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Thread: Daily Devotional June 2015

  1. #491


    Read: Micah 4:1–5
    Bible in a Year: Psalms 97–99; Romans 16

    Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid.—Micah 4:4
    Sixty-five million. That’s the number of refugees in our world today—people who have had to leave their homes due to conflict and persecution—and it’s higher than it’s ever been. The UN has petitioned leaders to work together in receiving refugees so that every child will get an education, every adult will find meaningful work, and every family will have a home.
    The dream of making homes for refugees in crisis reminds me of a promise God made to the nation of Judah when ruthless Assyrian armies threatened their homes. The Lord commissioned the prophet Micah to warn the people that they would lose their temple and their beloved city of Jerusalem. But God also promised a beautiful future beyond the loss.
    A day will come, said Micah, when God will call the peoples of the world to Himself. Violence will end. Weapons of war will become farming tools, and every person who answers God’s call will find a peaceful home and a productive life in His kingdom (4:3–4).
    For many in the world today, and maybe for you, a safe home remains more a dream than a reality. But we can rely on God’s ancient promise of a home for people of all nations, even as we wait and work and pray for those peaceful homes to become a reality. —Amy Peterson
    God, thank You for the beautiful promise of a home. Please bring peace to our world, and provide for the needs of all of Your children.
    God promises His children a peaceful home in His kingdom.
    INSIGHT: Micah (whose name means “Who is like Jehovah?”) was a prophet for the Southern Kingdom of Judah. His ministry overlapped with that of the prophet Isaiah. Micah calls His people to reflect God’s heart when he says: “Act justly . . . love mercy and . . . walk humbly” with Him (6:8). Micah tells us that God’s heart delights “to show mercy” (7:18). And Micah prophesied, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, . . . out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (5:2).

    This promise was realized in the person of Jesus. The timeless God has sent His Son to our rescue—and Micah helped prepare people for His arrival. Bill Crowder

  2. #492


    Our confidence before God...
    THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 2017 AT 12:01AM
    1 John 5:14-15
    This is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us. And if we know that he listens to us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him. (WEB)
    The WEB version of the Bible says we have 'boldness' to come before our Father. The NIV version of the Bible says that we have 'confidence'. Whether you call it confidence or boldness, know that we can be fully assured that our heavenly Father is listening to our prayers.
    If we truly believe that He is listening to every word we say, then may we also believe that we can have what we can believe for when we are praying according to His will. My prayer today is that faith would rise up in our hearts so that we could truly have confidence to believe that our Father is listening to our prayers.
    Not because we earn His approval but simply because we are His kids and good fathers are attentive to the needs of their children! He knows what you need before you even ask (Matthew 6:8). He has taken the time to number every hair on your head. He delights to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:7-11). So may confidence and boldness arise in your heart today. When you ask for anything according to His will, He hears YOU!
    Mark 11:23-24
    23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them. (WEB)

  3. #493


    Be Ready to Be Interrupted

    by Joyce Meyer - posted August 17, 2017

    I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep.
    - John 10:11

    The more I study the men and women in the Bible whom we consider to be "great," the more I see that they all made huge sacrifices and there was nothing convenient about what God asked them to do.

    Abraham had to leave his country, his relatives, and his home and go to a place God would not even tell him about until he went there. Joseph saved a nation from starvation, but not before he was violently removed from his comfortable home and put in an inconvenient place for many years. Esther saved the Jews from destruction, but God certainly interrupted her plan in order for her to do so.

    The list of individuals who entered into sacrificial obedience could go on and on. The Bible calls them people "of whom the world was not worthy" (see Hebrews 11:38). These people we read about were inconvenienced so that someone else's life could be easier. Jesus died so we could have life and have it abundantly. Soldiers die so that civilians can remain safe at home. Fathers go to work so their families can have nice lives, and mothers go through the pain of childbirth to bring another life into the world. It seems quite obvious that someone usually has to experience pain or inconvenience for anyone to gain anything.

    If you make the decision that you don't mind inconvenience or interruption, then God can use you. You can make a difference in the world. But if you remain addicted to your own comfort, God will have to pass you by for someone who is more willing to endure the hard things in life in order to do God's will.

    Trust in Him: Think about a situation in which God is asking you to do some things you would rather not do—stay in a situation, leave a situation, spend time with someone you don't get along with . . . Are you willing to trust the "interruption" from God in order to do His will?

  4. #494


    We Glory in the Resurrection of Christ, August 18

    I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11:25, 26.
    After the crucifixion of Christ, the priests and rulers did not feel the sense of victory which they had expected. They did not rejoice at their success in silencing the voice of the Great Teacher. They were afraid. Already His death was calling attention to His life and character. The priests were convicted that their attempts at revenge had failed; and they dreaded a dead Christ more, far more, than they had ever feared a living Christ....
    The light of heaven encircled the tomb, and the whole heaven was lighted by the glory of the angel. The angel approached the grave, and rolling away the stone as if it had been a pebble, he sat upon it. Then his voice was heard, Son of God, come forth; Thy Father calls Thee; and Jesus came forth from the grave with the step of a mighty conqueror. There was a burst of triumph, for the heavenly family were waiting to receive Him; and the mighty angel, followed by the army of heaven, bowed in adoration before Him as He, the Monarch of heaven, proclaimed over the rent tomb of Joseph, “I am the resurrection, and the life.”36The Youth's Instructor, July 28, 1898.
    All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are recipients of the life of the Son of God. However able and talented, however large their capacities, they are replenished with life from the Source of all life. He is the spring, the fountain, of life.... The life which He had laid down in humanity, He again took up and gave to humanity. “I am come,” He says, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” ...
    Christ became one with humanity, that humanity might become one in Spirit and life with Him. By virtue of this union in obedience to the Word of God, His life becomes their life. He says to the penitent, “I am the resurrection, and the life.

  5. #495


    Read: Psalm 100
    Bible in a Year: Psalms 100–102; 1 Corinthians 1

    Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his.—Psalm 100:3
    Each of us is an original from God’s hand. There are no self-made men or women. No one ever became talented, buffed, or bright all by himself or herself. God made each of us all by Himself. He thought of us and formed us out of His unspeakable love.
    God made your body, mind, and soul. And He isn’t done with you; He is still making you. His single-minded purpose is our maturity: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). God is making you braver, stronger, purer, more peaceful, more loving, less selfish—the kind of person you’ve perhaps always wanted to be.
    “[God’s] unfailing love continues forever and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Ps. 100:5 nlt). God has always loved you (“forever” goes both ways), and He will be faithful to you to the end.
    You’ve been given a love that lasts forever and a God who will never give up on you. That’s a good reason to have joy and to “come before him with joyful songs”! (v. 2).
    If you can’t carry a tune, just give Him a shout-out: “Shout for joy to the Lord” (v. 1). —David H. Roper
    I’m grateful, Father, that You are at work in me. I find it difficult to change and I wonder sometimes how or if I ever will. Yet I know that You are continuing Your work in me and as I look back I will see the growth You are producing. Thank You!
    Spiritual growth occurs when faith is cultivated.
    INSIGHT: The book of Psalms is commonly known as the hymnbook of ancient Israel. But the opening line of Psalm 100 takes this beautiful hymn out of the sanctuary of Israel and places it in the mouths of everyone: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” Since this is written to “all the earth,” what follows applies to all of us.

    Because God is the Creator of all, He is also the Father of all. We all belong to Him; we are the “sheep of his pasture” (v. 3). We are all called to give Him thanks and praise, even though believers may be the only ones who answer this call. We are commissioned to help those who do not recognize God and His faithfulness to “enter his gates” (v. 4).

    Who can you invite into His “gates”? How can you show and tell them about God’s goodness and enduring love? How can you thank Him for His faithfulness to you?

  6. #496


    Matthew 18:19 (WEB)
    Again, assuredly I tell you,
    that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything
    that they will ask, it will be done for them
    by my Father who is in heaven.

    Promise #230: If two of you agree in prayer, I will do whatever you ask.

    In today's promise, Jesus is speaking to his disciples and is encouraging them about how to pray. In the verse previous to this one, He tells them that whatever they bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever they loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    I wonder how the disciples reacted to Jesus' statements? After all they were just fisherman and common folk, yet Jesus exhorted them that they had an audience with the Creator of the universe any time, night or day.

    When I have reflected on this passage in the past, I have always wondered about the words 'anything'. Did Jesus really mean that they could have any thing they asked for if there was agreement by two or more? It seems that He said what He meant because any thing means any thing! However, we know from other Bible verses that the things that Jesus is referring to are definitely linked to the things that are already in God's heart.

    My prayer is that this promise would encourage each one of us today! God invites us to link our hearts with other believers on earth and come before His throne room and make our requests known to God. Don't be timid and don't be unbelieving. Come with a heart full of faith, believing that your Heavenly Father hears your requests and wants to answer your prayers!

  7. #497


    Not Self-Confidence, God-Confidence!

    by Joyce Meyer - posted August 18, 2017

    …Put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances.
    - Philippians 3:3

    Everyone talks about self-confidence. All kinds of seminars are available on confidence, both in the secular world and the church world. Confidence is generally referred to as "self-confidence" because we all know that we need to feel good about ourselves if we are ever to accomplish anything in life. We have been taught that all people have a basic need to believe in themselves. However, that is a misconception. Actually, we do not need to believe in ourselves—we need to believe in Jesus in us. We do not dare feel good about ourselves apart from Him. In the above scripture, when the apostle Paul instructs us to put no confidence in the flesh, he means just what he says—do not put confidence in yourself or in anything you can do apart from Jesus.

    We do not need self-confidence; we need God-confidence! Many people spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find that when they get to the top, their ladder was leaning against the wrong building. Others struggle, trying to behave well enough to develop a measure of confidence in themselves, only to endure repeated failures. Both of these activities produce the same results: emptiness and misery.

    I have found that most people fall into one of two categories: (1) They never accomplish anything, no matter how hard they try, and end up hating themselves because of their lack of achievement, or (2) they have enough natural talent to accomplish great things, but take all the credit for their achievements, which fills them with pride. Either way, they are a failure—in the eyes of God. The only truly successful person in God's eyes is the individual who knows he is nothing in himself, but everything in Christ. Our pride and boasting are to be in Jesus alone, and He is to have all the glory (credit due) for whatever accomplishments we may achieve.

  8. #498


    From Grief to Joy
    August 19, 2017

    Read: John 16:16–22
    Bible in a Year: Psalms 103–104; 1 Corinthians 2

    You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.—John 16:20
    Kelly’s pregnancy brought complications, and doctors were concerned. During her long labor, they decided to whisk her away for a Cesarean section. But despite the ordeal, Kelly quickly forgot her pain when she held her newborn son. Joy had replaced anguish.
    Scripture affirms this truth: “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world” (John 16:21). Jesus used this illustration with His disciples to emphasize that though they would grieve because He would be leaving soon, that grief would turn to joy when they saw Him again (vv. 20–22).
    Jesus was referring to His death and resurrection—and what followed. After His resurrection, to the disciples’ joy, Jesus spent another forty days walking with and teaching them before ascending and leaving them once again (Acts 1:3). Yet Jesus did not leave them grief-stricken. The Holy Spirit would fill them with joy (John 16:7–15; Acts 13:52).
    Though we have never seen Jesus face to face, as believers we have the assurance that one day we will. In that day, the anguish we face in this earth will be forgotten. But until then, the Lord has not left us without joy—He has given us His Spirit (Rom. 15:13; 1 Peter 1:8–9). —Alyson Kieda
    Dear Lord, we long to be in Your presence, especially when we face pain and sorrow. Yet You have not left us on our own. The Holy Spirit lives within us—and gives us joy.
    One day our sorrow will be turned to joy!
    INSIGHT: After Jesus told His disciples about His coming betrayal and death (John 13), they were discouraged (14:1, 27). Jesus comforted them with the promise of heaven and the coming Holy Spirit (14:1-21; 15:26-16:15). Like the pain a woman experiences in childbirth, their suffering was temporary (16:21). The baby that causes the pain also provides the occasion for celebration. Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe writes in The Bible Exposition Commentary: “God brings joy to our lives, not by substitution, but by transformation. In birth, God does not substitute something else to relieve the mother’s pain. Instead, He uses what is there already but transforms it.”

    How has Jesus transformed your pain into peace, joy, and victory? Sim Kay Tee

  9. #499


    SS LESSON REVIEW: Dr. Kentbourne McFarlane: August 19, 2017.

    READ: Galatians 3:26-4:8, John 1:12, 1 Cor. 13:4-5, Phil. 1:6, Rom. 6:1-11, Heb 2:14-18, 4:14-15, Romans 9:4-5.

    MEMORY TEXT: “So you are no longer SLAVES, but a SON, and if a son, then an HEIR through God.” [Gal. 4:7].

    KEY CONCEPT FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH: We are called to live free in Jesus Christ. The life, death, resurrection, ascension & priestly administration of Jesus Christ in heaven are God’s MEANS of setting humanity free from the POWER of sin and death and RETURNING us to a RIGHT relationship with Himself. All of this is God’s INNITIAVES, to which we must respond.

    INTRODUCTION: “Heirs of God & joint heirs with Christ,” is the exalted position to which Christians are called to become CHILDREN in the Kingdom of God. To what greater honor could we aspire than to be called CHILDREN OF GOD? What greater RANK could we hold, what greater INHERITANCE could we find, than that which comes to those who are HEIRS of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ? (Sons & daughters of God -p. 15).
    Wondrous love that God, the INFINITE God, has made it OUR privilege to approach Him by the name ABBA! Father. AND, there is SAFETY for us if we heed the injunction; “Be strong in the Lord & in the POWER of His might. Put on the WHOLE armor of God, and STAND against the DEVIL.” …
    His WORD is pledged: “The mountain shall depart, and the hills be removed, BUT His KINDNESS shall not depart from His people, or His COVENANT of peace be removed.”
    His voice is heard: “I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING love” [Jer.31:3]. “With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee.” [Isa. 54:8].
    CONSIDER THIS: The LOVE of God for humanity is beyond our comprehension to fully understand. You may use all the power & capabilities of your faculty, knowledge and experience; and yet there will be an INFINITY beyond.
    OUR CONDITION IN CHRIST: Through TRANSGRESSION humanity became SLAVES to Satan, inheriting his SINFUL NATURE. However, Through the ATONING SACRIFICE of Christ, the children of Adam & Eve may become Sons & daughters of God; REDEEMED by the death of Jesus Christ & RESTORED into his IMAGE & LIKENESS.
    By assuming human nature, Jesus Christ ELEVATES humanity. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called sons & daughters of God.” [1 John 3:1].
    The more we study the DIVINE character in the light of the CROSS, the more we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice and innumerable evidences of LOVE.
    BAPTISM is our most solemn renunciation of worldly habits. Those who are baptized declares PUBLICLY that they have REJECTED Satan & embraced Jesus as their Savior.
    To them is given the promise: “I will receive you and be a Father to you, & you shall be My sons & daughters,” said the Lord Almighty. [2 Cor. 6:17-18].
    They are BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT and become “Partakers of the divine NATURE;” which ENABLES them, by GRACE, to obey the Moral Laws of Ten commandments.
    OUR ENSLAVEMENT TO ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES: Prior to accepting Jesus and receiving JUSTIFICATION, by FAITH in Jesus Christ; humanity, with a SINFUL NATURE, cannot obey the SPIRIT of God’s Moral Laws.
    The Moral Laws, acting like a MIRROR, points out our sinfulness, so that we can ACKNOWLEDGE our NEED for a Savior. It points us to SURRENDER to Jesus, who FORGIVES & JUSTIFY US, by His GRACE, calling us to become sons & daughters in His DIVINE family.
    Divine Grace in the newly CONVERTED soul is PROGRESSIVE. Those who are TRULY converted will work to save others & reach out in FAITH to build a strong RELATIONSHIP with God.
    By so doing his/her Faith grows and matures daily, in proportion to the WORK of self-abnegation & self-control. He/she GROWS in grace & in the knowledge of God.
    The human DESIRES no longer dominate. Instead the FRUIT of the Spirit become more & more evident in the lives of these converted souls.
    GOD SENT FORTH HIS SON: When the FULLNESS OF TIME came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, His DIVINITY clothed with HUMANITY. No line can measure the depth of this love.
    After 4000 years of SINFULNESS, the world had lost its CONCIOUSNESS of the presence of God; and the SUPREME position of God as Creator & Lord. The world was also under ONE government and the Jewish nation was close [40 years], to the end of their probation of 490 years given in the prophecies of Daniel.
    The world had almost reached the point of ungodliness experienced in the days of NOAH; when “the thoughts of men’s heart was evil continually.” This was indeed the FULLNESS OF TIME.
    Mankind were weary of pageant & fables. One language was largely spoken. There were souls looking for light.
    They longed for a religion that could satisfy the heart. They were thirsting for a knowledge of the living God.
    In the counsel of heaven, the hour for the coming of Christ was determined & Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was born in Bethlehem, while heavenly angels sang with joy & gladness.
    THE PRIVILEGES OF ADOPTION: Christ followers are required to “come out from the world and be SEPARATE”. All who enter into the COVENANT relationship with God become CHILDREN BY ADOPTION & ARE CLEANSED by the regeneration of the WORDS of God.
    Human Beings were created to become an extension of the DIVINE FAMILY; and to live ETERNALLY as children of the Most High God, created in the Image & Likeness of our heavenly Father.
    Because of SIN, humanity had to be REDEEMED from the slavery of Satanic bondage. This buy-back, was accomplished at the CROSS. We belong to God by CREATION & by REDEMPTION.
    Contemplate what it means to be a son or daughter of God, having the INHERITANCE, with Jesus, with all the riches of the universe? In addition to the fellowship with God?
    This Adoption is EQUAL to a natural birth, because we are made ONE with Jesus Christ, the only BEGOTTEN Son of God. God is also IMPARTIAL and make no distinction between us.
    WHY TURN BACK TO SLAVERY? Paul’s contention with the Galatians believers was WHY RETURN to the beggarly elements of LEGALISM when you were given the FREE GIFT of JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH, in Jesus Christ? [Galatians 4:1-7]
    Paul made two important points: [1]. ALL men are sinners from birth and have no power in themselves to obey God, even if “keeping the laws” could save us from penalty of its violation. No man except Jesus have ever done it.
    [2]. The “Born Again “experience is a FREE GIFT by faith in Jesus Christ. Why give up the Free gift for the enslavement of an impossible task of keeping the law?
    This does not reject the need and purpose of the Laws; which is Holy, Just & Good. The Laws were not given to save humanity; only to show them they need a savior & guide them in righteousness.
    Adoption is certainly better than enslavement. Adoption is a free gift; enslavement is “WORKS.” We must understand the proper purpose and application of both.
    In adoption, we are given the NATURE and POWER to build a relationship with God and please Him because we are RESTORED to be like Him, in spirit & truth.
    FUTHER THOUGHTS: Righteousness is not by our efforts but by yielding to God who TRANSFORMS US. We let go and let God do the work of transformation. Our WORKS is to exercise FAITH & TRUST in God’s promises.
    CONSIDER THIS: It is by BEHOLDING Jesus that we are CHANGED into the divine Image and partake of the divine NATURE.
    SUMMARY: In a word, the Galatians were in danger of FALLING away from their experience of GRACE through FAITH and returning to some form of seeking to earn their JUSTIFICATION. Paul would not allow them to turn back to their former misunderstandings, as the Judaizers were pressing on them. [Galatians 4:1-12]. In Christ we have been ADOPTED into God’s family, as His sons & daughters. As God’s Children, we have access to all the rights and privileges that such a family relationship entails. To relate to God on the basis of rules & regulations alone would be foolish. It would be like a son wanting to renounce his position and inheritance in order to become a slave.

  10. #500


    Complete Your Work

    by Joyce Meyer - posted August 19, 2017

    Jesus said to them, My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work.
    - John 4:34

    I believe the Lord wants us to finish whatever He calls us to do, even when it requires patience, preservation and hard work. God wants us to grow roots and learn to endure until the fruit of His promise is manifested.

    Be willing to endure patiently to see God’s plan take place in your life. If God has given you a vision of something He wants you to accomplish, keep doing whatever He has given you to do, even when the excitement for the work is over, and all the goose bumps are gone. If you don’t have a vision, ask God to show you something that you need to do, and then commit your work to the Lord until it is completed.

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