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Devotional

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Luke 2:6-7

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 23.12.2013 19:39

Today's Verse for 12/23/2013

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. — Luke 2:6-7


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Thought

Jesus entered our world in the most normal of ways for a child: the time came, his mother gave birth, he was wrapped in soft cloth, and placed in a crib. Only this was the Son of God who was born. His crib was a corncrib where animals ate, not a baby's crib. His room was a stable because there was no room for him. It wasn't just normal; it was common, even below average conditions for his birth. Can you imagine? The Holy God who created everything enters our world as a baby to share our way of life as one of us. Why? He loves us and wants us to come home to him. Incredible! Incredible story. Incredible love. Incredible God!

Prayer

O LORD God Almighty, how can I ever show you how much the gift of your Son means to me? I am struck with wonder and joy that you should love me in this incredible way. Please accept my praise and adoration for both you and your Son. Praise to you, loving Father, for your indescribable gift! In Jesus' name. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

God Laughs at His Enemies!

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.12.2013 11:38

24 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
God Laughs at His Enemies!

“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The Kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His anointed One. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off their fetters.’ The One enthroned in Heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.”
Psalm 2:1-4

Celebrating the coming of Jesus is one of life’s special times, for those who belong to Him. The excitement the world sees in Christmas has shifted the celebration to be wholly self and man focussed. But for those of us who know the Son of God, our hearts are full of gratitude at this time of year for the gift of our salvation, the joy of being called a son/daughter and the privilege of being co-heirs with Jesus in the promise of an inheritance incorruptible.

All those years ago, when the Father planned to send a very precious part of Himself, in the form of a human baby, another plan was being hatched. God’s enemy, Satan, knew that His territory and Kingdom would be under threat. So he stirred up Herod to kill all the baby boys in the region. But did he really think he could stop the eternal purposes of Almighty God? In his deception, he certainly caused much torment, cruelty and pain, but our God is the Master of working His purposes out in ways far beyond the wit of man - and certainly way beyond the reach of Satan.

What brilliance it was to bring the baby Son of God into the most unexpected, unlovely and lowly place. Even Mary and Joseph, God’s chosen vessels, couldn’t find it! They had to keep knocking on door after door! But God had His place where no one would ever dream of looking! God laughs at His enemies, not in a mocking derisory way but in a Holy laughter which places Satan firmly under His feet, and even goes as far as using the enemy to extend His purposes! We are not in a dualistic battle. For God always has a win/win plan for an individual as well as in the big picture.

We can be sure that God is working His purpose out in our lives, whatever the circumstances are. He has His way of outwitting the enemy and we can look to Him, trusting that He will bring about what we can never do through our own cleverness and human logic.

Today, as we see the big picture, the god of this world has pretty successfully killed off the true meaning of Christmas and replaced it in people’s hearts with any kind of god. We can and do bemoan what seems to be a losing battle. But God has a plan! Satan is once again being stirred, this time by the second coming - the imminent return of the King of Kings! Trying to kill off the real celebration of Christmas is just one aspect of what Satan is trying to do today.

The god of this world has plotted out a pretty good destruction plan. Eliminate those nativity plays, they are boring and religious. Get rid of the word Christmas and replace it with winter holidays. Replace the joyful bells ringing out the good news, with glitter and glamour worship. You could say his plot has worked!

But, once again he has been deceived! The Father is watching over His plan. Let us who hold fast to the truth, never let go of celebrating the true Christmas and all that it holds in the promise of the return of our Saviour. He is coming soon! We will celebrate the Incarnation like never before and allow the light of the world to shine yet brighter in the midst of the coming darkness. Keep holding up the light and truth of Christmas, its promise is the answer to the cry of every human heart.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we lift You high in our hearts today and every day and it is a joy to celebrate You and Your coming. Help us to never let the enemy rob us of the significance of this precious time of year and its true meaning for the world. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Today's Writer : Fiona Horrobin
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Do You Need a Friend This Christmas Eve?

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.12.2013 21:18

Do You Need a Friend This Christmas Eve?

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.

View or Share online | Discover Jesus | Read the Bible | LWF.org | Today's Message

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

Luke 2:10

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 24.12.2013 21:19

Today's Verse for 12/24/2013

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." — Luke 2:10


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Thought

Don't be afraid! What can cast away all fear in the presence of God's glorious messengers? The joy of knowing that God has come to earth to bring an end to sin and Satan's curse and to bring salvation to all people! Fear must not master our hearts when we know that God has broken through every barrier to reach us with his overwhelming grace.

Prayer

I praise you, Almighty God, for the gift of joy that chases away all fear. Fill my heart with that joy and fill my mind with wonder as I try to comprehend your love for me. Stir me to greater concern for those who have not heard, or who have not yet accepted, your offer of grace in your Son Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Born To Die

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.12.2013 11:30

25 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Born To Die

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
Matthew 1:21, NIV

There has been an advert on UK TV by a well-known, international children’s charity which states “No child is born to die”. The purpose is to highlight the plight of the millions of children around the world who have little prospect of survival due to lack of water, food and clothing. However, in my mind, I saw another slogan: “This child was born to die” and that is the greater truth which is the awesome answer to world poverty.

Today Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah sent by God. He came to bring LIFE where there`s no hope of anything but death. Whilst many children die at, or soon after, birth, Jesus was THE child born to die. His purpose in being Incarnate was to provide the true substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of us all, and, to do that, Jesus, the Son of God had to live. What did His Mum feel about that? I wonder.

At the beginning of the story young Mary had some pretty amazing encounters with heavenly messengers, as did her husband-to-be, Joseph. We read that Mary was a thinker, who treasured things up in her heart for later consideration. Did she understand the true significance of the ‘sword will pierce your heart’ prophecy from Simeon? Would she have coped if she knew the detailed ending of her son’s life? Any of us who have lost our children know the trauma of that ending, whether through illness, accident or design. But to know at birth is even more difficult. For Mary, her son`s birth was with the purpose of His future death, and our salvation.

Jesus came with the invisible label attached “this child is born to die”. It`s really beyond our understanding, and was probably so for Mary and Joseph too. But they didn`t need to understand, just to trust and believe.

As we gather to enjoy our Christmas festivities, maybe with family, friends, or as we serve the less fortunate in our communities, the death of Jesus and His resurrection give us greater reason to celebrate. It`s not being morbid, but being real. This was His purpose – He was born to die, and without this incredible truth there`s no hope for you, for me or for all those millions of impoverished human beings in our sad world.

I pray that you will have a Happy Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus, given extra meaning through the new birth into eternal life which we`ve received through Him.

Prayer: Praise You, Jesus, for coming to this earth as a baby, in order to save Your people from their sins. Thank You that we`re included as Yours and we celebrate Your coming with Your family everywhere around the world today. Amen.
Today's Writer : John Berry
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Luke 2:11

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.12.2013 19:20

Today's Verse for 12/25/2013

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." — Luke 2:11


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Thought

Look at all this verse tells us. Jesus is a descendant of David, the eternal king of promise. He is Savior of all peoples. He is Christ, the Messiah, the promised hope of Israel. He is Lord, ruler of all creation and master of our lives. The real question is whether we have decided that Jesus means all those things to us today. If he is not your Savior today, why not let him be? And if he is, then with whom do you need to share his grace?

Prayer

Father, I praise you for sending Jesus to me as my Lord and Savior. Help me as I seek to share your grace and his story with those I love. Please bless the following people with whom I want to share the story of Jesus... In the precious name of the Savior, I pray. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Re: Devotional

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 25.12.2013 19:24

The Prince of Peace

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Luke 2:14

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
One of the wonderful names of our wonderful Lord is “The Prince of Peace.”

Jesus holds the key to peace, whether it’s personal peace in your heart, domestic peace in your home, or eternal peace in heaven.

Isaiah prophesied that He would be called The Prince of Peace. The angels told the shepherds that His coming was “good tidings of great joy,” for His incarnation meant “peace, goodwill toward men.”

Certainly there is a need for peace. But look around. What has happened to the promised peace? It was purposefully postponed when God sent the Prince of Peace, but the world rejected and then crucified the Prince of Peace. There will be no peace on earth until the world that rejected our Savior receives Him again in power and glory. The only true hope for peace for the church, the nation and the individual is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

ACTION POINT:
This Christmas, do you have peace with God or is the war still going on? The only way you can have the peace that Jesus made is to surrender to Jesus in absolute, total, unconditional surrender. He has fought the battle and the battle is won. But it will do you no good until you bow to Him. Have you laid down your sword of rebellion at His feet? He has made peace with the blood of His cross, but that peace does you no good until you bow to Him in total surrender. There is peace with God. Once you have that peace with God, then you can have the peace of God.

View or Share online | Discover Jesus | Read the Bible | LWF.org | Today's Message

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

Investments and Returns

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 27.12.2013 10:43

27 December, 2013
Today's Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International
Investments and Returns

"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
Luke 6:38, NIV

A well-known maxim teaches us that ‘it takes money to make money’. We need to have some measure of finance available before we can start investing and look forward to a reasonable return. God, who has much at His disposal, also has done some investing. Now He`s looking for a return. Did you know that He`s invested in us? There are quite a number of pictures in the Bible where God compares us to a garden, a tree or a vine, and He goes to great lengths to look after what He`s planted. He does everything He can to care for it.

He`s taken time and effort with a view to cultivating us, hoping to see fruit in our lives that will glorify Him. He doesn`t just expect us to ‘produce works’ without first pouring something into us, as that would be rather unfair. No, He carefully looks after us, tends us, nourishes us, waters us, prunes us and protects us. He wants to set us up as well as He can so we can bear the fruit He`s looking for.

As the Lord has invested in us, He desires that we, too, should invest in others. Now there`s a thought! Who or what are you investing in? Are you investing in others? Are you sowing into His kingdom, using whatever He`s placed at your disposal? If you do, you`ll have a certain and eternal reward waiting for you - a precious reward which no one can ever take away from you. This reward will be given to you by God - to keep forever!

If, however, it turns out we`re only investing in ourselves, we`re not being very good stewards. The return for this investment will be nothing to be excited about. Such investment would be unwise. We`re blessed so we can be a blessing. There`s no better, safer investment than into the kingdom of God. When everything`s said and done, and we`re in eternity, I think the Lord will show that there`s no one pays better returns than He does. But will we have made the right investments?

One caveat must be mentioned here: He does want us to take care of ourselves! It`s true that we can`t give unless we first receive. But are we receiving only because we want more for ourselves, or are we hoping to sow into the lives of others?

Prayer: Thank You Lord for all the things you`ve been sowing into my life. Please forgive me for all the times when I`ve been selfish with these things. Please help me to become a person who invests in others, and into Your Kingdom. Thank You that I can then expect a good return! Amen.
Today's Writer : Peter Brokaar
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

Luke 2:20

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 28.12.2013 09:07

Today's Verse for 12/27/2013

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. — Luke 2:20


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Thought

Can you imagine the shepherds returning to their flocks after the night they had? They had seen God's glory. They had experienced the presence of angels. They had seen the newborn King, the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world. Even more amazing, it was just as they had been told. As amazing as the angel's words of announcement had been, they were gloriously fulfilled. In addition to all that Jesus was at the moment of his birth, he is also the absolute answer to God's greatest promises and the greatest assurance that God keeps his word. Incredibly, God had chosen shepherds, unnamed to us and unimportant to their peers, to be the witnesses and participants in God's glorious story of salvation. It is our Father's way of reminding us that no matter who we are, Jesus came for us because we are important to him!

Prayer

Lord God Almighty, I can only imagine what it was like for those shepherds who experienced your glory. However, dear Father, I do know how much Jesus means to me. I praise you for loving me and reaching my heart with your grace. Sanctify me and make me righteous through the work of your Holy Spirit as I seek to live my life in appreciation for all that you have done for me. In Jesus' glorious name. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

John 1:18

ViestiKirjoittaja Annukka » 28.12.2013 18:03

Today's Verse for 12/28/2013

No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. — John 1:18


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Thought

Jesus is God's greatest message. He not only proclaims and declares God's love, mercy, and grace, he has made it known. Only Jesus can display God to us fully, for he is one with the Father. Yet when we "see" Jesus ministering in the Gospels, we see God. If we want to know how God feels about us, all we have to do is look at how Jesus ministers to others. If we want to know what God would do for us, we can notice what Jesus does to bless others. Jesus is our window to the Father's heart. So as this year winds down, and as you stand in the afterglow of Christmas, why not make a commitment to get to know Jesus better in this coming year by spending more time with him in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). If you do, you will better know God!

Prayer

Thank you, Father, for giving me a window to your heart through the life and ministry of Jesus. Please bless me as I seek to know you better by knowing, understanding, and following Jesus more passionately. I pray in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
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Annukka
 
Viestit: 3288
Liittynyt: 24.11.2013 21:34

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