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Beautiful Feet!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 31.03.2015 12:21

Seeds of the Kingdom

31 March, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International

Beautiful Feet!

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Romans 10:15, NIV

These words, quoted here by Paul in his letter to the Romans, first appear in Scripture in Isaiah 52:7 and Nahum 1:15. They express an amazing and very simple truth. When a person comes to you with anything – be it good or bad - it is their feet that carry them. Feet are the most fundamental and basic means of transport without which we could go nowhere and achieve nothing.

I well remember being sick in bed as a child. I was alone in bed upstairs and feeling miserable! I could hear all the noises of normal family life going on downstairs and I wished I wasn’t confined to my bed. But then I heard the footsteps of my Mum on the staircase. The effect was immediate. I knew that Mum would be bringing me something nice and just the sound of her ‘beautiful feet’ put a smile on my face and made me feel better!

My father was led to faith in Jesus by a children’s evangelist called Hudson Pope. Hudson Pope had been conducting a mission in Bolton, but on the last day of the mission my Dad, then aged ten, was ill and couldn’t walk the two miles into town to go to the final meetings. But God had already touched Dad’s heart and he wanted to become a Christian. So he wrote a little letter to Hudson Pope which I still have today. In it Dad simply said to Hudson Pope, in childlike words, “I want to be a Christian – can you help me?” The following day Hudson Pope walked the two miles to go and talk with this 10 year old boy who wanted to be a Christian and led him into the Kingdom of God.

I will never cease to thank God for Hudson Pope’s beautiful feet - the feet that carried him out of town for a four mile round trip on a cold February day in order to answer the cry of a small boy who needed Jesus. A generation later that ‘small boy’ led me, at the age of nine, into the Kingdom of God. If it wasn’t for Hudson Pope’s beautiful feet I wouldn’t know Jesus today. As I write these words my heart is full of gratitude and thanksgiving.

Let us never forget to thank God for the beautiful feet of those who have been a blessing to us in our own lives. And let us never forget that day by day God wants to use our feet to take us to places as an agent of His love to whoever God sends us.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for those who have been the means of grace to us – whose feet have been beautiful for You. Help me, Lord, to let my feet be used to bring Your joy into the lives of others. And keep me, Lord, from letting my feet take me to places to do ungodly things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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

Cursed

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.04.2015 21:57

Cursed

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And unto Adam He said…cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.” Genesis 3:17

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
The crown of thorns Jesus wore—what does it speak of? It symbolizes the curse upon humanity, on you, on me, on us all, because of sin. When God created mankind and put him in the Garden of Eden, there were no thorns. A curse came upon Adam and Eve because they sinned and disobeyed God. The thorn, the thistle, are the result of the curse of sin upon humanity. Jesus wore a crown of thorns because He bore that curse…the hardship, sorrow, and death that come with sin.

Are you having heartaches? Are you having sorrow? Do you know sickness? The thorny pathway we walk is because of sin. The bed of briars we sleep on is because of sin.

ACTION POINT:
Who is taking care of your sin today? Who is paying the price for it? Is it under the blood? Are you trusting Christ alone for that?

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Viestit: 3288
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The Just for the Unjust

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.04.2015 20:54

The Just for the Unjust

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God …” 1 Peter 3:18

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
A Roman soldier walked down a narrow corridor in a Roman prison. He held the torch up, and back in the shadows was a man. The guard with his key opened the door and said, “Barabbas, get up and come with me.” Barabbas began to plead, “No, wait, don’t take me! Have mercy!” The Roman soldier said, “You’re not going to die; there’s somebody else who’s going to die in your place. Come here. Look over on that hill. That’s the cross we made for you. But there’s someone else on it. He has taken your place.”

In what happened to Barabbas, God arranged a perfect picture of substitution — the just dying for the unjust that He might bring us to Himself.

ACTION POINT:
Take time today to tell the Lord Jesus Christ how much you love Him and how grateful you are that He stepped out of glory and became obedient unto death—even the death of the Cross—for your sake and mine.

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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Dying with a Criminal Friend

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.04.2015 09:19

03 April, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Dying with a Criminal Friend

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”
Luke 23:40, NIV

The crucifixion was the time when Jesus was at His most vulnerable... naked, arms outstretched, nailed down, visible to all and dying. There’s no more physically and emotionally exposed and vulnerable state for a human to be in. There’s nowhere to hide any aspect of your being.

It was in this state that Jesus spoke the immortal words, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” In itself, this proclamation was one of vulnerability, offering up forgiveness rather than fighting back.

It was at the very height of this vulnerability that Jesus faced the most difficult of onslaughts; an attack of His very nature, character and personhood. The verbal mocking came from Jewish leaders, soldiers and one of the criminals dying beside Him. They questioned, scoffed, mocked and challenged Him; a cowardly gesture to a dying man.

When I read these scriptures, I imagine the feeling of a deep pang of isolation ... the loneliness that would engulf any man who’d been reduced to the very least a man could be. Yet there was an answer to this loneliness, and it was a criminal who deserved to die, and knew it. In the very height of Jesus’ physical, emotional and spiritual agony there was one man who redirected Jesus’ thoughts to the reason and purpose of it all.

This man’s protest to his fellow thief was simple, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong” (Luke 23:40-41).

In this, the most desperate of hours in Jesus’ life, there was an ally; a man who understood, a man who negated the isolation and cruelty by speaking truth. I can only contemplate what a strength this must have been to Jesus. I can almost hear Jesus’ reply in a voice that conveyed gratitude and relief as He died with a criminal friend... the very kind of person He came to save, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

On this, one of the most precious days of our calendar, let’s never forget the desperate isolation and vulnerability that Jesus felt. But also, let’s remember that Jesus had a friend in that state ... a fallen human being who stood by Him and died with Him. We also need fallen human beings to stand with us and speak truth into our desperate times.

Prayer: Jesus, we can never really appreciate the agony of Your death. Your vulnerability far exceeds anything we’ve experienced, and yet You found strength in a person speaking truth. Help us to listen to those who we know aren’t perfect, but can speak truth into our lives, so that we too can die to ourselves, knowing there’s an abundant and everlasting life beyond. Amen.

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

We Always Carry...

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.04.2015 13:53

April 3, 2015

We Always Carry...

"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."

2 Corinthians 4:10-12



Today's verse could sound a little morbid. We always carry around in our body Christ's death? We are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake?! A hearty and happy yes! Why happy? Because then--and only then--can the vibrant, joyful life of our Savior be revealed through us. And His life is revealed in us for God's glory, our eternal advantage, and others' benefit.



We carry around Jesus' death when we daily die to sin in the same way He died for sin. It means not taking a casual greeting like "How are you doing?" as an excuse to list every minor and major casualty of your day. Not using your prayer group time as an excuse to gossip. Not painting a picture of your marriage that colors your spouse as the culprit, and you the hero. Not living like a martyr, and making sure everybody else knows it. These are ordinary, yet important ways of putting your flesh to death with its itchiness to rebel.



Oh, to die to sin in the same selfless, patient manner as Jesus on His cross! Oh, if we could only see that refusing sin benefits others around us (just as Jesus was thinking of us on His cross). Then His life would be revealed in us--His profound peace, effervescent joy, and enduring hope.


Jesus, I need the power of Your resurrection to help me "die to sin" today. Help me to see how "carrying Your death" will result in a livelier life for me...and deep encouragement for others around me.


Blessings,




Joni and Friends

www.joniandfriends.org
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

An UpsideDown Kingdom

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.04.2015 19:59

04 April, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
An UpsideDown Kingdom

"For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are so that no one might boast save that in God."
1 Corinthians 1:25, 27 & 28

God loves to turn the wisdom of men upside down, creating His opportunities to demonstrate who He is. Who would have thought that God Almighty, the King of kings, Creator of heaven and earth would have chosen the lowest place to come to earth. No one would look for a coming Messiah in a stable!

Jesus loved to meet with the outcast, and a woman who had the most messy and difficult past, and give her value, hope and life. All the religious arguments of the day were overturned by wisdom, not of this world. The religious leaders were constantly trying to catch Jesus out for not obeying the rules, but Jesus overturned their rules and made them face themselves. ‘This people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’ (Mark 7: 6).

He slept in a storm, took a meagre offering to feed a multitude, worked many of His miracles when no one was looking, sat in the pubs with sinners, blessed children above all and against popular demand, and told the disciples, ‘truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it’ (Mark 10:9). Jesus broke all the bounds of religion without compromising who He was.

God loves to turn human wisdom upside down. He used a young boy with a sling and stone to slay a giant. He allowed a brother to be rejected and thrown into a pit so that he would be found by slave traders and become a means of grace and redemption. He brought kings low, and He lifted servants up. He told the rich to sell all they have to gain life, and proclaimed ‘blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall see God’. There was nothing anyone could do to condemn him, argue with Him or manipulate Him.

Almighty God surrendered His will by giving His Son as a love gift to mankind. The Lord Jesus allowed this ultimate act of foolishness, by giving Himself up to the Romans to be killed. The opposite of the world’s wisdom gave way for glorious victory over sin and death. The way was opened up for all who believe to enter in.

We are invited into the best strategy, the best way of life, the best way of overcoming the enemy and the highest of relationships. He exchanges beauty for the ashes of our sin and brokenness, and comfort for those who mourn. His eyes are on the sparrow, and even the hairs on our head are numbered.

How amazing that God chooses our weakness to bring His strength; our poverty and need to give us true riches; our fallible human wisdom in exchange for wisdom from above; and the lowest (most helpless) to be first in His Kingdom. And He chose death to give us abundant life! What a Redeemer!

God tells us that there is a way that seems right to men but its end is death (Proverbs 16:25). This is a salutary warning to us all to take our eyes off ourselves and to look with child-like trust into His eyes, the One who is the source of all wisdom and life.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the indwelling of Your Holy Spirit within me. Please convict me when I make You into a God of my own making and wisdom, and set me free to allow Your upside-down kingdom into my life. Thank You that You take what is foolish, despised, and the things that are not, to confound the things that are. Keep my eyes looking for redemption;, not my way but yours! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

Jesus Messiah is Risen From the Dead

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.04.2015 09:31

05 April, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Jesus Messiah is Risen From the Dead

"See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
Luke 24:39, ESV

One of the most powerful proofs that Jesus really did rise from the dead was the way in which all of His disciples were transformed. They fearlessly proclaimed the truth of His resurrection and even faced death for their faith. Another convincing fact is that their enemies couldn’t ever disprove the resurrection of Jesus by going to Jerusalem and producing His dead body. Yet everyone knew where Joseph of Arimathea had put the body of Jesus in his family tomb, because Joseph was a respected member of the Jewish leadership, and it was no secret.

For followers of Jesus today it’s reassuring that no evidence can be produced to disprove that our Lord rose from the dead, and that to the contrary, a wealth of historical documents exist to prove this is an established fact. But more importantly we have an ongoing personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus as we talk to Him each day in prayer and worship, and He in return speaks to us in many different ways.

For those early disciples who’d lived with Jesus for three years, and then had to go through the horrendous trauma of seeing Him die on the cross, it was difficult at first to grasp that He was alive again. The women were the first to meet the risen Lord. They were not believed by the men. Luke tells it like this: ‘Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them’(Luke 24:10-11).

Cleopas, and his unnamed companion, met Jesus on the road and took him into their house to have a meal. Once they realised it was Jesus with them He disappeared. They couldn’t wait to tell the other disciples about it and rushed back to Jerusalem. ‘And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread’ (Luke 24:33-35).

It was during this meeting that Jesus Himself made an appearance, and they reacted with fear that He was a ghost. ‘But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marvelling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them’ (Luke 24:37-43).

What a blessing it is to hear the account from John about the apostle Thomas who wasn’t there at this meeting. When Jesus invited Thomas to touch His body for himself, Thomas was fully convinced that it was the Lord. ‘Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”’ (John 20:28-29).

Thomas needed to know for himself and not just rely on what other people told him. He needed his own personal experience of meeting with the Lord Jesus. And it’s the same today for all of us. Once we have understood the facts about Jesus and that He is the Saviour of the world, and that He died on the cross to take all the punishment due for our sins, we need to commit our life to Him and start speaking to Him in prayer. Then we will have the joy of a personal relationship with Him, knowing He hears us and answers our prayers. Jesus said we would be ‘blessed’ as we enter into trusting and believing in Him.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You died for my sins on the cross and that You invite me into close personal relationship with as Saviour and Lord. I put my trust in You and pray that I can be a bold witness for You in this world. Amen.

Today's Writer : Liz Griffin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Psalm 55:16-17

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.04.2015 20:12

Today's Verse for 04/05/2015

I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. — Psalm 55:16-17


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Thought

Wow, this Psalm of confidence in God suddenly has a much more powerful ring to it after remembering the resurrection of Christ! God does save us. God does listen to our voice. We can be sure he both hears and acts to bring salvation for us. The only question is whether we call out to God evening, morning and noon trusting in his response?

Prayer

Abba Father, I have burdens on my heart about things in my own life that need your grace and power. Please hear my voice and my heart as I share these concerns with you... In addition, dear Father, please place your loving touch on the following people for whom I'm concerned... Thank you for hearing me and saving me. In the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, 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

Chosen Before Time Began

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.04.2015 20:23

Chosen Before Time Began

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:4

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Did you know that God chose you before He laid the foundations of the earth? You talk about “old time religion”! Well, friend, you can’t get much older than that! Before there were any trees, mountains, birds, and bees, God chose you to be one of His children. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “God certainly must have chosen me before I came into this world because He never would have chosen me afterward.”

That means you and I cannot take credit for our salvation. First John 4:19 says, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” Somebody asked a little boy, “Have you found the Lord?” And the little boy said, “I didn’t know He was lost.” How miraculous that God has chosen us. When left alone to ourselves, we would never have chosen Him.

ACTION POINT:
Though election is a divine mystery, it can bring great assurance to a believer’s heart. Allow God’s Word to teach you further what it means to be chosen. Read Matthew 20:16, 24:22; Luke 10:20; John 6:37-39; Romans 8:28-39; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Ephesians 1:9-11; 2 Timothy 1:9.

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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

Amos 5:14

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.04.2015 13:42

Today's Verse for 04/07/2015

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. — Amos 5:14


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Thought

What do you seek out of today? Do you seek good? Or will you pursue evil by nursing a grudge, spreading some gossip, or feeding a lust? God longs to be with us, and he has promised to never leave us. But where God goes, his character, his righteousness, and his goodness are sure to follow!

Prayer

Good and loving Father, thank you for showing me what goodness looks like by sending Jesus. Thank you for filling me with your Spirit so I can produce your good spiritual fruit. Thank you for putting me within the Body of Christ, your people, so I can have opportunities to do good deeds for those in need of care. But deep down, Father, I recognize that you alone are truly good. Help me as I seek you, your character, and your goodness in my life. 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

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