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Today's Verse for 12/17/2013

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.12.2013 23:42

Today's Verse for 12/17/2013

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:17


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Thought

Life can be very tough. Eventually, our body is going to die. In the process of living, we're going to face some very difficult circumstances and going to experience some awful pain. But, as bad as life's hard realities can be, we are headed for an eternal glory beyond our imagining. Life's difficulties simply can't compare to this glory that awaits us. Our pain is temporary. The things that cause our pain are temporary. The treatments, the prescriptions, the therapies, the surgeries, the setbacks are all temporary. All these things that we have seen and experienced are passing. But our eternal glory, our indescribable bliss, that wonderful future that we cannot yet see, is eternal... forever... incorruptible... and reserved for us, God's precious children!

Prayer

Dear God, my Abba Father, please be with me during the painful and difficult passages of my life. Help me keep my heart fixed on what is unseen. In addition, dear Father, I want to pray that you please be present in the lives of the following people I love... Please grant them healing. If not healing, dear Father, please pour your love into their hearts through the Holy Spirit and give them rugged perseverance and indestructible hope. Help them see your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Are You A Wise Man?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.12.2013 23:44

Are You A Wise Man?

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem saying, ‘Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.’” Matthew 2:1-2

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Not all “wisemen” are wise men. You may be a great entrepreneur, a great businessman, engineer, or nuclear physicist. You may be a physician, lawyer, a gifted artist. But if you don’t know Jesus, you’re not truly wise. There’s a kind of wisdom that’s not wisdom at all; it’s the wisdom of this world. “PhD” may stand for “phenomenal dud” if you don’t know Jesus,

Omar Bradley, a great American five-star general, once said, “We’re living in a time when our achievement, our knowledge of science, has gone far beyond our power to control it. We have too many men of science and too few men of God. We’ve brought about brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We’re living in a time of nuclear giants and spiritual pigmies.”

That’s well said. What is real wisdom? Number one, wise men will seek Jesus.

Do you know the mark of wisdom, how to determine wisdom? Just tell me what motivates you, tell me the consummate ambition of your life, and I can tell you clearly whether you’re wise or not just by what you seek. The apostle Paul summed up his life in one sentence: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) What he meant was the source, the substance, the subject, the satisfaction of his life was Christ.

ACTION POINT:
Could you put your life in a sentence like that? “For me to live is Christ.” Pause and think about that.

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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

Worshiping God Face-On

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.12.2013 23:47

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional December 17, 2013

Worshiping God Face-On

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26

It was 1958, I was a restless, adventurous nine-year-old, and I was on a steam-liner, sailing with my mother and grandmother to Bermuda. When we woke up the first morning, the sky was as cold and gray as the churning, white-capped waves. A bitter wind and a spitting rain kept most of the passengers indoors, sipping tea behind the glassed-in deck or wandering the ship's galleries. My mother gathered my grandmother and me into the auditorium to watch a slide presentation about ocean currents and trade winds. Sitting in the dark, warm room and hearing the click-clicking of the projector progressing from one slide to the next, I became more restless. Why weren't we out on the deck holding onto the railing with our faces to the wind and spray? Why were we experiencing the ocean second-hand?

Our worship of God is often the same. We need to stand, face-on into the bracing, raw truth of who God is. It would ignite a passionate response, such as the child who stands facing the storm, grasping the rail, hair flattened, and voice straining, "This is awesome!" Worship should have us apprehending raw, honest truth about God; it should provide the channels for the heart to respond to the beauty of that truth. "In your face" biblical truth about God ignites the heat of our emotions about Him. Our worship of God becomes shriveled when we fill our minds with secondhand information about him, as well as settle for a less-than-real experience of God.
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Don't let your worship decline to the performance of mere duty. Don't allow the childlike awe and wonder to be choked out. You have capacities for joy which you can scarcely imagine. These capacities were made for the enjoyment of God. He can awaken them. Open your eyes. Be awed and inspired by His glory. And then... be blown away as you worship God.

Let me stand face-on beholding Your beauty, Lord. I worship You.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

Proverbs 31:9

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.12.2013 19:46

Today's Verse for 12/18/2013

Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. — Proverbs 31:9


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Thought

"No room in the inn!" "Placed him in a manger!" So often we play favorites with the rich, beautiful, powerful, and prestigous. Isn't it interesting that God revealed himself as the defender of the widow, the orphan, and the alien and then entered the world as the child of a Jewish carpenter and a young virgin from a small town. God wants us to notice those in need around us. He wants it to be more than an annual good gesture at Christmas. He wants us to be advocates for the folks like Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. We're not just told to be fair; we're told to defend and to plead the rights of those in need. When we do, we do it for him (see Matthew 23).

Prayer

Make me more aware, Holy Father, of those around me who need your love and grace. Make me your instrument to defend them and to serve them. Open my eyes to see Jesus in the faces of those in need. In the name of my Savior, Jesus, Savior of all peoples, I pray. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Wise Men Will See Him

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.12.2013 19:47

Wise Men Will See Him

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Wise men seek the Lord. Do you seek the Lord? Is that the burning ambition of your heart and life? You say, “Well, I come to church.” I’m not talking about that. Think about these men from the east. Do you know where “the east” was? They’re talking about Babylon. Three hundred miles across Syrian Desert, distance and difficulty.

Now, Christmas cards picture them coming on camels. I don’t know how they came, but I know how they didn’t come…by airplane, bus, automobile, or motorcycle. I know where they didn’t stay. They didn’t stay in the Holiday Inn.

And they came in spite of danger. It was the time of King Herod, insane with jealousy and rage, who had had his own wife and three sons murdered. These men in the face of that danger said, “We have come to seek Jesus Christ.” Wise men will seek Him in spite of distance, danger and difficulty.

Wise men who seek Him will see Him. When they came into the house, they fell down and worshipped Him. It’s worth seeking Him because, friend, when you seek Him, you will see Him. “Ye shall seek Me and find Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) They searched, found Him and saw Him.

ACTION POINT:
Do you have a desire to know Him? To love Him? To serve Him? Do you find something drawing you to God? That my friend, is Someone. He’s the Holy Spirit. Thank God for the ministry of the Spirit. Hallelujah!

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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

A Laughing Lord?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.12.2013 19:55

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional December 18, 2013

A Laughing Lord?

"Jesus wept." John 11:35

The Son of Man was completely and utterly human, which means of course that He experienced the entire range of human emotions -- emotions untainted by sin. We can easily imagine Jesus crying over the graveside of Lazarus. Smiling over children at play. Scowling at money changers in the temple. We can even picture Him laughing, perhaps over a joke Peter may have played on John. Such a thing is not beyond possibility; it is in fact more than probable.

So why is Scripture devoid of any reference to Jesus laughing? I can make a good guess: the book All Quiet on the Western Front. After reading the horrors of World War I, I had a pretty good idea as to why the Gospels leave out any record of our Lord laughing.

As grieving mothers and brokenhearted widows opened their Bibles in search of comfort, they didn't have to worry about being assaulted by passages depicting Jesus breaking out in a belly laugh. Instead they opened their Bibles and found a man of sorrows with whom they could deeply identify: "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him" (Heb. 5:7-9). It is in this picture the suffering find comfort.
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The mature Christian holds a sober and circumspect view of the world. A view that deeply possesses an eternal perspective on all things, all people. Having a wellspring of joy in his or her heart, this Christian is a serious person. Reflective. Compassionate. Merciful. This same person quietly appreciates the wisdom of God in not conveying those moments of laughter from our Lord.

Lord, how wise You were in selecting the best and most appropriate events to record in the Bible. As John the Gospel writer states, "Jesus did many other things.... If every one of them were written down... the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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

God Made the First Move

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.12.2013 20:55

God Made the First Move

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:13-14

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Three things brought the wise men to Jesus: The ministry of the Spirit, the message of the Scripture, and the miracle of the star.

Who put the desire to find the Christ child and to worship Him in their hearts? The Holy Spirit. Do you know why we seek Him? Because He first sought us, Isn’t that true? “We love Him because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19. Do you know why I love the Lord Jesus? Because God in grace and mercy put a desire in my heart to seek after Him. The Bible says that by our nature, our flesh, none of us would seek after God—no, not one—and that would have included these wise men.

They didn’t come to Him because they were so intellectual. Don’t get the idea that because they were smarter than other men they came. No. They were wise, and that wisdom made them yielded to God; thus God the Holy Spirit could work in their hearts and draw them to Jesus.

ACTION POINT:
Do you have a desire to know Him? To love Him? To serve Him? Do you find something drawing you to God? Remember His promise: You will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart.

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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

An Impossibility

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.12.2013 13:28

Joni and Friends Daily Devotional December 20, 2013

An Impossibility

"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." John 1:14 (NKJV)

We talk a lot about the Incarnation as Christmas draws near. Incarnation is a Latin word that means "taking flesh." God "took flesh" and became the human Jesus. We say that so glibly. But the idea is so impossible.

God became flesh? It's like accepting that a battleship can fit into a bathtub. A skyscraper can fit into a dollhouse. A field of wheat can fit into a cereal box. More than that, it's like making blue paint out of blue sky. We can't fathom such things. In the same way, we can't imagine the God of the universe becoming a baby.

It's so odd. After all, the whole point was that God wanted to rescue us. But a baby can't rescue anyone; babies need rescuing themselves. Maybe because God couldn't make Himself greater to impress us, He made Himself smaller to attract us.

And the Christmas story is attractive. In all history there is nothing like it. If you stroll through cities around the world, you will see imposing monuments to outstanding men and women. But have you ever seen a statute of a famous person as an infant? You never see George Washington portrayed in a stroller. It would be silly.

But it's not silly to honor the Lord of the universe as a baby, because this child signifies the Incarnation. That God took on flesh is amazing and incredible, like an oil well fitting into an oilcan, or a mountain squeezing into a molehill. God became flesh -- Wow!
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To help you think about what an amazing act the Incarnation is, make a list of all the qualities Jesus gave up or limited to become a baby. For example, He who is the Light of the World chose to dwell in a dark womb for nine months. You'll be amazed at just what Jesus' choice meant for Him -- and for you.

Emmanuel, God with us, words seem impossibly small and unwieldy to try to express the immensity of Your love for me, and the gratitude I feel. Help me to live today in a way that would honor the sacrifices You have made for me.

Blessings,

Joni and Friends

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


ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.12.2013 19:03

Three Symbolic Gifts

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“…they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Many people think these three gifts were just something incidental. No, they’re fundamental. They carry deep significance. These were not trinkets; these were treasures that didn’t occur by happenstance. This was something the wise men had planned.

Why these specific gifts? They are highly symbolic. Gold speaks of His sovereign dominion—He was born a King. Frankincense speaks of His sinless deity—He is God in human flesh. And myrrh speaks of His sacrificial death—He was born to die that we might live

He is a king and they brought Him gold. He is God and they brought Him frankincense. He is a Savior and they brought Him myrrh. Sovereign dominion, sinless deity, sacrificial death.

ACTION POINT:
Because He is a King, He has my wealth. Because He is God, He has my worship. And because He died, He has my witness. All that I am, all that I have, all that I do, belongs to this One. That is wisdom. That’s what a wise man will do. Do some soul-searching today. Are you really wise?

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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

The True Light

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.12.2013 10:34

22 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The True Light

‘The light shines in the darkness ... The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.’
John 1:5&9, NIV

I don’t know about you, but I find the onslaught of media hype that assails us at this time of year pretty overwhelming. The dazzling bright lights and tinsel of adverts for every conceivable thing that we “MUST have for Christmas” seem to confront us almost everywhere we look. They beckon and call out to us from our TV and computer screens, newspapers and magazines, billboards and shop windows and, even as Christians, if we’re not careful we can easily be sucked into it all, and lose sight of the true reason for our celebrations.

But, for those who are suffering: struggling with sickness or tormented in their thought life, those who are perhaps fearing the prospect of Christmas alone or grieving a loss, or those who have lost hope because of the losses, the glittering images and sparkling displays hold nothing. For all their brilliance and splendour and all they might promise, they are unable to deliver true hope or joy or peace in the place of pain and suffering.

In stark contrast, the God who came down from heaven into the darkness of this world in the form of a tiny baby on that first Christmas Day still delivers on His promise: bringing true light into the darkness of broken hearts today. He doesn’t come brashly with false light as the world does. He, who is our Creator God, King of kings and Lord of lords comes in humility, with gentleness and tenderness. He comes with the true light of real hope into the darkness of the lives of those who are open to receive Him. The joy He brings isn’t loud and garish. It’s a deep inner joy that wells up through the hope He brings to hopelessness, through the peace He brings to turmoil and the healing He brings to brokenness.

If you are struggling with painful issues in your life, if you are feeling that sense of loneliness or perhaps walking through a time of grief, even hopelessness, I encourage you today not to allow the false light and transient joy the world offers at this time of year, to exacerbate your pain. Instead, take courage and invite the true Light of the World to come into those dark areas in your life. Be honest with Him about the pain and struggle, so that He can bring the warmth of His comfort and wonder of His joy to your heart. The glitz the world offers is nothing compared to what He brings. His is the true message of Christmas.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Jesus, the true Light into the darkness all those years ago, and thank You that You still want to come today with the light of Your comfort and healing into the dark and painful areas of our lives. Please help me today to invite You into those places in me where I carry hurt and pain, that are triggered especially at this time of year. I want to receive the true comfort and healing and know Your peace and joy in my heart. In Jesus` name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Julie Smith
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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