Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. Psalm 33:8–10, NIV Lord our God, we gather together in your presence and ask you to let your light shine in our hearts to strengthen us in times of need and trouble. May we come to know that through all the storms and distress of the world, you are mighty in protecting and sheltering those who trust in you. May we realize the power of your kingdom. Even if all the kingdoms of the world rise in rebellion, you are with us. You are with those who have set their hope on your kingdom and who go on hoping that even in evil days something must happen through your great and holy rule. Amen.
Verse of the Day
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
God is love. God is also the source of love. He pours love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). So how do we make our churches, our families, our small groups, and communities more loving? We pray for God to grow the love in those in groups, let them know that we are praying that prayer for them, then communicate and demonstrate our love to those very same groups.
Father, use me to help be an example of love to those around me. Please pour your love into my heart through your Spirit and then channel that love out of my life to others. Please help the loving spirit in our our congregation grow more and more, not just to each other, but also to those around us who are not part of your Kingdom family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
BIBLE STUDY BUDDY
Read Luke 12:16-21…
And he told them this parable: ”The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18. ”Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19. And I’ll say to myself, ”You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20. ”But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21. ”This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
The story is told of a nobleman who died very suddenly. Immediately his personal servant ran to tell the other servants of the household that their master was dead. He asked with gravity, ”Where has he gone?” The servants replied, ”Why, to heaven, to be sure.” ”No,” said the man, ”I am certain he has not gone to heaven.”
Somewhat surprised, the others asked him how he knew their master had not gone to heaven. The man replied, ”Because heaven is a long way off, and I’ve never known my master to take a long trip in his life but what he talked of it beforehand and made thorough preparation for it. And I never heard him say a word about this journey, nor ever saw him getting ready for it.”
It’s true that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ- not by how much we talk about it (Eph. 2:8). Yet it’s strange when people think they’re going to heaven but never mention it nor read God’s Word.
The rich fool in Luke 12 wasn’t prepared when the Lord said, ”This night your soul will be required of you.” If you seldom think about heaven and never discuss it, could it be you’re not going there? One way or another, you are going to meet God. Are you prepared?
I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.–JOHN ix. 4.
Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task?–EX. v. 14.
He who intermits
The appointed task and duties of the day
Untunes full oft the pleasures of the day;
Checking the finer spirits that refuse
To flow, when purposes are lightly changed.
By putting off things beyond their proper times, one duty treads upon the heels of another, and all duties are felt as irksome obligations,–a yoke beneath which we fret and lose our peace. In most cases the consequence of this is, that we have no time to do the work as it ought to be done. It is therefore done precipitately, with eagerness, with a greater desire simply to get it done, than to do it well, and with very little thought of God throughout.
F. W. FABER.
Sufficient for each day is the good thereof, equally as the evil. We must do at once, and with our might, the merciful deed that our hand findeth to do,–else it will never be done, for the hand will find other tasks, and the arrears fall through. And every unconsummated good feeling, every unfulfilled purpose that His spirit has prompted, shall one day charge us as faithless and recreant before God.
J. H. THOM.
LIVE IN PEACE AND HOLINESS
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
As we see in Hebrews Chapter 12, once we “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,” we will be aware of how we should then live. Now the writer teaches us about the value of peace and holiness. It is difficult to live in peace with others until you have made your peace with God.
Pastor Haik Hovsepian in Iran (who was martyred in 1994) once preached on the topic “Salvation or Religion.” It was a very powerful message that goes through five differences between religion and salvation in Christ. Thousands of his tapes on this topic have been distributed in Iran. One of the people who recently got hold of this tape is a Quran reciter. He has a very powerful voice and many times he has been invited to recite the Quran in different mosques in Iran. He also passionately recited about the life of the Imams (Muhammad’s descendants), who have died in mourning ceremonies in order to make people cry. He used to be a very religious person himself.
When he got hold of the tape with the sermon of Haik, he realized that through religion he cannot be saved. He was in captivity of some immoral sins such as alcohol abuse and adultery. He was a very high tempered and depressed person too. When he heard about the difference between religion and the salvation of Jesus, the Spirit of God spoke to his heart. He was so moved by the message that he listened to the tape a few more times. Every time he listened to this tape, he felt even more convinced that he needed the salvation of Jesus, until he finally gave his life to the Lord.
Then he was not only liberated from the captivity of his sins, but also from the captivity of the religion with which he was identifying. There was an extraordinary joy and happiness in his face after this experience. In the past, he wore black shirts as his job was to make people in the mosques cry. But after experiencing Jesus in his life, even his shirts changed to lighter colors! He is now using his voice to sing for the Lord and shares about Jesus wherever he goes.
Being a well-known person among Muslim religious leaders and other people, one evening the secret police knocked at his door. Two weeks later, they released him from prison on bail until his trial time. He had to borrow half of that money from his relatives. As he lost his job as a Quran reciter, he does not have any source of income, so it is difficult for him to live and to pay the money back to his family. But he is trying to live at peace with all people and show God’s holiness in his life. Praise God for the faith of this brother and for his steadfastness in following Jesus.
RESPONSE: Today I will live at peace with others and reveal God’s holiness in my life.
PRAYER: Pray for more believers of Muslim background to find peace with God and others.
And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
a Soul Searching
“The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by the Canadian army physician John McCrae remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915.
“The most asked question is: why poppies?
“Wild poppies flower when other plants in their direct neighbourhood are dead. Their seeds can lie on the ground for years and years, but only when there are no more competing flowers or shrubs in the vicinity (for instance when someone firmly roots up the ground), these seeds will sprout.
“There was enough rooted up soil on the battlefield of the Western Front; in fact the whole front consisted of churned up soil. So in May 1915, when McCrae wrote his poem, around him bloodred poppies blossomed like no one had ever seen before.”
Read more in The Heritage of the Great War / First World War 1914-1918 from which the foregoing quotes were taken.
|THIS DAY IN HISTORY|
Ellis Island closes
On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s.
On January 2, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore, from Ireland, became the first person to pass through the newly opened Ellis Island, which President Benjamin Harrison designated as America’s first federal immigration center in 1890. Before that time, the processing of immigrants had been handled by individual states.
Not all immigrants who sailed into New York had to go through Ellis Island. First- and second-class passengers submitted to a brief shipboard inspection and then disembarked at the piers in New York or New Jersey, where they passed through customs. People in third class, though, were transported to Ellis Island, where they underwent medical and legal inspections to ensure they didn’t have a contagious disease or some condition that would make them a burden to the government. Only two percent of all immigrants were denied entrance into the U.S.
Immigration to Ellis Island peaked between 1892 and 1924, during which time the 3.3-acre island was enlarged with landfill (by the 1930s it reached its current 27.5-acre size) and additional buildings were constructed to handle the massive influx of immigrants. During the busiest year of operation, 1907, over 1 million people were processed at Ellis Island.
With America’s entrance into World War I, immigration declined and Ellis Island was used as a detention center for suspected enemies. Following the war, Congress passed quota laws and the Immigration Act of 1924, which sharply reduced the number of newcomers allowed into the country and also enabled immigrants to be processed at U.S. consulates abroad. After 1924, Ellis Island switched from a processing center to serving other purposes, such as a detention and deportation center for illegal immigrants, a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War II and a Coast Guard training center. In November 1954, the last detainee, a Norwegian merchant seaman, was released and Ellis Island officially closed.
Beginning in 1984, Ellis Island underwent a $160 million renovation, the largest historic restoration project in U.S. history. In September 1990, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum opened to the public and today is visited by almost 2 million people each year.
THE THANKSGIVING FACTOR
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
In the classic autobiography, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom tells of her sufferings at the hands of the Nazis during the evil reign of Adolph Hitler. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, were incarcerated at the Nazi concentration camp, Ravensbruck, and experienced terrible atrocities there. On one occasion, they were forced to disrobe before the German soldiers. In that awful, humiliating moment, an amazing discovery came to Corrie’s mind: “They took Jesus’ clothes too. He hung naked for me.” When she relayed that wondrous thought to Betsie, she gasped and said, “Oh, Corrie, and I never thanked Him for it.”
One of the things that made Corrie and Betsie such dynamic Christians was the fact that the chose to see life from God’s perspective. In the worst of situations, they found new insights to praise and thank God.
The Bible tells us that we are to give thanks in everything, the good things AND the bad things. In Psalm 50:23, God says, “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me.” In the hard times, thanksgivingis difficult. It is definitely a sacrifice to thank God in a Nazi concentration camp, but it is so very necessary. Thanksgiving honors God, and when you and I honor God, He honors us (1 Samuel 2:30).
How is your thanksgiving factor? Are you facing tough times? Have you been griping and complaining about the things in your life that are hard, lonely and frustrating? Why not try praising and thanking God for your difficulty. He knows about it, He is over it, and He cares for you. Without question, He has a purpose in every trial and tribulation. Start today to live a life of thanksgiving. If you will do it, I promise you on the authority of the Word of God, your attitude will change, the people around you will be blessed, and Jesus Christ will be glorified and honored.
Hoping you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Direct questions and comments to email@example.com.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
With the King for His Work – Streams in the Desert – November 12
These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work (1 Chron. 4:23).
Anywhere and everywhere we may dwell “with the king for his work.” We may be in a very unlikely and unfavorable place for this; it may be in a literal country life, with little enough to be seen of the “goings” of the King around us; it may be among the hedges of all sorts, hindrances in all directions; it may be furthermore, with our hands full of all manner of pottery for our daily task.
No matter! The King who placed us “there” will come and dwell there with us; the hedges are right, or He would soon do away with them. And it does not follow that what seems to hinder our way may not be for its very protection; and as for the pottery, why, that is just exactly what He has seen fit to put into our hands, and therefore it is, for the present, “His work.”
–Frances Ridley Havergal
Go back to thy garden-plot, sweetheart!
Go back till the evening falls,
And bind thy lilies and train thy vines,
Till for thee the Master calls.
Go make thy garden fair as thou canst,
Thou workest never alone;
Perhaps he whose plot is next to thine
Will see it and mend his own.
The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life.
The most saintly spirits are often existing in those who have never distinguished themselves as authors, or left any memorial of themselves to be the theme of the world’s talk; but who have led an interior angelic life, having borne their sweet blossoms unseen like the young lily in a sequestered vale on the bank of a limpid stream.
He Walks Among Us
By Richard & Renée Stearns
The Hands and Feet of Christ
“As You sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”— Jesus in John 17:18
As followers of Christ, we bear the responsibility of demonstrating to the world what Jesus might look like were He to walk the earth today. Those who will never enter the door of a church or read a Bible or hear a sermon can still know Jesus by watching us! I’m not sure I always give others the right impression, but I met someone who does.
Tseghe, a fourteen-year-old Ethiopian girl, was abducted by a stranger as she walked to school.
Because the man lacked money to pay the bride price, he simply stole Tseghe from the side of the road, intending to make her his wife. He took her shoes so she couldn’t run and marched her miles from her home to a shack where he bound and assaulted her.
Although everyone in the village heard what had happened, no one came to her aid. “She’s damaged goods,” they said. “Leave well enough alone. That’s just the way things are. If you can’t afford a bride, you just take one.”
But Tseghe’s grandmother was determined to find her, and she recruited Esatu, a World Vision staff member, to help. When Esatu first went to the police, they refused to act. But he persisted, and over the course of the next several days, Tseghe was found and returned home.
I asked the older woman what Esatu’s efforts had meant to her. “It would have been enough,” she said, “if he had just come alongside me and been my friend, but he did so much more.”
In that instant, my mind flashed to another desert in another country and a stable in a town called Bethlehem. Looking at the Creator of the universe lying helpless in a manger, some might say it would have been enough had Jesus simply come alongside us to be our Friend. But of course, that wasn’t enough at all, because more than a friend to walk beside us, more than an example to follow, what we really needed was a Savior.
Esatu had already done plenty. He’d worked hard to provide for the needs of the community, and rescuing Tseghe wasn’t his responsibility. But that thought never crossed his mind.
When Esatu came to the aid of a young girl and her desperate grandmother, he was just doing what Jesus would have done if He had been there on that terrible day.
And in a way, Jesus was. Esatu’s hands were Jesus’ hands; Esatu’s heart was Jesus’ heart. When wicked men sought to steal away a young girl’s dignity and hope for the future, Jesus came to Tseghe’s rescue in the person of a man named Esatu.
Is there someone you know who needs Jesus, someone to whom you can demonstrate through your friendship, your encouragement, your wise counsel, the love of the Savior? Look at the people around you. You just might be the only Jesus they will ever see.
© 2013 by World Vision, Inc.
Called by Name
The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. – >John 10:3-4
There’s no group discount for the kingdom. Instead, God tugs at your heart as an individual, calling you one by one. When God calls someone, He calls him or her personally. It’s a biblical pattern repeated time and again.
The Lord called young Samuel by name until he responded. – (1 Samuel 3)
Jesus stopped at the fishing boat of Peter and Andrew and said, “Come, follow me…and I will make you fishers of men.” – (Matthew 4:19)
Jesus halted Saul of Tarsus in his tracks in the middle of the highway, again calling him by name. (Acts 9:1-9)
And so it’s been through all of time. The manner and circumstances of the call are radically diverse, but its personal nature is the same. The Bible compares such a relationship to a shepherd’s intimate knowledge of his flock. The shepherd knows the peculiarities and habits of every one of his lambs.
Jesus Christ knows you intimately. He calls you by name. Listen for Him today! When you hear Him–respond to Him!
“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter (1927- )
The Daily Word of Hope Devotional
Bible Fun Fact: God told Gideon to pick his men for war by how they drank water (Judges 7:4-7).
Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were bound, and he was there in custody. But Yahweh was with Joseph, and showed kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Gen. 39:20 WEB
Joseph was his father’s favorite son and though he had done nothing wrong, he was sold into slavery by his older brothers, who were jealous of him. As if being a slave was not bad enough, when he refused to sleep with his master’s wife, she falsely accused him of rape and had him thrown into prison.
Joseph stayed positive during all of this, and soon he was put in charge of the rest of the prisoners. In time, he was released out of prison and became the second-in-command of Egypt. Whatever Joseph did, God made it succeed. Was Joseph in God’s perfect will while in prison? Strangely enough, yes. In the end, it could not have worked out any better.
No matter where you are today, or how dark it looks, or how you got there, if you submit yourself to God and keep a positive attitude, it will work out for the best. The wrongs in your life will be made right. Like Joseph, when you have the chance to finally get even, don’t. Forgive them, let them go, and you can enjoy the new wonderful life God has given you instead. God can turn the bad, into the good and sometimes it can happen overnight.
Prayer: Heavenly Father I thank You for the life that You have given me. Breathe into my life and give me encouragement today. Lead me and help me make the right decisions. May Your will be done in my life, and not mine. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL NOVEMBER 12, 2017
The tested genuineness of your faith.
1 Peter 1:7
Untested faith may be true faith, but it is sure to be small faith, and it is likely to remain little as long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: Tempests are her trainers, and bolts of lightning are her illuminators.
When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship does not move to its harbor; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too.
Let the winds rush and howl, and let the waters lift themselves, though the vessel may rock and her deck may be washed with waves and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway toward her desired haven.
No flowers are as lovely a blue as those that grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam as brightly as those that glisten in the midnight sky; no water tastes as sweet as that which springs up in the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity.
Tested faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness if you had not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God’s strength if you had not been supported in the flood.
Faith increases in quality, assurance, and intensity the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.
Do not let this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: The full portion will be measured out to you in due course.
Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence you have now attained: Walk according to that rule, and you will still have more and more of the blessing of God, until your faith will remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.
Created for His Good Pleasure
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
November 12, 2017
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”Ephesians 2:10
Eric Liddell was an Olympic runner from Britain who won a gold medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics. He was a man who had a deep commitment to the Lord and had future plans of being a missionary. In the meantime, he knew God had given him a special gift to run, and he often said, “I feel God’s pleasure when I run.”
He spent years training for the Olympics. He passed each hurdle and qualified for the Olympics. Finally, the day came for him to run in the games that were held in Paris. There was only one problem. One of his running events was held on Sunday. Liddell refused to run on Sunday, believing it dishonored the Lord’s Sabbath. He held to his convictions and brought great persecution on himself. He made a decision that even if it meant losing his opportunity to compete, he would not run. God’s laws were greater than man’s applause. Just when the circumstances seemed hopeless, another situation arose that allowed Liddell to run on a different day. So often this is the case in the spiritual realm. God tests our hearts to see if we will remain faithful to Him at the cost of something important to us. Once He knows where our loyalty lies, He opens a new door that meets the desires of our hearts. God takes pleasure in seeing His creation used for His glory. Liddell understood why he was made to run; he used his gift of running to bring pleasure to his Creator. Later, Eric Liddell went on to serve God on the mission field.
Does your life work bring pleasure to the Lord? Do you understand that God instilled certain gifts and talents in you so that He might find pleasure in His creation of you? Take pleasure in the gifts God has given to you this day. And let His glory shine through you.
Passion for Praise: ‘Protectively Caring for His Faithful Friends’
Sunday, November 12, 2017
God bless you all!!!!!