Author Topic: Devotional for the day  (Read 55782 times)

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1370 on: April 13, 2012, 09:15:35 am »
April 13, 2012

Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

What To Do When Your Burden Is Overwhelming
Cast your burden on the Lord . . . -Psalm 55:22


We must recognize the difference between burdens that are right for us to bear and burdens that are wrong. We should never bear the burdens of sin or doubt, but there are some burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off. God wants us to roll them back on Him- to literally "cast your burden," which He has given you, "on the Lord . . . ." If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence.

Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. They do not know what to do with their burden, and it produces weariness in their lives. Others will see this and say, "What a sad end to something that had such a great beginning!"

"Cast your burden on the Lord . . . ." You have been bearing it all, but you need to deliberately place one end on God's shoulder. ". . . the government will be upon His shoulder" (Isaiah 9:6). Commit to God whatever burden He has placed on you. Don't just cast it aside, but put it over onto Him and place yourself there with it. You will see that your burden is then lightened by the sense of companionship. But you should never try to separate yourself from your burden.

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At Just the Right Time

It is easy for us to get anxious when it seems like God is moving more slowly than we would like. But Scripture is clear, God's purposes have their appointed times. They are fulfilled in their season.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says,

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

And there is 1 Peter 5:6-7, which says,

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Humility and God's exalting of you are two things that are tied together. Perhaps you are feeling pretty frazzled, wondering, "God, when's it going to happen?" Just continue to cast your cares on Him. He will promote you in due time. Do not worry about it.

In fact, the phrase that says, that He may exalt you in due time, literally means "at the set time" or "at the time prearranged by God."

When your character has been shaped and molded enough, and when other events are ready and in their proper place, then God will promote and exalt you.

Think about Moses who had it in his heart to be a deliverer and a judge, but when he first acted on it he failed miserably. He was 40 years early! (See Acts 7:23-34). The Israelites were not ready to be delivered yet. God had to work at the other end of the line.

Remember, God may have put some things in your heart, but the timing may not be quite right. There may be some work He needs to do in your life, or there may be some other factors God is working on. Until those things come together, God will not push you into that position.

So, focus on being faithful and let God worry about just the right time.
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Receive the Word

In His Presence: Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves (James 1:21-22).

When we resign ourselves to the truth of God's Word, we must next receive the Word as God's message for our lives. We must put aside all our filthiness and sin, confessing, acknowledging, and agreeing with God about our sin. Sin blocks the working of God through the Word, so it must be dealt with properly.

One Minute Please

We must receive the Word in humility, which means we come under its authority. This shows our reverence for God's authority.

God bless
  :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1371 on: April 16, 2012, 09:26:09 am »
Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

Can You Come Down From the Mountain?
While you have the light, believe in the light . . . -John 12:36


We all have moments when we feel better than ever before, and we say, "I feel fit for anything; if only I could always be like this!" We are not meant to be. Those moments are moments of insight which we have to live up to even when we do not feel like it. Many of us are no good for the everyday world when we are not on the mountaintop. Yet we must bring our everyday life up to the standard revealed to us on the mountaintop when we were there.

Never allow a feeling that was awakened in you on the mountaintop to evaporate. Don't place yourself on the shelf by thinking, "How great to be in such a wonderful state of mind!" Act immediately- do something, even if your only reason to act is that you would rather not. If, during a prayer meeting, God shows you something to do, don't say, "I'll do it"- just doit! Pick yourself up by the back of the neck and shake off your fleshly laziness. Laziness can always be seen in our cravings for a mountaintop experience; all we talk about is our planning for our time on the mountain. We must learn to live in the ordinary "gray" day according to what we saw on the mountain.

Don't give up because you have been blocked and confused once- go after it again. Burn your bridges behind you, and stand committed to God by an act of your own will. Never change your decisions, but be sure to make your decisions in the light of what you saw and learned on the mountain.
 

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Sour, Angry, and Negative

We are looking at how we make the gospel unattractive. I believe one of the main ways this occurs is when Christians are sour, angry and negative.

Some people live right but they always look like they have spent the night in a bottle of lemon juice.

If you struggle in this area, you need to listen carefully. Your salvation should be the source of great joy, and that joy and happiness should be expressed in your life in a dynamic way.

For example, Jesus said this in John 15:11,

"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."

And in John 16:22, He said,

"Your joy no one will take from you."

In Romans 14:17, Paul said,

For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Finally, James 1:2 says,

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.

Joy is one of the hallmarks of the Kingdom of God. Even when we are going through a rough patch, the Bible says we are to be full of joy.

Joy makes the gospel attractive. If you put on a sour face all the time and you have a negative disposition, you will scare people away from church. You make the gospel seem like something people would never want.

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 Respond to the Word

In His Presence: If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was (James 1:23-24).

In a mirror you see what you really look like. A mirror shows who you are physically, and it gives you messages about yourself. James said that going to the Word of God is like looking in a mirror. But if you only go to the mirror with the intent of looking in and not doing anything about what you see, if you only go to the Word of God to hear and not do anything about what you hear, you are deceiving yourself.

One Minute Please

We may think we don't have the power to change, but we're not alone. The Holy Spirit will change us!

 
God bless
  :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!


Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1372 on: April 17, 2012, 08:33:09 am »

Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

All or Nothing?
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment . . . and plunged into the sea -John 21:7


Have you ever had a crisis in your life in which you deliberately, earnestly, and recklessly abandoned everything? It is a crisis of the will. You may come to that point many times externally, but it will amount to nothing. The true deep crisis of abandonment, or total surrender, is reached internally, not externally. The giving up of only external things may actually be an indication of your being in total bondage.

Have you deliberately committed your will to Jesus Christ? It is a transaction of the will, not of emotion; any positive emotion that results is simply a superficial blessing arising out of the transaction. If you focus your attention on the emotion, you will never make the transaction. Do not ask God what the transaction is to be, but make the determination to surrender your will regarding whatever you see, whether it is in the shallow or the deep, profound places internally.

If you have heard Jesus Christ's voice on the waves of the sea, you can let your convictions and your consistency take care of themselves by concentrating on maintaining your intimate relationship to Him.
 

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Remember

Titus 3:1-7 says,

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Paul tells us to remember where we have come from. Notice he said to show humility to all men and speak evil of no one. Why? Because we also used to be foolish and deceived and disobedient.

I thank God I am a new creation in Christ, but I still blush when I think about some of the stuff I got involved in before I was saved! Disobedient? Been there. Serving various lusts and pleasures? Up to my eyeballs! Plus all the other things Paul mentions in this passage and a few more!

It is amazing how people in the church forget what they were like before the grace of God came into their life. When that happens they tend to get very haughty and judgmental towards those still lost in their sin. A harsh, judgmental church that lacks humility while verbally lashing out at sinners is one of the ugliest garments you can dress the beautiful gospel in.

 
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A Relationship with the Word

In His Presence: One who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does (James 1:25).

The final step in being transformed into the image of Christ by the Word of God is maintaining a relationship with the Word. James said the one who looks into the mirror of Scripture intently will not only read what it says, he will do it.

One Minute Please

Carry the Bible everywhere; look intently into it, abide in it, and you will change.

 
God bless
  :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1373 on: April 18, 2012, 09:51:43 am »
Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

Readiness
God called to him . . . . And he said, 'Here I am' -Exodus 3:4


When God speaks, many of us are like people in a fog, and we give no answer. Moses' reply to God revealed that he knew where he was and that he was ready. Readiness means having a right relationship to God and having the knowledge of where we are. We are so busy telling God where we would like to go. Yet the man or woman who is ready for God and His work is the one who receives the prize when the summons comes. We wait with the idea that some great opportunity or something sensational will be coming our way, and when it does come we are quick to cry out, "Here I am." Whenever we sense that Jesus Christ is rising up to take authority over some great task, we are there, but we are not ready for some obscure duty.

Readiness for God means that we are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing- it makes no difference. It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God's plans may be, we are there and ready. Whenever any duty presents itself, we hear God's voice as our Lord heard His Father's voice, and we are ready for it with the total readiness of our love for Him. Jesus Christ expects to do with us just as His Father did with Him. He can put us wherever He wants, in pleasant duties or in menial ones, because our union with Him is the same as His union with the Father. ". . . that they may be one just as We are one . . ." (John 17:22).

Be ready for the sudden surprise visits of God. A ready person never needs to get ready- he is ready. Think of the time we waste trying to get ready once God has called! The burning bush is a symbol of everything that surrounds the person who is ready, and it is on fire with the presence of God Himself.
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What's Your Motive?

The Bible says in James 4:3,

You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

James says that you ask, but you do not receive, because you ask amiss. The word amiss here comes from the Greek root word that means to harm or to injure. His point is: God will not grant you anything that is going to harm or injure your spiritual life, whether in the short term or in the long term.

When you pray, God is looking out for your best interests.

But then he also said, You ask amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures. The word pleasures has the idea of sensuality, which means, if I am asking for something just to stroke my fleshly ego, then I short-circuit the prayer by my wrong motivation.

For example, it is great to pray for a car. I live in Southern California where we need a car to get around. And I think God will give you a car that you like. After all, the Bible says He gives us richly all things to enjoy. Jesus said, "Ask, that your joy might be full." So I think God wants us to be happy, and He generally has no problems granting your request for a car you would like.

Yet some people go a step beyond that, and their real motivation is, "Man, I want that car because I would look good in that car! If I came to work in that car, I would really show up so-and-so. People would think I'm pretty fine if I had that car. If I had that car, the chicks would dig me."

Be careful when you pray to not slip over into a motivation that is not really pure. Because you will short-circuit your faith and you will not receive an answer-except "no".
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Transformed by Trials

In His Presence: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (James 1:2).

The television show "Extreme Makeover" puts people through all kinds of adverse circumstances so that they might look better than they did when they started the makeover process. They undergo surgical procedures, grueling workouts, and physical pain in order to be transformed into something beautiful.

One of the primary ways God makes us more like Christ is by allowing us to face trouble. To conform us into the image of Christ, we don't just need minor surgery--we require major transformation. In fact, God has to put a brand new nature inside us. Just as a sculptor chips away at a piece of marble to turn it into a beautiful sculpture, God uses trials to chip away at us, sculpting us to resemble the image of Christ.

One Minute Please

Like a photographer developing his film in a darkroom, God develops a beautiful photograph of Christlikeness in us when we go through dark times.


God bless
  :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1374 on: April 19, 2012, 09:26:15 am »
Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

Beware of the Least Likely Temptation
Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom -1 Kings 2:28


Joab withstood the greatest test of his life, remaining absolutely loyal to David by not turning to follow after the fascinating and ambitious Absalom. Yet toward the end of his life he turned to follow after the weak and cowardly Adonijah. Always remain alert to the fact that where one person has turned back is exactly where anyone may be tempted to turn back (see 1 Corinthians 10:11-13). You may have just victoriously gone through a great crisis, but now be alert about the things that may appear to be the least likely to tempt you. Beware of thinking that the areas of your life where you have experienced victory in the past are now the least likely to cause you to stumble and fall.

We are apt to say, "It is not at all likely that having been through the greatest crisis of my life I would now turn back to the things of the world." Do not try to predict where the temptation will come; it is the least likely thing that is the real danger. It is in the aftermath of a great spiritual event that the least likely things begin to have an effect. They may not be forceful and dominant, but they are there. And if you are not careful to be forewarned, they will trip you. You have remained true to God under great and intense trials- now beware of the undercurrent. Do not be abnormally examining your inner self, looking forward with dread, but stay alert; keep your memory sharp before God. Unguarded strength is actually a double weakness, because that is where the least likely temptations will be effective in sapping strength. The Bible characters stumbled over their strong points, never their weak ones.

". . . kept by the power of God . . ."- that is the only safety. (1 Peter 1:5).
 

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Overcoming Barrenness

I Samuel 1:10-11 says,

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head."

These words are written about Hannah, who was barren. But God answered her prayer by giving her a son, and he became one of the most prominent figures in Biblical history-Samuel.

Perhaps there is a "barrenness" in some area of your life, and like Hannah, who was tormented by her adversary-so it is with you. Prayer can change things. It did in Hannah's life, and it can in yours. But there are several things about Hannah's prayer that we need to consider:

1. Hannah's prayer was not casual. It was heartfelt and deep. Too much of our praying is "skin deep." Only prayers that originate from deep within us get God's attention. James 5:16 declares that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

2. Hannah's prayer was specific. She asked for a male child. Too much of our praying is too general. Don't be afraid to be specific in your requests.

3. Hannah wanted the answer to her prayer to glorify God. Her boy would be dedicated to God's service. When our prayers take on the purpose of glorifying God, we have moved into a higher realm.

If you are experiencing a barrenness in any arena of life, pray. And let your prayers be heartfelt, specific, and for the glory of God.
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 Count It as Joy

In His Presence: In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).

How are we supposed to react to trials when they come our way? Trials are inevitable for the Christian; we must all face trials of some kind at some point in our lives. James told us the first thing we should do is to consider, or count in some versions, our trials as joy. The Greek word used for "count" is an accounting term meaning to add up. Why must we count trials as joy? Because sometimes when we are going through trials, they just don't add up. They don't make sense. It doesn't seem fair to have to face what we must deal with.

One Minute Please

We can't ignore the pain of a trial, but we must focus on the purpose.

God bless
 :angel: :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

  • By the Grace of God I am what I am! 1 corinthians 15:10
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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1375 on: April 20, 2012, 08:36:42 am »
Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

Can a Saint Falsely Accuse God?
All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen . . . -2 Corinthians 1:20


Jesus' parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25:14-30 was a warning that it is possible for us to misjudge our capacities. This parable has nothing to do with natural gifts and abilities, but relates to the gift of the Holy Spirit as He was first given at Pentecost. We must never measure our spiritual capacity on the basis of our education or our intellect; our capacity in spiritual things is measured on the basis of the promises of God. If we get less than God wants us to have, we will falsely accuse Him as the servant falsely accused his master when he said, "You expect more of me than you gave me the power to do. You demand too much of me, and I cannot stand true to you here where you have placed me." When it is a question of God's Almighty Spirit, never say, "I can't." Never allow the limitation of your own natural ability to enter into the matter. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be exhibited in us.

The servant justified himself, while condemning his lord on every point, as if to say, "Your demand on me is way out of proportion to what you gave to me." Have we been falsely accusing God by daring to worry after He has said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you"? (Matthew 6:33). Worrying means exactly what this servant implied- "I know your intent is to leave me unprotected and vulnerable." A person who is lazy in the natural realm is always critical, saying, "I haven't had a decent chance," and someone who is lazy in the spiritual realm is critical of God. Lazy people always strike out at others in an independent way.

Never forget that our capacity and capability in spiritual matters is measured by, and based on, the promises of God. Is God able to fulfill His promises? Our answer depends on whether or not we have received the Holy Spirit.
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 By Janet Conley

Power in Numbers

I believe the Bible teaches us that when we join together the impact is multiplied far beyond just the addition of those who join together. One plus one equals far more than two. Let me show you what I mean.

In Deuteronomy 32:30, it says,

How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had surrendered them?

While this verse deals with Israel's disobedience to God and subsequent retreat from their enemies, think of what might be possible when God's people obey Him! It says that one could chase a thousand, but two could put ten thousand to flight.

While one person can impact a thousand, two people can impact ten thousand. That is a ten-fold multiplied effect!

Leviticus 26:7-8, when God was giving promises to His people if they would walk in His ways, states this,

You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.

Notice God says five will chase a hundred, and a hundred will chase ten thousand. By increasing the number of people times 20, their effectiveness would increase times 100. Again, that is a multiplied effect.

You have probably heard of the Clydesdale horses, those big, strong workhorses that can pull a lot of weight. One horse by itself can pull two tons, but if you yoke two together they can pull 23 tons! That is incredible!

And that is how it works when we pray together with one another. When we join our forces in prayer and connect with heaven, that is what happens. There is a multiplied effect.
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Pray Through Your Trial

In His Presence: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

Wisdom can be defined as knowing how to apply truth to problematic situations. When we are going through trials, we must pray that God would give us wisdom to see how to apply the truth of His Word to what we are facing. Then and only then can He show us how to become more like His Son. We can ask God how to apply what is true about Him so that we can reap the maximum benefit from our situation.

One Minute Please

God promises He will answer every prayer without reproach when we are being conformed into the image of Christ.

 

God bless
  :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1376 on: April 23, 2012, 09:35:32 am »
Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

Do You Worship The Work?
We are God's fellow workers . . . -1 Corinthians 3:9


Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God. This will mean that all the other boundaries of life, whether they are mental, moral, or spiritual limits, are completely free with the freedom God gives His child; that is, a worshiping child, not a wayward one. A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God's blessing cannot rest on him.

But the opposite case is equally true-once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him. The freedom that comes after sanctification is the freedom of a child, and the things that used to hold your life down are gone. But be careful to remember that you have been freed for only one thing-to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.

We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . ." (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
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 Real Goodness

Romans 2:4 declares,

The goodness of God leads you to repentance.

Ephesians 2:4-6 says,

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

God is not holding your sins against you.  He sent His Son to pay a debt that had to be paid in order to liberate you from sin.  God extends His mercy and forgiveness to you and me even when we do not deserve it.

It was His goodness that arrested my attention and that brought me to the foot of the cross, even when I was in my darkest sin, doing terrible things, abusing my body with drugs and alcohol, and doing things that should have put me in an early grave.  In fact, a number of times I nearly died.  But God loved me right in the middle of all of that.

I want to tell you, wherever you are right now, God loves you.  You may be in the depths of the darkest sin you have ever been involved in, you just feel wretched, but God loves you right where you are.

He loves you so much He doesn't want to leave you there.  His grace can reach you, change you and lift you out of any sin or situation if you will turn to Him with all of your heart.

There is no reason to fear or hesitate. Entrust yourself to the goodness of God and say yes to Him today.
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 Praise God During Trials

In His Presence: The brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation . . . Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:9-10, 12).

Since God uses trials for our benefit and He is always in control, we can praise Him for who He is no matter what we are going through. Scripture says we should give thanks in everything. In every situation, we can count it as joy that God has decided to use a trial in our life to make us more like His Son.

One Minute Please

You may be in the fire of a trial, but God is using it to refine and purify you to be more like His Son.

 
God bless
  :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1377 on: April 24, 2012, 09:19:11 am »
Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success
Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you . . . -Luke 10:20


Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by this religious age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go "outside the camp, bearing His reproach" (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10:20 , Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have a commercialized view- we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is all right. Yet our work only begins where God's grace has laid the foundation. Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God's sovereign grace, and our work as His disciples is to disciple others' lives until they are totally yielded to God. One life totally devoted to God is of more value to Him than one hundred lives which have been simply awakened by His Spirit. As workers for God, we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and those lives will be God's testimony to us as His workers. God brings us up to a standard of life through His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that same standard in others.

Unless the worker lives a life that "is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3), he is apt to become an irritating dictator to others, instead of an active, living disciple. Many of us are dictators, dictating our desires to individuals and to groups. But Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced His words with an "if," never with the forceful or dogmatic statement- "You must." Discipleship carries with it an option.

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The First Step Toward Freedom

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" (John 5:2-6).

Jesus asked this man a seemingly ridiculous question, "Do you want to be made well?" It's obvious isn't it? He is at the pool, isn't he? The only reason people went there was to be healed. What kind of a question is that to be asking? Of course, he wanted to be healed.

But Jesus was not convinced. This man had been stuck in his condition for a long time. He was not only lying down on the outside, he was lying down on the inside.

Sometimes people get used to living in their problems. While they may outwardly be going through the motions to get free (generally because they know that is what is expected of them), inwardly they have given up.

The first step toward getting free from your problems and that which binds and restricts your life is wanting it-really wanting it.

You have to stand up on the inside before you can ever stand up on the outside.

Let me be very bold and ask you: Do you want to be made well? Do you really want things to change? Or have you grown accustomed to living under the devil's heel?

If you are tired of defeat, mediocrity and bondage, then stand up on the inside and say, "Enough is enough!"

It is the first step toward freedom.
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 Matured by Trials

In His Presence: You have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith . . . may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Adverse circumstances are designed to help us develop spiritually. Every time we face a trial we have an opportunity to move to another level of spiritual growth. James 1:12 pronounces persevering through a trial as a blessing. To be blessed is to be spiritually satisfied with the results of something. A blessed man does not quit or throw in the towel during a tough time; rather he perseveres because he knows one day he will receive the crown of life.

One Minute Please

Temptations are circumstances designed to defeat you while trials are circumstances designed to develop you.

God bless
 :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1378 on: April 25, 2012, 09:13:48 am »
Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

"Ready in Season"
Be ready in season and out of season -2 Timothy 4:2


Many of us suffer from the unbalanced tendency to "be ready" only "out of season." The season does not refer to time; it refers to us. This verse says, "Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season." In other words, we should "be ready" whether we feel like it or not. If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would never do anything. There are some people who are totally unemployable in the spiritual realm. They are spiritually feeble and weak, and they refuse to do anything unless they are supernaturally inspired. The proof that our relationship is right with God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.

One of the worst traps a Christian worker can fall into is to become obsessed with his own exceptional moments of inspiration. When the Spirit of God gives you a time of inspiration and insight, you tend to say, "Now that I've experienced this moment, I will always be like this for God." No, you will not, and God will make sure of that. Those times are entirely the gift of God. You cannot give them to yourself when you choose. If you say you will only be at your best for God, as during those exceptional times, you actually become an intolerable burden on Him. You will never do anything unless God keeps you consciously aware of His inspiration to you at all times. If you make a god out of your best moments, you will find that God will fade out of your life, never to return until you are obedient in the work He has placed closest to you, and until you have learned not to be obsessed with those exceptional moments He has given you.

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Stop Blaming and Rise Up
When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me" (John 5:6-7).

This guy was basically saying, "It's not my fault. I'm in this condition because of what someone else won't do for me, and because of what someone else has done to me."

Think about it, "I have no man to put me in." Paraphrased that says, "I'm stuck because of what someone won't do for me." Or, "While I'm coming, another steps down before me," which paraphrased says, "I'm stuck because of what someone else has done to me." Either way, "It is not my fault."

After making up our minds that we want to be free, the next step is to stop shifting the blame to others.

A friend of mine migrated from Mexico to the U.S. many years ago. He didn't understand the culture or the language and seemed to be hopelessly locked into a dead end job.

His employer took advantage of him and it seemed like he had no way out. But instead of blaming others for his situation (which would have been easy for him to do), he decided to get unstuck and do something with his life.

It took several years, but today he has several businesses and is quite wealthy.

Do not get caught in the trap of blaming others. Instead, make the decision to rise up (something we will be talking about in our next devotional.)
 

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Transformed by Temptation

In His Presence: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone (James 1:13).

Temptation can be defined as a solicitation to do evil. Remember, nothing can come your way without divine approval. Whether it's a test or a temptation, positive or negative, it has to flow through God's fingers first. He has to allow the devil to tempt us, and at the same time He is testing us. If a temptation comes to you, God had to allow it to come, but He is not the source of that temptation. We find this truth in the story of Job. Satan said the only reason Job was serving God was that God was so good to him, so God allowed the devil to tempt Job. So Satan solicited Job to curse God. This was a test that showed Job's faithfulness to God when he didn't give in to the temptation.

One Minute Please

God allows temptation for our development, not our destruction.
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God bless
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Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: Devotional for the day
« Reply #1379 on: April 26, 2012, 08:48:16 am »
Daily Devotionals By Oswald Chambers     
 

The Supreme Climb
Take now your son . . . and offer him . . . as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you -Genesis 22:2


A person's character determines how he interprets God's will (see Psalm 18:25-26). Abraham interpreted God's command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he could only leave this traditional belief behind through the pain of a tremendous ordeal. God could purify his faith in no other way. If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from those traditional beliefs that misrepresent Him. There are many such beliefs which must be removed-for example, that God removes a child because his mother loves him too much. That is the devil's lie and a travesty on the true nature of God! If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of our wrong traditional beliefs about God, he will do so. But if we will stay true to God, God will take us through an ordeal that will serve to bring us into a better knowledge of Himself.

The great lesson to be learned from Abraham's faith in God is that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter what contrary belief of his might be violated by his obedience. Abraham was not devoted to his own convictions or else he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was actually the voice of the devil. That is the attitude of a fanatic. If you will remain true to God, God will lead you directly through every barrier and right into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself. But you must always be willing to come to the point of giving up your own convictions and traditional beliefs. Don't ask God to test you. Never declare as Peter did that you are willing to do anything, even "to go . . . both to prison and to death" (Luke 22:33). Abraham did not make any such statement- he simply remained true to God, and God purified his faith.
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Obey and Get Unstuck
Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk" (John 5:8).

These words were spoken to a man who had been sick for 38 years! His bed had been carrying him, and now Jesus was telling him to carry his bed!

We have discussed several keys to getting unstuck from your problems in our last devotions. First, we must genuinely want to be free, and second, we must stop shifting the blame for our problems to others.

The final key I want to share with you is found in the above verse. It is to obey what the Lord tells you. Whether it makes sense or not-obey!

To a man who had been carried by his bed for 38 years, rising up and carrying his bed must have seemed crazy! But the moment he began to obey, new life and strength began to flow into his previously paralyzed limbs.

Listen for the Lord's instructions in your heart. Search for them in His Word. There is no faith without action. There will be something that God will require you to do in order to release or express your faith.

It may make sense to you-or it may not. But to quote Mary, the mother of Jesus, "Whatever He says to you, do it" (John 2:5).

After pastoring the same church for several decades, I have observed that many people remain stuck in their problems. Not because the Lord hasn't spoken to them, but because He has and they haven't obeyed.

If there is any unfilled obedience in your life, get busy and do what the Lord has told you to do. It is the only way to get unstuck.
 

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The Process of Temptation

In His Presence: Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren (James 1:14-16).

The key characteristic of temptation is that it is achieved by virtue of deception. Satan's job is to tempt you, to solicit you away from God. Paul said: "I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3). Satan is a chameleon, taking on any shape or size necessary to take our attention away from Christ.

One Minute Please

Once you make the decision to act contrary to the will and Word of God you have sinned.

God bless
  :angel:
 
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!