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Devotional

Valvoja: Annukka

Re: Devotional

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.12.2015 13:49

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” Judges 5:20.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
You know, the stars have to obey our Lord. In the Old Testament, the Bible says the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. Sisera was a general whose army had 900 chariots going to war against God’s people. Imagine—900 chariots! God sent such a tremendous rainstorm that his chariots bogged down and he was defeated.

Later when they wrote a song to celebrate the victory, one of the stanzas says “the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” His kingdom came tumbling down. And ultimately Herod’s kingdom came tumbling down, for Herod stumbled over the stars—the Star of Bethlehem.

Listen to me, the whole universe is against the person who is against God. But the whole universe lines up behind the one who seeks God. Whatever is necessary, God will do it to get the hungry heart who seeks after Him to Jesus. If you want Him, God is a God of might and miracle.

ACTION POINT:
Some of you may be reading this by divine appointment because you’ve been seeking the Lord. Thank God for the miracle of the stars. The star was there to guide those wise men seeking Jesus. It tells me that whatever is necessary, God will guide your hungry heart if you want to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
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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

Matthew 2:6

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 20.12.2015 13:53

Today's Verse for 12/20/2015
[As the prophet has written:] "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel." — Matthew 2:6

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Thought

The birth of Jesus at Bethlehem is no accident. The Almighty God had foretold this many years earlier through his prophets. Even Herod's religious lackeys could determine that the Messiah was to be born in the quaint old city of David. The human birth of the promised Messiah would occur in the city of Israel's great King, poet, and shepherd. This was God's plan. It is also a reminder that God keeps his word and fulfills his promises.
Prayer

Loving God, I find it hard to complete my plans and fulfill my promises. This makes the unfolding of your plans, foretold throughout the winding story of the Old Testament, so amazing to me. Please use your Spirit to remind me during the darker moments of my soul that you do fulfill your promises and will bring your deliverance right on time. Please give me patience to wait faithfully, and to live courageously, for your salvation to be fully revealed. 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

Love Christmas

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.12.2015 11:20

21 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Love Christmas

"God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him."
1 John 4:9, NLT

A garden centre near us is currently enticing would-be customers into their store with a seasonal display at their entrance, which includes imitation frost on the grass, hedges and bushes, alongside two large signboards with the words ‘Love Christmas’.

As Christians, whatever one’s view of when, or how, the coming of Christ into this world should be acknowledged, it is, I believe, an event that warrants celebrating. When we stop to think about it, it’s remarkable indeed that God, the Holy One, in the form of His Son Jesus, should come into the world as a human being. The Bible makes it quite clear that God’s motivation for doing this was love. In a verse, familiar to so many, it affirms that ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son’ (John 3:16).

Love is God’s very nature, for ‘God is love’(1 John 4:8). And Jesus came to demonstrate love in a practical way, as He helped and healed so many of those He met, while here on earth. This amazing love for all was ultimately so powerfully demonstrated by His dying on the cross at Calvary.

Yes, love is the very essence of what we know as the Christmas period, not the love of the season or the shopping, or the festivities, (as the signs at our garden centre would tend to imply), but the love of God. When, or however, we choose to celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world as God’s gift, Saviour for all those who will accept Him, may we all experience a fresh awareness and a deeper appreciation of His love.

As the world, for whatever reasons, loves or hates Christmas, let those of us, who’ve been touched by a personal experience of God’s love in our own lives, take every opportunity we can, in these challenging days, to share with others something of the love of God. ‘Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other’ (1 John 4:11).

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine,
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
(Christina Rossetti 1830-1894)

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for loving me so much. Please help me to share Your love with others, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. Amen.
Today's Writer : Malcolm Wood
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Re: Devotional

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 21.12.2015 22:28

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-11.

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

In the gifts the wise men brought to the young boy Jesus, gold speaks of His sovereign dominion—He was born a King. Frankincense speaks of His sinless deity—He is God in human flesh. Myrrh speaks of His sacrificial death—He was born to die that we might live.

• He is King and they brought gold.
• He is God and they brought Him frankincense.
• He is our Savior and they brought myrrh.

Sovereign dominion, sinless deity, sacrificial death.

ACTION POINT:
Because He is a King, He has my wealth. Because He is God, He has my worship. And because He died, He has my witness. All that I am, all that I have, all that I do, belongs to this One. That is wisdom. That’s what a wise man will do. Do some soul-searching today. Are you really wise?
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Devotions taken from the messages of Adrian Rogers.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

What? No 5 Star Hotel?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 22.12.2015 10:34

22 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
What? No 5 Star Hotel?

"She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them."
Luke 2:7, NIV

While sitting on the train this week, I took the opportunity to read the story of Jesus’ birth again. As I opened my bible and found the beginning of the book of Luke, I asked the Holy Spirit to speak something new to me.

The events began to unfold and I tried my best to imagine how the characters would be feeling. It must have been quite incredible and rather overwhelming for Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah to all have had angels of the Lord appear to them in such a short period. Of course for Mary and Elizabeth it was even more outrageous because the chances of either of them having babies in a natural way were definitely zero!

I must admit I was slightly jealous when I got to Luke 1:15 and read that John the Baptist had been filled with the Holy Spirit before he was even born! Also, I had never picked up on the fact that Mary had gone to stay with Elizabeth for the last three months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. I can just imagine the two of them talking late into the night and getting quite carried away with excitement! I’m sure they could barely contain themselves as they eagerly anticipated the births of these two miracle babies.

Finally, Mary and Joseph were travelling to Nazareth and Luke 2:6 says that ‘the time came for the baby to be born’. I wonder what was going through Mary and Joseph’s minds as they arrived in Nazareth. They both knew very well that this was no ordinary baby – it was the Son of God no less! I wouldn’t be surprised if they half expected that God would have gone ahead of them and prepared some kind of 5 star hotel for this royal baby to be born in...

...but no. Not a 5 star hotel. No hotel at all in fact. Not even a room!

God chose perhaps the worst conditions Mary could have imagined. “Why did You do that?” I asked the Lord as I got to this part of the story. Into my heart came a few possible reasons. Firstly, if they had been tucked away in a posh hotel room somewhere, would the shepherds and the Magi have been able to find them? Would they have missed out on the blessing of those beautiful and expensive gifts they received? Not to mention the amazing confirmations that this really was the Son of God! Secondly, would it have been fitting for the Son of God who Himself later said that he had come ‘to serve and not to be served’ to have had maids and servants running around, fluffing his pillows and caring for His every need?

What is abundantly clear from this story is that God will often choose to do things in a way that completely offends our minds and goes against all our fleshly desires for comfort. Why? Because He has a greater purpose. His ways are not our ways, but we have a choice. If we choose to let go of our human understanding and cravings, and instead yield to Him, we will see extraordinary things happen and our lives will bear an abundance of eternal fruit.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You loved us so much that You sent Your Son into this world. Thank You that You sent Him in all humility, not to have a privileged existence but to make Him familiar with hardship and suffering, to really know what it’s like for us down here. Thank You for Your wonderful ways. Please forgive me for the times I have fought against Your ways, because my flesh wanted something different, something more comfortable. Help me to yield to You, even when I don’t fully understand, and may Your Holy Spirit overshadow me just like it did Mary, so that I may be able to do extraordinary things in Your name and for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today's Writer : David Steele
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Greatest News Of All

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 23.12.2015 11:28

23 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
The Greatest News Of All

"While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Luke 2: 6-7, NIV

The news that first Christmas, over 2,000 years ago, was filled with the ‘big’ stories of the day. ‘King Herod executes his son for treason!’ ‘Caesar Augustus commands Roman census of Judea’. ‘Roman census fills Bethlehem to bursting point!’ ‘Incredible supernova appears!’

Yet the one of real significance was missed by almost everyone: King Herod, Caesar Augustus, the learned men of Israel, the intelligensia of Rome, and the rich and poor alike. The shepherds on the hillsides of Judea were only made aware by a ‘great company of angels singing’, and wise men from the east only came because of the appearance of an unusual star in the east.

Over 2,000 years later it’s still far too easy to miss the event that still resounds down the ages – the birth of God’s one and only Son. The headlines are full of the atrocities inflicted by ISIS; the hundreds of thousands of immigrants pouring into the West; the fear of terrorists stalking the streets and cities; the fortune spent on presents, floods, the attacks on Israel. The list just goes on and on. Many despair for the future.

So let’s spend time this Christmas remembering whose season it really is, God’s greatest gift, His Son. He’s the gift that truly goes on giving, the only true hope for a world in turmoil and the Prince of peace to a world that’s lost its peace.

And He came to give us the greatest gift of all, ‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God’ (John 1:12). In all the gift giving this Christmas, let’s take time to remember the greatest gift of all and say “Thank you!”

Prayer: Father God, I thank You so much for giving me the greatest gift of all; eternal life, making me a son, or daughter, of God Almighty. Amongst all the tinsel, turkey and trappings of this Christmas time I choose to focus on Jesus, the gift of love to all mankind. Amen.
Today's Writer : Philip Asselin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

God is our refuge and strength

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.12.2015 23:16

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“…He hath said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Some people over this holiday season feel so alone. One Christmas Eve I went to talk to a person who was hurting. I said, “Why don't you call a friend?” She said, "I don't have a friend." I said, "Oh yes, you do." And I told her His name. It is the One who said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

Greek scholars tell us this sentence, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," actually has five negatives in it. Now we say a double-negative is bad English, but evidently it wasn't bad Greek. Here's what it literally says: "I will never, no, not ever, no, never leave nor forsake you."

Famed research analyst Dr. Abraham Maslow said, "The truth is that the average American does not have a real friend in the world." And psychiatrist Alfred Adler said, "All human failures spring from a lack of love.” People need someone to love, and they need to be loved. Without it, their lives are filled with fear and frustration. Hebrews 13:5 tells us we can face a new year with the certainty of His provision and with His companionship in our hearts and in our lives.

ACTION POINT:
Who do you know that might need a call from a friend today? A new widow? An empty-nester? A stay-at-home mom? Make that call today.
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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

John 1:14

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.12.2015 13:23

Today's Verse for 12/25/2015
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14

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Thought

God's message wasn't content to stay confined to a book, a prophecy, or a scroll. Praise God! This Message, this Word, took on flesh and blood and bones! Praise God Almighty! This Message, this Word, didn't remain far off, distantly holy and unapproachable. Praise the LORD, God of Israel! He came to us in human flesh, bringing us love, hope, redemption, mercy, salvation, joy...
Prayer

Almighty God, I praise and exalt your name above all names. Your love is greater than the volume of all of our oceans. Your mercy stretches farther than the great expanses of our known space. Your grace is beyond calculation. Your salvation is marvelous beyond compare. Thank you for blessing me with all of these in Jesus, who came and lived in my world so I can make my home in yours. In the name of Christ the Lord, I praise 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

Encourage Others

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 26.12.2015 10:57

26 December, 2015
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Encourage Others

"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11, NLT

Quite often, when I’m driving, I listen to classical music on the radio, and at this time of year that includes Christmas carols. These are usually sung by one of the cathedral choirs, a polished performance by trained singers. Over the years I’ve also attended many carol services in Church, and am aware that much practising has gone on in the weeks before, to try to emulate the same kind of standard.

Recently I was invited to go to a carol service being put on by one of the local churches for a uniformed youth organisation with branches in the area. I watched them arrive, all smart in their uniforms for the occasion, and was quite surprised as the service leader went up to greet them, and asked for a volunteer to either read from the bible or sing a solo verse. Some volunteered happily and others were pushed forward by their peers.

As the service got underway, the music was led by a group of musicians who obviously had been practising together for a while. Then the first volunteer came forward to read. I knew he had been one pushed forward by his friends, a lad of about 16.

He struggled a bit and stumbled over some of the words, but got through quite well. As he finished, his group, and the whole congregation, broke into spontaneous applause, not what usually happens at a carol Service.

I watched the leader’s face, it was quite apparent that she had a real heart for these youngsters, and also a gifting in evangelism, but she clearly hadn’t expected the applause. I also saw the young man’s face, and he was obviously delighted that his efforts met with this approval.

After that, as each of the others took their turn at the solo piece they’d been asked to do, there was applause, although they were far from practised or polished performances, and I watched all their faces reflect the delight and encouragement that was in their hearts.

It was one of the most memorable and delightful carol Services I have ever been to, mainly because these, mostly unchurched, youngsters had such a fun time; due partly to the gifting of the leader, but mainly because of the encouragement.

This got me thinking and reflecting on the exhortation in today’s scripture verse to encourage one another. It’s an instruction that’s repeated several times over in the Bible. I felt that God had given me a little window into the value and importance of it; having always thought it meant encourage one another in faith and walking in the Kingdom, but seeing that it’s much bigger than that.

There was a definite sense that seeds were being planted in these young people that have the potential to grow into who knows what amazing fruit in the future. I’m praying that God will help me to encourage people more. Please join me.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me by Your Holy Spirit to be more encouraging to the people I meet every day. Show me the good things in each one and remind me to affirm them in those things. Amen.

Today's Writer : Dotty Cockcroft
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

The Jesus who came the first time is coming again,

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 26.12.2015 19:16

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels… When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…” 2 Thessalonians 1:7,10.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
The Jesus who came the first time is coming again, and Christmas is not complete without the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The incarnation without the coronation would be like east without west. It would be like an engagement without a marriage. The story is not complete until Jesus comes again.

You may have thought that this was a good Christmas for you—but, friend, I want to tell you…the best is yet to come! The Heavenly Father has so much more in store for us when Jesus comes again.

You see, we get all wrapped up in the little baby, the baby that was born, and we then go beyond the birth of the baby, saying, “Yes, He came to die for our sins” (thank God He did that), but I want to remind you that the First Coming of Jesus and the Second Coming are linked together.

The Christmas Story in Luke 1 and 2 speaks not only of the Jesus who redeemed, but the Jesus who reigned. Not only Jesus who came the first time, but Jesus who is coming the second time to sit upon the throne of His father David, to rule over the house of Jacob forever and ever.

ACTION POINT:
Imagine for a moment what your life would be like without the Resurrection, the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus. The most glorious fact of the past is that Jesus came the first time. The most glorious fact of the future is that this Jesus is coming again. The one sure hope of this jittery old world is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
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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

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