Friday, June 03, 2011

Daily Devotional Friday 3rd June

“so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”Hebrews 9:28 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh."
Galatians 5:17

In every believer's heart there is a constant struggle between the old nature and the new. The old nature is very active, and loses no opportunity of plying all the weapons of its deadly armoury against newborn grace; while on the other hand, the new nature is ever on the watch to resist and destroy its enemy. Grace within us will employ prayer, and faith, and hope, and love, to cast out the evil; it takes unto it the "whole armour of God," and wrestles earnestly. These two opposing natures will never cease to struggle so long as we are in this world. The battle of "Christian" with "Apollyon" lasted three hours, but the battle of Christian with himself lasted all the way from the Wicket Gate to the river Jordan. The enemy is so securely entrenched within us that he can never be driven out while we are in this body: but although we are closely beset, and often in sore conflict, we have an Almighty helper, even Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, who is ever with us, and who assures us that we shall eventually come off more than conquerors through Him. With such assistance the new-born nature is more than a match for its foes. Are you fighting with the adversary today? Are Satan, the world, and the flesh, all against you? Be not discouraged nor dismayed. Fight on! For God Himself is with you; Jehovah Nissi is your banner, and Jehovah Rophi is the healer of your wounds. Fear not, you shall overcome, for who can defeat Omnipotence? Fight on, "looking unto Jesus;" and though long and stern be the conflict, sweet will be the victory, and glorious the promised reward. "From strength to strength go on; Wrestle, and fight, and pray, Tread all the powers of darkness down, And win the well-fought day."

Evening

"Good Master."
Matthew 19:16

If the young man in the gospel used this title in speaking to our Lord, how much more fitly may I thus address him! He is indeed my Master in both senses, a ruling Master and a teaching Master. I delight to run upon his errands, and to sit at his feet. I am both his servant and his disciple, and count it my highest honour to own the double character. If he should ask me why I call him "good," I should have a ready answer. It is true that "there is none good but one, that is, God," but then he is God, and all the goodness of Deity shines forth in him. In my experience, I have found him good, so good, indeed, that all the good I have has come to me through him. He was good to me when I was dead in sin, for he raised me by his Spirit's power; he has been good to me in all my needs, trials, struggles, and sorrows. Never could there be a better Master, for his service is freedom, his rule is love: I wish I were one thousandth part as good a servant. When he teaches me as my Rabbi, he is unspeakably good, his doctrine is divine, his manner is condescending, his spirit is gentleness itself. No error mingles with his instruction--pure is the golden truth which he brings forth, and all his teachings lead to goodness, sanctifying as well as edifying the disciple. Angels find him a good Master and delight to pay their homage at his footstool. The ancient saints proved him to be a good Master, and each of them rejoiced to sing, "I am thy servant, O Lord!" My own humble testimony must certainly be to the same effect. I will bear this witness before my friends and neighbours, for possibly they may be led by my testimony to seek my Lord Jesus as their Master. O that they would do so! They would never repent so wise a deed. If they would but take his easy yoke, they would find themselves in so royal a service that they would enlist in it forever.

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Shaphan

[Shā'phan] - prudent, shy, rock badger or wild rat.

  1. A scribe, son of Azaliah, father of Gemariah. It was this Shaphan who laid before King Josiah the law book discovered by Hilkiah in the temple (2 Kings 22:3-14; 2 Chron. 34:8-20; Jer. 36:10-12) and who was the chief lay leader in the outworking of Josiah's reforms. For two generations his family played a worthy part as servants of Jehovah and as friends of Jeremiah.
  2. Father of Ahikam , a chief officer in the court of Josiah (2 Kings 22:12; 25:22; 2 Chron. 34:20; Jer. 26:24; 39:14; 40:5; 41:2; 43:6).
  3. A father of Elasah by whom Jeremiah the prophet sent a letter to the exiles in Babylon (Jer. 29:3).
  4. The father of Jaaganiah whom Ezekiel saw as enticing people to idolatry and whom he denounced as a ringleader (Ezek. 8:11).
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Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 17-18, John 13:1-20 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Chronicles 17-18

Jehoshaphat King of Judah

1 Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king and strengthened himself against Israel. 2 He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah and put garrisons in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.

3 The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals 4 but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. 5 The LORD established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. 6 His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 13:1-20

Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet

1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him....

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P31Header
Lysa TerKeurst

June 2, 2011

Should I Quit?
Lysa TerKeurst

"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:7 (NIV)

We all have those times in life where we wish the voice of God would audibly speak so loudly there's no way we could miss it, "THIS IS THE DIRECTION I WANT YOU TO GO." Then we'd know whether to stay the course or quit and head off in a new direction.

Have you ever wished for this kind of certainty?

I have.

We want to know what to do.

Sometimes we stay in a place too long. But I think the greater loss happens in those times we quit too soon. And we live with this nagging sense of "what if?" What if I'd persevered one more year, one more month, one more day?

What if David had been so put off by his dad's brush off, he refused to come in from the field and see Samuel? (1 Samuel 16)

What if David had assessed whether or not to face Goliath based on the shadow of his opponent rather than the shadow of the Almighty? (1 Samuel 17)

What if Abigail's pride or fear had stopped her a few steps shy of bowing low before David? (1 Samuel 25)

Knowing when to stop and when to keep on keeping on is a crucial life lesson. One I want to learn well.

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus encourages us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

I used to get so frustrated when I heard this verse because I thought, I don't want rest. I want reassurance! I'm burdened by this decision I have to make. I don't want to mess up my life by missing a cue from You, God.

But the gift of the rest Jesus is offering here is not a spiritual Ambien. The Greek word for this kind of rest isanapauo which has as one of its definitions, "of calm and patient expectation."

In other words, Jesus is saying if you come to Me, I will take your exhaustion and uncertainty and turn it into a calm expectation.

But how?

My friend Jennifer Rothschild does this enlightening exercise at some of her conferences. She tells the audience to imagine her writing two different words on a large chalkboard. She then speaks the letters as she draws the first word into the air... R-E-S-T. She does the same for the second word...R-E-S-I-S-T. Then she asks what's the difference?

The difference is, of course, "I."

I don't know what to do. I can't figure this out. I'm worn out. I've tried everything I know to do. I've given all I have to give.

I'm familiar with these "I" statements because I've said them myself.

We can only find anapauo rest - fresh hope - as we stop running ragged and simply take on the next assignment Jesus gives.

In verse 29 of Matthew 11 Jesus gives us the assignment to take on His yoke and learn from Him. Ask Jesus to show you just the next step. Not ten steps. Not the whole path. Not the Google map with the highlighted route. Just the next step.

Complete that step with excellence and an open, humble heart. Listen and look for all Jesus wants to teach you in this next step.

This is your part of the equation.

But after the assignment, comes the reassurance in verse 30, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." We don't have to have all the answers. We just have to stay connected to the One who does. Where our strength ends is the exact point where His will begin.

This is God's part of the equation.

I must do all I can do. Then trust God will do what only He can do.

Should I stay? Should I go? Maybe the better question is, "God, what is the next step I'm to take today? I'm going to do my part. And trust the rest with You."

Dear Lord, I am tired and I can't seem to figure some things out today. Please help me to see Your part in this equation. Where my strength ends is where Yours will begin. Help me, Lord, to look to You for my very next step. I will wait in calm expectation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa's blog by clicking here and register to win a Bible Study kit for What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.

If this devotion resonated with you, don't miss Lysa's new 6 week DVD teaching set, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. For more information, click here.

The accompanying Yes to God Bible Study workbook can be found by clicking here.

Lysa will be speaking in more than 40 cities this year.Click here to see her schedule. She would be honored to meet you.

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Application Steps:
Listen and look for all Jesus wants to teach you in the very next step you will take. Determine what your part is and then look to God for His. Trust His faithfulness today.

Reflections:
Jesus says to me, 'I will take your exhaustion and uncertainty and turn it into a calm expectation'. What does this look like to me?

Power Verses:
Psalm 16:9, "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure." (NIV)

Psalm 51:12, "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." (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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