Friday, November 04, 2011

Daily Devotional Friday 4th November

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Behold, he prayeth."
Acts 9:11

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in the lachrymatory of heaven. "Thou puttest my tears into thy bottle," implies that they are caught as they flow. The suppliant, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High. He may only look up with misty eye; but "prayer is the falling of a tear." Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah's court, and are numbered with "the sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high." Think not that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Jacob's ladder is lofty, but our prayers shall lean upon the Angel of the covenant and so climb its starry rounds. Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it. "He forgetteth not the cry of the humble." True, He regards not high looks and lofty words; He cares not for the pomp and pageantry of kings; He listens not to the swell of martial music; He regards not the triumph and pride of man; but wherever there is a heart big with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan, or a penitential sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open; He marks it down in the registry of His memory; He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last, there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom.

"Faith asks no signal from the skies,

To show that prayers accepted rise,

Our Priest is in His holy place,

And answers from the throne of grace."

Evening

"Their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, even unto heaven."
2 Chronicles 30:27

Prayer is the never-failing resort of the Christian in any case, in every plight. When you cannot use your sword you may take to the weapon of all-prayer. Your powder may be damp, your bow-string may be relaxed, but the weapon of all-prayer need never be out of order. Leviathan laughs at the javelin, but he trembles at prayer. Sword and spear need furbishing, but prayer never rusts, and when we think it most blunt it cuts the best. Prayer is an open door which none can shut. Devils may surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy's hand. We can never be taken by blockade, escalade, mine, or storm, so long as heavenly succours can come down to us by Jacob's ladder to relieve us in the time of our necessities. Prayer is never out of season: in summer and in winter its merchandize is precious. Prayer gains audience with heaven in the dead of night, in the midst of business, in the heat of noonday, in the shades of evening. In every condition, whether of poverty, or sickness, or obscurity, or slander, or doubt, your covenant God will welcome your prayer and answer it from His holy place. Nor is prayer ever futile. True prayer is evermore true power. You may not always get what you ask, but you shall always have your real wants supplied. When God does not answer His children according to the letter, He does so according to the spirit. If thou askest for coarse meal, wilt thou be angered because He gives thee the finest flour? If thou seekest bodily health, shouldst thou complain if instead thereof He makes thy sickness turn to the healing of spiritual maladies? Is it not better to have the cross sanctified than removed? This evening, my soul, forget not to offer thy petition and request, for the Lord is ready to grant thee thy desires.

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Today's reading: Jeremiah 30-31, Philemon 1 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 30-31

Restoration of Israel

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2“This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. 3 The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the LORD.”

4 These are the words the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah: 5 “This is what the LORD says:

“‘Cries of fear are heard—
terror, not peace.
6 Ask and see:
Can a man bear children?
Then why do I see every strong man
with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor,
every face turned deathly pale?
7 How awful that day will be!
No other will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob,
but he will be saved out of it.

8 “‘In that day,’ declares the LORD Almighty,
‘I will break the yoke off their necks
and will tear off their bonds;
no longer will foreigners enslave them.
9 Instead, they will serve the LORD their God
and David their king,
whom I will raise up for them....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: Philemon 1

1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me....

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Sheba

[Shē'bă] - seventh, an oath orcaptivity.

  1. Son of Raamah, son of Cush, son of Ham (Gen. 10:7; 1 Chron. 1:9).
  2. Son of Joktan of the family of Shem (Gen. 10:28; 1 Chron. 1:22).
  3. Son of Jokshan, son of Abraham by Keturah (Gen. 25:3; 1 Chron. 1:32).
  4. A son of Bichri who rebelled against David after Absalom's death. This worthless adventurer, who snatched at what he thought was a chance of winning the sovereignty of northern Israel, had his head cut off by the people of Abel (2 Sam. 20:1-22).
  5. A chief Gadite, dwelling in Gibeah in Bashan (1 Chron. 5:13, 16). Also the name of the Arabian home of the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1) and a city in Simeon (Josh. 19:2).
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November 3, 2011

The Spelling Train

Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

When I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV).

Friend to Friend

My hands were clammy. Beads of sweat formed on my brow. A familiar knot in the pit of my stomach threatened to push me toward the restroom, and my dry tongue began cleave to the roof of my mouth. It was 10:25 a.m. In just five more minutes the dreaded event would begin.

When I was in the first grade, the one academic exercise I feared more than any other was the spelling train. It was sheer torture-at least for me.

"Okay, students," Mrs. March would say. "Everyone pick up your chairs and move them over to the chalk board. It's time for the spelling train."

Twenty first graders slipped their munchkin-sized chairs from their desks to form a semi-circle around our chief engineer. I always put mine at the end.

"Now remember the rules," she explained. "I am going to hold up a flash card. If you read the word correctly, you get to go to the front of the train. If you miss it, you have to go to the caboose."

She held up the cards one by one, and the class chugged along at a quick pace. Dog. Sally. Bob. Spot. Red. Blue. Mother. Stop. Run. Then it was my turn.

"Sharon, what is this word?"

Pause. Giggles.

Well, more often than not I had no idea. And when that happened, I would either guess wrong or sit in silence. I spent most of my time in the first grade spelling train in the caboose.

As the year progressed, I did move up into the passenger cars a few times, but usually I didn't stay there long enough to keep the seat warm. There was one particular word that kept me from ever visiting the engine: T-h-e. So Mrs. March decided she was going to help me. For two weeks she made me wear a name tag that read "THE" plastered on my chest like the scarlet letter. I can still remember kids coming up to me on the playground, pointing at THE on my chest, and saying, "Hey, what's that? Why are you wearing that? Is your name The? Are you stupid?"

Eventually I did learn how to spell the word t-h-e, but that's not all I learned. I learned that I was stupid, not as smart as everybody else, and just not good enough. But you know what? That wasn't true. Those were lies from the enemy. And it took many years for God to hold me by the hand and help me see myself as He sees me: a uniquely created, dearly loved, completely forgiven, and totally accepted child of God who is capable of doing everything He has called me to do by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That was more than forty years ago, and now I have found joy in stringing written words together. I've noticed that life has many unusual twists and turns when God is at the helm. He takes our greatest weaknesses and turns them into our grandest strengths. That's what happens when we turn our lives over to Him-we get out of the caboose and get to ride up with the chief engineer to places we never imaged possible. When we are weak, then He is strong.

Where are you in the train of life right now? If you're hiding in the back, listen closely and you just might hear God calling you up front where you belong.

Let's Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, it's amazing to think of all You have done in my life. You have taken my greatest weaknesses and turn them into my greatest strengths. When I am weak, through the power of the Holy Spirit I am strong. Thank You for working in me and through me. And help me never to believe the lies of the enemy that say "I'm not enough" again.

In Jesus' name,

Amen.

Now It's Your Turn

Additional Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-12:10

Can you think of one way God has taken one of your weaknesses and turn it into one of your strengths? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Let's share onwww.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.

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 busy day. For more on the topic of today's devotion, see Sharon's book, I'm Not Good Enough...and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves.


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

November 3, 2011

The Need to Know
Lysa TerKeurst

"Then Peter said, 'Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.'" Acts 3:6 (NIV)

I have a friend who is hurting. Life as she knew it has suddenly tipped over into a raging river of chaos and confusion. She can barely come up for air before another current rips her under.

If ever there was a drowning with no water involved, this is where my friend is.

Maybe you have a hurting friend too.

Yesterday, I sat down to write my friend a card and send her a little gift. I desperately wanted to love her through my words. My heart was full of care, compassion and a strong desire to encourage but I struggled to translate all I felt on paper.

As I prayed about it, the word "value" kept coming to mind.

Remind her she is valuable.

Remind her how much you respect her.

Remind her she is a woman who has so much to offer.

In Acts 3, Peter and John encounter a crippled man at the temple gate called beautiful. They stopped. They noticed. They decided to touch. Riches weren't available to them, but the ability to value was.

"'Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, walk.' Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up..." (Acts 3:6-7).

Peter and John didn't have silver but they had a hand to offer and they had value to give. The man in need was worth touching. The man in need just needed someone to give him a hand and help him up. After he got up, he went into the temple courts praising God and stirring up wonder and amazement about God.

The man who'd been in need became the man who had so much to give.

I want my friend to know she too can get up. She too can stir up amazement and wonder about our God.

Yes, she is valuable.

And so with imperfect words on a simple card, I wrote. "I just think you need to know you are so very valuable. I respect you and love you. Thank you for being you."

Who might need a card like this from you today? Why not stop right now before the moment slips away...

Dear Lord, thank You for reminding me how to love others. Help me to be Your hands and feet today. Give me Your heart so I can see who else in my path today needs some encouragement. For when I reach out, You reach in ... into my heart and bless me so. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
For a list of 10 wonderfully encouraging Bible verses to write in your note to your friend, click here.

Lysa will be speaking in more than 40 cities this year.Click here to see her schedule. She would be honored to meet you.

If you enjoy Lysa's devotions, be sure to sign up for notes of encouragement she sends out from her blog by clicking here. They are free and great for passing along to friends.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply 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:
Who can you encourage today with a simple gift of handwritten words? We are all precious in His sight. Someone in your life needs to hear that today.

Reflections:
I want my friend to remember she too can get up. She too can stir up amazement and wonder about our God.

Power Verses:
Psalm 94:19, "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." (NIV 1984)

Psalm 139:14, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (NIV 1984)

© 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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The Best Policy

This week's reading: Psalm 130:1-8

Have you ever noticed the boldness of David and of other composers of psalms? They courageously questioned God (see Psalm 89:46) and went so far as to boldly outline for him what in their view he needed to do (see Psalm 123:3). As people well versed in Israel's history, the songwriters, we might expect, would have kept silent when it came to questioning God's ways.

However, the psalmists "got away" with what they said because they expressed their feelings with honesty. They knew their own weaknesses and limitations and understood God's strength and power and majesty. They knew who they were and where they were. But they also knew God.

Here, the songwriter acknowledges his own state as being in "the depths" (Psalm 130:1). Whether this refers to a physical, emotional or spiritual place doesn't matter. He's honest enough to recognize his desperate situation and to cry out to God for help. Simply acknowledging our need is the first step down the pathway of redemption.

But what does the songwriter need? He realizes that if God were to keep a record of sin, the psalmist would certainly be lost. With his rhetorical question "Who could stand?" (Psalm 130:3), he anticipates the words of the New Testament: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). In almost the same breath as his admission of sinfulness, the songwriter honestly expresses who God is. With God "there is forgiveness ... unfailing love ... full redemption" (Psalm 130:4,7). Finally, the songwriter acknowledges God's promise that "he himself will redeem Israel from all their sins" (verse 8).

Perhaps the apostle Paul had the words of Psalm 130 in mind hundreds of years later when he wrote to the church at Colosse, "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Jesus], and through him to reconcile to himself all things" (Colossians 1:19-20).

Because of Christ we can be honest with ourselves: God comes to where we are to redeem who we are because of who he is.

To Take Away

  • Do you think you're honest about where you are, who you are and who God is? How can you be sure?
  • When was the last time you thanked God for his forgiveness?
  • In what ways does your life show that you are forgiven and accepted by God?
Recommended Reading: Psalm 89:1-52; 123:1-4; Colossians 1:15-23

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New Men's Devotional BibleToday's reading is from the
New Men's Devotional Bible
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The New Men's Devotional Biblehelps apply God's Word to a new generation of Christian men. It includes a full year of all-new devotions by well-known and not-so-well-known men of God.


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Did Jesus Claim to Be God?

Today's reading: Matthew 10:40-42

A convincing piece of evidence of Jesus' divinity is his self-perception, revealed in statements like Matthew 10:40, in which he claims that he and God are one in the same. The Gospels record many statements made by Jesus that confirm he knew of his divinity; however, some interpreters claim that Jesus never intended to make such shocking statements. Do Jesus' words really confirm that he thought he was God?

On many occasions, Jesus made claims with unprecedented authority. Although God communicated his message through many prophets in the Old Testament, they all knew that their teachings were not their own; they were merely messengers (see Isaiah 44:24-26; Haggai 1:13). Jesus, however, knew he was more than God's messenger. Ten times in Matthew, Jesus corrected misunderstandings of the law or overruled Jewish custom by his own authority, saying, "But I tell you" (see, for example, Matthew 5:22,28,32). As seen in Matthew 10:40, Jesus equated himself with God. He also knew that the Father had given him authority, and he claimed that authority (seeJohn 5:25-27; 10:17-18; 17:2).

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Today's reading is from the
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Investigate the Bible's most compelling claims: the existence of a compassionate God and the promise of eternal life through His Son, Jesus.


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