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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2006, 12:47:53 AM »

God has you covered!

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

This was good word for us, so we thought we'd share it with you.

A missionary in the New Hebrides Islands, described his experience with God's divine angelic protection. Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, desiring to kill him and his wife and burn the place down. All through that terror filled night, they prayed that God would deliver them from this evil. When daylight came they were amazed to see the natives leave, looking frustrated.

One year later, the chief of that tribe gave his life to the Lord. Remembering what had happened that terrible night, the missionary asked the chief what had kept him and his men from burning down the house that night. The chief replied in surprise, "Well,” he said, “all those men were there with you!” “What do you mean?” asked the missionary, “There were no men there, just my wife and I.” The chief argued that the tribe had seen many men standing guard -- hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the house, so they were afraid to attack.

Fear not! You are engraved on the palm of His hand! Thousands may fall at your side but you shall not be harmed. You are loved and cherished, and no weapon formed against you shall prosper!
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2006, 12:48:34 AM »

Don't lose focus!

Romans 16:25-27 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

In light of the recent news concerning the widening of the Panama Canal, I'd like to share an interesting story I came across.

Colonel G.W. Goethals, the man responsible for the completion of the Panama Canal, had major problems with the climate and the geography as it was being built. If that wasn't enough to deal with, he had an even bigger problem. It was the growing criticism back home from those who predicted he'd never finish the project and had opinions about how to do it better.

One day, a colleague asked him, "Aren't you going to answer all these critics?"
"In time," answered Goethals.
"When?" his partner asked.
"When the canal is finished.

We, who know Jesus and have given our lives to his purposes have a big task at hand -- a bit bigger, I would say, than the building the Panama Canal. There is a world of people who are hungry to know God and the time is short.

The climate and geography may not be ideal and people around us might be critical, but the task still remains -- and we who love God must all contribute and stay focused!! Yes, we may come across some obstacles along the way but we cannot let them distract us from our calling!

If you haven't been focused on sharing the Good News of Messiah with the lost, let's take this opportunity make it a goal today. If each of us led only one person to the Kingdom, can you imagine what a difference that would make?! Let's make it a point to lead at least one person to the Lord before the holidays! People are searching -- it's not as hard as you think!
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2006, 12:49:12 AM »

Act now!

Romans 12:17-18,21 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

One minister tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get
even! Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has hurt me!"

The minister suggested an ingenious plan "Why don't you go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him. Make him believe you love him. Then -- after you've convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, drop the bomb. Tell him you want a divorce. That will really hurt him.

"With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful, beautiful! Boy, will he ever be devastated!" And she did it with enthusiasm. For two months she showed love and kindness, she listened, served and reinforced. When she didn't return to his office, the minister called. "So.are you ready now to go through with the divorce?" "Divorce?" she exclaimed. "Never! I discovered that I really do love him."

This woman's actions changed her feelings. Whether it's a tough relationship, a long-time fear, or a task that seems too big for us to accomplish, sometimes we need to act in faith in order to see it conquered for the Kingdom!

Whatever it may be, let's give it to the Lord today and ask Him to motivate us to go forth with strength and passion -- for His sake!
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2006, 12:49:41 AM »

Don't forget!

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Junk mail -- you would think that in Israel there would be no such thing! But today we stopped at the post office to get our mail and our box was full to the brim! Full of junk mail advertisements, bills and renewal notices.

The junk, we can just throw away, the bills, unfortunately can't be ignored, but the renewal notices, those we're thankful to see. Without them, we'd likely forget that we need to renew our licenses, our credit cards, membership cards, whatever else. Without those renewal notices, we might go to the ATM one day and not be able to get the cash we need because our card is expired -- oops! We might be asked to show our identification and the authorities might say, "Sorry Charlie, this license is not valid - you didn't renew it!"

Sadly though, the most important things in life that need renewing, do not come with renewal notices. We will never open a piece of mail and see a notice to renew our love for our spouses, our children or our friends. But if we don't continually renew our love for them, it will eventually grow cold. We'll also never receive the most important renewal notice -- to remind us to renew our relationship with God. Our relationship with God is the most important relationship we can have. It must be renewed daily!

In Hebrew, the word "le-cha-desh" means to renew. Here you go. Here is your renewal notice. Renew your love for the ones you love today. Renew your love for the Lord. Renew your love for the things of God and for his calling upon your lives.

We all need a little renewing today. Let's ask the Lord to create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. There is so much work to be done!
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« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2006, 12:51:24 AM »

Grow up!

Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Ever use that phrase on your kids? "Come on, will you grow up already?!"

As our little two year old explorer, Elianna, is becoming more agile and able to communicate her desires, she's discovering more opportunities each day -- climbing on the furniture, opening the refridgerator and asking for various items, reaching things she was never able to reach before, whew! She's experiencing her new freedom and we're experiencing major exhaustion! But we've noticed that with her new found freedom comes the desire to have even more freedom -- and when something doesn't go quite the way she wants when she wants it, uh - oh, look out. Screaming, crying the whole nine yards. We are trying to teach her that this kind of behavior is not acceptable but it seems that she won't fully understand that concept until she "grows up" a bit.

One sign of maturity is the ability to delay gratification, or deny it completely. Wanting our way when we want it is childish behavior and doesn't work with God's plan for an anointed life! This may sound harsh, but I'm speaking to myself too!

There are no shortcuts to God. We cannot demand our way and our timing with Him. He has a perfect plan based upon His desires and His timing and if we want to go God's way, we must comply! And not only that, the things of God take time too -- developing a strong and annointed prayer life takes time a focused mind and spent with the Father, it doesn't come overnight. Reading and understanding the Word and applying it to our lives, it takes time and much practice!

Let's grow up today. God wants us to be a mature bride -- one ready to rule with Him when He comes! There's so much work to do!

All of these  e-mail Devotional are supplied by Worthy Devotionals.
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« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2006, 11:33:27 PM »

Hello? Can you hear me now?

Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Here in Israel, cell phones are all the rage. You wouldn't believe it but parents even buy cell phones for their kids and send them to school with them in their schoolbags. I'm talking about six and seven year old kids! While it is true that part of the reason for this cell phone craze stems from the fact that violence goes on here daily and people want to be able to contact one another in the event of an emergency, I would still say that it's somewhat excessive.

Mark Twain was once asked to record a Christmas message on an early gramophone. This is what he said, "It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, and admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage--every man and woman of us all throughout the whole earth--may eventually be gathered in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone."

Not that technology is a bad thing, but I think we have become entirely too dependent on it! Telephones, cell phones, televisions, computers, X-Boxes, MP3's. what's next?!

Sometimes I feel like we just need to go back to the basics. Put all those things away in a closet somewhere and just sit down with the Word and with our Father. He wants to whisper in our ears sweet words of encouragement and wisdom. He wants to tell us of His wonderful plans for our lives and reveal to us the extraordinary mysteries of His Kingdom. But we're too busy taking calls!

I believe God is calling us to a quiet place today. Let's put all the distractions away for an hour or two and spend some time with the Lord! I believe He'll make it worth our while!
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« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2006, 11:34:15 PM »

Pour yourself out!

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Charles Finney wrote about how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit. He said, "[These infillings] went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this...Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power. I would go and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray with the same results. I would they set apart a day for private fasting and prayer...after humbling myself and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life."

D.L Moody said, "I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God's law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled."

Let's get right with the Lord today. Let's set aside some time to get before Him and empty ourselves of the world's influences and our selfish ways that we might be filled with His power and anointing! There's so much work to be done!
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« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2006, 11:35:20 PM »

It only takes one!

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

My wife told me about a conversation she had with a friend yesterday. It touched my heart and I think it will yours too.

Rivka was sharing with a close friend of ours a few details about a personal struggle she is dealing with. Our friend's response was a very simple one, yet it sank deep within Riv's heart.

She only replied with four words, "One drop of blood." And, oh how true those four words ring.

One drop of Jesus' blood has the power to heal every infirmity and even the most impossible of relationships. One drop of blood covers over our greatest mistakes and our most humiliating failures. Just one drop of His blood brought redemption to all who believe.

Very simple -- one drop of blood covers all.

Let's give our hearts over to Him once again today and allow His blood to wash over our hearts, bringing redemption and healing for all our wounds. We don't need to be perfect. We need to be people who trust in His Word and the power of His blood. That's what this world is hungry to see.
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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2006, 11:37:23 PM »

Don't be chicken!

Isaiah 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

While walking through the forest one day, a farmer found a young eagle who had apparently fallen out of his nest. He took it home and put it in his barnyard with his chickens and there it stayed for years. It wasn't long before the little eagle learned to eat and behave like the chickens.

One day a naturalist passed by the farm and saw the eagle confined in the barnyard with the chickens. When he inquired about this strange sight, the farmer told the man his story. "Unfortunately," said the farmer, "the poor little guy just never learned to fly." "Still," the naturalist sighed, "he has the heart of an eagle, and can surely be taught to fly. Will you allow me to work with him?" The farmer agreed, but with much disbelief.

The naturalist picked up the eagle and lifted him toward the sky and said, "You belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly." The eagle, however, was confused. He did not know who he was, and seeing the chickens eating their food, he jumped down to be with them again. The naturalist took the bird to the roof of the house and urged him again, saying, "You are an eagle. Stretch forth your wings and fly." But the eagle was afraid and jumped down once again to be with his chicken friends. Finally the naturalist took the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain. There he held the king of the birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, "You are an eagle. You belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly!" The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard and then up to the sky. Slowly, he stretched his wings, and with a triumphant cry, he soared away into the heavens.

Somewhere along the line, we like this poor young eagle, were put in a lowly barn with the chickens of the world around us. We learned to live and eat from the ground and grew up believing that there was not much more to do than sit and cluck all day. But the reality is that we are eagles! We were created to fly and even soar! God has great purpose for our lives! If we would only realize who we are in Him!

Let's remember who we are today and stop acting like chickens! We are the head and not the tail! We are Kings and Priests! We have great things to do for the Kingdom!
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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2006, 11:43:55 PM »

Practice makes perfect!

Psalms 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

In Budapest, a man goes to the rabbi and complains, "Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?"

The rabbi answers, "Take your goat into the room with you." The man in incredulous, but the rabbi insists. "Do as I say and come back in a week."

A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before. "We cannot stand it," he tells the rabbi. "The goat is filthy."

The rabbi then tells him, "Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week."

A radiant man returns to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, "Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there's no goat -- only the nine of us."

This is a funny story but how many of us know how to be truly thankful in the face of trial? Many powerhouses of the faith who preceded us realized the importance of mastering thankfulness. How much more should we who have so much more than they!

We have an opportunity this Thanksgiving week, to practice being thankful! If we’re struggling today, let’s practice paising God in thankfulness for all the good things He's done! He deserves all of our praise regardless of our circumstance!

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« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2006, 04:16:54 PM »

Give thanks with a grateful heart!

1 Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

This week we’re focusing on thanks giving.

Many years ago, as the story is told, a devout king was disturbed by the ingratitude of his royal court. He prepared a large banquet for them. When the king and his royal guests were seated, by prearrangement, a beggar shuffled into the hall, sat down at the king's table, and gorged himself with food. Without saying a word, he then left the room. The guests were furious and asked permission to seize the tramp and tear him limb from limb for his ingratitude.

The king replied, "That beggar has done only once to an earthly king what each of you does three times each day to God. You sit there at the table and eat until you are satisfied. Then you walk away without recognizing God, or expressing one word of thanks to Him."

How often do we neglect to thank God for the goodness He so graciously bestows upon us? We have so much!

So often we’re asking and asking and asking for the things we want of God. Let’s make thanks giving a regular part, even a greater part of our prayer life!
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« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2006, 04:17:37 PM »

Feeling itchy?

1 Thes. 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

In her book “The Hiding Place” Corrie ten Boom relates an incident that taught her always to be thankful. She and her sister Betsy had just been transferred to the worst German prison camp they had seen yet, called Ravensbruck. The barracks were extremely overcrowded and horribly flea-infested.

After their scripture reading in 1st Thessalonians that morning, where the Lord reminded them to rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances,

Betsy suggested they stop and thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters. At first, Corrie was appalled by the idea. She flatly refused to give thanks for that smelly, dirty, flea-ridden place. But Betsy persisted -- and Corrie finally succumbed to her pleadings.

It was by a miracle of God that Corrie and Betsy were able to smuggle their Bible into the camp. If the guards found out that the women were holding nightly Bible studies in their barracks, they surely would have been punished harshly, maybe even killed. During the months they spent at that camp, however, no guard ever said one word.

It was not until several months later that they learned the reason why the guards would hardly ever come into their barracks. They wouldn't enter the barracks because of the fleas!!

Perhaps you're dealing with some difficult circumstances today. But who knows? There may be a purpose beyond our understanding! Let's choose trust the Lord and maintain an attitude of thankfulness in every situation.
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« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2006, 04:18:29 PM »

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, "Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this." Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, "We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this."

You see, there is always a way to thank God, even in the worst of circumstances. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Let’s experience true happy thanks giving today -- let’s will to thank God, and do it happily! As we draw near to Him with our thanks, He will draw near to us and bring victory!
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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2006, 04:19:31 PM »

Hungry?

Numbers 11:6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

My wife and I are both big Keith Green fans. He sang a great song about the children of Israel in the wilderness complaining to Moses that they "Wannna go back to Egypt".

In the passage above, God had been sending Manna from heaven to feed them. You would think that the Israelites would remain in awe of how God kept raining down this special heavenly delicacy that was able to feed millions and millions of people. But after a while it just became commonplace, even boring. Every morning they would witness God's miraculous provision right before their very eyes, yet they wanted something else, something better!

But aren't we to blame as well? We haven't had a car in over two years here in the Land. We were crying out to the Lord for a miracle and low and behold. a few weeks ago the Lord provided. He enabled us to buy an oldie that needs some fixing up, but nevertheless a goodie, that will probably last us a nice long time. But not a week later... we were discussing how nice it would be to have something better!

We get accustomed to our blessings so quickly, don't we?! We're always looking at what others have and wanting more! Emerson said that if the stars came out only once a year, everybody would stay up all night to behold them. But we have seen the stars so often that we don't even bother to look anymore! We have grown accustomed to our blessings and that's a thing that we, as Christians must strive to change.

Let's examine our hearts today, and purpose to appreciate the goodness of God's provision upon our lives. Truly, we are blessed and we thank you Lord for your goodness!
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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2006, 04:20:29 PM »

It's story time!

Matthew 13:34-35 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

Here’s an old Yiddish tale that we found.

Once upon a time, Truth went about the streets as naked as the day he was born. As a result, no one would let him into their homes. Whenever people caught sight of him, they turned away and fled. One day when Truth was sadly wandering about, he came upon Parable. Now, Parable was dressed in splendid clothes of beautiful colors. And Parable, seeing Truth, said, "Tell me, neighbor, what makes you look so sad?" Truth replied bitterly, "Ah, brother, things are bad -- very bad. I'm old -- very old, and no one wants to acknowledge me. No one wants anything to do with me."

Hearing that, Parable said, "People don't run away from you because you're old. I too am old -- very old. But the older I get, the better people like me. I'll tell you a secret: Everyone likes things disguised and prettied up a bit. Let me lend you some splendid clothes like mine, and you'll see that the very people who pushed you aside will invite you into their homes and be glad of your company." Truth took Parable's advice and put on the borrowed clothes. And from that time on, Truth and Parable have gone hand in hand together and everyone loves them. They make a happy pair.'

Jesus told many truths with parables. We can see that as we read through the gospels. Jesus rarely (maybe even never) began with scripture when he was among commoners. It was only in the synagogue, among the scholars that he did so. Most of the time, Jesus told stories about everyday things in order to bring His strong message in a way that would keep his listeners attention!

Perhaps you've been sharing Scripture with someone and the message is just not getting across the way you’d hoped. Each person is different. There is no exact universal recipe for how to share our faith. We must sense where a person is -- ask the Lord to show us where to start -- try different approaches! Maybe try something different today. Tell a story -- maybe even your story!

All of these  e-mail Devotional are supplied by Worthy Devotionals.
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