Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Daily Devotional Wednesday 25th May

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” - Romans 12:10
===
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer."
Psalm 66:20

In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think their prayers worthy of acceptance--as the Pharisee did; but the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold thy prayers have been. When in thy closet thou shouldst have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, thy petitions have been faint and few--far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith, which cries, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me." Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of thine, and not only heard, but answered them. Reflect also, how infrequent have been thy prayers, unless thou hast been in trouble, and then thou hast gone often to the mercy-seat: but when deliverance has come, where has been thy constant supplication? Yet, notwithstanding thou hast ceased to pray as once thou didst, God has not ceased to bless. When thou hast neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it, but the bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim. Oh! it is marvellous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of importunity which come and go with our necessities. What a God is he thus to hear the prayers of those who come to him when they have pressing wants, but neglect him when they have received a mercy; who approach him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let his gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit."

Evening

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ."
Philippians 1:27

The word "conversation" does not merely mean our talk and converse with one another, but the whole course of our life and behaviour in the world. The Greek word signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: and thus we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as becometh the gospel of Christ. What sort of conversation is this? In the first place, the gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behaviour, that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty. The gospel is pre-eminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christian's life will be lustreless and valueless without the jewel of truth. The gospel is a very fearless gospel, it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not: we must be equally faithful and unflinching. But the gospel is also very gentle. Mark this spirit in its Founder: "a bruised reed he will not break." Some professors are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts. The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ's last command to his disciples was, "Love one another." O for more real, hearty union and love to all the saints; for more tender compassion towards the souls of the worst and vilest of men! We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ. For his sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in accordance with his gospel.

===

Tarshish, Tharshish

[Tär'shish,Thär'shish] - hard orcontemplation. This name is frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, principally in connection with a place hard to identify. The navy and ships of Tarshish prove it to have been of maritime importance. Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrongly identified it with Tarsus (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chron. 9:21; Jonah 1:3; 4:2).

  1. A grandson of Javan, grandson of Noah ( Gen. 10:4; 1 Chron. 1:7).
  2. A Benjamite, son of Bilhan, the grandson of Benjamin (1 Chron. 7:10).
  3. One of the seven highest princes of Persia who were privileged to enter the king's presence when they desired (Esther 1:14).
===

Today's reading: 1 Chronicles 22-24, John 8:28-59 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Chronicles 22-24

1 Then David said, "The house of the LORD God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel."

Preparations for the Temple

2 So David gave orders to assemble the foreigners residing in Israel, and from among them he appointed stonecutters to prepare dressed stone for building the house of God. 3 He provided a large amount of iron to make nails for the doors of the gateways and for the fittings, and more bronze than could be weighed. 4 He also provided more cedar logs than could be counted, for the Sidonians and Tyrians had brought large numbers of them to David....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 8:28-59

28 So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him....

===
Everything New - A Weeekly Devotional

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING

In the beginning God created all things, and that tells us about his character. The world is a place of beauty, complexity and order, because that is what God is like. But it is when the Genesis account gets to telling us about the creation of humanity that we get the real clue about the meaning of our lives, and the assurance that what God began he will keep going. Even if it means he has to repair and renew.

Here is the great clue of life: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

No matter who you are, no matter your age, no matter where you live, this is true: you were made in the image of God. No matter whether rich or poor, healthy or ill, successful or failing in the eyes of the world, this cannot be denied and it cannot be reversed: you were made in the image of God. That’s our template, our purpose, and the only worthwhile pattern of life. But what does it mean?

At a basic level it means this: you are less than God (because you were created by God), and you are more than the animals (because the Genesis account said God did a different thing when he created the man and the woman). Having this perspective on life solves so many of our problems. You probably know people who think they are god. No one is going to tell them what to do. There is no higher authority. They steer their own ship. The problem is that the position of God has already been taken. And even the best of human beings make very poor substitutes for God.

You probably know people who don’t believe they are any more than animals. They live just by following their appetites and primitive instincts. Or they believe that any educated and enlightened person must give up any naive notions of special human dignity. We are animals–so we should just accept that, they believe. What is ironic about this is that the goal of humanism is to dignify human life. But to remove God from the equation is to relinquish our dignity. Humanism that denies God is a pit.

Next time we’ll look at the question: but “like God” in what sense? In the meantime, consider this: what do we need to do to make sure we are not trying to be God, but we are living at a level higher than the animals?

Resources

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.
===
P31Header
Holly Good

May 24, 2011

I Wanted to See God's Faithfulness
Holly Good, Assistant to Lysa TerKeurst

"You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry." Psalm 10:17(NIV)

My heart pounded. My teeth clenched. My hands gripped the arms of my chair. I was in the midst of watching a stressful soccer game my 15 year old son was playing in on a beautiful weekend afternoon recently.

His team had a history of unpleasant experiences with this aggressive team. Every season, each game with this team inevitably spiraled into intense rough and rude behavior, language that would make your hair stand on end and a sideline of coaches and parents that made the actions on the field seem minimal.

As we drove the hour long commute to the game, I encouraged my son to play clean and to represent God well. He asked me to "keep praying" as he got out of the car and walked toward the field.

I realize it was only a soccer game, but I started to pray and I didn't stop. I prayed for safety. I prayed for good attitudes. I also selfishly prayed that we would finally win a game against this team.

I watched with a grateful heart as my son huddled his teammates together to pray before they embarked on the field.

I begged God, again, to let them win this game. I wanted to see His faithfulness. I wanted my son and his teammates to learn that when you pray and seek God, you will win.

But winning isn't always the way God chooses to show His faithfulness. What a lesson for my son - what a lesson for me.

The game began, and as expected, the players got increasingly aggressive and the intimidating tactics started to build.

"Please show your faithfulness God," I prayed.

The shoving ensued, the language flew and the opposing coaches screamed beyond reason. I wanted to leave, yet I knew I needed to stay to support my son.

Our team lost a very difficult game that day. They were frustrated and extremely disappointed.

As we drove home, I tried my best to encourage my son, but deep in my heart and mind I found myself wishing God would have stepped in. I wanted God to show His faithfulness on the field that day. I wanted them to win the game. I wanted my son to see that God heard and answered his prayers.

We trust in a God who protects, guides, listens, and always understands the hows and whys behind every intricate detail. I reluctantly admit that after this particular game, it took me quite awhile to recall these truths and in turn relay them to my son.

God shows His faithfulness in ways we do not see. I am often reminded of this when I read Isaiah 55:9, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." I had to remind myself that His answers are not always immediately evident.

His love, strength and power unfold in ways we may never fully comprehend. I desperately wanted God to show Himself faithful on the field that day. But winning isn't the only way He shows His faithfulness.

He heard and answered our prayers, just not necessarily in every way we wanted. No one was injured. Everyone returned home safely.

God was faithful. He surely was.

How might God be showing His faithfulness in your life today?

Dear Lord, thank you for your faithfulness, even during the times I cannot see it. I know you are always there - loving me and protecting me. Please help me to trust in you and your perfect path for me today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
To read more from Holly click here to see several blog posts she has written over the years on Lysa's blog.

If this devotion resonated with you, don't miss Lysa's book: Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl

Also, you'll want to consider doing the 6 week Bible study using this DVD set: Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst, along with accompanying workbook: Participant's Guide.

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:
When we look back at circumstances in our lives we often find that the outcomes were not always what we wanted or prayed. But they are a part of us and a part of our story. Always on time and in just the right way. List or ponder those situations today and marvel at the higher purpose God had for you.

Reflections:
Do I believe that God is always on time?

What are my responses to teachable moments with my kids about God?

Power Verses:
Psalm 139:6, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain."

Isaiah 42:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (NIV)

Isaiah 45:2a, "I will go before you and will level the mountains..." (NIV)

© 2011 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.

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

===

eTeacher BiblicaleTeacher Biblical
eTeacher Biblical
eTeacher Biblical
eTeacher Biblical
eTeacherBiblicalLearn Biblical Hebrew online!
Read the Bible first hand and deepen your understanding.

eTeacherBiblicalLive lessons from your home!
Enjoy all the comfort that online learning provides.

eTeacherBiblicalAcademic teachers from the Holy Land!
Accredited by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

eTeacherBiblical
eTeacherBiblical


Post a Comment