Throw Back What?

Thursday1

 

 

Prayer3

TODAY’S DAILY PRAYER

a yellow zinniaSince, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1–2, NIV

Lord our God, we thank you for sending into our lives so much that turns our thoughts to things above and enables us always to look to you. Through Jesus Christ send us what is of heaven. Send what is of heaven into every single life and into the lives of the nations, so that something good may arise and the glory does not go to the Devil but to your Spirit, your heavenly Spirit alone. In their stubbornness people intend to do evil, but you can turn it all to the good. You can change everything. This is our faith. We hope in you, and we want to put our lives in your hands. Bless us with heavenly riches and power. Amen.

Daily Dig

Caffeine for your conscience

TODAY’S DAILY DIG

Wood ShavingsHe brought light out of darkness, not out of a lesser light, and he can bring thee summer out of winter, though thou hast no spring. Though in the ways of fortune, understanding, or conscience thou hast been benighted till now, wintered and frozen, clouded and eclipsed, damped and benumbed, smothered and stupefied, now God comes to thee, not as the dawning of the day, not as the bud of the spring, but as the sun at noon.

 

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Psalm 91:2

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

“In God we trust.” That’s the phrase written on much of the money in the United States. It’s a great reminder. The financial climate ebbs and flows, always vulnerable to instability in the world. Only God is our refuge and fortress during the storms of life. He is eternal. He desires to bless us. He has earned our trust.

My Prayer…

Heavenly Father, I am so thakful that I can trust my life with you. Mold me and use me in ways that are a blessing to others. You are my source of security and strength. Please continue to make your presence known in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

BIBLE STUDY BUDDY

Read Hebrews 13:5…Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ”Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional
Hebrews 13:5

“He hath said.”
Heb 13:5

If we can only grasp these words by faith, we have an all-conquering weapon in our hand. What doubt will not be slain by this two-edged sword? What fear is there which shall not fall smitten with a deadly wound before this arrow from the bow of God’s covenant? Will not the distresses of life and the pangs of death; will not the corruptions within, and the snares without; will not the trials from above, and the temptations from beneath, all seem but light afflictions, when we can hide ourselves beneath the bulwark of “He hath said”? Yes; whether for delight in our quietude, or for strength in our conflict, “He hath said” must be our daily resort. And this may teach us the extreme value of searching the Scriptures. There may be a promise in the Word which would exactly fit your case, but you may not know of it, and therefore you miss its comfort. You are like prisoners in a dungeon, and there may be one key in the bunch which would unlock the door, and you might be free; but if you will not look for it, you may remain a prisoner still, though liberty is so near at hand. There may be a potent medicine in the great pharmacopoeia of Scripture, and you may yet continue sick unless you will examine and search the Scriptures to discover what “He hath said.” Should you not, besides reading the Bible, store your memories richly with the promises of God? You can recollect the sayings of great men; you treasure up the verses of renowned poets; ought you not to be profound in your knowledge of the words of God, so that you may be able to quote them readily when you would solve a difficulty, or overthrow a doubt? Since “He hath said” is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort, let it dwell in you richly, as “A well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.” So shall you grow healthy, strong, and happy in the divine life.

“I will never leave thee.”
Heb 13:5

No promise is of private interpretation. Whatever God has said to any one saint, He has said to all. When He opens a well for one, it is that all may drink. When He openeth a granary- door to give out food, there may be some one starving man who is the occasion of its being opened, but all hungry saints may come and feed too. Whether He gave the word to Abraham or to Moses, matters not, O believer; He has given it to thee as one of the covenanted seed. There is not a high blessing too lofty for thee, nor a wide mercy too extensive for thee. Lift up now thine eyes to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, for all this is thine. Climb to Pisgah’s top, and view the utmost limit of the divine promise, for the land is all thine own. There is not a brook of living water of which thou mayst not drink. If the land floweth with milk and honey, eat the honey and drink the milk, for both are thine. Be thou bold to believe, for He hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”In this promise, God gives to His people everything. “I will never leave thee.” Then no attribute of God can cease to be engaged for us. Is He mighty? He will show Himself strong on the behalf of them that trust Him. Is He love? Then with lovingkindness will He have mercy upon us. Whatever attributes may compose the character of Deity, every one of them to its fullest extent shall be engaged on our side. To put everything in one, there is nothing you can want, there is nothing you can ask for, there is nothing you can need in time or in eternity, there is nothing living, nothing dying, there is nothing in this world, nothing in the next world, there is nothing now, nothing at the resurrection-morning, nothing in heaven which is not contained in this text—”I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

When We Are Lonely…

Most likely, you know exactly how it feels to be lonely. We have all been in that situation at one time or another. It may be a matter of feeling rejected by someone, or it could be the sense of loss brought on by a substantial geographical distance between you and a loved one. Or, it may even be that you have honestly never felt a deep, abiding intimacy with someone else. Loneliness strikes us in many forms.

 

Despite the reason, loneliness seems to settle into our lives like a thick fog; no matter where we turn, everything seems dark, gray, and terribly empty. And yet, although we sense it ”out there,” loneliness is actually an internal problem. Sometimes, it seems inescapable because it is so firmly rooted in our own hearts.

 

Loneliness is a serious problem. God does not desire that His children be isolated and alone. In fact, the first thing in all of Creation that God deemed ”not good” was Adam’s ”aloneness.” (Genesis 2:18)

 

Sometimes our friends may disappear for a while, and we end up feeling alone. However, there is one relationship that we can count on, above all others, as lasting, pure, and true: that is, of course, our relationship with Jesus Christ. Scripture assures us that He will never leave us, and in Him, we will never be alone. (Hebrews 13:5)

 

Jesus desires to be your closest companion, and He has made it possible for this relationship to last an eternity. Thank God today for His Son, your Friend forever.

 

 

November 2
Excel Still More in Obedience and Love
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Brethren, pray for us.
Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 4-5
WORSHIP
The proud have forged a lie against me,
But I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart.
Their heart is as fat as grease,
But I delight in Your law.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of coins of gold and silver.
Psalm 119:69-72
WISDOM
He who follows righteousness and mercy
Finds life, righteousness and honor.
Proverbs 21:21

LOVE MYSTERY

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.1 Corinthians 4:1

An Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I need to encounter the Persecuted Church.”

However we splice it, the Christian life involves living with mystery. Many times the will of God is utterly incomprehensible to us. This is as it should be, since God’s ways are so much higher than ours, but it doesn’t make it any easier to live with. Living with mystery is hard.

Mystery should make us silent, humble, careful. We should not rush to explain what cannot be explained. But I remember on a visit to China meeting a famous house church leader. We were talking about revival. Revival is a mystery. Why does God bring it to some countries and not to others? We don’t know. This leader said he knew: “Oh, there is no mystery to revival.  Revival is brought about by persecution. You pray for persecution, and you will get revival later on.”

But this is quite untrue, and one has to make allowances for persecuted Christians, for though they may know the history of their own churches well, they are often unaware of the history of the church worldwide. It is obvious that God has brought many revivals about without persecution. The Great Awakenings of 18th century America and Britain for example were brought about largely as a result of the preaching of Whitefield and Wesley. It is also obvious that there are places where persecution has not brought revival. One thinks of the whole of North Africa and the Middle East, which provided so many of our early church leaders like Tertullian and Augustine. Now there are only the sandy ruins of churches, and Islam.

Mysteries also should make us honest. We have to admit “we don’t know” to God. But all too often we beg for answers we simply could not handle. But if I look at the experiences rather than the explanations of the persecuted, I see that at the heart of mystery is not frustration, but joy and grace.

The same Chinese leader—so confident he knew the formula to revival—also shared a prison experience; “I had lost my church, my freedom, and I was starting to lose my health, and I cried to God why are you letting me go through this?” He received no formal answer, but said, “I felt a light within me that chased away the darkness, and I received the companionship of Christ. I cannot explain it any more than that, though God knows I have tried. It never comes out right. But the mystery of God’s will was the means I rested on the bosom of Christ.”

Mysteries appear dark, like black holes on the outside, but as we enter them, we are in for a wonderful discovery. At their center is not darkness, but light. This light is the light of Christ.  Don’t be afraid of a mystery. It is dark on the outside, but full of light on the inside.

RESPONSE: Today I will not fear mystery but love it by entering to find the light of Christ.

PRAYERLord, keep me silent, humble, careful and honest as I explore the mystery of Your grace.

 

 

Quote of the Day

“Just as with the Apostles Peter and John, your relationship with Jesus should be apparent even to your enemies.”
~Greg Laurie (from “apparent to their enemies?“)

Today’s Answer

We’re All Preachers?
J. Vernon McGee

There is a tremendous influence exerted by the life of one individual. And the influence is more potent when it is in the wrong direction. History bears this out. Adam sinned and his sin has affected the entire race of mankind. Achan sinned, and because of him an entire nation went down in defeat. Rehoboam’s sin split the kingdom of Israel. The sin of Ananias and Sapphira brought the first defect into the early church, and from that day on the church has not been as potent as it was in the beginning.

You and I have an influence, either for good or for bad. No matter who you are, you occupy a place of influence. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself” (Romans 14:7). My friend, all of us are preachers. You are preaching to those around you by the life that you live….

You may be influencing a wide circle of human society. You may have influence in your neighborhood and in your community. You have influence in your Sunday school. Somebody is looking at you and watching to see whether or not you mean business with god. Does your going to church mean anything more to you than going to a drive-in to pick up a hamburger? Does your life suggest that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun? You have influence.

You remember that Peter preached a mighty sermon on the Day of Pentecost. Andrew just sat on the sidelines and could say, “That is my brother. I brought him to Christ.” That was Andrew’s influence. You, today, are pointing men to heaven or to hell. Now, if you want to go to hell, that’s your business, but you have no right to lead a little boy there. You have no right to lead your family and those who surround you there. Even if you want to go, it’s awful to lead others. Influence – “One sinner destroyeth much good.” Think about it.

Taken from “who’s following in your footsteps?” (used by permission).

 

November 2

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. –HEB. xii. i.

When the powers of hell prevail
O’er our weakness and unfitness,
Could we lift the fleshly veil,
Could we for a moment witness
Those unnumbered hosts that stand
Calm and bright on either hand;

Oh, what joyful hope would cheer,
Oh, what faith serene would guide us!
Great may be the danger near,
Greater are the friends beside us.
ANON.

We are compassed about by a cloud of witnesses, whose hearts throb in sympathy with every effort and struggle, and who thrill with joy at every success. How should this thought check and rebuke every worldly feeling and unworthy purpose, and enshrine us, in the midst of a forgetful and un-spiritual world, with an atmosphere of heavenly peace! They have overcome–have risen–are crowned, glorified; but still they remain to us, our assistants, our comforters, and in every hour of darkness their voice speaks to us: “So we grieved, so we struggled, so we fainted, so we doubted; but we have overcome, we have obtained, we have seen, we have found,–and in our victory behold the certainty of thy own.”
H. B. STOWE.

 

TODAY‘S

Christian Quote

It is not repentance that saves me; repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus.

– Oswald Chambers
Your Daily Prayer Devotional Banner

A Prayer to Magnify the Lord
By James MacDonald

“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!” – Psalm 34:3, ESV

Over and over in Scripture, when people came to a critical juncture in their lives, they got a fresh view of God. Moses got it. Elijah got it. Abraham, Isaiah, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, got it. And guess what? You’ve got to get it too.

Your Heavenly Father may be saying to you right now, “All right. Let’s get back to who I am.” Pulling over brings perspective.

That’s why the psalmist says, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me!” It’s not that we need to make God bigger than He is. We need to see God for His actual greatness. We need to see our problems in proportion to the majesty of Almighty God. Small God? Big problems. Big God? Small problems.

“Greatness” and “majesty” are good words to describe God, but an even better word is “transcendence.” The word transcendence means surpassing, beyond, above in excellence, in splendor, in majesty, in attribute, in beauty. Beyond all else. Beyond compare. It’s what you feel on a mountaintop, looking out over a valley or an ocean. It’s what you feel standing on the edge of a volcano at sunrise.

You need a fresh view of the greatness of God, or you’re not going to have the strength for what’s to come. Let God take you apart. See His majesty. Hear His Word.

Pray

Holy God, I agree with the psalmist who wrote, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised” (Psalm 48)! Thank You for lovingly pulling me over to give me a renewed view of Yourself. I confess that I am tempted to see my problems as big and You as small. But You are a good Father who knows how to give good gifts to Your children, so give me a fresh glimpse of Your transcendence today, I pray. In the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.

magnify-the-name

Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Our Journey Online devotional, Time to Pull Over?, written by James MacDonald. You can read that piece in fullhere. All rights reserved.

 

 

November 2, 2017

Let Your Light Shine

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56

Stephen was a man known for his great faith. He demonstrated God’s grace and power. He did “great wonders and signs among the people.” That’s why the religious leaders of the day decided to bring him to court. There they produced false witnesses to charge Stephen with blasphemy. Stephen gave a stirring speech condemning the leaders’ rejection of Jesus. They dragged him out of the city and stoned him.

Stephen was the first Christian martyr but not the last. Juvenal, a Roman poet, said that Christians belonged in the sewage. Suetonius, a Roman historian, said that Christians were “a race of men given to novel and baneful superstition.” The Roman historian, Tacitus, described the horrid deaths of the early Christians. He wrote the following:

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.”

While you may not be called to die for Christ, each one of us is called to live for Him. And we are called to live for Him in a way that demonstrates His power in our lives. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Today, let’s let our light shine!

Father, thank You for the many examples of men and women who have gone to their deaths for You. We pray for those throughout the world who are being persecuted today. Father, give us the courage to live for You and to demonstrate Your power in our lives. And if You should ever call us to die for You, give us the same courage and resolve that You gave Stephen. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Move forward in your faith with more from Back to the Bible and Ron Moore at backtothebible.org or oneplace.com. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Devotionals Daily: A Year with Jesus

From God Will Carry You Through by Max Lucado

ULTIMATE VICTORY

That you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. –Ephesians 1:18-21 NKJV

Life turns every person upside down. No one escapes unscathed. Not the woman who discovers her husband is having an affair. Not the businessman who has his investments embezzled by a crooked colleague. Not the teenager who discovers that a night of romance has resulted in a surprise pregnancy. Not the pastor who feels his faith shaken by questions of suffering and fear.

We’d be foolish to think we are invulnerable.

But we’d be just as foolish to think that evil wins the day.

The Bible vibrates with the steady drumbeat of faith: God recycles evil into righteousness. Perhaps you read this in search of a quick fix for your challenges. “How to Overcome Obstacles in Five Easy Steps.” Sorry to disappoint. I don’t have an easy solution or a magic wand. I have found something—Someone—far better. God himself. When God gets in the middle of life, evil becomes good.

Haven’t we seen this discovery in the story of Joseph? Saddled with setbacks: family rejection, deportation, slavery, and imprisonment. Yet he emerged triumphant, a hero of his generation. Among his final recorded words are these comments to his brothers: “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20 NKJV).

This is the repeated pattern in Scripture. Evil. God. Good.

See the cross on the hill? Can you hear the soldierspound the nails? Jesus’ enemies smirk. Satan’s demons lurk.All that is evil rubs its hands in glee. “This time,” Satanwhispers. “This time I will win.”

For a silent Saturday it appeared he did. The final breath. The battered body. Mary wept. Blood seeped down the timber into the dirt. Followers lowered God’s Son as the sun set. Soldiers sealed the tomb, and night fell over the earth. Yet what Satan intended as the ultimate evil, God used for the ultimate good. God rolled the rock away. Jesus walked out on Sunday morning, a smile on his face and a bounce to his step. And if you look closely, you see Satan scampering from the cemetery with his forked tail between his legs.

“Will I ever win?” he grumbles.

No. He won’t.

 

Delight in the Lord

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. – >Deuteronomy 11:18

Psalm 37:4 tells us to delight in the Lord and He’ll give us the desires of our hearts.  What does that mean?  It sounds like some magic formula, like rubbing the genie’s lamp to get what we want. That’s not the way it works.

It’s hard to believe until you’ve experienced it, but if you’re desiring something sinful, destructive, or something you can’t afford, and you’re truly delighting yourself in the Lord, He’ll change those desires and replace them with new ones.  Don’t get trapped into thinking of God as a magician who provides things that would only distract you from Him.

So then, what does it mean to “delight in the Lord?” Consider what it means to delight in a friend’s company.  Whenever you have opportunity you spend time with that person. You talk openly and honestly with him or her; you look forward to your time together; you seek ways of knowing that person more fully and intimately; and you guard yourself from doing anything that would hurt, disappoint, or bring open shame upon your friend.

Well, that’s very much what it’s like for us to delight in the Lord. We delight in Him by reading His Word; by trusting what He says is true, by spending time in prayer and meditation; and by seeking to honor Him in every area of our life.

“A Brother may not be a Friend, but a Friend will always be a Brother.” – Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

 

The Daily Word of Hope Devotional

Bible Fun Fact: The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.

The Familiar Voice

Eli perceived that Yahweh had called the child. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down. It shall be, if he calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, Yahweh; for your servant hears.’ ‘ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Yahweh came, and stood, and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak; for your servant hears.’ 1 Samuel 3:8-10 WEB

Samuel was just a young boy laying on his bed, when God called his name. He got up and ran to his elder, Eli. Waking the man, Samuel said, ‘Here I am’ for he thought that it was Eli who had called him. The Lord called to Samuel three times. Each time, Samuel did the same thing, waking Eli up with “Here I am”.

Eli, after being disturbed for the third time, told Samuel to go lie back down. He instructed the boy to say: ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.’, if He called again. Samuel did as Eli instructed, and the Lord told him many things that were soon going to change in Israel. Something important to note about this, is that Samuel thought that the voice of the Lord that he heard speaking, was that of Eli, his mentor.

In my own life, I have often found that the Lord will speak to me through a familiar voice. It may be something that a mentor or a pastor once said to me, a teaching, or a song that comes back to my remembrance at the right time. It can be easy to miss, and we may not recognize that it is the Lord speaking to us, until things start to change. You may feel that you are just remembering something. Later when looking back, it is easy to see that it was indeed Him.

‘But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.’ (John 14:26).

During your day, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and listen for that small ‘familiar’ voice. We have all heard it, but most of us do not recognize Him. That voice that is nudging you to do the right thing, that is the one. It just may be that the Lord wants to tell you some things, and a timely word from the Holy Spirit, changes everything.

Prayer: Heavenly Father please speak to me in a way that I understand and teach me to know when it is You. I really want to know Your voice and to follow You closer. I want to walk with You, and talk with You today. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

 

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL NOVEMBER 2, 2017

Unaffected by Change

For I the Lord do not change.
Malachi 3:6

It is just as well for us that in all the variableness of life there is One whom change cannot affect, One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow inconsistency can make no furrows.

All other things have changed–all things are changing. The sun grows dim with age; the world is growing old; the final chapter of the worn-out vesture has begun; the heavens and earth must soon pass away; they will perish–they shall grow old like a garment. But there is One who only has immortality, of whose years there is no end, and in whose person there is no change.

The delight that the sailor feels when, having been tossed about on the waves, he steps again upon the solid shore is the satisfaction of a Christian when, in all the changes of this distressing life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth–“I the LORD do not change.”

The stability that the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a solid hold is like that which the Christian’s hope provides him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth. With God “there is no variation or shadow due to change.”1

Whatever His attributes were in the past, they are now; His power, His wisdom, His justice, His truth are unchanged. He has forever been the refuge of His people, their stronghold in the day of trouble, and He is still their sure Helper.

He is unchanged in His love. He has loved His people with “an everlasting love”;2 He loves them now as much as ever He did, and when the creation itself is set free from its bondage to decay, His love will still endure.

Precious is the assurance that He does not change! The wheel of providence revolves, but its axle is eternal love.

Death and change are busy ever,
Man decays, and ages move;
But His mercy waneth never;
God is wisdom, God is love.

1) James 1:17
2) Jeremiah 31:3

 

Today’s Scripture

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding the shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

Thoughts for Today

As we discussed yesterday, problem behaviors and dependencies tend to progress in a person’s life. After the experimentation phase comes social use. We begin to use or practice more regularly. The behavior or substance becomes a part of our social life. Daily lifestyle choices begin to be affected by our focus on this behavior. We make rules for ourselves about our use or practice–set limits about when, where or how we do it. These rules make us feel safe and appropriate. And then without warning our use or behavior becomes a problem.

Consider this … 

Today’s scripture refers to “the sin that so easily trips us up” and encourages us to “strip off every weight that slows us down.” Is there something in your life right now that is slowing you down in your walk with the Lord? Determine today that you are not going to let that happen! If there is something in your life that needs change, don’t try to do it alone. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Talk to him about it. Ask for his forgiveness and his help. He loves you–no matter what you are doing–and wants to help you. Come to him today. You’ll be so glad you did.

Prayer

Lord, I know that this thing in my life has hindered my walk with you. I’ve made excuses for myself and tried to justify it, but I must face the fact that it is wrong … and harmful. Please forgive me and help me to keep my eyes on you. In Jesus’ name …

 

 

An Audience of One
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
November 02, 2017

“Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.'” John 21:22

For several weeks I awoke with heaviness over me. It seemed it did not matter how much I prayed or how much I read the Scriptures. Finally, one night I was reading a book by Os Guinness that described the conversation between Jesus and Peter. God had just commissioned Peter in the famous “Peter, do you love Me” passage of Scripture. This was after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus was calling Peter to feed His sheep, and He informed Peter of the death he would encounter for following Him. But Peter had a question. He wondered what was going to happen to John. Would John have the same trials, the same responsibility, as Peter? Jesus quickly retorted to Peter, “What is that to you?”

That night I realized I was guilty of envy. I had several friends who were now “making it” in business. I began to compare where I was in life. It brought me into a state of depression. Once I realized this, I asked the Lord to forgive me. I knew in my head I was to have only one audience-the audience of One. That knowledge needed to get to my heart. I also knew I was experiencing spiritual warfare in the area of unbelief.

The next morning I awoke, and as I normally do, I checked my e-mail to see what the devotional was for that day that is sent to other workplace believers. Although I write the devotional myself, I read it because I get letters from readers regarding the devotionals. To my shock, the devotional was on this same passage of Scripture. It talked about the sin of envy. I was amused by God’s sense of humor, as He convicted me with my own devotional message. But that was not the end of it.

That day I went to lunch with a friend. After lunch I got into my car. I turned on the radio and Os Guinness, the author of the same book I was reading the night before, was being interviewed. They were talking about the discourse between Jesus and Peter and the sin of envy! I was floored! “Okay, God, I get the message!” The Holy Spirit has an uncanny ability to communicate to us. The Lord wanted me to know that I am not to worry about someone else. God has called us to a unique life that may look totally different from anyone else’s life. Once we begin to compare ourselves to others, we begin to live for others and ourselves.

There is only one audience we should be living for-the audience of One. Ask the Lord today if you are living solely for His pleasure.

 

Passion for Praise: ‘Give Thanks!’

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

TBT1
To ME, it means……
Making mudpies and loving being dirty……paper dolls being my most treasured toys…….Dairy Dan ice cream trucks…..Grandma’s homemade loaves of bread, fresh from the oven and all of us fighting over the end slice (the “heel”)…..taking baths in the huge kitchen sink…..Hershey bars for a nickel……..five sisters in one big featherbed…….sneaking into yards to steal some peaches from the trees………my sister setting the local trash heap on fire and then watching the chaos in glee……Yes, this is all what Throwback Thursday means to ME…this, and so much more!!  Thank You, Lord, for these memories!!

 

ThankGod1
Yes, thank You for this, too, Lord God!!
WalkAway1
Oh, but it still hurts………..
Ten Ways To Love
A few words of wisdom for the day………
God bless all of you!!!!

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