Thursday, June 23, 2011

Daily Devotional Thursday 23rd June

“The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"He shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory."
Zechariah 6:13

Christ himself is the builder of his spiritual temple, and he has built it on the mountains of his unchangeable affection, his omnipotent grace, and his infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon's temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the "Cedars of Lebanon," but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord's house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ's own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ's own hand performs the preparation-work. Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashioneth our hearts aright.

As in the building of Solomon's temple, "there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house," because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy--so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made meet here--all that Christ will do beforehand; and when he has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.

"Beneath his eye and care,

The edifice shall rise,

Majestic, strong, and fair,

And shine above the skies."

Evening

"That those things which cannot be shaken may remain."
Hebrews 12:27

We have many things in our possession at the present moment which can be shaken, and it ill becomes a Christian man to set much store by them, for there is nothing stable beneath these rolling skies; change is written upon all things. Yet, we have certain "things which cannot be shaken," and I invite you this evening to think of them, that if the things which can be shaken should all be taken away, you may derive real comfort from the things that cannot be shaken, which will remain. Whatever your losses have been, or may be, you enjoy present salvation. You are standing at the foot of his cross, trusting alone in the merit of Jesus' precious blood, and no rise or fall of the markets can interfere with your salvation in him; no breaking of banks, no failures and bankruptcies can touch that. Then you are a child of God this evening. God is your Father. No change of circumstances can ever rob you of that. Although by losses brought to poverty, and stripped bare, you can say, "He is my Father still. In my Father's house are many mansions; therefore will I not be troubled." You have another permanent blessing, namely, the love of Jesus Christ. He who is God and Man loves you with all the strength of his affectionate nature--nothing can affect that. The fig tree may not blossom, and the flocks may cease from the field, it matters not to the man who can sing, "My Beloved is mine, and I am his." Our best portion and richest heritage we cannot lose. Whatever troubles come, let us play the man; let us show that we are not such little children as to be cast down by what may happen in this poor fleeting state of time. Our country is Immanuel's land, our hope is above the sky, and therefore, calm as the summer's ocean; we will see the wreck of everything earthborn, and yet rejoice in the God of our salvation.

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Malachi

[Măl'achī] - messenger of jehovah ormy messenger.

1. The last of the Old Testament prophets, and author of the last book of The Minor Prophets.

The Man Who Believed in God's Electing Love

Nothing is known of Malachi save what his prophecy tells us. Ancient writers looked upon him as an angel incarnate, while a great number of Jews believed him to be Ezra the Scribe. It would seem as if he was connected with Nehemiah's work. Perhaps he prepared the way for it, helped in it and followed it up. Compare Malachi 1:8 withNehemiah 5:15, 18, where it seems clear that he prophesied either during Nehemiah's absence in Persia (Neh. 13:6) or after Nehemiah assumed governorship. As the last of the prophets, he was the seal of all the goodly fellowship of prophets.

While Malachi's prominent message was the rebuke of the remnant and the announcement of future purging and blessing, the keynote of his book appears to be the unchangeableness of God, and His unceasing love ( Mal. 1:2; 3:6). The tone of his message is expostulation blended with judgment. Yet gracious promises and assurances are interspersed like pearls gleaming against a dark background.

Features to note are the whereins repeated by Malachi's hearers. Against such the prophet amplifies and enforces his original charge (Mal. 1:2, 6, 7; 2:17; 3:7-9). We have:

I. The charge made against God involving an utter disregard of Him (Mal. 1:1, 2).

II. The rejection of the worship of God ( Mal. 1:6-14).

III. The intense oration of His law (Mal. 2:1-9).

IV. Social wrongs and disorder in the home (Mal. 2:10, 16).

V. The blatant perversion of judgment (Mal. 2:17).

VI. Gross immorality and degradation (Mal. 3:5).

VII. Robbery in the service of the Temple ( Mal. 3:7-9).

Other features to develop are:

Priestly qualifications - holiness, communion with God, usefulness and knowledge (Mal. 2:6, 7).

Ritual may be valuable. Only our capacity limits God's gifts (Mal. 3:10). Give and get (Mal. 3:12).

An ideal picture of the true gospel ministry (Mal. 2:5, 6).

The Lord's care for and interest in His people (Mal. 3:16, 18).

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Today's reading: Esther 6-8, Acts 6 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Esther 6-8

Mordecai Honored

1 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. 2 It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.

3 "What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?" the king asked.

"Nothing has been done for him," his attendants answered.

4 The king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: Acts 6

The Choosing of the Seven

1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

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June 22, 2011

Let's Joust, Daddy!

Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

"In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation" (Psalm 5:3-4 NIV).

Friend To Friend

In 1986, my husband and I built a house which would be our home for the next twenty years. While the builders were hammering away, I was sewing away, trying to have all the curtains made before we moved in.

The fabric for the curtains came on five foot long cardboard tubes. For one year, those tubes were my two-year-old son's favorite toys. They served as tunnels for Matchbox cars and giant megaphones from which all sorts of important announcements were made. But his favorite thing to do with the tubes was "joust" (sword fight). Every day when Steve, my husband, came home from work, he was greeted by Steven shouting, "Let's joust, Daddy!" My husband jousted tirelessly for months.

Nine years later, in a conversation remembering the jousting days, Steven confessed, "You know, I used to have terrible nightmares about those huge cardboard tubes. I used to dream that giant "jousting rods" were chasing me all around the house trying to get me."

Baffled, I asked him, "Why didn't you tell us about the dreams? And why did you want to continue playing with the tubes if they gave you bad dreams?"

"I guess it was because I loved Dad so much and playing the game with him, that it was worth having the scary dreams," he answered.

Little did Steven know what a profound statement he had made. My thoughts immediately went to my heavenly Father, my love for Him, and what I was willing to endure to spend time with Him. See, I too have a jousting rod. It is called the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17). I love to joust with my heavenly Daddy. This jousting does not cause me to have bad dreams, but sometimes I have to endure a house that's not as clean as I would like or a project that is in the other room screaming out to be finished. That's a nightmare to me.

In this busy world in which we live, taking time out to be with our Heavenly Father can be somewhat of a struggle. But the rewards are so great. So every morning, I grab my jousting rod, God's Word, and together we conquer foes and win battles side-by-side.

Let's Pray

Dear Lord, Help me to put all my busyness aside to spend time with You each day. I pray that my love for You will supercede any other activity that I have planned on any given day. Thank You for wanting to spend time with me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now It's Your Turn

Is your relationship with God something you feel that you "have" to do, or that you "get to do?"

What are you willing to put aside to spend time with God?

Where is your favorite place to have your quiet time with God each day? Let's share our spots? If you have a camera, take a picture and post it on my Facebook page:www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.

More From The Girlfriends

Don't you love reading stories of God's fingerprints on the pages of everyday life! Sharon's devotion book, Extraordinary Moments with God, is full of them! Some stories will make you laugh. Some stories will make you cry. Each story will point you to God and strengthen your relationship with Him. To learn more, visit www.sharonjaynes.com.

Seeking God?

Click here to find out more about

how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106

info@GirlfriendsinGod.com

www.GirlfriendsinGod.com

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P31Header
Holly Good

June 22, 2011

A Ready Answer
Holly Good, Assistant to Lysa TerKeurst

"'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?'"Matthew 16:15 (NIV)

Have you ever met someone who left a lasting impression you'll never forget? Is there a memory of them permanently engraved in your mind or on your heart?

I will never forget a gal I once knew named Stephanie. Many years ago we attended the same college. We were very different, yet we enjoyed each other's company. We shared a conversation one evening which still rings in my mind today.

We were taking a walk through campus when she matter-of-factly informed me that she was an atheist and did not believe in God. Without hesitation and a calm assurance, she simply shared her beliefs with me. She then paused, and graciously proceeded to ask me what I believed.

More than 20 years later, I can so vividly remember my answer as if it were yesterday. I was able to tell her that Ihad faith in Jesus, but I was not able to tell her about my faith in Jesus.

I am still convicted by how I felt then, even now. Do I have a ready answer for the very next person I meet?

When Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter was prepared with a ready answer and responded, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16 NIV)

But what about me? Who is my Jesus? What has He done in my life? Why do I follow Him?

Today I have a ready answer in four simple words - He is my Hope.

When we are in the midst of a catastrophic situation, we find ourselves clinging to hope. The smallest glimmer of hope keeps our eyes open and our heads held up.

When we are in the midst of a frustrating situation, we find ourselves clinging to hope. The smallest glimmer of hope keeps us looking beyond the disturbance.

When we are in the midst of our daily routines, we find ourselves clinging to hope. The smallest glimmer of hope keeps us believing for something more.

That glimmer of hope is assurance in the One who did not stay in His grave. The One who saves, forgives, loves and carries us through it all. This hope is all we need. This glimmer of hope is Jesus.

It is my heart's desire to be ready at a moment's notice to explain my faith to anyone who asks. My faith is in a God who offers hope beyond our circumstances. Beyond reason, beyond logic, and beyond the ordinary things we can see.

It is a hope worth clinging to.

I am now able to tell those I meet not only that I have faith in Jesus, but also about my faith in Jesus.

If asked today, what would you say you believe? Is Jesus your Lord? If so, what does that look like in your life? Do you have a ready answer?

Dear Lord, You are my hope every day. Thank You for loving me and guiding me. Help me to see You in my circumstances - all of them. You are that glimmer of hope that keeps me hanging on. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Connect with Holly on our P31 Devotions blog today.

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.

Do You Know Him?

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:
If someone were to randomly walk up to you today and ask you about your faith, what would you say? Do you have a ready answer?

Reflections:
Are you sure of what you hope for?

Are you certain of what you do not see?

How can you use these answers to lead others to Jesus?

Power Verses:
Hebrews 10:23, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." (NIV)

Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (NIV)

© 2011 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.

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


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