Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daily Devotional Saturday 27th August

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"He hath commanded his covenant forever."
Psalms 111:9

The Lord's people delight in the covenant itself. It is an unfailing source of consolation to them so often as the Holy Spirit leads them into its banqueting house and waves its banner of love. They delight to contemplate the antiquity of that covenant, remembering that before the day-star knew its place, or planets ran their round, the interests of the saints were made secure in Christ Jesus. It is peculiarly pleasing to them to remember the sureness of the covenant, while meditating upon "the sure mercies of David." They delight to celebrate it as "signed, and sealed, and ratified, in all things ordered well." It often makes their hearts dilate with joy to think of its immutability, as a covenant which neither time nor eternity, life nor death, shall ever be able to violate--a covenant as old as eternity and as everlasting as the Rock of ages. They rejoice also to feast upon the fulness of this covenant, for they see in it all things provided for them. God is their portion, Christ their companion, the Spirit their Comforter, earth their lodge, and heaven their home. They see in it an inheritance reserved and entailed to every soul possessing an interest in its ancient and eternal deed of gift. Their eyes sparkled when they saw it as a treasure-trove in the Bible; but oh! how their souls were gladdened when they saw in the last will and testament of their divine kinsman, that it was bequeathed to them! More especially it is the pleasure of God's people to contemplate the graciousness of this covenant. They see that the law was made void because it was a covenant of works and depended upon merit, but this they perceive to be enduring because grace is the basis, grace the condition, grace the strain, grace the bulwark, grace the foundation, grace the topstone. The covenant is a treasury of wealth, a granary of food, a fountain of life, a store-house of salvation, a charter of peace, and a haven of joy.

Evening

"The people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him."
Mark 9:15

How great the difference between Moses and Jesus! When the prophet of Horeb had been forty days upon the mountain, he underwent a kind of transfiguration, so that his countenance shone with exceeding brightness, and he put a veil over his face, for the people could not endure to look upon his glory. Not so our Saviour. He had been transfigured with a greater glory than that of Moses, and yet, it is not written that the people were blinded by the blaze of his countenance, but rather they were amazed, and running to him they saluted him. The glory of the law repels, but the greater glory of Jesus attracts. Though Jesus is holy and just, yet blended with his purity there is so much of truth and grace, that sinners run to him amazed at his goodness, fascinated by his love; they salute him, become his disciples, and take him to be their Lord and Master. Reader, it may be that just now you are blinded by the dazzling brightness of the law of God. You feel its claims on your conscience, but you cannot keep it in your life. Not that you find fault with the law, on the contrary, it commands your profoundest esteem, still you are in nowise drawn by it to God; you are rather hardened in heart, and are verging towards desperation. Ah, poor heart! turn thine eye from Moses, with all his repelling splendour, and look to Jesus, resplendent with milder glories. Behold his flowing wounds and thorn-crowned head! He is the Son of God, and therein he is greater than Moses, but he is the Lord of love, and therein more tender than the lawgiver. He bore the wrath of God, and in his death revealed more of God's justice than Sinai on a blaze, but that justice is now vindicated, and henceforth it is the guardian of believers in Jesus. Look, sinner, to the bleeding Saviour, and as thou feelest the attraction of his love, fly to his arms, and thou shalt be saved.

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Today's reading: Psalm 119:89-176, 1 Corinthians 8 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 119:89-176

89 Your word, LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 8

Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols

1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that "We all possess knowledge." But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.

4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that "An idol is nothing at all in the world" and that "There is no God but one." 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do....

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Japheth

[Jā'pheth] - beauty, let him enlarge orhe that persuades. The second son of Noah, born in the patriach's five hundredth year, and founder of those who spread over the north and west regions of the earth (Gen. 5:32; 6:10; 7:13). The Medians, Greeks, Romans, Russian and Gauls are referred to as descendants of Japheth. Most of the nations springing from him reappear in the endtime period under Gog (Ezek. 38; 39). For Greece see Zechariah 9:13.
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August 26, 2011

Masterpiece in the Making

Gwen Smith

Today's Truth

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you (Philippians 1:6, AMP).

Friend To Friend

It took four years of fresco painting for the Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Commonly known as Michelangelo, his time painting was mostly spent alone, on his back, lying on scaffolding. (How painful!) The painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of the most remarkable in the history of Western art. One thing is for sure: the process that altered a ceiling from plain to fabulous required a lot of time, great discipline, and the hand of a master artist. The same is true for us. The journey from broken into beautiful is a lifelong transformation that requires both discipline and a Master Artist.

As Michelangelo was working, I'm sure that lots of people came through the corridors of the chapel and stood in amazement. As they looked up at the beauty of his work, I bet they said things like, "That is the most fantastic work of art I have ever seen!" or "Extraordinary!" To which he might have said, "It's not done!" But did the unfinished state of the project negate that parts of the ceiling were beautiful? No! The parts that were complete were still extravagant and breathtaking.

Maybe this is the way God and others see our lives. It's common for people to notice the work God has done in us and comment on the beauty. And even though compliments are nice to hear, I've been known to resist them. (Admit it, you probably have too.) It's not so much a humility thing as it is an "I-don't-see-myself-as-beautiful" thing. From my limited perspective, I can see only the unfinished work. But in truth, my vantage point doesn't negate the beauty of the work God has done and is doing in my life.

Real beauty isn't about a finished or flawless product. It can't be. It's not possible on this side of eternity to have completed beauty. Our restoration will be complete in the presence of God when we see Him face to face.

Now, you might be saying, "But Gwen, I can't be beautiful! You don't know what I've done...or what I've been through...or what I'm going through!"

Friend, God knows where you have been, what you have been through, and where you are now. He knows what your flaws are and loves you in spite of your imperfections. His tender love is far-reaching and complete.

Your past sins do not define you.

Your painful scars do not define you.

Your present sufferings do not define you.

They are just shards of brokenness that God will use to lovingly refine your beauty. The transformation from broken into beautiful is neither easy nor instantaneous. It demands a yielded heart and can be quite painful, but it comes with great reward. God will need your broken pieces-your scars, shame, insecurities, disappointments, betrayals, and failures.

Do you have some of those?

Are they tucked away in a safe, do-not-enter part of your heart?

You might find it hard to hand over hurts. I get that. It's hard for me too. But difficult as it may be, it's time to hand them over and let our masterful Lord create a stunning work of beauty in you. And He's going to need all of your broken pieces to complete the restoration.

Let's Pray

Holy Father, I am humbled by Your willingness to love and forgive someone like me. Please take the broken pieces of my life and don't allow me to have them back. I surrender to Your healing. Mold me and shape me into a beautiful reflection of Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now It's Your Turn

Read Isaiah 64:8, "Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."

Meditate on this verse. Read it again and personalize it in a prayerful response to God: "Yet, O LORD, you are MY Father. I AM the clay, you are the potter; I AM the work of your hand."

More From The Girlfriends

Today's devotion is from Gwen's book, Broken into Beautiful. Gwen's full testimony is featured in her book, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God has brought restoration the hearts of many other women who had painful life wounds. God delights to transform lives ... including your own. Experience God's healing and hope in your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful! To order the book, go to Amazonor, for a signed copy, order from Gwen's website:www.gwensmith.net.

LOVE MUSIC? Check out Gwen's new CD, Uncluttered. The songs of Uncluttered are purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ.

GOT FACEBOOK? Visit Gwen's FACEBOOK PAGE. Thousands of GiGs "meet" there daily to connect and spur one another on in faith. Stop by!

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
Lysa TerKeurst

August 26, 2011

What do I Have to be Angry About?
Lysa TerKeurst

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy..." Psalm 30:11 (NIV)

When my girls were little we had a love-hate relationship with kid's menus. I loved that they had creatures to color and crayons were provided. However, it never failed that someone would color on someone else's sheet and squeals and screams would have all heads turning our way.

Then I would sit there in disbelief that my kids had caused such a fuss over colored on menus. Menus that would soon be covered in ketchup and juice and tossed in the trash.

I thought about these menus last week. I thought about them at the strangest time.

I was standing on Hollywood Boulevard looking at the stars walk of fame when a woman approached my friend, Amanda, looking for money.

It took my brain a few seconds to figure out why her face was familiar. So familiar. It was my friend from skid row, Juanita. We'd gotten Juanita off the streets the day before and taken her to the Dream Center. A safe place for her to detox and find healing.

But less than 24 hours later she'd walked away. Away from help. Away from hope. Away from restoration.

There she was begging for money to buy a bus ticket to get back to skid row. And in a city of 13 million people, somehow our paths crossed again. What are the odds? Surely it was a sign to her of how much God cares.

"Oh Juanita, why did you leave the Dream Center? Can I take you back? I can call for a Dream Center bus to come get you right now. Please, please let's go back." I asked Juanita. I begged Juanita. But she just shook her head and quietly whispered, "I have to go back to the streets 'cause I know where to put my blankets there. I don't know where to put my blankets anywhere else."

"To skid row?" I asked with tears brimming my eyes. She nodded.

I asked if we might pray for her. She agreed. We circled and prayed and then watched her walk off. Up to another to beg for money. And then another. Rejected most of the time. But slowly walking away-away-away.

It was in that moment I thought of those stupid kid menus. Menus that were fought over. And then covered in ketchup and juice and tossed in the trash.

And my anger burned. Not at my kids. But at myself. And all the many dumb things I can find myself getting all bent out of shape about.

I am no more mature than my kids arguing over throw away menus. How dare I get angry over things so inconsequential? God, forgive me.

Yes, there are things that should make me angry. Like Juanita not knowing her whole life she could put her blankets somewhere safe. And now the place she keeps returning to is skid row.

Heroin alley on skid row to be exact. Where pimps sell women to do unspeakable things in make shift tents right on the street. And where kids play with dirty needles. And where teens are passed out with needles in their toes because they don't have veins good enough to shoot drugs into their arms.

Yes, there are things to get angry about today. But not slight inconveniences and little things that bump into my happy.

God help me and my kid menu life. If Psalm 30:11 is true in my life, that God has turned my wailing into dancing and removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, might I dare look for a way to help the Juanita's of the world.

Yes, might I dare help instead of getting in a huff over the small stuff.

If you want to help women like Juanita who are caught in a world of drugs, sex trafficking and destitution, visit Lysa's blog by clicking here for a simple yet profound way you can make a difference today.

Instead of being paralyzed by the enormity of the problems of this world, what if we all determined to do something? When we do what only we can do, God will do what only He can do-and the world will be changed.

Dear Lord, help me step outside my world and to see people with Your eyes. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa's blog to read more about her "Dare to Dream" Gift Card campaign. You will have the opportunity to write a letter of encouragement and enclose a gift card that will be used to help women in the rescue and rehab programs through the Dream Center.

For more information click here.

Lysa's book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God now has a 6 week DVD teaching series that is perfect for women's Bible Study groups. For more informationclick here.

Application Steps:
Determine to not walk away from embracing a chance to help someone today.

Reflections:
Yes, there are things to get angry about today. But not slight inconveniences and little things that bump into my happy.

Power Verses:
Ephesians 4:29-32, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (NIV)

© 2011 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

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