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Devotional

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Do You Believe?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.12.2015 12:33

13 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Do You Believe?

‘Jesus said: “All things are possible to him who believes!” At once the father of the boy gave a cry with tears, and he said, “Lord, I believe! Help my weakness of faith!”
Mark 9: 23 & 24 Amp.

The man with the epileptic son said to Jesus that if He was willing, He could heal his son. Jesus responded, “Do you believe?” and the man said, “Yes, I believe, help my unbelief”. So often we come to Jesus to ask for His help and He challenges us, “Do you believe?” and that is the point at which we sometimes draw back, because belief in Jesus challenges us in other ways, not just in whether we believe or not that He can heal us.

We want to be healed, but that often means that we have to change other aspects of our life: our pride, our determination to do our own thing in our own way thank-you-very-much, and that, sadly, is often a stumbling block to our healing, and ultimately in our relationship with Him. God wants to bring healing on His terms. We want it to happen on ours. Some people even ask for healing so they can continue in the lifestyle which caused the problems in the first place!

The Lord recently showed me a picture of a fast flowing river – and there have been a lot of those about recently, after all the heavy rain we have experienced. In the midst of the swirling waters there were boulders sticking up determinedly. Some of those were bed rock which would only be removed after years and years of action of the water, others were less fixed, and gradually shifted in the relentless stream.

Our fixed attitudes, putting God in a box and expecting Him to do things in our way, the beliefs we have grown up with – all these things are like the bed rock, hard to remove, possibly because we don’t even recognise them. The things which moved are those where God has softened our hearts and we’re prepared to change and bring our thoughts and attitudes into line with what He thinks and believes about us, according to His Word.

As the world draws us further and further away from God’s truth, we need to draw closer and closer to God. Yes, this will make us different from the world around us, but we’re in the world, but not of the world (John 17: 14). Paul tells us not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12: 2), shaped and guided by the truth of His Word.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Lord who heals us. Please help me to be prepared to change where necessary, in order to receive Your healing, and to draw closer to You. in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today's Writer : Angela Weir
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Re: Devotional

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 13.12.2015 21:43

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
One day I drove my car off the hot pavement out into a grassy area because I knew where there was a persimmon tree. I love persimmons and I thought, “Well, this is about the time those persimmons would be ripe.” But I got impossibly stuck in the mud. I got a board and tried to dig myself out. I found a piece of carpet there in the woods and put that under the tires. My tires only sunk deeper.

I prayed, “Lord, I’m in the mud. I need your help. I’m helpless here. Lord, get me out.” And almost at the same time, a man came by in a four-wheel vehicle. With that mighty truck, he pulled me slowly out of the mud. I was back on solid ground.

I was so grateful. I hadn’t known what to do, but God sent someone in a four-wheel truck with a cable. That’s so much like salvation. We’re looking for the things of this world and sinking in the mud. We say, “Well, I can get myself out of this.” And the more we try to handle it, the deeper and deeper we sink. We need somebody who will see us, care for us, come to us, and get us out. Jesus is a Savior. He has what it takes to extricate us from the mud we’ve gotten in.

When I got home, my car was covered with mud. I got out the hose and began to get the mud off. That man got me out of the mud, but it was up to me to deal with the mud that was still on there. When I got saved, I was covered with mud. But since then, I’ve been letting Jesus, the Water of Life, clean me up.

ACTION POINT:
You can struggle all you want, but all you’re going to do is sink deeper. Stop the struggle. Surrender to Christ. You don’t have what it takes to get out unless someone takes you out. And that one is Jesus. His name is wonderful. He is the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.


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

His Little Lamb

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 14.12.2015 10:58

14 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
His Little Lamb

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep."
John 10:14-15, NIV

On a recent trip to Israel we were near the Sea of Galilee at a place called Migdal, which is where Mary Magdalene would have come from. We were visiting the site of an ancient settlement which was uncovered when excavations were made, prior to the building of a new church. Inside the new church building there were mosaics depicting events from Jesus’ life and ministry. One of these showed Jesus taking Jairus’ daughter by the hand as He raised her from the dead. In Mark 5:41 it’s recorded that Jesus said: “Talitha koumi”, which in most English bibles is translated as: “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” However, we were told by our guide that the Aramaic word ‘Talitha’, in fact, means a young sheep, so Jesus is actually saying, “Little lamb, I say to you, get up!”

I found this very touching, and it reminded me of how Jesus tells us in John 10 that He is the Good Shepherd. In that passage He says that He calls His own sheep by name (John 10:3). There’s something special about being called by name. When people use our name it makes us feel acknowledged and accepted. How wonderful to have Jesus calling us by name!

Secondly, He says that He goes ahead of His sheep and leads them (verses 3 & 4). Jesus invites us to follow Him – He doesn’t chase us with a stick, or drive us cruelly, as some herdsmen might do. He gives us free will to choose to obey His voice and to follow Him. He says that His sheep listen to His voice and recognise it. How well do we know the voice of our Good Shepherd?

He also protects His flock from predators and thieves, and He even lays down His life for His sheep.

We can further see the Lord’s heart to shepherd His people, when we read, in Ezekiel 34:4, how He berates the spiritual shepherds of Israel for neglecting their flock: “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.” Because of their neglect, God says in Ezekiel 34:15: “I myself will tend my sheep.” He promises to search for the lost (which includes every one of us at some time in our lives!), to bind up the injured and to strengthen the weak.

Do we recognise the voice of Jesus our Good Shepherd and follow Him when He calls? Do we allow Him to tend us with His loving care, binding up our wounds and strengthening us? Can we say, like David in Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want”? Perhaps we need to let Him take us by the hand, as He did with Jairus’ daughter, and raise us up into more of the abundant life that He came to bring us (John 10:10).

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You’re my Shepherd and that You care for me so much. Thank You that You want to bind up all my wounds and strengthen me. Help me always to recognise Your voice and to follow You, so I can come more fully into the abundant life You have for me. Amen.

Today's Writer : Jilly Lyon Taylor
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Into the Light

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.12.2015 11:09

15 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Into the Light

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! ‘Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!’"
Psalm 139:23-24, ESV

I’ve recently experienced having to visit our dental practice a number of times, first to have a tooth extracted after three days of extreme pain, and then to have treatment for an infection of the socket where the tooth once sat.

This morning I returned again for another appointment because of continuing pain in my gum and jaw. My wife Gemma and I prayed before we left for the appointment, and I asked that the Lord would enable the dentist to see any underlying cause of the ongoing pain I was experiencing, nearly three weeks after my tooth was extracted.

I asked Him to bring into the light anything that was hidden, and, reflecting on a devotional by Charles Spurgeon that we had just read, I also prayed that He’d do the same with anything in my heart that needed to be brought into the light as well.

When I saw the dentist she took an x-ray, which showed that the infection in the tooth socket was now healing, but there was decay in the wisdom tooth next to the site of the extraction. This meant I now needed to have that removed as well.

When we arrived home I remembered my earlier prayer that anything hidden would be revealed. The Lord had answered that prayer, although I didn’t really like what had been revealed, and the action that needed to be taken. Yet I need to be grateful that the decay in my wisdom tooth has been revealed. Staying ignorant of its condition would only delay the inevitable need for treatment. I would face another experience of extreme pain when the decay finally showed itself.

`Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!’ (Psalm 139:23-24). David’s desire to walk in purity before God was greater than the cost of any action that might need to be taken if the Lord revealed hidden sin and wrong motives. He’d had painful experience of not dealing with sin previously in his life.

To be honest, I can struggle when the Lord shows me hurtful and sinful things in my heart, but I know that He’s revealing those things because He loves me too much to allow spiritual decay to eat away at my life, until it finally surfaces causing great pain to myself and others.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You know everything about me, and Your will is that I walk in Your everlasting ways, Your paths of righteousness. Please show me anything in my heart or life that causes You pain, and help me to allow You to cleanse me, and heal me, and to set me free. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Today's Writer : Dean Gardner
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Re: Devotional

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 15.12.2015 19:42

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
I was trying to witness to a man one time. I knew him well. He was what you would call a self-made man, pretty comfortable in his status in life. He was standing in front of his house. We had a friendly conversation, but when I broached the subject of Jesus he said, “Oh, I’m fine. I’m fine like I am. You see that house? It’s paid for. There’s my wife on the inside. She loves me and I love her. I have my retirement income. I’m doing quite well, thank you.”

I said, “Sir, may I ask you a question?” “Well, sure,” he answered. I said, “Oh no, don’t say that lightly. I want to ask you a question, and I want you to think about it and answer me honestly. Will you?” He said, “Of course.” I said, “Sir, do you have peace in your heart?” He said, “I told you, I’m fine.” I said, “No, you said you would answer the question. Now answer it. Do you have peace in your heart?”

His chin began to quiver and his eyes brimmed with tears. He said, “No! I don’t have peace. How did you know?” I said, “Because the Bible says ‘There is no peace, said my God, to the wicked.’”

The only real peace you will ever know is found in the wonderful name of Jesus.

ACTION POINT:
Do you have peace with God? If you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ, I want to invite you to pray a prayer like this: “Dear Jesus, I need You. I’m a sinner. I’m lost I don’t want to die in my sin and go to hell. I need You, Jesus. I trust You, Jesus. I believe You’re the Son of God. You paid for my sin debt with Your shed blood on the cross. Thank You, Lord, for doing that. Thank You for saving me. Now give me the courage to make it public. In Your name I pray, amen.”
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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 End Of Your Tether

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 16.12.2015 10:26

16 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The End Of Your Tether

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."
Galatians 5:1, NIV

Have you ever been at the end of your tether? This was a rope fixed to a stake in the ground, with a grazing animal fastened to the end of it. The animal could go so far and no further.

What do we do when we’ve gone as far as we can and the rope is at breaking point?

What would Jesus do? Was Jesus ever at the end of His tether? How about when He became so angry that He threw the money changers from the temple courts? He ‘scattered their money and overturned their tables’ (John 2:15). But, before that, He must have sat down and made a whip. He must have been composed and deliberate. He was angry at the affront to God by the misuse of the temple. His was a righteous anger, not strained to breaking point. He knew exactly what He was doing.

Jesus spent forty days in the desert being taunted and tempted by the devil (Luke 4:2). What did He do? He came against the enemy with the ‘sword of the Spirit’ - the Word of God, as the counter attack. And the devil ‘departed from Him until an opportune time’ (Luke 4:13). Satan used all his ingenuity to trap Jesus, and failed. Perhaps it was the devil who was at the end of his tether?

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus knew the end was near. He knew what He had to go through, and perhaps wasn’t sure if He could do it. ‘Being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground’ (Luke 22:44). He cried out to God,‘Take this cup from me’ (Mark 14:36). Had Jesus finally come to the end of His resources, pleading with the Father for a way out? No. In the same breath He went on to say, ‘Not my will, but yours be done’ (Luke 22:42). Jesus gave Himself up, quietly. God’s way was the only way.

Surely the cross was the ultimate test; when Jesus took upon Himself ‘the sins of the whole world’ (1 John 2:2). God turned His face away. He couldn’t tolerate sin, not even in His own Son. And Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘My God ... why have you forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34). Was this His breaking point?

Jesus called to the Father, ‘Into your hands I commit my spirit’ (Luke 23:46). He surrendered to God. It seemed the end had come. Having promised so much, now He was dead. But victory came when He was gloriously resurrected to a new life, having overcome everything, including the devil himself, winning freedom for us all.

Jesus had no tether. When the chips were down He gave Himself completely to the Father. When His strength ran out He surrendered to God.

Through Jesus we too have access to God. He is our refuge, our stronghold and our strength. In Him we have no tether.

Prayer: Father, it’s sometimes hard to go on, when I feel I’ve come to the end. Your Word tells me ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’. Please help me to see Your strength in my weakness and to look to You to carry me through, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Ron Scurfield
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Sighted Blind and the Hearing Deaf!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 17.12.2015 11:43

17 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Sighted Blind and the Hearing Deaf!

“The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.”
Ezekiel 12:1, NIV

We are living in days much like they were in Ezekiel’s time. We are living among a people who have eyes to see and ears to hear but they have chosen to turn their backs on the living God in favour of a god of their own making. They choose to substitute God’s laws with man’s choices and reject the Creator in favour of a self-creating universe which invented itself.

It’s easy for believers to look out on the world as we know it and reach those sort of conclusions about the world at large. But God says similar things to his own people – those who do know Him, but still choose to do their own thing and pretend that God won’t mind if we adjust His commands a little bit to suit whatever our own situation might be. The end result is a people who give the impression that they really know and love God, but at the same time are living out a lie in the privacy of their own heart.

In His letter to the Church at Laodicea, Jesus called such people luke-warm and because they were not a true reflection of the nature and character of the God they said they served, Jesus said that he would need to ‘spit them out of His mouth’. God hates hypocrisy which is another word for luke-warmness in our relationship with God.

But the good news of Revelation 3:20 is that Jesus says to those who are luke-warm, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” There is a place for repentance, change and personal transformation for those who have been closing their ears to the voice of God and closing their eyes to the ways of God.

Prayer: Lord, I am sorry for times when I have closed my eyes and shut my ears when You have been trying to get through to me. Please forgive me for the rebellion that there has been in my heart. I choose today to open my eyes and my ears and ask You to forgive me. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Horrobin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
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Galatians 1:3-4

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 18.12.2015 21:56

Today's Verse for 12/18/2015

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age... — Galatians 1:3-4

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Thought

Jesus comes to our rescue! Why? Because he knows the times in which we live in aren't easy. He knows that the world in which we live is caught up in wickedness. That, however, is not the only reality. He gives us great victory through his Cross. No wonder we can greet each other with grace and peace. He purchased them for us.
Prayer

Father, please help me distinguish between good and evil as I confront them daily in my life. Make evil repulsive to me despite the many ways that Satan tries to make it look seductive. Thank you, Jesus, for coming to my rescue when I was a sinner, unable to save myself. Thank you for sharing your grace and giving me peace. Through the blessed Holy Spirit I offer my thanks and praise in Jesus' name. 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
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God, You Chose the Wrong Person!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 19.12.2015 11:16

19 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
God, You Chose the Wrong Person!

"Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
Exodus 3:11, NIV

One of the things that I love to do is to study the lives of Bible characters that God chose to use. The deeper I dig into their lives and stories, the more excited I get, because I realise just how ordinary many of them were. It appears that God specialises in using the most unlikely candidates to bring about His purposes on this earth. He uses people just like you and I, with all our eccentricities and foibles.

I was studying the life of Moses today and seven words he spoke to God captivated my attention. He said, “Who am I that I should go?” (Exodus. 3:11). God had just revealed His wonderful plan of deliverance to Moses, but Moses’ response was anything but enthusiastic, or even committed.

As far as Moses was concerned, God had chosen the wrong man for the job. He even had the audacity to say “O Lord, please send someone else to do it” (Exodus 4:13). In Moses’ defence, he was not the only reluctant servant of God in Scripture. Gideon, Saul, Jeremiah and Esther followed a similar pattern.

I can just imagine Gideon saying to God, “who am I that I should rally the troops and stand up against the Midianites?” Or Saul saying to God, “who am I, that I should rule your people Israel?”, as he crouches, timidly behind the baggage. Or what about the famous, weeping prophet Jeremiah, who explained to God that he didn’t know how to speak, and, therefore, how he could possibly be God’s mouthpiece. Finally there is the example of Esther, who said “Who am I, that I should intercede on behalf of my people?” knowing full well that it could cost her very life.

All of the above were God’s chosen instruments, through whom He wanted to reveal His glory, but He could only do so if they co-operated. The same applies for us. I wonder what God is calling you to, and what excuses you’re using to wriggle out from under His commission.

God isn’t impressed when He reveals His purposes and plans to us and we respond with “who am I?” In fact, by doing so, we’re actually accusing God of not knowing what He’s doing. Be assured that your shortcomings and weaknesses are no surprise to God. When He called you, He was well aware of who He was calling, and what extra grace you’d need to accomplish the call. I think God even gets a kick out of calling those whom the world wouldn’t give a second glance at, and especially excels at accomplishing great exploits through weak and ordinary people.

You don’t have to be perfect to be used by God – just available and submitted. Henry Varley, one of Dwight L.Moody’s friends, said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him”. Next time you doubt God’s choice of yourself, or when the enemy whispers in your ear, “Who are you to …” remind yourself of these words:

Prayer: Father God, I belong to You, and was bought back from the enemy at a great price – with the precious blood of Jesus. I confess that I don’t belong to myself. I am Yours! Have Your way in my life. Use me in any way You choose. I surrender my life afresh to You this day. Amen.
Today's Writer : Sue Dare
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

For His Name’s Sake

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.12.2015 11:13

20 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
For His Name’s Sake

"He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake."
Psalm 23:3, NIV

I’ve been reading through the psalms recently, and, when I got to Psalm 23, I must admit I thought it a bit too familiar to hold anything very new. After all, it is the psalm (and probably the only psalm) that I can recite from memory.

I got as far as the second part of verse 3, and the phrase ‘for His name’s sake’ caused me to stop and think. Why does it say ‘He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake’?

I began to wonder what that phrase really means. Remembering that a very wise person once told me that the best explanation of Scripture comes through Scripture, I decided to look up other scriptures that use the same phrase. John says in his second letters ‘I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake’ (1 John 2:12) And Psalm 106 verse 8 uses exactly the same phrase ‘Nevertheless He saved them for His name's sake, that He might make His mighty power to be known’.

Clearly the phrase means ‘for the sake of showing His abilities and His character’. So, returning to Psalm 23, it means that, when I am being led in ‘paths of righteousness’, it’s for the sake of demonstrating His character. But what do I demonstrate in my life? What if I don’t walk in a lifestyle of righteousness? Then it won’t be His true character that’s demonstrated, but a warped view of who He is, and what He’s like. He’s trusting each of us with an amazing opportunity to show His character through our own walk of righteousness.

What a challenge this verse is. We all have an awesome responsibility, because the way we do life reflects well, or badly, on the Shepherd’s name and character. Sadly, those who’re not believers often comment that Christians are no different in their lifestyle from non-Christians. They certainly notice how often believers exhibit unrighteous behaviour. What a terrible failure in making the name of Father God known to all the world.

Suddenly this comforting Psalm, which has always been a favourite of mine, as it speaks of God’s generous loving provision, His protection and immeasurable care over our lives, had issued a hidden and rather unexpected challenge. It’s not a new idea, of course, but it was a strong reminder, that how I live my life is the way I demonstrate the character of my Shepherd.

I’ll be pondering this truth more in the days ahead, as we celebrate the coming of Jesus, Emmanuel. In particular, as I spend time with non-believing family members, I need to remember that demonstrating I’m walking in paths of righteousness is essential, ‘for His name’s sake’.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for this timely reminder that the way I live my life is the best sort of evangelism, and it often speaks louder than words. Help me to demonstrate Your character in all my relationships and all I do in these coming days. 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

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