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Isaiah 40:29

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.07.2015 20:37

Today's Verse for 07/21/2015
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. — Isaiah 40:29

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Thought

Even the most pumped up and positive ones of us find ourselves broken and weary at some point in our life. It isn't so hard to believe and follow Jesus when we are soaring on the wings of eagles or running and not getting weary in our walk with God. Often the toughest time to keep our faith vibrant is when we are trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other while not fainting. In those moments of absolute powerlessness, weakness, and brokenness the Lord is often most real, most powerful, and most present.
Prayer

Thank you, God, for sustaining me and keeping my faith alive when I have been under attack from the Evil One and have grown weary with the challenges and hardships of life. Please give those I love, and mention now by name, the strength to press on even though they are weary and weak. Please be real in their lives and let them know that you are coming with grace to help and redeem as their Great Deliverer. 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

Take Off that Overcoat!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.07.2015 22:24

Take Off that Overcoat!

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us….” Hebrews 12:1

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
If you’re going to run a race, how do you prepare yourself? First, you’ve got to lay the weights aside. Notice athletes. They run in very light clothing. The less weight, the better. One thing you’ll never see is someone in the Olympics, running in an overcoat. It’s not going to happen. They get as light as they possibly can. You have to lay aside every weight.

The Greek word weight does not mean something that’s sinful. It just means something that burdens you, that holds you down. There are some things that are not bad in themselves. Nothing wrong with an overcoat. You just don’t wear an overcoat when you’re running a race. Paul said: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Friend, it may be some recreational habit you have. It may be some cottage in the woods. It may be some acquaintance, some hobby, too much television or sleep. Paul is saying, “Something may be lawful for me, but if it’s not expedient, if it doesn’t speed me on my course, then I need to leave it alone.”

ACTION POINT:
Ask yourself, “Is there something in my life that’s hindering my walk with Christ? Something that’s holding me back? Is there something that is excess baggage? Something keeping me from being all I ought to be for the Lord Jesus Christ? Whatever it is, if you want to win the race, lay it aside. Good things become bad things when they keep you from the best things.

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

1 Timothy 4:14

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 23.07.2015 15:58

Today's Verse for 07/23/2015
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. — 1 Timothy 4:14

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Thought

Life seems so busy, so full of distractions and "to do" lists. Let's not let our "busyness" keep us from our Father's "business." Let's find the ways God has gifted us to serve him and his people; then let's dedicate ourselves to that with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Prayer

Gracious God, you have blessed me in so many different ways. Thank you for all these touches of your grace. But Father, I need your help to more clearly see how you have gifted me to serve you and to more passionately make that service a key priority in my life each day. Thank you for always hearing my prayers. 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

Safely anchored

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.07.2015 09:19

24 July, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Safely anchored

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."
Hebrews 6:19, NIV

We took our caravan away on holiday to the New Forest in the South West of England. Normally it is a lovely peaceful area, set back from the coast by a few miles, and not known for its high winds. However after we had arrived and pitched the caravan, complete with a porch awning on the side, the wind got up, and of course the rain started (this is England!). The awning is a sort of nylon tent which fixes to the side of the caravan and has hoop-shaped fibreglass poles to give it shape. It stays in place by means of guy ropes which are tied to various anchor points on the awning sides and fixed to the ground with strong metal pegs, which are hammered into the firm hardstanding.

As the wind increased, the awning bent alarmingly and the whole structure became rather deformed. We were worried that the thin poles would snap or the fabric would tear. I purchased extra pegs and guy ropes from the camp shop and tied everything I could with lots of pegs. We were rather concerned that it wouldn’t be there in the morning! However, it performed well and, as I write this ‘Seed’ in the caravan, the gentle breeze, which is now blowing, is having little effect on the awning, which is once more looking as it should do.

I am reminded of an old hymn we used to sing when I was young which began `will your anchor hold in the storms of life?`, based on the Scripture quoted above from Hebrews 6:9. We often teach about the story of Jesus stilling the storm, but sometimes the storm continues and we simply have to weather it. When we rely on our own human ability, we can come up against things which are beyond us and cause us to drift away from the place of safety and security, which we are intended to have in Christ. Sudden illness, financial crises, family relationships, church divisions are some examples of such storms. How do we handle these things?

As a ministry we teach many courses which relate to these issues and give strategies for dealing with them. Wounds resulting from past storms are brought to Jesus for healing. Sometimes, however, we simply have to learn to sit it out with Jesus, riding to anchor until the storm has passed. In preparation for such times, maybe we should check our spiritual guy ropes and make sure they are firmly tied. Things like our inner beliefs about God and ourselves, looking at our behaviour patterns and dealing with anything that is insecure, re-examining our future hope in the Lord and making sure we have an eternal assurance.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life yet to come to you? Paul reminds his readers that God’s character, and His promise given by oath (Genesis 22:16), combine to give an absolute assurance of safety during such times. He will hold us fast, if we will trust Him to do so.

Prayer: Lord we encounter storms in our everyday life, and we confess that sometimes we are not really certain that we can get through them safely. Help us remember to check our anchor points regularly, so we are really firmly held in You, with no fear of being blown away. Amen.
Today's Writer : John Berry
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

A Prize to Possess

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.07.2015 21:34

A Prize to Possess

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2b

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Jesus is our example. He is a champion who, when He ran His race, received a crown of joy. When an athlete runs, he runs to win a trophy. In our verse today, what is “the joy that is set before Him”? It’s winning the race. He “endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

That crown gave Him the ability to endure. If you keep the crown in mind, you can bear the cross. But you cannot have the crown if you despise the cross. We are crucified with the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have a few trophies that I won back in high school on a championship football team: a gold football, a letterman’s sweater and a silver cup. Do you know what happened to all those trophies? Someone broke into the house and got the gold football. The moths had a camp meeting in the sweater. It’s gone. There are no more letters on that letter sweater. What happened to the silver cup, I haven’t the foggiest.

ACTION POINT:
Friend, athletes run “to obtain a corruptible crown; but we for an incorruptible” (1 Corinthians 9:25). Running the race, Jesus had the joy that was set before Him and He endured the cross. He despised the shame. There is a prize to possess.

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Time as a Gift

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 26.07.2015 11:05

26 July, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Time as a Gift

"Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone — especially to those in the family of faith."
Galatians 6:10, NLT

How often do we hear people commenting on how little time they have for all the things they need to be doing? Time has become synonymous with rushing in so many people`s lives. It has, sadly, become a way of life.

This morning I came upon these words written by Ann Voskamp: ‘When we see calendars not so much as rows of boxes to fill up with things to do — but as boxes that we get to unwrap — the present moment always becomes a gift’.

Jesus called us to be a blessing to others; to build one another up in faith and to be a support during difficult times. But how do we bless others? It’s by really loving them unconditionally, spending time with them, listening to their hearts, building them up and helping where we can. It’s not by not judging and criticising one another. There’s no justification for us to set ourselves above another person.

There’s so much brokenness all around us, and sometimes we become immune to the real emotions people are battling with. It’s almost as if we feel we can’t handle another tragedy, sickness or trauma. We just hope someone else will support the person going through the trial. We speak a quick word of comfort, send an SMS message, and then get back into our own schedules and lives. We’re busy, busy, busy …

People need our time. They need someone willing to really listen to what they have to share. Sometimes they don’t even need our advice. They just need to put into words their feelings, experiences and struggles. God wants us to be people who really love others, not people who love others only when it suits them, or when others can notice them doing so. People need to experience unconditional love. They need to see God’s love expressed in everyday actions. Unconditional love is loving without expecting anything in return. When we really grasp the Lord’s perfect love for us, we don’t look for anything in people’s reactions and what we receive from them.

We should be sensitive to the times when the Holy Spirit prompts us to reach out to that one friend, colleague or neighbour, but also accept it when we’re not the one called to walk the road with someone in their hurting times. God knows exactly who needs who in their road towards healing.

‘From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another’ (John 1:16). If this verse rings true in our lives, how can we not share it with our fellow man? When someone has visited us, do they feel like a better person than before? I believe that’s how Jesus wants us to feel every time we spend time with Him.

The other side of this is that we also need time for ourselves. We need to stop for a while, take a look at our own hurts and take the time to work through them. So many people are aware of something they’re battling with and that they need to spend time with the Lord about it. The intention may be there to do so, but it just doesn’t fit into their schedule. There’s time for a quick prayer and a devotional, but not extra time to sit at the Lord’s feet and pour out their emotions and hurts, or go for help and ministry. Their reaction is often “I’ll do it sometime in the future”.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You so much for loving me unconditionally. Help me to grasp Your amazing love every day. Without You, I’m nothing. You’re my reason for being alive, my purpose here on earth. Please help me to love as You love; without judgement and without taking offence, when people hurt or reject me. Help me to be a blessing to others in the same way that You shower me with blessings that I don’t deserve. I honour You as my Father and my Friend. Amen.
Today's Writer : Annalene Holtzhausen
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

A Hope and a Future

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.07.2015 09:07

27 July, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
A Hope and a Future

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

As the years went by I found I wasn’t really prospering in some of the areas of my life. I found it difficult to hope, because there didn’t seem to be enough years left of my life in which to prosper. I was looking at my life from an earthly lifespan, forgetting that my life doesn’t stop when I leave earth. Eternity is a lot longer than my earthly lifespan!
Then I started to think of Sarah, when she was told she would have a child in her old age (Genesis 18:12). ‘So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?”’

In one particular area of my life I’ve had difficulty in seeing how God could possibly dramatically change my circumstances. So I wanted to laugh, like Sarah, then I read God’s response to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18:14 ‘Is anything too hard for the Lord’.

We update our computers with new software, and run virus scans to eliminate bad data. So I thought maybe I might need some reprogramming too. However, I sensed Father God impressing on me that I was more in need of re-parenting than reprogramming. God’s parenting is very different to even the best of our earthly parents. It’s not always easy for us to prosper, until we replace some of the beliefs we’ve had as the result of knowing the character qualities of our earthly parents with new ones, which come from knowing those of our heavenly Father.

Because time isn’t a problem to God (He’s the Alpha and the Omega), it’s amazing what He can do to help us prosper. Where the world would say “it’s impossible”, God would say “Is anything too hard for the Lord”. He gave Abraham and Sarah a child in their old age. He can help us grow up to be what He intended from the very beginning as we seek His face.

In my journey with the Lord, I’m thankful for the wonderful people He’s brought on my path, who’ve modelled God’s ways and reminded me that it’s God’s plans, not ours, that give us a hope and a future. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’ (Isaiah 55:9). I long to see everything from His perspective, and my thoughts to be in line with His.

In one of my last seeds I wrote about being chosen by God. It would appear that it’s also God’s chosen time for the changes He wants to bring into our lives. He knows when the timing’s right for the next blessing that will help us prosper.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You that Your timing is the best, even though we sometimes have difficulty in waiting. Help us to draw on the patience and courage given by Your Holy Spirit, and to wait in trust and confidence in Your faithfulness. Re-parent us, so that the messages in our spirits are the same as Your truth. Bring us new experiences of You in the areas that need Your Fatherly touch. Show us Your great power and love, so that we may say “Yes indeed nothing is too hard for You!” For the glory of Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today's Writer : Cath Baker
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Responding to Rebuke

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 29.07.2015 09:46

29 July, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Responding to Rebuke

"The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil."
John 7:7, NIV

Who enjoys discipline? And who likes to be rebuked? Probably no one! But God’s discipline is for our own good. As the Bible puts it: ‘No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it’ (Hebrews 12:11).

We understand that, though we don’t have to like it, we do have to submit to God’s loving, yet firm, hand on our lives. We can trust that, when God rebukes us, He’s being completely just, and that His intentions are forever both loving and merciful.

Going through the accounts of Israel’s kings, two kings in particular stand out in their response to a divine rebuke - King David and King Uzziah. Both had sinned, and both were confronted by the Lord through one of His prophets. Let’s first look at David’s response ‘I have sinned against the Lord’ (2 Samuel 12:13).

From this, and other scriptures, we learn that King David was truly heart-broken when confronted. Once He realised the Lord had to rebuke him He changed his ways. If we compare this response to King Uzziah’s we notice a rather different, even opposite attitude ‘Uzziah became furious’ (2 Chronicles 26:19).

When confronted with the truth about his pride King Uzziah got mad instead of taking the opportunity to humble himself and repent. The end of both kings are also in contrast with one another. Reading the rest of their life stories is a sobering, yet educative, exercise.

As the scripture for today indicates, once Jesus arrived on earth all people received the same message: “You are a sinner in need of a Saviour!” Some responded better to this message than others. Certain people were upset, hurt and offended. How dare this man accuse them of being evil! Others were glad because, although the Lord saw their sinfulness, they knew He loved them, despite their sin.

Pride is a real and formidable enemy, and it can go hand in hand with self-deception. We can have a tendency to be blind to our own faults, and to see ourselves as righteous in our own eyes. It’s my personal belief that every single person is susceptible to this self-deception! Sometimes the only thing that can shake us out of this spiritual stupour is a hearty rebuke from the Lord. He rebukes us because He loves us. He rebukes us because His desire is to help us. My prayer for myself, and for all of us, is that the Holy Spirit will help us to respond with humility when He shows us our sin!

Prayer: Dear Lord, I realise that, at times, You might have to rebuke me for my own good. Please help me to respond in humility when the time comes. Please give me the grace to agree with You! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Brokaar
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Rich Man, Poor Man

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 29.07.2015 21:00

Rich Man, Poor Man

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity [falsehood] and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient [needful] for me: Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:7-9

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
To pass the test of life, one test you may have to pass is the test of poverty. If so, the Lord has some advice for you. See your poverty in the proper perspective. Because in the Lord Jesus Christ you are highly exalted, no matter how poor you are. Having Christ, you are richer than the richest man on earth without the Lord Jesus Christ. As a Christian, you have gone from rags to riches.

Did you know that many of you would do better being poor than being rich?

Some people can stand almost anything but prosperity. This is what our passage in Proverbs is saying.

Actually, it’s very hard to be poor and it’s even harder to be rich. The rich man may have an easier time in life, but he has a harder time passing the test.

ACTION POINT:
The Lord does not tell the rich man to renounce his riches….just to properly assess his riches. It’s not wrong to have money. Some of God’s choicest of saints were extremely wealthy. Abraham is an example. But the rich man is to see his riches from a proper perspective.

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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

John 1:12-13

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 31.07.2015 12:15

Today's Verse for 07/31/2015
To all who received him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. — John 1:12-13

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Thought

We live in a time and culture of rights. "It's my right to ___." Just fill in the blank. But we don't have a right to be God's child. We are given that right by God's grace. This right came to us at great cost to God. Jesus came to earth, lived, died and was raised from the dead. We receive this grace through faith: God gives us new birth as we trust in Jesus as Lord and we are baptized and reborn through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:3-7). To be born of God, to be born from above, to be born "again" is the gift of adoption into God's family and brings us all the rights of heirs in God's house (Galatians 3:26-4:7).
Prayer

Abba Father, thank you for including me in your family. May my life today reflect your influence, character, mercy, holiness, compassion, righteousness, and love. I want to be like you, my Father. So just as I was born into your family by the power of the Holy Spirit, please fill me with your Spirit today so that I will reflect you in all I do and say this day. In the name of my older brother 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

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