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Devotional

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God Has Ordained Human Government

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.07.2015 19:17

God Has Ordained Human Government

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And He changeth the times and the seasons; He removeth kings and raiseth up kings….” Daniel 2:21

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
What does the Word of God have to say about government? It teaches that God has ordained human government. The prophet Daniel said that God is the one who removes kings and God is the one who sets up kings. And Romans13 teaches that the powers that be are ordained of God.

What about wicked governments? Did God set them up? It may surprise you to learn, yes, He did. That does not mean they are God’s will. God would much rather have righteousness. But by and large people get the kind of government they deserve. Wicked leaders are God’s reward for a wicked people.

ACTION POINT:
What are we to do as a church? What is my responsibility so far as government is concerned? First of all, we are to pray for our government. We need to pray for leaders even if they are wrong “For this is good and acceptable and right in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:3). I am calling upon you to confess your sins personally and our sins nationally. And I am calling upon you to pray for America as Daniel prayed for his people—in the power of the shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is prayer time in America.

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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

It’s Not Fair!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.07.2015 21:05

05 July, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
It’s Not Fair!

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly.
Leviticus 19:15

There are times in parenthood when you feel you would love to eradicate certain words or phrases from your children’s vocabulary. For the past few weeks our children have been escalating the use of a phrase that is testing my patience on a regular basis: “It’s not fair!”

This is said in a loud whining, whingeing voice and accompanied by a stamp of the foot and a sulky attitude, with an air of, “How are you going to sort this then, Mum?” making the words weigh even heavier. Sweets, iPad time, colours of cups, who will sit next to me at dinner, amount of dinner, space in the bath ... all of these are the merest tip of an iceberg of things that have been deemed unfair!

While trying to navigate through this particularly infuriating phrase I often find myself seeing “It’s not fair” cries in the world around me, and in the news. So I turned to my Bible to find all those marvellous Scriptures that tell us the world should be fair. I was disappointed with my findings!

The Bible doesn’t actually talk much about fairness at all, and, when it does, it’s in the context of justice and how we treat people. I know for sure my children’s cries are nothing to do with justice. They’re selfishly oriented and about something very different - equality. They want the same as each other. Everyone should be equal, and we should all have the same - no matter what.

As I consider this, I see the modern world invading their minds. There’s been a huge distortion of fairness to make it mean equality (which is a massive shift of God’s ordinance). When you read the Scriptures relating to fairness you find this is what they highlight about fairness; ensure inequality doesn’t affect our judgement of others.

There’ll always be rich and poor, those who suffer more, those whose circumstances are challenging, and those who seem to have it easier. Our positions in the world, workplace and Church will always be different, and life will always be unfair. Everyone won’t be equal in all ways.

As we consider our own hearts, may we too eradicate the cries of “It’s not fair!” from our lives. It seems to me that such words distract us from seeing all the good that God’s given to us, and remove gratitude from our hearts. This is a slippery slope of ungratefulness and selfish orientation, which will ultimately lead to a place of disillusionment, and a sense of being distant from God himself.

Prayer: Father God, I’ve often held cries of “It’s not fair” in my heart. I understand that life isn’t fair, and I have much to be thankful for. Please forgive me for any selfish focus, and for wrong judgements of You and others, Amen.

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

Isaiah 6:1

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.07.2015 20:50

Today's Verse for 07/06/2015
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. — Isaiah 6:1

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Thought

We often view difficult times, crisis times, as bad because the circumstances we face are very hard. But difficult times can also be an opportunity for our hearts to re-awaken to the steadfastness and the gloriousness of God, as well as our great need for him in our lives. The crisis of Uzziah's death for Israel and Isaiah became the great opportunity for Isaiah to see God in a fresh way and to be called into a special ministry for God. How can God use your crises, hardships, trials, and difficulties? Why don't you ask him to show you!
Prayer

Holy God, I confess that I get discouraged enduring hardships. I sometimes wonder where you are and why you have forgotten me. Deep in my heart, dear Father, I know you are there. But sometimes, O God, it is difficult to keep my faith burning brightly when I don't hear your voice or see you face to face. Please strengthen my heart with your Holy Spirit and help me "see" you in a fresh way so that I will open myself to you and be tuned more perfectly for your service. 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

Isiah 6:5

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.07.2015 12:17

Today's Verse for 07/08/2015

"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." — Isiah 6:5


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Thought

In a time when God's name is so readily taken in vain, this passage has a refreshing bite to it: God is so much greater than we are, so much more holy than we can be. To come into his presence should make us instantly realize how utterly sinful we have been and how unworthy we are to be in the presence of the King of Glory. To experience God, to stand before his awesome presence, or to be aware of his holiness is to be humbled and awed. God's name, God's holiness, God's majesty, and our need for reverence in his presence are suddenly no longer theory; they become our life's passion!

Prayer

O Almighty God, forgive me for the times that I have not taken seriously your holiness and honor. Forgive me for using your holy name in ways that do not honor and glorify you. Forgive me for not treasuring the many names you have used to reveal your greatness in Scripture. Forgive me because I know my imperfections, my shortcomings, my failures, and my sinfulness. Forgive me, for without your grace, your holiness would be much too pure for me to survive. I ask for your forgiveness in the name of your holy Son, 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

Isaiah 6:8

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.07.2015 21:02

Today's Verse for 07/10/2015
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" — Isaiah 6:8

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Thought

Church worship on Sunday is not the goal of our life here on earth. As important as church worship and personal praise are, they are only part of our goal. We are here to glorify God with both our lips and our lives, with our hearts and our hands. With the world around us caught up in Satan's traps, God wants us to hear his call to us in our church and private worship and respond by saying, "Here am I. Use me!" Then he wants us to enter the world redemptively, making a difference in our "public worship" of ministry.
Prayer

Loving God, Rock and Refuge of my soul, thank you for giving me the experiences I've had in my life. Thank you for the abilities you placed in me while you fashioned me in my mother's womb. Thank you for the gifts your Spirit molded in me when I became your child. Now, dear Father, please help me to know how and where I am to use these gifts in your Kingdom and to bless those in the world, so that I can help bring others to you, help build up the Body of Christ, and bless your people. 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

Psalm 126:2

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.07.2015 22:08

Today's Verse : Psalm 126:2

HEARTLIGHT


Today's Verse for 07/11/2015

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." — Psalm 126:2

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Thought

So many of us are so richly blessed — if not by physical and financial blessings, then most definitely by God's gracious spiritual blessings. The Lord has done great things for us! Let's praise him with songs of praise and lives full of laughter and joy!
Prayer

Generous and gracious Father, thank you so much for the many ways you have blessed me. Your gift of salvation through your Son Jesus is so incredible and gives me hope and confidence for the future. May all the physical and financial blessings you've shared with me bring glory to you, not me! In Jesus' name. 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

I Don't Understand, But I"ll Obey

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.07.2015 10:13

I Don’t Understand, But I’ll Obey

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
I read an interesting story about Stephen Grellet, a pioneer evangelist to the lumbermen in the Rocky Mountains. He felt the Spirit of God leading him to a particular lumber camp to preach. When he got there, the place was absolutely deserted. He said, “Lord, I don’t understand, but I'm going to be obedient.” So he opened his Bible without a soul in sight and preached a full-length message. Then he pled for people to come to Christ. He said, “Lord, I don’t know what that was all about but Lord, I was obedient.” Years later, a man walked up to him in England and said, “I was the foreman at a lumber camp. I had come back to the camp to get an ax, and I heard you preaching. I stood behind a pile of lumber and listened. As you preached, my heart was strangely warmed, and I repented of my sin and gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I later witnessed to four other men. Now, all five of us are missionaries preaching around the world.”

How important it is that we obey completely in small things! Naaman was asked to dip seven times in the river Jordan. At first, he angrily refused. But in 2 Kings 5:13 his servants asked him, “… if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it?”

ACTION POINT:
Do you know why many of us are not obeying God more than we are? Because we're not hearing what God is saying. We're not spending time listening to God. That's the importance of a quiet time, that's the importance of getting somewhere alone with God in a nook with this book and reading and listening.

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Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Life`s Diversions

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.07.2015 10:44

17 July, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Life`s Diversions

"I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good and leads you along the paths you should follow."
Isaiah 48:17, NLT

The motorway signs were quite clear. The junction I needed to leave at was closed and I was to follow the diversion signs. What was I to do? Continue and hope the signs were wrong? Find my own alternative route, or follow the diversion signs? I opted for the latter and began to wonder where this would take me, how far it would take me out of my way and how much longer it would make the journey?

The signs marking the alternative route were very sparse and at times I wondered whether I was indeed still on the right road. After several miles without any indication as to where I was, the sight of the next diversion sign brought such relief. I was still on the right road! Eventually after many miles I found myself back on my original route. This I thought had been a journey of utter trust and dependence on the signs displayed by the highway authority.

In life we sometimes come to a point when we are not able to continue along the pathway we are on. What do we do? Struggle on and hope it will all work out alright in the end, try and find our own alternative route, or look out for the diversionary signs which the Lord has put out for us to follow? If we have committed our way to Him and we remain living in line with His will and purposes, then we must believe that even the diversionary routes are part of His plan for us.

There will be those times when we will not be able to pursue a certain plan or achieve a certain objective, and find ourselves heading in a different direction, not knowing where we are, or where we are going. It is in those times that we just have to trust Him, believe He knows best and keep our eyes (and our ears) open for the encouraging signs that would indicate that all is well and we are still on the road He intends us to be on.

`Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, `This is the way; walk in it` (Isaiah 30:21).

Prayer: Dear Lord, when the way ahead for me seems blocked, help me to recognise Your diversionary signs and to listen for Your voice guiding me along the path You want me to travel along. Amen.
Today's Writer : Malcolm Wood
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

From Death to Life

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.07.2015 09:30

19 July, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
From Death to Life

"Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."
Romans 8:2, NIV

Adam lived for 930 years. Abraham died at the age of 175 and Moses lived to be 120. Life on earth appears to be getting shorter, and the trend is continuing. ‘Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away‘ (Psalm 90:10). Job cried out, ‘Let me alone, for my days are but a breath’ (Job 7:16).

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).

We were all born into sin, ‘for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 6:23). There is a way off this path which leads only to death. God shows us the way, through Jesus, ‘that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:15). The question is, how do we make the transition from death to life?

If we have believed and received the assurance of the cross, that Christ died for our sins, we’ve already passed from death to life. ‘You were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession’ (Ephesians 1:13-14). “Whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life”(John 5:24).

The Apostle Paul recognised the implications of this when he said ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20).

It was never God’s plan that anyone should perish, but His desire is that all should come to salvation (2 Peter 3:9). ‘..You, who once were alienated.. by wicked works.. He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless.. in His sight’(Colossians 1:21-22).

We have a choice: We can tramp the troublesome road of life, unsure of where we’re going - or where it will all end. Or we can personally receive the promise of an eternal life in Jesus. Death no longer has to be an option. ‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses.. that I have set before you life and death.. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live’ (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Jesus said, ‘I have come that they may have life.. abundantly’ (John 10:10).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are the source of all life, which You created for Your pleasure. And You sent Your Son to die, so that death would be destroyed. Please help me to hold on to this truth, and quicken my spirit to know Your life within me, and that it will never die. In Jesus` name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Ron Scurfield
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Estimate the Cost

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.07.2015 09:51

20 July, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Estimate the Cost

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish."
Luke 14:28, NIV

I remember, when I was younger, I went to a big gospel crusade in Kenya. Many people came to either participate in one way or another, or to observe. Then came the great moment when the preacher gave an altar call for those who want to invite Jesus into their lives. Hundreds flocked to the front to make the commitment. I remember thinking to myself; it’s so easy to go forward if many people are doing it!

Whilst studying the Scripture I came upon this verse (Luke 14:28), and it reminded me of that crusade! The earlier verses show that Jesus was speaking to a large crowd, probably like the one I was at. He began telling them about the cost of following Him and being a disciple. In the end He says "if anyone of you does not give up everything he has he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).

When we come into God`s kingdom there are conditions for citizenship, just as in any kingdom. There is the aspect of `giving up everything`. Jesus mentioned this to a young rich man who came to Him and wanted to know what he could do to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus challenged him on `giving up everything`. It’s so easy to say this, but actions matter more!

Jesus knew the hearts of men and said "Before you embark on to building, count the cost". What will it cost you to complete a building? It`s not a decision to rush into. You have to estimate the cost! Many come to the Kingdom, but are unwilling to give up everything. Surrendering to God is not a quick prayer of repentance. It`s a journey where we must sit down and estimate the cost. Everyone can say a prayer, but living the life that God is calling us to live will cost us!

We live in a time where the Church, the body of Christ world wide, is being challenged. Our commitment is getting even more costly. We have to give up many things, surrendering them to His will, even, for some, their very freedom. There’s no room for lukewarm Christianity in our day and age.

But we also need to remember that `that which costs nothing is not worth anything`. When King David needed to build an altar to the Lord, he would not accept a free gift of the threshing floor, because it cost him nothing (2 Samuel 24:21-25). To David, a sacrifice was worthless if it costs the offer-er nothing.

The discipleship to which Christ calls us means a life of surrender to God`s will and sacrifice for His cause. If we count the cost of a full submission to Christ`s claim of us, we also must count on His grace and help to become one with Him. His disciples do not make the journey to His Kingdom for free. It costs them their lives.

Bu He requires nothing of us that He Himself has not done. He counted the cost before proceeding with His plan for salvation of humanity. He knows the cost before accomplishing the goal!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I choose to surrender my everything (mention areas where you have held back from His lordship) and I want to fully and consciously follow You, no matter what it will cost me. Bring to light anything that could be holding me from fully surrendering to You. I know You love me. Amen.
Today's Writer : Joan Rono
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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