Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daily Devotional Thursday 14th July

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry?"
Jonah 4:9

Anger is not always or necessarily sinful, but it has such a tendency to run wild that whenever it displays itself, we should be quick to question its character, with this enquiry, "Doest thou well to be angry?" It may be that we can answer, "YES." Very frequently anger is the madman's firebrand, but sometimes it is Elijah's fire from heaven. We do well when we are angry with sin, because of the wrong which it commits against our good and gracious God; or with ourselves because we remain so foolish after so much divine instruction; or with others when the sole cause of anger is the evil which they do. He who is not angry at transgression becomes a partaker in it. Sin is a loathsome and hateful thing, and no renewed heart can patiently endure it. God himself is angry with the wicked every day, and it is written in His Word, "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil." Far more frequently it is to be feared that our anger is not commendable or even justifiable, and then we must answer, "NO." Why should we be fretful with children, passionate with servants, and wrathful with companions? Is such anger honourable to our Christian profession, or glorifying to God? Is it not the old evil heart seeking to gain dominion, and should we not resist it with all the might of our newborn nature? Many professors give way to temper as though it were useless to attempt resistance; but let the believer remember that he must be a conqueror in every point, or else he cannot be crowned. If we cannot control our tempers, what has grace done for us? Some one told Mr. Jay that grace was often grafted on a crab-stump. "Yes," said he, "but the fruit will not be crabs." We must not make natural infirmity an excuse for sin, but we must fly to the cross and pray the Lord to crucify our tempers, and renew us in gentleness and meekness after His own image.

Evening

"When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me."
Psalm 56:9

It is impossible for any human speech to express the full meaning of this delightful phrase, "God is for me." He was "for us" before the worlds were made; he was "for us," or he would not have given his well-beloved son; he was "for us" when he smote the Only-begotten, and laid the full weight of his wrath upon him--he was "for us," though he was against him; he was "for us," when we were ruined in the fall--he loved us notwithstanding all; he was "for us," when we were rebels against him, and with a high hand were bidding him defiance; he was "for us," or he would not have brought us humbly to seek his face. He has been "for us" in many struggles; we have been summoned to encounter hosts of dangers; we have been assailed by temptations from without and within--how could we have remained unharmed to this hour if he had not been "for us"? He is "for us," with all the infinity of his being; with all the omnipotence of his love; with all the infallibility of his wisdom; arrayed in all his divine attributes, he is "for us,"--eternally and immutably "for us"; "for us" when yon blue skies shall be rolled up like a worn out vesture; "for us" throughout eternity. And because he is "for us," the voice of prayer will always ensure his help. "When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies be turned back." This is no uncertain hope, but a well grounded assurance--"this I know." I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up for the answer, assured that it will come, and that mine enemies shall be defeated, "for God is for me." O believer, how happy art thou with the King of kings on thy side! How safe with such a Protector! How sure thy cause pleaded by such an Advocate! If God be for thee, who can be against thee?

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Belshazzar

[Bĕlshăz'zar] - bel protect the king orthe lord's leader. The son of Nebuchadnezzar and last of the kings of Babylon (Dan. 5; 7:1; 8:1).

The Man Whose Sacrilege Brought Judgment

The story of King Belshazzar is a short one. He bursts upon the stage, then disappears. All we know about him is told in one brief chapter. What we do know about Belshazzar is that he made a great feast to which a thousand of his lords were invited and that they drank out of the vessels of gold and silver taken from the house of God as they toasted their heathen gods. Drunkenness was a prevailing vice in all ranks of the Babylonians. Belshazzar, who feared neither God nor man, manifested his vanity, profaneness and pride in the sacrilegious use of the holy vessels, and in the midst of the drunken orgy, a hidden hand writing out mysterious words interrupted their godless mirth.

Although he could not decipher the writing on the wall, Belshazzar's conscience somehow interpreted the words over against the candlestick. Terror gripped him because he felt the message spelled his doom. His own wise men failed to read the writing, so Daniel was brought in and informed the king of its significance, and that night Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was slain. The army of Darius ransacked the palace and quickly mingled the king's blood with the wine in the banqueting hall.

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Today's reading: Psalm 7-9, Acts 18 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 7-9

A shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite.

1 LORD my God, I take refuge in you;
save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
2 or they will tear me apart like a lion
and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

3 LORD my God, if I have done this
and there is guilt on my hands-
4 if I have repaid my ally with evil
or without cause have robbed my foe-
5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;
let him trample my life to the ground
and make me sleep in the dust....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: Acts 18

In Corinth

1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."

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July 13, 2011

Paid in Full

Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9NIV).

Friend To Friend

When we ask God to forgive us of our past mistakes and failures, He does. Plain and simple. The Bible promises, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

The original language of the New Testament was Greek. In the Greek, the word for forgiveness is aphieme. The word means tocut someone loose, and it also means to cancel a debt, the remission of the punishment due to sinful conduct.

It involves confession and repentance. To "confess" is more than saying, "yes, I did it." In the New Testament, the word "confess" is homologeo and means "to speak the same thing, to assent, accord, agree with...to confess by way of admitting oneself guilty of what one is accused of, the result of inward conviction." Simply put, it is agreeing with God about your sin.

To "repent" means to change your mind and go in the opposite direction. The Greek word is metanoeo and signifies to change one's mind or purpose. When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery, he said, "go and sin no more." In other words, "Stop what you're doing, go in the opposite direction, and don't commit adultery again." That is a picture of true repentance.

So we've learned three words today:

Confession: agreeing with God about your sin

Repentance: changing one's mind, turn and go in the opposite direction.

Forgiveness: cutting someone loose, cancel a debt

Are you broken hearted over your sin? Have you asked God to forgive you? Have you agreed with God that what you did was wrong and are you committed to turn and go in the opposite direction? If you have asked, then He has forgotten the offense already. If you have asked for forgiveness, but are having difficulty receiving it, then why not pray this prayer and receive it by faith.

Let's Pray

Dear Lord, I come before You today, confessing______________. I am truly repentant and sorry for my sin against You. I ask that You forgive me and cleanse me. Right now, I receive Your grace and forgiveness. I believe that You have forgiven me and will no longer hold my sin against me. I accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for my sin and thank You that my debt has been paid in full. Thank You God for forgiving me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now, dear one, I want you to picture your sin nailed to the cross. It is finished. Don't let Satan try to convince you otherwise. And believe me, he will try. Satan is called "the accuser" who accuses Christians day and night (Revelation 12:10). I picture him walking back and forth with our mug shots before the throne of God, saying "look at her! She's guilty as sin!"

And in response, our Heavenly Father says "I know her. She's my precious child whom I love! Her sentence has already been taken care of. Jesus paid it for her. She's forever free!"

Now It's Your Turn

Today, if you prayed the prayer above I want you to write your sin on a piece of paper, and then in large red letters write the words PAID IN FULL across the page.

Consider writing a prayer of thanksgiving to God thanking Him for sending Jesus to pay the price for your sin.

If you prayed that prayer, I'd love to know. Let's share atwww.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.

More From The Girlfriends

Don't let Satan hold you captive to past mistakes for one more day! Be free! If you need help taking hold of your forgiveness and shedding that cloak of shame, then see Sharon's book, I'm Not Good Enough...and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves. Be free, dear friend!

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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Renee Swope

July 13, 2011

When Worry Makes Me Wonder
Renee Swope

"She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'" Luke 10:40b (NIV)

When life gets overwhelming, do you ever wonder if God notices everything you have going on - like how you're trying so hard to take care of everyone and everything? Staying up late to pay the bills, and feeling stretched between relationships at home and in ministry while caring for aging parents, commuting to work and carpooling kids?

Several years ago, I couldn't keep up with all of the commitments I'd made. I felt like I was suffocating under everything I needed to do. Slowly, I let worry weave it's way into my thoughts, making me wonder how I was going to do it all. I knew I should trust God more, but I was concerned that if I stopped worrying about everything and everybody He would too.

Eventually, I came to a point where I was exhausted and ready to resign from just about everything. I ran out of fuel. I didn't have enough energy to handle all of my roles, relationships and responsibilities.

I also ran out of faith. I started doubting my ability to manage my life, to hear God clearly and to do all I assumed He wanted me to do.

And all those worries that made me weary, also made me wonder. I wondered why God wasn't doing something to make life easier. I wondered if God noticed and cared about all I was doing for Him, and others.

One day I was reading my Bible and noticed how Martha's worries were making her weary, and making her wonder if Jesus cared that her sister left her in the kitchen to do all that work, all by herself.

And listen to how He responded: "'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"(NIV)

So, how do we choose what is better? How do we let go of our worries and take hold of confident peace that assures us God notices and God cares?

First Peter 5:7 tells us: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." (NLT)

The apostle Paul tells us the same and he tells us how:"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT)

It sounds so doable, but why is it so hard? I think it's because Satan whispers the opposite. He tells us, "Don't be calm about anything; instead worry about everything. Tell God what He should do. Then take control if He doesn't listen. And concerns that consume you will become like acid in your heart, eroding your confidence with worry and doubt!"

Instead of giving into the whispers of worry, spoken by the enemy, let's listen to God's promise for peace. When we feel overwhelmed by life this week, let's commit to ...

Stop worrying - Press the pause button on our consuming concerns.

Start praying - Talk to God about all we're doing. Ask if there's anything we need to cut back so we can seek Him as much as we serve Him, and others.

Keep thanking God - Thank God for what He's done in the past and will do in the future. This helps us remember how good He is at being God.

Lord, when my concerns consume me, help me remember that You are with me, holding me by the hand and guiding me. I want to seek You as much as I serve You and others. Help me balance my life and give my worries to You, knowing with confidence that You care about me and are good at taking care of me! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
This devotion is taken in part from chapter 9 of Renee Swope's upcoming book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises. To order your copy, click here.

Join over 5,000 women who have signed up for Renee's"7-day DOUBT Diet" - you'll receive a week's worth of FREE devotions from her new book, A Confident Heart. To find out more, click here.

Visit Renee's new website where she's offering a free download of her favorite peace-giving promises and giving away two copies of her new book, A Confident Heart.

Application Steps:
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you," 1 Peter 5:7.

Write your concerns on an index card and physically give them to Jesus. I have a table-top cross by my bedside where I lay my "concerns card." Maybe you could get one, too. Then, when you start worrying, go back and write more on your card and commit once again to cast your cares upon the Lord.

Reflections:
Are there concerns that are consuming me? Have my worries made me wonder if God notices and cares about the details in my life?

Power Verses:
Psalm 138:7. "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me." (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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