“Believers’ Instructions for Daily Living (Part 4)” 9/03/2015 by Mary Hall-Rayford

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Mary Hall-Rayford @ https://maryhallrayford.wordpress.com/

View original post @ https://maryhallrayford.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/believers-instructions-for-daily-living-part-4/

August 26, 2015 by maryhallrayford

Believers’ Instructions for Daily Living (Part 4)

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation” Then you will shine among them likes stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:12-16 NIV)

Did you ever think about the phrase–“when the cat is away the mice will play” and what it means? In this analogy, the cat is the authority and the mice the subservient to the cat. So, while the cat is in their presence, they do what they must do–play hide and seek to keep from being destroyed. When the cat is away–the mice roam freely and are totally unconcerned about being caught.

Some people honor the authority in their lives only when the authority is present–right there–can’t be missed. Employees will do their jobs while the boss is in their office, but if the boss is out of the office, many can hear a collective sigh of relief and most get lazy and lounge–doing absolutely nothing.

When teachers are out of their classrooms for a day or days–a substitute teacher can count on not getting anything done because the students have determined–the teacher isn’t here and we don’t have to do any work–even if work was left for them to do. I’ve heard all the stories–“the sub lost it; I didn’t know we had to turn it in, the sub didn’t give us any work, I took it home and forgot to bring it back.” Students make up so many excuses for not doing work that they could have saved themselves some time by simply doing the work.

Paul understood that when he was around, the people honored his presence and he’s commending them on doing so and encouraging them to keep on doing the right thing–whether he’s there or not. And that is what all Believers should be doing, right now. Living like we know (because it’s true) that God is present–in our midst at all times–and we should do the right thing at all times.

I know many won’t understand this because they’re thinking on a carnal level. “I can’t be good all the time.” Yes, we can. When we know God’s Word and have a relationship with Him, we can be good all the time. The thing that keeps us from being good is our flesh–when we give in to temptation to fit in with others who don’t know Him. I’m guilty–not intentionally, but guilty nonetheless. Sometimes, my flesh overrides my spirit and I’m immediately impressed by Holy Spirit that I need to repent for the things I allow to escape through my lips. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit” I hear every time I mess up. The bottom line is–I’m more careful to not mess up, but when I do, He reminds me–He’s right there and hears everything I say and sees everything I do.

The biggest problem for Believers is when they tend to act like God can’t see or is deaf. He’s always in the midst of everything we do and yes–He can see and hear it all. Now, we have a decision to make–to honor Him at all times, recognizing His presence or to act like He’s only around in church on Sundays. It’s our choice, and the world needs us to make it right now–for our time on this side of eternity is almost over and we have many souls to introduce to Jesus before He returns. Let’s do all things as unto The Lord, desiring to please Him only!

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DO OUR PRAYERS MATTER?

Source: DO OUR PRAYERS MATTER?

Words of wisdom from a sister in Christ !!

 

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

Posted in Daily Devotion | 1 Comment

“I make all things new.” 9/02/2015 by Pastor Rob Barkman

Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Pastor Rob Barkman for “Settled In Heaven Ministries” @ http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

View original post @ https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/the-revelation-of-jesus-christ-i-make-all-things-new/

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “I make all things new.”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 21:5

“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

Following John’s glimpse of the new life that Christians will enjoy in eternity, the Lord tells John “Behold, I make all things new”. This is in direct relation to the new life that Christians will experience throughout eternity. However, the great change that takes place in the life of a Christian is not limited to our eternal experience.

There is another verse that gives us insight into a new type of life received by the Christian as one of the blessings of Christ’s work on the cross…

2 Corinthians 5:17 says … ““Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

This verse tells us that we are changed in all aspects of our life (“all things”).

There are many, many ways in which our life is changed “in Christ”, actually too many to cover in this devotion. But there is one outstanding change that touches every area of our life that cannot be overlooked or overemphasized. It is a change made in our desires.

When we experience a genuine salvation experience, turning from our sins to Christ and accepting Him as our Savior, He becomes the Lord of our lives. He becomes number one above all else. Our greatest desire is then pointed to pleasing Him. Much like the Psalmist that said in Psalm 40:8“I delight to do thy will, O my God:…”

This burning desire touches us in every area of our life, as we become “living sacrifices” for Christ which results in no longer being “conformed to this world” but now are“transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:1-2). Put very simply this means our lives are radically changed, our desires, goals and purpose for living is now to honor and glorify Christ in all we do…

Our actions, reactions, and times of inaction all take place in an effort to show Christ to those who are around us; our words, both public and private, are now spoken with an intent to encourage, strengthen and help others, which reveals Christ’s love; and our dreams and hopes are no longer centered on the things of this world but are now centered upon things above, the eternity that awaits us in Christ.

Truly, when Christ becomes our Lord and our desires become pointed towards Him, every aspect of our lives will be radically made “new”.

Are we living a “new” life in Him? If so, we can be confident we have been saved by His grace and have become a new creature in Christ!

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-4fu

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“How can I know God’s will for my life?” 9/01/2015 posted by www.gotquestions.org

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional 

Posted by www.gotquestions.org  

Original post @  http://www.gotquestions.org/QOTW.htm

Question: “How can I know God’s will for my life? What does the Bible say about knowing God’s will?”

Answer: It is important to know God’s will. Jesus said that His true relations are those who know and do the Father’s will: “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35). In the parable of the two sons, Jesus rebukes the chief priests and elders for failing to do the will of the Father; specifically, they “did not repent and believe” (Matthew 21:32). At its most basic, the will of God is to repent of our sin and trust in Christ. If we have not taken that first step, then we have not yet accepted God’s will.

Once we receive Christ by faith, we are made God’s children (John 1:12), and He desires to lead us in His way (Psalm 143:10). God is not trying to hide His will from us; He wants to reveal it. In fact, He has already given us many, many directions in His Word. We are to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We are to do good works (1 Peter 2:15). And “it is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

God’s will is knowable and provable. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” This passage gives us an important sequence: the child of God refuses to be conformed to the world and instead allows himself to be transformed by the Spirit. As his mind is renewed according to the things of God, then he can know God’s perfect will.

As we seek God’s will, we should make sure what we are considering is not something the Bible forbids. For example, the Bible forbids stealing; since God has clearly spoken on the issue, we know it is not His will for us to be a bank robbers—we don’t even need to pray about it. Also, we should make sure what we are considering will glorify God and help us and others grow spiritually.

Knowing God’s will is sometimes difficult because it requires patience. It’s natural to want to know all of God’s will at once, but that’s not how He usually works. He reveals to us a step at a time—each move a step of faith—and allows us to continue to trust Him. The important thing is that, as we wait for further direction, we are busy doing the good that we know to do (James 4:17).

Often, we want God to give us specifics—where to work, where to live, whom to marry, what car to buy, etc. God allows us to make choices, and, if we are yielded to Him, He has ways of preventing wrong choices (see Acts 16:6–7).

The better we get to know a person, the more acquainted we become with his or her desires. For example, a child may look across a busy street at the ball that bounced away, but he doesn’t run after it, because he knows “my dad wouldn’t want me to do that.” He doesn’t have to ask his father for advice on every particular situation; he knows what his father would say because he knows his father. The same is true in our relationship to God. As we walk with the Lord, obeying His Word and relying on His Spirit, we find that we are given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We know Him, and that helps us to know His will. We find God’s guidance readily available. “The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, / but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness” (Proverbs 11:5).

If we are walking closely with the Lord and truly desiring His will for our lives, God will place His desires in our hearts. The key is wanting God’s will, not our own. “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Recommended Resources: Discovering God’s Will DVD by Andy Stanley and Logos Bible Software.

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“Find Joy in the Lord” 8/31/2015 by bruce r mills

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 

Written by bruce r mills for www.Godsmanforever.com   Revised from 3/21/2014

 

Original post found @   http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/15/find-joy-in-the-lord-10152014-by-bruce-revised-from-3212014/

Find Joy in the Lord

1 Peter 1:7…  that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,  (NKJV) 

Today I write about joy…  You may wonder why I chose to open today’s writing with a scripture verse speaking about faith…  I chose this scripture, because it goes hand in hand with the kind of inexpressiblejoy the apostle Peter speaks about in the next verse, that I want to share with you today… 

This genuine faith the apostle Peter is writing about in the opening scripture, is the kind of faith you must have, that even through the worst trial of your life (where your faith will be tested by fire), it will still remain strong…  This faith is originally given to the believer by God, and is called saving faith…because only God can change the will of the unbeliever…  For our mortal will to be changed, we must first be drawn in by God (John 6:44), before our hardened heart of stone is regenerated by Him, as we are graced with salvation…   (See note at the end for more about God’s grace, through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ)…

But once the new Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit, at the moment they become a redeemed child of God (John 14:26), the growth of this faith will only occur when the new Christian remains focused upon the Lord…  I am going to re-post the link to an answered question about “what does renewing your mind mean ?”(Romans 12:1-2)…that I used in my writing the other day, titled… “How Big is Our God ??”…   This gives us suggestions on how to best to find continuous joy in the Lord…   http://www.gotquestions.org/renewing-the-mind.html

Here is a quote from this link, which I would like to share with you… The only way to replace the error of the world’s way of thinking is to replace it with God’s truth, and the only infallible source of God’s truth is found in his revealed word, the Bible.Transformation through renewed minds comes as believers expose themselves to God’s Word through the faithful exposition of it each week in church, personal Bible study and group Bible study. A solid church that believes in preaching the Word, reading the Word and singing the Word is invaluable in helping us renew our minds.

My friends, spending time (hopefully daily) feeding upon God’s Word (Matthew 4:4), is how we as Christians best equip ourselves to fight the spiritual warfare every Christian will find themselves engaged in…after they become a redeemed child of God…  The apostle Paul tells us who we as Christians must be prepared to battle, in

Ephesians 6:12…  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  (NKJV)

God’s Word is described by the apostle Paul, as the sword of the Spiritwhich is the only offensive weapon in the 6 pieces of spiritual armor the apostle Paul writes about, in…Ephesians 6:10-20…  Here is the link describing what the apostle Paul pens about God’s whole set of protective spiritual armor, worn to fend off Satan’s attacks…  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph%206%3A10-20&version=NKJV;KJV

When the Christian focuses on the Lord as the most important Person in their life…spends time in God’s Word to put on the “Whole Armor of God”…and takes the apostle James’ advice…and submits their life to God (James 4:7-8)…their life will be transformed by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit living with-in them…

The apostle Peter goes on, after the opening scripture, with this, in…1 Peter 1:8…  whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,  (NKJV)   I believe this inexpressiblejoy the apostle Peter is speaking about, is the same God given joy Jesus tries to explain to His disciples, at the “Last Supper”, as recorded in…

John 15:10-12…  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11  These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you

My friends, Jesus is giving His disciples some last minute advice on His 2 most important commandments, which Jesus previously gave to us in…Matthew 22:36-40…   When we as Christians are able to keep these 2 commandments…the apostle Paul so eloquently and accurately pens this, from…Ephesians 3:19…we will know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” 

This supernatural love of Christ which passes knowledge, and the inexpressiblejoy allowing us as Christians tobe filled with all the fullness of God…is indeed Christ’s joy with-in us, filling us with His joy, so that our joy may be full… 

Love, joy, and peace are the first 3 (and I believe the most important) of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which are the 9 “Christ like” attributes that should be growing in the life of the true disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ…  This spiritual, life long growth process (commonly known as progressive sanctification), means the disciple of Christ is being conformed day by day into the image of Christ…Romans 8:29…  Here is a link for more about  what is called progressive sanctification…  http://www.gotquestions.org/progressive-sanctification.html

This renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2) is something we as Christians should be seeking the Lord’s help to accomplish each and every morning, as we wake up and pray to the Lord…in preparation to wage spiritual warfare with Satan and his fallen demon angels…  I call it…“putting on the Lord Jesus Christ”, as the apostle Paul pens, in…Romans 13:11-14…  (Here is the link…  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rom13%3A11-14%2C%201thes5%3A7-8&version=NKJV;KJV )

You will notice in this scripture, the apostle Paul’s comparison of putting on the armor of light, to putting on the Lord Jesus Christ…  In our own mortal strength, we will fail most every time… But in the full power of the Holy Spirit, we as Christians should be able to defeat Satan every time…1 John 4:4…  And by this same supernatural power working in us, we should be able to keep our flesh pretty much in check… (The tongue is my biggest problem) This will only become a reality, if we remain focused on the Lord, and remain in humble submission to the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit that God has given to all of His redeemed children…

Heavenly Father, help all of Your children to find joy in the Lord (even through life’s toughest trials), as we do our best to submit to Your will and Your ways…  I pray for this fullness of Christ, and the joy it will bring into all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

P.S. Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, after first being drawn in by God…John 6:44…   http://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/gods-group-thoughts-for-7112013-the-truth-about-sin/

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“The Hard Road to Forgiveness” 8/30/2015 by Ufuoma E-Ashogbon

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional  

Written by Ufuoma E-Ashogbon @  www.ufomaee.com  and re-posted on https://thei535project.wordpress.com

Original re-post @   https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/the-hard-road-to-forgiveness/

The Hard Road to Forgiveness

The road to divorce was long and hard. I must have died a thousand deaths along the way.

The first time was when he confessed to me what he had done. In tears, he told me his horrible secret and broke my heart. He destroyed my trust and became a monster in my eyes.

At his touch, I flinched. I yelled and I screamed. “I will NEVER forgive you for this”. I fell to the floor and sobbed uncontrollably tears…

He came near to me, but with one final scream, and all the strength I had left in me, I pushed him away “NO!!!”

Needless to say, divorce was imminent. He was a broken man. A dead man to me. I could barely stand his presence, let alone his voice. I picked a fight at everything and rejected his efforts to reconcile.

It wasn’t fair! I wanted to have my own mid-life crisis! Wasn’t I allowed to breakdown and wallow in my pain? How dare he try and rid me of my sorrow, when it is all I have?

The dreams, they died with him. Life was bleak and dark. I lost my smile. I lost my faith. I lost me.

The lawyers came, and the arguments intensified. Love, was no where to be found. I couldn’t fathom that he was ever the man I believed he was. The man who loved me, who loved God, would not have done what he did.

One day, amidst the tears and the sorrow, I saw him. My anger was dissipating, leaving behind deep sadness. I saw him, the man I used to love. I saw his tears and his sorrow. I saw what my rejection had done to him. Somewhere in that monster, I saw a child. Then I saw a man.

A man who made a mistake he now regretted with every fibre of his being. A man who lived in fear of losing everything he once cherished. A man whose faith in God was tested. I wanted to be there for him, but I could not.

I prayed. And I prayed. The walls were tall and thick. They did not easily fall down… I prayed more and begged God. “Oh Lord, what have I done? I’m sorry! I’m so sorry. Forgive me, Lord. Help me to forgive him too. Please restore what we lost. Don’t let the Devil win and take us away from You… Lord, please help us!”

I felt His touch. He called my name, and I turned to look at my husband. He said, “Rosey, I’m sorry”. I knew he meant it. I knew he never stopped loving me. I knew he fell. He needed me to pick him up. He needed me to forgive…

I stood up and went to him. “Please forgive me…” I cried. “Please… ” He held me close and we comforted each other. It was over!

The saying is true: “to err is human, but to forgive is divine”. As Christians, we’ve been called to a divine vocation. In this world, we shall err… But we must resist the enemy, and conquer evil with good!

There’s a war against the family, against marriage and against love. Open your eyes, open your minds and open your hearts. God has given us the grace and strength to be victorious! The power is in His exemplary love.

While we were yet sinners, He died for us (Rom 5:8). There’s no greater love than to lay down one’s own life for his friends (John 15:13). Let’s lay down our lives with submission and forgiveness and not go easily into that dark night! – Dylan Thomas.

Originally published on www.ufuomaee.com

Photo credit: http://www.beyourselfgirl.com

If you liked this post, you might like AS GRACIOUS AS GOD

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“The Greater Plan” 8/29/2015 by Nancy Ruegg

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional 

Written by Nancy Ruegg @  http://nancyaruegg.com

View original post @  http://nancyaruegg.com/2015/08/24/the-greater-plan/

The Greater Plan

August 24, 2015 by Nancy Ruegg

Twenty-eight years ago today, I sat alone at our kitchen table in a quiet house.  It was the first day of school.  Each of our three children had been delivered to their classrooms for second, fifth, and eighth grades.

I hadn’t expected to be home alone that day; my plan had included my own class of elementary students.  For thirteen years I’d focused on raising our three, and had taken a hiatus from teaching.

Two years prior I’d returned to work part-time, and taken classes to update my teaching certificate.  Then came resume-writing and the application process.  I also started substitute teaching, in order to become known within the district.

But few positions were posted.  A candidate with no recent experience was probably shuffled to the bottom of the resume pile.  I did not receive one call for an interview.

Frustration and depression clouded my spirit.  Yes, the part-time job was still available (come October), but part-time pay was not going to cover college expenses for our three children.  It was time to grow the retirement nest egg, too.

That morning, I wrote the following in my journal (with some recent editing!):

getty_rm_photo_of_woman_writing_in_journal

Dear God,

Today is the first day of school and I am without a teaching position.  Needless to say, I‘m frustrated, depressed, and confused.  Why did I put myself through such a hectic schedule last year, working part-time and going to school?  Why did I not receive even one call for an interview?  What am I doing wrong?  Am I supposed to be pursuing something else? 

These kinds of questions have plagued me for days.

Yet, Lord, you are in control, and you always work things out for my good (Romans 8:28). Intellectually I know that’s true, but emotionally I’m still struggling. 

Then last night, you led me to that article in Decision Magazine, written by the young woman who’d been ordained a minister, but had no church to pastor. 

She said, “I just don’t get it.  I told a group of friends, ‘God has given me a marvelous vision for my life, so much encouragement and training.  But now it’s as if he has put me on a shelf.  My talents are being wasted.’ ”

Months earlier someone had told her she’d have a long and illustrious career.  Articles were written about her achievements.  There were awards.

“But circumstances suddenly turned against me.  My search for a position went unrewarded.  I asked the Lord to intervene.  He was silent.”

The article included highlights from the story of Joseph.  He endured much greater tribulation than just waiting.  And though Joseph, too, must have had questions, he refused to quit believing.

The author expressed questions of her own:

“When God reveals his plans for us, aren’t the paths we take supposed to be smooth and sure?  Shouldn’t we go from Point A to Point B without a hassle?  Apparently not.”

https://nancyaruegg.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/a-to-b.png?w=640

Again, Joseph and countless others are our examples.  Yet I was beginning to think that  because no teaching position had opened up, my desire to return to the classroom was misguided, that somewhere I’d gone wrong. 

But this author says: “When we encounter seemingly insurmountable difficulties in striving to do God’s will, we may be certain that it is all part of a greater plan.”

And then she quoted Romans 8:28.  M-m-m.  The same verse you’ve been whispering to me.

In closing the author said, “The story of Joseph taught me the importance of putting my total trust in the Lord at all times and leaving it there, especially when the path ahead is covered by fog.

“Following Jesus is an adventure in living…At times we are confused by delays and detours.  We may think God is remote.  Yet the more intimate our relationship with the Master becomes, the more we will trust him for the business of our lives.”

Oh, Lord, thank you for speaking to me so directly through this timely article. 

“I WILL wait on you; I will (try to!) be courageous and allow you to strengthen my heart” (Psalm 27:14).

https://nancyaruegg.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/tumblr_n1e6rw5l3u1svej5no1_500.png?w=640

The following Monday, August 31, I began a one-week substitute job at a nearby elementary school.  I’d subbed there before.

On September 11, the principal offered me a position; one of the third grade teachers was moving to another school.

I stood before my own class on September 15, breathless from the quick reversal of circumstances.

But my questions were never answered.  I don’t know if my resume was faulty.   I don’t know why no one called for an interview.  I don’t know why God didn’t open up a position sooner.

Here’s what I do know:

  • In that time of delay and disappointment, I experienced a small miracle.  Through that article I just happened to read, he provided the peace, hope, and comfort I needed.

  • God was perfecting my ability to trust in him—no matter what.

  • ·        He was also perfecting patience, humility, and submission.

Important lessons, right?

Note to self:  When Plan A does not unfold, it is likely a greater plan is being fulfilled.  Our Plan A is often circumstantial; God’s greater plan is most often spiritual.

Can I submit to that?

(Photo credits:  www.webmd.com; http://www.robertson.ms; http://www.tumblr.com.)

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