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Devotional

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Self-Imposed Self-Deception

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 01.08.2015 10:30

01 August, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Self-Imposed Self-Deception

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
James 1:22, NIV

Some people like to think of the Bible, especially in the Authorised King James version, as great literature. While that is true, sadly, if that’s all you see it as, you have totally and utterly missed the point. It`s purpose in being written by the Holy Spirit was not to create a work of great literature but to communicate to the world great truth about our great God. And then to show sinful men and women how great a salvation the very Son of God made possible for us, when He died on the cross for our sins. For, as Hebrews 2:3 puts it, “how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?”

Our Scripture for today makes it clear that those who listen to or read the word, but do nothing with what they have just read or heard, are deceiving themselves. Last Christmas I went to a magnificent presentation of Handel’s Messiah. It was truly wonderful to hear some of the greatest words of Scripture put to music in that most amazing and very anointed Oratorio. There is no doubt that Handel knew the One he was writing about. I looked around the auditorium and there were clearly many Christians there who were rejoicing in what they were hearing, the looks on their faces betrayed the fact that the words being sung were real in their lives.

The majority of the people who were enjoying the performance had a different look on their faces. They were clearly enjoying the music, but it looked as though there was something missing in their response and some, even, seemed bored by the words that were being sung. As the words of the Hallelujah Chorus rang out in glorious celebration of all that the Messiah had done for us, I was praying that some of those present who did not know the Lord would realise that what they had been listening to was more than great music and a great performance, but was conveying a great message of a great salvation, which mankind ignores to their peril.

As believers, If we become so familiar with the word, and even worship the word, instead of worshipping the Lord, we can fall victims to our own self-imposed self-deception as well, becoming ‘hearers only’, as the authorised version translates James 1:22. Perhaps it’s time to check out our own lives with the Lord and ask Him if there is anything we are forgetting to do, even though we know it to be the truth. Self-deception is a dangerous disease which lies at the beginning of a very slippery slope!

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to recognise any areas of my life where I am guilty of self-deception, having become only a hearer and not a doer. I choose to come back to you and ask for Your forgiveness and to walk in obedience to the directions You have given me through Your word. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

It’s Time to Get Serious

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 02.08.2015 16:39

It’s Time to Get Serious

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
We are changed from glory to glory by the power of the Holy Spirit. That doesn’t mean it happens overnight. But one step at a time.

Today you ought to have a little more glory than yesterday. Today you ought to be a little bit more like Jesus than you were yesterday. And tomorrow, you ought to be even more like Jesus. Are you becoming like Jesus? Not if you’re not in the Word. Don’t you think it’s time for this generation to get serious about the Word of God?

ACTION POINT:
Set aside a time and a place to get alone with Him every day and pray, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law” (Psalm 119:18).

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AR_headshot.jpgDevotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Journeying With God

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.08.2015 09:22

03 August, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Journeying With God

"But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel”."
2 Kings 2:2, NIV

In order to move into all that God has for us, all past successes and failures need to be placed in the wonderful hands of our Heavenly Father and left there, so that we can move forward unhindered.

God chose Elisha to be Elijah’s successor and when the prophet obeyed the Lord and went to find the younger man to anoint him, he found him at work.

That Elisha was willing to put his hand to the plough physically and move forward, was a good indicator that he would do so spiritually, for the work of God requires patience and perseverance (1 Kings 19:16-19). Elijah `cast his mantle` upon Elisha, thereby indicating the favour of God and anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Much lay ahead for Elisha, and to his credit, his initial response was to ‘run after’ the prophet. Then, after showing the required respect to his parents and saying his goodbyes, he burnt his bridges and moved forward into the things of God, ministering to Elijah. When he said his goodbyes, he released his yesterdays.

Releasing our yesterdays and moving on is never easy, but when you know, that you know, that you know, that God has spoken and given clear indication of the next step, then there’s a decision to be made and followed through.

There were further tests down the line for Elisha, for three times the prophet suggested to Elisha that he should wait, while Elijah moved forward to Bethel, Jericho and Jordan respectively.

But Elisha wouldn’t be put off. Neither was he distracted by the voices of the sons of the prophets – but silenced them. He held fast to Elijah, refusing to leave him, and this led him to the place where God not only allowed him to witness the miracle of the chariot of fire taking Elijah away, but it was also the place where God granted his heart’s desire of the ‘double portion’.

The attaining of the ‘double portion’ wasn’t easy, it was costly, and required Elisha pressing through, despite the temptation of settling in his comfort zone, and the distraction of other voices on each occasion.

Serving the Living God requires a heart of obedience, doing whatever He asks, and as Jesus instructed, we must be willing to leave ‘Father, mother, brother, sister’ for His sake, and count the cost of ‘putting our hand to the plough’ and moving forward out of our comfort zones.

As Elisha found out, these tests are ongoing, but the fruit of entering into what God has for us is well worth the effort, far surpassing the cost, and is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, grant us obedient hearts to do Your bidding and a willingness to move forward as You indicate by Your Holy Spirit, that our lives might be pleasing to You each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Patricia Lake
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Who Will You Be?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.08.2015 19:51

Who Will You Be?

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” Luke 18:29-30

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
God has given you abilities and God wants you to take those abilities and invest them in Him. Friend, it is a sin for you to be less than what God called you to be.

Sure, you may not be the next Einstein, Babe Ruth, Betty Crocker, or Billy Graham. But that’s not the point. The danger is that you will not do what you can do.

ACTION POINT:
There are three people inside you…who you are right now, who you could be for evil if you allowed the devil to get a hold of you, and who you could be for God. I pray you will let go of this world with both hands and give your all to God for Him to use you.

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Transforming Power of the Gospel

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.08.2015 09:27

06 August, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Transforming Power of the Gospel

"Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man … the grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus."
1 Timothy 1:13-14, NIV

I don’t think that there is a more powerful NT example of transformation in an individual’s life than the example of Saul. Only God can touch a life so dramatically that the main antagonist of the Christian faith becomes one of its key players.

Saul, the ‘Persecutor of the Christian faith’, in a very short time, is transformed into the ‘Proclaimer’. Not only that, he becomes the ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’ and proceeds to preach the Gospel in many nations. His influence continues to touch our lives today as we flick through the pages of Scripture, and read the life-changing words that he penned, as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

When Saul encountered the risen Christ on the way to Damascus (Acts 9), his life was never the same again. His transformation was so deeply impacting that, within days, he began to preach, in the synagogue, that Jesus was the Son of God (Acts 9:20). This was the same man who had previously been speaking ‘murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples’ (Acts 9:1), imprisoning them, and doing all in his power and influence to destroy the infant Church.

No wonder the Jerusalem disciples were afraid of him, and were reluctant to take him into their ranks (Acts 9:26). His conversion experience was just ‘too good to be true’, they reasoned, and, if it hadn’t been for Barnabus, the Apostles would have continued to hold Saul at arm’s length. They personally knew that the Gospel had the power to transform lives, but they were not expecting this. Saul, who later would be known as Paul, would continue to cross paths with the other Apostles for years to come. But the fruit from his ministry was a powerful testimony that God had wonderfully transformed his life.

I believe, with all my heart, that the gospel of Jesus Christ is transformational. No person is too evil to be beyond salvation, and no life too broken that it can’t be healed. It is with this conviction that I travel to the nations with Ellel Ministries and share that which has been entrusted to me.

Is there a ‘Saul’ in your life, in need of a life changing encounter with God? Or maybe a family member or friend who appears closed in their heart to the Gospel. ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8) and if He can transform the life of Saul of Tarsus, He can also transform the life of your loved one. Nothing is impossible for Him, nor anyone beyond His reach to save. Remember that He ‘wants ALL people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4).

Prayer: Father God, I echo the words of the Apostle Paul when he proclaimed that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe (Romans 1:16). I stand in the gap in prayer on behalf of … Thank You that it is Your will that they come to know You. Father, will You bring people and circumstances across their path that will help point them to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Sue Dare
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Mary

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.08.2015 10:02

07 August, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Mary

"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour."
Luke 1:46–47, NIV

I was convicted recently about how little we dwell on, think or teach about Mary. This must be because of a massive over-reaction to the idolatry of Mary. At times Mary has been worshipped as equal to God and even to a place higher than the Son of God she bore. Although this is wrong, the conviction in my spirit told me that there is something very precious to learn from her life and in the over-reaction, we are in danger of missing it.

Firstly, she was a woman! Those who have problems thinking God does not honour women can see from the life of Mary that she was entrusted by Him with the most precious thing He had, to love and nurture His own Son. Not only that, but she was not married! This speaks volumes to us of God’s value of women and God’s value of single women.

Mary held a highly valued place in God’s eyes. Without doubt she was an ordinary human being, but one through whom God chose to give His Son human life, and Jesus Himself clearly so loved His mother. What an honour for Mary, and how beautiful is her response of humility! This must have been why the Lord was attracted to her, because at all times she gently pointed to Him. Far from idolising herself, she drew others to magnify the Lord.

Mary, as a human being, must have been overwhelmed at her situation, full of awe and bewilderment. Not least, she must have felt very alone. There was certainly no one to turn to who had undergone a similar experience! We do not read of any bitter, self seeking, self idolising or self promoting characteristics in Mary. She was neither self righteous or sickenly subservient, but rather held a position of right value of herself, and that which God had entrusted to her. We do not hear of her complaining of the journey she underwent and the ultimate struggle of birth in the animals’ byre because there was no room in the hotels. She did not rise up to say who she was, and what she should have, and how she should be treated.

Later in life, she had to release and give up that which was most precious to her, and she entrusted back to God all that He had entrusted to her, without complaint. Her faith in the face of Jesus’ suffering was immense. We can learn so much from the life of Mary and her beautiful words below:

‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, For He has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant, Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed: For the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation, He has shown strength with his arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty; He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, according to the promise He made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.’

These words from Mary’s heart speak to us of how God has bound Himself in covenantal love to us as humankind; how His loves seeks out those of a lowly and humble heart, and how beautiful that is to Him and those around them too. He does not tread down and humiliate, but is the lifter of our heads from shame and disgrace. He has no favourites, but judges the heart and scatters the proud.

Our God is merciful and keeps His everlasting promises that He will help Israel and all those who belong to Him. He will not forsake us.

Prayer: Lord we thank You for Your servant Mary, her humble heart, her willing obedience and for her words of praise to You, which tell us who You are. Mighty God, You have indeed done great things for us. Thank You for Your covenantal love, Your kindness and Your promises. Holy is Your name. We magnify You, Lord, today and our spirit rejoices in God our Saviour. Amen.

Today's Writer : Fiona Horrobin

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Hanna muuten neuvoi minulle taman Ellelin hartauslinkin......
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Trade In: Your Weakness for His Strength

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.08.2015 20:35

Trade In: Your Weakness for His Strength

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
What does it mean to “renew” your strength? It literally means “changed,” as if you changed clothes. You remove your rags of weakness and put on God’s royal robes of strength. God promises to exchange our strength with His strength.

You see, the Christian life is not just simply a changed life, it is an exchanged life.

God doesn’t just change us from what we were to something better. He exchanges His life with us. He takes our sin. We take His holiness. He takes our weakness. We take His strength. He takes our anxiety. We take His peace. Sounds great. But, what’s the problem? We get tired of waiting for the change.

ACTION POINT:
Friend, don’t give up. The wait is never too long when God is in charge.

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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Matthew 7:12

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.08.2015 22:15

Today's Verse for 08/11/2015
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. — Matthew 7:12

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Thought

Ah! The "Golden Rule" is so straightforward, isn't it? Sometimes we make things, especially religious things, far too complicated and complex. I love the Bible because it is so often practical and plain when God deals with our behavior. You want to know how to treat someone? Then do for them what would be a blessing if it was done to you! If it wouldn't bless, encourage, build up, support, comfort, or help you, then don't do it to them. If it would hurt, wound, depress, spite, or discourage you, then don't do it to them. Treat others with the same dignity, kindness, love, respect, and tenderness with which you would like to be treated. Simple to understand; revolutionary to do!
Prayer

Almighty God, thank you for making some things so simple to understand. Please fill my heart with your love as I try to live the "Golden Rule" in my relationships. In the name of the Lord 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

How Do You Receive a Rebuke

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 16.08.2015 09:25

Seeds of the Kingdom - Today's Devotional

16 August, 2015

Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International

How Do You Receive a Rebuke?

"If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you
and made my thoughts known to you."
Proverbs 2:23, NIV

None of us likes to receive a rebuke. However, a rebuke given in love is like the
lines of a railway, keeping the engine and the train on track and going in
the right direction. But there is an enemy within which each one of us has
to contend with, which hates a rebuke from the Lord and does everything it
possibly can to rise up in rejection of the loving advice which is implicit
within a rebuke from the Lord. And the name of that enemy? Pride!

When pride is given control of our emotions and our reactions we put
ourselves in a potentially dangerous place and, what is more, we miss out on
all that God was waiting to pour into our hearts in order to bless,
encourage and direct our steps with His all-embracing love. He does not
reject those He rebukes, for a rebuke from the Lord is a hallmark of His
love.

A rebuke from the Lord, correctly received, opens the doors of our soul to
the leading of the Spirit of God and knowing God`s thoughts for our lives.
But He`s not going to pour into our hearts all the things that He longs for
us to understand, if as a result of our pride we have given God the signal
that we don`t want to hear His voice.

In order to understand the ways of the Lord we have to learn to both
recognise His voice when He speaks and respond gladly, even if what He says
is a corrective rebuke. If we can learn to silence the voice of pride and
learn from the gentle leading of the Lord, He will be constantly speaking
His wisdom into our hearts and our lives will be kept safely on track.

Prayer: I`m sorry, Lord, for the times when I have rejected Your loving rebuke into my life. Please forgive me for allowing pride to stand in the
way if You pouring out your heart into mine. I choose, Lord, to welcome Your
rebuke whenever it`s necessary and ask You to keep on pouring out Your heart
of love into mine. In Jesus`s name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

John 4:24

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.08.2015 10:02

Today's Verse for 08/18/2015
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. — John 4:24

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Thought

Without the Spirit, we are not children of God. Without the Spirit, the cleansing power of Jesus' sacrifice would not be fully implemented in us. Without the Spirit, we cannot worship God in the ways he wants because God is Spirit. Our worship must be "Spirit to Spirit" and done in a way that pleases God and that is according to his will.
Prayer

Holy and Almighty God, I want to be one of your worshipers. I want to worship you "Spirit to Spirit." I want to honor you by worshiping you according to your will. In all of my life and all of my praise, I want you to be honored. 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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