Saturday, July 07, 2012

Daily Devotional Saturday 7th July

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35 NIV

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."
Proverbs 1:33
Divine love is rendered conspicuous when it shines in the midst of judgments. Fair is that lone star which smiles through the rifts of the thunder clouds; bright is the oasis which blooms in the wilderness of sand; so fair and so bright is love in the midst of wrath. When the Israelites provoked the Most High by their continued idolatry, he punished them by withholding both dew and rain, so that their land was visited by a sore famine; but while he did this, he took care that his own chosen ones should be secure. If all other brooks are dry, yet shall there be one reserved for Elijah; and when that fails, God shall still preserve for him a place of sustenance; nay, not only so, the Lord had not simply one "Elijah," but he had a remnant according to the election of grace, who were hidden by fifties in a cave, and though the whole land was subject to famine, yet these fifties in the cave were fed, and fed from Ahab's table too by His faithful, God-fearing steward, Obadiah. Let us from this draw the inference, that come what may, God's people are safe. Let convulsions shake the solid earth, let the skies themselves be rent in twain, yet amid the wreck of worlds the believer shall be as secure as in the calmest hour of rest. If God cannot save his people under heaven, he will save them in heaven. If the world becomes too hot to hold them, then heaven shall be the place of their reception and their safety. Be ye then confident, when ye hear of wars, and rumours of wars. Let no agitation distress you, but be quiet from fear of evil. Whatsoever cometh upon the earth, you, beneath the broad wings of Jehovah, shall be secure. Stay yourself upon his promise; rest in his faithfulness, and bid defiance to the blackest future, for there is nothing in it direful for you. Your sole concern should be to show forth to the world the blessedness of hearkening to the voice of wisdom.


"How many are mine iniquities and sins?"
Job 13:23
Have you ever really weighed and considered how great the sin of God's people is? Think how heinous is your own transgression, and you will find that not only does a sin here and there tower up like an alp, but that your iniquities are heaped upon each other, as in the old fable of the giants who piled Pelion upon Ossa, mountain upon mountain. What an aggregate of sin there is in the life of one of the most sanctified of God's children! Attempt to multiply this, the sin of one only, by the multitude of the redeemed, "a number which no man can number," and you will have some conception of the great mass of the guilt of the people for whom Jesus shed his blood. But we arrive at a more adequate idea of the magnitude of sin by the greatness of the remedy provided. It is the blood of Jesus Christ, God's only and well-beloved Son. God's Son! Angels cast their crowns before him! All the choral symphonies of heaven surround his glorious throne. "God over all, blessed forever. Amen." And yet he takes upon himself the form of a servant, and is scourged and pierced, bruised and torn, and at last slain; since nothing but the blood of the incarnate Son of God could make atonement for our offences. No human mind can adequately estimate the infinite value of the divine sacrifice, for great as is the sin of God's people, the atonement which takes it away is immeasurably greater. Therefore, the believer, even when sin rolls like a black flood, and the remembrance of the past is bitter, can yet stand before the blazing throne of the great and holy God, and cry, "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea rather, that hath risen again." While the recollection of his sin fills him with shame and sorrow, he at the same time makes it a foil to show the brightness of mercy--guilt is the dark night in which the fair star of divine love shines with serene splendour.

[Ā'chish] - serpent charmer.
  1. Son of Maoch and the king of Gath to whom David fled (1 Sam. 21:10-14; 27:2-12).
  2. A king of Gath, who reigned about forty years later than No. 1, in Solomon's time (1 Kings 2:39, 40).

Today's reading: Job 32-33, Acts 14 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Job 32-33

So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. 3 He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him. 4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. 5 But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused....

Today's New Testament reading: Acts 14

In Iconium
1 At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders. 4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the apostles.5There was a plot afoot among both Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to mistreat them and stone them. 6 But they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, 7 where they continued to preach the gospel....
Lisa Whittle
July 6, 2011
Lisa Whittle
"Share each other's burdens..." Galatians 6:2a (NLT)
There are times all of us find ourselves in the trenches in life - those deep places we can't seem to climb our way out of.
Sometimes those places involve decisions of our own, where we made a conscious choice to do something that wound up hurting us. Other times, someone made a decision for us that put us there, without our permission.
Either way, there is a great need - a need for someone to understand, someone to listen, someone to be available for us, to grieve with us and cry with us - no matter how dark it may get.
I've been in the trenches at different times in my own life. I found myself there when I was in college and my pastor-father was facing potential prison. I wound up there, again, when I partied hard to numb the pain, causing even more for myself. Years later, I found myself in a trench when my husband lost his job and was out of work for an extended period of time.
It was in those moments that I longed for someone to say to me, "I'm here with you. I won't leave you. You will get through this, and I will love you no matter what." Because at the end of the day, all of us want to know that there is someone who won't walk away from us, even when they see how ugly things can get in our biggest moments of struggle.
It is the mark of a true friend. It is a rare find.
I once heard a speaker say how in her community, it was not unusual for people to sit with one another for up to seven days during times of loss and grief. As I listened to her speak, I thought about how amazing and important that aspect of community could be to us in our greatest moments of pain - those moments we find ourselves in a deep trench from which we won't easily emerge.
Our key verse refers to this beautiful aspect of friendship when it says, simply, "Share each other's burdens..." For the believer, this is not a suggestion. It is something Jesus expects us to do as we represent Him.
One of the best ways we spread the love of Christ is through our selfless acts of love and serving another. It's not easy to share in someone's burden, especially when that burden is great. But it is right. It is good. It is what Jesus does for us.
Many of us have been in the trenches, so we understand this hard position. It is where some of us are even now. Some of the greatest ministry Jesus will ever do in our lives is when we find ourselves in a place we can't maneuver, claw, or dig our way out of. It is the place He meets us because our desperation finally drives us to Him - a place we most need to be.
Friends, let's keep our eyes and ears open for the opportunity to get in the trenches and share in the burdens of another. Let's be willing to be there with our friends who find themselves in a position they don't want to handle alone. Let's remember the One who is always present in the trenches with us.
And let's thank Him for His care, presence and faithfulness in the midst of our needs...the trench moments of our life.
Dear Lord, we are grateful that there is no trench too deep, no place too dark that you can't reach us. It is because of You we are never alone. Thank You for Your care and faithful love. Help us to share in the burdens of another, and seek You in our greatest moments of need. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Share your thoughts and stories with Lisa on her website.
Will you join Proverbs 31 Ministries in the trenches of women's lives? To find out how you can be part of bringing the hope of Christ and the life-giving power of God's word to women around the world, click here.
The 7 Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do by Kathie Reimer and Lisa Whittle
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:
Understand the importance of community by reading the characteristics of the first church in Acts 2:43-47.
Ask Jesus to give you His eyes to see others' needs, and His heart to help people in trenches by making yourself available to them.
Remember times when you needed someone to be in the trenches with you. Think about how Jesus has met that need in your own life and thank Him today.
Join Proverbs 31 Ministries in the trenches of women's lives. Find out how you can be part of bringing the life-giving power of God's Word to women around the world by clicking here.
Have I recognized the ways Jesus has gotten in the trenches with me?
Am I willing to get in the trenches with someone in need?
Power Verses:
Psalm 55:22a, "Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you." (NLT)
John 13:35, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (NLT)
© 2011 by Lisa Whittle. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
July 6, 2011
The Landowner Returns
Today's Truth
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
Friend To Friend
Once there was a landowner who decided to go on a long journey. He called three of his servants together and divided up their responsibilities, each according to his own ability. He also entrusted them with a certain amount of money to oversee. The money was weighed out in what he called "talents." To one servant he gave five talents, to one servant he gave two talents, and to the other he gave one talent.
After many months, the master returned and met with the servants to settle their accounts. The servant who had been given five talents had immediately invested the money and doubled his profits - giving the master back ten talents. The servant with two talents had invested his money and doubled his as well - giving the master back four talents. To both of these the Master said, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master's happiness!"
But then there was the servant with the one talent. He was a fearful and lazy man who didn't want to take a chance. He didn't invest the money at all, but rather dug a hole in the ground and hid his talent in the dirt. ""Master," he said as he made up excuses, "I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you."
The Master was furious with the fearful servant. He took the one talent and gave it to the one with ten who had invested well.
Has God given you "talents" that He expects you to invest? One such "talent" may be life experiences such as a trial or struggle that you have overcome. Perhaps God now wants you to use that experience to comfort others in a similar situation with what you have learned.
In Second Corinthians, Paul wrote: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so thatwe can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ ourcomfort overflows" (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ). God does not comfort us simply to make us comfortable. God comforts us to make us to comfort other people.
Take an inventory of your life and ask God what life experiences He would like for you to invest in others.
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, please show me if I have been hiding my "talent" rather than investing in others. Your Word tells me that I have been given spiritual I hiding them? Your Word tells me that I have been "blessed with every spiritual blessing." Am I investing those blessings or hording them to myself? Open my eyes to the gifts and talents you have given me and direct me in the way to invest in others.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
What are the "talents" that God has entrusted to you?
What are some ways you can invest what you've gone through in the lives of others?
What are some ways your life experiences could be used to comfort others?
What will the Master say to you when you see Him face to face? Will He say, "Well done?"
If you are using what you've gone through in the past to minister to others, I'd love to hear your story. Let's share on Facebook. Your story might be just what someone needs to hear.
More From The Girlfriends
Let's don't waste our sorrows! If you would like to learn more about how to turn your pain into purpose, your hurt into hope and your miseries into ministry, then you'll want to read Sharon's book, Your Scars Are Beautiful to God!
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


40-Day Journey with Bonhoeffer Header

Day 36

When another Christian falls into obvious sin, an admonition is imperative, because God's Word demands it. The practice of discipline in the community of faith begins with friends who are close to one another. Words of admonition and reproach must be risked when a lapse from God's Word in doctrine or life endangers a community that lives together, and with it the whole community of faith. Nothing can be more cruel than that leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than that severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one's community back from the path of sin. When we allow nothing but God's Word to stand between us, judging and helping, it is a service of mercy, an ultimate offer of genuine community. Then it is not we who are judging; God alone judges, and God's judgment is helpful and healing.

Biblical Wisdom

My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Galatians 6:1

Questions to Ponder

  • Is sin taken seriously in today's church and by today's Christians? How is it, or how is it not?
  • Why might it be "cruel" not to admonish someone whose behavior is obviously sinful? What are the dangers in admonishing someone?
  • How might the church and individual Christians avoid being hypocritical and judgmental when admonishing a Christian brother or sister?

Psalm Fragment

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
   and put away your indignation toward us. Psalm 85:4

Journal Reflections

  • Have you ever been admonished by another Christian? If so, write about the experience. How was it done? How did it feel? What were the results?
  • Have you ever offered a word of admonition to another person? If so, write about the experience. How did it feel? What were the results?
  • If you answered no to the above two questions, spend some time in writing reflecting upon the idea of taking sin seriously enough to admonish another and receive admonition from another.

Prayer for Today

Lord, open my ears that I may hear from your Word whatever words of admonition I need to hear that I might grow in love and faithfulness.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.
Missed the first couple devotionals in this series, or want to re-read an earlier devotional? You can find a complete online archive of Bonhoeffer devotionals at The first devotional can be found here.

db-book-image40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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One of the most widely admired theologians of the 20th century, Bonhoeffer was a profound yet clear thinker. Klug selects significant passages from his works, pairs them with appropriate Scripture, sets up a journal-writing exercise, and concludes with prayer.

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