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Devotional

Valvoja: Annukka

Daring To Trust Again

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 03.12.2015 11:13

03 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Daring To Trust Again

"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."
Psalm 62:8, NIV

Trusting is difficult for many people, and perhaps it is for you too. You’ve stepped out and dared to trust another human being, and have been sorely disappointed as a result. Maybe they broke their promise, or abandoned you, or betrayed you in some way, and now you’re nursing a bruised and bleeding heart.

Having thrust your hand into the fire and been burnt, your instinct is never to do that again. I understand your reluctance. We have all been let down by somebody at some time in our lives, and now we are a little wary because of it.

Broken trust is hard to repair, and can cause a deep relational wound. It can also cause us to withdraw our hearts, not only from the one who hurt us, but also from other people. Doing so locks us into a prison of our own making, resulting in isolation and loneliness. Both have reached epidemic proportions in western society.

This is NOT God’s will for His children. I repeat, this is not God’s will for His children! He wants us to experience life-giving relationships, both with Himself and with others. That means both ‘knowing’ and ‘being known’.

Can I share some good news with you today? Some people are untrustworthy, but our God IS NOT! We can dare trust Him. God is a faithful God, and totally trustworthy. That means that, even if the rest of the world turns its back on you, God will not. To do so would be contrary to His character, and there is not shadow of turning with Him.

Our God is trustworthy, so dare to pour out your heart to Him today. He longs to hear your voice and to heal everywhere where you are broken. He will also give you the courage to invest into human relationships again, if you will allow Him to.

Prayer: Father God, I confess that I have been hurt by relationships in the past, and have closed some of my heart off as a result. Help me to open up my heart again. You are the God who heals the broken-hearted. Heal this heart, I pray, and cause it to beat in rhythm with Yours. Amen.
Today's Writer : Sue Dare
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Time to Run Away

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 04.12.2015 12:17

04 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Time to Run Away

“And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.”
Genesis 39: 10-12 NIV

Running away doesn’t quite seem to be the strong Christian thing to do. Surely we should be advocating to stand and fight! The armour of God in Ephesians 6 is designed for the soldier facing the enemy. It is supported further in v13 where we are told to ‘stand’. But the Bible does tell us to run from immorality and lust. 1 Cor 6:18 “flee from sexual immorality”, and 2 Tim 2:22 “flee from the evil desires of youth”. So Joseph was actually doing the right thing in running away.

Potiphar’s wife lusted after handsome Joseph and pursued him vigorously and relentlessly. His verbal rejections and attempts at reasoning with her only made her more determined. Her final attempt was carefully planned. All the other servants were outside the house and she grabbed hold of his cloak and wouldn’t let go. Joseph knew that the time for reasoning had past and he could either hang onto his cloak and dishonor God, himself and his master, or give us his cloak, his modesty and run away; keeping his honour intact.

Joseph may well have been tempted by Potiphar’s wife. He also knew that if he stayed that attraction could turn to lust and then to sexual immorality. So, he had to get out immediately. That first glance at a pretty woman/attractive man isn’t sinful. Sexual desire isn’t the product of the Fall, but what we do with it often is. As Martin Luther once said, “You can’t stop the birds flying over your head, but you can stop them building nests in your hair.”

What temptation are you susceptible too? Gambling, food, alcohol, drugs, internet pornography, lust? There are times when we need to put ourselves out of the way of that temptation as quickly as possible. How? By taking drastic action. Turn off your computer or TV. Go home a different way that doesn’t take you past the betting shop, pub fast food outlet, sweet shop, or where you know drugs are easily available. If you are faced with sexual temptation at work, on a course, at a conference, or your next-door neighbor then take avoiding action and don’t place yourself in situations where you are likely to meet them alone.

Today, what is it you need to run away from? To put distance (physical and/or emotional) between you and that temptation. Ask Holy Spirit to show you, and ask him to give you the strength to do it and go on doing it. Even if it is costly and embarrassing – Joseph had to leave his cloak behind. Better to run off naked (embarrassed) than to stay and allow temptation to overcome you.

Prayer: Lord Jesus I know I need Your strength to resist temptations that I see all around me. It may not be Potiphar’s wife, but what tempts me is just as real at times. If standing and fighting isn’t working then help me to run away – to put as much physical and emotional distance between me, and what the enemy is tempting me with as possible. Help me to take whatever drastic action I need to so that I can be faithful to You and Your word. Amen.
Today's Writer : Philip Asselin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

God Will Have His Way

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 05.12.2015 10:57

05 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
God Will Have His Way

"I am God and always will be. No one can escape from my power; no one can change what I do."
Isaiah 43:13, GNB

The news recently has been very depressing. I seem to be constantly asking myself “how can people do that?” Daily we hear about con-men who have defrauded pensioners of their life savings, unprovoked violence, abuse of vulnerable people, or even hatred and murder, as demonstrated in those dreadful attacks in France during November. Darkness seems to be the atmosphere around our everyday lives, and we can so easily become disheartened about the state of the world.

We live in evil days. However, those of us who have become ‘children of Light’, through the sacrificial generosity of Jesus, are, in truth, citizens of another culture, so we are, and should be, distressed by what happens around us. We are, at present, refugees, displaced from our true homeland and trying to manage our lives, desiring a culture of truth and love, but living in this alien land of lies and violence. No wonder we sometimes lose heart, and even wonder if God is still in charge.

It was with these negative thoughts echoing in my heart one morning that I read this inspiring verse in Isaiah 43. Immediately the words shone a bright light of hope into the gloom. God answered my unspoken doubt and refocussed me. He is in charge, and nothing, even what seems so evil, is unnoticed by Him. What is more, however it may seem to us on earth, nothing will ever get in the way of His plans and purposes. Alleluia, He is Lord of all and is working His purposes out ‘as year succeeds to year’, as the old hymn states it.

So, if you are feeling pressed down by the all-pervasive news of evil happenings in the world today, encourage yourself by mulling on this wonderful truth. Here it is again with two other verses to make sure we really get it clear: ‘I am God and always will be. No one can escape from my power; no one can change what I do’ (Isaiah 43:13).

The Lord Almighty has sworn an oath: ‘What I have planned will happen. What I have determined to do will be done’ (Isaiah 14:24). ‘He never changes. No one can oppose Him or stop Him doing what He wants to do’ (Job 23:13).

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are, and always will be, in ultimate control over all things. I confess that often I get disheartened when it seems that evil triumphs over righteousness and justice in this world. Forgive me that, in my humanity, I can be distracted from the knowledge that You are working Your purposes out, even when I can’t grasp or understand what You are doing. Today I chose to hold on to the truth of scripture that You will bring Your plans to fruition and nothing will stop You. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Denise Cross
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Love Worth Finding Ministries <devotions@lwf.org>

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 06.12.2015 19:10

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“…And the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6b.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Jesus was born a king. Scripture says “…the government shall be upon His shoulder.” In verse 7 of this chapter, this is fleshed out. “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever.”

How is this going to happen? “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” This little baby was born a king and He is a King. We didn’t elect Him and, friend, we’ll not impeach Him. He is King. He is Lord.

ACTION POINT:
Some people say, “Have you made Him the Lord of your life?” Too late for that. God has already declared Him Lord. This is His sovereign nobility. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. If you miss that, you miss the meaning of Christmas. You have to take the cradle, the cross, and the crown together, or you don’t have the true story of Christmas.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Chasing the New

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 07.12.2015 10:39

07 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Chasing the New

"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."
John 12:24, NIV

Once, whilst out walking with our son, Kyle, I encouraged him to keep an eye out for conkers. Conkers, for those unfamiliar with them, are the large seeds of a horse chestnut tree that are a favourite with children for hunting out and playing with.

It was still very early in the conker season and so the search was a drawn out process. I scanned the ground we walked on for the prickly green balls that fall from the trees. This casing, when removed, contains the actual hard, deep brown, ball of a seed.

As I scoured the terrain for a freshly fallen conker, Kyle kept finding the rotting, dirty and half buried conkers of last year. I continued to encourage Kyle to look for the fresh conkers until at one point Kyle simply asked, “Why?” A good question indeed! Why did we have to find the fresh ones? In fact, once we looked more closely at the older conkers, we saw conkers with roots on, starting a life of a whole new tree.

As I continued our walk my mind drifted to this scripture. We can so easily chase the new, the fresh, the next ‘thing’ and completely miss what God has already started because it doesn’t look so clean and fresh. We can get caught up in the excitement of all that’s new and miss the importance of perseverance, pushing through, growing slowly but with a purpose. Yes, it may be hard work, dirty and seemingly slowing moving but it’s the way to fruitfulness.

It may feel as though nothing is really changing, yet it’s so important that we continue with what God has started, rather than continuously searching for what’s the next “new thing” for us to chase. New life will only come to us through allowing the old to die and new growth to begin and then flourish. This takes time and persistence... two words which aren’t favourable in today’s ‘instant’ society.

Let’s consider how much time we spend on chasing the “new” and how much time we spend on persisting with deepening our roots, letting the old die and seeing strong and steady growth in our lives.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that I’m a new creation in You. Please give me the strength to persist in allowing the old to die and the growth to take place, so that I can be more fruitful for Your Kingdom. Amen.
Today's Writer : Lindsey Hanekom
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Re: Devotional

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 08.12.2015 22:29

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power…” Romans 1:3-4.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
May I ask you a personal question? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord?

You do? Then may I ask you another question? Is He your Lord?

Let’s be more specific.

• Is He Lord of your tongue?
• Is He Lord of your time?
• Is He Lord of your treasure?
• Is He Lord of your talents?
• Is He Lord of your testimony?
• Is He Lord in deed as well as word?

Is He truly Lord? Now, don’t answer too quickly.

ACTION POINT:
Think about it: It’s one thing to sing “Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.” It’s another thing to mean it. Crown Him “Lord of all” in your life today.

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

Shine Like stars

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 09.12.2015 10:52

09 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Shine Like stars

"Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever."
Daniel 12:3, NIVUK

We have an everlasting hope which gives meaning to our lives and helps us to rise above all the suffering we encounter in our own lives or those of others around us. Long before Jesus came to earth as Messiah, Daniel was given revelation by God of what will happen in the future and an assurance that death is not the end of our existence.

‘At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge’ (Daniel 12:1-4).

This revelation was not really to be fulfilled for Daniel and the people who lived at that time, but for us, because Daniel was to seal the words of the scroll until the end of time. So what purpose did the words serve to Daniel and his people?

I believe it reassured him that whatever evil arose in the world and caused immense suffering God was working towards a time when perfect justice would reign and God’s people would be delivered. Daniel received a personal message of reassurance in these words; ‘As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance’ (Daniel 12:13).

In the days that we live in, I need this reassurance that all evil will be dealt with and that those whose names are ‘written in the book of life’ will be delivered.’ I know that as soon as I decided to ask Jesus to be my Saviour and Lord my name was written in that book.

As we read the whole of the Bible, particularly the New Testament, it is also clear that we have a commission for what we are to be doing in our lives today. We are to lead many to righteousness and, in contrast to the deep spiritual darkness around us, shine like stars in the brightness of the heavens.

In Philippians 2:15 the apostle Paul encourages the Philippian Christians to shine like stars in the sky as they hold firmly to the Word of life. Then Paul could rejoice and know that all his work amongst them was not in vain as he was in prison facing execution for his faith in the Lord Jesus.

As Matt Redman sings ‘We will shine like stars in the universe, holding out Your truth in the darkest place. We’ll be living for Your glory, Jesus, we’ll be living for Your glory’.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to shine like stars for You so that everyone in darkness can be drawn to Your light and truth and can know how much our heavenly Father loves us. Amen.
Today's Writer : Liz Griffin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

My Keeper

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 10.12.2015 11:53

10 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
My Keeper

"The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand."
Psalm 121:5, NKJV

As I was reading Psalm 121 this month I was deeply impacted by it. The Psalmist starts with a question: ‘I will lift up my eyes to the hills - from whence comes my help?’ (verse 1). That really is a good starting point. No matter what our circumstances are, even if they seem insurmountable and impossible, look up. ‘My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth’ (verse 2).

The psalm continues beautifully, but I found myself stopped in my tracks at verse 5 – ‘The Lord is your keeper’. I’ve been meditating on that awesome truth for the past week, to allow it to sink into my spirit.

When we’ve submitted our lives into the care of the Lord He becomes our keeper. I can hear it coming straight out of the loving Father heart of God. He’s watching over us day and night. The psalmist even reminds us how the Lord doesn’t sleep, with His guard down.

He’s watching over and protecting us 24/7. No matter what our trouble is, He’s our help, whenever we cry out to Him. Is He able to help? He’s the one who made the heaven and earth! There’s none more powerful, and none more able, to help you.

So I encourage you today to read Psalm 121 and let it sink into your spirit. Lift up your eyes, cry out to Him and allow the Lord to be your keeper. He’s with you, and knows all of the circumstances that you’re facing. There’s no problem too big or too small for our amazing God.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to thank You that You love me so much that You’re my keeper. You’re committed to me, and watching over me all of the time. Let that amazing truth sink into my spirit. Thank You that You’re able to help me in the circumstances I’m facing today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Lynda Scott
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Potential

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 11.12.2015 12:52

11 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Potential

"God gives us many kinds of special abilities, but it is the same Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service to God, but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are many ways in which God works in our lives, but it is the same God who works in and through all of us."
1 Corinthians 12:4-6, NIV

The dictionary defines potential as ‘latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness’. Potential generally refers to a currently unrealised ability. It means that the ability is present, but not yet fully utilised. This suggests that the object or person, possessing the potential, needs to do some action, in order to develop that quality or ability which is latent.

I read the most inspiring story of a young woman called Hee-Ah Lee. She lives in Korea. Hee-Ah was born in 1985 with some severe disabilities. She has only 2 fingers on each hand and her legs were amputated at the knees because the limbs below the knees were thin and non-functional. At birth, Hee-Ah’s extended family insisted that her mum put her up for adoption to a foreign country, as they didn’t see how she could take care of a baby with these physical challenges. But Hee-Ah’s mum refused to give up on her daughter!

When Hee-Ah was a pre-schooler her mother decided that she wanted her daughter to take piano lessons, for two reasons. One was that she felt it would help her strengthen her hands, so she could hold a pencil. The other was that she felt that, if she could master the piano, she could master anything. After many challenges to find a teacher willing to teach her, and many confrontations between mum and daughter, Hee-Ah finally started to master the piano, to the extent that she won Korea’s 19th National Handicap Conquest Contest at age 7.

Hee-Ah has gone on to become a widely travelled concert pianist, filling up concert halls everywhere she performs. She is a confident, happy, young woman, living to her full potential, despite having every reason to complain about the physical restraints she lives with every day. Looking at her outward appearance would never have given any indication of the huge potential within.

Very few people ever maximise the full potential that God placed within them. Most of their capabilities and strengths are never utilised, and may even be dormant and undiscovered. God has created you ON purpose and FOR purpose. He placed within you a unique skill set, personality mix and ability to fulfil your purpose in this generation. You were born for such a time as this! But sometimes we look at the challenges we face and the physical restraints, and this prevent us from pursuing the dreams God has placed within us.

God is the One Who designed you. Establish, nurture and invest in your relationship with Him. Ask Him to show you where you have neglected that which He’s given you, and to discover that which is still dormant within you. Don’t be passive about it any longer!

Prayer: Lord, thank You so much for every talent and ability You’ve blessed me with! Help me to use them to bless my world. Please forgive me where I’ve ignored or neglected my God-given potential, due to fear of the unknown. Give me the courage to step out in faith and live my purpose in You. Amen.
Today's Writer : Christel Baxter
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

How to Stay Alive in Affliction

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 12.12.2015 12:02

12 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
How to Stay Alive in Affliction

"If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction."
Psalm 119:92, NIV

I once knew a lady who told me what she did, when she felt really down. It always worked for her. If things were especially bad, she might have to do it more than once. But the solution, which always lifted her spirits, was an unusual one. She read through Psalm 119.

Have you ever tried that? It’s a very long psalm – the longest one, in fact, with 176 verses. It is all about God’s Word (His Law), and how God’s Word is the greatest thing in the world, the most precious thing imaginable. Her record – on a particularly terrible day - was reading it through 6 times before her spirits lifted. But lift they did!

I thought about that lady when I read today’s verse recently; ‘If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction’.

None of us knows when affliction will come. All can be going swimmingly well, and then suddenly the changes start. News shocks us, troubles pile up like mountains, and then they seem to block out the light.

When we’re in the middle of affliction, it’s difficult to find internal stability, let alone peace. That’s when we need to dig deeply into God’s Word, because it will sooth our spirits, and connect us with the only source of truly loving, powerful, help and rescue. If you’re afflicted today, turn to God’s Word, and persevere like that lady did, until you hear from Him. He wants to reassure you, and pour His love and power into your life.

But don’t wait for affliction to start. We need to love God’s Word now, and to read and study it now. The psalmist was in so much trouble that he felt he would have perished in his affliction if he hadn’t already made God’s Word his delight. And that is true for us too.

If we feel it’s too difficult to dig into God’s Word now, when things are OK, isn’t it likely that we’ll be out of the habit when real trouble comes? We won’t even think of turning to God’s Word then.

We may perish spiritually, (and perhaps even physically), if we try to survive real trouble without God’s help. We’ll be like the plant with shallow roots, which Jesus spoke about in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13). When hard times, came it dried up, because its roots were shallow. The roots hadn’t gone deep enough to find the underground water.

Do you have a routine for Bible reading? If something’s non-urgent, we’ll only do it regularly if we schedule it in. Is reading God’s Word part of your daily schedule? Could you make it part?

And do we take enough time over it to think about what we read? It will strengthen our spirits if we let God’s Word speak to us personally. That means taking time to think about what you read, however short the passage. Your spirit needs that nourishment every day. Mine does too.

A new year is a good time for a new habit. Could you look now and find a Bible reading plan, and be ready to start a daily habit that will make you ready for whatever days might lie ahead? There are lots of possibilities out there for help and encouragement. Why not start today?

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for giving me a Bible. Thank You for giving me Your Holy Spirit too, to make it come alive to me. I would like to make Your Word my delight, so I can be strengthened in my spirit. Please would You help me? Thank You. Amen.
Today's Writer : Grace Marshall
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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