Thursday, May 26, 2011

Daily Devotional Thursday 26th May

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” - James 1:19
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Forsake me not, O Lord."
Psalm 38:21

Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation, but we too much forget that we have need to use this prayer at all times. There is no moment of our life, however holy, in which we can do without his constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation, we alike need the prayer, "Forsake me not, O Lord." "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." A little child, while learning to walk, always needs the nurse's aid. The ship left by the pilot drifts at once from her course. We cannot do without continued aid from above; let it then be your prayer today, "Forsake me not. Father, forsake not thy child, lest he fall by the hand of the enemy. Shepherd, forsake not thy lamb, lest he wander from the safety of the fold. Great Husbandman, forsake not thy plant, lest it wither and die. Forsake me not, O Lord,' now; and forsake me not at any moment of my life. Forsake me not in my joys, lest they absorb my heart. Forsake me not in my sorrows, lest I murmur against thee. Forsake me not in the day of my repentance, lest I lose the hope of pardon, and fall into despair; and forsake me not in the day of my strongest faith, lest faith degenerate into presumption. Forsake me not, for without thee I am weak, but with thee I am strong. Forsake me not, for my path is dangerous, and full of snares, and I cannot do without thy guidance. The hen forsakes not her brood; do thou then evermore cover me with thy feathers, and permit me under thy wings to find my refuge. Be not far from me, O Lord, for trouble is near, for there is none to help.' Leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!'"

"O ever in our cleansed breast,

Bid thine Eternal Spirit rest;

And make our secret soul to be

A temple pure and worthy thee."

Evening

"And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem ... and they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them."
Luke 24:33-35

When the two disciples had reached Emmaus, and were refreshing themselves at the evening meal, the mysterious stranger who had so enchanted them upon the road, took bread and brake it, made himself known to them, and then vanished out of their sight. They had constrained him to abide with them, because the day was far spent; but now, although it was much later, their love was a lamp to their feet, yea, wings also; they forgot the darkness, their weariness was all gone, and forthwith they journeyed back the threescore furlongs to tell the gladsome news of a risen Lord, who had appeared to them by the way. They reached the Christians in Jerusalem, and were received by a burst of joyful news before they could tell their own tale. These early Christians were all on fire to speak of Christ's resurrection, and to proclaim what they knew of the Lord; they made common property of their experiences. This evening let their example impress us deeply. We too must bear our witness concerning Jesus. John's account of the sepulchre needed to be supplemented by Peter; and Mary could speak of something further still; combined, we have a full testimony from which nothing can be spared. We have each of us peculiar gifts and special manifestations; but the one object God has in view is the perfecting of the whole body of Christ. We must, therefore, bring our spiritual possessions and lay them at the apostle's feet, and make distribution unto all of what God has given to us. Keep back no part of the precious truth, but speak what you know, and testify what you have seen. Let not the toil or darkness, or possible unbelief of your friends, weigh one moment in the scale. Up, and be marching to the place of duty, and there tell what great things God has shown to your soul.

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Habakkuk

[Hābăk'kuk] - love's embrace or he that embraces. The eighth of the Minor Prophets whose parentage, birthplace and era are unrecorded (Hab. 1:1; 3:1).

The Man Who Caressed the People

Although he is not much more than a mere name to us, we know that Habakkuk was a prophet of Judah and of the tribe of Levi and of the temple singers (Hab. 3:19 ). He is also referred to as a prophet and the last prophet before the destruction of Jerusalem (Hab. 3:11). Rabbinical tradition makes him the son of the Shunammite woman whom Elisha restored to life (2 Kings 4:16). Habakkuk prophesied the coming of the Babylonians upon Judah. This invasion took place in 606 b.c.and also in 597 b.c. and 586 b.c. "In your days" (Hab. 1:5 ), would indicate that he prophesied scarcely a generation before the first invasion.

In his prophecy Habakkuk was true to his name, which means "strong embrace of God," for he caressed and comforted the people as one would embrace a weeping child until its tears are dried. A modern writer suggests that his name may have contributed somewhat to the unpopularity of the prophet. "His name is against him; its coarse gutterals, falling upon the modern ears with a forbidden ring, and creating a prejudice from the beginning."

From the book Habakkuk wrote, we gather that he was the questioning prophet. He wants to know "Why?" and "How?" Answers were granted him. Why does God permit the destruction of His own people by a hand so cruel and unclean? The prophet waited patiently for an answer, and it came. The ungodly shall pass; the just shall live by faith.

Then we have a chant of derision against the Chaldeans raised by their victims - a fivefold woe:

I. Their insatiable greed.

II. Their overreaching ambition.

III. Their cruel tyranny.

IV. Their shameful treatment of conquered people.

V. Their brutal idolatry.

Then there is Habakkuk's great message of faith which gave Paul a hint of the most precious truth of the Gospel (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38) and aided the Reformation under Martin Luther, the charter of evangelical liberty.

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Today's reading: 1 Chronicles 25-27, John 9:1-23 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Chronicles 25-27

The Musicians

1 David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service:

2 From the sons of Asaph:

Zakkur, Joseph, Nethaniah and Asarelah. The sons of Asaph were under the supervision of Asaph, who prophesied under the king's supervision....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 9:1-23

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world...."

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P31Header
Marybeth Whalen

May 25, 2011

Try the Other Side
Marybeth Whalen

"He said, 'Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.' When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish." John 21:6 (NIV)

Have you ever done the same thing over and over with no success? I have. Whether it was trying to make our money work without a budget or trying to make our marriage work without following a biblical model, I tried to do things the same way over and over, hoping for success just one of those times. I came up empty every time.

But then God got my attention, showing me other things to try-a different way than what I'd been doing on my own. God's way worked much better.

In today's verse Jesus suggests that the disciples-who hadn't caught any fish-put their net on the other side of the boat. When I read this my mind flickered back to the times in my life when I'd been completely unsuccessful in what I was doing-and how I had to throw my net to the other side of the boat before I could bring in a catch. When I did, my net was full.

I can still remember feeling the elation that came with seeing my "catch." Those full nets that came from listening to and obeying Him are a visual of living life "to the full" like Jesus spoke of in John 10:10.

Perhaps you too are in a place of trying the same thing over and over but it never works. Your net comes up empty. You struggle with feeling like your debt will never get any smaller. Or you can't seem to grow your savings account. That promotion feels out of reach. Maybe your relationships just never seem to improve. And that stupid scale won't budge no matter what you do.

Whatever the situation you find yourself in, you are struggling with that nagging feeling that something needs to change. Maybe it's time to try the other side.

When the disciples came up empty, Jesus urged them to try something different. He showed them that they didn't have to keep doing things the way they always had. And He gave them specific direction as to how to achieve the success He had in mind for them.

He wants to fill your net, but perhaps He wants you to take a bigger risk, reach outside of your comfort zone, and trust His ability instead of your own. Most of all He wants you to seek out His voice, listening hard for His direction as to where your nets need to go, trusting that wherever He tells you to put them, His direction is perfect. Try the other side. Abundance is waiting there.

Dear Lord, You know what's not working in my life. You know where my net needs to go. Help me to see it and to trust fully in You as I throw my net to the other side. Please make Your directions clear to me as I listen for Your voice. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen. A novel for every woman who has looked at another woman's life and said, "I want what she has," She Makes It Look Easyreminds us of the danger of pedestals and the beauty of authentic friendship.

Living Financially Free: Hard Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Money and Your Marriage by Marybeth and Curt Whalen

Visit Marybeth's blog where she's sharing a Psalm for moms and more encouragement for your day.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
Spend some time journaling about your situation and what's not working about it. If there's something God's been whispering to your heart that you've been resisting, investigate that further through prayer and listening to Him.

Reflections:
Why do I think I keep doing things that don't work? Why am I resistant to throw my nets to the other side? What's keeping me from trying something new?

Power Verses:
Luke 5:5, "Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." (NIV)

Isaiah 43:19, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (NIV)

© 2011 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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



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