Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Daily Devotional Tuesday 17th May

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”” - Zephaniah 3:17
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."
1 Timothy 6:17

Our Lord Jesus is ever giving, and does not for a solitary instant withdraw his hand. As long as there is a vessel of grace not yet full to the brim, the oil shall not be stayed. He is a sun ever-shining; he is manna always falling round the camp; he is a rock in the desert, ever sending out streams of life from his smitten side; the rain of his grace is always dropping; the river of his bounty is ever-flowing, and the well-spring of his love is constantly overflowing. As the King can never die, so his grace can never fail. Daily we pluck his fruit, and daily his branches bend down to our hand with a fresh store of mercy. There are seven feast-days in his weeks, and as many as are the days, so many are the banquets in his years. Who has ever returned from his door unblessed? Who has ever risen from his table unsatisfied, or from his bosom un-emparadised? His mercies are new every morning and fresh every evening. Who can know the number of his benefits, or recount the list of his bounties? Every sand which drops from the glass of time is but the tardy follower of a myriad of mercies. The wings of our hours are covered with the silver of his kindness, and with the yellow gold of his affection. The river of time bears from the mountains of eternity the golden sands of his favour. The countless stars are but as the standard bearers of a more innumerable host of blessings. Who can count the dust of the benefits which he bestows on Jacob, or tell the number of the fourth part of his mercies towards Israel? How shall my soul extol him who daily loadeth us with benefits, and who crowneth us with loving-kindness? O that my praise could be as ceaseless as his bounty! O miserable tongue, how canst thou be silent? Wake up, I pray thee, lest I call thee no more my glory, but my shame. "Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right early."

Evening

"And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle, and your beasts."
2 Kings 3:16-17

The armies of the three kings were famishing for want of water: God was about to send it, and in these words the prophet announced the coming blessing. Here was a case of human helplessness: not a drop of water could all the valiant men procure from the skies or find in the wells of earth. Thus often the people of the Lord are at their wits' end; they see the vanity of the creature, and learn experimentally where their help is to be found. Still the people were to make a believing preparation for the divine blessing; they were to dig the trenches in which the precious liquid would be held. The church must by her varied agencies, efforts, and prayers, make herself ready to be blessed; she must make the pools, and the Lord will fill them. This must be done in faith, in the full assurance that the blessing is about to descend. By-and-by there was a singular bestowal of the needed boon. Not as in Elijah's case did the shower pour from the clouds, but in a silent and mysterious manner the pools were filled. The Lord has his own sovereign modes of action: he is not tied to manner and time as we are, but doeth as he pleases among the sons of men. It is ours thankfully to receive from him, and not to dictate to him. We must also notice the remarkable abundance of the supply--there was enough for the need of all. And so it is in the gospel blessing; all the wants of the congregation and of the entire church shall be met by the divine power in answer to prayer; and above all this, victory shall be speedily given to the armies of the Lord.

What am I doing for Jesus? What trenches am I digging? O Lord, make me ready to receive the blessing which thou art so willing to bestow.

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Rimmon

[Rĭm'mon] - a pomegranite. The father of two captains who served under King Ishbosheth and became his murderers (2 Sam. 4:2-9). Rimmon is also the name of a Syrian god, looked upon "as air-, weather-, and storm-god assimilated by popular etymology to the word for 'pomegranite,'" hence the meaning of the name. The symbol of the beneficient deity was the axe and a bundle of lightning-darts. It was in Rimmon's temple at Damascus that Naaman worshiped.

Rimmon is likewise the name of a city in Simeon now known as Um-er-Rumamin (Josh. 15:32; Zech. 14:10), and of a rock in Benjamin near Gibeah, now called Rummon or Rammun (Judg. 20:45, 47; 21:13), and of two cities, one in Simeon (1 Chron. 4:32) and the other in Zebulon, spoken of in Hebrews as Rimmons (1 Chron. 6:77).

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Ahinoam

Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 14:50

Name Meaning: Brother of pleasantries

Two women are known by this name in the Old Testament. The first Ahinoam was the daughter of Ahimaaz. She was the wife of Saul, Israel's first king, to whom she bore a noble son, Jonathan, who inherited his mother's commendable traits. It was her daughter, Merab, who was first promised to David in marriage, but it was Michal her next daughter who became the young champion's first wife. Saul had two more sons by Ahinoam, namely, Isha and Melchishua.

Her name is most suggestive. As we have seen, it means "brother of pleasantries," in the sense of "pleasing or dear brother." A parallel name is that of Abinoam, father of Barak, one of the heroes of the Book of Judges, whose name means, "brother's delight." Wilkinson suggests as a feasible origin for such a name, "Extreme partiality of affection exhibited by a very young infant for a brother-a domestic phenomenon by no means unusual."

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P31Header
Wendy Blight

May 16, 2011

Do You Want to Get Well?
Wendy Blight

"Then Jesus said to him, 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.'" John 5:8 (NIV)

Do you ever feel paralyzed by fear, despair, isolation, or self-pity?

Do you have a physical or emotional pain so deep that nothing can soothe the hurt?

If your heart cried "yes, that's me!" as you read these questions, come meet the man on the mat found in John Chapter 5.

As the story opens, we find Jesus entering Jerusalem, walking towards a dirty, smelly pool of water. Every day the lame, weak, and sick gathered at this pool, believing an angel would come down, touch the water, and fill it with healing powers. Whoever entered the pool first received instant healing. As Jesus wandered through the crowd, His Father drew His eyes to an invalid lying on a mat.

Jesus looked deep into the man's soul and asked, "Do you want to get well?" (John 5:6b, NIV)

"'Sir,' the invalid replied, 'I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.'" (John 5:7, NIV)

Did you hear the man's excuse? He remained on his mat because no one would help him.

Friends, I lived like that invalid for over a decade. In June 1986 at age 21, just days after my college graduation, I was raped by an armed, masked stranger hiding in my apartment.

I had enjoyed four incredible years at Baylor University where I pledged a sorority, dated and eventually became engaged to a wonderful man, was voted a Baylor Beauty and homecoming princess, graduated with honors, and had an amazing job waiting for me. After that day, those worldly blessings seemed meaningless. My attacker's vile and cruel act stole my dignity...my worth...my security...my life. He forever shattered my hopes and my dreams.

I lived paralyzed on a mat of fear and despair. For years I could never stay alone. I suffered from panic attacks that often landed me in the emergency room.

Then I encountered Christ in this story. The words He spoke to the crippled man leapt off the page and into my heart. They literally pierced my soul. I was the man on the mat. I enjoyed being the victim. I had become accustomed to my place of sorrow. Worse, I was comfortable there.

Read Jesus' next words to this man: "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (John 5:8, NIV)

Through this story, I came to know the truth of Hebrews 4:12 (NIV): "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

I surrendered my heart and all that held it captive to God. He whispered in my ear, "Wendy, I have a most beautiful and abundant life for you, but you will never know that life until you have the courage to get up off your mat and walk." God's Word came alive. He spoke personally to me, and in that moment, I committed to take a first step off my mat.

Are you on a mat? Sweet friend, will you join me and take your first step off of your mat?

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly come before You, my Creator and my Savior. I love You and thank You that You love me with an everlasting and unconditional love. I give myself to You now, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I deeply desire for you to come into my heart, heal my hurt, and take away my pain. Remove anything in my life that hinders my relationship with You and keeps me from living the abundant life You have for me. Fill me with the fullness of Your Spirit. Enable me to take the first step off my mat. Show me the great plans You have for me. I ask this in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Related Resources:
Take the first step off your mat by joining us for Melissa Taylor's free online study of Wendy's book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: the Transforming Power of God's Story.Click here to sign up on Melissa's blog.

Visit Wendy's blog to hear more about her story and share a bit of yours.

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story by Wendy Blight

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:
Are you stuck on a mat? What is keeping you there?

Commit today to take a first step off your mat. Identify your first step. As part of your plan, we'd love for you to join us for Melissa Taylor's free online study and let God bring His hope and healing into your life.

Reflections:
Spend some time in God's Word and in prayer. Listen for God's direction for your next steps.

Power Verses:
Luke 18:27, "What is impossible with man is possible with God." (NIV)

Psalm 40:1-2, "I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (NIV)

© 2011 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

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

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Today's reading: 2 Kings 24-25, John 5:1-24 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Kings 24-25

1 During Jehoiakim's reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he turned against Nebuchadnezzar and rebelled. 2 The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORD's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, 4 including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 5:1-24

The Healing at the Pool

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"



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