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Devotional

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Our Unchanging Father

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.09.2015 19:45

Our Unchanging Father

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
God made the mind of man. All true discoveries and all true knowledge in this world come from God. It is God’s Truth and we do not have to be afraid of it. But that doesn’t mean we are to casually stroll down the devil’s lane of godless philosophies.

God’s Truth doesn’t change like philosophies. Malachi 3:6a says, “For I am the LORD, I change not.” I don’t know whether that means anything to you, but it means an awful lot to me, dear friend.

ACTION POINT:
The same God who loved us enough to put His Son on the cross two thousand years ago still loves us with that same love today. We don’t have to worry when we come to God in prayer that we might catch Him in a bad mood. Now, if that doesn’t start your motor, you don’t have one.

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

1 Corinthians 6:11

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.10.2015 22:07

Today's Verse for 10/04/2015

That is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. — 1 Corinthians 6:11
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Thought

Following a list of vices, both scandalous and common, Paul finishes with this incredible word of grace. We all have a tendency to live in the land of "I-used-to-be." For some of us, our past accomplishments become our excuse to live in the arrogant afterglow of yesterday. Paul wrote Philippians 3:4b-9 for this group. For others of us, the wounds and sins of our past become the bag of rocks we drag with us through the rest of life. We take those "rancid rocks" out and inspect them once again to our misery. We use them as proof of why we can't move on with our lives. What a glorious awakening Paul gives us in this passage. In Christ, there are no more bags and no more rocks. We're clean! We're made holy! We're declared innocent of any wrongdoing. How? Why? Who? The sacrifice and triumph of Jesus and the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer

Forgive me, Father, for lingering on yesterdays, ruining my todays, and clouding up my tomorrows. Help me with my tendency to live in the land of "I-used-to-be." Give me the courage to believe that you have put my past in its proper place and want to do a new glorious thing in me today, a glorious and gracious thing that brings you honor and me salvation! In Jesus' name I thank you. 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

The Divide Exchange

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.10.2015 21:13

The Divine Exchange

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Jesus suffered like you suffer. But He suffered more than that, because He took not only your suffering, but He also took upon Himself the suffering of the world. The sins of the world were compressed and distilled upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrew scholars tell us that there is an intensive plural in Isaiah 53 that speaks of the death of Christ. They say that it literally means that He “died a thousand deaths.”

Do you know what that means? It means that Jesus, being infinite, suffered for a finite amount of time what you, being finite, would suffer for an infinite amount of time. A great exchange took place. He suffered upon that cross an eternity of hell for every one of us.

ACTION POINT:
Can you say today with the songwriter,

“What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.”

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Make No Provision for "the Flesh"

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.10.2015 11:52

Make No Provision for “the Flesh”

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
One of my favorite stories is about a father who leaves his son at home one Saturday afternoon because his son isn’t feeling well. He tells his son, “Don’t go swimming with your buddies.”

The son says, “Yes sir!”

The dad returns by way of the swimming hole and notices his son frolicking with the other boys. He stops the car, calls his son over and says, “I told you not to go swimming.”

“But I didn’t intend to go swimming. I just came down to watch, and I fell in,” the boy said. The dad began feeling sorry for his son until he noticed he had his bathing suit on! The son explained, “I brought that along…in case I was tempted.”

ACTION POINT:
Friend, don’t make any provision for the flesh.

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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Psalm 96:9

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.10.2015 08:46

Today's Verse for 10/11/2015
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. — Psalm 96:9

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Thought

Don't you really appreciate the phrase "the splendor of his holiness" and long to behold that splendor? It conjures up reminders of Isaiah's encounter with God in Isaiah 6 or John's vision of Jesus in Revelation 1. God's essence — known in the Old Testament as his glory and his holiness — can be described only as splendorous! Our only fitting response is to join the angels of Isaiah 6 and the twenty-four elders around the throne in Revelation and worship God and cry, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory."
Prayer

You are holy, majestic God, more than my mind can grasp or my imagination can dream. I worship and praise you for your glory, might, grace, and mercy. I hunger for the day when I can see your splendor face to face and join the angels of heaven and the twenty-four elders in never ending worship and praise. Through Jesus I offer this praise and my life. 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

Hunger for God

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.10.2015 10:22

13 October, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Hunger for God

"He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty."
Luke 1:53, NIV

On one occasion, when teaching abroad with Ellel Ministries, we finished a conference in the morning and were taken out for a celebratory lunch. We all tucked in and enjoyed some delicious food. However, what we had not been told was that we had also been invited out in the evening, to a very smart restaurant renowned for its superb cuisine. The problem was that none of us was really hungry enough to appreciate the amazing feast that was being offered in the evening – we were still full from the lunch we had eaten at midday!

It is difficult to appreciate good food if you are not hungry. If we nibble on snacks all day, we will not be hungry for a nourishing meal at the end of the day. It can be the same for us in our relationship with God. If we have filled our lives with things that do not nourish or satisfy us spiritually, we will not be hungry for more of Him and we may miss out on much of what He has for us. Today’s verse tells us that it is the hungry whom God fills, but the rich (which could mean those who are full of the world and its pleasures) He sends away empty.

In the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus begins by saying: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’. I understand that the word translated as ‘poor’ here means destitute, like a pauper or beggar – i.e. someone who desperately knows their need. Do we have that same desperation and longing, realising that without God we have nothing meaningful. David says to the Lord in Psalm 16:2: ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing’. Can we say the same thing and truly believe it, or are we filling our lives with things that do not satisfy?

I wonder what the equivalent of snacks and ‘junk food’ is. It could be those activities and interests that are not necessarily wrong in themselves, but if they fill our thoughts and desires they can dull our appetite for the pure spiritual food that God has for us. It could be spending unnecessary time in fruitless pursuits, on our computers or watching television, looking for comfort, pleasing ourselves rather than looking to please God and help others.

In Psalm 23 David speaks of the table that God has prepared for him, and Song of Songs 2:4 says, ‘He has brought me to the banqueting hall’. The Lord has a feast prepared for each one of us if we will only hunger for Him, knowing that it is in Him alone that ‘My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of fare’ (Psalm 63:5). Let’s get rid of our spiritual ‘junk food’ that we may have been snacking on, and hunger for more of God!

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for filling my life with things that do not really satisfy. I know that You are the only One who truly satisfies my soul. Please increase my hunger for You, and help me to seek You more earnestly for all that You have for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Jilly Lyon
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Fulfilling My Destiny

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.10.2015 10:28

14 October, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Fulfilling My Destiny

"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
Genesis 12:2-3, NIV

How would you like such a prophecy declared over your life?

Of course you need to remember that you have already left your family home, your job and all the familiar comforts you are used to, and even your native country!

Oh, and your years are advancing, you have no children and your wife is barren. And now you are in a foreign land!

You’ve got to be kidding. How can you fulfil that destiny without a child? Take heart. Abraham did! And it is still being fulfilled.

Abram heard the word of the Lord clearly. He has given up his past in order to walk into his future. He knew not to trust in any visible power but in the voice of an invisible God. It has been said of him, ‘Abram was to leave behind the things that make most people and peoples what they are, and lay the foundations for a land, a Jewish home and a family structure, responsive not to economic forces, biological drives but to the word and will of God.’

Barren, disgraced, Sarah was to give birth to a son in her old age. Now, there was hope that Abram could be the father of many nations, so his name was changed to state just that. But that hope was cut short when God required Abraham to sacrifice his only son. They walked the valley of doubts, troubled by their decision to use a surrogate mother to fulfil God’s promise of a son. A disaster.

Up on top of Mt Moriah, as his hand, clutching the knife, was about to strike Isaac dead, a compelling voice shouted, ‘Stop! You’ve successfully passed the obedience test. I can now use you to establish my expectation to call a unique nation into being and bless everybody on the planet. I can move a step closer to fulfilling my covenant.’

Abraham was a unique man, the first to challenge God on a point of justice. How can you destroy the righteous with the wicked? Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ And God finally agreed to save the unrighteous if there were found ten righteous people in Sodom.

When Sarah died, he who had been promised land for his promised nation, still had none but had to buy a plot from a nefarious Hittite landowner. Completely humiliated, this friend of God pleaded, ‘I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.’(Genesis 23:4)

Abraham never saw any evidence of what he was promised by God, except of course his promised only son. His epitaph reads: ‘He was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God,’ and ‘Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead.’(Hebrews 11:10,19)

How are you progressing with those unexplained issues in your life? Especially those that seem to go against all you believe? Perhaps you are frustrated with plans that aren’t working out as you hoped: you’re shot through with disappointment? Maybe you’ve been wronged? Could it be that life isn’t fair? Is it time to re-look at your life from an eternal perspective, using the heavenly model of values?

Abraham was a man of integrity and faith and made mistakes, some of them we are left struggling with today. Nevertheless, his hopes are being fulfilled even in our lifetime. He modelled a life of faith in the unseen God. How about you?

Prayer: Father, thank you for Abraham who modelled faith amidst the disappointments and failures of life. Thank you that you allow me to fail, but that you intend me to learn from my falls and inspire me to push on ahead with the dreams you have given me. Thank you for our children, inspire me to model the life of faith to them that they might join the adventure of seeing dreams fulfilled. Amen.
Today's Writer : Murray Dixon
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Brilliantly Flawed

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.10.2015 11:06

15 October, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Brilliantly Flawed

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
Psalm 139:13-14, NIV

I recently heard someone using the term ‘brilliantly flawed’. This caught my attention as it reminded me of an awesome encounter I had with God some years ago. I attended a course at the Ellel Ministries Centre here in South Africa in 2008. During one of the sessions we were each given a sea shell and encouraged to prayerfully wait on the Lord to speak His truth to our hearts, concerning His love for us. The Lord did exactly that. He spoke a deep, reassuring truth to my vulnerable heart.

The shell I received was almost heart-shaped, and beautiful on the outside, with lovely yellowish-brown lines around the top of it. God focussed my attention on the layers around the outside of the shell. He told me that He would be building layer upon layer, precept upon precept into my life as He was equipping me for His service (Isaiah 28:10). Each layer would be to prepare me, and strengthen me, for what He’d planned for me.

When I turned the shell around, it was white and smooth on the inside. But on one side it had what looked like an ugly brown smudge and a little crack. I said to the Lord, “Look at this ugly smudge, Lord! It spoils the lovely white inside of this shell. Does this mean I am flawed?” Without skipping a beat God answered me – almost as if He anticipated my response to what I would see: “My child, this brown smudge you see is what makes you unique and different from every other person I ever created. It doesn’t represent an imperfection, but rather your unique make-up - My brilliant design of you.”

I’ve never forgotten God’s words to me. Whenever I see things inside me that I assess to be flaws, I take them to the Lord. Sometimes these are things that I do need to repent of – attitudes, judgements, and actions that don’t accurately reflect Jesus in me. However, sometimes these ‘flaws’ – my unique characteristics and personality traits which God created in me - are magnified by the enemy of my soul to resemble ugly cracks and smudges.

On my journey with God, His Holy Spirit is teaching me that false expectations of myself, the high, unreasonable standards that I set for myself, are often far removed from what my heavenly Father asks of me. When I attempt to live up to my own human standards, or man’s standards, I’ll always feel inadequate, weak and flawed. God’s design – His standard for me as His beloved child - is the only thing I should aspire to. Micah 6:8 has become a plumb-line in my life: ‘He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?’
When you see those ‘flaws’ in yourself, remember that we are ‘brilliantly flawed’ by design – exactly as God intended us to be. Allow Him to show you who you are, and who He designed you to be.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You truly know me and that I can rest secure in the knowledge of Your love. Thank You that You’re busy teaching me to trust Your sovereign hand upon the details of my life. Help me to walk in the truth of who You created me to me, and to delight in who I am in You. Amen.


Today's Writer : Christel Baxter
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Waiting on the Lord

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.10.2015 09:43

18 October, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Waiting on the Lord

"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, KJV

We tend t
o think of waiting as something passive and often boring, as when we have to wait for a bus or train, or when we wait for hours at an airport for a flight. However, when the Bible speaks of waiting on God, it is completely different. It means being still in God’s presence, expectantly looking to Him, and as we do this our strength is renewed.

Those who serve at tables are known as ‘waiters’. A servant waiting at table would be watching and listening for the slightest instruction from his master. It is partly in that way that we should be waiting on the Lord. Psalm 123:2 says: ‘As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God’.

Another example of waiting is that of a working sheepdog. Between a well-trained dog and its master there will be perfect understanding. There are times when the dog will drop to the ground at his owner’s command, keeping completely still, waiting for the next instruction. The dog fixes his eyes on his master, not moving a muscle, watching and waiting. He will not move until he is told, and often the slightest signal is enough for him to know when to move and what to do next.

Have we learnt to wait on God in that way, or are we too easily distracted? Can we follow God’s instruction to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10), or do we find our lives constantly filled with noise and activity. Brother Lawrence, a 17th-century monk, encouraged people to ‘practise the presence of God’. Have we learnt to do that?

Today’s verse promises that as we wait upon on the Lord He will renew our strength. Instead of relying on our own resources, we will be receiving from Him. An exchange takes place between our weakness and His strength. We will then be like eagles which soar on the thermals, seemingly without any effort. Why not resolve to do that today?

Prayer: Lord, please teach me how to wait on You and to be still and know that You are God. Forgive me for the times I have failed to do this. Amen.
Today's Writer : Jilly Lyon Taylor
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Zechariah 7:9-10

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.10.2015 20:17

Today's Verse for 10/19/2015
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other." — Zechariah 7:9-10

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Thought

Do you want a clear, simple, straightforward word from the Lord today? That's what Zechariah gives us. He reminds us that God wants us to be fair, compassionate, caring, without prejudice, and tenderhearted to those in need, and to give each other the benefit of the doubt. In other words, he wants us to treat each other like Christ treated people. Why? Because we can't be right with God and be wrong with people!
Prayer

Loving Father, please forgive me for the times I've gotten bogged down with hard-to-understand verses in Scripture and ignored your clear teaching on how to live. Please give me the opportunity this week to live like you have commanded me. In the future, when my heart grows cold or my response to others is not what it should be, please use your Spirit to bring to my remembrance this passage so that I might live it to your glory. 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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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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