TODAY’S DAILY PRAYER
Dear Father in heaven, how lovingly you have thought of us! How much good you let us experience again and again! So our hearts are happy, and we go to rest this night full of joy and thanks because we are your children. Our thanks and joy shall be our service to you day and night. More than this you do not ask, and in this we will be faithful. We want to be joyful and to be glad for our lives. Even when we face dark hours, O Lord our God, we are filled with hope that brings us joy for the future as well as for the present, with assurance that your salvation is coming. We rejoice in what you give us already today. Amen.
Caffeine for your conscience
TODAY’S DAILY DIG
Source: Statement to the court upon being convicted of violating the Sedition Act, September 18, 1918
Verse of the Day
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
The battle we face is not a physical one. Instead, it is a spiritual battle with powers that we do not easily see and which are very powerful. We shouldn’t dismiss this as an imaginary battle or as an irrelevant struggle. Just as clearly as Satan was crouching at Cain’s door, desiring to have him, so he crouches at our door (Genesis 4:7). He will use his forces of evil to do all he can to defeat, destroy, or corrupt us. We must take this war seriously and recognize the spiritual power of our foe.
Father, forgive me for the times I have not taken the threat of evil seriously. Give me a holy revulsion for anything that is tied to what is unholy and opposed to your work and will. Let me not be deceived by temptation and deliver me from the power of the evil one in all of his forms. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
BIBLE STUDY BUDDY
Read Hebrews 10:19-25…Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20. by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21. and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22. let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25. not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
v19-25 The apostle having closed the first part of the epistle, the doctrine is applied to practical purposes. As believers had an open way to the presence of God, it became them to use this privilege. The way and means by which Christians enjoy such privileges, is by the blood of Jesus, by the merit of that blood which he offered up as an atoning sacrifice. The agreement of infinite holiness with pardoning mercy, was not clearly understood till the human nature of Christ, the Son of God, was wounded and bruised for our sins. Our way to heaven is by a crucified Saviour; his death is to us the way of life, and to those who believe this, he will be precious. They must draw near to God; it would be contempt of Christ, still to keep at a distance. Their bodies were to be washed with pure water, alluding to the cleansings directed under the law: thus the use of water in baptism, was to remind Christians that their conduct should be pure and holy. While they derived comfort and grace from their reconciled Father to their own souls, they would adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Believers are to consider how they can be of service to each other, especially stirring up each other to the more vigorous and abundant exercise of love, and the practice of good works. The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a means of stedfastness and perseverance. We should observe the coming of times of trial, and be thereby quickened to greater diligence. There is a trying day coming on all men, the day of our death.
As Good As His Word…
Insurance agent Ken Specht had called on Medicus Robertson at the TV store where he worked. Robertson agreed to purchase a $5,000 life insurance policy, which would double in value in case of his accidental death. Mr. Specht said that his company would cover the client until the formal policy application could be issued.
Just then an irate customer burst through the door and shot Robertson, killing him instantly. The insurance company later paid the widow $10,000, minus the $10.50 premium Robinson had not paid. Instead of seeking a legal loophole, the agent kept his word.
We who have put our trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation can be sure that God will keep His word. Because ”He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23), the author of Hebrews encouraged believers to boldly ”draw near” to God, confident that He has accepted us and our sins have been forgiven (v.22). And we are to encourage one another to be faithful to Him because we know that He will one day return for us (vv.24-25).
We have a hope that is based on the trustworthy promises of God. Our future is secure. God has always proven Himself to be as good as His word.
SINGING IN THE SPIRIT
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – Colossians 3:16
An Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I need to encounter the Persecuted Church.”
Once I spent a week in the company of a famous female Chinese evangelist. Many characteristics that made her stand out; her courage, her long hours on her knees, her carefully cultivated simplicity of faith. But at the time, these were not the features that stuck with me and ended up transforming my faith. What actually impressed me about her was the same thing that impressed me about everyone else around her too….they were always singing! Singing hymns that is!
Three features of the singing were striking. First, the hymns themselves were not in the least profound. In terms of content, they lacked theological depth and poetic phrasing. Wesley or Newton would not have been proud of these offerings.
Second, they couldn’t sing very well. Chinese are not renowned for their harmonic skills in any case. They warbled, croaked, and droned and screeched…all with a complete disregard for the tune.
Third, they sang primarily to themselves. Oh sure, they sang in groups and to each other, but the most of their singing was done by themselves, to themselves. But all this did not matter. The songs worked.
Travelling around with these persecuted believers made me realize I had forgotten how much Christians sing praises. For me, the only time I sang was in church or an occasional chorus at a home group. I had never really sung hymns to myself, or seen singing to another as a ministry. I didn’t have a terribly good singing voice, and felt like I should leave it to those who were good at it. But after hearing everyone in the persecuted church of China singing virtually all the time, and seeing the difference it made to them spiritually, I wondered, “Why do I not sing by myself, to my own spirit, or see singing as a ministry of encouragement?”
So when I returned home, I picked my seven favorite hymns. Ones like, “We rest on thee, Our Shield and Our Defender,” and, “Breathe on Me Breath of God.” I learned them, and during my quiet times, I sang to my spirit. And I found it to be true. A song lifts the spirit like nothing else. And as I read the Bible, I saw how central singing was to the practice of faith. The Israelites sing all the time in the temple; prisoners Paul and Silas sing in the cell; the early house churches sing to each other, and the scriptures climax in the great throne visions of John in Revelation, and what is going on in that most hallowed place but the singing of a “new song.”
Thank you persecuted church, for restoring a lost but key component of my quiet time.
RESPONSE: Today I will sing to the Lord in my spirit and gain encouragement for service to Him.
PRAYER: Lord, I ask You to help me be one who is always singing Your praises with my spirit.
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.–ISA. xlviii. 10.
Be patient, suffering soul! I hear thy cry.
The trial fires may glow, but I am nigh.
I see the silver, and I will refine
Until My image shall upon it shine.
Fear not, for I am near, thy help to be;
Greater than all thy pain, My love for thee.
H. W. C.
God takes a thousand times more pains with us than the artist with his picture, by many touches of sorrow, and by many colors of circumstance, to bring man into the form which is the highest and noblest in His sight, if only we received His gifts and myrrh in the right spirit. But when the cup is put away, and these feelings are stifled or unheeded, a greater injury is done to the soul than can ever be amended. For no heart can conceive in what surpassing love God giveth us this myrrh; yet this which we ought to receive to our soul’s good, we suffer to pass by us in our sleepy indifference, and nothing comes, of it. Then we come and complain: “Alas, Lord! I am so dry, and it is so dark within me!” I tell thee, dear child, open thy heart to the pain, and it will do thee more good than if thou wert full of feeling and devoutness.
Prayer is an effort of will.
Where is Your Focus Today?
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
When a runner is in a race, he puts his eyes on the goal. He doesn’t look at the grandstand or the other runners. Neither does he examine himself. He has his eyes on the goal. He looks away from everything else. The finish line is all he sees.
That’s exactly what we’re to do. The reason many Christians fail in the race is that they have not learned to look away from other things. They’re trying to look in both directions at the same time, and James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” AndMatthew 6:22 says, “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”
Where is your focus today? Has the world drawn you back into itself, luring you away from the command of our Lord? Read Matthew 28:19-20. That’s your goal.
From Guts, Grace, & Glory by Jim Grassi
JUST DO IT
To some, “Just Do It” is a catchy phrase for a sports apparel company. To Robert Griffin III, that phrase has more meaning and purpose. When it was announced that Robert Griffin III was the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Baylor fans erupted in cheers of great joy. The man known as “RG3” is the first Heisman winner in Baylor history. In leading Baylor to its first nine-win season since 1986, RG3 threw passes for a new school record of 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns. He also rushed for 644 yards with 9 touchdowns.
After ESPN pundits have called him “the Most Interesting Man in College Football.” A model student athlete and an obedient, loyal son, RG3 is one of the truly great stories to come out of football in the past decade.
Robert is the youngest of three children whose parents were both Army officers serving overseas. The discipline and commitment to excellence modeled by his loving parents set the stage for his faith, ideals, and family values and contributed to the development of his great character.
When Robert’s dad, Robert II, was suddenly deployed to Iraq on the eve of his well-deserved retirement from the Army, it set in motion a series of events that pushed RG3 to become a great student-athlete. Some people take the lemons life gives them and cry over them—others find a way to make some sweet lemonade, which seemed to be the standard RG3 applied to his father’s deployment.
The discipline of working hard and studying well prepared RG3 for the task of leading the Baylor Bears in their quest to become a top-ranked team. Robert’s practices and study of the game became a model for other aspiring athletes. It was reported that RG3 probably studied more film than most of the coaches. His dad taught him to deal with the unexpected and to prepare himself fully for the challenges life brings. Many of the drills his father invoked challenged RG3 to think outside the box and develop a calm instinct to alarming situations.
Somehow throughout all of this RG3 endeavors to keep a perspective by pointing to heaven after each touchdown. Unlike some high-profile athletes who forget about others, his work with organizations like Friends for Life, which assists seniors and adults with disabilities, and as a coach for kids associated with the Special Olympics helps Robert remain humble and appreciative of God’s blessings on his life.
At a time in our culture when most athletes are trying to compete for time in the spotlight, Robert shines it on God, his family, teammates, and coaches. “[God] gives you a stage to make a difference and not to just talk about yourself, but lift Him up. There are a lot of different types of Christians everywhere, but my biggest thing is it’s not our job to judge; it’s just our job to go out, praise Him, let people know what He’s doing, and let people follow if they want to.”
Upon reflecting on his faith RG3 also states, “I praise God, I thank Him for everything. Purposefully, you live every day for Him, and when He gives you the opportunity to speak up for Him or to do something in His name, you do it.”
Robert Griffin III is off to a great start with the Washington Redskins as their starting quarterback. In his first NFL game, Griffin led the Redskins to a 40–32 victory over the New Orleans Saints and was named the NFC’s “Offensive Player of the Week”—the first time a rookie quarterback had ever received that honor for a debut game. But I’d say he’s off to an even greater start in the game of life. I think he knows that bringing honor to God in whatever you do is a real privilege. You too can be the “player of the week” as a respected husband, dad, mom, friend, coworker, or neighbor. Each day we take in breath we can choose to honor or dishonor the One who gave us life.
Like RG3, when striving to be a disciple of Christ, we must remember three important things:
• Serving Christ in the energy of the flesh alone will bring futility and frustration.
• Whenever the Lord tells you to do something, do it.
• Discipleship means following Christ without being irresponsible in our attitudes or behavior.
©2013 by Dr. James E. Grassi
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. – >1 Peter 2:1-2
Go ahead and admit it, you talk to yourself. It’s not something to be embarrassed about–self-talk can be used to your benefit in order to greatly improve your success in controlling your desires.
One way to use it is to constructively direct the anger you feel when you’re tempted by an unhealthy or inappropriate desire. Instead of getting angry with yourself, get angry at the offense, and at the stumbling block it poses. This will help you resist it.
Another way self-talk can be used is to confront yourself and your appetites in order to bring rationality back into play when temptation threatens to confuse and disorient you. When you actively engage your mind by talking to yourself, you’ll be less likely to act without thinking, and you’ll reinforce what you believe to be true, right, and good.
Make no mistake about it. Self-talk can be a very spiritually wise thing to do. Listen to what the master theologian, J. I. Packer says on this topic in his book, A Quest For Godliness: “Richard Baxter convinced me long ago that regular discursive meditation, in which as he quaintly put it you ‘imitate the most powerful preacher you ever heard’ in applying spiritual truth to yourself, as well as turning that truth into praise, is a vital discipline for spiritual health. This unanimous Puritan view is now mine too.”
“If you hear a voice within you saying you are a painter, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
The Daily Word of Hope Devotional
Bible Fun Fact: The word Testament means covenant or contract.
The Silent Time
A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak Ecclesiastes 3:7 WEB
When attending classes in school, the teacher is right there with you, answering any questions that you may have and explaining the subject matter. But when the test comes, you are on your own to complete it using the knowledge that you have been taught. The teacher will no longer answer your questions, and there will be silence in the classroom.
When it is time to test what you have been learning, you have to be attentive and apply yourself. Are you ready to go to the next chapter, or do you have to re-take this same test for the third time? You will eventually have to pass the test in order to advance.
I know that God will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), but there will be times when He is not speaking. My wife and I are always together, but we are not constantly talking. You can be in His presence, and hear nothing but silence. During Hezekiah’s most prosperous time, God left him for a season to test him, that he might know all that was in his heart. (2 Chronicles 32:31).
At times in your walk with the Lord Jesus, you are going to experience this. You will have to live what you have learned. Walking with the Lord is more than words. When it happens, do not panic. This is a normal progression, and you are not a special case. Times like this have a set beginning, and an ending. The test will also scale to match your level.
If you are trying your best but still going through a silent time in your life, and it seems that God has nothing to say to you, then you are probably going through a test. Hold your head up, think positive, and remember the things that you have been taught during the previous months. They are the key to what you are going through now. The Lord always prepares us, and we often know more than we think we do. Soon this test will be over, and if you have paid attention you will advance to the next level. If you fail it, you will be given another chance.
Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray that You bring all the things back to my remembrance that I need to know today. I know that You have already put the things that I need inside of me. Please bring them back to the surface. I need You today, In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
Note: Happy Sunday!
DAILY DEVOTIONAL OCTOBER 29, 2017
Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven. . .’
This prayer begins where all true prayer must start, with the spirit ofadoption: “Our Father.” There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, “I will arise and go to my Father.”1 This childlike spirit soon perceives the grandeur of the Father “in heaven” and ascends to devout adoration, “hallowed be your name.” The child lisping, “Abba, Father” grows into the cherub crying, “Holy, holy, holy.” There is but a step from rapturous worship to the glowing missionary spirit, which is a sure expression of filial love and reverent adoration–“your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Next follows the heartfelt expression of dependence upon God–“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Being further illuminated by the Spirit, the one praying discovers that he is not only dependent but sinful; so he cries for mercy, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”; and being pardoned, having the righteousness of Christ imputed, and knowing his acceptance with God, he humbly prays for holy perseverance, “Lead us not into temptation.” The man who is really forgiven is anxious not to offend again; the possession of justification leads to an anxious desire for sanctification. “Forgive us our debts”–that is justification; “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”–that is sanctification in its negative and positive forms.
As the result of all this, there follows a triumphant ascription of praise, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.” We rejoice that our King reigns in providence and shall reign in grace, from the river even to the ends of the earth, and of His dominion there shall be no end. So from a sense of adoption, up to fellowship with our reigning Lord, this short model of prayer conducts the soul. Lord, teach us then to pray.
Moving in Presumption
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
October 29, 2017
“Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp.” Numbers 14:44
The people of Israel were brought out of Egypt to enter a new land-the Promised Land. This land was not handed over to them freely; it required the removing of God’s enemies through battle. It required a partnership between God and the people. As long as the people remained true to God, they were victorious.
The people were camped at Kadesh Barnea, near the border entrance to the long-awaited Promised Land. All the hardships of their journey from Egypt were now culminating at this important crossing. However, Joshua and Caleb were the only scouts who proclaimed faith in God to take them into the land and conquer their enemies. The other spies saw all the dangers and refused to take the risk. The people of the camp shrank in fear because of their report. They decided not to enter in.
God was angered at the people for their lack of faith. Moses had to intercede on their behalf. Once they realized what they had done, it was too late. But they thought their repentance was enough to right their wrong. They presumed this was all that was necessary.
Moses informed them they were deceived in their presumption of God’s favor. They went to battle against the Amalekites only to be soundly defeated. Those who returned did not understand why they lost the battle.
It is important for us to know whether we have God’s hand upon our endeavors. Presumption leads to failure. God’s favor leads to success. Ask God to confirm His hand on your endeavors.
…”If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15).
Passion for Praise: ‘You are My God!’
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Yes, today I have hope in my heart, and peace in my mind, and most important: love from my Lord and Savior! I have seen the Light that the movie spoke of…..three times in my lifetime, so far! But, it took this wonderful movie to REALLY show me the meaning of it!! Thank You, Jesus!! Only YOU can heal me……
There is NO point in any of it!!
It doesn’t matter if they don’t see anything I write, say, or do…….Jesus does…………
God bless everyone!!!!