Thursday, June 09, 2011

Daily Devotional Thursday 9th June

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.” Habakkuk 3:19 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"There fell down many slain, because the war was of God."
1 Chronicles 5:22

Warrior, fighting under the banner of the Lord Jesus, observe this verse with holy joy, for as it was in the days of old so is it now, if the war be of God the victory is sure. The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh could barely muster five and forty thousand fighting men, and yet in their war with the Hagarites, they slew "men, an hundred thousand," "for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them, because they put their trust in him." The Lord saveth not by many nor by few; it is ours to go forth in Jehovah's name if we be but a handful of men, for the Lord of Hosts is with us for our Captain. They did not neglect buckler, and sword, and bow, neither did they place their trust in these weapons; we must use all fitting means, but our confidence must rest in the Lord alone, for he is the sword and the shield of his people. The great reason of their extraordinary success lay in the fact that "the war was of God." Beloved, in fighting with sin without and within, with error doctrinal or practical, with spiritual wickedness in high places or low places, with devils and the devil's allies, you are waging Jehovah's war, and unless he himself can be worsted, you need not fear defeat. Quail not before superior numbers, shrink not from difficulties or impossibilities, flinch not at wounds or death, smite with the two-edged sword of the Spirit, and the slain shall lie in heaps. The battle is the Lord's and he will deliver his enemies into our hands. With steadfast foot, strong hand, dauntless heart, and flaming zeal, rush to the conflict, and the hosts of evil shall fly like chaff before the gale.

Stand up! stand up for Jesus!

The strife will not be long;

This day the noise of battle,

The next the victor's song:

To him that overcometh,

A crown of life shall be;

He with the King of glory

Shall reign eternally.

Evening

"Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not."
Numbers 11:23

God had made a positive promise to Moses that for the space of a whole month he would feed the vast host in the wilderness with flesh. Moses, being overtaken by a fit of unbelief, looks to the outward means, and is at a loss to know how the promise can be fulfilled. He looked to the creature instead of the Creator. But doth the Creator expect the creature to fulfil his promise for him? No; he who makes the promise ever fulfils it by his own unaided omnipotence. If he speaks, it is done--done by himself. His promises do not depend for their fulfilment upon the co-operation of the puny strength of man. We can at once perceive the mistake which Moses made. And yet how commonly we do the same! God has promised to supply our needs, and we look to the creature to do what God has promised to do; and then, because we perceive the creature to be weak and feeble, we indulge in unbelief. Why look we to that quarter at all? Will you look to the north pole to gather fruits ripened in the sun? Verily, you would act no more foolishly if ye did this than when you look to the weak for strength, and to the creature to do the Creator's work. Let us, then, put the question on the right footing. The ground of faith is not the sufficiency of the visible means for the performance of the promise, but the all-sufficiency of the invisible God, who will most surely do as he hath said. If after clearly seeing that the onus lies with the Lord and not with the creature, we dare to indulge in mistrust, the question of God comes home mightily to us: "Has the Lord's hand waxed short?" May it happen, too, in his mercy, that with the question there may flash upon our souls that blessed declaration, "Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not."

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Jesse

[Jĕs'se] - jehovah exists or firm. The son of Obed and father of David, and grandson of Boaz and Ruth, and an ancestor of Christ (Ruth 4:17, 22). Jesse had eight sons and two daughters by different wives (1 Sam. 17:12-14, 25). Isaiah speaks of "the stock of Jesse," a phrase indicating that it was from Jesse the Messiah would come. The humble descent of the Messiah is contrasted with the glorious kingdom He is to have ( Isa 11:1).

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Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 30-31, John 18:1-18 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Chronicles 30-31

Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover

1 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. 2 The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month. 3 They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. 4 The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly. 5 They decided to send a proclamation throughout Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. It had not been celebrated in large numbers according to what was written....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 18:1-18

Jesus Arrested

1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.

2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons....

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P31Header
Renee Swope

June 8, 2011

Getting Up Again
Renee Swope

"...though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again..."Proverbs 24:16a, (NIV)

I've always admired people who aren't afraid to fail. You know the ones who don't even consider defeat when they blow it; people who see a personal setback as just another goal to conquer.

I'm not always so courageous. In fact, I can be really hard on myself when I fail, and it doesn't even have to be a biggie. You see, I have what I call a "meanie in me" who replays my mistakes over and over, reminding me of how badly I've disappointed someone, or how impatient I was with my husband, or how harsh I was with my kids, or all sorts of ways that I fell short that day.

But the greatest defeat comes when I allow a mistake, a bad decision, sin, or a broken relationship to convince me that I might as well give up. Perhaps you have also allowed failure to knock you down, tie you up with the ropes of regret and hold you hostage like I have.

When I surveyed over 1200 women for my upcoming book, A Confident Heart, I discovered that our past failures, and our fear of failing again, are two of the biggest triggers that make us doubt ourselves.

Today's key verse, Proverbs 24:16, has helped me release the regret, guilt, fear and shame that have weighed me down and held me back. Take a minute to read it now and notice how it says the righteous will fall. That is right. Even those of us who have received the gift of Christ's righteousness and redemption will fall down. But we were never intended to stay down.

Instead of giving up Jesus empowers us to get up again.

In getting up, we can apologize and ask for forgiveness. In getting up, we can choose to try again with our kids, in our jobs, in our ministries, in our marriages, and in all of our mistakes. Because we trust that although we fall, God will help us up. Listen to His promise in Psalm 37:23-24 and as you read it insert your name in the blanks: "The steps of ____________ are established by the Lord, and He delights in ____________ way. When ____________ falls, __________ will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds ________ hand." (NASB)

When we get up again failure can actually help us become the confident women God created us to be because it makes us stronger and better - when we go to God for help. Failure can stretch us to do more than we think we can and push us to try other methods of doing things when one way doesn't work.

Yes, failure can be hurtful but it can also be beneficial. Failure produces wisdom when we ask for it and maturity when we learn from it.

The truth is, following Jesus is not about avoiding failures and being perfect. It's about accepting our weaknesses and becoming more dependent on God's perfect love and power at work in us. So the next time you fail to be the woman He calls you to be, or the woman you expect yourself to be, ask God to remind you of this truth.

We will sometimes fail to be who we want to be but we will get closer to who we are meant to be every time we fall and then choose to take God's hand so we can get up again!

Lord, I'm so thankful for Your grace that reminds me there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Because my steps are established by You, Lord, I will believe that You delight in me even when I fail or fall. Today, I want to take Your hand and trust Your heart as You pull me back up again and use my failures to help me become the confident woman You created me to be. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Related Resources:
This devotion is taken in part from chapter 7 of Renee Swope's upcoming book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises. To pre-order your copy, click here.

If you want to lose the weight of self-doubt and defeat, sign up for Renee's FREE "7-day Doubt Diet." Click here to find out more and then sign up to receive a week's worth of FREE devotions from Renee's upcoming book A Confident Heart.

Visit Renee's blog for more encouragement and some practical ways you can get up when you feel like giving up. Also, enter to win her "Getting-Up Again" give-away.

Application Steps:
List one or two areas of your life where you have felt like you were failing and wanted to give up - mainly on yourself. Then ask God to show you how you can get back up with His help.

Reflections:
Have I ever wanted to give up? What got me to that hard place and how can I receive God's grace and rely on His strength instead of my own?

Power Verses:
Psalm 37:23-24, "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand." (NASB)

Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (NIV)

© 2011 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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

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