Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daily Devotional Thursday 19th May

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” - Hebrews 6:10
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him."
Colossians 2:9-10

All the attributes of Christ, as God and man, are at our disposal. All the fulness of the Godhead, whatever that marvellous term may comprehend, is ours to make us complete. He cannot endow us with the attributes of Deity; but he has done all that can be done, for he has made even his divine power and Godhead subservient to our salvation. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability and infallibility, are all combined for our defence. Arise, believer, and behold the Lord Jesus yoking the whole of his divine Godhead to the chariot of salvation! How vast his grace, how firm his faithfulness, how unswerving his immutability, how infinite his power, how limitless his knowledge! All these are by the Lord Jesus made the pillars of the temple of salvation; and all, without diminution of their infinity, are covenanted to us as our perpetual inheritance. The fathomless love of the Saviour's heart is every drop of it ours; every sinew in the arm of might, every jewel in the crown of majesty, the immensity of divine knowledge, and the sternness of divine justice, all are ours, and shall be employed for us. The whole of Christ, in his adorable character as the Son of God, is by himself made over to us most richly to enjoy. His wisdom is our direction, his knowledge our instruction, his power our protection, his justice our surety, his love our comfort, his mercy our solace, and his immutability our trust. He makes no reserve, but opens the recesses of the Mount of God and bids us dig in its mines for the hidden treasures. "All, all, all are yours," saith he, "be ye satisfied with favour and full of the goodness of the Lord." Oh! how sweet thus to behold Jesus, and to call upon him with the certain confidence that in seeking the interposition of his love or power, we are but asking for that which he has already faithfully promised.

Evening

"Afterward."
Hebrews 12:11

How happy are tried Christians, afterwards. No calm more deep than that which succeeds a storm. Who has not rejoiced in clear shinings after rain? Victorious banquets are for well-exercised soldiers. After killing the lion we eat the honey; after climbing the Hill Difficulty, we sit down in the arbour to rest; after traversing the Valley of Humiliation, after fighting with Apollyon, the shining one appears, with the healing branch from the tree of life. Our sorrows, like the passing keels of the vessels upon the sea, leave a silver line of holy light behind them "afterwards." It is peace, sweet, deep peace, which follows the horrible turmoil which once reigned in our tormented, guilty souls. See, then, the happy estate of a Christian! He has his best things last, and he therefore in this world receives his worst things first. But even his worst things are "afterward" good things, harsh ploughings yielding joyful harvests. Even now he grows rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he lives by dying, and becomes full by being emptied; if, then, his grievous afflictions yield him so much peaceable fruit in this life, what shall be the full vintage of joy "afterwards" in heaven? If his dark nights are as bright as the world's days, what shall his days be? If even his starlight is more splendid than the sun, what must his sunlight be? If he can sing in a dungeon, how sweetly will he sing in heaven! If he can praise the Lord in the fires, how will he extol him before the eternal throne! If evil be good to him now, what will the overflowing goodness of God be to him then? Oh, blessed "afterward!" Who would not be a Christian? Who would not bear the present cross for the crown which cometh afterwards? But herein is work for patience, for the rest is not for today, nor the triumph for the present, but "afterward." Wait, O soul, and let patience have her perfect work.

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Ahaziah

[Āhazī'ah] - jehovah holds orpossesses.

  1. A son of Ahab, the Ahaziah of Israel - its eighth king who reigned for only two years. He followed the religious policy of his idolatrous father. He died as the result of a fall from the palace window (1 Kings 22:49, 51; 2 Kings 1:2; 1 Chron. 3:11; 2 Chron. 20:35, 37).
  2. A son of Jehoram or Joram, the Ahaziah of Judah who was Judah's fifth king, and who reigned for only one year. He is also known as Jehoahaz and Azariah. Since his wife was a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, it is not to be wondered at that he was a Baal worshiper (2 Kings 8:24-29; 9:16-29; 10:13; 12:18; 13:1; 14:13; 2 Chron. 22).
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Today's reading: 1 Chronicles 4-6, John 6:1-21 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Chronicles 4-6

Other Clans of Judah

1 The descendants of Judah:

Perez, Hezron, Karmi, Hur and Shobal.

2 Reaiah son of Shobal was the father of Jahath, and Jahath the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites.

3 These were the sons of Etam:
Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi. 4 Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 6:1-21

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do....

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P31Header
Renee Swope

May 18, 2011

Becoming the Real Me
Renee Swope

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

What do you love to do? If finances were unlimited and failure was unlikely, what would be your dream?

The facilitator of our team-building activity asked our small group to answer these questions. I didn't have an answer. So I decided to start praying we'd run out of time before it got to me. But just in case I had to answer, I listened to everyone else describe their dreams, hoping to get ideas.

One wanted to be the first female president of the United States. Another friend said she'd always wanted to sing in a Christian rock band. I knew I was in trouble.

Here I was, 32-years-old at the time, and I didn't know who I was or what my dreams were. Eventually everyone looked at me for a response. I stumbled over my words. Then I finally admitted I didn't really know what I loved to do.

I didn't have a dream. I'd never taken time to think about or answer those kinds of questions. Instead, I had always tried to be who others wanted or needed me to be. But honestly, I wasn't very good at it. I often had this uneasy feeling in my heart and a sense of just not being happy. And I was a constant candidate for burn out.

I wasn't living out the truth held in our key verse today: "[God] created my inmost being; [He] knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13, NIV)

I was not designed to be who others expected me to be, or even wanted me to be. I was created to become all that God planned for me to be. But I was lost in the process of my becoming.

After I fumbled around looking for an answer during our team-building time, our facilitator encouraged me to ask God what His dreams were for my life.

I took her advice and started the process of becoming the "real me" who had gotten buried in the busyness of life and people pleasing.

As I read books that talked about discovering our passions, gifts and personality traits, I started to identify what I liked. I recognized strengths that came natural for me, and learned what I needed emotionally to encourage my heart.

For the first time, I realized there was an important reason I was who I was - with my passionate preferences and mixed bag of emotions. Instead of wanting to be like women I knew and admired, I sensed God wanted to use the unique way He made me.

Isn't it easy to neglect ourselves to meet the needs of everyone around us, and call it self-sacrifice? It sounds godly. But in doing so we risk shutting down a place in our soul where God's dreams and gifts are waiting to be revealed.

So, how well do you know the real you? Have you ever taken time to think about what you like to do? What would make your heart come alive if you had the confidence and resources to do it?

Although it might feel self-seeking, it's actually God-seeking to take time to get to know the woman He created you to be. Remember God had a plan in mind when He made you. When you surrender your unique passions and personality to Him, God will use them to guide you towards His dreams for your life.

Lord, I want to know the woman You had in mind when You created me. I don't want to grow old and never know Your purpose for my life. Show me Your dreams for me so I can offer what You want to give to those around me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
This devotion is taken from chapter 8 of Renee Swope's upcoming book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises. To pre-order your copy, click here.

Shaped with Purpose Workbook and CD: A Practical Guide to Discovering Who You Are by Renee Swope

Read more about getting to know the real you, and share your thoughts/questions on Renee's blog today. She's also giving away a Confident Heart gift pack. Click here to enter to win.

Application Steps:
In her personality books, Florence Littauer describes four personality types. Which one or two do you relate to most?

• Phlegmatic: Desires PEACE
Needs times of quiet, reduced stress, feeling of worth, relaxation

• Choleric: Desires CONTROL
Needs appreciation for achievements, opportunity for leadership, and participation in decisions

• Sanguine: Desires FUN
Needs attention, affection, approval, activity with people

• Melancholy: Desires PERFECTION
Needs sensitivity, stability, support, space, silence

Learn more about discovering your God-given personality and purpose on Renee's blog.

Reflections:
Reflect on today's verse, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13, NIV)

Do I believe God created me with unique traits and dreams? Do I know what they are?

Do I like who God created me to be? Why or why not?

Power Verses:
Psalm 139:14-15, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth," (NIV)

Psalm 139:1, "O, Lord, you have searched me and you know me." (NIV)

© 2011 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org


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