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Thread: Daily Devotional June 2015

  1. #481


    Our Father’s Face
    August 10, 2017

    Read: Psalm 80
    Bible in a Year: Psalms 79–80; Romans 11:1–18

    Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.—Psalm 80:3
    I remember my father’s face. It was hard to read. He was a kind man, but stoic and self-contained. As a child, I often searched his face, looking for a smile or other show of affection. Faces are us. A frown, a sullen look, a smile, and crinkly eyes reveal what we feel about others. Our faces are our “tell.”
    Asaph, the author of Psalm 80, was distraught and wanted to see the Lord’s face. He looked north from his vantage point in Jerusalem and saw Judah’s sister-state, Israel, collapse under the weight of the Assyrian Empire. With her buffer state gone, Judah was vulnerable to invasion from all sides—Assyria from the north, Egypt from the south, and the Arab nations from the east. She was outnumbered and outmatched.
    Asaph gathered up his fears in a prayer, three times repeated (80:3, 7, 19), “Make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” (Or, in other words, let me see Your smile.)
    It’s good to look away from our fears and search our heavenly Father’s face. The best way to see God’s face is to look at the cross. The cross is His “tell” (John 3:16).
    So know this: When your Father looks at you, He has a great big smile on His face. You’re very safe! —David H. Roper
    Ask God to shine His face on you. For further help in prayer, try praying this Psalm or others.

    Tell us what your favorite Psalm is and encourage others:
    God’s love for us is as expansive as the open arms of Christ on the cross.
    INSIGHT: Today’s psalm asks God to restore Israel—to make His face shine on them so they may be saved. Where have you seen God’s hand saving and restoring you and your loved ones?

  2. #482


    The building up in love...
    THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2017

    Ephesians 4:11-16
    11 He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; 12 for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; 15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ; 16 from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love. (WEB)

    In today's Scripture passage, we read about some of the gifts that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has given to the church (Ephesians 4:7). They come in the form of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. The very reason that our elder brother has enabled some among us to function in these gifts is so that the Body of Christ would be built up in love.

    The whole point of the five fold ministry is to help us all grow up in the unity of faith, that we would no longer be childish in our understanding of the gospel, but would reflect the fullness of Christ in our corporate expression. The more that we become like Jesus, the more that we will be a greater manifestation of love to every one around us, for Jesus was the perfect expression of love in human form.

    My prayer today is that we would all be reminded of what really matters and that is simply the building up of love within the Body of Christ. As the Apostle Paul reminded us in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, without love, any form of Christian service is simply a waste of time. May we all be inspired to 'make love our greatest aim' (1 Corinthians 14:1) in all that we do as we build each other up.

    1 Corinthians 13:1-3
    If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing. (WEB)

  3. #483


    Read: John 11:21–35
    Bible in a Year: Psalms 81–83; Romans 11:19–36

    Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.—John 11:32
    As we exited the parking lot, my husband slowed the car to wait for a young woman riding her bike. When Tom nodded to indicate she could go first, she smiled, waved, and rode on. Moments later, the driver from a parked SUV threw his door open, knocking the young bicyclist to the pavement. Her legs bleeding, she cried as she examined her bent-up bike.
    Later, we reflected on the accident: If only we had made her wait . . . If only the driver had looked before opening his door. If only . . . Difficulties catch us up in a cycle of second-guessing ourselves. If only I had known my child was with teens who were drinking . . . If only we had found the cancer earlier . . .
    When unexpected trouble comes, we sometimes question the goodness of God. We may even feel the despair that Martha and Mary experienced when their brother died. Oh, if Jesus had only come when He first found out that Lazarus was sick! (John 11:21, 32).
    Like Martha and Mary, we don’t always understand why hard things happen to us. But we can rest in the knowledge that God is working out His purposes for a greater good. In every circumstance, we can trust the wisdom of our faithful and loving God. —Cindy Hess Kasper
    Father, You have carried me through hard circumstances before. Thank You for teaching me to trust Your heart of love even when I don’t understand what You are doing in my life.

    For encouragement read, Why? Seeing God in Our Pain at
    To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark—that is faith. Charles Haddon Spurgeon
    INSIGHT: Jesus’s absence is what greatly troubled Mary and Martha. They cried, “Lord, . . . if you had been here” (John 11:21, 32). But God has promised, “Never will I leave you” (Heb. 13:5). We may not understand why hard things happen, but in confident trust we can say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid” (v. 6). Sim Kay Tee

  4. #484


    Morning ...

    Job 29:2
    Oh that I were as in months past.

    Numbers of Christians can view the past with pleasure, but regard the present with dissatisfaction; they look back upon the days which they have passed in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom and dreariness. Once they lived near to Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from Him, and they say, "O that I were as in months past!" They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they have not present peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that conscience is not so tender, or that they have not so much zeal for God's glory. The causes of this mournful state of things are manifold. It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline. Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart has been occupied with something else, more than with God; the affections have been set on the things of earth, instead of the things of heaven. A jealous God will not be content with a divided heart; He must be loved first and best. He will withdraw the sunshine of His presence from a cold, wandering heart. Or the cause may be found in self-confidence and self-righteousness. Pride is busy in the heart, and self is exalted instead of lying low at the foot of the cross. Christian, if you are not now as you "were in months past," do not rest satisfied with wishing for a return of former happiness, but go at once to seek your Master, and tell Him your sad state. Ask His grace and strength to help you to walk more closely with Him; humble yourself before Him, and He will lift you up, and give you yet again to enjoy the light of His countenance. Do not sit down to sigh and lament; while the beloved Physician lives there is hope, nay there is a certainty of recovery for the worst cases.

  5. #485


    A Steadfast Heart

    by Joyce Meyer - posted August 11, 2017

    My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is steadfast and confident! I will sing and make melody.
    - Psalm 57:7

    In order to experience victory in our lives and achieve great things for God, it is crucial that we choose to be determined. The Bible says that Jesus steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51), and we can do the same thing as we live for God. If we are going to accomplish anything worthwhile, it is important we “steadfastly and determinedly” set our face in that direction and not give up.

    When you receive Christ as your Savior and Lord, Satan will oppose you at every turn. He wants you to give up! The devil is not going to roll out a red carpet for us just because we decide to receive Christ. But Jesus has already overcome the devil. Satan is a defeated foe. His opposition is not strong enough to stop you if you are close to God, walking in His strength and will for your life.

    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that everything in life should be easy for us. Ask for God’s help, receive His grace, and be determined to do the will of God, to stay positive and happy, and to walk in the peace of God no matter what.

    Press on with holy determination, and God’s plan will be fulfilled in your life.

  6. #486


    The Key to Fulfillment

    by Joyce Meyer - posted August 13, 2017

    Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways and set your mind on what has come to you.
    - Haggai 1:5

    God has a great big, wonderful, fulfilling life planned for you and me, but if we are stubborn (see Exodus 33:3) or hard-hearted, then we will miss what He has for us. Stubbornness and refusal to hear and obey God's voice keeps us set in our ways and unable to make progress. When we find ourselves in this condition, we often fail to stop and ask ourselves what the problem is.

    Today's verse recounts a time when God's people were dissatisfied and experiencing many problems, so God told them to consider their ways. Many times when people are not fulfilled in life, they look everywhere except within themselves to find the reason. If you are unfulfilled in your life, do as God told the Old Testament people to do and "Consider your ways." Ask God to speak to you about "your ways," and pay attention to what He says. I have had to do this many times, and I have had to make changes in my thinking, my motives, or my behavior as a result. As I considered my ways over time, I found I was stubborn, hardheaded, opinionated, proud, and many other things that kept me from making progress. But, thank God, He has changed me! I pray He keeps on changing me and never stops.

    I want everything God wants me to have and nothing He doesn't. I belong to Him and so do you. He wants you to have a happy, blessed, wonderful life, full of satisfaction and fulfillment. If you aren't living that kind of life, take time to consider your ways; ask God to show you what needs to change; and then do what He tells you to do.

  7. #487


    The Road Is Not Safe

    But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.”

    ~ Luke 10:29-30

    The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was a notoriously dangerous way to travel. Jerusalem is about 3000 feet above sea level. The Dead Sea, near where Jericho stood, is about 1000 feet below sea level. In about 18 miles, this road dropped 4000 feet. It was a steep, mountainous road with narrow, rocky defiles and blind turns, which made it a place to be wary of robbers. In the 5th century, Jerome was still referring to this as “the Bloody Way.”

    When Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10, he was speaking about the kind of thing that was known to happen on the Jericho Road. But this is the scene he picked to explain what it truly means to be a neighbor. It is about going to the place where people need help, and caring for them. It is not a coincidence that he chose this example. The people who need help the most are not necessarily living in our neighborhoods. They can't come to us; they are broken and dying. Will we go to them?

    There is an old Hymn called On the Jericho Road. Here is one part:

    On the Jericho Road there's room for just two,
    No more and no less, just Jesus and you.
    Each burden He'll bear, each sorrow He'll share,
    There's never a care, for Jesus is there.
    This is a well-meaning idea, but it's not true. If you leave comfort and safety and go to where people are suffering, there are plenty of cares. If you follow Jesus, you'll walk the road, because this is the place he would be. And there's more than just Jesus and you there. There are people who need help. You need to see them. You can't walk the road like it's just Jesus and you.

    The Road to Jericho is not safe. Will you walk it?

    My brother is getting ready to return to Cambodia a second time, to work with a ministry that rescues women from the slave trade. There is danger, opposing the people who drive this industry. But I understand why he is going. These women desperately need help. The love of Christ leads brave men and women to such places.

    Jesus doesn't call all of us to go overseas, but I believe he calls us to leave our comfort zone and find those who suffer. They are closer to you than you think. Some are prisoners, others live in the inner city. They are in hospitals. Some long for a warm meal, others need medical treatment but can't afford it. He also calls us to partner with people who bring his love to people in far off places that the world has forgotten. This is how the world comes to know who Jesus is; we reveal him by our love for others. Take the time you need to plan, but find your way to the road. Jesus is already there, expecting you.

    Jesus, help us to slow our journey and love people the way you. Bring people into our lives that need that love. Amen.

  8. #488


    Psalm 103:2-3 (WEB)
    2 Praise Yahweh, my soul, and don’t forget all his benefits;
    3 who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases;

    Promise #225: Forgiveness and healing are among My many benefits.

    When a person is interviewing for a new job, one of the questions that they would typically ask is "Could you tell me about the benefit package for this job?" Different jobs have different benefits. Health care, dental plans, retirement plans, etc.

    In this promise, David is worshipping God and reminding himself not to forget all of the many benefits that come as part of the package when we are in relationship with God. In verse 3, David declares two of these benefits... Forgiveness and healing.

    It is interesting that David needs to remind himself not to forget all God's benefits. The Lord exhorted the Israelites to not forget all the miraculous things that He had done for them in the past. That is why they created monuments of His goodness and annual feasts... so they would remember and not forget.

    In Luke 22:14-20, Jesus shares the passover supper with His disciples and encourages them to remember Him every time they partook of the bread and the wine. It was important to Jesus that His disciples didn't forget the price that He was going to pay for their salvation. For it is in the remembering of Jesus death, burial and resurrection, that we continue to partake of the fullness of His life.

    My encouragement to you today is to bless the Lord with all your soul and don't forget all the many benefits that we have received in our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ!

  9. #489


    Read: Numbers 13:25–14:9
    Bible in a Year: Psalms 94–96; Romans 15:14–33

    The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.—Numbers 14:9
    “My husband was offered a promotion in another country, but I feared leaving our home, so he reluctantly declined the offer,” my friend shared with me. She explained how apprehension over such a big change kept her from embracing a new adventure, and that she sometimes wondered what they missed in not moving.
    The Israelites let their anxieties paralyze them when they were called to inhabit a rich and fertile land that flowed “with milk and honey” (Ex. 33:3). When they heard the reports of the powerful people in large cities (Num. 13:28), they started to fear. The majority of the Israelites rejected the call to enter the land.
    But Joshua and Caleb urged them to trust in the Lord, saying, “Do not be afraid of the people in the land” for the “Lord is with us” (14:9). Although the people there appeared large, they could trust the Lord to be with them.
    My friend wasn’t commanded to move to another country like the Israelites were, yet she regretted letting fear close off the opportunity. What about you—do you face a fearful situation? If so, know that the Lord is with you and will guide you. With His never-failing love, we can move forward in faith. —Amy Boucher Pye
    Loving Father, may I not let my fear stop me from following You, for I know that You will always love me and will never leave me.
    Fear can paralyze but faith propels us to follow God.

  10. #490


    Thursday- August 17, 2017
    "In These Hours of Probation"

    I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor. 6:2.

    We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming. This is not a fable to us; it is a reality. We have no doubt, neither have we had a doubt for years, that the doctrines we hold today are present truth, and that we are nearing the judgment. We are preparing to meet Him who, escorted by a retinue of holy angels, is to appear in the clouds of heaven to give the faithful and the just the finishing touch of immortality. When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will all be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be holy still. Those who have preserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honor, will then receive the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us.

    We embrace the truth of God with our different faculties, and as we come under the influence of that truth, it will accomplish the work for us which is necessary to give us a moral fitness for the kingdom of glory and for the society of the heavenly angels. We are now in God's workshop. Many of us are rough stones from the quarry. But as we lay hold upon the truth of God, its influence affects us. It elevates us and removes from us every imperfection and sin, of whatever nature. Thus we are prepared to see the King in His beauty and finally to unite with the pure and heavenly angels in the kingdom of glory. It is here that this work is to be accomplished for us, here that our bodies and spirits are to be fitted for immortality.

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