Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Daily Devotional Wednesday 8th June

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:2,4 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Ye that love the Lord hate evil."
Psalm 97:10

Thou hast good reason to "hate evil," for only consider what harm it has already wrought thee. Oh, what a world of mischief sin has brought into thy heart! Sin blinded thee so that thou couldst not see the beauty of the Saviour; it made thee deaf so that thou couldst not hear the Redeemer's tender invitations. Sin turned thy feet into the way of death, and poured poison into the very fountain of thy being; it tainted thy heart, and made it "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Oh, what a creature thou wast when evil had done its utmost with thee, before divine grace interposed! Thou wast an heir of wrath even as others; thou didst "run with the multitude to do evil." Such were all of us; but Paul reminds us, "but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." We have good reason, indeed, for hating evil when we look back and trace its deadly workings. Such mischief did evil do us, that our souls would have been lost had not omnipotent love interfered to redeem us. Even now it is an active enemy, ever watching to do us hurt, and to drag us to perdition. Therefore "hate evil," O Christians, unless you desire trouble. If you would strew your path with thorns, and plant nettles in your death-pillow, then neglect to "hate evil:" but if you would live a happy life, and die a peaceful death, then walk in all the ways of holiness, hating evil, even unto the end. If you truly love your Saviour, and would honour him, then "hate evil." We know of no cure for the love of evil in a Christian like abundant intercourse with the Lord Jesus. Dwell much with him, and it is impossible for you to be at peace with sin.

"Order my footsteps by thy Word,

And make my heart sincere;

Let sin have no dominion, Lord,

But keep my conscience clear."

Evening

"Be zealous."
Revelation 3:19

If you would see souls converted, if you would hear the cry that "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord;" if you would place crowns upon the head of the Saviour, and his throne lifted high, then be filled with zeal. For, under God, the way of the world's conversion must be by the zeal of the church. Every grace shall do exploits, but this shall be first; prudence, knowledge, patience, and courage will follow in their places, but zeal must lead the van. It is not the extent of your knowledge, though that is useful; it is not the extent of your talent, though that is not to be despised; it is your zeal that shall do great exploits. This zeal is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: it draws its vital force from the continued operations of the Holy Ghost in the soul. If our inner life dwindles, if our heart beats slowly before God, we shall not know zeal; but if all be strong and vigorous within, then we cannot but feel a loving anxiety to see the kingdom of Christ come, and his will done on earth, even as it is in heaven. A deep sense of gratitude will nourish Christian zeal. Looking to the hole of the pit whence we were digged, we find abundant reason why we should spend and be spent for God. And zeal is also stimulated by the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of hell, and it cannot slumber: it looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of heaven, and it cannot but bestir itself. It feels that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord. And it is ever strengthened by the remembrance of Christ's example. He was clothed with zeal as with a cloak. How swift the chariot-wheels of duty went with him! He knew no loitering by the way. Let us prove that we are his disciples by manifesting the same spirit of zeal.

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Ahimaaz

[Ăhĭm'aăz] - a rascal, powerful brother or my brother is counselor.

  1. Father of Ahinoam, Saul's wife (1 Sam. 14:50).
  2. A son of Zadok the priest, who kept David informed of Absalom's revolt (2 Sam. 15:27, 36; 17:17, 20).
  3. One of Solomon's officers, responsible for the monthly supply of victuals for the royal household (1 Kings 4:15 ).
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Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 28-29, John 17 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Chronicles 28-29

Ahaz King of Judah

1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD. 2 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel and also made idols for worshiping the Baals. 3 He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his children in the fire, engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 17

Jesus Prays to Be Glorified

1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

"Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began...."

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P31Header
Rachel Olsen

June 7, 2011

Soul Mates
Rachel Olsen

"People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall." Proverbs 10:9 (NLT)

She was single and had been at peace with that ... until his words stirred up feelings of loneliness and longings for affection. He was married with children.

Here she was a Christian who suddenly found herself in desperate need of clarity and support. She was falling into an emotional affair and wanted to talk with me about it.

A former boyfriend contacted her out of the blue. At first it was a fun blast from the past to hear his voice and find out what he was up to. But it didn't take long before he confessed he had been thinking about her, missing her.

He told her his marriage wasn't doing well, and hinted that he longed to be with her again. Sure enough, feelings of attraction bubbled to the surface of her heart. My friend said she and this man had not reconnected face-to-face, but they were reconnecting voice-to-voice, mind-to-mind, and heart-to-heart through the computer and phone.

Have you ever had the feeling someone else is really meant to be your soul mate?

Once someone pledges themselves to another in marriage before God, they essentially become soul mates. "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together." (Mark 10:7b-9 NLT)

Years ago I witnessed a woman begin an emotional affair with a man she "had more in common with" than her husband. Never mind the fact that she had her school-aged children in common with her husband. She was eventually confronted by members of her church, but did not end the relationship. She is divorced today.

We have to be honest with ourselves and with God. Jesus said we can commit adultery in our minds (Matthew 5:28); we can also commit an affair in our hearts. Plus, an emotional affair is often just the beginning stages of a physical one.

My friend struggling with this is single, but the man she's falling for is not. This isn't just a "married women's issue." We all have to guard our hearts. The Bible says they are the wellspring of our lives.

If you are in some type of affair now, I urge you to end it. Stop feeding that addiction. Run quickly from sexual immorality. Change your phone number, your email address and your daily routine if necessary to avoid him. Thankfully, my friend stopped speaking with her temptation.

If you are not entangled in this presently, guard yourself from falling into the trap. Be alert to slippery slopes. Don't go trolling the internet to check on past loves. Beware confiding anything too personal, especially your marriage woes, to members of the opposite sex - find a female friend or counselor to talk to instead. Have an accountability partner periodically ask you how you're doing in this area. And if you are married, invest in your marriage.

Finally, let's turn our attention to the One who is Love (1 John 4:8) and who knows our hearts better than anyone else can. Let's draw near to Christ who is truly our souls' mate. We can safely satisfy our hearts in His.

Dear Lord, strengthen my friends to do what is right. And help me keep pure - mind, heart, body and soul. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Your Soul's Mate - the One you were made for?

Confessions of an Adulterous Woman: Lies that got me there, Truths that brought me back by Lyndell Hetrick Holtz

It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen

Continue the conversation on this topic with Rachel at her blog, and enter there to win a copy of her book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know.

Application Steps:
Read Jesus' words to a woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11.

Invest in your marriage - these marriage books are helpful resources.

Reflections:
Am I guarding my heart?

Am I inappropriately flirting?

What is the current intimacy level in my marriage? In my relationship with God?

Power Verses:
Psalm 51:10, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (NIV)

Hebrews 10:22, "Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water." (NLT)

© 2011 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.

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


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