out of prison. But we see (in Genesis 40:23) that the cupbearer forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought. God, through Joseph, had shown the cupbearer what was going to happen, but after it did happen, the cupbearer forgot. Thankfully, he did finally remember, and told Pharaoh. Joseph was then called to interpret Pharaoh’s dream.

We need to not be like the cupbearer! We need to not forget. We should give glory to God for what He’s done in our lives. Maybe we need to stop and look back to see what He’s done, so we can glorify Him and testify to others.

What prayers have you prayed that God has answered? Did you thank Him? Did you tell others about it? Let’s take time now to thank Him and praise Him for all that He’s done for us!

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times when I haven’t recognised Your work in my life and Your answers to my prayers. Please open my eyes to see what You’re doing, that I might remember to praise You and thank You for all You’ve done! Amen.

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

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