Friday, November 11, 2011

Daily Devotional Friday 11th November

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’”Job 37:5-6 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"The eternal God is thy refuge."
Deuteronomy 33:27

The word refuge may be translated "mansion," or "abiding- place," which gives the thought that God is our abode, our home. There is a fulness and sweetness in the metaphor, for dear to our hearts is our home, although it be the humblest cottage, or the scantiest garret; and dearer far is our blessed God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being. It is at home that we feel safe: we shut the world out and dwell in quiet security. So when we are with our God we "fear no evil." He is our shelter and retreat, our abiding refuge. At home, we take our rest; it is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And so our hearts find rest in God, when, wearied with life's conflict, we turn to him, and our soul dwells at ease. At home, also, we let our hearts loose; we are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our words being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely with him, laying open all our hidden desires; for if the "secret of the Lord is with them that fear him," the secrets of them that fear him ought to be, and must be, with their Lord. Home, too, is the place of our truest and purest happiness: and it is in God that our hearts find their deepest delight. We have joy in him which far surpasses all other joy. It is also for home that we work and labour. The thought of it gives strength to bear the daily burden, and quickens the fingers to perform the task; and in this sense we may also say that God is our home. Love to him strengthens us. We think of him in the person of his dear Son; and a glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer constrains us to labour in his cause. We feel that we must work, for we have brethren yet to be saved, and we have our Father's heart to make glad by bringing home his wandering sons; we would fill with holy mirth the sacred family among whom we dwell. Happy are those who have thus the God of Jacob for their refuge!

Evening

"It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master."
Matthew 10:25

No one will dispute this statement, for it would be unseemly for the servant to be exalted above his Master. When our Lord was on earth, what was the treatment he received? Were his claims acknowledged, his instructions followed, his perfections worshipped, by those whom he came to bless? No; "He was despised and rejected of men." Outside the camp was his place: cross-bearing was his occupation. Did the world yield him solace and rest? "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." This inhospitable country afforded him no shelter: it cast him out and crucified him. Such--if you are a follower of Jesus, and maintain a consistent, Christ-like walk and conversation--you must expect to be the lot of that part of your spiritual life which, in its outward development, comes under the observation of men. They will treat it as they treated the Saviour--they will despise it. Dream not that worldlings will admire you, or that the more holy and the more Christ-like you are, the more peaceably people will act towards you. They prized not the polished gem, how should they value the jewel in the rough? "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?" If we were more like Christ, we should be more hated by his enemies. It were a sad dishonour to a child of God to be the world's favourite. It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout "Well done" to the Christian man. He may begin to look to his character, and wonder whether he has not been doing wrong, when the unrighteous give him their approbation. Let us be true to our Master, and have no friendship with a blind and base world which scorns and rejects him. Far be it from us to seek a crown of honour where our Lord found a coronet of thorns.

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Today's reading: Jeremiah 48-49, Hebrews 7 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 48-49

A Message About Moab

1 Concerning Moab:

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined.
Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured;
the stronghold will be disgraced and shattered.
2 Moab will be praised no more;
in Heshbon people will plot her downfall:
‘Come, let us put an end to that nation.’
You, the people of Madmen, will also be silenced;
the sword will pursue you.
3 Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim,
cries of great havoc and destruction.
4 Moab will be broken;
her little ones will cry out.
5 They go up the hill to Luhith,
weeping bitterly as they go;
on the road down to Horonaim
anguished cries over the destruction are heard.
6 Flee! Run for your lives;
become like a bush in the desert.
7 Since you trust in your deeds and riches,
you too will be taken captive,
and Chemosh will go into exile,
together with his priests and officials.
8 The destroyer will come against every town,
and not a town will escape.
The valley will be ruined
and the plateau destroyed,
because the LORD has spoken.
9 Put salt on Moab,
for she will be laid waste;
her towns will become desolate,
with no one to live in them....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: Hebrews 7

Melchizedek the Priest

1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor....

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Abiathar

[Ăbī'athär] - father of superfluity orexcellent father. Son of Ahimelechand the eleventh high priest in succession from Aaron (1 Sam. 22:20-22; 23:6, 9).

Abiathar escaped and fled to David in the cave of Adullam when Doeg the Edomite slew his father and eighty-five priests. He went back to Jerusalem with the Ark when David fled from Absalom. He was joint high-priest with Zadok and conspired to make Adonijah king. He rebelled against David in his old age, was spared by Solomon for the sake of his first love, but dismissed from office for his treachery at the last.

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November 10, 2011
Grandma's Hands

Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy (Proverbs 31:20, NIV).

Friend to Friend

On a shelf in my living room sits a black-and-white photograph of a young girl taken in the early 1900s. Her hair is pulled back with an oversized bow peeking from behind the edges of her head. Her dress is typical of the times, with puffed sleeves and a brimming lace collar resting on her shoulders. She isn't smiling, and she appears to be somewhat awkward, timid, and, I dare say, even afraid. This is a picture of Grandmother Anderson on her wedding day. She was 14 years old.

As I gaze at this amazing woman who bore 12 children and miscarried 11 others, I am always drawn to her hands. Hanging uncomfortably at her side are hands that seem much too large for her petite frame. "Anderson hands," my mother calls them. I surmise that God must have known this little lady would need a big heart and big hands to embrace all that life would send her way.

Like Grandmother Anderson, all mothers need big hearts and big hands. A mother's hands grip the bed rail in pain in the delivery room and then gently caress a newborn for the first time. Before long, those hands are changing diapers, washing bottoms and faces, cleaning spit-up, wiping tears, rocking sleepyheads, and placing babies in a crib. Then they are holding a toddler's chubby hand and grabbing him to keep him out of harm's way. Tossing a ball, preparing holiday dinners, setting a festive table, tying packages for birthday parties and Christmas presents. Coloring and cutting out shapes in workbooks. Picking up leaves and bugs for collections.

Pushing a swing and letting go of a bike as a child first learns to peddle on his own. Sewing party dresses and mending torn baseball jerseys, washing scraped knees and spooning out medicine. Holding the sweaty palm of an awkward adolescent while dancing around the den, tying the knot of a necktie and pinning on a boutonniere for a first party. Writing letters to children away at camp, or folding hands in prayer asking for the Lord's protection while they are away. Tightly grasping the steering wheel while chauffeuring children from one place to the next or gripping the seat as a teen learns how to drive.

Hands that wave goodbye as a son drives off to college and hands that adjust a cherished daughter's wedding veil. A mother's hands are loving hands, disciplining hands, grieving hands, protecting hands, and providing hands. They embrace the child and then, when the child is ready, she opens them and lets them go.

Take a look at your hands today and ask God how He would have you use them. If you are are mom, thank God for all the ways He lets you use your hands to bless your children. If you are not a mom, thank God for all the hands that He has used to bless you.

Let's Pray
Dear Lord, thank You for holding me always in the palm of Your hands. I pray today that I will use my hands for good: to help a child, to give a hug, to pat a back, to cook a meal, to touch with kindness, to caress with love. I lift up my hands to praise You and fold them in prayer to intercede.

In Jesus' name,

Amen.

Now It's Your Turn

Additional Scripture Reading: Proverbs 31:10-31


Today, take a good look at your hands. Think about your hands. Thank God for your hands. Throughout the day, make a list of all the ways God allows you to use your hands to minister to other people. Let's make a list! Visitwww.facebook.com and share how you used your hands to bless others today. Don't be shy! This will be fun. You can also list how someone else used her hands to bless you.

More from the Girlfriends
Do you find yourself longing to hear God's voice - not as a once-in-a-lifetime experience but on a daily basis? If so, Sharon's new 15-Minute Devotional book, Listening to God Day-by-Day,will help you do just that. It is an expanded version of the smaller book, Extraordinary Moments with God. In it you will find 100 devotions to help you become a woman who detects God's still small voice in all of life. This is a warm, fun, tender look at recognizing some of the wonderful and unexpected ways God reaches out to us in the middle of our everyday life. And if you are a mom who needs some encouragement today, see Sharon's book, Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids.

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
Glynnis Whitwer

November 10, 2011

Feeling Trapped
Glynnis Whitwer

"Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress." Psalm 107:13 (NIV)

Feeling trapped, with no way out, is a horrible place to be. I know. I've been there several times in the past few years.

When the housing market crashed in my hometown, our family-owned consulting firm almost crashed along with it. Contracts were canceled, potential jobs shriveled, credit maxed and investments bombed. Most of the trouble was out of our control, but some was from our unwise decisions.

One month dragged into another. Some weeks we barely squeaked by. I didn't lose my faith in God's provision, as He took care of our basic needs. But His timing to pull us out of the depths of our trouble was not mine. I cried out for a quick fix; He had another plan.

Before help came, God let us sit in the mess for a long time. In fact, we had to sit in a place of helplessness for longer than we wanted. All of our previous abilities to help ourselves were gone. Places that had previously been willing to extend a helping hand weren't able to help. At times it felt like we had been abandoned. Was it because of something we had done? Maybe our unwise choices? Questions abounded.

But then God stepped in. And because we'd been sitting in that mess so long, our gratitude doubled. We clearly saw His hand at work. In hindsight, if we'd been able to help ourselves, we would have patted ourselves on the backs at our cleverness. Now, God gets all the glory.

You may be trapped right now and wondering if God will rescue you. Maybe you've made bad choices. Perhaps you have disqualified yourself from being saved. If that's you, then I've got good news. No matter if your situation is of your own making or someone else's, God cares and has a plan to save you.

Psalm 107 sings this truth. In this amazing passage we learn of God's faithfulness to people in all kinds of difficult places: deserts, darkness and the foolishness of their deeds. Yet no matter where they were or what they had done, when they cried to God, He heard them. And He hears us today.

This Psalm isn't just literature. It's a message from the faithful of old, to the faithful of today. It was captured in writing so that when we feel lost, trapped, overwhelmed and afraid, we would read it and believe ... believe that the God who brought deliverance then, will do so today.

Here's just a portion of that scripture. When you have time, please read the entire passage. Psalm 107:10-13(NIV):

Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God's commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.

God specializes in rescuing the trapped - no matter how they got there. He did it for me and He will do it for you.

Dear Lord, You alone know the fullness of my desperate situation. You know how trapped I feel right now. I haven't done everything perfectly, and I confess my rebellious ways. Lord, You said if we called out to You in our distress, You would answer. So I'm calling out now. Please help. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Glynnis' blog for encouragement in tough situations, and how Glynnis has learned to pray differently because of those difficult times.

If you need some practical help in bringing order to your life, consider I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer.

Work@Home: A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work from Home by Glynnis Whitwer

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses, therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
If you are in a desperate situation right now, first make sure everything is right between you and God. Humbly confess any wrong thoughts, words or deeds. Then pray and ask God for help.

Reflections:
Has God ever let me sit in a difficult place for longer than I wanted to sit? What did I learn during that time?

Why is our humility an important component to God's rescue of us?

Power Verses:
Psalm 107

© 2011 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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

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Word Choice

This week's reading: Proverbs 15:1–15

The ability to master our mouths, watch our words and tame our tongues demonstrates a level of spiritual and emotional maturity. The opposite is true as well. An inability to control our speech shows immaturity, and it can inflict great harm on our relationships.

Solomon addresses the importance of controlling our words by contrasting positive and negative speech. In each case, the effects end up as opposites: peacefulness or wrath, knowledge or folly, healing or a crushed spirit. In other words, when we fail to control our tongue, we don’t just fail to give, or be, a blessing. We also cause a wound that can rupture a relationship.

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of Words That Hurt, Words That Heal, states that he asks audiences whether they can go 24 hours without saying any unkind words about or to anyone. Invariably, a few people answer “yes,” but most call out “no!” He responds, “Those who can’t answer ‘yes’ have a serious problem. If you can’t go 24 hours without drinking liquor, you’re addicted to alcohol. If you can’t last 24 hours without smoking, you’re addicted to nicotine. And if you can’t make it 24 hours without saying unkind words about others, you’ve lost control of your tongue.”

How can you tell whether your tongue is under control? You won’t say anything about an individual that you can’t say directly to that person. You resist the urge to exaggerate. You consciously examine your thoughts and remove gossip and rumors from your conversations. You keep in confidence a personal matter that someone else shares with you. Further, you learn to speak positive words. Appropriate words communicate affirmation, comfort and healing.

When was the last time you said something to another person that you instantly regretted? Maybe it was something intended as a joke that was instead taken as an offense, or perhaps it was a sharp word spoken in anger that you wish you could have taken back. Think of a specific situation, and then challenge yourself to rectify the hurt. While you may not be able to take back the words themselves, you can humbly submit yourself to that person and begin to rebuild the relationship.

To Take Away

  • Do you think most men struggle with controlling their words? Why or why not?
  • How would others evaluate your speech? Would they say that your words more frequently heal or wound?
  • What steps can you take to gain tighter control over your tongue?
Recommended Reading: Psalm 34:13–14; James 3:1–12

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What Was Jesus' Self-Identity?

Today's reading: Matthew 16:13-20

Jesus could be a bit mysterious about his identity. He tended to shy away from forthrightly proclaiming to be the Messiah or the Son of God. Though some people read into his mysterious statements, there were very good reasons for him to remain vague. New Testament scholar Dr. Ben Witherington III addresses this topic straight on: "If he had simply announced, 'Hi, folks; I'm God,' that would have been heard as 'I'm Yahweh,' because the Jews of his day didn't have any concept of the Trinity. They only knew of God the Father-whom they called Yahweh-and not God the Son or God the Holy Spirit.

"So if someone were to say he was God, that wouldn't have made any sense to them and would have been seen as clear-cut blasphemy. And it would have been counterproductive to Jesus in his efforts to get people to listen to his message.

"Besides, there were already a host of expectations about what the Messiah would look like, and Jesus didn't want to be pigeonholed into somebody else's categories. Consequently, he was very careful about what he said publicly. In private with his disciples-that was a different story, but the Gospels primarily tell us about what he did in public."


Adapted from interview with Dr. Ben Witherington III.

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Today's reading is from the
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