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The Word of the Lord Was Rare

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.03.2015 21:33

04 March, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Word of the Lord Was Rare

"The Word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; there was no frequent or widely spread visions."
1 Samuel 3:1(b) AMP

Most of us are familiar with the story of Eli and Samuel from 1 Samuel, where Eli was a priest, who loved and served the Lord. But his love and passion for God was not shared by his two sons. They didn`t know the Lord, and did everything to bring disgrace on the family and House of God. Eli, knowing what his sons did, never restrained them, and so he brought judgment and punishment upon his house.

At that time Samuel was still young, and he didn`t know the voice of the Lord. He wasn’t a priest, but just a child, who was innocent and open to hear from the Lord. Interestingly enough, the Lord chose him, but not the real priest, to speak His Word about the situation in the priest’s family.

One night God had spoken to Samuel about what was going to happen to Eli’s house, and, even though he was afraid to bring such strong message, he didn’t try to make the message look better than it was. He ‘told him everything, hiding nothing’ (1 Samuel 4:18). I believe it was a sort of a test from the Lord for Samuel, to see whether he would be courageous enough to speak the truth of God, even if it was hard to say.

As I read the scripture where it says that the Word of the Lord was rare in those days, it made me wonder why this was so. There was the priest who served and loved the Lord, but God wasn’t speaking through him to the nation. His heart wasn’t completely after pleasing the Lord, but after pleasing men. He compromised the truth he knew for his personal attachment and love for his sons.

As for Samuel, he was different, he responded to the Word of God with respect and awe, not choosing the parts he liked. And I believe that it was the beginning of a new season in Israel where the Lord was ready to reveal Himself to the nation again; ‘the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh, through the Word of the Lord’ (1 Samuel 3:21).

So what can we learn from this story? I believe this story teaches us how to have reverence and respect for the Word of the Lord. God looks for the uncompromised heart, ready to do His will, even if it’s very costly. He chooses to use young and inexperienced people, like Samuel was at that time, people who’re willing to obey Him fully. Let’s be the people whom God is willing to use to speak His Word through, either for our personal lives or into the lives of others. Let’s not compromise the truth of the gospel for our own comfort, convenience, or out of fear. Let’s do our best not to hear the same words spoken about our generation, ‘the Word of the Lord was rare in those days’, because of uncommitted hearts. Let’s be those vessels that God’s willing to use, and that He can be confident in.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You will show me where my heart isn’t fully committed to You. Please change my heart so that I can be used by You to bring glory to Your holy name and Your Kingdom, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Today's Writer : Yulia Kimani
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

“Happy” Without Christ?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.03.2015 19:37

“Happy” Without Christ?

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

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Jesus tells us that when we seek after righteousness, we will be filled. Sounds like we’ll be happy, don’t you think? But happiness is not something we find by hungering for it, it is something we receive by serving the Lord.

God doesn’t want us to be happy without Christ. God allows us to experience unhappiness in our lives in the same way we experience pain when we step on a nail. The pain tells us something is wrong.

ACTION POINT:
Now, for us to seek happiness without seeking righteousness would be like breaking our arm and then not taking a pain killer and getting it set. Blessing comes when we find the Deliverer. When you hunger for Him, you will have Him. How much of God do you want 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

The Lamp of the Body

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.03.2015 12:30

06 March, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Lamp of the Body

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Matthew 6:22-23, NIV

A few days ago I wrote about my shock at the fact that a recent pornographic book had sold over a 100 million copies and that thousands are now flocking to watch the film of the book. Today I want to draw your attention to what Jesus said about our eyes! We cannot either read a book or watch a film without using our eyes and Jesus made a comparison between good eyes and bad eyes.

He describes the eye as being the lamp of the body – for it is through the eyes that light enters which penetrates right into the very depths of our whole being. The eye is a channel through which light comes. If the eye is good then what is conveyed into the heart of our being will bring light. A good eye is one that looks at things which are good.

Conversely, however, a bad eye is one which focuses on things that are bad and uses the passage of physical light in order to convey images of darkness. Those images of darkness are poisoned arrows which Satan uses to corrupt our whole being. Jesus said that when the light within us is actually darkness, then the whole body will be full of darkness.

Modern day statistics tell us the awful truth – that people who become hooked on pornographic material are often those who want to live out what they have seen in the flesh. Not only is their mind then filled with the images of darkness, but their bodies have joined in the process and through their ungodly behaviour have welcomed in yet more darkness into their whole being.

The book I referred to above is called 50 Shades of Grey. There are four meanings of the word Shades in the Google Dictionary, two of which are of great significance to those who have read the book or are thinking of reading it. ‘Shades’ is a modern day word that has replaced the word ‘sunglasses’ in the vernacular. The only purpose of shades is to block out the light. The other relevant, and much older, meaning of ‘shades’ is ‘evil spirits’. A shade is, simply, a demon or a ghost. How extraordinary that the title word of this book refers to shutting out the light and coming under the influence of the powers of darkness!

When people read this sort of material they are looking at it with what Jesus would call ‘bad eyes’ and are choosing to fill their whole beings with darkness. And when they do so they are laying down a welcome mat for the enemy! The darkness that is welcomed in is described by Jesus as being ‘great darkness’ – not a wishy-washy shade of grey, but penetrating, evil darkness.

People who choose darkness will not be able to see where they are going through life. What an important warning Jesus has given us here not to let our eyes become bad eyes.

Prayer: help me, Lord, not to focus my eyes on things which turn them into channels of darkness. And where I have sinned in this respect, help me, Lord, to bring my eyes to you for cleansing and to choose to walk in the light with ‘good eyes’. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

What Does It Mean to Be “Pure in Heart”?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.03.2015 19:42

What Does It Mean to Be “Pure in Heart”?

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
This beatitude narrows our focus into one rich goal—to be pure in heart. Now, “pure in heart” doesn’t just mean you don’t look at pornography or think vile thoughts. That will be a result of being pure in heart. But to be pure in heart really means to have an undiluted heart. That is, there is no substance in your heart that is adulterated. You have a singleness of mind. You are undivided in your devotion. . .all of the issues of your life are brought down into one burning focus—to be pure in heart before God.

ACTION POINT:
Is Jesus Christ the burning focus of your life? Then the promise is that you will see God. “Now, wait a minute,” you say. “No one has seen God.” You’re right. You will see God not with your physical eyes, but with your spiritual eyes. He will become all the more clear!

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Just in Time!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.03.2015 20:11

08 March, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Just in Time!

“I wait patiently before God, for my victory comes from him.”
Psalm 62:1, NLT

There are times when we have to wait for our prayers to be answered. Our faith can be tested and we can almost be on the verge of thinking that God will not come through for us. I have had a few of these prayers on my mind lately, both of which I have written about in previous Seeds.

Firstly I have been watching my daughter Laura develop her swimming skills over the past 6 months. She has trained really hard and become a very proficient swimmer. However she has had so much trouble learning the skill of diving, essential for a competitive swimmer. I have watched painfully every time she tried to dive because she would lift up her head and step into the water, mostly belly flopping and hurting herself. The school swimming carnival was fast approaching. She had all her strokes and turns going great. But to be honest I had just about given up on her being able to dive properly for the carnival. It was like an agonising prayer whispered in my heart: ‘Please Lord help Laura to dive properly.’ Three days before the carnival, somehow, by a miracle, Laura dived properly. Just in time! She then went on to win every race in her age division and the age division above herself at the school carnival and won the Junior Girls Swimming Champion.

Last month I wrote about how faithful God had been in bringing much needed rain to our farm over the past year. I almost wished I had not written that Seed because for the last month we have not had any rain and everything started to look really bad again. Being still in the Australian summer all the pastures dried right off quickly and the water supplies started reducing. The testing of my faith came again. Once more: ‘Please Lord let it rain.’ Two days ago the rain came and then again yesterday. Beautiful heavy rain to fill the dams and refresh the pastures. Just in time!

These are just two incidents from my everyday life that have reminded me that God hears our small prayers, often whispered in our hearts maybe even without words. He truly cares for us and knows our needs no matter what they are. It might be a prayer for someone we love or for our own needs. But God’s timing is perfect. He is never too late. He always comes just in time.

So if you have one of those prayers in your heart today, hold onto Him and continue to wait patiently. Jesus has heard you and your victory will come from Him, just in time.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, Thank you that no need or prayer is too small or too big for you. I trust you and thank you that you will answer my prayer in your perfect timing. Amen.

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

1 Peter 3:15

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.03.2015 20:51

Today's Verse for 03/09/2015

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect... — 1 Peter 3:15


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Thought

Having Jesus as our Lord does not mean that we bulldoze over others with this important eternal reality. Gentleness and respect are the character traits of those who have Jesus as their Lord. After all, Jesus loved others enough to die for them. Jesus even asked for those who crucified him and those who mocked him as he died to be forgiven. Having such a Lord means we have prepared a response when we are given and opportunity to share the basis of our hope in him. Those around us may not appear interested, but many are seeking for something they have not yet identified. Let's be ready when their time is right to meet Jesus!

Prayer

Holy and gracious God, please give me wisdom to see the opportunities to share the love of Jesus with those around me. I ask you to especially help me be able to share Jesus with several of my friends that I now mention by name... Father, please give me the gentleness to do this redemptively, showing them the same respect Jesus did with those to whom he ministered. In the name of the Savior, your Son 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

Release Your Grip and Trust God

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.03.2015 19:55

10 March, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Release Your Grip and Trust God

"When she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds... put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds."
Exodus 2:3, NLT

Recently I was faced with a heart breaking situation that really rocked me. It involved releasing someone I loved very much into the hands of God. As I struggled with this in prayer, I was reminded of Jochebed in the book of Exodus (She was the mother of Moses, who eventually delivered the Hebrews from captivity in Egypt).

Around the time that Moses was born, Pharaoh, King of Egypt, ordered the destruction of all male infants belonging to the Hebrews. They were to be thrown into the Nile River, where they would certainly drown or be eaten by crocodiles. This was an order that no God-fearing Hebrew would willingly obey, and the very thought would have horrified God’s chosen people. Moses’ mother had no intention of obeying this dictate either. She knew that this child of hers was special (Exodus 2:2) and she feared the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

As an act of faith (Hebrews 11:23), and when she could no longer conceal the child herself, Jochebed put Moses into a water-proofed, papyrus reed basket and placed him among the reeds, on the Nile River. Moses’ sister Miriam was left to guard him from a distance and watch what would become of him.

Jochebed was not throwing Moses to the ‘god of chance’ but rather releasing him into the hands of the Great ‘I AM’. In her heart she was saying to God, “I’ve done everything I know to protect this child, but now I’m out of options. I release him to Your care and providence”. God honoured her faith and the infant’s life was spared. How overjoyed Jochebed must have been when her little bundle of joy was returned to her aching arms (Exodus 2:7-10).

I wonder who or what you need to release to God today. The same God, who lovingly watched over Moses, also watches over all that concerns you. All He asks of you is to trust Him.

With God`s help, I was finally able to release a family member into God’s hands. After the tears came peace, because the burden had lifted. May God give grace to you to do likewise. He’s much better at taking care of those we love than we’ll ever be.

Prayer: Father God, You know what’s happening in my life right now, as nothing is hidden from Your sight. Like Jochebed I need to release … into Your loving care. Thank You that You can take much better care of them than I can. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done in their lives. In Jesus` name. Amen.

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

Tempted? Jesus Has Already Been There

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.03.2015 20:35

Tempted? Jesus Has Already Been There

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
When some people read that Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” some eyebrows raise. You may not say anything out loud, but you think, “Was He really tempted in every way? Has He ever been tempted to run a red light? Or smoke pot? Or have immoral sex?” We don’t know, and yet the Bible is very clear that He was tempted in all points.

ACTION POINT:
There are only three temptations, and Jesus was tempted in all three. 1 John 2:16 lists them: the lust of the flesh (temptation for us to do something—our passions), the lust of the eyes (temptation for us to have something—our possessions), and the pride of life (the temptation for us to be something—our pride). If you doubt it, then read about the temptation He faced in Luke 4:1-13.

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Psalm 86:6-7

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.03.2015 20:37

Today's Verse for 03/11/2015

Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. — Psalm 86:6-7


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Thought

Sometimes there are no immediate answers. We have prayed and cried and tried and gone sleepless and mourned and shouted. Still there are no answers. The days roll by in an agonizing parade of pain. Still there are no answers we can identify. What do we do? We go to the Psalms. We let them raise up our heart's cry. We are honest with the God of the entire universe and yet we can still anticipate mercy from him. We are convinced that in our troubles, he will not only hear us, but he will also care about what is happening in our lives.

Prayer

Almighty God, the only true Healer of disease and Mender of broken hearts, please hear the cry today of those I love who are in such desperate situations. May your will be done in every one of their lives with tenderness, grace, and a sense of your presence. And Lord, please be near me, and help me see your answer to my prayers. Forever yours in the name of Jesus. 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

Wrong Place, Right Time

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.03.2015 11:34

12 March, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Wrong Place, Right Time

"Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.”"
John 21:3a, NKJV

My doctor recently requested for me to be seen by a hospital consultant in our local out-patients department. As a result of certain circumstances it was necessary for me to phone the appointments co-ordination centre myself, and I spoke to a lovely lady who gave me the date, time and place of the appointment I was to attend.

Knowing the hospital well, I duly went for the appointment and was told in which waiting area to sit. But after a while I began to have a few concerns. Everyone else in the waiting area was heavily pregnant.

As this was not my situation I began to look for someone to help, and found a kindly nurse, who was eventually able to unravel what seemed to be quite a confusion. I was in the wrong hospital! I’d been given the wrong information and had just spent nearly an hour and a half of my life in the wrong place and still hadn’t seen the doctor.

I will be honest and say I wasn’t pleased. But as I told Jesus all about it in the car as I drove home I felt it was as if He said to me, “Wrong place, right time, just like Simon Peter.”

I’d been on time for my appointment and while waiting had been able to chat with two ladies about Jesus. The confusion had also shown me some things of my own heart that I needed to bring to Jesus.

Simon Peter denied Jesus and was struggling with the pain and confusion of that. When he announced he was going fishing I wonder if, in all his confusion, he’d forgotten what Jesus had said to him about being a fisher of men.

He went out fishing, the other disciples following his lead, and they caught nothing. It was the wrong place, but the right time, for, when the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, and not long after that Simon Peter was restored and commissioned.

Wherever we are, even if it seems like it’s the wrong place, the Lord is still able to use us, if our hearts are open to Him. Simon Peter was still a leader, even in his brokenness. I still spoke of Jesus in the waiting room.

Jesus will also use the wrong place to show us the things of our hearts that we need to talk to Him about. For Simon Peter it was his betrayal. For me it was attitudes and reactions. In Jesus there’s no time like the right time and the right time is always now.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that in You there can be no wrong place. Thank You that my life is hidden with You, my Saviour. Thank You that You will always meet me just wherever I am. Oh Lord, I long to serve You with the gifts and talents You’ve given me. Help me to see when You’ve helped me to serve You, so I give You the glory. And Lord, thank You that You’re always ready to hear the things of my heart that trouble me. Thank You for your forgiveness, cleansing and commissioning. Amen.

Today's Writer : Alison Scarborough
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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