Sunday, October 09, 2011

Daily Devotional Sunday 9th October

“I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.” Isaiah 43:11-12 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught."
Luke 5:4

We learn from this narrative, the necessity of human agency. The draught of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. So in the saving of souls, God worketh by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. When God worketh without instruments, doubtless he is glorified; but he hath himself selected the plan of instrumentality as being that by which he is most magnified in the earth. Means of themselves are utterly unavailing. "Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing." What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special calling? Verily, they were no raw hands; they understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskilfully? No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had toiled. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had toiled all the night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals. What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves apart from the presence of Jesus? "Without him we can do nothing." But with Christ we can do all things. Christ's presence confers success. Jesus sat in Peter's boat, and his will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in his Church, his presence is the Church's power--the shout of a king is in the midst of her. "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." Let us go out this morning on our work of soul fishing, looking up in faith, and around us in solemn anxiety. Let us toil till night comes, and we shall not labour in vain, for he who bids us let down the net, will fill it with fishes.

Evening

"Praying in the Holy Ghost."
Jude 20

Mark the grand characteristic of true prayer--"In the Holy Ghost." The seed of acceptable devotion must come from heaven's storehouse. Only the prayer which comes from God can go to God. We must shoot the Lord's arrows back to him. That desire which he writes upon our heart will move his heart and bring down a blessing, but the desires of the flesh have no power with him.

Praying in the Holy Ghost is praying in fervency. Cold prayers ask the Lord not to hear them. Those who do not plead with fervency, plead not at all. As well speak of lukewarm fire as of lukewarm prayer--it is essential that it be red hot. It is praying perseveringly. The true suppliant gathers force as he proceeds, and grows more fervent when God delays to answer. The longer the gate is closed, the more vehemently does he use the knocker, and the longer the angel lingers the more resolved is he that he will never let him go without the blessing. Beautiful in God's sight is tearful, agonizing, unconquerable importunity. It means praying humbly, for the Holy Spirit never puffs us up with pride. It is his office to convince of sin, and so to bow us down in contrition and brokenness of spirit. We shall never sing Gloria in excelsis except we pray to God De profundis: out of the depths must we cry, or we shall never behold glory in the highest. It is loving prayer. Prayer should be perfumed with love, saturated with love--love to our fellow saints, and love to Christ. Moreover, it must be a prayer full of faith. A man prevails only as he believes. The Holy Spirit is the author of faith, and strengthens it, so that we pray believing God's promise. O that this blessed combination of excellent graces, priceless and sweet as the spices of the merchant, might be fragrant within us because the Holy Ghost is in our hearts! Most blessed Comforter, exert thy mighty power within us, helping our infirmities in prayer.

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Today's reading: Isaiah 30-31, Philippians 4 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Isaiah 30-31

Woe to the Obstinate Nation

1 “Woe to the obstinate children,”
declares the LORD,
“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,
heaping sin upon sin;
2 who go down to Egypt
without consulting me;
who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,
to Egypt’s shade for refuge.
3 But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame,
Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace.
4 Though they have officials in Zoan
and their envoys have arrived in Hanes,
5 everyone will be put to shame
because of a people useless to them,
who bring neither help nor advantage,
but only shame and disgrace.”

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: Philippians 4

Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity

1 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus....

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COUPLESenewsheader-Bibles-Sep2011

Don't-Mean-It Sins

Leviticus 4:27-35

If any member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, when they realize their guilt and the sin they have committed becomes known, they must bring as their offering for the sin they committed a female goat without defect.
Leviticus 4:27-28

Everyone roared with laughter at Maggie's story about Brad's klutziness in fixing the car. Brad was mortified.

Thad had been paying bills online and then, without ever really planning to, he found himself deep in pornography. Melanie walked in and found him viewing images he had no business seeing.

Arthur and Gabriela thought they were just getting together with some friends from church, but then they found themselves caught up in an angry coup to get rid of the pastor. Six months later, the church was in shambles, and Arthur and Gabriela were wondering how they let themselves get involved in the mess.

Sometimes we sin without meaning to. We aim for righteousness, honor and wisdom, but we miss by a mile.Leviticus 4:2 introduces a Hebrew word for sin that means "to miss the mark." George R. Knight, professor of church history at Andrews University Theological Seminary (Berrien Springs, Michigan), explains, "You have missed, not because you are wicked, but because you are stupid, silly, careless, inattentive, perhaps lazy, or more probably because you do not possess the proper aim in life."

Add to that Hebrew word for sin the word "unintentionally," and it suggests someone wandering away like a silly sheep or someone who isn't thinking. We sometimes feel we ought to be given a break if we didn't really mean to sin. But the Bible doesn't cut us any slack. Whether we mean it or not, sin damages our relationship with God and with others. Anyone who is married knows that unintentional hurts, such as teasing about someone's weaknesses or being chronically late or missing a birthday, can do a lot of harm.

Leviticus 4 shows that God takes unintentional sins seriously. Forgiveness is available, but it doesn't come cheap. No quick, "Oops, sorry. Guess I wasn't thinking." Specific instructions were given in Leviticus 4 for how different groups were to deal with these kinds of sins. While the details differed a little from one group to another, the basic corrective steps were the same for each situation: bring an offering, then have it sacrificed to atone for the sin.

Today, we who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are grateful that we don't have to go through the laborious and gruesome atonement rituals of the Old Testament. Still, as we read through the requirements in Leviticus, we realize how the sacrificial system illustrates the seriousness of sin. These sin sacrifices did not overdramatize the sinner's situation; rather, they underdramatized it. The blood of animals could never pay for sin, whether unintentional or not. God mercifully accepted such sacrifices until his plan could be carried out to give his one and only Son, Jesus, as the complete sacrifice for sin.

Sin is terrible-even when it's unintentional. Praise God that Christ's death provides forgiveness for us and that his indwelling Spirit gives us the strength to aim straight at godliness.
Lee Eclov

Let's Talk

  • What unintentional sins have we committed that proved our aim was way off?
  • What happens when we do not take such sins as seriously as God does?
  • As we read Leviticus 4:27-35, let's imagine doing each corrective step. What would it feel like? How would we be affected?
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NIVCouplesbibleToday's reading is from the
NIV Couple's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan


Designed to help you build your relationship on the one foundation you can count on: God’s Word!


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NIV Devotions for Moms

A Plague of Play-Doh

This week's reading: Exodus 8

It holds the place mats in crooked positions on the kitchen table. Walking from the table to the sink, it crunches underfoot on the linoleum. As we make our way across the family room, crumbs of red, green and blue smush into the carpet. Play-Doh.

How many times have we laid down the rules about where the kids can play with Play-Doh? For that matter, how many hours have we spent sweeping and sponging its stubborn remains away?

A plague of Play-Doh! That's what it feels like! Oh, certainly it's not like the horrible plagues suffered in Egypt. But it's a plague just the same. As if God is somehow judging us with an onslaught of Play-Doh that won't go away no matter what we do! What sin have we left unconfessed? How have we angered the Almighty?

Hey, Mom, it's not a plague. It's a stage. And it comes with young children. God is not raining down judgment on moms. He loves us more than we can imagine ever being loved. And his love for us will last long past the last of the Play-Doh.

Additional Scripture Readings: Psalm 136; Jeremiah 31:3-4


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Today's reading is from the
Mom's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan


Mom, you don't have to go it alone! The Mom's Devotional Bible is a trusted source of wisdom to help you along the path of mothering.


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