Friday, June 10, 2011

Daily Devotional Saturday 11th June

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”Colossians 3:13 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"We live unto the Lord."
Romans 14:8

If God had willed it, each of us might have entered heaven at the moment of conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for our preparation for immortality that we should tarry here. It is possible for a man to be taken to heaven, and to be found meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, though he has but just believed in Jesus. It is true that our sanctification is a long and continued process, and we shall not be perfected till we lay aside our bodies and enter within the veil; but nevertheless, had the Lord so willed it, he might have changed us from imperfection to perfection, and have taken us to heaven at once. Why then are we here? Would God keep his children out of paradise a single moment longer than was necessary? Why is the army of the living God still on the battle-field when one charge might give them the victory? Why are his children still wandering hither and thither through a maze, when a solitary word from his lips would bring them into the centre of their hopes in heaven? The answer is--they are here that they may "live unto the Lord," and may bring others to know his love. We remain on earth as sowers to scatter good seed; as ploughmen to break up the fallow ground; as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as the "salt of the earth," to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for him, and as "workers together with him." Let us see that our life answereth its end. Let us live earnest, useful, holy lives, to "the praise of the glory of his grace." Meanwhile we long to be with him, and daily sing--

"My heart is with him on his throne,

And ill can brook delay;

Each moment listening for the voice,

Rise up, and come away.'"

Evening

"They are they which testify of me."
John 5:39

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the Bible. He is the constant theme of its sacred pages; from first to last they testify of him. At the creation we at once discern him as one of the sacred Trinity; we catch a glimpse of him in the promise of the woman's seed; we see him typified in the ark of Noah; we walk with Abraham, as he sees Messiah's day; we dwell in the tents of Isaac and Jacob, feeding upon the gracious promise; we hear the venerable Israel talking of Shiloh; and in the numerous types of the law, we find the Redeemer abundantly foreshadowed. Prophets and kings, priests and preachers, all look one way--they all stand as the cherubs did over the ark, desiring to look within, and to read the mystery of God's great propitiation. Still more manifestly in the New Testament we find our Lord the one pervading subject. It is not an ingot here and there, or dust of gold thinly scattered, but here you stand upon a solid floor of gold; for the whole substance of the New Testament is Jesus crucified, and even its closing sentence is bejewelled with the Redeemer's name. We should always read Scripture in this light; we should consider the word to be as a mirror into which Christ looks down from heaven; and then we, looking into it, see his face reflected as in a glass--darkly, it is true, but still in such a way as to be a blessed preparation for seeing him as we shall see him face to face. This volume contains Jesus Christ's letters to us, perfumed by his love. These pages are the garments of our King, and they all smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia. Scripture is the royal chariot in which Jesus rides, and it is paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem. The Scriptures are the swaddling bands of the holy child Jesus; unroll them and you find your Saviour. The quintessence of the word of God is Christ.

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Joram

[Jō'ram] - jehovah is high.

  1. A son of Toi, king of Zobah (2 Sam. 8:10). Called Hadoram, meaning "Hadah is exalted" (1 Chron. 18:10).
  2. A son of Jehoshaphat, who reigned for eight years (2 Kings 8:16-19; 11:2; 1 Chron. 3:11; Matt. 1:8). Called also Jehoram.
  3. A son of Ahab, king of Israel, who reigned for eleven years. With him the dynasty of Omri ceased ( 2 Kings 8:16-29). Called also Jehoram.
  4. A Levite, descendant of Eliezer the son of Moses (1 Chron. 26:25).
  5. One of the priests sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people (2 Chron. 17:8).
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Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36, John 19:1-22 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36

Josiah's Reforms

1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 19:1-22

1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they slapped him in the face.

4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him." 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"

6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!"

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P31Header
T. Suzanne Eller

June 10, 2011

Slow It Down
T. Suzanne Eller

"God called the light 'day' and the darkness he called 'night.' And there was evening, and there was morning..."Genesis 1:5 (NIV)

I was reading my Bible one day and noticed a huge "mistake" in scripture. Everyone knows that morning comes first, and then evening follows. Right? But there it was in black and white. Genesis 1:5 read "and there was evening, and there was morning."

Of course, it was no mistake. God started with evening - a time of rest - and a day's productivity resulted.

We live in a culture where rest is often viewed in a negative light. When we work, we work hard. When we play, we play hard. We know how to fill our time with e-mail, activities, carpool, cleaning, aerobics, and our list of tasks. But do we know how to rest?

Nineteen years ago at the ripe age of 32 I was diagnosed with cancer. When I found out, I blurted, "I don't have time for cancer!" But cancer didn't consult my schedule. My life changed as I put aside a lot of things I once thought were absolutely vital as I went through chemo, surgery, and radiation.

One beautiful result that emerged from that difficult time was a new list of priorities. I learned how to climb between the sheets and put aside my worries. To rest my body and my mind. To slow down when life became crazy and to weigh what was important, and what was not. Before long I began to see evening as the first part of my day. From rest, sprang morning; I had earned a good day's work.

It's a concept that changed my life. Not just physically, but also spiritually. Recently I had two speaking events sandwiched together. As the date approached, my time with my Heavenly Father became "evening." I prepared, but spiritually rested as I communed with God. Once I arrived in the city where I was to speak, I closed the door of my hotel room and listened to the heart of my Father instead of going over my notes. Out of rest, sprang true ministry. I was refreshed and filled by His presence, instead of my efforts.

How often do we run out of steam because we are out of balance? I wish I could say I was forever cured. But I'm not. There are times that I have to slow it down and reconsider my priorities all over again. And if physical rest or spiritual rest has been pushed to last place, I have to put it all on the table and let The Boss help me sort through it so I can put "evening" back where it belongs.

Dear Lord, when I push You to last place, I miss out on hearing Your voice. When I keep going until I drop, I get all tangled up in my to-do list. I know that life is busy, but help me to discern between what is important, and what is not. Reorganize my life, and reveal true rest that only comes from You. In Jesus' Name,, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Suzie's blog where she shares a quiz to help you decide if you are too busy and enter to win her great give-away!

If today's topic struck a chord, you'll want to read the chapter "Turn the Beat Around" in Rachel Olsen's bookIt's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know.

The Woman I Am Becoming by T. Suzanne Eller

The Yes, No, and Maybe to a Balanced Life (CD) by Wendy Pope

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:
Write down all the to-do's that consume your time.

Are there any that aren't absolutely necessary?

Do you need to say "no" to one or two so that you can say "yes" to a more restful family and a more rested you?

Reflections:
As women, we often take care of the needs of our children, our community, our church, our spouses, our jobs, our homes, but we leave ourselves out of the nurturing process. Am I willing to nurture myself in one way today spiritually or physically?

Power Verses:
Mark 6:30-31, "Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, 'Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.' For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat." (NKJ)

© 2011 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.

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

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Everything New - A Weeekly Devotional

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Whenever I hear a public figure defend himself with the oft-repeated words “I know I’m not a perfect person,” I wince. It seems the height of pride. I feel like saying, “No, the thought never crossed anybody’s mind that you are perfect, so why state the obvious?” When I hear a husband or wife in an estranged relationship say, “I know I’m not perfect,” I want to say (but don’t), “Okay, now that we’ve established the fact that you are not God, where do we go from here in figuring out what went wrong?”

It was a gorgeous summer evening and somehow I managed to get my five-year-old son to go out with me for a walk around the neighborhood. The air was balmy, the wind was pushing the trees back and forth with a great swooshing noise, and the stars looked like they had been sprinkled there just for us to delight in. I pointed upward. “Just look at all those stars, Christopher.”

“I know what the stars are, Dad.” He paused, then pronounced, “They are all of our sins that have gone away.”

Sensing a teachable moment, I asked: “What is sin, Chris?”

He snapped back, “Well, YOU ought to know, Dad.”

I said nothing, preferring to believe that he knew I had a degree in theology, rather than that I was a particularly expert sinner.

Wishful thinking, perhaps.

The truth is, I know I am a good sinner; it comes naturally for me. Nobody drags me kicking and screaming into envy. I don’t need any particular inspiration to be impatient. I didn’t need to take a seminar in covetousness to want things that don’t belong to me. I say things that are careless and unkind, and I think things that are in direct contrast to the mind of God.

All that would drive me to despair, except that this truth about me, and everybody else I know, fits right in the faith that I hold to. The whole scheme of Christian truth includes this sad but true piece: the reality of the ever-active sinfulness of the human race. And if you accept that premise, it’s a lot easier to understand the nature of the world we live in. The good news is that Christian faith doesn’t leave us there. God’s work through his Spirit brings about purification from sin, a retraining of human nature based upon the free forgiveness of God made possible by the voluntary death of Christ. Amazing! Incredible!

At its core, the meaning of sin is a break in our relationship with God. Sin is “anything in the creature which does not express, or which is contrary to, the holy character of the Creator” (Oliver Buswell); “the refusal to find our anchoring… in the holy love of God” (Hendrikus Berkhof); “lack of conformity to the moral law of God” (Louis Berkhof). Or, as my son put it, “YOU ought to know, Dad.” And, of course, we do. We all do when we’re honest (and we must be honest on this score, otherwise we will never rise above our sin). [More on this, next time.]

Excerpt from Putting the Pieces Back Together: How Real Life and Real Faith Connect. Free DVD available now.

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.


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