Friday, June 10, 2011

Daily Devotional Friday 10th June

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."
Psalm 126:3

Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them. But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, "I will speak, not about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad." Such an abstract of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we have been through them safely and profitably; we have not remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who has brought us "out into a wealthy place." The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life's song, "He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."

Evening

"Search the Scriptures."
John 5:39

The Greek word here rendered search signifies a strict, close, diligent, curious search, such as men make when they are seeking gold, or hunters when they are in earnest after game. We must not rest content with having given a superficial reading to a chapter or two, but with the candle of the Spirit we must deliberately seek out the hidden meaning of the word. Holy Scripture requires searching--much of it can only be learned by careful study. There is milk for babes, but also meat for strong men. The rabbis wisely say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word, yea, upon every title of Scripture. Tertullian exclaims, "I adore the fulness of the Scriptures." No man who merely skims the book of God can profit thereby; we must dig and mine until we obtain the hid treasure. The door of the word only opens to the key of diligence. The Scriptures claim searching. They are the writings of God, bearing the divine stamp and imprimatur--who shall dare to treat them with levity? He who despises them despises the God who wrote them. God forbid that any of us should leave our Bibles to become swift witnesses against us in the great day of account. The word of God will repay searching. God does not bid us sift a mountain of chaff with here and there a grain of wheat in it, but the Bible is winnowed corn--we have but to open the granary door and find it. Scripture grows upon the student. It is full of surprises. Under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to the searching eye it glows with splendour of revelation, like a vast temple paved with wrought gold, and roofed with rubies, emeralds, and all manner of gems. No merchandise is like the merchandise of Scripture truth. Lastly, the Scriptures reveal Jesus: "They are they which testify of me." No more powerful motive can be urged upon Bible readers than this: he who finds Jesus finds life, heaven, all things. Happy he who, searching his Bible, discovers his Saviour.

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Apollos

[Ăpŏl'los] - a destroyer or youthful god of music. An eloquent and learned Jew born at Alexandria and deeply versed in Old Testament Scriptures (Acts 18:24; 19:1; 1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4-6, 22; 4:6; 16:12; Titus 3:13).

The Man Whose Influence Was Enriched

This educated, cultured Alexandrian Jew was an orator and an efficient worker in the Church who knew only the baptism of John (Acts 18:24, 25 ). The influence of Apollos was ample and varied and, under Aquila and Priscilla, was heightened and enriched.

I. His was the influence of eloquence (Acts 18:24). Apollos wielded an ever powerful instrument of blessing - a consecrated eloquence.

II. His was the influence of exposition. Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:26). What a tribute it is to be mighty in the mightiest of books!

III. His was the influence of spiritual knowledge. Apollos taught by word of mouth the things of the Lord.

IV. His was the influence of fervency. Apollos was also "fervent in spirit" (Acts 18:25). "A lively, affectionate preacher," as Matthew Henry calls him.

V. His was the influence of accuracy. Apollos taught "carefully" or "accurately" the truth of Christ (Acts 18:25 RV). Incorrectness in teaching is detrimental to all concerned.

VI. His was the influence of courage. Apollos spoke "boldly." He had no hesitation in his tone. Courage flashed in his eyes (Acts 18:26).

Yet with all his excellent gifts and goodly influence, Apollos had a distinct limitation. He knew that Christ was coming, but his was only a partial Christianity. Yet what he knew and taught profoundly impressed many in the synagogue. Under the tuition of Aquila and Priscilla, two deeply taught believers, Apollos was led into a deeper understanding of the truth. Instructed in the way of the Lord, Apollos went out to expound the truth more fully and accurately and thereafter became an unashamed herald of the Christian faith especially among the Jews (Acts 18:28).

Later on, Apollos became an apostle and one of Paul's trusted friends and companions, and remained active in his ministry during Paul's life (1 Cor. 16:12; Titus 3:13). So effective a preacher did he become that some of the Corinthians put him before both Peter and Paul. Martin Luther hazarded the guess that Apollos was the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

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Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 32-33, John 18:19-40 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Chronicles 32-33

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem

1 After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself. 2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to wage war against Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. 4 They gathered a large group of people who blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?" they said. 5 Then he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the terraces of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 18:19-40

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

20 "I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said."

22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded.

23 "If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?"24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest....

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P31Header
Lysa TerKeurst

June 9, 2011

The Seduction of Satisfcation
Lysa TerKeurst

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

Temptation of any kind is Satan's invitation to get our needs met outside the will of God.

One of the subtle ways he does this is to plant the hesitant thought in our mind that God will not meet our needs - that God is not enough. Satan wants us to feel alone and abandoned, so that we turn to his offerings instead. It's the seduction of satisfaction.

Often the script that plays in our head is, "I need __________ so I can be satisfied."

It's what sends the wife on a budget off on a spending spree. She feels the thrill of the sale in the moment. But as she's hiding the bags from her husband, shame creeps in.

It's what pulls at the business woman to work harder and longer and refuse to build boundaries in her schedule. Always chasing that next accomplishment or that next compliment but it's never enough.

It's what sent me on many eating sprees. The kids were loud, the house was messy, the demands felt beyond my control. So with great justification I'd indulge only to have a bloated stomach and a deflated heart.

This subtle message sold to us by Satan can be exposed when we break it down to understanding the difference between a need and a want.

All of the examples above were wants - not needs. I won't patronize you with the definition of each of these words, we know them. But oh how Satan wants to make them one in the same.

When the difference between these two words starts getting skewed, we start compromising. We start justifying. And it sets us up to start getting our needs met outside the will of God. The abyss of discontentment invites us in and threatens to darken and distort everything in our world.

Listen, Satan is a liar. The more we fill ourselves with His distorted desires, the more empty we'll feel. That's true with each of the desires mentioned above. The more we overspend, overwork, or overeat - the more empty we feel. Remember, Satan wants to separate you from God's best plans. He wants to separate you from God's proper provision. He wants to separate you from God's peace.

God's provision sustains life. Satan's temptation drains life.

God's provision in the short term will reap blessings in the long term. Satan's temptation in the short term will reap heartache in the long term.

God's provision satisfies the soul. Satan's temptation gratifies the flesh.

Oh sweet sister, consider these realities when making choices today. God says, I will meet all your needs according to the riches of My Glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19). Trust God. Embrace truth. Live His promise.

Dear Lord, help me to focus only on Your provision in my life today. I don't want to be separated from You, Your best plans for me or Your peace. Help me to notice when the enemy is trying to entice me with false desires, because they only lead to emptiness. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Lysa will be speaking in more than 40 cities this year.Click here to see her schedule. She would be honored to meet you at her book table.

If this devotion resonated with you, don't miss Lysa's new book, Made to Crave. Also, you'll want to consider doing the 6 week Bible study using this DVD set: Made to Crave DVD by Lysa TerKeurst.

And the accompanying workbook: Made to Crave Participant's Guide.

You will also want to visit a new website atwww.MadetoCrave.org for additional information on this project as well as fun freebies and encouraging videos to help you overcome struggles to find lasting peace.

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.

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:
All of the examples above were wants - not needs. When the difference between these two words starts getting skewed, we start compromising and justifying. Take some time to list some of your wants and your needs to help you determine if the difference between the two are getting skewed.

Reflections:
Have I grasped the concept that God's provision sustains life, reaps blessings in the long term and satisfies the soul?

Power Verses:
Isaiah 40:11, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (NIV)

John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (NIV)

© 2011 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


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