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Getbig Misc Discussion Boards => Religious Debates & Threads => Topic started by: Colossus_500 on April 17, 2006, 08:57:38 AM



Title: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 17, 2006, 08:57:38 AM
Mods, can we make this a sticky thread?

I thought it would be cool to pass on different devotionals that I read. Please share your devotionals as well.  I'll start with this link from devotional that I read during lunch today:

www.activeword.org/devotional/index.cfm?d=20060417 (http://www.activeword.org/devotional/index.cfm?d=20060417)

and here's the devotional:

Different Drummer

Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.) (1 Samuel 24:2-3 NKJV)

You couldn't script a better scenario. Saul is bent on hunting down and killing David, but before he sets out with his troops, he attends to his needs in the very cave where David is hiding with his men! It certainly appeared that God was delivering David's enemy into his hands and that this was his chance of a lifetime. After all, Saul had been trying to kill David for the past six chapters. Why not take this opportunity to kill Saul? Even his comrades chimed in with a word of encouragement (1 Samuel 24:4).

It seems only natural and wise for David to take advantage of this situation. But what seems right in the natural isn't always right in the spiritual. God's people aren't supposed to let what's natural dictate what they do; they're called to march to the beat of a different drummer, a beat set by Jesus:

'You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you . . . .' (Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV)

It's only natural to hate and hurt our enemies, but our spiritual responsibility is to rise above the natural and love them with the love God has shown us. David understood this and took a pass on the chance to harm Saul:

And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul's robe. (1 Samuel 24:4 NKJV)

We need to emulate David by rising above the natural temptation to hurt our enemies when given the chance. Instead, Christ's love should be directing our steps and dictating our actions.

DIG - Why didn't David kill Saul when he had the chance?

DISCOVER - Do you have a 'Saul' in your life? How do you apply God's love to your relationship with him or her?

DISPLAY - Take some time right now to pray for your enemies and ask God to fill you with His love for them.




Title: Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on April 17, 2006, 10:16:53 AM
Great idea Colossus :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 19, 2006, 08:47:33 AM
Your Dwelling Place
by Max Lucado

You were intended to live in your Father's house.

Any place less than his is insufficient. Any place far from his is
dangerous. Only the home built for your heart can protect your heart. And
your Father wants you to dwell in him.

No, you didn't misread the sentence and I didn't miswrite it. Your
Father doesn't just ask you to live with him, he asks you to live in him.
As Paul wrote, "For in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts
17:28 NIV).

Moses knew this. "LORD," he prayed, "you have been our home since the
beginning" (Ps. 90:1). What a powerful thought: God as your home.

Your home is familiar to you. No one has to tell you how to locate your
bedroom; you don't need directions to the kitchen. After a hard day
scrambling to find your way around in the world, it's assuring to come
home to a place you know. God can be equally familiar to you. 

With time you can learn where to go for nourishment, where to hide for
protection, where to turn for guidance.

God can be your dwelling place.

God wants to be your dwelling place. He has no interest in being a
weekend getaway or a Sunday bungalow or a summer cottage. Don't consider
using God as a vacation cabin or an eventual retirement home. He wants
you under his roof now and always. He wants to be your mailing address,
your point of reference; he wants to be your home.

Listen to the promise of his Son, "If my people love me they will obey
my teaching. My father will love them and we will come to them and make
our home with them" (John 14:23).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 20, 2006, 02:02:56 PM
Morning and Evening
A Devotional Series by Charles H. Spurgeon

Morning Devotion
Thursday, April 20, 2006

"That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death." --Hebrews 2:14

O child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the devil's power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear dying. Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of thy Redeemer's death, thou mayst be strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home --a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage? How many wearying winds must beat upon the sail ere it shall be reefed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be tossed upon the waves before it comes to that sea which knows no storm? Listen to the answer, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." Yon ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It did but spread its sail and it was there. Like that ship of old, upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, "Peace, be still", and immediately it came to land. Think not that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth they open in heaven. The horses of fire are not an instant on the road. Then, O child of God, what is there for thee to fear in death, seeing that through the death of thy Lord its curse and sting are destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob's ladder whose foot is in the dark grave, but its top reaches to glory everlasting.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 21, 2006, 05:50:07 AM
Learning the Hard Way

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
--James 4:4


A phrase Solomon used many times in Ecclesiastes is "under the sun."  By using this phrase, Solomon was speaking of a horizontal, strictly human viewpoint of life.  He was declaring there was no fulfillment in
life under the sun--in other words, in life without God.  He'd learned the hard way.  Once he began his descent into human excess, Solomon rarely looked above the sun for answers.  He proved that the attempt to meet the deepest needs of our lives, while leaving God out of the equation, will leave us empty.

This is ironic when you consider his life story.  King David, the man after God's own heart, had raised Solomon in a godly home.  When David was on his deathbed, he had called young Solomon in to remind him of what really mattered in life. He told him, "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind . . . " (1 Chronicles 28:9).

In other words, David had been saying, "Son, you can't live off of your old man's faith. You need to get your own.  You need to serve God with an undivided heart.  You need to completely commit yourself to Him.  This is the secret I have learned about life."

For a time Solomon did follow the words that his father gave him.  Then he allowed his heart to be divided.  He tried to love the Lord and the world.  According to Scripture, that just won't wash.  The Bible reminds us "friendship with the world is enmity with God" (James 4:4).  If you are going to be the world's friend, you are going to be God's enemy.

--Greg Laurie, author of Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Mr. Intenseone on April 21, 2006, 08:07:02 PM
Greg Laurie is awesome. He used to be one of the Pastors at Calvary Chaple Costa Mesa. I'm enrolling my son next fall for school, I think it's going to be a great experiance for him!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 24, 2006, 05:49:24 AM
Greg Laurie is awesome. He used to be one of the Pastors at Calvary Chaple Costa Mesa. I'm enrolling my son next fall for school, I think it's going to be a great experiance for him!
I listen to Greg Laurie every chance I get.  He is an incredible speaker.  Alot of those guys from Calvary Chapel are on a web portal where you can listen to them online.  Here's the link:  www.oneplace.com (http://www.oneplace.com)

Some of my other favorite pastors to listen to are.

Ravi Zacharias
Chuck Swindoll
Chuck Smith
Alastaire Begg
J. Vernon McGee (though he is deceased, his messages are still played on the radio and online)
Adrian Rogers (though he is deceased, his messages are still played on the radio and online)
Leo Giovanetti
Bob Coy
Joe Fosche

there's a host of others that i like to listen to, but these guys have helped me tremendously in my growth. 

Intense, your son is a very lucky young man to have a dad who invest in his future like you have.  It'll take him a long way and will make his walk a little bit easier (it's never easy is it?).  Kudos to you, bro. 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 24, 2006, 08:13:58 AM
On Gratitude

"Strive to be conscious of all the riches God has given you, and your heart will be full of love. You will think only of helping others, of lighting the way for them. Someone who feels rich cannot keep everything he has for himself; he feels compelled to share it. Whereas someone who is not aware of his wealth and spends his time making lists of everything he lacks will naturally resent those he believes are richer than himself. As far as he is concerned, they have too much. He has no alternative but to attack them and either take or destroy what should be his. It is always poverty, poverty in all its forms – material, moral and spiritual – that is at the root of every crime. So, if you want to be a benefactor of humanity, be conscious of all the riches God has given you, and know that no one can take them from you."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 24, 2006, 10:59:04 AM
This one is pretty long, but it's a great read.  Here's an excerpt from Ravi Zacharias' book "Cries of The Heart". 

Cries of the Heart
Ravi Zacharias
 
Some time ago my wife, Margie, returned from an errand visibly shaken by a heartrending conversation she had experienced. She was about the very simple task of selecting a picture and a frame when a dialogue began with the owner of the shop. When Margie said that she would like a scene with children in it the woman quite casually asked if the people for whom the picture was being purchased had any children of their own. "No," replied my wife, "but that is not by their choice." There was a momentary pause. Suddenly, like a hydrant uncorked, a question burst with unveiled hostility from the other woman’s lips: "Have you ever lost a child?" Margie was somewhat taken aback and immediately sensed that a terrible tragedy probably lurked behind the abrupt question.

The conversation had obviously taken an unsettling turn. But even at that she was not prepared for the flood of emotion and anger that was yet to follow, from this one who was still a stranger. The sorry tale quickly unfolded. The woman proceeded to speak of the two children she had lost, each loss carrying a heartache all its own. "Now," she added, "I am standing by watching my sister as she is about to lose her child." There was no masking of her bitterness and no hesitancy about where to ascribe the blame for these tragedies. Unable to utter anything that would alleviate the pain of this gaping wound in the woman’s heart, my wife began to say, "I am sorry," when she was interrupted with a stern rebuke, "Don’t say anything!" She finally managed to be heard just long enough to say in parting, "I’ll be praying for you through this difficult time." But even that brought a crisp rejoinder—"Don’t bother."

After leaving her, Margie returned to her car and just wept out of shock and out of a longing to reach out to this broken life. Even more, ever since that conversation she has carried with her an unshakable mental picture of a woman’s face whose every muscle contorted with anger and anguish—at once seeking a touch yet holding back, yearning for consolation but silencing anyone who sought to help, shoving at people along the way to get to God. Strangely, this episode spawned a friendship and we have had the wonderful privilege of getting close to her and of praying with her in our home. We have even felt her embrace of gratitude and have reflected much as she has tried in numerous ways to say, "Thank you."

But through this all she has represented to us a symbol of smothered cries, genuine and well thought through, and of a search for answers that need time before that anger is overcome by trust, and anguish gives way to contentment.

These smothered cries and the wordless reality that infuses every life may well be endemic to the human condition—men, women, young people and even children. Numerous professional voices are now awakening us from the illusion under which men particularly have lived in many cultures, that strength lies in not feeling. What a price has been paid for living with such amputation. Not every cry is ridden by anguish, but every life has its own cry or has heard the cry of another who is struggling with emotions or passions in need of explanation. Not every struggle is vented with such force, but many a life is governed by much inner conflict. And just as some are able to cope more readily with failure, so also are some better able to handle the vicissitudes of life.

The purpose of this book, therefore, is not simply to apply some healing balm to the bitter pain of an unheard cry, rather, to face squarely the reality that all of us in our private moments deal with suppressed cries. Years ago Reader’s Digest printed an article entitled, "When We Are Alone We Dance." The main idea was that when we are alone and nobody is watching, we all have some rhythmic expression. We may not succeed in clicking our heels in midair but that does not keep us from trying. Within that private world, each one of us also wrestles with some heart-consuming battle. For one it may be the inner ache of loneliness; for another it may be the daunting and haunting specter of guilt. For yet another it may be the question, "Why do I not feel God to be near when I have done all that I know to be right?" And for still another it may be the question of all questions—"Who are you, God?"

The reader will immediately recognize the range of our existential struggles. If anything unites our cultures today it is the unanswered questions we face that have a felt reality. The loneliness of an unloved life is the same in Bombay as it is in Barcelona. The life tormented by guilt is the same for a movie icon in Hollywood as it is for a schoolteacher in Havana. How do I choose a life that has pleasure without living a life that is immoral?

These gnawing questions were underscored by a grim and dreadful incident that took place in New York City some years ago, the culmination of a series of almost indescribable events that had befallen a young woman. The story is too heartrending to repeat. Feeling the silent pain of a whole city, a state senator agonized,"How can so much go wrong in one life and nobody be aware of it?"

After days of pondering that obvious question, a city councilman gave the only plausible answer. He said, "Life is too busy and complicated for me to hear the cry of every person in my community. As a matter of fact, I struggle to find time to even hear the cries of my own family. If I had to listen to the cry of everyone in New York City, you may as well ask me to listen to the sound of every blade of grass growing and to the heartbeat of every squirrel. The noise would be deafening on the other side of silence." I doubt that he overstated his point. If the cries of the heart in any community were to be cumulatively sounded, the noise would indeed be deafening.

Where then, might one go? There is a place where there is an aggregate of human suffering and questioning. That place is the heart of God. The Bible repeatedly portrays for us the anguished, though sometimes silent, cries of those in need, pleading for one who might bring hope.

Of all the stories in the Scriptures, none so reflects those varied needs as the story of the Woman at the Well in her conversation with Jesus. In the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel we read of the encounter Jesus had with the Samaritan woman. The disciples had left Him to get a little rest while they went into town to buy some food. When they returned they were astounded to see Him talking to this Samaritan woman, but they were afraid to ask why He would talk to her or to question what prompted this curious familiarity.

Jesus’s response to her is profound. The woman represented all that was oppressed or rejected in that society. She was a woman, not a man. She was a Samaritan burdened with ethnic rejection. She was discarded and broken from five failed marriages. She identified God with a particular location, not having the faintest clue how to reach Him. Was it possible to have any less self-esteem than in her fragmented world?Jesus began His tender yet determined task to dislodge her from the well-doctored and cosmetically dressed-up theological jargon she threw at Him, so that she could voice the real cry of her heart. Almost like peeling off the layers of an onion, He steadily moved her away from her own fears and prejudices, from her own schemes for self-preservation, from her own ploys for hiding her hurts, to the radiant and thrilling source of her greatest fulfillment, Christ Himself. But He did not stop there, He went further. That "further" will draw some of our attention in this book.

In short, He moved her from the abstract to the concrete; from the concrete to the proximate; from the proximate to the personal. She had come to find water for the thirst of her body. He fulfilled a greater thirst, that of her soul.

When the disciples finally managed to break into the conversation, they asked Jesus if He was not hungry enough to want to eat. But Jesus said, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." By now completely bewildered, they wondered if someone had already fed Him. They were on a completely different level of hungers and thirsts, while He was about His Father’s business of giving the bread of life and of opening the spring of living water so that one need never thirst again.

In this simple narrative converge our own hungers and God’s great longing to fulfill those inner hungers and satisfy those deep longings. I recall on one occasion speaking to a man who had come from a country where much blood had been spilled in internal strife, a land where someone’s heart was broken every day by some stray bullet or a hate-filled ideological conflict. He told me that even though for years he had found comfort in the knowledge that Christ had borne his sins, it was a new realization years later when he took note that Christ had borne our sorrows, too.

That intimacy with God is a knowledge that has bridged what one knows with what one feels. Such knowledge takes what we know and what we feel seriously. This is not a fatalistic posture that says, "So be it," resigned to accept what flies in the face of reason. When we learn God’s profound answers to every sentiment we feel, we find contentment and courage and live a life of hope and confidence. We then make every day count with significance, while treasuring His thoughts and harnessing our feelings.

For too long we have forced a dichotomy between fact and feeling and have unwittingly bought into systems of thought that held on to the one while doing disservice to the other. Voltaire once remarked that all of man’s miseries are a reflection of his grandeur. In other words, our senses and sensations can and ought to be joint indicators of the eternal and the true. That which God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

We well remember the words of the song, "How can it be wrong when it feels so right?" and we might legitimately take issue with that plundering of the objective realm of right and wrong at the mercy of momentary passion.

But there is another side to it: How can things be right when they feel so wrong? That is a much more difficult issue. Does God expect one who is plagued by a lonely existence to dismiss that feeling as unreal? Does the search for a personal God in an impersonal world not raise legitimate questions? Do the questions of a person in agony not count? Must we not have wisdom amidst the myriad pleasures that surround us? That is where this book hopes to lead us. We will not be content to merely deal with the problems as they surface by an intellectual stroke of the pen. We will not stop at the point where the answers are merely stated as glib responses. Our hope will be to bring the whole of our being to engage with the questions and the cries of the heart. Cries are born out of real feelings. So also must joy betoken a real confidence and repose.

In the Psalms David described himself as one wounded and crying in his bed at night. This same David spoke of the happiness that came when he took his cry to the Lord. With that same confidence, let us begin our journey to respond to the cries of the heart. We might be surprised to know how much bottled-up sentiment will be uncovered. When God speaks we will not respond by saying, "Don’t say a thing;" rather, we will be soothed by His touch and will rest in His comfort, knowing that He has bothered to hear our cries and to come near in our need.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 24, 2006, 11:27:13 AM
Spiritual Laws
From the Active Word with Pastor Bob Coy

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7 NKJV)

God has decreed certain laws to govern the physical world, such as gravity, inertia, and relativity. These laws will not bend, break, or buckle. The same holds true in the spiritual world. Certain spiritual laws will always remain constant and consistent, such as the law of sowing and reaping. Absolutely no one is exempt from this law, including David.

The Bible tells us that as David was looking over the city from his palace one evening, he noticed a woman taking a bath. A quick inquiry confirmed that the woman was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a soldier serving in the king's army. Inflamed with lust, David had her brought to the palace and committed adultery with her. Then David went on with his life . . . until Bathsheba shared that she was pregnant (2 Samuel 11:1-5).

In an attempt to cover his tracks, David arranged for Uriah to return from battle so that he would sleep with his wife. When Uriah wouldn't, David sent him back to the battlefront with a set of orders for Joab, the captain of the army. They instructed Joab to engage the enemy and then pull back from Uriah so that the enemy could easily pick him off. Everything went according to plan. Uriah was killed in battle, and David married Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:6-27).

Everything seemed fine at first, but by sowing these sins, David would soon reap God's rebuke. The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to confront and call David to repentance. Moreover, David would later reap the consequences from the same sin he had sown:

'Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.'' (2 Samuel 12:11 NKJV)
 
David wasn't exempt and neither are we. We need to put down whatever sins we're entertaining in our private lives. If we don't, we're sure to suffer the consequences according to the spiritual law of sowing and reaping.

DIG - What is the law of sowing and reaping?

DISCOVER - When have you reaped what you've sown?

DISPLAY - How will you use David's mistake to your advantage?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 25, 2006, 09:57:12 AM
Balancing the Intellectual with the Spiritual

"Man must work with his intellect. He must develop his mental body so that he can express himself as an autonomous individual and gain mastery over the material world. But at the same time he must see to it that his intellect does not gain ascendancy to the detriment of all his other faculties and possibilities for exploration, something which is happening more and more these days. Based on what we see manifesting in most of our contemporaries, we could say the intellect is becoming an instrument of destruction. The more people rely on it, on the way in which it addresses questions and draws conclusions, the more they cut themselves off from other beings, both visible and invisible, for the subtle life of the universe, of the soul and spirit, escapes their investigations."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 26, 2006, 11:28:26 AM
Faith vs. Fanaticism

"Because of their narrow views of religion, so many of mankind's various religious followers* still portray the Divinity as something repugnant, monstrous! Yet this does not prevent them from exclaiming that ‘God is Love’. They have been told this and they repeat it, but their behaviour expresses the exact opposite. So they have a long way to go if they truly want others to believe their God is Love. Some will say: ‘We have to proclaim our faith and defend it.’ Yes, but in principle, faith and love are not two separate worlds: they are linked together and sustain each other. So long as you fail to understand what true faith is, there can be no love. And conversely, so long as you do not know how to express love, you cannot claim to have true faith. It is right to have a faith and to defend it, but when you try to impose it on others, it is no longer called faith but fanaticism."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

*paraphrased so as not to cause offense or single out any particular group


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: w8tlftr on April 27, 2006, 09:09:35 AM
http://www.wadehodges.com/Audio/humanity%202.0/submissive.htm

Humanity 2.0:  A Submissive Family -- Wade Hodges

Read Eph. 5:21-6:9 (NIV)

Troubling Questions

This is one of those texts where if we are not careful our ship will be dashed against the rocks of troubling questions before we ever get close to the dock of understanding what this text may actually be saying.

I’m thinking of questions like ...
Why didn’t Paul condemn slavery in this text?
Is his description of husband being the head of his wife cultural or universal?
Was Paul an unenlightened male chauvenist and if so can we trust anything else he says?

Those are all good questions, and they need to be addressed somewhere down the line, but when we tackle them first without keeping the bigger principle in mind we usually end up shipwrecked on the island of personal agendas and unwinnable debates.

The Lighthouse

This text comes with its own lighthouse that will keep us away from the rocks. It will guide us safely to an understanding of this text that will ultimately equips us with the perspective needed to approach the really difficult questions in a way that will bring us together instead of tearing us apart.

The lighthouse of this text is 5:21: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  It’s very important that we read this verse and the larger passage in its proper context. This passage is still a part of Paul’s description of what living a life worthy of our calling looks like.

In 5:18, Paul says be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Being filled with the Holy Spirit will result in several behaviors.  We’ll speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  We’ll sing and make music in our hearts.  We’ll give thanks to God for all the good stuff in our lives. And he says that we will submit to one another out of reverance for Christ.

To stress the importance of mutual submission Paul provides several illustrations of the way this principle of mutual submission should work in a typical Greco-Roman household of that time.

Each of these illustrations is quite radical in that in Paul’s day submission in all of these relationships was usually a one way street.  The patriarch of the family who filled the roles of the husband, father, and master could legitimately demand submission from the rest of the family. He could enforce submission if he didn’t get it.

But that’s not the kind of submission Paul describes in this passage. The guiding principle of everything that Paul says here is driven by the conviction that in response to Christ, who he is and what he has done for us, we should submit to one another.

Dr. Suess defines submission

First things first.  What does the phrase “submit to one another” mean?  After doing quite a bit of research on the meaning of the word submit as Paul uses it in this passage, the best definition I found was from a theologian named Dr. Suess.  Let me read you the story of the Zax.

This story defines submission by showing what it is not.  Submission is not standing face to face in standoff saying, I’m not budging for you.  It’s got to be my way or no way at all. 

Submission is saying I’ll gladly step out of the way to accommodate your needs.  Mutual submission is both people stepping aside in order to serve the needs of the each other.  Submission is not just an outward behavior, it is an attitude that says “I will willingly, voluntarily put myself in second place, so that you can be first.”

Story of the old people and their teeth.

Mutual submission is both people in a relationship working to put the other one first.  The beauty of Christian submission is that within the community of faith, submission is a two way street.  No one stands above anyone else.  We are all called to submit to each other, to put each others welfare before our own.

We’ve got to keep this in mind as we read this passage. In each example Paul calls both parties to submit to each other in a way that is appropriate for their role in the household.

Three Examples

To the slaves, Paul says submit to your master by working as hard for him as you would for the Lord, remembering that he is your real master.  To the masters, he says submit to your slaves by not abusing your authority.  Treat your slaves with respect, remembering that you are equal in God’s sight.  He is master of the both of you.  That’s radical advice from Paul.  Sure it makes sense for a slave to submit to a master, but a master to a slave?

To the children he says submit to your parents by obeying them because it is the right thing to do and you’ll be blessed by your obedience.  To the fathers, he says submit to your children by raising them in a Godly way and not making things unnecessarily hard on them.

To the wives he says submit to your husbands as you would to the Lord.  Here’s where things start to get a bit tense and often distorted, because we separate verse 22 from verse 21 as if a wife’s submission to her husband is on an island all to itself.  If we were reading this passage in the language in which Paul wrote it, we would never make that mistake.

Because in verse 22 in the original language, the word “submit” is nowhere to be found.  Our English translations have carried it over from verse 21.  Literally, verses 21-22 read, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ, wives to your husbands as to the Lord.”

Once again, as with the other examples, Paul is saying to both husbands and wives, “Submit to one another in a way that is appropriate for the roles you play in your relationship.”

Wives, he says, submit to your husband because the husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church.  All the men in the congregation say “Amen.”  All the women say, “Not so fast buddy.”

Headship: Gulp

When we men read this passage we get so excited about words like submit and head that we stop reading the text and start pounding the table while shouting, “Woman, where’s my dinner?”, which means that we miss the part about what form our submission to our wives is supposed to take.  Remember, this is a two way street.  We are talking about mutual submission.

Husbands, submit to your wives by loving her, just as Christ loves the church.  How did he demonstrate his love? He died for her, in order to make her into all she was called to be.  That’s the image we must look to if we are going to understand what Paul means when he says that a husband is the head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church.

“Head” in this passage has very little, if anything, to do with a man’s authority over his wife, and everything to do with the man’s responsibility to take care of his wife and make whatever sacrifice is necessary to ensure her well being. 

Especially in that culture, where most women didn’t stand a chance on their own, the husband is there take care of his wife in a loving, empowering way.  So when Paul says, “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord,” it’s not because he’s holding an iron sceptor, but because like the Lord, he is willing to put his life on the line for you. 

Paul description of what it means to be the head of a wife is enough to make some guys want to become women.  Many of us are far too selfish to function as the head of our wives in the same way that Christ is the head of the church.  In fact, if a man takes his responsibility seriously I think you can make the case that being a Christlike head is more demanding and costly than being called to be a submissive or respectful wife.

Win-Win

That’s only true if we are practicing mutual submission.  Too often we make submission into a power play where there have to be winners and losers.  Mutual submission is not one person moving over to the side, so that an unyielding person can keep walking straight.

Mutual submission doesn’t create winners and losers because both people are tying to out submit each other.  The more a man puts himself on the line for his wife the more willing she will be to submit.  The more respectful she is to him, the more sacricial he’s going to be. That’s how mutual submission is supposed to work.

That’s why the principle of mutual submission shines through this text no matter what kind of cultural fog we’re trying to navigate.

Obviously, if Paul were writing this letter to us in our cultural language taking into account the make up of our congregation and the families within our congregation, he wouldn’t say things exactly like he said them in 5:22-6:9. 

But I’m confident that verse 21 would stay the same regardless of what kind of culture Paul was addressing.  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Because as long as we keep telling the story of a God who humbled himself and walked among us and died a terrible death for our sake, we will always be called to put other people first.  We will always be called to submit to one another out reverance for the one who died for us.

When our broken sees us submitting to each other in our families, in our small groups, and on our ministry teams, or in all of our relationships, then our world will see, what Paul calls in Eph. 4:1 a life that is worthy of our calling.  And the mystery of God’s unifying gospel project will continue to be revealed in us and through us.

Copyright ©2004 by Wade Hodges, All Rights Reserved


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Mr. Intenseone on April 28, 2006, 08:27:23 PM
Satan judges no one.  Come over and see for yourself, there's plenty of room and the water is warm!

Hi again Johnny!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Johnny Apollo on May 05, 2006, 03:54:59 AM
Mr. Intenseone I know it must seem easy to try to attack people you think are me...But try standing up against ME.

Fighting shadows you convince yourself are actually me doens't prove anything but the fact you're scared and weak.



This is my only name on this forum junior.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: OzmO on May 05, 2006, 01:56:30 PM
He knows that.  He was just pointing out another idiot.  You see his definition of idiot is "Johnny Appllo"


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 09, 2006, 03:32:35 PM
Taking Comfort in Failure

"It is perfectly legitimate to have ambitions and plans, but before going all out to realize them you must carefully examine the nature of these desires and projects. If they are merely expressions of your egotism and do not vibrate in harmony with the order established by God throughout creation, they will go against divine law. They will come into conflict with certain entities and an entire vibratory order, and you will not succeed. Or, if you should succeed, it will be even worse, and in these conditions it is better not to succeed. Failure keeps those who are egotistical and reckless from all sorts of disappointments and accidents. They may be unhappy to have failed in their goals, but at least they are spared! It is always better not to succeed in one’s bad intentions; otherwise there will be no escaping the karmic consequences. If you have a plan to take revenge on someone and oust him, for example, but you fail in your efforts and abandon the idea, heaven will condemn you for your reprehensible intentions, but less severely than if you had succeeded."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 09, 2006, 03:33:52 PM
Taking Lessons From The Earth

"So many people have let themselves die of grief or have even committed suicide as a result of slander, abusive letters or vicious articles! And how many artists have done the same as a result of critical reviews or mockery! If evil has wielded such power over them, it is because they had no idea how to transform it. In order to resist what is harmful, you must take lessons from the earth. Yes, see how the earth uses the rubbish people throw on it: it accepts it as extremely precious matter, as fertilizer to be used in the elaboration of all sorts of colourful, fragrant and nourishing plants. Well, why shouldn’t human beings know the secrets the earth knows? Why should they succumb when faced with the filth of criticism, malicious gossip and slander?"

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 09, 2006, 03:44:44 PM
Maintaining Your Connection with Source

"Certain initiates have manifested particularly as masters of love, others as masters of purity, and others as masters of wisdom, but all true initiates were obliged to reach a point where they embraced the totality of things, beings and activities. Even if an initiate has been given a specific mission, he does not specialize but rather endeavours to live life in all its fullness. He does not lose sight of the details, but for him what is essential is the whole, the totality of life: how to protect it, enrich it and purify it, for life is the one reality that incorporates all other realities. And if we are to grasp life in its totality, we must work our way back again to the first Cause, to the Source, to God himself. Make sure, therefore, that you always maintain your connection with the Cause of all causes, with the divine Source. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: OzmO on May 10, 2006, 07:22:11 PM
 If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 10, 2006, 08:47:31 PM
Nourished by Faith

"St. Paul states that faith is ‘the conviction of things not seen’. And in fact, faith gives us access to an unknown world that is infinitely vast, where we begin to breathe, to nourish ourselves and to gain strength. Little by little, realms once foreign to us become familiar, and as a result we know. This is why we must not set faith and knowledge against each other, since the two go together: faith opens the way to new knowledge. Faith is the infinite, and within this infinity, knowledge carves out a small territory. It is our faith which probes the infinite and makes us penetrate ever further. Our knowledge of the divine world thus grows, thanks to our faith. Faith always precedes knowledge. In order to know, we must first believe, and once we know, we no longer believe: faith carries us towards something we do not yet know. Once we know, we no longer need to believe, because we are beyond belief. This is how, little by little, we arrive at perfect understanding."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 11, 2006, 05:27:08 PM
Uniting Cosmic Energy

"Every year during the night of the full moon in the month of May, the ceremony of Wesak takes place in the Himalayas. On this night, either the birth of Buddha or his enlightenment is symbolically commemorated. Certain initiates are able to attend the ceremony in physical form, while others attend by means of astral projection. But each of you can participate in this as well, by means of thought. During the course of this ceremony, brothers of the light enter into communion with celestial beings in order to attract cosmic forces and broadcast waves and vibrations of the highest spiritual nature throughout space.

If you want to take part in the reunion of these initiates, you must prepare yourself. During the night, do not wear any metal objects, since metal is not a good conductor for the currents which come from the spiritual realms. But the one mandatory requirement for admittance to the celebration is harmony. Watch to see that you entertain no negative thoughts or feelings towards others. Adopt a positive attitude which will enable you to unite with the initiates and receive the blessings they send to all the children of God."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 14, 2006, 12:24:41 PM
YOU CAN, WHEN YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN

Don't be afraid of what life has to offer you.
If you believe that life is worth living,
your belief will help create the fact.

The barrier between you and success
is not something that exists in the real world.
It's simply composed of doubts about your ability.
Your only limits to your realization of tomorrow
will be your doubts of today.

Success is a state of mind.
If you want to be successful,
start thinking of yourself as successful.

You are what you believe yourself to be.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 15, 2006, 05:49:35 AM
The Guest Of The Maestro
by Max Lucado

What happens when a dog interrupts a concert? To answer that, come with me to a spring night in Lawrence, Kansas.

The conductor, dressed in tails, strides onto the stage, springs onto the podium, and gestures for the orchestra to rise. The musicians take their seats, the maestro takes his position, and the audience holds its breath.

Enter, stage right, the dog. A brown, generic, Kansas dog. Not a mean dog. Not a mad dog. Just a curious dog.  At home in the splendor.

Roaming through the meadow of music. He visited the woodwinds, turned his head at the trumpets, stepped between the flutists, and stopped by the side of the conductor.

The musicians laughed. The audience laughed. The dog looked up at the conductor and panted. And the conductor lowered his baton.

He stepped off the podium and scratched the dog behind the ears. The maestro spoke to the dog. He spoke in German, but the dog seemed to understand. The two visited for a few seconds before the maestro took his new friend by the collar and led him off the stage.

Can you find you and me in this picture?

I can. Just call us Fido. And consider God the Maestro.

And envision the moment when we will walk onto his stage. We won't deserve it. We will not have earned it.

The music will be like none we've ever heard. We'll stroll among the angels and listen as they sing. And we'll walk next to the Maestro, stand by his side, and worship as he leads.

He, too, will welcome. And he, too, will speak. But he will not lead us away. He will invite us to remain, forever his guests on his stage.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 17, 2006, 07:21:22 PM
On Repayment of Debts

"Nature showers us with her riches, but somewhere, everything we take from her is very precisely recorded. These are debts we contract with her, and eventually we have to settle them. How? Since we are unable to return her favours in the same form that we received them, or to discharge them with money, from now on we must pay every day with the coinage of respect, gratitude, love and the will to study all that cosmic Intelligence has inscribed in its great book. To ‘pay’ means to give something in exchange, and everything good that our heart, mind, soul and spirit are capable of producing can serve as payment. In the physical realm we are limited, but in the spiritual realm our possibilities are infinite, and we can return a hundredfold all that nature has given us."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 18, 2006, 05:32:03 AM
LEAVE ROOM FOR GOD
by J.M. Farro

   "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord."  Romans 12:19 NASB

   Yesterday, I stepped out my front door to receive a delivery, and I couldn't help but notice that someone had thrown raw eggs at my house.  A shudder ran through me as I recalled the vicious attacks against our home and property that my family had endured in years past.  Things had been blissfully quiet for the most part in recent years, and I had almost forgotten about our former troubles with some of our neighbors.  As I fought back tears of hurt and frustration, I sensed the Lord telling me that I had two choices before me:  I could either seek revenge and retaliation against the guilty party, or I could prayerfully put the matter in God's hands, trusting Him to execute justice for me.  It didn't take long for me to make a firm decision to let the Lord fight this battle for me.  My husband, on the other hand, decided that he wanted revenge.

   The Bible says: "When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.  Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]." (Ephesians 4:26-27 AMP)  There are times when we'll be attacked, and the Lord will give us some time to simmer down.  But He won't give us much time.  Scripture indicates that if we don't let go of our "wrath" quickly--at least by the end of the day--then we are "leaving room for the devil."  In other words, we are opening the door for Satan and his evil forces to come into our lives and "steal, kill, and destroy." (John 10:10)  It may sound like God is being unreasonable by asking us to "get over [our] anger quickly," as one translation says.  But the truth is, He doesn't want us to make ourselves vulnerable to satanic attack.  If my husband really thought about it, he would recall that whenever he stayed angry at our hostile neighbors in the past, our problems only multiplied.  As I look back, I have no doubt that we gave the devil an open invitation to wreak havoc in our lives by holding on to our wrath and indignation for too long.

   Whenever someone hurts or attacks us, we have to decide if we are going to "leave room" for the devil's involvement--or for God's.  Scripture says:  "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord." (Romans 12:19 NIV)  Our God is a God of justice (Isaiah 30:18), but He reserves the right to exact that justice in His way and timing.  By refusing to take our own revenge in a situation, and by prayerfully and purposefully putting the matter into God's hands, we open the door for Him to render the devil helpless, and to work the situation out for our good. (Romans 8:28)  It's important for us to remember that just because we let someone "off the hook" in obedience to the Lord, it doesn't mean that they are off God's hook.  As we fight our battles God's way, you can bet that He'll deal with those who wrong us, even if He doesn't allow us to see exactly how He does that. 

   As I watched my husband laboring to clean the egg mess off our house, I sensed the Lord saying to me, "Find something to thank Me for in this situation."  I thought about His scriptural command which says:  "Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be; be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP)  So I began to thank the Lord that even though some of the eggs had hit our glass windows, none of them had been broken.  As I shared my gratitude with my husband, his anger began to subside.  Even he had to admit that it was a miracle that there wasn't more damage to our house, and that we had a lot to be thankful for.  We finally both agreed to trust God to handle the matter, and to "leave room" for Him to act on our behalf.   

   Lord, when I'm hurt or attacked in some way, show me if there's some constructive action I can take, or if it's Your will for me to simply "be still." (Exodus 14:14)  Remind me that when I choose to react with unrestrained anger or revenge, I open the door to the destructive forces of darkness.  Thank You that as I leave room for You and Your justice, I will experience supernatural safety and deliverance!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 18, 2006, 02:26:45 PM
Ok, this is not so much a devotional as such, but it is something to ponder.

A colleague of mine in Texas sent me an eMail... you know those emails you get that are really more of a pain-in-the-derriere, clogging up your email, ...then requesting you send it on to someone else?  :-\

Ya well  I got one of those, ...but this one was so nice, I had to make it into a webpage and put it up on my site.

Please click here (http://www.jaguarenterprises.org/blessings.htm) to view it.

Namaste,
(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/Judi-sig50.jpg)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 22, 2006, 05:43:08 AM
The Willingness to Wound
Pastor Bob Coy (The Active Word)

Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:5-6 NKJV)

What does a healthy friendship look like? It doesn't always resemble sunny skies and smooth sailing. But a truly healthy friendship, one based on God's love, will sometimes include a word of rebuke or a charge of correction. Solomon captures this concept in the expression the wounds of a friend. Initially, it sounds like a contradiction of terms--a friend and wounds just don't seem like they go together. Yet they do when we understand two important truths.

First, we need to recognize that none of us is perfect. As human beings, we are part of a ruined race. Sin has stormed in and become a part of our condition. It's on our hard drive, so to speak (Romans 5:12). And with this understanding, we see that all people, including our friends, have built-in flaws that cause them to fall short of God's will for their lives.

Second, we must understand something about the nature of love. There's a fierce side of love that we seldom talk about. It's displayed when someone is willing to rise up and fight on behalf of a loved one. I would question a husband's love for his wife if he simply stood by while another man came along and started hitting on her. Love protects, love acts, love fights for what it loves because it looks on and says, That's valuable to me.

When we put these two truths together, we start to see the importance of a friend's wounds. We all have built-in faults and flaws by virtue of our fallen human nature. But a true friend is willing to fight for another friend's spiritual condition. There's a willingness to wound the unspiritual flesh of the other, not out of hate, but out of a desire to see the spiritual health of the friend preserved. Wise friends not only will wound when necessary, but also will be grateful for the wounds they receive in the name of friendship.

DIG - Why are the wounds of a friend necessary?

DISCOVER - When was the last time you were wounded by a friend who had your best spiritual interests at heart? How did you react?

DISPLAY - Give someone whom you trust as a spiritual friend the right and responsibility to wound you when he or she sees a need for it.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Migs on June 28, 2006, 05:33:50 AM
I apologize for my ignorance, but is a devotional more of a story with a moral theme rahter than a straight out prayer? 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 28, 2006, 07:41:25 AM
I'm only speaking for myself hear, but I view devotionals as personal thoughts/reflections about what the scriptures say.  For me, I usually will write about something that's happened in my personal life that a verse or verses of scripture relates to. 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Migs on June 28, 2006, 02:12:17 PM
ok, thanks


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 01, 2006, 09:18:45 PM
Turning Lemons into Lemonade

"It is extremely unpleasant to be the object of malicious and unjust criticism, but since this cannot be avoided, try at least to gain something by learning to use it. When you are unfairly criticized, tell yourself that these are ideal conditions in which to fortify yourself. One day you will come out on top, and your attackers will be put to shame. While they were busy plotting against you, not only did they fail to improve themselves, they actually grew weaker, whereas you became stronger.

When people are secure and tranquil they make no effort, and this is not a desirable state. When you come to this degree of understanding, you will agree that, despite appearances, those who are unfairly criticized are in the better position. But only on one condition: that they refuse to simply endure these inequities and instead learn to make use of them."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 02, 2006, 03:07:04 PM
Advantages of the Inner World

"It is easy to study the physical world: we can weigh, measure and draw the contours of every element, and we readily agree about numbers and forms. But the psychic world, the inner world, is another matter. How can we map the regions of the soul and spirit? How can we measure and weigh states of consciousness or draw the contours of thoughts and feelings?

But this is precisely the advantage of the inner world: because there is nothing material in it, it is safe from external attack. If, whatever the circumstances, you learn to give priority to the inner life, to the spiritual life, no one will have any hold over your thoughts, your feelings or your beliefs.

Even if they take away your work and everything that belongs to you and lock you in prison, they cannot prevent you from feeling free and from continuing to reflect, pray and experiment in your inner laboratories."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 03, 2006, 08:05:56 AM
Human love isn't enough! 

www.rbc.org/odb/odb-12-11-02.shtml (http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb-12-11-02.shtml)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 03, 2006, 05:48:07 PM
Awakening to Love

"Since sensual love is merely a satisfaction of selfish needs, it brings with it no light, no revelations. Spiritual love, however, awakens an entire body of knowledge that has lain dormant in man and comes to light again.

Try to observe how the different manifestations of your love affect you. In this domain, human beings ordinarily use strong sensations as their criteria. But the opposite is true: it is through the finest, most subtle manifestations of love that you will grow, that you will become wise, intelligent and powerful.

Understand that it is essential for you to go beyond this stage of mere sensation in order to penetrate the mysteries of the universe and intensify your inner light. Love can lead you there, but only if you cease to think of it simply as a momentary excitement. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 06, 2006, 03:53:44 PM
On Belief in Jesus

"Jesus said: ‘The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these’, because he considered every human being to be identical in nature, in essence, to himself. Why have Christians neglected this aspect of his teaching? Because, quite simply, they are lazy and don’t want to make the slightest effort to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. They say: ‘He was the Son of God, so of course he was perfect. It’s only natural that he would demonstrate exceptional knowledge, virtues and powers. While we, poor wretches, with our imperfect and sinful nature, we are weak, egotistical and wicked.’ No, this is no argument. All human beings are sons and daughters of God, just as Jesus was a son of God. The only difference is that Jesus was conscious of his divine nature and destiny. He had already worked in this respect during his previous incarnations, and he came to earth with immense potential and a very clear idea of his mission. But in order to fulfil this mission, he too had to accomplish a tremendous inner work."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Migs on July 06, 2006, 03:56:27 PM
interesting view points posted jag


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 07, 2006, 09:21:06 PM
Aïvanov was an old Bulgarian monk whose teachings seem to ring a certain truth for me. I believe truth, is timeless and enduring, and will be relevant to our lives regardless of the era. If modern "religion" or the teachings thereof aren't relevant to our lives, then there is a problem with that "religion" and what it teaches.

Aïvanhov wrote volumes upon volumes on so many different subjects. You could lock yourself up for 5 yrs and still not finish everything, and I find his teachings to be as valid and as relevant to modern 21st century life, as they are to 18th century life, ...and by extension, even biblical times.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 07, 2006, 09:31:14 PM
On Divine Revelation

"Surely you have had a truth revealed to you as an illumination. With lightning speed, something passed through you and overturned all your previous convictions and ways of perceiving the world. Yes, but to feel your entire being shaken by a revelation does not mean it has so penetrated your psychic matter that you are immediately able to live in accordance with it. You have been dazzled, you have penetrated a mystery, but this does not mean you can claim to have understood. All sorts of signs in your everyday behaviour demonstrate that this is not yet entirely the case. Only when you succeed in manifesting what you claim to have understood do you truly understand."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 07, 2006, 09:34:48 PM
On the Desire for Recognition

"Because the entire world is not there to appreciate their ideas, their sentiments and their endeavours, many people feel abandoned and alone. They complain that no one understands them or takes any notice of them. But let them be consoled! If they really have so much good in them, they should know that the angels, the luminous spirits of nature and even the Lord himself understand them. Isn’t that enough for them? Why do they insist that people come in hordes to congratulate and admire them? If the poor unfortunates only knew how dangerous their desires were! It is as if they wanted to attract flies, and we know what they do: they leave their little signatures everywhere! It is as if they wanted to attract thieves, and they will soon be robbed! Ask celebrities if their fame doesn’t have its drawbacks! So don’t complain that you are unknown and misunderstood. Besides, with such an attitude, you prevent others from appreciating you. Be happy that heaven understands you, and try instead to understand others. If there really is so much good in you, sooner or later people will recognize it."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 08, 2006, 04:37:10 PM
On the Creation of Heaven ...on Earth

"Even the most powerful entities of the divine world cannot act directly on earth. Why? Because they are not made of physical matter. In order for them to intervene, human beings themselves must give them the opportunity. As long as there is no traitor within to let the enemy pass, a fortress will remain impenetrable. A traitor is therefore essential! You will say, of course, that there is nothing admirable about this role, but in certain situations it is not bad, either. Since the earth is like a fortress whose occupants are opposed to admitting luminous spirits, traitors are necessary to open the gates.

On earth, human beings are as powerful as all the armies of heaven, and when they want to stand up to these armies, nothing can stop them. This is why heaven seeks traitors, or allies if you like, who agree to let them pass. Spiritualists are just that: allies, thanks to whom heaven can infiltrate this fortress called earth and transform everything."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 12, 2006, 09:28:06 AM
Lamentations 3:22,23 (NIV)

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.

 23 They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness.


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end,
They are new every morning,
New every morning
Great is Thy faithfulness, oh Lord
Great is Thy faithfulness




Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 14, 2006, 02:29:03 AM
On Human Knowledge & Discovery

"In descending to explore matter, humans forgot their divine origin, and they no longer remember the life they once lived in the heart of the Eternal, nor how luminous, beautiful and powerful they were. They are now preoccupied with the earth, which they increasingly exploit and ravage in an attempt to possess and dominate it. They have gone so far in this direction that they are going to be forced to turn back, and instead of endlessly fixing their attention on the outer world, they will once again take up the path of inner exploration. They will lose none of the knowledge they have acquired over the centuries – their descent into matter will remain an extraordinary accomplishment – but they will not stop there. They will go on to discover other regions even more essential and profound."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 14, 2006, 02:33:20 AM
On The Sun as a Role Model

"Great, noble and pure beings have lived and still live on earth, but, whatever their qualities, no creature can compare with the sun in terms of light, love and generosity. For the earth, the sun is the sole expression of the greatness of God, and we must take it as our model.

People are so often weak, confused, sad and ill-tempered because they do not have something infinite for an ideal. Their ideal is to be like a certain member of their family, a politician, an actor or a millionaire. But what sort of models are these? Look at their weaknesses, their anxieties and their disorder! Whereas the sun… nothing can compare with it. If you take it as your model, your intellect will benefit from its light, your heart from its warmth and your spirit from its power. And above all, like the sun, you will become generous."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 14, 2006, 02:36:45 AM
The Immensity of Man

"When a man undertakes to create something, he establishes a new heaven, as it were, and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him... For such is the immensity of man that he is greater than heaven and earth."

-- Philipus Aureolus Paracelsus


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 14, 2006, 06:53:26 AM
The Immensity of Man

"When a man undertakes to create something, he establishes a new heaven, as it were, and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him... For such is the immensity of man that he is greater than heaven and earth."

-- Philipus Aureolus Paracelsus

huh?  ???


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 14, 2006, 07:29:37 AM
Devotional for Friday Jul 14, 2006:
Admitting Failure

Greg Laurie
Senior Pastor
Harvest Christian Fellowship
Riverside, Ca

They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.   
—John 21:3


It was a familiar scene. The disciples had been fishing all night, but caught nothing. Then they hear a voice from the shore call out, "Children, have you any food?" (John 21:5).

The word "children" used here could also be translated "boys." Both terms would normally be used by a parent or an authority figure. I wonder if Peter thought, Who is he calling boys? We are men. Why is he even talking to us? It's not his business.

But John, always the perceptive one, recognized that it was Jesus. But why did the Lord ask them this question? The point was to show them their own need. He wanted them to admit their failure: "We caught nothing." It isn't that this was the biggest failure you could ever have. After all, we have all had this happen when we have gone fishing. But Jesus was using their empty nets to illustrate a larger point.

God will do the same with us. Before we can find restoration, before we can find forgiveness, we have to admit our failure. That is really hard for some people. We don't like to admit we have failed. It seems like more people are willing to say, "I'm sick" than "I'm sorry," or "I have sinned." We have become a nation of dysfunctional victims with all kinds of imaginary diseases. It seems like no one wants to take responsibility for their actions any more.

So to the disciples, the Lord said, "Did you catch anything?"

Before we can find God's forgiveness, and indeed, His restoration, we must first admit our need. No excuses. No blaming others. Instead, just honest confession as we take responsibility for our own actions.



Copyright © 2006 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 14, 2006, 04:21:05 PM
huh?  ???

{lol} That's ok Colossus. When you're ready to understand it, ...you will.  :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on July 14, 2006, 10:45:14 PM
{lol} That's ok Colossus. When you're ready to understand it, ...you will.  :)

In other words, it's meaningless!   :)  Sounds like gobbledygook to me.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 15, 2006, 10:58:39 AM
In other words, it's meaningless!   :)  Sounds like gobbledygook to me.

{lol} That's OK BeachBum. When you're ready to understand it, ...you will  :-*


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Migs on July 15, 2006, 05:43:13 PM
{lol} That's OK BeachBum. When you're ready to understand it, ...you will  :-*

i hate when people say that


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on July 16, 2006, 01:53:13 AM
i hate when people say that

  ;D  It's a copout when they can't address the merits. 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 16, 2006, 03:47:54 PM
We manifest the realities to which we give the most energy, conscious or not, positive or negative.
Our futures are malleable to the extent that our consciousness and choices can change those realities in an instant of clear intent.

Hope That Clarifies,  :)
(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/Judi-sig50.jpg)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on July 16, 2006, 08:54:13 PM
We manifest the realities to which we give the most energy, conscious or not, positive or negative.
Our futures are malleable to the extent that our consciousness and choices can change those realities in an instant of clear intent.

Hope That Clarifies,  :)
(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/Judi-sig50.jpg)

lol.  Clear as mud.   :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 16, 2006, 11:52:07 PM
{lol} That's OK Beachbum. When you're ready to understand it, ...you will.  ;)  :-*


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on July 17, 2006, 09:51:57 AM
{lol} That's OK Beachbum. When you're ready to understand it, ...you will.  ;)  :-*

I doubt it.  I don't speak or understand gibberish.   :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 17, 2006, 12:30:52 PM
1 Corinthians 1-4

1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

From Oswald Chambers'  "My Utmost For His Highest"

Paul was a scholar and an orator of the highest degree; he was not speaking here out of a deep sense of humility, but was saying that when he preached the gospel, he would veil the power of God if he impressed people with the excellency of his speech. Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher.

Real and effective fasting by a preacher is not fasting from food, but fasting from eloquence, from impressive diction, and from everything else that might hinder the gospel of God being presented. The preacher is there as the representative of God— ". . . as though God were pleading through us . . ." ( 2 Corinthians 5:20  ). He is there to present the gospel of God. If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get close to Jesus Christ. Anything that flatters me in my preaching of the gospel will result in making me a traitor to Jesus, and I prevent the creative power of His redemption from doing its work.

"And I, if I am lifted up. . . , will draw all peoples to Myself" ( John 12:32  ).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 18, 2006, 10:40:33 PM
On Seeking the Truth

"People claim to be seeking the truth, but it would be more accurate to say they are seeking only something that suits them. Moreover, when they encounter the truth and it fails to correspond to their desires, they say: ‘No, no, you aren’t what I need’, and they turn away. The truth they seek must give them the means to satisfy their lusts and ambitions, and this explains why they never find it. They do everything in their power not to find it! If they truly wanted to find the truth, they would have found it long ago, and they can still easily find it today. They can see, hear and touch it everywhere, but only if they do not expect it to meet their limited notions and selfish needs."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 19, 2006, 05:35:21 AM
Ravi Zacharias is one of my favorite Christian authors and orators for defending the faith of God.

A Slice of Infinity
by Jill Carattini
Dream House

For the past week, I have been having the same conversation each morning with a spider on my front porch. Like a parent to a teenager with a messy room, my reiterated words don't seem to be making much of a difference. But I'm not asking my eight-legged friend to clean his room; I'm asking him to move it.

Every morning on my way to the car I walk through a nearly invisible strand of his web. The problem (besides having to brush the spider web off of myself) is that it is a vital piece of his web. It is the strand of webbing that serves as an anchor for his well-crafted house. On the days that I remember to look for it, I manage to duck under it before hurrying through the walkway. But though this solves my sticky situation, it does not solve his. For if I haven't caused his residence to collapse by walking through it, I have demolished his dwelling by driving away with its support beam. He has anchored his brilliant masterwork to the car am I about to remove from the driveway.

I have tried to be patient. I feel really bad as I drive away knowing that I have entirely destroyed his night's work, before I have even taken a sip of my morning coffee. I have reminded him that anchoring his web to an object that moves is futile (and no doubt incredibly frustrating to the architect). Yet so it goes each day. I drive away, and he finds himself needing to rebuild once again.

When Jesus spoke of well-built houses, it is interesting that he made it a point to point out the obvious. Build a house on shifting sands and it, too, will shift until it is completely destroyed. The illustration is as clear as it is true; a house is only as good as its foundation.

You would think that the poor, persistent spider on my front porch would have learned his lesson by now. But in fact he has only slightly altered his house plans each time--attaching his web to the mirror on my car or the windshield wiper instead of the driver's door. I can only hope one day he will learn. But then, Jesus's obvious words confront me, and I find myself wondering: Have I learned?

When I build my life around pursuits that suddenly shift, do I pick up and redraw the plans, taking into account all that shifted? Or do I simply pick myself up, cut my losses, and start once again? When my longing for a beautiful house gives me a mortgage I can't afford, when my hope for the next best thing is ever being replaced by the next best thing, when I have built my life upon the satisfaction of a successful career or great kids or a solid marriage and suddenly life shifts with blow of uncertainty, what have I learned?

It is a lesson easier illustrated than understood. For more often it seems I am like the spider, intent on making my dream house work, willing to alter my plans only slightly, concerning myself with the busywork of building. It is easy to be so determined in the life we are constructing that a shifting foundation is viewed merely as a temporary set back, when in fact we are building our lives upon that which is temporary--health, careers, cars in the driveway.

Thankfully, God is not only more patient than I have been with my spider, but also more compelling than I have been in encouraging those He longs to see in the security of a well-built home. With long-suffering love for us, He picks us up when our dream houses have crumbled and shows us that we were meant to dream of unshakable fortresses. He stands at ground zero and gives us the grace and the strength to rebuild.

We are building well, God says, when we hear his words and put them into practice. For to build on the enduring words of God is to build lives that model their Creator, trusting that He is the holder of the best plans for the house. His words are like his character, lighting our way, standing forever, moving us to that place of refuge. The Father "does not change like the shifting shadows," writes James (1:17). He is, as David praised, and Hannah prayed, and saints continue to discover somewhere in the process of rebuilding, the Rock of Ages.


Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.



© 2006 Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. All Rights Reserved.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 21, 2006, 06:53:53 AM
Beautiful Words!!!  This is a song from FFH's new album: Voice From Home.  The whole album is as if God is speaking to us.  The name of this song is Grand Canyon:

Grand Canyon

There’s a space in between us
Things just aren’t, they aren’t the same
In your heart there’s an aching
And you can’t see through the pain

I would run to your rescue
But you can’t see through your pain

So I’m reaching across the Grand Canyon
Hoping you will take my hand
Wondering why you’re just not listening
So for the time being
I’ll just keep on reaching for you

There’s a thorn you’ve been holding
And you can’t, you can’t let it go
I wish that I could stop the bleeding
But you won’t, you won’t let it show

I can’t wrestle with your demons
If you never let me see them

So I’m reaching across the Grand Canyon
Hoping you will take my hand
Wondering why you’re just not listening
So for the time being
I’ll just keep on reaching for you

To come back to your senses again
And hear me calling
Calling…calling

There’ll come a day when we’ll be together
All your tears will be wiped away
On that day I’ll hold you so tightly
All this pain will just melt away


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 24, 2006, 12:02:44 AM
On Belief in God

"Whether we are believers or non-believers, we all have our existence in God, and God lives within us. The difference is that believers are conscious of this and the others are not. The non-believer endlessly accumulates shields in himself until he no longer feels anything. And since what people do not feel does not exist for them, the non-believer ends up denying the existence of God. Which in fact is absolutely true: under these conditions God does not exist, while for someone who believes in him, God exists. But most often this belief is not yet fully conscious. In order for it to become so, the believer must come to feel that God lives in him and that he lives in God, so that he forms a unity with God that is absolutely indissoluble. At this point, nothing can ever cause him to doubt again, for he lives the divine life without interruption. He is plunged in it and it flows through him, permeating his entire being."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 24, 2006, 10:44:51 AM
Monday, July 24, 2006
Charles R. Swindoll


Most of us don't like to contemplate subjects like death — or life after death — until circumstances grab us by the collar and force us to stare the questions in the face.

We lose a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend . . . and suddenly life-and-death issues no longer seem vague and distant. They become very real and must somehow be addressed.

Even more shocking is when the death we contemplate is our own. The doctor calls us back into the office and presents us with facts we don't want to hear and don't know how to handle. A life that seemed somehow interminable — indestructible — is reduced to a matter of months . . . perhaps weeks.

In an instant, issues like "eternal destiny" snap into sharp focus. Suddenly, questions about our soul and salvation seem acutely relevant. Questions we once hesitated to ponder or voice now scream to be answered . . .

"How can I know God in a meaningful way?"
"What must I do to guarantee eternal life with my Maker?"
"Is there some way I can be certain that I will go to heaven?"
"Will you explain in simple, nontechnical terms what it means to be born again?"
"I'm guilty because I haven't lived a clean life. How can the Lord forgive me?"
"I've been a fairly religious person, but I lack a deep and abiding peace with God . . . why?"
"What does the Bible say about life after death?"
"Did Jesus actually die for me?"
"What, exactly, is the gospel?"


Whether or not these questions are verbalized, they are the ones most people think about, especially when death seems near. They are good questions that deserve an answer. They are also searching questions that have to do with an issue of utmost importance—being forgiven and entering into eternal life from God. This is not something that calls for a lot of opinions. Theological double–talk will do nothing to settle our disquieted souls. The insights must come from the Bible. They need to be so clear that anybody can understand them. They also have to make sense.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 28, 2006, 12:50:02 AM
On Maintaining Balance

"Only if our instruments are in good working order can we perceive things clearly and, based on these perceptions, reason correctly. And what are these instruments? The intellect, the heart and the will. We find that in most people these instruments are out of order; as a result of too many shocks, too much tension, emotion and negative influence, the intellect grows dim, the heart loses its warmth, and the will weakens. How can such instruments be trusted? Clearly, we must take it upon ourselves to examine them. What would become of cars, trains & aeroplanes if we never checked their brakes, engines and control panels? But people imagine there is nothing to check in themselves: they are above all that! This explains why they have so many accidents: all their difficulties and misfortunes are caused by malfunctions in their intellect, their heart or their will. From time to time, then, they should ask themselves about the state of these instruments which were given to them so they could think, love and work."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on July 28, 2006, 06:52:34 PM
"It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman."

Solomon in Proverbs 21:19

Sorry, couldn't resist.  Had to do something to counter the Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov psychobabble.
 ;D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 29, 2006, 12:32:01 AM
That's OK Beach Bum. When you're ready to understand it, ...you will.  ;)  :-*

ps - I never thought I'd be so happy about the upcoming blackfly season.
Watch out when skinny dipping in the lake. Wouldn't want the snapping turtles to get you.  ;)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on July 29, 2006, 09:50:14 AM
"It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman."

Proverbs 21:9


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Hugo Chavez on August 05, 2006, 02:15:31 AM
Fooie!!!!






Amen ;D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 09, 2006, 12:27:01 PM
The Cost of Being a Disciple

Luke 14:25-35

 25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
 28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'

 31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

 34"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
      "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."


"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed.  I have the Holy Spirit power.  The die has been cast.  I have stepped over the line.  The decision has been made-I'm a disciple of His.  I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.  My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.  I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.

     I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity.  I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.  I now live by faith, lean in His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labor with power."


-A young pastor in Zimbabwe, Africa, later martyred for his faith in Christ


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: OzmO on August 09, 2006, 03:06:24 PM
"I like myself uncondtionally"

"I believe"


That's all you really need!

 ;D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 09, 2006, 05:01:09 PM
oh no Ozmo, ...you've joined the ranks of the dark side!
Ya know the ones I'm talking about... those heathens of the ever-changing avatar.  :o


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: OzmO on August 09, 2006, 07:37:05 PM
hehehehe  Jag.

Seriously though, I'm from the school of thought that says: "To believe in your self is to believe in GOD"


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 09, 2006, 11:19:34 PM
we're on the same page.  :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 10, 2006, 05:14:49 AM
Quote from: OzmO
Seriously though, I'm from the school of thought that says: "To believe in your self is to believe in GOD"
OzmO, I don't understand this statement.  Can you explain in greater detail what this means?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: w8tlftr on August 10, 2006, 09:22:55 AM
OzmO, I don't understand this statement.  Can you explain in greater detail what this means?

I'm curious to see an explanation for this too.



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on August 10, 2006, 10:49:23 AM
Ditto.   :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: OzmO on August 10, 2006, 11:50:26 AM
OzmO, I don't understand this statement.  Can you explain in greater detail what this means?


If you believe:

That you are a great creation; that you are engineered for greatness; that you have unlimited potential; that inside you lies the ability to overcome many obstacles; that you have a tremendous ability to help others; that you have the capacity to love with all your heart; that you can accomplish what ever you set your mind to; in that will to survive to hold on when all hope is lost; etc...

Then how can you not believe in GOD? 

 

That's why i say to believe in one's self is to believe in GOD because you are in a sense, believing in what you cannot always see in your self but what still exists in yourself whether you believe it or not.   God exsists inside of all of us.  We choose to let him in our hearts or to keep him out. 

We do that because we believe in GOD and in turn to believe in God is to believe in yourself.

I believe in GOD.  I Believe in myself because he created me.



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on August 10, 2006, 12:12:04 PM

If you believe:

That you are a great creation; that you are engineered for greatness; that you have unlimited potential; that inside you lies the ability to overcome many obstacles; that you have a tremendous ability to help others; that you have the capacity to love with all your heart; that you can accomplish what ever you set your mind to; in that will to survive to hold on when all hope is lost; etc...

Then how can you not believe in GOD? 

 

That's why i say to believe in one's self is to believe in GOD because you are in a sense, believing in what you cannot always see in your self but what still exists in yourself whether you believe it or not.   God exsists inside of all of us.  We choose to let him in our hearts or to keep him out. 

We do that because we believe in GOD and in turn to believe in God is to believe in yourself.

I believe in GOD.  I Believe in myself because he created me.



Makes sense to me.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 10, 2006, 01:04:18 PM

If you believe:

That you are a great creation; that you are engineered for greatness; that you have unlimited potential; that inside you lies the ability to overcome many obstacles; that you have a tremendous ability to help others; that you have the capacity to love with all your heart; that you can accomplish what ever you set your mind to; in that will to survive to hold on when all hope is lost; etc...

Then how can you not believe in GOD? 

 

That's why i say to believe in one's self is to believe in GOD because you are in a sense, believing in what you cannot always see in your self but what still exists in yourself whether you believe it or not.   God exsists inside of all of us.  We choose to let him in our hearts or to keep him out. 

We do that because we believe in GOD and in turn to believe in God is to believe in yourself.

I believe in GOD.  I Believe in myself because he created me.



That sounds good. It really does, but the statement that "to believe in yourself is to believe in God" does not glorify God, but instead it gives the connotation that you and God are one in the same.   Now, had you said, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, like Phillipians 4:13 says, then I would be more on board with your statement. But when I compare those two, I see that one glorifies God. The other glorifies yourself and God.  I know it sounds like i'm being nitpicky, but I believe that when we say things like this, it lends itself to making a gray area of who we are with respect to God.  Yes, I am a great creation, but I am God's creation, thus He is great, not me.  And so on for all the things you mention.  I guess the short of what I'm trying to say is that I agree with what you say, so long as you are giving God all the glory for being what you say.  I believe this is what Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 12:6-8 when he addressed the people of Corinth. 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: OzmO on August 10, 2006, 01:22:46 PM
That sounds good. It really does, but the statement that "to believe in yourself is to believe in God" does not glorify God, but instead it gives the connotation that you and God are one in the same.   Now, had you said, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, like Phillipians 4:13 says, then I would be more on board with your statement. But when I compare those two, I see that one glorifies God. The other glorifies yourself and God.  I know it sounds like i'm being nitpicky, but I believe that when we say things like this, it lends itself to making a gray area of who we are with respect to God.  Yes, I am a great creation, but I am God's creation, thus He is great, not me.  And so on for all the things you mention.  I guess the short of what I'm trying to say is that I agree with what you say, so long as you are giving God all the glory for being what you say.  I believe this is what Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 12:6-8 when he addressed the people of Corinth. 

We are living evidence of GOD's glory...

God is great....

We are great becuase GOD has made us... (2 different types of "great")

"Believing in yourself is giving GOD credit for his creation" might be a better way to say what i mean."

I like how you know passages in the bible that talk about these things.  :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 15, 2006, 05:04:21 AM
I can't believe that even required any sort of clarification at all. Seemed pretty self-evident to me.  :-\


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 15, 2006, 06:10:23 AM
I can't believe that even required any sort of clarification at all. Seemed pretty self-evident to me.  :-\
Actually, Jag,  the first of the red flags went off when I saw that you were actually in agreement with a professed follower of God.   :-\


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 15, 2006, 06:13:01 AM
Actually, Jag,  the first of the red flags went off when I saw that you were actually in agreement with a professed follower of God.   :-\

Well if THAT was your reason, ...may I suggest you adjust your radar systems because they are clearly OFF line.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 15, 2006, 06:17:19 AM
Quote from: jaguarenterprises
Well if THAT was your reason, ...may I suggest you adjust your radar systems because they are clearly OFF line.
it was only one.  trust me.  your opinion doesn't mean but so much to me.   :-*


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 24, 2006, 02:24:55 AM
On the Inherent Good in People

"Always try to see the good in people, no matter who they are. You will tell me, of course, that if we have illusions about others, we risk falling into traps and paying dearly for it. Even religions admit that human nature is basically bad, so why delude ourselves? Well, I will respond that your reasoning is incomplete and inadequate. You have fixed on the bad, forgetting that human beings are sons and daughters of God and have a soul and a spirit. Even if we do not see this divine spark at work very often, it is there, and, if we prepare conditions favourable to it, it is always capable of manifesting. In any case, deciding once and for all that people are bad will not favour the manifestation of their divine nature."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 11, 2006, 04:28:18 AM
DO THE RIGHT THING

                                        "Do the right thing.  Do it because it's right.  Do it right."
 
   When my husband's company decided to move across the country, Joe and I decided not to move with them.  Many employees were bitter about the move.  Some felt obligated to go with the company, and were resentful about being separated from family and friends.  Others felt that moving was not an option for them, and were indignant about being left behind.  My husband had a totally different attitude.  Even though he elected not to move with his company, he cheerfully and wholeheartedly got busy helping with the move.  As soon as he did, some of his coworkers began questioning him.  "Why are you helping with this move?  You're being left behind!"  Some even eyed him suspiciously, asking, "What's in it for you?"  Joe would just smile and say that he was doing it simply because he believed it was the right thing to do.

   Years ago, I heard a godly man say:  "Do the right thing.  Do it because it's right.  Do it right."  I have thought about this man's message many times over the years, and I have even posted his words of wisdom on my kitchen refrigerator for everyone to see.  No doubt, my husband's attitude toward his company's move was influenced by these powerful principles.  As Joe made up his mind to do what he thought was the right thing in a difficult situation, he became downright joyful.  And this is actually scriptural, because the Bible says, "You're one happy man when you do what's right, one happy woman when you form the habit of justice." (Psalm 106:3 MSG)  While my husband was surrounded by sour faces, he was able to wear a smile.  Don't you think that made him a more effective witness for Christ?  You bet it did.  And he was honoring the Lord with his attitude and actions.  As Proverbs says:  "To do right honors God; to sin is to despise Him." (Proverbs 14:2 TLB)  No matter what we say with our lips, if our conduct isn't right, we are demonstrating a lack of reverence and respect for the Lord, and we are damaging our witness.

   Scripture says:  "I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives.  I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve." (Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT)  My husband had the right motive when he decided to help his company with their move simply because it was the right thing to do.  He wasn't being compensated for it by his company, and he wasn't even getting any special recognition.  But he knew that the Lord saw his heart, and that He would honor his good intentions somehow.  Besides that, Joe has always taken pride in his work, even when he was doing the most menial tasks.  And he has always taken to heart the fact that, "Well-done work has its own reward." (Proverbs 12:14 MSG)

   When the Bible talks about performing a job of any kind, it says, "Don't just do the minimum that will get you by.  Do your best." (Colossians 3:23 MSG)  In other words, do the job right.  When Joe set about helping his company move, he threw all his energy into the task, and he did a good job.  As he kept his eyes on the Lord, instead of on his employer or coworkers, he was able to resist the temptation to slack off or to feel sorry for himself.  The rest of this scriptural passage says:  "Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance.  Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ.  The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible.  Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work." (Colossians 3:23-25 MSG)

   After my husband's company moved away, it was almost a year before he could find another job.  During that time, he suffered a major heart attack, and we faced some serious financial problems.  Would Joe have done things any differently when his company moved, had he known what troubles were up ahead for him?  No.  Because did the right thing, simply because it was the right thing to do, he has had no regrets.  Whatever you are facing today, will you answer God's call to do what is right in His sight?

   Lord, please give me the courage, the strength, and the grace I need to do the right thing in every situation and circumstance.  Remind me often that my motives mean everything to You, and that no matter who I'm dealing with, I'm ultimately serving You.  Thank You that as I concentrate on pleasing and glorifying You, I will live a life of satisfaction, fulfillment, and purpose!

From J.M. Farro  (www.jmfarro.com (http://www.jmfarro.com))


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 12, 2006, 04:35:35 AM
Good devotional from Pastor Bob Coy

www.activeword.org/devotional/index.cfm?d=20060911 (http://www.activeword.org/devotional/index.cfm?d=20060911)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Martin1981 on September 12, 2006, 10:04:01 PM
I'll recommend a book: "Civilization and Its Discontents", by Sigmund Freud.  It's a pretty amazing view as to what human nature is like, and certainly quite a different view from what's been expressed here.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on September 20, 2006, 08:10:44 PM
On Celestial Currents

"An infinite number of waves travel throughout space, and science has perfected highly specialized instruments capable of capturing some of them. But there are other, even subtler waves which we ourselves can learn to capture, for we have the means to do so. The Creator has placed psychic centres within us – the aura and the chakras in particular – which allow us to receive waves projected across space by entities of the invisible world. Just as we do for programmes broadcast by radio stations, we must tune our receivers to the corresponding frequencies if we want to capture these waves. ‘How do we tune our receivers?’ you ask. By working to purify yourselves, for once the field has been cleared, the channel is free, and celestial currents no longer encounter obstacles on their way to you. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on September 20, 2006, 08:24:58 PM
Why don't you just post the link to the site that contains all of the Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov quotes, since he's the only person you seem to reference?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on September 21, 2006, 12:06:09 AM
there isn't one.

And stop being such an intolerant religious bigot. If you don't like his comments, don't read them.  >:(


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on September 21, 2006, 12:29:28 AM
there isn't one.

And stop being such an intolerant religious bigot. If you don't like his comments, don't read them.  >:(

I don't read them.  It's just that the links are much easier to skip over than the gobbledygook text you always quote. 

I bet you don't even read that nonsense. 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 22, 2006, 05:32:54 AM
Do What You Can NOW, Not When It's Too Late!

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)

I urge, then first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.


Just as everyone was devastated at the untimely death of Steve Irwin a couple of weeks ago, I was really taken aback.  I immediately found myself wondering if Steve was saved, so much so that I prayed about it often as I was sorting through my feelings of hurt for his wife, Terri, and his kids.  I remember asking STella if she thought he was saved.  I realized what I was doing...I was trying to justify Steve into heaven.  I thought, here is this man, who is so passionate about all the creatures that God has placed on this earth, how could he NOT know that their was a God in heaven.  But in the world in which we live, it's very easy to be blinded of our faith, even when the tangibles are right in front of us. 

Well, it dawned on me a couple of days ago that...if I really cared about Steve Irwin's salvation, I should have been praying for him all along.  It was confirmed later that indeed Steve Irwin had recently accepted Christ as his Savior.  While I was elated to find this out, I was kind of saddened again, because I realized I hadn't done my part to pray for him.

Paul writes to Timothy and gives him instructions on how to serve the people in Ephesus.  As I read these verses above, I understand that we should always be praying for others in the hopes that they might understand who Christ is and come to love Him and accept Him as their Savior.  I guess I had forgotten to do this for Steve Irwin.   Rest assured, I'll do my best not to make this mistake again for others.

In His Name,

Colossus


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 25, 2006, 04:24:41 AM
OUR HELPER THE HOLY SPIRIT

  "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."  John 14:26 NASB

   Years ago, a young student wrote me for prayer concerning an exam that she was preparing to take.  She said, "Please pray that the Holy Spirit will bring to my remembrance the things I need to know during my exam."  It was a simple request, but one that would radically change my prayer life.  I was familiar with Jesus' words in John 14:26 (NIV)--"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you"--but I was always under the impression that this kind of supernatural "recall" was limited to spiritual things.  I was wrong. 

   Nowadays, I count on the Spirit of God for all kinds of things, both large and small.  If I'm doing laundry and I have to be out of earshot of my machines, I ask the Holy Spirit to remind me to check them before our clothes are ruined.  If I'm in the shower and I notice that the bar of soap is getting small, I ask Him to remind me to replace it as soon as I get out of the tub.  Occasionally, when I want to wake up earlier than usual, but I don't need to set my alarm, I pray, "Holy Spirit, please wake me up at just the right time in the morning."  Since it pleases the Lord for us to exercise our faith, I believe that it delights His heart when we practice using our "faith muscles" in this way.  As our faith grows, we will find it easier to use it for bigger things, and under tougher circumstances.  The truth is, there simply isn't anything that's too small or insignificant for us to pray about.  Jesus said:  "I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large.  Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything." (Mark 11:24 MSG)  This kind of all-inclusive prayer will not only increase our level of blessings, but it will increase our intimacy with God.  As far as I'm concerned, that alone is a good enough reason to pray about everything.

   Did you know that you could ask the Holy Spirit to help you to memorize the Word of God?  It's true.  I'm so grateful that the Lord led me to hear a teaching on this subject many years ago, so that I could take advantage of this divine gift.  Sometimes people ask me how I've managed to memorize so many Scriptures.  I have to confess that I rely heavily on the Spirit of God's help in this area.  Lately, we've all been hearing about how memorization can keep the human brain healthy and young.  I can't think of anything that's better for us to memorize than the Holy Scriptures.  As we plant--or "deposit"--God's Word in our hearts and minds in this way, we will be able to make the necessary "withdrawals" when we need to pray for ourselves or others.  Praying the Word of God is powerful.  And the Holy Spirit will bring to mind the exact Scriptures we need to pray for each person at the proper time.  Do you ever tell people that you're going to pray for them, but then you forget?  Well, you can ask the Spirit of God to bring those people to your remembrance often, so that you won't neglect to keep them covered in prayer.

   Sometimes, when my husband I and are shopping at a large store and we get separated, I pray, "Holy Spirit, please lead me to Joe."  I've also asked Him to help me locate something that I've misplaced.  And I'm always amazed at how He shows that He cares by answering these little petitions.  Scripture says, "By our faith--the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying." (Romans 8:26 TLB)  If you have trusted Christ as your Savior, and have made Him the Lord of your life, you have a divine "Helper" living on the inside of you right now.  Ask Him to help you with your "daily problems" and "in your praying," and take full advantage of the privileges and rights that belong to you in Christ!

   Lord, help me to become more sensitive to Your Spirit's leading through prayer and the study of Your Word.  Teach me how to rely more heavily upon Your Spirit as I go about my daily routine.  Thank You that as I invite and involve You in everything I do, I will experience Your presence and Your power like never before!

From J.M. Farro  (www.jmfarro.com (http://www.jmfarro.com))


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on September 25, 2006, 11:06:00 AM
A LESSON I LEARNED FROM A BRATTY KID


There was a kid in front of us at church yesterday, staring at people, making noise, punching around on his uncle etc.  When his mother reached for his arm to calm him, he pulled it away like a total BRAT. 

You could see his parents were disappointed and irritated by the kid's behavior. 

After thinking how badly that kid was getting on my nerves, I realized something. 

I am like that little kid sometimes.  God is like the mother who was trying to get the kid to behave.   :-[







Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 25, 2006, 12:51:09 PM
A LESSON I LEARNED FROM A BRATTY KID


There was a kid in front of us at church yesterday, staring at people, making noise, punching around on his uncle etc.  When his mother reached for his arm to calm him, he pulled it away like a total BRAT. 

You could see his parents were disappointed and irritated by the kid's behavior. 

After thinking how badly that kid was getting on my nerves, I realized something. 

I am like that little kid sometimes.  God is like the mother who was trying to get the kid to behave.   :-[


Ouch!  Talk about conviction. :-[  I never looked at it like that.

great post, buddyro!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on September 25, 2006, 04:45:08 PM
Creating Internal Harmony

"The sun is the centre of the solar system, and all the planets revolve around it in harmonious motion. It is this harmonious movement of the planets around the sun that we must recreate within ourselves, so that all the particles of our being enter into the rhythm of universal life. When we contemplate the sunrise each morning with the desire to draw on its energies, to penetrate it but also to rediscover it within ourselves, we leave the periphery of our being where disorder reigns and return to the centre in peace, freedom and light. In doing so we re-establish within ourselves an identical system with its own sun at the centre: our spirit, which comes to dwell in us and take command.

For solutions to the questions that arise daily in both our psychic and material lives, we must work inwardly to become an organized system, in other words to place the sun within us, so that everything revolves around this centre of light and warmth."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on September 25, 2006, 04:53:09 PM
Ouch!  Talk about conviction. :-[  I never looked at it like that.

great post, buddyro!

I'll tell ya buddyro, it was a good lesson but that kid was a bit.......well.......ske ery :o


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 26, 2006, 05:18:56 AM
I'll tell ya buddyro, it was a good lesson but that kid was a bit.......well.......ske ery :o
Don't be skerd, buddryo!   ;D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on September 26, 2006, 07:42:31 AM
Don't be skerd, buddryo!   ;D

The name "Damien" kept coming to mind :o   :'(


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 26, 2006, 11:53:23 AM
lol!  was he THAT unruly? :o


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on September 26, 2006, 12:00:29 PM
It was his eyes buddyro...and his lack of smile.....kinda freaky


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 26, 2006, 12:12:59 PM
dat boy got da debil in him! :o


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on September 26, 2006, 12:16:02 PM
A LESSON I LEARNED FROM A BRATTY KID


There was a kid in front of us at church yesterday, staring at people, making noise, punching around on his uncle etc.  When his mother reached for his arm to calm him, he pulled it away like a total BRAT. 

You could see his parents were disappointed and irritated by the kid's behavior. 

After thinking how badly that kid was getting on my nerves, I realized something. 

I am like that little kid sometimes.  God is like the mother who was trying to get the kid to behave.   :-[


Send that kid to my house.  I will have complete control within 24 hours.  He'll be doing push ups, doing his chores, sitting quietly in church.   ;D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on September 28, 2006, 05:28:05 AM
On The Subject of Faith or Trust in Authority

"It is true that I sometimes say to you: ‘Believe me’, but this does not mean I am asking for blind faith. I ask only that you take my explanations seriously, that you meditate on them, put them to the test and verify them. Because if you examine them, I am absolutely sure you will believe me. On the other hand, if you believe me just like that, without thought or verification, sooner or later anyone or anything will be able to sway you. Contrary to what most people think, faith is not a simple blind adherence, without foundation, and because people do not understand this, they are forever in the throes of uncertainty. Faith, like science, is founded on verification, experimentation and lucidity."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 28, 2006, 07:47:34 AM
Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 03, 2006, 10:50:29 AM
On Seeking Comfort

"There are always new things to learn, new efforts to be made. This is what keeps us young and alive. Today, in spite of immense advances in medicine, diseases unknown in the past are appearing in industrialized and prosperous countries. Why is this? And why do so many people suffer from depression, anxiety and other nervous disorders?

Because even if they work, people always consider a life of comfort, ease and pleasure as their ideal. But this programme for a life of ease is inscribed nowhere in nature. Comfort, ease and the pursuit of pleasure introduce the germs of disease in man and destroy his very life. His cells grow lazy and no longer eliminate impurities. They become toxic, and his organism loses its capacity for resistance. Be wary of comfort, ease and a life of pleasure; rid your mind of this ideal, for in reality it is the bearer of death."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 03, 2006, 10:51:16 AM
Register Your Vote

"More than six billion human beings inhabit the earth, but how many of them genuinely wish for the peace and happiness of humanity? So very few! And when these few raise their voices they are quickly stifled by the clamour of those who, consciously or not, only want to dominate others and seize their lands and riches. This is why the celestial entities, seeing how few people are capable of voting in favour of peace and well-being for all, have no choice but to leave humanity to its sad lot.

Without realizing it, human beings are participating, for good or ill, in a collective endeavour. If the voices of the altruistic and enlightened increase in number – or even if, without increasing their numbers they become more powerful and convincing – the decision will be taken in favour of the kingdom of God and the Golden Age. But people themselves must tilt the balance in this direction, for the spirits on high do not intervene. They are content, shall we say, to register the votes."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 03, 2006, 10:52:50 AM
Pillars of Love and Faith

"Our inner life rests on two pillars, love and faith, and we must therefore work with them. There are scientists who want to annihilate faith, and claim they will free us from all superstition. As for love, the philosophers view it with scorn: they see its various manifestations – goodness, gentleness, humility – as examples of intellectual weakness, and in their opinion it is the intellect alone that makes understanding possible.

Well, there you have the entire conflict in perspective! I am not an enemy of either science or philosophy. I merely observe that the two pillars which support humanity’s inner temple have been seriously shaken, and if we do nothing to reinforce them the entire edifice will collapse. If we no longer have faith or love, how can we speak of hope?"

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on October 06, 2006, 03:05:24 PM
I'm currently reading "The Traveler's Gift:  Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success."  It's about a man who is having a major life crisis, gets into an accident, and is then transported through time to meet different historical figures, who each give him advice.  So far, he has met Harry Truman, Solomon, Columbus, Anne Frank, and Abraham Lincoln.  During his conversation with Lincoln, Lincoln makes the following comment:

"Sooner or later, every man of character will have that character questioned.  Every man of honor and courage will be faced with unjust criticism, but never forget that unjust criticism has no impact whatsoever upon the truth.  And the only sure way to avoid criticism is to do nothing and be nothing!" 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 07, 2006, 11:26:43 PM

"Sooner or later, every man of character will have that character questioned.  Every man of honor and courage will be faced with unjust criticism, but never forget that unjust criticism has no impact whatsoever upon the truth.  And the only sure way to avoid criticism is to do nothing and be nothing!" 


So very true. One should always be more concerned with their character than their reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. And remember, there are a lot of people out there who succumb to jealousy and live their lives vicariously through you. Your successes only make them more aware of the meaningless lives they lead, while you don't know or care that they exist.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 07, 2006, 11:28:02 PM
On Working With The Light

"When rays of light fall on an object, it becomes visible. Without this light we see nothing. This proves that if the ‘invisible world’ does not exist for us, it is simply because we are unable to project the rays of light which would allow us to see the objects and entities that exist there. Initiates are able to see so many things others cannot see, precisely because they know how to project these rays. This is why they insist so emphatically that we work on the light and with the light, so that we too may learn to project these rays which alone enable us to see the subtle realities of the spiritual world."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 10, 2006, 02:39:18 AM
On Working Towards Perfection

"When Jesus said: ‘My Father is still working, and I also am working’, what did he want us to understand? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Very simply, he was asking us to start working as well. But instead, people leave Jesus to his work with his Father, while they tend to their hens and pigs. You will say: ‘But there is a world of difference between Jesus and us! He is the son of God, he is perfect, while we…! It is arrogant to imagine that we could do the same work he does.’ Fine, think what you will, but know that Jesus himself thought differently, since he also said: ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’ Or again: ‘The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these.’ This is why I tell you that Christians are lazy. They would have others believe it is out of humility that they do not engage in the only activity which is truly worthwhile: participating in the work of God. No, this is not humility, but laziness! "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 11, 2006, 07:56:10 AM
PROOF OF HIS LOVE

My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD, or loathe His reproof, For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.    Proverbs 3:11-12  NASB

   Years ago, my husband, Joe, was in a very unfair job situation which perplexes him to this day.  He and one other man worked for a boss who was very hard on my husband, but very easy on his coworker.  This boss expected Joe to be on time for work, but when his coworker was late, sometimes hours late, he never said a word.  Joe's boss didn't want my husband spending too much time on the phone, yet this other man got personal calls all day long.  My husband's coworker did very little work, while Joe was given more and more tasks to complete, sometimes with unreasonable deadlines.  Numerous times, my husband tried talking to his boss and his coworker about the unfairness of the situation, but nothing ever changed.

   Just the other day, Joe was talking about this experience, and how he is still baffled by it.  I told him that his boss obviously had a lot of respect for him, and that he recognized his great potential, and that's why he expected so much more from my husband than from the other man.  As we spoke, it dawned on me that this scenario is one that's often played out in the lives of believers.  We see other people getting away with all kinds of misbehavior, and yet we suffer divine conviction and correction when we do things that aren't nearly half as bad.  Why is that?  Because God expects more from His children, than from those who aren't devoted to Him.  And Scripture bears this out.  Jesus said:  "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows.  But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.  From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:47-48 NIV)  Once we hear the message of the Gospel and choose to follow Christ, because of our awareness of the truth, and our commitment to the Lord, we will be held to higher standards than the rest of the world.

   I like the way the Living Bible translates Luke 12:48:  "Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater."  Why is our responsibility greater?  One reason is that Christ-followers are given special gifts--gifts that should be used to serve God and others for the good of the Kingdom.  As the Message Bible puts it, "Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!"  Perhaps you think you don't have a lot of gifts or talents.  You are wrong.  God has equipped you with everything you need to be a world-changer for His glory.  He has planted seeds of greatness on the inside of you, and you will see them grow and blossom as you walk in close fellowship with Him on a moment-by-moment basis.  Scripture says, "God has given gifts to each of you from His great variety of spiritual gifts.  Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you." (1 Peter 4:10 NLT)  The Lord wants to help us fulfill our God-given purpose and potential.  One of the ways we can cooperate with Him is to "manage" our gifts and talents "well."  God will give us supernatural wisdom and grace to do exactly that when we call on Him in faith.

   The Bible says:  "Do not resent it when God chastens and corrects you, for His punishment is proof of His love.  Just as a father punishes a son he delights in to make him better, so the Lord corrects you." (Proverbs 3:11-12 TLB)  If we would begin seeing God's loving correction as "proof of His love," we would respond to it in ways that would make us more productive and fruitful for His glory, and in ways that would draw us closer to Him.  He sees our awesome potential, and He disciplines us to "make us better," not to belittle us, or discourage us.  God is calling us up to higher levels of obedience, responsibility, and blessing.  Today, let's answer His call and become all He created us to be!

   Lord, give me the wisdom and humility I need to respond to your loving correction in Christlike ways.  Teach me how to seek Your face each day, so You can reveal to me exactly what my God-given gifts are.  Thank You that as I manage my gifts well, You will help me to reach my maximum potential!
                                                           


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 18, 2006, 12:53:18 AM
Trangressing Laws and the Loss of Power

"People think they have tremendous power over themselves: they can commit any stupidity whatsoever with no consequences, because simply by willing it they can live in peace. Poor creatures, so quick to assess the extent of their power! No matter what they do, if they have behaved badly, something within them will grow darker and darker and finally disintegrate.

To go forward in life with confidence and a sense of security, you must subject your thoughts, feelings and actions to the laws of honesty, integrity and selflessness. As soon as one of these laws is transgressed, you lose your powers, and these are restored only if you correct your mistakes and take up the right path again. What distinguishes true spiritualists from ordinary human beings is that they become conscious of their errors right away and are quick to make amends. This is where their power lies: in recognizing their mistakes and seeking to rectify them."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 18, 2006, 05:40:39 AM
Trangressing Laws and the Loss of Power

"People think they have tremendous power over themselves: they can commit any stupidity whatsoever with no consequences, because simply by willing it they can live in peace. Poor creatures, so quick to assess the extent of their power! No matter what they do, if they have behaved badly, something within them will grow darker and darker and finally disintegrate.

To go forward in life with confidence and a sense of security, you must subject your thoughts, feelings and actions to the laws of honesty, integrity and selflessness. As soon as one of these laws is transgressed, you lose your powers, and these are restored only if you correct your mistakes and take up the right path again. What distinguishes true spiritualists from ordinary human beings is that they become conscious of their errors right away and are quick to make amends. This is where their power lies: in recognizing their mistakes and seeking to rectify them."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Aïvanhov almost has the idea here, but he's missing a HUGE factor.  Without that key element, Aïvanhov's point is moot.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 27, 2006, 07:46:58 PM
Aïvanhov almost has the idea here, but he's missing a HUGE factor.  Without that key element, Aïvanhov's point is moot.

 ::)  Don't tell me, ...he didn't make any mention of "Jesus"? If that's not what you meant, ...forgive my cynicism.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on October 28, 2006, 12:29:04 AM
Have you ever met another person who reads Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 30, 2006, 07:15:25 AM
::)  Don't tell me, ...he didn't make any mention of "Jesus"? If that's not what you meant, ...forgive my cynicism.
Why, yes, Ms. Jag.  You are correct - God is the answer!!!  Someone give that lady her prize.   :P


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 03, 2006, 12:33:03 PM
Why, yes, Ms. Jag.  You are correct - God is the answer!!! 

God IS the law to which he is referring

Quote
Someone give that lady her prize.   :P

Ooooh what did I win? ....a shiny new car, ...a trip around the world, ...$10 Million from Reader's Digest?  :P



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Debussey on November 03, 2006, 12:40:56 PM
::)  Don't tell me, ...he didn't make any mention of "Jesus"? If that's not what you meant, ...forgive my cynicism.

You bratty little lady.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 03, 2006, 12:44:08 PM
You bratty little lady.

(_^_)    :P


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 05, 2006, 11:23:11 PM
We are mere Seedlings of Divine Perfection

"Human beings are like seeds cast into the world by the Creator, each imprinted with the image of divine perfection. This is the meaning of the verse in Genesis which says that God created man in his image. And what is the destiny of a seed? To germinate and grow until it becomes a tree.

We are all seeds, which is to say potential divinities. Yes, and by striving each day to improve what is best in us, we will truly become divinities. To be a seed is magnificent in itself, but it is even better to become a tree with roots, a trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits, for here we find plenitude. This is why we must work to come closer and closer to divine perfection, to this perfection already imprinted somewhere within us, as it is in the seed, so we too may become a tree of life."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 06, 2006, 08:01:22 AM
God IS the law to which he is referring

Ooooh what did I win? ....a shiny new car, ...a trip around the world, ...$10 Million from Reader's Digest?  :P


how's this for a prize?





Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 06, 2006, 09:54:09 AM
how's this for a prize?


kewl!  :D  umm... You are talking about the car, ...and not the chubby guy in the burgundy sweatshirt right?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 06, 2006, 10:27:56 AM
kewl!  :D  umm... You are talking about the car, ...and not the chubby guy in the burgundy sweatshirt right?
LOL!!!!  that was just wrong, Jag! 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 07, 2006, 07:44:08 PM
LOL!!!!  that was just wrong, Jag! 

(_^_)  :P


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 07, 2006, 07:47:07 PM
On The Essence of Man

"The human being is a spirit which in its descent to earth was successively sheathed in matter of greater and greater density, which initiatic Science refers to as bodies. Beginning with the most subtle, these are the atmic, buddhic, causal, mental, astral and physical bodies. The physical body is therefore the last and densest of these sheaths. In its descent into matter, the spirit became increasingly confined, but it had already agreed to these limits. If, as he descended, man had known how to maintain his bond with higher realms, he would not at this point be so handicapped and crushed under the weight of matter. He complains that his situation is dictated by material conditions, which is true, but this is because he has not learned to maintain the supremacy of the spirit in himself. When he begins to work on himself, he will see that his spirit and soul, his thought and will can improve all the conditions of his life, and little by little he will rediscover his original powers."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 07, 2006, 07:48:35 PM
Finding Peace

"So many people believe they will at last find peace by changing their apartment, friends, career, country, religion, husband or wife! A little tranquillity, a respite, yes, but in no time, wherever they are, new torments will come and assail them. Why? Because they have not understood that peace depends on a change in their way of thinking, feeling and behaving. When they make some of these changes, peace will come to dwell in them, even if they stay in the same place with the same problems.  True peace does not depend on conditions outside ourselves. It comes from within; it springs forth and inundates us, in spite of all the turbulence and trepidation in the world. Those who possess this peace and are able to dispense it, to spread it around them as something real and alive, become true sons and daughters of God."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 07, 2006, 07:52:42 PM
On Having Good Thoughts

"It is not enough simply to have good thoughts. All the clear, just and noble thoughts we may have must descend into the heart, where they will manifest as feelings, and then as corresponding actions. Many people have excellent ideas and good judgement, but what good are these ideas and this judgement unless they translate into actions of the same quality? Because of the contrast between what people have in their heads and the reality of their everyday lives, they are so often unhappy and disappointed and cannot understand why. There must be a link, a communication between what is above and what is below: the circuits must be connected. Thought cannot touch and transform matter directly; it can only do so through the intermediary of feeling. Only by way of feeling, therefore, do ideas take on flesh and bone and become embodied in matter."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on November 07, 2006, 11:35:08 PM
lol.   ;D  Uh, Jag, I don't think anyone reads this stuff. . . .


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 08, 2006, 10:19:05 AM
...apparently you do.

If you don't have anything of value to contribute to the thread, ...why not abstain from posting in it?

just a thought.  :-\


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on November 08, 2006, 10:27:51 AM
...apparently you do.

If you don't have anything of value to contribute to the thread, ...why not abstain from posting in it?

just a thought.  :-\

Actually, I don't.  My value to this thread is poking fun at the psychobabble you continue to post, that no one actually reads.  Actually, I may post something substantive every once in a while.  But it's much more fun to get a rise out of you.  You're too easy.   :)  And laughter is good medicine.  (Does that count as something of value?)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 10, 2006, 10:14:47 PM
On Faith Without Acts

"Either consciously or unconsciously, those who treat others with goodwill, understanding, patience and generosity manifest their faith in a higher principle which dictates their conduct. As for those who imagine that their faith excuses their errors in the eyes of God, they are doubly mistaken. First, their faith does not erase their faults. Secondly, they are demonstrating a dishonesty which makes their faults even worse, for claiming to believe in the Lord while doing the opposite of what he asks is to mock him. If faith were enough, why are so many believers plunged in deplorable states where their faith can do nothing for them? Although they seem to be saying: ‘I believe... I believe…’, we hear another voice rising from their very depths saying: ‘I am weak, I am sick, I am ignorant.’! Actions are the only true measure of faith. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 11, 2006, 07:32:46 PM
Benefits of Inner Harmony

"If you work to beautify, enrich and harmonize everything within you, not only will you feel at home in yourself, but you will also be able to receive guests in this magnificent dwelling. Yes, luminous spirits will be delighted to come and visit you!  Notice what happens when you receive friends: if you entertain them well in pleasant surroundings, offering them a delicious meal, a stroll and a concert, won’t they want to come again? Well, it is the same with the luminous entities of the invisible world. They too are your friends, and if they find in you a dwelling where beauty, harmony and purity reign, they will come and pay you a visit, or perhaps settle permanently, and it is you who will benefit from their presence."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 17, 2006, 07:32:35 AM
This is an incredible testimony.  If you are willing to listen for 40 minutes, it will be well worth your time.   :)

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Focus_on_the_Family/archives.asp?bcd=2006-11-16 (http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Focus_on_the_Family/archives.asp?bcd=2006-11-16)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 23, 2006, 04:20:57 PM
Lessons from the zodiac to maximize our potential

"Each planet in the solar system represents particular qualities, and these qualities are either enhanced or diminished according to which signs of the Zodiac they are passing through. When Mars arrives in Aries, for example, it becomes strong and powerful, because Aries gives it all its energy. Mars and Aries are in sympathy with one another: they understand and draw strength from each other. But when Mars comes into other signs such as Cancer or Libra, it is weakened, because these signs are foreign to its nature. Similarly, the planets within us, in other words our thoughts and feelings, are enhanced or diminished according to the organs or centres through which they manifest. If your love is in your head it will not behave in the same way as it would if it were in your heart. And if your wisdom is somewhere other than in your mind, it will not be very effective. Only when virtues and organs are in sympathy do they draw great power from one another."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 23, 2006, 04:27:03 PM
On Maintaining Proper Psychic Nutrition

"Just as we have a physical stomach, so we also have a psychic stomach. And just as there are skins, peelings, fish bones and so on to be removed from our food before we put it in our mouth, so in the realm of thought and emotion are there certain unclean and harmful elements to be removed.

Those who refuse to study this question of nutrition in the psychic domain have great trials in store for them. Thoughts and feelings are the materials with which man forms his various subtle bodies, and if he builds a hovel, he will not be visited by a prince or high priest, but by beggars, symbolically speaking. It is man who constructs his etheric, astral and mental bodies, and according to the quality of these bodies, his entire destiny is charted. This is why you must learn to choose your thoughts and feelings, with a view to nourishing only the purest, most selfless states of consciousness in yourself. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 25, 2006, 03:07:28 AM
On Seeking God's Kingdom

"First and foremost, a spiritual master teaches his disciples the science of life. But his disciples, who have no idea of the value of life, think: ‘What is this science? How to live? But who cares? How to predict the future, make talismans, protect oneself and find out about previous incarnations… this is what is interesting.’ And they waste their time reading books on occultism, or meeting with people who supposedly illuminate them. In the meantime, they neglect their life until, weak and disappointed, having found nothing they had hoped for, they begin to understand that they have missed what is essential. Yes, because nothing can equal or surpass life: not science, philosophy, occult powers or money. You must therefore protect, purify and illuminate your life, because thanks to it you will obtain true knowledge, true clairvoyance, true riches and true powers."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on December 05, 2006, 01:07:11 AM
On Religious Faith

"Religious teachings necessarily put the emphasis on faith. And it is true that in the beginning this is necessary, for what human beings need most is to believe in a creative Principle, in a power that infinitely surpasses them, whether it be called ‘God’ or another name. By asking people to believe, religion encourages them to take a certain course; it invites them to direct their sights towards a higher world. Even if they cannot immediately adjust their actions to the moral law that ensues from their faith in God, their growing consciousness of the existence of a supreme Being at least stimulates their efforts to rise to him. For God extends invisible threads to us, and it is out of faith that we grasp these threads without fear of their breaking and make the necessary efforts to elevate ourselves."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on December 05, 2006, 11:36:53 PM
This is an incredible testimony.  If you are willing to listen for 40 minutes, it will be well worth your time.   :)

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Focus_on_the_Family/archives.asp?bcd=2006-11-16 (http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Focus_on_the_Family/archives.asp?bcd=2006-11-16)

I listened.  I think it's only about 20 minutes or so.  Awesome testimony.  Definitely worth the time.  She is an incredible woman.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on December 12, 2006, 07:32:48 PM
On Scientific Progress

"We must now reconsider and question all the successes scientists are so proud of. Is true progress a matter of sending spacecraft to other planets? And to do what, after all? To exploit their resources and introduce the same disorder we have created on earth? Why go and disturb the entire universe now? There is nothing wrong with wanting to explore the cosmos, but not before we have understood and resolved certain things here on earth. People have no respect; they think they are free to go anywhere without concern for the upheavals they cause. But one day they will pay dearly for this violence. As long as scientists have no other goal but to give people the means to assault nature, to dig it up and exploit it, with no consideration whatsoever for the damage they do, they have no right to be proud of the so-called progress they bring about for civilization."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Debussey on December 12, 2006, 07:34:13 PM
On Scientific Progress

"We must now reconsider and question all the successes scientists are so proud of. Is true progress a matter of sending spacecraft to other planets? And to do what, after all? To exploit their resources and introduce the same disorder we have created on earth? Why go and disturb the entire universe now? There is nothing wrong with wanting to explore the cosmos, but not before we have understood and resolved certain things here on earth. People have no respect; they think they are free to go anywhere without concern for the upheavals they cause. But one day they will pay dearly for this violence. As long as scientists have no other goal but to give people the means to assault nature, to dig it up and exploit it, with no consideration whatsoever for the damage they do, they have no right to be proud of the so-called progress they bring about for civilization."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Hey there Jaggy ;)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on December 14, 2006, 07:42:21 PM
"Heirs To The Kingdom"

"Since we are all heirs of our heavenly Father, of his splendour, his power and his light, this means that we are all princes and princesses. So why is our life on earth so difficult at times? Now and then we meet very beautiful souls, true princes and princesses, but they are like beggars, condemned to live in deplorable conditions. Why is this? There is always a reason. It may be, of course, that they have debts to settle, karma to pay, and that divine justice has placed them in these conditions. But often there are other reasons, for the goal of cosmic Intelligence is always to push us to perfect ourselves, and for this it has to put us through ordeals. Yes, only certain very specific ordeals educate us and make us stronger, and it is thanks to them that one day we will be able to assume our divine heritage."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on December 25, 2006, 01:49:07 PM
On The Birth of Jesus

"Even if what is written in the Gospels on the subject of Jesus’ birth does not correspond to historical reality, it is absolutely true from the symbolic and esoteric point of view, and this is what is important for us. When the Christ child is born in the soul of the disciple, the celestial spirits place themselves in his service, for he is a royal child, and all heaven comes to admire him and bring him what he needs. Whether or not a star, angels, shepherds and a manger with an ass and ox really existed does not matter; from a symbolic point of view it is all true. Each time the Christ is born in a soul, the star is there, the angels sing, and the wise men come and bow down, offering gifts."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on December 26, 2006, 09:50:32 PM
Understanding Bible Truths

"The truths expressed in the Bible have been lived by exceptional spirits. If you are to understand these truths, you must strive to follow these spirits to the same regions they attained and by doing so enter into their vision of things. To interpret the parables of Jesus, for example, it is not enough merely to analyse the texts. A different science is required: the science of symbols, which can only be acquired by exercising the faculties of the soul and spirit. We are able to understand the sacred texts when we succeed in vibrating at the same wavelength as their authors. Otherwise their true language remains foreign to us. We must feel what they felt and live what they lived, in other words we must rise to their level of consciousness. Then, truly, our light shines forth! But this elevated level of consciousness can be attained only if we improve our way of life, if we become more attentive and respectful of the laws of the spiritual world."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on December 26, 2006, 09:54:04 PM
On the Concept of Thoughts as Living Entities

"Thoughts are living entities, and according to their nature and power and the intention and feeling we give them, they direct themselves toward certain objects or people. Some only live a short time, while others endure for centuries and even millennia. We must think of each thought as a creature which strives to live as long as possible, until it can no longer maintain itself and dies. All thoughts of the same nature come together and are reinforced and enhanced by each other. We are not in the habit of considering thoughts as living entities, created and nourished by humans. This is a domain completely neglected by official science. Only initiatic Science, which has carefully studied matters of the human psyche, understands that thoughts are entities. Depending on the situation and the person projecting it, an entity can be beautiful, expressive, intelligent and powerful, or dull, weak, misshapen and even monstrous. As you can see, there is as much to be said about thoughts as there is about human beings."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on January 03, 2007, 01:27:26 PM
Me Again
Written and Performed by J. Moss

"So many times we feel lost, because we’ve strayed away or somehow lost our way.  And you feel that what you’ve done you cannot recover from.  But remember the Word says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.”

Forgive me, Oh Lord, it’s me again
Forgive me, Oh Lord, it’s me again
I’ve disobeyed your word,
I’ve slipped out of your will,
Regretful I stand
Me Again

Forgive me, Oh Lord, it’s me again
Forgive me, Oh Lord, it’s me again
I’ve disobeyed your word,
I’ve slipped out of your will,
Remorseful I stand
Me Again

Oh merciful God, we need you today

Send your mercy
Down from glory (would you have me back again?)
Lord, please purge me (wash me whiter than snow)
Renew me (create in me a clean heart and a new spirit)
Fix me (if you find in me anything that is not of your will, take it out)
Again… Again… Again…


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 04, 2007, 12:47:25 AM
On Sharing Your Joy

"When the spiritual life brings you moments of peace, joy and wonder, you must not keep them for yourself. Devote at least a few minutes to sharing something of these privileged states by means of your thoughts. Think of all the beings in the world who are in anguish and despair. Focus your thoughts on them and say: ‘Dear brothers and sisters throughout the world, what I possess is so beautiful, so luminous, that I want to share it with you. Receive some of this beauty; take some of this light!’   Since you know that your state of mind generates waves that spread out into the world, do not keep your happiness for yourself; share it with others. Not only will you be doing them good, you will also amplify these states in yourself. Yes, this is a magical phenomenon. The best way to hold on to your joy is to share it."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 04, 2007, 12:52:13 AM
On Bowing Before Universal Law

"When you wake up in the morning, and several times during the day, think of the universal Soul as a diapason to which you must tune yourself. By doing so you will gradually enter into cosmic harmony. Until you decide to do this work of adjustment, you will be like instruments that are out of tune. You will think: ‘But it’s humiliating to have to conform endlessly to norms!’ No, true spiritualists are never ashamed about wanting their thoughts, feelings and actions to conform to the divine diapason. And they are not concerned if others think their refusal to express their independence of mind shows a lack of dignity and pride. In what many call pride and independence, initiates see only weakness, and in what others call weakness they see strength. To have true dignity is to bow before the laws of universal harmony."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 05, 2007, 07:21:15 PM
On Great Achievements

"You must not count on great achievements to save you and ensure your equilibrium. It is the little things that do the most good, and if you make a habit of taking them seriously you will develop an inner stance that will protect you. There are so many opportunities to make little efforts, even if it is simply picking up something in the road or on a path as you pass by – a piece of rubbish, an empty bottle – or pushing aside a stone or bits of glass that could trip and hurt someone. It is your love that will save you, and it is precisely through these seemingly insignificant everyday gestures that you can show your love. So always try to find something new to do, knowing that every little gesture made with care, sincerity and love is like a creature of light that comes to accompany you."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on January 05, 2007, 11:59:39 PM
Not really a devotional, but here is a quote from Teddy Roosevelt, using a boxing analogy (from the John C. Maxwell's "Leadership 101:  What Every Leader Needs to Know"):

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 06, 2007, 12:24:54 AM
Not really a devotional, but here is a quote from Teddy Roosevelt, using a boxing analogy (from the John C. Maxwell's "Leadership 101:  What Every Leader Needs to Know"):

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.


 :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 07, 2007, 11:58:07 PM
On Understanding

"When you study an object or a creature, you tend to treat it as something separate, cut off from the whole. But how can you hope to understand something when you isolate it in this way? You will only really know beings and things if you relate them to each other and understand how life circulates between them. The universe is an edifice, and one of its best representations is the geometrical figure of the pyramid, with God, creator and giver of life, as the summit. Every creature and every object has its place, and if you are to know one of them you must be able to situate it within the cosmic edifice. You will observe how it vibrates in harmony with the edifice, how it helps to maintain it and participates in universal life. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on January 08, 2007, 10:55:58 AM
MEDITATING ON GOD'S CHARACTER (by J.M. Farro)

   "It is good...to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night."  Psalm 92:1-2 NKJV

   I know what it's like to go through dark times, and to be so fearful that it's hard to pray.  But I've also learned how eager and able our God is to comfort and strengthen us during our difficult times.  I've discovered that one of the ways we can tap into His supernatural power and peace is to meditate on His character.  And this is something that greatly pleases the Lord, because He told the prophet Jeremiah:  "Let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord." (Jeremiah 9:24 AMP)  Meditating on Scriptures that speak of God's character can give us deeper insights into His divine nature that will enable us to know Him more intimately, and to trust Him more fully, even in desperate times.

  I remember seeing a war movie years ago that depicted a soldier running through a field in the heat of battle declaring, "God is love!  God is love! God is love!" (1 John 4:16)  This man was recalling the truth about God's character, as recorded in 1 John 4:16 (NLT), which says:  "We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love.  God is love."  Under intense pressure, and surrounded by danger, instead of feeling sorry for himself, or giving in to his fears, this soldier chooses to trust in God's love for him.  And he is one of the few who emerges unscathed from the battle.  We can learn a lesson from this man's example.  When we are in a tense situation, we can listen to our own inner voices of doubt and disbelief--and those of Satan and his dark forces--or we can silence them by declaring, "God is love, and God loves me!"  Engaging in this kind of spiritual warfare will enable us to gain the victory that the Lord has in store for us.

   When my husband, Joe, had a heart attack last year, meditating on God's goodness gave me great comfort.  As I sat in a hospital waiting room, awaiting some news of my husband's condition, I reminded myself of the verse which says:  "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in Him." (Nahum 1:7 NIV)  Over and over I said to myself, "The Lord is good."  My situation certainly wasn't good, but I wasn't focusing on my situation--I was focusing on my God.  I could have easily fixed my mind and heart on the disturbing sights and sounds that surrounded me.  Instead, I chose to go deeper, and to remind myself of the truth--that God is a good God.  And because He's a good God, He has promised to work all things together for my good. (Romans 8:28)  Whenever my circumstances tempt me to despair, I declare, "God is good, and He'll work this out for my good!"  I may not believe it the first few times I say it, but if I keep it up, my faith eventually hooks up with my words, and they become planted in my heart.  That's when true peace comes.

   Out of all of God's divine attributes, I'd have to say that I meditate most on His faithfulness.  This is probably because I've memorized and claimed hundreds of God's promises over the years, and I really count on Him to be true to His Word.  I often confess Hebrews 10:23 (AMP), which says:  "He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word."  Lately, I've been feeling like the Lord wants me to get more serious about claiming His promises for my financial situation.  So I often say out loud, "The Lord has declared that He will grant me abundant prosperity--and He who promised is faithful!" (Deuteronomy 28:11 NIV)  Doing this shifts my focus from my pressing needs to my all-sufficient Provider.  Suddenly, I'm filled with a fresh sense of hope, and I'm able to keep my expectations high, which is essential to receiving God's best.

   Scripture says:  "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night." (Psalm 92:1-2 NKJV)  Let us follow the psalmist's example--and begin declaring God's flawless and glorious attributes day and night!

   Lord, I long to know You better, so I ask You to teach me how to meditate on Your divine character.  Fill me with a love for Your Word, and help me to absorb and apply its life-changing truths.  Thank You for the revelation from heaven that will draw me ever closer to You!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 08, 2007, 05:39:44 PM
On Pilgrimages

"Certain places on earth are considered to be holy, having been inhabited by saints and initiates sometime in the past. Thousands of people make pilgrimages to these sites, hoping to find something of the spirit that once lived there, but often the spirit has gone elsewhere. This is not to say you shouldn’t visit holy places. No, visit them, but be aware that they should serve above all as an incentive for you to find the one place that is truly holy, which is within you. Until you find this place within you, you can visit every holy place on earth and you will find nothing. You will remain just as impoverished, empty and dissatisfied as ever. You must work to create certain vibrations within you, so that wherever you go you will sense that you are in communion with all the great spirits that have incarnated on earth, and you will be nourished by their wisdom and love."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on January 11, 2007, 10:49:16 AM
I bow my knees before your throne
I know my life is not my own
I offer up this song of praise
To bring you pleasure, Lord

I seek the Giver not the gift
My own wish is to lift
You high above all earthly kings
To bring you pleasure, Lord

Allelujah
Allelujah
Allelujah
Glory to the King!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 13, 2007, 07:08:07 AM
 :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 13, 2007, 07:09:40 AM
On Concentration

"Concentration is an accumulation of forces and materials within a given space, with regard to a certain work, a future creation, and it manifests first of all as a limitation. Even God limited himself in order to create the world, which is expressed symbolically in this verse from the book of Proverbs: ‘…when he drew a circle on the face of the deep...’ Concentration is necessary for formation; we cannot create anything without first gathering elements and uniting them.

At a higher level, we can say that a brotherhood between men and women can also be called a form of concentration. It actually represents the highest expression of spirituality, for here the elements are souls which come together around an idea and collaborate in its realization. In a spiritual brotherhood, people are the elements that unite in order to realize the highest ideal: the kingdom of God on earth."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 16, 2007, 09:11:08 AM
On Psychic Transformation

"People’s lives, their spiritual development and evolution, are based on their power to transform both physical and psychic matter. Nutrition offers us the most instructive example. How can we help but be amazed by all the complex and subtle processes that take place from the moment we put a piece of bread or fruit in our mouth until the quintessence of these nutrients enters our blood to become vitality, thought, feeling, inspiration?"

"We can also transform everything on the psychic plane, and this goes even further… Yes, save for exceptional cases, the physical organism cannot absorb just any substance, and we must always remove something from it or add something to it. But on the psychic plane everything can be absorbed and transformed, not only the raw energies we carry within us in the form of passions and vices but the poisons that come to us from the outside."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 16, 2007, 09:14:04 AM
On Human Weakness

"Human beings are weak, it is true, but the reason they are so weak is that they have come to think of their weakness as natural, as part of who they are. This is even the favourite theme of moral and religious teachings: human nature is weak and sinful. In reality, humans are not so weak, but they are certainly lazy! They refuse to take themselves in hand and instead give way to all their selfish, aggressive impulses. Then, of course, they cannot help but see their failures. You are not weak, and you will see that this is so if you make a habit of facing your difficulties. If you run from them, they become insurmountable, and you then have good reason to cry about your weaknesses. But if you decide to confront your difficulties, your efforts will seem easier and easier. What is a true spiritualist? It is someone who surmounts his obstacles and, by means of them, soars higher and further."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 16, 2007, 11:57:03 PM
On Evolution And Gradations Within The Kingdom

"Stones, plants, animals and man: such great progress between one kingdom of nature and the next! What differentiates plants from stones is their vitality; what differentiates animals from plants is their sensitivity, and, although animals have a certain form of intelligence, humans have so much more! Each kingdom marks an advance in evolution. And within the human species we find the same gradations: from the savage to genius, to saint, to initiate – what progress, what an ascent! And even if we consider ordinary men and women, some are more primitive and coarse, because they allow themselves to be guided by their instincts and desires, while others are more enlightened and evolved, because they have begun to master themselves and to turn their gaze towards a higher world."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 17, 2007, 05:49:15 PM
On Lies, and Deceptions

"It is easy to deceive humans. They are so credulous and have so little discernment that the first reasonably clever person to come along can do practically whatever he likes with them. Yes, unfortunately this is how it is. People can always be taken in, especially with lies, as they tend to prefer lies. If you tell them the truth, they will surely doubt it, but with lies and cunning you will almost always achieve your ends.  But we are not here on earth to conduct our affairs by pulling the wool over people’s eyes. One day we will have to account for our actions before the great cosmic laws, and they cannot be deceived! So think about these laws instead of fooling the gullible. Yes, remember that all your actions are recorded, weighed and examined, and you will have to answer for them one day. You will perhaps gain something by deceiving the ignorant, but is this worth losing an entire heavenly kingdom for?"

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on January 18, 2007, 09:46:15 AM
Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Bump.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on January 18, 2007, 09:47:16 AM
This is an incredible testimony.  If you are willing to listen for 40 minutes, it will be well worth your time.   :)

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Focus_on_the_Family/archives.asp?bcd=2006-11-16 (http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Focus_on_the_Family/archives.asp?bcd=2006-11-16)

Bump.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 20, 2007, 12:52:26 AM
On the Kingdom of God

"Do not wait until life forsakes you to realize what you have lost by running after money, success, pleasure or power. Ask only one thing of heaven: that it give you life, not longevity so much as the sense that you belong to cosmic life, to the life of the universe, of the stars.  Although it is outside of us, divine life is also within us, and there are beings on earth, although very few, who have come to understand the importance and beauty of this life. Why not decide to participate in their work? If you are looking for true life, God will show you where to find these beings, so they can help you and bear you along with them. Then, even in the midst of the greatest difficulties, you will never feel really alone."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on January 20, 2007, 09:54:26 AM
MEDITATING ON GOD'S CHARACTER (by J.M. Farro)

   "It is good...to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night."  Psalm 92:1-2 NKJV

   I know what it's like to go through dark times, and to be so fearful that it's hard to pray.  But I've also learned how eager and able our God is to comfort and strengthen us during our difficult times.  I've discovered that one of the ways we can tap into His supernatural power and peace is to meditate on His character.  And this is something that greatly pleases the Lord, because He told the prophet Jeremiah:  "Let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord." (Jeremiah 9:24 AMP)  Meditating on Scriptures that speak of God's character can give us deeper insights into His divine nature that will enable us to know Him more intimately, and to trust Him more fully, even in desperate times.

  I remember seeing a war movie years ago that depicted a soldier running through a field in the heat of battle declaring, "God is love!  God is love! God is love!" (1 John 4:16)  This man was recalling the truth about God's character, as recorded in 1 John 4:16 (NLT), which says:  "We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love.  God is love."  Under intense pressure, and surrounded by danger, instead of feeling sorry for himself, or giving in to his fears, this soldier chooses to trust in God's love for him.  And he is one of the few who emerges unscathed from the battle.  We can learn a lesson from this man's example.  When we are in a tense situation, we can listen to our own inner voices of doubt and disbelief--and those of Satan and his dark forces--or we can silence them by declaring, "God is love, and God loves me!"  Engaging in this kind of spiritual warfare will enable us to gain the victory that the Lord has in store for us.

   When my husband, Joe, had a heart attack last year, meditating on God's goodness gave me great comfort.  As I sat in a hospital waiting room, awaiting some news of my husband's condition, I reminded myself of the verse which says:  "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in Him." (Nahum 1:7 NIV)  Over and over I said to myself, "The Lord is good."  My situation certainly wasn't good, but I wasn't focusing on my situation--I was focusing on my God.  I could have easily fixed my mind and heart on the disturbing sights and sounds that surrounded me.  Instead, I chose to go deeper, and to remind myself of the truth--that God is a good God.  And because He's a good God, He has promised to work all things together for my good. (Romans 8:28)  Whenever my circumstances tempt me to despair, I declare, "God is good, and He'll work this out for my good!"  I may not believe it the first few times I say it, but if I keep it up, my faith eventually hooks up with my words, and they become planted in my heart.  That's when true peace comes.

   Out of all of God's divine attributes, I'd have to say that I meditate most on His faithfulness.  This is probably because I've memorized and claimed hundreds of God's promises over the years, and I really count on Him to be true to His Word.  I often confess Hebrews 10:23 (AMP), which says:  "He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word."  Lately, I've been feeling like the Lord wants me to get more serious about claiming His promises for my financial situation.  So I often say out loud, "The Lord has declared that He will grant me abundant prosperity--and He who promised is faithful!" (Deuteronomy 28:11 NIV)  Doing this shifts my focus from my pressing needs to my all-sufficient Provider.  Suddenly, I'm filled with a fresh sense of hope, and I'm able to keep my expectations high, which is essential to receiving God's best.

   Scripture says:  "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night." (Psalm 92:1-2 NKJV)  Let us follow the psalmist's example--and begin declaring God's flawless and glorious attributes day and night!

   Lord, I long to know You better, so I ask You to teach me how to meditate on Your divine character.  Fill me with a love for Your Word, and help me to absorb and apply its life-changing truths.  Thank You for the revelation from heaven that will draw me ever closer to You!

bump


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 21, 2007, 09:16:10 PM
On Looking Within

"Why do human beings always look outside themselves for something they could find within? Outside themselves they find only ways to act on matter, not on their psychic life, which would allow them to live at last in peace, harmony and light. When necessary, external remedies can be effective for people’s physical health, but where their psychic life is concerned they will only find the resources within themselves, in their soul and spirit.

Disciples of an initiatic teaching know that when God created man he placed centres and organs in him which on the subtle planes are the equivalent of his physical organs. But for the most part, humans use them so rarely that they are like machines that have long sat idle and are jammed, rusted and covered in dust and spiders’ webs. Our every effort must now go to starting them up again, and this is the purpose of meditation, prayer and all of our spiritual exercises."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on January 21, 2007, 11:46:22 PM
I bow my knees before your throne
I know my life is not my own
I offer up this song of praise
To bring you pleasure, Lord

I seek the Giver not the gift
My own wish is to lift
You high above all earthly kings
To bring you pleasure, Lord

Allelujah
Allelujah
Allelujah
Glory to the King!


bump


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 22, 2007, 10:29:26 PM
On Paving the Way for the Lord

"Even among believers, there are many who wonder why God does not come to their aid in their suffering and misfortune. It is because they have erected too many barriers between themselves and God, too many false ideas. So, naturally they have the impression that God is distant and inaccessible, that he neither hears them nor responds to them. The devil, however, who is close by, hears them and is able to grant their requests. Try taking a poll, and see if people don’t think along these lines: ‘This God we have pleaded with for ages is inaccessible, deaf, fast asleep, whereas the devil is wide awake, and as soon as we call him he comes.’ Of course he does, since by their way of life they endlessly open doors to him and close them to the Lord. In reality, no one is as close to us as the Lord. No one loves us and wants to help us as much as he does. It is up to us to rid ourselves of everything that prevents this love from reaching us."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 29, 2007, 07:28:16 AM
On Balancing Technological Progress with Spiritual Progress

"No one can deny that technical progress is a good thing, but because it concerns the material plane exclusively it exposes humanity to great dangers. And I am not even speaking of weapons, which are becoming more and more destructive. I am speaking of other dangers such as carelessness, laziness, passivity and loss of will. People will say: ‘But should we give up all this progress, then?’ No, but, instead of abandoning themselves to an easy life with the idea that these discoveries and innovations will solve all their problems, human beings must restore their equilibrium by means of their spiritual activity. Such activity will allow them to continue to develop and grow stronger. Instead of extinguishing the spirit, all material progress must encourage them to rekindle the spiritual flame within them. This demands vigilance, or else the very progress that should enable them to blossom spiritually will eventually destroy them."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on January 29, 2007, 11:39:22 PM
On Restoring Balance Within The Self

"Human beings need to be in harmony with themselves, but in reality they are continually caught up in contradictions. Even if they are filled with magnificent aspirations, other forces within them compel them to commit acts they will then regret and be ashamed of. This situation tears them apart inwardly and eventually destroys them.   

We must all aspire to the unity demonstrated by the solar system. The sun is in the centre, and all the planets revolve around it. Not one of them strays from the trajectory traced for it by cosmic Intelligence. We must realize this same unity within ourselves. This requires a veritable apprenticeship in how to live, think and feel, so that all the particles that make up our physical and psychic being revolve around this inner sun which is our divine Self, our spirit."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 01, 2007, 12:35:43 AM
On Establishing The Kingdom of God on Earth

"The kingdom of God has been established on high since the creation of the world. We must now make it a reality here on earth among humans, by learning to manifest the divine virtues.  All the great masters and initiates know they have come to earth to work for the realization of the kingdom of God. This means that the spiritual teachings which encourage us to abandon the earth, claiming that it is a vale of tears and that our true homeland is elsewhere, do not conform to God’s plans. According to what we know and what the great initiates have taught us, it is God’s will and plan that we establish his kingdom on earth. Man must work on matter, making it sensitive and subtle, so that it can vibrate in harmony with the world of the spirit."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on February 01, 2007, 07:25:36 AM
DO THE RIGHT THING

                                        "Do the right thing.  Do it because it's right.  Do it right."
 
   When my husband's company decided to move across the country, Joe and I decided not to move with them.  Many employees were bitter about the move.  Some felt obligated to go with the company, and were resentful about being separated from family and friends.  Others felt that moving was not an option for them, and were indignant about being left behind.  My husband had a totally different attitude.  Even though he elected not to move with his company, he cheerfully and wholeheartedly got busy helping with the move.  As soon as he did, some of his coworkers began questioning him.  "Why are you helping with this move?  You're being left behind!"  Some even eyed him suspiciously, asking, "What's in it for you?"  Joe would just smile and say that he was doing it simply because he believed it was the right thing to do.

   Years ago, I heard a godly man say:  "Do the right thing.  Do it because it's right.  Do it right."  I have thought about this man's message many times over the years, and I have even posted his words of wisdom on my kitchen refrigerator for everyone to see.  No doubt, my husband's attitude toward his company's move was influenced by these powerful principles.  As Joe made up his mind to do what he thought was the right thing in a difficult situation, he became downright joyful.  And this is actually scriptural, because the Bible says, "You're one happy man when you do what's right, one happy woman when you form the habit of justice." (Psalm 106:3 MSG)  While my husband was surrounded by sour faces, he was able to wear a smile.  Don't you think that made him a more effective witness for Christ?  You bet it did.  And he was honoring the Lord with his attitude and actions.  As Proverbs says:  "To do right honors God; to sin is to despise Him." (Proverbs 14:2 TLB)  No matter what we say with our lips, if our conduct isn't right, we are demonstrating a lack of reverence and respect for the Lord, and we are damaging our witness.

   Scripture says:  "I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives.  I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve." (Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT)  My husband had the right motive when he decided to help his company with their move simply because it was the right thing to do.  He wasn't being compensated for it by his company, and he wasn't even getting any special recognition.  But he knew that the Lord saw his heart, and that He would honor his good intentions somehow.  Besides that, Joe has always taken pride in his work, even when he was doing the most menial tasks.  And he has always taken to heart the fact that, "Well-done work has its own reward." (Proverbs 12:14 MSG)

   When the Bible talks about performing a job of any kind, it says, "Don't just do the minimum that will get you by.  Do your best." (Colossians 3:23 MSG)  In other words, do the job right.  When Joe set about helping his company move, he threw all his energy into the task, and he did a good job.  As he kept his eyes on the Lord, instead of on his employer or coworkers, he was able to resist the temptation to slack off or to feel sorry for himself.  The rest of this scriptural passage says:  "Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance.  Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ.  The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible.  Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work." (Colossians 3:23-25 MSG)

   After my husband's company moved away, it was almost a year before he could find another job.  During that time, he suffered a major heart attack, and we faced some serious financial problems.  Would Joe have done things any differently when his company moved, had he known what troubles were up ahead for him?  No.  Because did the right thing, simply because it was the right thing to do, he has had no regrets.  Whatever you are facing today, will you answer God's call to do what is right in His sight?

   Lord, please give me the courage, the strength, and the grace I need to do the right thing in every situation and circumstance.  Remind me often that my motives mean everything to You, and that no matter who I'm dealing with, I'm ultimately serving You.  Thank You that as I concentrate on pleasing and glorifying You, I will live a life of satisfaction, fulfillment, and purpose!

From J.M. Farro  (www.jmfarro.com (http://www.jmfarro.com))


Bump.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 05, 2007, 07:01:08 PM
On the Rejection of Spiritual & Moral Authority

"It is said in Genesis that God put Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and forbade them to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But they disobeyed and were driven out of paradise. Whenever humans reject all spiritual and moral authority in order to do whatever they please, they unwittingly repeat Adam and Eve’s transgression. Why? Because they occupy a specific place in the universe which corresponds to a particular state of consciousness, and this state does not allow them to know everything or to experience everything with impunity. Although curiosity is one of the driving forces of evolution, humans are not yet ready for certain experiences, and by engaging in them prematurely they expose themselves to great dangers. Symbolically, we can say that before their transgression the first men and women lived in the flowers of the cosmic Tree. Wanting to expand their field of investigation, however, they descended into its roots, where there are certainly many things to discover. But since they were not prepared for these experiences, they also discovered limitation and death."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 06, 2007, 06:24:55 PM
On Activating Human Internal Energy Centres

"If you want a car to run, you have to put petrol in it. When the petrol ignites in the engine, it is transformed into a gaseous element which unleashes energy. It is the energy generated by this transformation that makes motor vehicles run. The same is true for the air we breathe. If we are to extract the maximum energy it contains, we must compress it by holding it in our lungs. While this compression takes place, our organism is at work, activating processes equivalent to ignition and combustion. And, as the air cannot escape, nature opens tiny passages in our organism through which it can circulate. Thanks to this retention, energy contained in the air passes through all of these little channels made especially for it by nature, who says to it: ‘This way… that way…,’ for along its route nature has placed certain subtle centres – the chakras – which can be activated only through contact with this energy."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 06, 2007, 06:49:47 PM
On Understanding Symbols

"Where do symbols come from? Their origins lie in the relationship between the universal Soul and our unconscious. When we perceive these connections, we give them concrete form. Symbols are explained by the fact that the same laws govern both creation and creatures: this being the case, we can intuitively discover the similarities between the different worlds.

However, there is something else you must clearly understand: symbolic language is an expression of our life at its most profound, and if we are to understand the symbols which initiatic Science or certain works of art present to us, we must live them. If we do not live what a symbol represents, we will never understand it, even if someone gives us an interpretation. We must enter the depths of our being and bring these symbols to life if we are to understand their meaning."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 08, 2007, 04:50:32 AM
On Mountains and Summits

"The physical and psychic conditions found on mountain peaks make them favourable for inner work. It is to these summits, then, that you must climb in order to formulate your most cherished wishes and plans.

If you cannot go to the mountains, try to make your ascents by means of thought. You can concentrate first on one summit and then on another, thus preparing the conditions for contact with the greatest spirits ever to have come to earth. For there is a link between mountain summits and all the noblest beings who have come throughout the ages to bring light to human beings. It is by way of these summits that we enter into contact with these beings."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 09, 2007, 02:56:24 PM
Reconsidering God

"So much of what the faithful believe about the Lord needs to be reconsidered! The image of a God who is irritated with human beings, or of an old man with a long beard busy recording their good and bad actions and punishing them for their sins, was perhaps necessary at a certain time and under certain conditions. But now, frankly, it is ridiculous. No reasonable person would want anything to do with the life and occupations we attribute to God.

 Of course, when Moses introduced the idea of one God, it represented tremendous progress in the history of thought. But the time came when this image of a severe and pitiless God of justice had to be modified in order for humans themselves to evolve. For how could they learn to demonstrate patience, tolerance and kindness towards their fellow creatures if the example of an intransigent and implacable God was constantly held up to them? This is why Jesus came to teach us about a God of love, and it is essential that we continue to penetrate this concept more deeply."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 12, 2007, 10:28:27 PM
On The Seeking of Beauty

"Seek beauty, love beauty, for it is beauty that will save you. Obviously, I am speaking to you here of spiritual beauty. Through meditation and contemplation, try to sense this beauty, to clothe yourself in it, to become imbued with it, for it will protect you from the beauty that deceives.

If you dress children in new clothes, they are intelligent enough to understand that they must not go out and play in the gutter. So what lesson should we draw from this example? If you are like someone who dresses in overalls and mucks about in mud, dung or dirty grease, you will not recoil from any kind of filth. But one day when you succeed in reaching the world of true beauty, which is pure light, and your aura becomes impregnated with this light, you will no longer feel the desire to dive in just anywhere and soil this magnificent garment."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 14, 2007, 03:00:04 PM
On Romantic Love

"Beauty, charm, moral or intellectual qualities… People think they know what they love in a particular man or woman. In reality, each of us loves only the One, the Creator, who made all beings as they are. Yes, it is God you love through all his creatures. The more the divine manifests through them as goodness, wisdom, beauty, light and strength, the more you love them.

That is why you will never be able to find perfect joy and fulfilment if you do not look for a richer, vaster reality in the person you love. Very soon you will know all there is to know about him or her, and you will become bored and disillusioned. Then you will look for another love, but in no time there will be the same boredom and disappointment all over again. All your objections and efforts will change nothing: if you make no attempt to see the Divinity in the man or woman you love, you will not know plenitude, because you will have taken the wrong path. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 15, 2007, 09:13:15 PM
On Universal Brotherhood

"As long as you do not work for universal brotherhood, you are working against yourself, for you are not developing your true nature as a son or daughter of God.

Why have we come to earth? To learn to live as brothers and sisters to all people. If through our different activities we do not try to conduct ourselves correctly with others in an effort to understand, help and support them, not only do we make their life difficult but we also waste our own. That is the truth. But where are those who know what they have come to do on this earth? Most people still do not understand that they are in a school where they must learn to live as brothers and sisters, and instead they behave like disruptive pupils. They will not earn a diploma and will have to repeat the course. In the meantime, what a waste of time and energy, and above all, what suffering!"

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 18, 2007, 09:11:05 PM
On Rejecting The Justification of Weakness

"Never accept the materialists’ philosophy based on ‘evidence’ that leads most people to say: ‘This is how it is. There’s nothing we can do about it.’ You should also reject any reasoning that justifies your weaknesses by attributing them to natural causes: ‘This is how I am. It’s my nature, and you can’t fight nature.’

Similarly, if an illness threatens to take hold in you, try to resist. Even when you are ill, try to maintain the idea that you are healthy, for in a sick body there are always a few healthy cells which can save the rest. Use the strength of your spirit to reject all this so-called evidence: the evidence of illness, of weakness, of difficult situations, of failure… With this attitude you will save at least one atom, which in the end may influence and win over all the others."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on February 26, 2007, 04:51:47 PM
Our Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

By: Marianne Williamson


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 28, 2007, 05:19:11 AM
On God's Word

"God has spoken and continues to speak through all of creation and in the hearts of men and women themselves. It is therefore wrong to say that he has only spoken to a particular initiate or a particular prophet: it would be more accurate to say that certain beings have heard him better than others.

It should also be said that whatever these beings heard and reported was inevitably determined by the situation, problems and mentality of their times. With regard to the great principles, they all had the same thing to say. But when it comes to the details, you can clearly see that these prescriptions, which were undoubtedly acceptable and perhaps even necessary a few centuries ago, because they responded to certain needs and represented real progress, are no longer acceptable today. God speaks – he never stops speaking – but we each hear him according to our degree of evolution."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 08, 2007, 12:18:11 AM
On Living In The Truth

"We can identify those who live in truth by all kinds of qualities, but especially by their goodness, nobility and altruism. This is why, when I see someone who claims to have the truth and yet is hostile, vicious or vindictive, I feel like saying to him: ‘If this is the truth, it is not worth making the slightest effort to attain it.’ But humans rarely possess such criteria. They see maniacs preaching hate and violence in the name of the truth, and they are ready not only to follow them but to imitate them, even in crime.

Never believe anyone who claims to have the truth unless he shows you his diploma. And this diploma is not a piece of paper. It is a living diploma which sages and even nature spirits can read from afar, for it shines; it emits rays of light. When you meet such a person, you feel illuminated and warmed, as if you were present at a sunrise."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 12, 2007, 12:33:38 AM
On Having High Ideals

"Nothing is more important than to have a high ideal. But do not imagine that those around you will recognize your efforts or show respect and consideration for you. Outwardly you will constantly have to deal with all sorts of disagreeable situations. Yes, but only outwardly. Inwardly everything will be entirely different.

While inwardly you may live in peace and joy, outwardly there will always be people who work against you. There will also be those who, seeing you as easy prey, will rush to exploit you unscrupulously, and then off they will go without even a thank you. But this doesn’t matter; persevere and safeguard the blessings your high ideal brings you. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 15, 2007, 12:23:34 AM
On Giving

"Jesus said: ‘Freely you have received, freely give.’ Most people will think: ‘Give freely? How unrealistic!’ And yet, for those who take the trouble to understand the deeper meaning of these words, nothing is more logical.

Our heavenly Father has showered us with his blessings, beginning with our physical body and all its possibilities, as well as all the mental and spiritual faculties we can freely use. And he has also given us the whole universe, which surrounds us with its beauty and riches. What have we paid him for all of this? Nothing. And he asks nothing of us, only that we not destroy this richness and beauty or seize it for ourselves, and above all that we learn to use what we have to help our fellow brothers and sisters."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 15, 2007, 11:30:34 PM
On Being Aware of Who & What We Really Are

"How many people are aware that there is life beyond the physical manifestations before their eyes, a life that is limitless in time and space? How many sense that beyond their own existence there is another Existence to which they should direct their thinking? Their pursuits and preoccupations are so limited! These will never reveal the true life to them, the life that flows from God.

But you who are here in a school where you are taught the science of life and how to understand and apply it, try to take this science seriously. Whatever you have to do during the day, try to maintain a frame of mind that allows you to feel the divine life flowing within you and through you, vivifying all creatures and objects around you."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 16, 2007, 09:38:58 PM
On the Tree of Life

"Every seed receives all the elements it needs from the tree that produced it, so that, once planted in the earth, it is able to grow and become a tree like its father. In appearance the seed is different from the tree, but on the subtle plane it bears the image of the tree inscribed within it. This is why, when it is given soil, temperature, water and light favourable for its development, the seed comes to resemble the tree in every way.

The symbolism of the seed allows us to understand the verses in Genesis in which it is said that God created man ‘in his image and in his likeness’. Human beings are seeds predestined to become one day like the cosmic Tree from which they fell. For this reason, they must consciously devote all their activity to becoming more like the image of the heavenly Father which they carry within them, and vibrating in unison with him until they resemble him."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 19, 2007, 07:47:16 AM
Addicted to Self
By Wendy Pope
 
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God???this is your spiritual act of worship."
Romans 12:1(NIV)
         
Devotion:
As I stared at the bags of children's clothes in the hall, I heard His voice say, "Give them to Stacey." I began to challenge the Voice and gave my justifications for why His suggestion was ludicrous. "I have my own children to clothe, Lord. I sell these clothes, to make money to buy new clothes for my children. The clothes in these bags can make a lot of money." Once again, I heard the Voice repeat the command, "Give them to Stacey."
 
With all my heart I wish I could say I obeyed promptly and with joy. The bags sat at the end of the hall for several days. I thought by doing this, I would feel better about disobeying, and the Voice would go away. However, the Voice became louder and my spirit could not allow me to give-in to direct disobedience. I made the call and arranged to take the clothes to Stacey's house. This is now a regular practice for me. I buy the clothes and take care of them during the time my children use them. As the clothes are outgrown, I fill the bag for Stacey's children.
 
This experience was one in a long line of lessons revealing to me a sickness I was not aware that I was plagued with. I am a recovering Self-a-holic. I had always considered myself a giving person. I took food to the sick, bought Christmas gifts for the needy, and our family has an adopted daughter in a third world country. I thought that was kind enough. After all, I must take care of my family and my needs.
 
Through my recovery I have come to realize that my life is to be sacrificed, not just my money, clothes, or food. Another lesson that has been made very clear to me is the following: if the giving doesn't cost, it doesn't count. The “cost” is not necessarily monetary but is to be a sacrifice for the giver. Sacrifices are relevant to the giver. God's Word reminds us that to whom much is given, much is required.
 
Before recovery, I read the word “sacrifice” in today's key verse and thought of dead animals lying on an altar in the desert of the Old Testament. Sacrifice is my act of worship to a living God. Living sacrifices are for the here and now. Let me challenge you to climb on the altar and be blessed. The sacrifice is worth the cost. Don't trust me; trust God!
 
Dear Lord, You are the giver of the ultimate gift, the sacrifice of your Son. Today I ask you to enable me see the needs of others and be willing to offer myself as a sacrifice to help. Change my heart to be like your heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 22, 2007, 04:29:45 AM
Who Sinned?
by Greg Laurie, "A New Beginning"

"And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'" John 9:2

Sometimes the question comes up of whether our physical suffering on earth is the result of sin. Who sinned? That is the question the disciples asked Jesus in John 9. Was it the blind man or his parents? Jesus responded by clearly pointing out there was no specific correlation here. In other words, the blind man was not being punished for his own sin or the sin of his parents.

But notice this. Jesus did not say that suffering is just a random event that has nothing to do with sin. Because in a broad sense, all sickness, all disability, and all of the limitations that come with the physical body are a result of sin. God's original plan was not that this body should ever get sick or wear out or die. God's original purpose was for this body to live forever. But because of the sin of Adam, because he disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin came into life and spread to all of humanity.

But let me add this. You can experience physical hardship as a result of your own sin. If you are an alcoholic, that is going to affect you physically. If you are a drug addict, that is going to affect you physically. In a sense those physical problems could be directly linked to sin. So yes, you can bring problems into your life as a result of breaking the commandments of God.

There is a reason that He gave us these guidelines. It was for our own good. God had a plan and a purpose for each rule to protect us in life that we might live life to its fullest.

Every day, we have the ability to choose between right and wrong. Choose life!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 26, 2007, 06:06:21 AM
Signs of the Times
- Greg Laurie, A New Beginning


"Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."Luke 21:28  

Sometimes I think I can predict the weather as precisely as most weather forecasters today. Doesn't it seem like they can be incredibly inaccurate? It seems that whatever they say, the opposite will happen. On the other hand, I can just walk outside and look up. If it's sunny and warm, it probably will be a pleasant day. If I see some grey clouds, then I know it might rain.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for their inability to interpret the signs of the times (see Matthew 16:1-4). Yet we see the same reminders today. They scream at us from the front pages of our newspapers, from our television screen, and in events that take place around the world. There are signs that are being fulfilled, signs that are saying to us repeatedly, "Jesus is coming again." And we need to wake up and pay attention.
All of the signs Jesus spoke of are to remind us to be ready. Jesus said that prior to His return, the conditions on Earth would be like they were in the days of Lot and Noah (see Luke 17:26-30).
As we look at Lot's time, he was, of course, an inhabitant of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, places that were known for their excessive wickedness, and specifically for their sexual perversion.
Noah's time was characterized by exceedingly wicked violence and crime. Describing the time of Noah, Genesis 6:5 says, "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Is that not an accurate description of our time right now?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 29, 2007, 06:33:11 AM
I miss Dr. Rogers  :'(   But I know he's in heaven, and it's great that we still have his sermons online and in radio syndication.

Clean Up the Inside
by the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, "Love Worth Finding"

"Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also." Matthew 23:26  

What happens when we try to help others? We always start on the outside. We think if we can change the environment of a man (his home, clothes, food, education) then we can create a new man. It cannot be done!

It was in the Garden of Eden that man got into trouble in the first place. Cleaning up the outside is just reformation, but when you clean up the inside, that's regeneration.

Jesus is telling the Pharisees that they don't need another bath, they need a new birth. I'm not saying that we ought not to help others. We should do these things. But what I am saying is that men need more than soap and soup; they need salvation. They need a birth from above not merely a boost from below.

Do you have a list of people who are lost? Pray over that list today - asking God to use you in the process of leading them to Him and that He would regenerate each one to be born again.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 30, 2007, 10:52:38 PM
Understanding Your Legacy

"Under the pretext of asserting their independence, so many young people maintain they can do without the advice and experience of their elders! And in music, painting, poetry and drama, for example, they intend to start from scratch. But this is impossible!

What do novelists, poets, philosophers, musicians and painters do? They live their life while they are creating a work, and this work will inevitably reflect their experiences. They then bequeath this work to humanity, which feeds off it. As a result, down through the centuries an entire legacy of thought and sensibility has gradually been created, which we receive, so to speak, at birth. In reality then, we are inhabited by the life of others, by their thoughts, feelings, discoveries and wonder, but also by their mistakes and their anguish. So how can we speak of independence? The real question is: how can we take only the best of this legacy?"

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 04, 2007, 08:18:03 AM
On the Imposition of Truth

"It is in the name of truth, their truth, that people throughout the world enslave others. Those who try to impose themselves in this way must understand that they are not good servants of truth. There can be no truth without love and wisdom, and there is neither love nor wisdom in this kind of violence. ‘But,’ you will say, ‘if some refuse to accept the truth, shouldn’t it be forced on them?’ No, and in any case it would be pointless, because sooner or later people would reject it.

Heaven forbids us to force the truth on others. This is why the teaching of the great masters is meant for those who are already prepared, who have had certain experiences and understood that the true life lies in spiritual growth. Those who have not yet understood this must wait until certain events in their life come to instruct them."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 05, 2007, 06:22:46 AM
On Communion

"To commune is to enter into relationship with all creatures and with the living forces which animate rocks, plants, mountains, springs, the sun and the stars. To commemorate Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, Christians go to church and receive bread and wine. But do you believe this is all there is to communion? Those who truly know how to commune are able by their love and wisdom to establish contact with all creatures in the universe.

Only when we accord communion its true, cosmic dimension will we be able to say we are eating Christ’s flesh and drinking his blood. We will feel currents of pure, abundant energy circulating through every part of our being, and we will know this as eternal life, without beginning or end."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 05, 2007, 08:51:38 AM
“It costs God nothing, so far as we know, to create nice things: but to convert rebellious wills cost him crucifixion... You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse... You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.” —C.S. Lewis


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 07, 2007, 09:13:42 PM
On Blood

"Blood corresponds to the life circulating in space, and this life is permeated to one degree or another with purity, light and force. Although chemically the blood of all human beings is made up of identical elements, we do not all have the same blood. The quality of our blood depends on our way of life, our qualities and virtues, our degree of evolution.

By sacrificing his life on the cross, Jesus unleashed extraordinary spiritual forces which have worked for the evolution of humanity, for his blood, one of the most precious substances ever to fall on the earth, was a condensation of the divine quintessence. Only the light of the sun can be compared to it. When Jesus’ blood flowed, it was imbued with celestial energies which activated currents in the earth unknown until then, thus giving birth to a new epoch."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 07, 2007, 09:14:35 PM
On Resurrection

"To die and resurrect, that is to say, to die in order to resurrect – these two experiences are the goal of initiation and in the past were accompanied by a precise ritual. For example, the disciple who had successfully passed through the preliminary stages was placed in a sarcophagus where he remained entombed for three days and three nights. After administering certain potions and pronouncing certain magic formulas over him, his masters kept him in a kind of cataleptic state. They detached his etheric and astral bodies from his physical body, enabling him to travel in space and visit all the regions of the world above and the world below. He observed, and he was astonished, frightened and filled with wonder. On his return, the cords that reconnected his etheric and astral bodies to his physical body were completely different in nature, and he knew reality. This is why he is said to have resurrected. And what Christianity teaches of Jesus – that he died, was buried, descended into hell and on the third day rose again – describes a similar experience."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 09, 2007, 03:45:47 PM
On Christ

"Although Jesus is called ‘Christ’, he is not the Christ. The Christ is a cosmic spirit which illuminates not only the earth but the entire universe and all the entities who inhabit it. The Christ is the true cosmic sun, the spirit of the sun. In this sense, we can say that the physical, visible sun represents a trace for us, a witness, thanks to which we are able to discover the Christ, the cosmic sun.

It is not enough to fix on the ‘carcass’ of the physical sun as astronomers do. You must seek the spirit of the sun and identify with it as Jesus did. This is why he could say: ‘I am the light of the world.’ When he said these words, Jesus was identifying with the Christ."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 13, 2007, 05:02:01 AM
The Cradle of Hope
by Max Lucado

Christ rose first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will become alive again.
1 Corinthians 15:23 TLB

Let’s go to the tomb, for Jesus lies in the tomb.
Still. Cold. Stiff. Death has claimed its greatest trophy. He is not asleep in the tomb or resting in the tomb or comatose in the tomb; he is dead in the tomb. No air in his lungs. No thoughts in his brain. No feeling in his limbs. His body is as lifeless as the stone slab upon which he has been laid.

The executioners made sure of it. When Pilate learned that Jesus was dead, he asked the soldiers if they were certain. They were. Had they seen the Nazarene twitch, had they heard even one moan, they would have broken his legs to speed his end. But there was no need. The thrust of a spear removed all doubt. The Romans knew their job. And their job was finished. They pried loose the nails, lowered his body, and gave it to Joseph and Nicodemus.

Joseph of Arimathea. Nicodemus the Pharisee. Jesus had answered the prayer of their hearts, the prayer for the Messiah. As much as the soldiers wanted him dead, even more these men wanted him alive.

As they sponged the blood from his beard, don’t you know they listened for his breath? As they wrapped the cloth around his hands, don’t you know they hoped for a pulse? Don’t you know they searched for life?
But they didn’t find it.

So they do with him what they were expected to do with a dead man. They wrap his body in clean linen and place it in a tomb. Joseph’s tomb. Roman guards are stationed to guard the corpse. And a Roman seal is set on the rock of the tomb. For three days, no one gets close to the grave.

But then, Sunday arrives. And with Sunday comes light ??? a light within the tomb. A bright light? A soft light? Flashing? Hovering? We don’t know. But there was a light. For he is the light. And with the light came life. Just as the darkness was banished, now the decay is reversed. Heaven blows and Jesus breathes. His chest expands. Waxy lips open. Wooden fingers lift. Heart valves swish and hinged joints bend.

And, as we envision the moment, we stand in awe.

We stand in awe not just because of what we see, but because of what we know. We know that we, too, will die. We know that we, too, will be buried. Our lungs, like his, will empty. Our hands, like his, will stiffen. But the rising of his body and the rolling of the stone give birth to a mighty belief: “What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us” (Rom. 6:5–9 MSG).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 14, 2007, 09:34:56 PM
On Universal Law

"Be they individuals or countries, those who become successful or wealthy at the expense of others do not really profit, for inevitably the time comes when, even on the material plane, they must relinquish all they have taken, piece by piece. On the other hand, a true spiritualist strives never to wrong others in any way but instead always asks himself what he can do for them. Even when he greets them, looks at them, smiles at them, shakes their hand or speaks to them, his undying wish is to offer them something good, something luminous. As a result, he blossoms, grows, advances and rises in himself, because he obeys the law of love, the true law of love, which is to give. But in giving he receives, because the light of the sun descends on him like a river, pure and crystalline. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 15, 2007, 05:28:37 PM
On The Manifestation Of Our Virtues

"We can compare human beings to trees, with their roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. But even though all humans have roots, a trunk and branches, how many are visited by the springtime? Most of them are devoid of fruit and flowers, and sometimes leaves as well. They are winter trees, sad, dark and unadorned.

Each of you has the capacity to blossom, but you must work hard, gain great knowledge and sacrifice a great deal of time if your flowers are to open, exhale their fragrances and form fruits. And what are these fruits? They are the manifestations of our virtues."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 18, 2007, 05:44:47 AM
Living with what we Don't Understand  
This devotional was written by Jim Burns & Jim Liebelt

“…the Lord our God is righteous in everything He does.” Daniel 9:14

I wish we all could have lived the rest of our lives without hearing of another tragic campus shooting. But, here we go again. I don't know anyone who isn't moved by the recent shootings at Virginia Tech University. Once again, we are struck with grief that so many lives were cut short in this senseless act of violence. Once again, we have felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy. And personally, my heart goes out to the victims and the families’ lives that will be forever changed by this event.

In times like this, my brain starts to short-circuit. Why do these tragic things happen to people? Where is God when these things happen? Honestly, I have to admit, I don’t understand.

Sure, theologians have explanations. Because of sin, we all deserve God’s wrath. Anything good we experience is due to God’s grace and mercy (I believe these things, by the way!). But, tragedies like the Virginia Tech shootings still don’t compute. I can’t get my brain around them. Some might see these issues as a roadblock to faith, because they can’t “believe” in a God who would allow such tragedies. I just heard one radio talk show host state that events like this are why he is an agnostic. But, do you know what I’ve discovered? It’s okay that we don’t always understand. Even though I don’t understand – and can be frustrated and angry at these tragedies – I still believe.

In fact, I think that part of a life of faith in God includes living with things we don’t understand. Take for example the Biblical account of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. The Bible makes it clear that God “hardened” Pharaoh’s heart. Pharaoh won’t let the Israelites leave Egypt. God, then holds Pharaoh responsible for his stubbornness and punishes him and all of Egypt as well. From a human perspective something seems wrong with the picture, but I still believe God is righteous – always doing what is right. In fact, God defines the meaning of what is “right.” He sees the big picture. I cannot. He understands completely. I do not. He is God. I am not.

Perhaps, you – like me – are making a list of things that you don’t understand, filing them away so you can ask God about them when you stand before Him one day. I don’t think God has a problem with this! When you encounter frustrations about life – and you find things you don’t understand – share them with God. He’s big enough to handle them. Then, resolve to believe that God, who is righteous, will always do the right thing. Live by faith, not by sight.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 19, 2007, 12:43:41 AM
On Influences

"In the name of freedom, their own freedom, so many people claim that nothing can influence them! But what these ignoramuses fail to realize is that influence is the law of life: they are constantly influenced by everything they eat, breathe, touch, taste, listen to, look at and read. Often it is simply because they know nothing of the influences they are acting under that they believe they are so free.

Without realizing it, then, some people are subject to certain good influences, fortunately for them! For, if they were aware of these influences, they might reject them out of their ridiculous desire for independence."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 19, 2007, 11:20:51 AM
Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord  
by Dr. Adrian Rogers, "Love Worth Finding"

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22  


It was terrible at Simon Peter's funeral. Jesus was there and He said, "It's a shame that Peter had to die so young. He was just getting the hang of walking on the water. I shouldn't have told him to get out of the boat." It was one of the saddest funerals.
Now, I hope you're saying, "Wait a minute ... that's not right!" because we all know that Peter didn't drown when Jesus called him out of the boat. (Matthew 14:22-33.)

And you won't drown either when Jesus calls you to do something humanly impossible. Peter may not have walked very far on water, but I would venture to say that he walked farther than anyone else has ever walked on water!

Don't worry about getting out of the boat if that is what God calls you to do. It is safer on the waves with Jesus, than in the boat without Him.

Has God called you to do something and you have not done it because you didn't think you could? Maybe He's called you to trust Him though it may appear hopeless. Maybe He's called you to rejoice over something for which you feel nothing but sadness. Maybe He's called you to speak up for your faith, when you know it will result in great loss or shame. Ask God to give you strength to trust Him to provide all that you need for what He has asked you to do ( Proverbs 3:5-6).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 19, 2007, 09:33:22 PM
On Putting Spiritual Values First

"Why is it that, while desiring peace, freedom and happiness for themselves and others, people often pass these states by and deprive others of them as well? It is because they still haven’t understood that they will only find these precious goods when they decide to give priority to the spiritual life over all material gain, social success and so on.

Many will say: ‘But we understand that material possessions and fame cannot satisfy our deep aspirations.’ Then why do they behave as if they don’t? We see them endlessly preoccupied with their material conditions. Even if they succeed, not only do they never feel truly free, happy and at peace but they endlessly upset the lives of others. When they wake up in the morning, couldn’t they decide now and then to try, at least for that day, to put their spiritual values first? "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 20, 2007, 07:32:49 AM
Oh, so true!!!!!  This is a great devotional.   ;D

Identity Crisis
By Laura J. Bagby



CBN.com (http://CBN.com) - I have to admit, I love finding out more about the personality types, but I honestly think I need to quit cold turkey.

When finding yourself in some self-analyzing test becomes an obsession, well it's time to re-prioritize. In my voracious search for self I bought every personality book I could find and I have taken every possible test. I have found out what kind of leader I am, what animal I most resemble, what color best fits my personality, and on the spiritual end, even what Bible character I am most like.

But what's next? What shape I am? What vegetable? It could conceivably continue infinitely.

What's ironic is that the search for better self-understanding only led me into confusion and depression. The results didn't match up. One survey said I was an introvert; another confirmed I was an extrovert. One swore that I was a bold leader; the other seemed to think I would rather hang back in the crowd. And on and on. I would put the book down and still wonder who I really was.

You know what I think? I think human nature is just too complex to get down on paper, and the more we try to find ourselves in some arbitrary categories, the more miserable we shall become. I can attest because eventually we always want to become what we are not.

The answer to the continual search for an identity is always Jesus Christ. What does God say about you and I? Well, He might not tell you whether you are a sanguine or an intuitive thinker or an influential leader, but what He will tell you means more than all the secular books on self-understanding.

Don't get me wrong. There is a place for such analysis. Just don't place your whole value there. God tells us that we are His children. We are co-heirs with Christ. We are in fact new creations. This is our true identity.

I like God's personality test best. All I have to do is give myself to the Lord, and He makes me more like Jesus Christ everyday. My personality quirks and foibles are now His business. He takes care of the rest.

"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3, NIV).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on April 25, 2007, 10:38:03 AM
The magic of a thankful spirit is that it has the power to replace anger with love, resentment with happiness, fear with faith, worry with peace, self-preoccupation with concern for the needs of others, guilt with an open door to forgiveness, jealousy with joy at another's success, inferiorities with dignity.

-Donald E. Demaray


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 26, 2007, 12:20:09 AM
On Expectations and Discovery

"You must not think that happiness will necessarily come in the form you expect. There are so many possibilities available to you, but you don’t see them and don’t want to see them. You cling to the notion of happiness you yourself have created. You hope a certain door is going to open, but it remains closed. So why stand wailing at this door when there may be others nearby that will open to you?

Suppose you are expecting good things from someone, and not only does this person fail to give them to you but he is most unpleasant. Well, instead of brooding over this disappointment, look around you a little more carefully: there are certainly others who are ready to help you. If you spend all your time sending unkind thoughts to those who have upset or disappointed you, you won’t see all the other friends who come your way. This is just one more way that our ordeals are useful: they force you to do or discover things you would otherwise never do or discover."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 26, 2007, 08:29:59 PM
On Perserverence

"At any moment you can be overcome by discouragement. Well, you must tell yourself right away that this will not last. Take refuge somewhere within yourself, as if you were hibernating, and stay there until you recover the breath of life.

Discouragement is like winter, but after winter spring returns. It arrives sooner or later, depending on the year. Sometimes it comes very late, but eventually it always comes. This is why you must never completely lose hope. Sooner or later your zest will return. So many people have given up only moments before the forces of spring were about to re-emerge in them! What a shame… They were finally about to be saved, but they foresaw nothing of this renewal and allowed themselves to go down.

So, whatever your torments, never allow your inner skies to darken. Tell yourself: ‘Perhaps all is not yet lost; let’s wait awhile.’ And little by little the darkness will dissipate, and the cold will recede."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 30, 2007, 08:07:31 AM
The magic of a thankful spirit is that it has the power to replace anger with love, resentment with happiness, fear with faith, worry with peace, self-preoccupation with concern for the needs of others, guilt with an open door to forgiveness, jealousy with joy at another's success, inferiorities with dignity.

-Donald E. Demaray
Great wisdom in this quote, Stella!!!!  :D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 03, 2007, 04:57:52 AM
All Power, Authority, and Dominion
by Dr. Adrian Rogers, "Love Worth Finding"

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19

Have you ever thought about the Great Commission being a mission impossible? But it isn't because of the basis in which Jesus gave it. You see, Jesus said that all power, authority, and dominion is given unto Him in heaven and earth (see Matthew 28:18-20). Dominion was first given to man, but man gave it over to the devil in the Garden of Eden. Jesus received it back from the Father and gave that authority to each of us. Does Jesus have authority over the devil? Yes! Then, so do you. Does Jesus have the victory? Yes! Then, you have the victory. Is Jesus Christ enthroned? Yes! Then, you are enthroned. The victory is yours through Jesus Christ.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what your fears are, then confess them as sin. Repent, then reach up and take hold of His right hand that is outstretched to sustain you and give you the victory!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 03, 2007, 04:59:55 AM
“Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” Augustine of Hippo ++

“Faith is always at a disadvantage; it is a perpetually defeated thing which survives all conquerors.” —G.K. Chesterton


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 06, 2007, 12:57:43 PM
On Divine Standards

"For years, standards used the world over have been kept in the Office of Weights and Measures at Sèvres. Because no one has the right to calculate a kilo or metre arbitrarily, all instruments used for weight and measurement must be regulated to very precise standards. The appliances, machines and vehicles we use in everyday life must also be checked from time to time, and in some cases every day.

Like this Office of Weights and Measures, there is also a cosmic centre by which we must set our standards. It is said in the sacred books that God used weights, measures and numbers in the creation of the universe. All of creation came out of this divine House of Weights and Measures, so it is to this that we must elevate ourselves in order to inspect our inner instruments – our intellect, heart and will. Not just once, but three, five, ten times a day, it is critical that we adjust these instruments to divine standards."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 07, 2007, 11:20:27 PM
On Attitude

"There are so many circumstances in life that can upset us! You must never complain at such times, however, because by doing so you close your inner doors to any improvement in your state. When someone offends you or treats you unfairly, it is normal to feel disappointed, sad and hurt. But if you talk about it everywhere you go, bewailing your plight, you do nothing but aggravate your wound.

So what should you do? Put the whole thing aside, and, when you meet your neighbours and friends, instead of going into all the details about how cruelly you have been treated, forget about it for the time being. Most likely they are suffering over something themselves, so ask yourself how you can help and encourage them. The kind words you speak to others will do you good as well, for they will help to heal your wounds."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 08, 2007, 03:54:14 PM
On Angelic Food

"We eat every day, but don’t be shocked if I tell you that we are eaten as well. Yes, we too serve as food for other entities, for the angels. They partake of our good thoughts and sentiments, of everything in us that is inspired by wisdom and love. Angels think of us as plants that produce flowers and fruits. When they come to pick our fruits, they do not break our branches. On the contrary, they water us and care for us, so that the fruits we produce are even more succulent. But there are also ‘angels’ of another sort: entities of darkness, or demons. Because they too must nourish themselves, they feast on humans whose malicious schemes and negative emotions are delectable fare for them. They sap all their energy and leave them exhausted. While nothing is more desirable than serving as food for the angels of light, nothing is worse than being devoured by the spirits of darkness."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 10, 2007, 07:31:43 AM
Prosperity Preaching: Deceitful and Deadly
by: John Piper
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I read about prosperity-preaching churches, my response is: “If I were not on the inside of Christianity, I wouldn’t want in.” In other words, if this is the message of Jesus, no thank you.

Luring people to Christ to get rich is both deceitful and deadly. It’s deceitful because when Jesus himself called us, he said things like: “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). And it’s deadly because the desire to be rich plunges “people into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). So here is my plea to preachers of the gospel.

1. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that makes it harder for people to get into heaven.

Jesus said, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” His disciples were astonished, as many in the “prosperity” movement should be. So Jesus went on to raise their astonishment even higher by saying, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” They respond in disbelief: “Then who can be saved?” Jesus says, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:23-27).

My question for prosperity preachers is: Why would you want to develop a ministry focus that makes it harder for people to enter heaven?

2. Do not develop a philosophy of ministry that kindles suicidal desires in people.

Paul said, “There is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” But then he warned against the desire to be rich. And by implication, he warned against preachers who stir up the desire to be rich instead of helping people get rid of it. He warned, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:6-10).

So my question for prosperity preachers is: Why would you want to develop a ministry that encourages people to pierce themselves with many pangs and plunge themselves into ruin and destruction?

3. Do not develop a philosophy of ministry that encourages vulnerability to moth and rust.

Jesus warns against the effort to lay up treasures on earth. That is, he tells us to be givers, not keepers. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19).

Yes, we all keep something. But given the built-in tendency toward greed in all of us, why would we take the focus off Jesus and turn it upside down?

4. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that makes hard work a means of amassing wealth.

Paul said we should not steal. The alternative was hard work with our own hands. But the main purpose was not merely to hoard or even to have. The purpose was “to have to give.” “Let him labor, working with his hands, that he may have to give to him who is in need” (Ephesians 4:28). This is not a justification for being rich in order to give more. It is a call to make more and keep less so you can give more. There is no reason why a person who makes $200,000 should live any differently from the way a person who makes $80,000 lives. Find a wartime lifestyle; cap your expenditures; then give the rest away.

Why would you want to encourage people to think that they should possess wealth in order to be a lavish giver? Why not encourage them to keep their lives more simple and be an even more lavish giver? Would that not add to their generosity a strong testimony that Christ, and not possessions, is their treasure?

5. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that promotes less faith in the promises of God to be for us what money can’t be.

The reason the writer to the Hebrews tells us to be content with what we have is that the opposite implies less faith in the promises of God. He says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

If the Bible tells us that being content with what we have honors the promise of God never to forsake us, why would we want to teach people to want to be rich?

6. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that contributes to your people being choked to death.

Jesus warns that the word of God, which is meant to give us life, can be choked off from any effectiveness by riches. He says it is like a seed that grows up among thorns that choke it to death: “They are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the . . . riches . . . of life, and their fruit does not mature” (Luke 8:14).

Why would we want to encourage people to pursue the very thing that Jesus warns will choke us to death?

7. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that takes the seasoning out of the salt and puts the light under a basket.

What is it about Christians that makes them the salt of the earth and the light of the world? It is not wealth. The desire for wealth and the pursuit of wealth tastes and looks just like the world. It does not offer the world anything different from what it already believes in. The great tragedy of prosperity-preaching is that a person does not have to be spiritually awakened in order to embrace it; one needs only to be greedy. Getting rich in the name of Jesus is not the salt of the earth or the light of the world. In this, the world simply sees a reflection of itself. And if it works, they will buy it.

The context of Jesus’ saying shows us what the salt and light are. They are the joyful willingness to suffering for Christ. Here is what Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth. . . . You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:11-14).

What will make the world taste (the salt) and see (the light) of Christ in us is not that we love wealth the same way they do. Rather, it will be the willingness and the ability of Christians to love others through suffering, all the while rejoicing because their reward is in heaven with Jesus. This is inexplicable on human terms. This is supernatural. But to attract people with promises of prosperity is simply natural. It is not the message of Jesus. It is not what he died to achieve.

© Desiring God

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org (http://www.desiringGod.org).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on May 15, 2007, 09:06:25 AM
Good info Colossus.  Are you familiar w/ministrywatch?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 22, 2007, 11:27:50 AM
Good info Colossus.  Are you familiar w/ministrywatch?
Thanks, Stella.  :)  I haven't heard of ministrywatch before.  What is it?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 25, 2007, 07:11:57 AM
It’s a Jungle Out There
by Max Lucado

The story is told of a man on an African safari deep in the jungle. The guide before him had a machete and was whacking away the tall weeds and thick underbrush. The traveler, wearied and hot, asked in frustration, “Where are we? Do you know where you are taking me? Where is the path?!” The seasoned guide stopped and looked back at the man and replied, “I am the path.”

We ask the same questions, don’t we? We ask God, “Where are you taking me? Where is the path?” And he, like the guide, doesn’t tell us. Oh, he may give us a hint or two, but that’s all. If he did, would we understand? Would we comprehend our location? No, like the traveler, we are unacquainted with this jungle. So rather than give us an answer, Jesus gives us a far greater gift. He gives us himself.

Does he remove the jungle? No, the vegetation is still thick.

Does he purge the predators? No, danger still lurks.

Jesus doesn’t give hope by changing the jungle; he restores our hope by giving us himself. And he has promised to stay until the very end. “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20 NIV).

We need that reminder. We all need that reminder. For all of us need hope.

Some of you don’t need it right now. Your jungle has become a meadow and your journey a delight. If such is the case, congratulations. But remember???  We do not know what tomorrow holds. We do not know where this road will lead. You may be one turn from a cemetery, from a hospital bed, from an empty house. You may be a bend in the road from a jungle.

And though you don’t need your hope restored today, you may tomorrow. And you need to know to whom to turn.

Or perhaps you do need hope today. You know you were not made for this place. You know you are not equipped. You want someone to lead you out.

If so, call out for your Shepherd. He knows your voice. And he’s just waiting for your request.

From Traveling Light
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2001) Max Lucado


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 06, 2007, 02:30:08 AM
Prosperity Preaching: Deceitful and Deadly
by: John Piper
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I read about prosperity-preaching churches, my response is: “If I were not on the inside of Christianity, I wouldn’t want in.” In other words, if this is the message of Jesus, no thank you. ...<snipped for brevity>

That was a colossally fantabulous post!  :)  (http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/thumbup.gif)  (http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/thumbup.gif)
My girlfriend & business partner just finished building 2 schools in Thailand this year. You earn more to give more


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 06, 2007, 02:34:44 AM
On the Separation of the Spirit from the Physical Body

"Spirituality does not consist in separating the spirit from the physical body. Eating and drinking any old thing, sleeping on the bare ground, enduring extremes of heat and cold and living in deplorable hygienic conditions: many hermits have lived like this in the past and continue to do so. Of course, this is one way we can learn to master the needs of the physical body and the temptations of sensual pleasures, but these are not the best conditions if the spirit is to make itself heard. An exhausted, suffering body in a state of decay is not the temple in which the spirit will come to manifest itself, and I do not recommend these ascetic practices to anyone.

It is important to be reasonable, to maintain balance and do what is necessary to keep our body in good health. Then, when the spirit has inspirations and revelations to bring us, our physical body will serve as the receptive, obedient matter through which it can best express itself."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 06, 2007, 05:13:53 AM
That was a colossally fantabulous post!  :)  (http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/thumbup.gif)  (http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/thumbup.gif)
My girlfriend & business partner just finished building 2 schools in Thailand this year. You earn more to give more
glad you liked it. 

where ya been?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on June 06, 2007, 05:22:16 AM
Thanks, Stella.  :)  I haven't heard of ministrywatch before.  What is it?
oops sorry Ro for the late reply.

ministrywatch.com rates/reviews about 500 ministries and lets you know also if there are any "alerts" on any and if there are they suggest that you give to a diff. ministry.

They also rate the transparency and efficiency of the ministry reviewed.  Pretty interesting site!

Hi Ro and Jag!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 11, 2007, 04:18:08 AM
oops sorry Ro for the late reply.

ministrywatch.com rates/reviews about 500 ministries and lets you know also if there are any "alerts" on any and if there are they suggest that you give to a diff. ministry.

They also rate the transparency and efficiency of the ministry reviewed.  Pretty interesting site!

Hi Ro and Jag!
Cool!!!  That gives me some insight when people ask me about some of the evangelists that they watch on television.  I'll have to check this out.  Thanks, Ro!   ;D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 11, 2007, 04:19:54 AM
Deliverance from Fear
June 11, 2007

"I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4).  

There are many things in such a world as ours which can bring fear into human hearts -- fear of want, fear of war, fear of rejection, fear of the dark, and a multitude of others. Some fears are rational, some are foolish, but all are very serious to those who experience them.

The good news of the gospel, however, can set us free from every fear. Remember that fear entered the world when sin entered the world. "I was afraid," Adam explained, when God found him hiding in the garden after eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:10). The second reference to fear in the Bible, on the other hand, was when "the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward" (Genesis 15:1). The Lord protects us and provides for us; we have His Word and need "fear no evil" (Psalm 23:4).

At least 19 times in the New Testament we hear the words "fear not," or "be not afraid," on the lips of Christ. Whenever phobias beset us or fears discourage us, deliverance is ours when we seek the Lord. Then "we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:6). Even if we must sometimes "suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled" (I Peter 3:14).

Perhaps the greatest fear of all is the fear of death, but the Lord delivers us even from this fear, for He has conquered death. In His glorified body, He has said: "Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:17-18). HMM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 18, 2007, 08:05:25 AM
Ten Reasons to Listen to Questions Before You Answer  

Meditation on Proverbs 18:13

"If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame."  

1. It is arrogant to answer before you hear. Humility does not presume that it knows precisely what a person is asking until the questioner has finished asking the question. How many times have I jumped to a wrong conclusion by starting to formulate my answer before I heard the whole question! Often it is the last word in the question that turns the whole thing around and makes you realize that they are not asking what you thought they were.

2. It is rude to answer a half-asked question. "Rude" is a useful word for Christians. It means "ill-mannered, discourteous." The New Testament word for it is aschēmonei. It is used in 1 Corinthians 13:5 where modern versions translate it, "Love is not rude," but the old King James Version has "Love doth not behave itself unseemly." This means that love not only follows absolute moral standards, but also takes cultural mores and habits and customs into account. What is polite? What is courteous? What are good manners? What is proper? What is good taste? What is suitable? Love is not indifferent to these. It uses them to express its humble desire for people's good. One such politeness is listening well to a question before you answer.

3. Not answering a question before you hear it all honors and respects the person asking the question. It treats the person as though their words really matter. It is belittling to another to presume to be able to finish their question before they do.

4. Careful listening to a question often reveals that the question has several layers and is really more than one question. Several questions are all mixed into one. When you see this, you can break the question down into parts and answer them one at a time. You will not see such subtleties if you are hasty with your answer and not careful in your listening.

5. A question sometimes reveals assumptions that you do not share. If you try to answer the question on the basis of your assumptions without understanding the questioner's assumptions, you will probably speak right past him. If you listen carefully and let the person finish, you may discern what he is assuming that you do not. Then you can probe these assumptions before you answer. Often, when dealing at this level, the question answers itself. It was really about these deeper differences.

6. Questions usually have attitudes as well as content. The attitude sometimes tells you as much as the content about what is really being asked. In fact, the attitude may tell you that the words being used in this question are not all what the issue is. When that is discerned, we should not make light of the words, but seriously ask questions to see if the attitude and the words are really asking the same question. If not, which is the one the questioner really wants answered?

7. Questions have context that you need to know. So many thoughts and circumstances and feelings may be feeding into this question that we don't know about or understand. Careful listening may help you pick up those things. It may be that there is just a small clue that some crucial circumstance is behind the question. If you catch the clue, because you are listening carefully, you may be able to draw that out and be able to answer the question so much more helpfully.

8. Questions are made up of words. Words have meanings that are formed by a person's experience and education. These words may not carry the same meaning for both you and the questioner. If you want to answer what they are really asking, you must listen very carefully. When the possibility exists that their question is rooted in a different understanding of a word, we will be wise to talk about the meaning of our words before we talk about the answer to the question. I find that talking about the definitions of words in questions usually produces the answer to the questions.

9. Proverbs 8:13 says it is our "folly" to answer before we hear. That is, it will make us a fool. One reason for this is that almost all premature answers are based on thinking we know all we need to know. But that is "foolish." Our attitude should be: What can I learn from this question? The fool thinks he knows all he needs to know.

10. And finally Proverbs 8:13 says that it is our "shame" to answer before we hear. What if you are asked publicly, "My wife and I have had serious problems and we were wondering . . ." and you cut the questioner off by giving your answer about the value of counseling and what counselors might be helpful. But then they say, "Well, actually, what I was going to say was, "My wife and I have had serious problems and we were wondering, now that our counseling is over and things are better than ever, how you would suggest that we celebrate?" Then you will be shamed for not listening.

Still learning to listen with you,

John Piper


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 19, 2007, 03:13:02 PM
Who Can You Trust?
by Dr. Erwin Lutzer

The news that Ted Haggard had to resign from his church in Colorado because of sexual immorality has touched all of us very deeply. Whether we knew him or not, many of us knew of him and the great work that God had done through him in the past. We’re praying regularly for him and his family as they endure a crisis that can scarcely be imagined. The impact of such a high profile moral failure is enormous. Because a minister represents Jesus Christ, a moral failure tarnishes the reputation and power of our Savior. One woman, who has been exploring Christianity for the past two years, wrote to me, “I don’t know what to believe….I know that Christianity doesn’t make anyone perfect, but events like this downfall make me ask whether it’s all real or just one more flawed world view.”

So who can you trust?

We all remember the days when new allegations of sexual abuse by priests were being reported every day. Hundreds of people came forward to say that someone they trusted — indeed, someone who supposedly represented the highest degree of integrity — deceived them.

The Enron debacle is old news, except for those who have to live without their investments and pensions. What makes people angry is that when the wealthy knew the ship was sinking, they bailed out on well-endowed life rafts and left the common investor to float on the open sea. One retiree said that her $700,000 investment ended up as $20,000. “Who can you trust?” she asked.

Opinion polls tell us that the majority of college students say they cheat (if you can believe what they tell you!!). Quite frankly, we have good reason to be skeptical in our relationships; we have good reason to ask whether the people we depend upon are worthy of our trust.

How do we tell the good guys from the bad guys? How do we know who is trustworthy and who is not? There is no easy answer. Just ask a young woman who has been abused by her father, a respected deacon in his church. Everyone, including his family, believed he was the epitome of integrity and dependability. But in the end, the man proved to be deceitful, and indeed evil. Sometimes we cannot even trust those who should be most committed to our nurture and care.

Why are people untrustworthy? Though we like to think we are driven by rational instincts, the truth is that we are too often driven by our selfish desires. And because we want to be well thought of, it is easy for us to pay careful attention to our outward persona, and totally neglect the integrity of our hearts. In fact, sometimes people not only deceive others, but they actually end up deceiving themselves. When our self-deception is complete, we can become wicked, destroying those around us to protect our sick self.

That the sins of the world have become the sins of the Church is clear enough to see. And this shows that as evangelicals we are not only facing a crisis in morality, but also a crisis in basic biblical spirituality---we are content with a shallow relationship with the Lord that allows us to live in two worlds, the public world in which we exude righteousness and the hidden one in which we satisfy our sinful desires.

Rebuilding destroyed trust is well nigh impossible. Just ask a woman who has discovered that her husband has been having an affair for the past two years. Or, think of someone who has betrayed a secret, or that man who agreed to repay a loan, but ignores the commitment. Trust, like a vase that falls from the mantelpiece, can be put back together, but only with much time and care.

So, who can you trust?

Thankfully, there are many people who have proved many times over that they can be believed; there is a match between what they profess and the way they live. But at the same time the Bible warns, “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on the flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jer. 17:5).

One lesson we should remember when people we trusted disappoint us is to turn once again to the Lord and renew desire to believe him no matter what. We must remind those who turn away from the Lord because of the failure of others, that at the end of the day they are still confronted with a Christ who invites us to believe in him regardless of the failures of his followers.

A second lesson is that we should search our own hearts and remember that failure—serious failure—is possible for anyone of us. A person who stumbles en route to the heavenly city should cause all of us to ask, “Am I next?” We should be motivated to clean up our own lives and have greater desire to pursue personal holiness.

Our great temptation is to minimize our sin by ascribing it to our background, our human nature, and our culture. These explanations might be true enough, but they do not tell the whole story: God has promised victory and grace to those who walk in His ways. To minimize sin is to minimize grace. Only when we see sin in all of its horror are we able to appreciate the matchless grace that both keeps us from falling and picks us up after we stumble.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 19, 2007, 09:04:32 PM
On Defilement

"‘It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles… What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles.’ If we want to understand Jesus’ words, we must refer to what initiatic Science reveals about the human being and his different bodies: physical, astral, mental, causal, buddhic and atmic.

The astral body is the seat of emotion, of feelings and desires, and it is represented in us by what we call the heart. What comes out of our mouth originates in the heart, and it is this that defiles us if we have not learned to purify our astral body. The mouth in question here is obviously the astral mouth. Nothing material comes out of our physical mouth, which only ingests and swallows. On the other hand, many things come out through the astral mouth, since feelings, emotions and desires are expressed through it, and when they are inspired by our lower nature we are defiled. Before defiling others, we defile ourselves. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 19, 2007, 09:05:46 PM
On Making Time

"Some very simple exercises of concentration and self-mastery can, if practised for only a few minutes, bring great benefits to many people. But apparently they don’t have the time. Well, since they don’t have time for peace, harmony and the light, they will have endless time for turmoil, disorder and darkness.

If there is one thing people can count on in life, it is that they will experience unhappiness, sorrow and discouragement. It is less certain that they will experience happiness, fortitude and serenity. Why? Because, as they endlessly babble, they don’t have time! This is a convenient means of justifying their laziness and inertia. They have no time to study, pray or do the exercises, and what is it that occupies these people who have no time? Often nothing more than trivialities. To say you don’t have time may justify you before the blind and the ignorant, but never in the eyes of heaven."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 20, 2007, 06:50:31 AM
Sudden Creation
June 20, 2007

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Corinthians 4:6).

Even a superficial reading of the account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 impresses the reader with the idea of suddenness. God simply called the universe into existence from nothing and then quickly set about the rapid formation of certain features, interspersed with other direct creative acts. All of the events, whether creative or formative, seem to have happened over a brief period of time, such as the formation of the plants (Genesis 1:12), the animals (v.20), and the sun and stars (v.16).

Even aspects which were evidently formed by a process such as the continents and oceans (v.10) and humankind (2:7,22) seemingly took no great length of time.

This is especially true of the creation of light. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light" (1:3). No slow and sporadic arrival of light from distant stars is mentioned, nor a gradual heating up of the sun as interstellar gas collapsed and fused. Some evangelical advocates of the old-earth concept hold that God slowly cleared the atmosphere of left-over interstellar dust which allowed the light from the sun and stars to penetrate to the earth.

But, if Scripture alone is our authority, then it happened suddenly and spectacularly. As discussed in our text, it happened just as suddenly and just as supernaturally as a new creature is created out of a dead creature at the moment of salvation. Sanctification may be a life-long matter, but "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" (II Corinthians 5:17), literally creation. No more time is required for the transformation than for darkness to turn into light at the Creator's command.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 21, 2007, 05:40:28 AM
Today's devotional is choc-fulla scripture.   ;D

The Unfailing Presence
June 21, 2007

"And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of" (Genesis 28:15).  

This is the first of many promises of God's unfailing presence with those who trust Him. The words of our text were spoken to Jacob on his flight from the unwarranted wrath of Esau. Those expositors who unjustifiably accuse Jacob of fraud when he secured the birthright promised to him by God before his birth (Genesis 25:23) should note that God never rebuked Jacob, but instead promised His perpetual protecting presence.

Note also God's promise to Joshua: "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee" (Joshua 1:5). There is also His promise to His chosen people, Israel: "For the Lord will not forsake His people for His great name's sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you His people" (I Samuel 12:22).  

There are many other such assurances in the Scriptures. One that especially reveals God's heart is Isaiah 41:17: "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them."  

The most precious of all, however, is the assurance to all New Testament believers that "I will never |literally `never, never, never'| leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). Paul teaches after an exhausting list of possibilities that nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39). "Lo, I am with you always,"  Jesus said, "even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 21, 2007, 09:09:54 AM
I loved the analogy given in this one

Captured
Today's devotional is brought to you by Dr. James MacDonald, Walk in the Word

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."Ephesians 4:31-32


A while back, I was working in my office when my wife called me on the phone. She was frantic. Kathy's normally calm voice shook, "You have to come home right now. There's a bird in the house." We don't live very far away from the church, so I was there in a few minutes. Flying around our family room was a small bird, wild and crazed with fear. It was banging against the windows and flapping in a frenzy from one wall to the next. Feathers followed in its draft, and its cry was shrill and pathetic.

This bird's life was in greater danger the longer I took to capture it. That wasn't easy to do, however, because it was convinced that to let me hold it was the absolute worst thing that could happen. After maneuvering about for a few minutes, I held it safely in my hands. Only then could I feel it throbbing in terror. Little did it realize that secure in my hands it was better off than thrashing around the room. As quickly as I could, I got to the front door, launched the bird in the air, and it flew away.

Sometimes we feel like the worst thing that could happen to us is to be confined in God's hands. The Bible often presents us with choices that will form boundaries around our lives. Too often we fly from this protection, banging into windows and walls, looking for escape. If we submit to God's Word, we fear we'll lose our autonomy or worse, our freedom-all the while killing ourselves in our frantic independence.
I'm glad for the Bible's extreme practicality that gives wings to this truth. Take Ephesians 4:25-32 for example. This passage urges us to have convictions in one specific area: our speech. God promises His protection and freedom when we:

  • Speak the truth (v.25)
    Let no corrupting talk come out of our mouth (v.29)
    Say only such as is good for building up (v.29)
    Say only what fits the occasion (v.29)
    Say only what will give grace to those who hear (v.29)
    Put away all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander (v.31).


Sure, we could allow anything we think or feel to come flying out of our mouths, but to do so is to live in great jeopardy. How much better it is to rest in protective boundaries and be released to true freedom!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 22, 2007, 06:41:47 AM
another great analogy by Max Lucado  :)

[size=12 pt]Fearlessly Facing Eternity[/size]
by Max Lucado

Joe Allbright is a fair and fearless West Texas rancher, a square-jawed, rawboned man with a neck by Rawlings. In Andrews County, where I was raised, everyone knew him.

One of Joe’s sons, James, and I were best friends in high school. We played football together. (More honest, he played while I guarded the team bench.) One Friday night after an out-of-town game, James invited me to stay at his house. By the time we reached his property, the hour was way past midnight, and he hadn’t told his father he was bringing anyone home.

Mr. Allbright didn’t know me or my vehicle, so when I stepped out of the car in front of his house, he popped on a floodlight and aimed it right at my face. Through the glare I saw this block of a man (I think he was in his underwear), and I heard his deep voice. “Who are you?” I gulped. My mind moved at the speed of cold honey. I started to say my name but didn’t. Mr. Allbright doesn’t know me. My only hope was that James would speak up. A glacier could have melted before he did so. Finally he interceded. “It’s okay, Dad. That’s my friend Max. He’s with me.” The light went off, and Mr. Allbright threw open the door. “Come on in, boys. Food is in the kitchen.”
What changed? What made Mr. Allbright flip off the light? One fact. I had aligned myself with his son. My sudden safety had nothing to do with my accomplishments or offerings. I knew his son. Period.

For the same reason, you need never fear God’s judgment. Not today. Not on Judgment Day. Jesus, in the light of God’s glory, is speaking on your behalf. “That’s my friend,” he says. And when he does, the door of heaven opens.

Trust God’s love. His perfect love. Don’t fear he will discover your past. He already has. Don’t fear disappointing him in the future. He can show you the chapter in which you will. With perfect knowledge of the past and perfect vision of the future, he loves you perfectly in spite of both.

Perfect love can handle your fear of judgment.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 25, 2007, 07:38:11 AM
If You Could Ask Jesus to Teach You One Thing . . .
by: Chuck Swindoll


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


As Christians, very few of us need to be persuaded on the importance of prayer. The real question is how? How should I pray? For what should I pray? How do I grow closer to God by praying?

The Gospels capture a very endearing moment in Jesus' life that sheds light on this question. In Matthew 6 and again in Luke 11, Jesus was finishing a private conversation with His Father when, "one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray.'"

Now, these guys were not unschooled in religious rhetoric. No doubt they had been taught proper Jewish prayers since childhood. But Jesus prayed differently. As they overheard His prayers or prayed along with Him, their desire to pray more like Him increased. Ironically, they asked God Incarnate, to tutor them in growing closer to God, His Father.

Let's sit at Jesus' feet with the disciples to learn a timeless lesson on how and for what we should pray. Jesus begins His instruction in Heaven:

WORSHIP
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Jesus modeled our first appropriate thought in prayer to be worship for who God is--He is holy and He is our Father. When we acknowledge God for who He is, our hearts melt in awe and adoration. Though in heaven, God desires to dwell with us here and now on earth. Though He alone is holy, His eagerness to connect with us is found in the gift of His Son. Heaven and earth join in this simple first statement.

SURRENDER
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus' instruction, as well as the example of His life, modeled surrender. The disciples heard Him pray this here on a Galilee hillside, as well as later in the garden outside Jerusalem as He prayed through the most painful night of His life. Your will be done. Jesus lived His entire life in surrender to His Father's will. Jesus calls us to do the same.

PETITION
Give us this day our daily bread . . . . And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Just so our prayers our rooted in real living, Jesus reminded the disciples that we are dependent on God for everything---for today's food, for our next breath. He invites us to ask the Father for everything and anything according to His desire. In fact, even the word prayer means "to ask earnestly." Jesus tells us to ask for God's protection against evil and for His provision of daily bread.

CONFESSION
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Jesus had lived with people long enough to get right to a root reason many prayers rise only ceiling-high. Forgiveness---such an amazing gift from God and such a huge hurdle in our relationship with others! But Jesus addresses both head-on. In essence, He said that your prayer's effectiveness depends upon your willingness to forgive someone else. (Anyone come to mind?)

THANKSGIVING
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
When we acknowledge God to be the Author of all life, all blessing, all kingdoms, all glory, Jesus says He is duly honored. Everything we have, we receive from His hand. There could be no other proper way to pray than to thank Him for all He is---the focus of all eternity. Jesus directs our response to pure thanksgiving.

Worship, petition, confession, and thanksgiving. Though your conversations with God may include much more, let Jesus' model of interaction with His Father form the framework of your prayers. Follow the Master Teacher in growing closer to God.

Echo God's Word to Him in Prayer
Worship -- Psalm 148, Hebrews 13:15, Rev. 4:1-11
Surrender -- Psalm 37:3-7
Confession -- Psalm 32, 51
Petition -- Colossians 1:9-12, James 1:5-6, 4:3
Thanksgiving -- 2 Corinthians 2:14-15, 9:15; Psalm 100




Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 28, 2007, 04:53:55 AM
Fallow Ground  
June 28, 2007

"For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns" (Jeremiah 4:3).  


Fallow ground is ground that has been plowed and readied for sowing, but then is withheld and allowed to lie useless and unproductive. God, through His prophet, had to rebuke His people, not only because they had left their prepared ground unused, but because they were actually sowing their seed on thorn-choked ground. That is, they were turning to idols and forsaking God.

The word "fallow" occurs one other time in the Bible and to the same effect: "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you" (Hosea 10:12). It is poor stewardship and a bad testimony, at best, for the people of God to ignore His righteousness and fail to cultivate His grace in their lives, choosing instead the philosophies and pleasures of the ungodly world around them.

Now, if the ancient Israelites had much unfruitful fallow ground in their lives, many modern Christians are still more blameworthy, for we have far greater opportunities and privileges than the people of ancient Israel.

Most of all, we have the complete Word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit, yet our lives are even more cluttered with the thorny ground of worldliness and paganism than theirs. We urgently need to break up our fallow ground, to sow righteousness, and reap mercy.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (Galatians 6:7-8).  


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 29, 2007, 04:59:50 AM
Oh, how many a time I have felt this way.  I'm so glad that God doesn't remember my sins.   ;D  I pray that you find comfort in the late Pastor Rogers' words.  Be blessed today - Colossus

God's Reservoir of Forgiveness
by the late Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding (http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Love_Worth_Finding/ (http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Love_Worth_Finding/))

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Hebrews 8:12

Have you ever felt like you have used up God's reservoir of forgiveness? Perhaps you've thought, I don't have a right to come and ask Him to forgive me again.

Friend, it doesn't matter how many times we have sinned. Suppose you came back to God the 5,000th time with the same sin, will He forgive you? Yes, indeed He will. As far as He is concerned, it is the first time you have come to Him. Why? Because He has forgotten all the other times.

God punishes sin, but He doesn't hold grudges. The God of Jonah, David, Mark, Peter, and Jacob, is your God and my God. I have come to Him so many times and asked Him for a second chance. And guess what? He has given it. And I know that if He can give me a second chance, He will certainly give you another chance. Failure is not final.

Have you been hesitant to go to God this week to ask His forgiveness about something? Run to Him right now.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 17, 2007, 04:02:25 AM
On Inner riches and plenitude

"The greatest riches are found in the light, so learn to seek the light and nourish yourself with it, for you will become not only rich but generous. Those who feel rich experience the need to give. They open their heart and are filled with love for all creatures.

It is poverty, whether material or spiritual, that engenders hatred. When you notice people who manifest neither love, nobility nor generosity, it is because they are inwardly destitute. Their sense of deprivation renders them jealous, mean and hateful. Those who are truly rich never feel hostility towards anyone. And it is the sages, the initiates and the great masters who are truly rich. Because they have always sought the light, they live in such abundance that they feel the need to give. Even if they are destitute, they never express envy or hatred, because inwardly they live in plenitude. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 20, 2007, 05:09:51 AM
Nevertheless…
by Max Lucado

And the king and his men… spoke to David, saying, “You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you,” …Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David).
- 2 Sam. 5:6–7


Did you see it? Most hurry past it. Let’s not. Pull out a pen and underline this twelve-letter masterpiece.

Nevertheless.

“Nevertheless David took the stronghold…”

Wouldn’t you love God to write a nevertheless in your biography? Born to alcoholics, nevertheless she led a sober life. Never went to college, nevertheless he mastered a trade. Didn’t read the Bible until retirement age, nevertheless he came to a deep and abiding faith.

We all need a nevertheless. And God has plenty to go around. Strongholds mean nothing to him. Remember Paul’s words? “We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4 NLT).

You and I fight with toothpicks; God comes with battering rams and cannons. What he did for David, he can do for us. The question is, will we do what David did? The king models much here.

Two types of thoughts continually vie for your attention. One proclaims God’s strengths; the other lists your failures. One longs to build you up; the other seeks to tear you down. And here’s the great news: you select the voice you hear. Why listen to the mockers? Why heed their voices? Why give ear to pea-brains and scoffers when you can, with the same ear, listen to the voice of God?

Do what David did.
Turn a deaf ear to the old voices.
Open a wide eye to the new choices.
Who knows, you may be a prayer away from a nevertheless. God loves to give them.
Peter stuck his foot in his mouth.
Joseph was imprisoned in Egypt.
The Samaritan woman had been married five times.
Jesus was dead in the grave …



Nevertheless, Peter preached, Joseph ruled, the woman shared, Jesus rose... and you?

You fill in the blank. Your nevertheless awaits you


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 22, 2007, 02:49:30 PM
On the Creation of a Symphony

"Melody, harmony, symphony…
A melody is played on one string or sung by one voice. Harmony, on the other hand, implies the participation of several strings, voices or instruments, the combination of which involves an entire science. Melody is closest to the heart, to feeling, while harmony is related more to the intellect, to thought.

But neither melody nor harmony is complete in itself. If perfection is to be attained, the heart, which speaks in the melody, must succeed in awakening the soul, and the intellect, which is expressed in harmony, must awaken the spirit. And with the soul and the spirit we enter the domain of the symphony. It is in the symphony that man can truly reach fulfilment, because it touches on the cosmic dimension of his being. The symphony represents the entire universe singing in chorus, the music of the spheres."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 22, 2007, 03:55:45 PM
On Fearing God

"It is said in the book of Proverbs: ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ Long before this, Moses had depicted the Lord as an implacable master who inspired only fear. But people who always act out of fear cannot fully develop, and eventually this emotion has a destructive effect on them.

With love, however, we blossom, and this is why Jesus came to replace fear with love, telling us that God is our Father. Of course, children are a little afraid of their father, and rightfully so, for they must sense that there are rules they are not to transgress and that they will be punished if they do so. But, above all, a father is loved by his children, not only because he has given them life, but because he gives them all his riches so they will flourish."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on July 23, 2007, 06:00:28 AM


 Long before this, Moses had depicted the Lord as an implacable master who inspired only fear.

 ???


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 23, 2007, 08:38:32 AM
On Fearing God

Long before this, Moses had depicted the Lord as an implacable master who inspired only fear.
huh?  ???


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 27, 2007, 06:39:52 AM
Headed Homeward
by Max Lucado

Aging is God’s idea. It’s one of the ways he keeps us headed homeward. We can’t change the process, but we can change our attitude. Here is a thought. What if we looked at the aging body as we look at the growth of a tulip?

Do you ever see anyone mourning over the passing of the tulip bulb? Do gardeners weep as the bulb begins to weaken? Of course not. We don’t purchase tulip girdles or petal wrinkle cream or consult plastic-leaf surgeons. We don’t mourn the passing of the bulb; we celebrate it. Tulip lovers rejoice the minute the bulb weakens. “Watch that one,” they say. “It’s about to blossom.”

Could it be heaven does the same? The angels point to our bodies. The more frail we become, the more excited they become. “Watch that lady in the hospital,” they say. “She’s about to blossom.” “Keep an eye on the fellow with the bad heart. He’ll be coming home soon.”

“We are waiting for God to finish making us his own children, which means our bodies will be made free” (Rom. 8:23).   Are our bodies now free? No. Paul describes them as our “earthy bodies” (Phil. 3:21 MSG). Or as other translations state:

“our lowly body” (NKJV)
“the body of our humble state” (NASB)
“these weak mortal bodies”  (NLT)
“our vile body”   (KJV)
“our simple bodies” (NCV)

You could add your own adjective, couldn’t you? Which word describes your body? My cancerous body? My arthritic body? My deformed body? My crippled body? My addicted body? My ever-expanding body? The word may be different, but the message is the same: These bodies are weak. They began decaying the minute we began breathing.

And, according to God, that’s a part of the plan. Every wrinkle and every needle take us one step closer to the last step when Jesus will change our simple bodies into forever bodies. No pain. No depression. No sickness. No end.

This is not our forever house. It will serve for the time being. But there is nothing like the moment we enter his door.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 30, 2007, 05:30:34 PM
On Swamp Gas

"All kinds of creatures swarm in the stagnant waters of swamps, each discharging its waste and excrement which the others are forced to absorb. Well, these swamps can be compared to the atmosphere of the cities, where so many unenlightened and unconscious people discharge their anxiety, jealousy, hatred and unsatisfied desires. A clairvoyant can see black, sticky forms emerging from countless creatures and accumulating in the layers of the atmosphere. And, even if we cannot see any of this, now and then we cannot help but feel something thick, heavy and dark shrouding these cities.

Each of you must become aware of this psychic atmosphere and strive not only to produce fewer noxious fumes but to work consciously to purify your thoughts and feelings. Like waves of light, these will spread throughout space as a blessing for all humanity. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 31, 2007, 05:24:29 AM
Think on These Things  
July 31, 2007

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

It is nearly impossible these days to turn on the TV, go shopping, go out to eat, read a newspaper, go online, etc., without our minds being cluttered and our thinking infiltrated by all sorts of improper thoughts. In our text, Paul gives us guidelines for our thinking. Let us investigate them.

True -- or genuine, honest, and sincere. We should concentrate on honesty in all our dealings, for, "God is true" (John 3:33), and Christ said, "my record is true" (John 8:14).

Honest -- or better, honorable toward all. Strive to "lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (I Timothy 2:2).

Just -- or equitable. "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal" (Colossians 4:1).

Pure -- without spot or stain. "Neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure" (I Timothy 5:22).

Lovely -- literally, "towards love," i.e., those things which demonstrate love or a response of love. This word only appears here, in the New Testament.

Of good report -- that which elicits praise.

Virtue -- a standard of righteousness. He "hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).

Praise -- our speech should be to "the praise of them that do well" (I Peter 2:14).  

Surely our lifestyle and thought patterns need adjusting as noted above, particularly when the verb tense in the command, "think on these things," implies a life-long habit -- a continuous way of doing things. JDM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on July 31, 2007, 09:01:05 AM
(from david @ e-devotionals.org)


Devotional - Verses on Anger - 4-23-99

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

People seem to be more and more angry these days. They walk around with frowns and grimaced looks. And of course people driving have gone nuts. Around here if you drive the speed limit on a two-lane road, at least one car will be tailgating you. Stoplights - they might as well take them down. I go through two on my way to work every morning, (yes it is a small town). Everyday without fail I see someone running the red light. Today I just want to open the Bible up and see what God has to say about anger. All verses today are from the NIV Bible.

Proverbs 12:16 A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.

Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.

Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.

Proverbs 30:33 For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife."

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

Colossians 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Psalms 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil.

Ephesians 4:26,27 In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:31,32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

James 1:19,20 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.




-------------------------



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 01, 2007, 02:06:25 AM
On the Unbroken Unity of Creation

"Creation is an unbroken unity. Although it appears to have boundaries and discontinuities, in fact there are no actual divisions anywhere. The refraction of light by a prism gives us the most remarkable example of this.

A beam of white light represents the 1. When broken up into parts, it becomes 7, the seven colours. Isn’t it extraordinary to see how from this unity, this white light, such diversity is born: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red? What better than light represents this passage from unity to diversity and diversity to unity? And now, look at these colours and try to see where the red ends and the orange begins. Show me where they separate, where the border lies between the two. You won’t find it, because it isn’t there. And the example of light is particularly interesting, since light is the very substance of the universe."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 01, 2007, 05:49:00 AM
Did He Really Die?  
August 1, 2007

"And Pilate marvelled if He were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph" (Mark 15:44-45).  

The absolute and total physical death of Christ is essential to the gospel. Certain liberals and detractors have for years tried to obscure or deny this vital teaching, claiming that Christ merely "swooned" on the cross and later revived in the tomb, then appeared to His followers who falsely claimed His resurrection.

But to the Christian, the death of Christ is not an option. The Bible teaches that sin had separated each man from God, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," being declared righteous only "through faith in His blood" (Romans 3:23,25) which was shed on the cross. "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22) of sin. There can be no Christianity without the real death of the real, sinless, Son of God.

It seems that the gospel writers, in recounting the events of the crucifixion, go to great lengths to make sure no one misunderstands. In Mark 15, for example, nearly 20 people are mentioned who no doubt would testify to His death. Consider the likely testimony of the Roman guards who had tortured Him to the point of death (vv.15-23), nailed Him on the cross (v.24), and watched Him die. The executioner (v.25) and the centurion (vv.39,44,45) were trained in killing. They knew how to recognize death. The thieves (v.27), the mocking passers-by (v.29), the chief priests and scribes (v.31), the grave keepers (v.46), all would have had no doubt. Pilate was convinced (vv.44-45) as were His many friends who watched (vv.40,41,47).

There can be no doubt Christ surely died, and He died "to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). JDM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 02, 2007, 05:08:07 AM
The Urgency of Christ's Work
August 2, 2007

"I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).  

It is striking how often the Lord Jesus used the term "must" in connection with the different aspects of the work He came to do. Since He is our example, we also must be serious and urgent about our Father's work. Even as a boy in the temple He told His parents, "I must be about my Father's business" (Luke 2:49).

Then early in His ministry, as He went from place to place, He said: "I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent" (Luke 4:43). Toward the end of His earthly ministry, He said one day: "I must walk today, and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem" (Luke 13:33). He also said to His disciples that "He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day" (Matthew 16:21).

He had told the great teacher of Israel, Nicodemus: "Ye must be born again." To explain how this could be, He then said: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:7,14,15). Before we could ever be born again to everlasting life, therefore, Christ must be lifted up on the cross to die for our sins.

Still, all "the scriptures must be fulfilled" (Mark 14:49), and accordingly, "He must rise again from the dead" (John 20:9). Yet, even this did not fully complete "the works of Him that sent me," for Christ had said that "the gospel must first be published among all nations" (Mark 13:10). Therefore, we also must work the works of Him who sent us, before our days of opportunity are gone. HMM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 06, 2007, 02:23:39 AM
The Endless Trap of Materialism

"Matter sets endless traps for human beings, and it is so successful that not only do people turn away from all spiritual practice, they consider those who feel the need for it ridiculous and even try to pass them off as abnormal. Since they are incapable of perceiving the advantages of a purer, more selfless conception of life, they are unwilling to renounce any of their material satisfactions, and they mock those who do not share their interests.

We see this so often! People have a tendency to ridicule or put down what they do not understand or what is beyond them. They close themselves off in a narrow, dull and mediocre existence, for the material world, however rich it may be, is very limited, and our abilities to make the most of it are even more limited. But, day after day, those who strive to live the life of the spirit discover indescribable treasures and extraordinary sensations."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 07, 2007, 06:48:17 AM
Working with Divine Ways

"In the Lord’s Prayer, Christians recite ‘Thy kingdom come.’ And why, after two thousand years, is there still so much war, famine, poverty and misery? Because people have not learned how to work. They recite ‘Thy kingdom come’ half-heartedly, and they continue to emphasize the faults and shortcomings of one group or another: how poorly they are organized, the money they have misspent… They count solely on material solutions, and in applying them they are drawn into endless conflict.

If you sincerely wish for the coming of the kingdom of God, you must put aside human ways, the ways of matter, and work with divine ways, the ways of the spirit. This means nourishing the very best desires and feelings in yourself and speaking only positive words. These feelings, desires and words activate luminous forces in the invisible world, which come to help in the realization of this kingdom of love and peace."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 09, 2007, 04:14:44 AM
On the Creation of a More Perfect Union

"Although this entity we call our higher Self is part of who we are, it does not live in us. If it did, we would perform wonders. From time to time it comes to manifest in us; now and then it makes contact with our mind. But since our mind is not yet ready to vibrate in perfect unison with our higher Self, we cannot accommodate it, and it cannot stay. It leaves, but it continues to work on our mind, preparing it to become its home one day.

When our mind is ready, our higher Self, which is nothing less than a part of God himself, will come to stay, and we will understand that in the higher realms of our being we are truly one with God."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 09, 2007, 07:45:05 AM
Quench Your Spiritual Thirst
by Dr. Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding Ministries
 
"Jesus answered and said unto her, 'Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.'" John 4:13-14

Have you ever been outside working in your garden or bicycling or playing football and become very thirsty? Perhaps you go inside and grab a soda. It tastes great and seems to hit the spot.

Then, you return to your activity and you get thirsty again and go for another soda. It is satisfying at first, but just doesn't seem to keep you quenched.

Finally, you fill a big tall glass with water and you're satisfied. Why? If you look at the ingredients on the soda container, it says it is artificially colored and/or artificially flavored and/or artificially sweetened. It doesn't have that touch of authenticity.

Are you trying to satisfy your thirst with things that are artificial when what you need is the water of life? When was the last time you quenched your spiritual thirst with the sparkling refreshment of time spent with God?

Are you married or dating? Remember back to your first date and how excited you were. Make a date with God this week for one hour (and time spent in church doesn't count!). Mark it on your calendar and make it your FIRST priority.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 10, 2007, 06:01:31 AM
Blessed Is He
by John Morris, Ph.D.

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity" (Psalm 32:1-2).

What true believer is there who is not eternally thankful for the truths found in our text? Sins of omission, sins of commission, sins of deliberate action, sins of the heart, youthful sins, covert sins, "big" sins, "little" sins, etc. What a thrill to know that the penalty for our sins has been paid in full, if we but accept His free gift. What rejoicing and freedom forgiveness brings.

Note that there are three different expressions for wrongdoing in our text -- transgression, sin, and iniquity. The differences in these words are not insignificant, but precise differentiation is beyond the scope of this discussion. Suffice it to say that they can be understood to mean the whole gamut of sinful activity.

Likewise there are three separate aspects of God's forgiving grace mentioned, "forgiven . . . covered . . . not imputed." In every way possible our sin is removed from us, and no more payment is necessary.

However, God's forgiveness must be conditioned on the individual's action. A lack of action results in the bearing of the sin, the guilt, and the consequences, again specified in a three-fold manner. "My bones waxed old . . . my roaring . . . thy hand was heavy upon me" (vv.3-4).

In keeping with the pattern of the psalm, three such actions are mentioned. "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord" (v.5). The result? "And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin."

Because of all this, we should have a three-fold response: "Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart" (v.11). JDM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 14, 2007, 03:30:32 AM
On The Learning of Divine Lessons & Divine Laws

"You are not prohibited from seeking happiness here on earth. But never forget that the earth is a school, and as with any school you will find nothing but lessons here. Yes, and the lessons come from all directions! Until you have understood this, you will be tormented by destiny and will suffer.

The invisible world sends sages to human beings as instructors who can facilitate their apprenticeship. If people refuse to accept their teaching, they will meet with other instructors: failure, illness and misery, and these are merciless. If you want to avoid the terrible lessons of these instructors, accept the lessons of your master, who wants to help and protect you. This is more reasonable. When you refuse to learn the divine laws voluntarily, you are forced to learn them the hard way."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 14, 2007, 07:30:35 PM
On The Learning of Divine Lessons & Divine Laws

"You are not prohibited from seeking happiness here on earth. But never forget that the earth is a school, and as with any school you will find nothing but lessons here. Yes, and the lessons come from all directions! Until you have understood this, you will be tormented by destiny and will suffer.

The invisible world sends sages to human beings as instructors who can facilitate their apprenticeship. If people refuse to accept their teaching, they will meet with other instructors: failure, illness and misery, and these are merciless. If you want to avoid the terrible lessons of these instructors, accept the lessons of your master, who wants to help and protect you. This is more reasonable. When you refuse to learn the divine laws voluntarily, you are forced to learn them the hard way."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
??? ??? ???


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 14, 2007, 09:25:48 PM
??? ??? ???

"Whatsoever thou sowest, ...so shall thou reapest."

Gee, I thought that was simple enough, ...guess not (http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/em/shrug.gif)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 15, 2007, 05:36:25 AM
"Whatsoever thou sowest, ...so shall thou reapest."

Gee, I thought that was simple enough, ...guess not (http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/em/shrug.gif)
I'm not sure that the point Aïvanhov makes is relevent to the Gospel.   Just kind of leaves you hanging in the air like your floating in space.

I like this so much better, because it has a more meaningful point (imo).  Place your efforts in knowing Christ. 

Matthew 13
The Parable of the Sower

 
 1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9He who has ears, let him hear."
 10The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

 11He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13This is why I speak to them in parables:
   "Though seeing, they do not see;
      though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
   " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
      you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
 15For this people's heart has become calloused;
      they hardly hear with their ears,
      and they have closed their eyes.
   Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
      hear with their ears,
      understand with their hearts
   and turn, and I would heal them.'[a] 16But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

 18"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

The Parable of the Weeds
 24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
 27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

 28" 'An enemy did this,' he replied.
      "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

 29" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 16, 2007, 11:50:26 PM
I'm not sure that the point Aïvanhov makes is relevent to the Gospel.   Just kind of leaves you hanging in the air like your floating in space.

Don't worry hun, at 311lbs. the law of gravity will kick in soon enough,
...and you won't have to worry about being left hanging in space anymore.  :P

Quote
I like this so much better, because it has a more meaningful point (imo).  Place your efforts in knowing Christ.

You like it better because you understand it better, ...therefore it's point is more meaningful to you.

Relevance is revelant.  ;) 

Quote
Matthew 13
The Parable of the Sower

 
 1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9He who has ears, let him hear."
 10The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

 11He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13This is why I speak to them in parables:
   "Though seeing, they do not see;
      though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
   " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
      you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
 15For this people's heart has become calloused;
      they hardly hear with their ears,
      and they have closed their eyes.
   Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
      hear with their ears,
      understand with their hearts
   and turn, and I would heal them.'[a] 16But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

 18"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

Ahhhhh, verses familiar to many a successful network marketer.  :)

Quote
The Parable of the Weeds
 24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
 27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

 28" 'An enemy did this,' he replied.
      "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

 29" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 20, 2007, 06:42:00 AM
Untangling Life's Knots
by Max Lucado

It's your best friend's wedding. "I'll take care of the reception," you'd volunteered. You planned the best party possible. You hired the band, rented the hall, catered the meal, decorated the room, and asked your Aunt Bertha to bake the cake.

Now the band is playing and the guests are milling, but Aunt Bertha is nowhere to be seen. Everything is here but the cake. You sneak over to the pay phone and dial her number. She's been taking a nap. She thought the wedding was next week.

Oh boy! Now what do you do? Talk about a problem! Everything is here but the cake ...

Sound familiar?

It might. It's exactly the dilemma Jesus' mother, Mary, was facing. Back then, wine was to a wedding what cake is to a wedding today.
What Mary faced was a social problem. No need to call 911, but no way to sweep the embarrassment under the rug, either.

When you think about it, most of the problems we face are of the same caliber. We're late for a meeting. We leave something at the office. A coworker forgets a report. Mail gets lost. Traffic gets snarled. The waves rocking our lives are not life threatening yet. But they can be. A poor response to a simple problem can light a fuse.

For that reason you might want to note how Mary reacted. Her solution poses a practical plan for untangling life's knots. "They have no more wine," she told Jesus (John 2:3). That's it. That's all she said. She didn't go ballistic. She simply assessed the problem and gave it to Christ.

It's so easy to focus on everything but the solution. Mary didn't do that. She simply looked at the knot, assessed it, and took it to the right person. "I've got one here I can't untie, Jesus."

"When all the wine was gone Jesus' mother said to him, 'They have no more wine'" (John 2:3).

Please note, she took the problem to Jesus before she took it to anyone else. A friend told me about a tense deacons' meeting he attended. Apparently there was more agitation than agreement, and after a lengthy discussion, someone suggested, "Why don't we pray about it?" to which another questioned, "Has it come to that?"

What causes us to think of prayer as the last option rather than the first?


From A Gentle Thunder
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2006) Max Lucado


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 20, 2007, 06:43:24 AM
Don't worry hun, at 311lbs. the law of gravity will kick in soon enough,
...and you won't have to worry about being left hanging in space anymore.  :P
aaackkkkkkkkkkkkkk

cough...gurgle.....cough


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 26, 2007, 01:15:21 AM
aaackkkkkkkkkkkkkk

cough...gurgle.....cough

whassamatter honeykins, ...somebody standing on your neck?  not me.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 26, 2007, 01:16:05 AM
On Communion

"Can Christians really have a good understanding of the spiritual life when they believe it is through the bread and wine of communion that they make contact with the Divinity? The Divinity is not willing to be locked away in material foods in order to be swallowed at a precise point in a religious service. What is more, to claim that communion can only be celebrated at such moments limits its meaning. From now on we must attribute a much broader and greater meaning to this act.

Communion is the very condition of life. This means that every day at every meal we can commune through our food. Although all the elements we take in are material, they have been impregnated with the life of the Creator, and by a work of thought, of consciousness, we can learn to extract the most subtle elements from them and nourish our soul and spirit. This is the true meaning of communion."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 27, 2007, 01:08:13 AM
(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/em/sunsmiley88.gif)
The Sun

"For us, the sun is the best representation of God, but you must carry out a great inner work with its image if this truth is to become instilled in you. You can observe the sun for years, but, until you feel that it vibrates, radiates and pulsates within you, it will remain foreign to you and will not speak to you. It will even be pointless to go and greet the rising sun. You will be warmed a little, invigorated a little, and you will receive a few calories, a few ‘vitamins’, but nothing more.

By means of the physical sun, you must strive to find this inner sun, which is the sign that the Divinity dwells within you. And one day you will no longer need an intermediary between you and God, not even the sun. It is within you, in your inner sun, that you will find it."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 31, 2007, 08:55:07 AM
whassamatter honeykins, ...somebody standing on your neck?  not me.
I'm certain it was you, because I could smell corn chips while I was choking!   :P


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 31, 2007, 08:58:04 AM
Practicing the Presence
by Max Lucado

How do I live in God's presence? How do I detect his unseen hand on my shoulder and his inaudible voice in my ear? A sheep grows familiar with the voice of the shepherd. How can you and I grow familiar with the voice of God? Here are a few ideas:

Give God your waking thoughts. Before you face the day, face the Father. Before you step out of bed, step into his presence. I have a friend who makes it a habit to roll out of his bed onto his knees and begin his day in prayer. Personally, I don't get that far. With my head still on the pillow and my eyes still closed, I offer God the first seconds of my day. The prayer is not lengthy and far from formal. Depending on how much sleep I got, it may not even be intelligible. Often it's nothing more than "Thank you for a night's rest. I belong to you today."

Give God your waiting thoughts. Spend time with him in silence. The mature married couple has learned the treasure of shared silence; they don't need to fill the air with constant chatter. Just being together is sufficient. Try being silent with God. "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10 niv). Awareness of God is a fruit of stillness before God.

Give God your whispering thoughts. Through the centuries Christians have learned the value of brief sentence prayers, prayers that can be whispered anywhere, in any setting.

Imagine considering every moment as a potential time of communion with God. By giving God your whispering thoughts, the common becomes uncommon. Simple phrases such as "Thank you, Father," "Be sovereign in this hour, O Lord," "You are my resting place, Jesus" can turn a commute into a pilgrimage. You needn't leave your office or kneel in your kitchen. Just pray where you are. Let the kitchen become a cathedral or the classroom a chapel. Give God your whispering thoughts.

And last, give God your waning thoughts. At the end of the day, let your mind settle on him. Conclude the day as you began it: talking to God. Thank him for the good parts. Question him about the hard parts. Seek his mercy. Seek his strength. And as you close your eyes, take assurance in the promise: "He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep" (Ps. 121:4 niv).   If you fall asleep as you pray, don't worry. What better place to doze off than in the arms of your Father.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 31, 2007, 07:20:07 PM
I'm certain it was you, because I could smell corn chips while I was choking!   :P

Nuh-uh, ...I don't eat corn chips.  :-X


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 31, 2007, 07:22:30 PM
Walking The Spiritual Path

"When you decide to walk a spiritual path, know that there will always be people who will put obstacles in your way or try to destroy your enthusiasm. This is normal. They are incapable of understanding all the luminous, generous thoughts and feelings you are nourishing within your heart and soul. But instead of becoming discouraged and giving up your work, or brooding about the situation, you must redouble your efforts. Remember how resourceful you are, that heaven has given you all kinds of possibilities, all kinds of faculties and forces, and that it is up to you to stand fast and persevere in your task. Why sacrifice your evolution, your inner wealth to the judgment and ill will of others? Who are they that you should bow to them? Continue to work, and one day they will be forced to recognize that it is you who are on the right path."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on September 09, 2007, 04:19:13 PM
On Setting Good Examples For Yourself

"Why is it important to keep constant watch over yourself? Because you are inhabited by an entire population of cells which imitate your attitudes and your behaviour. If you allow yourself to break divine laws, this populace takes note and follows your example. Don’t be surprised, then, when you experience gnawing pains and jolts. It is you, by your example, who have badly educated your cells, and many disorders within you are the consequence of this bad education.

You grumble while you work, shove chairs about, kick doors shut, bump into furniture and throw things… Well, this is reflected inside you, and your cells do the same thing: they grumble, they get annoyed, they strike out. You cry: ‘Ouch! Ow! What’s happening?’ Some of your cells are simply giving you a few kicks, and they learned this from you!"

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 10, 2007, 06:43:03 AM
Eternal Blessings
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jude 21).

This beautiful text contains the last of over forty New Testament occurrences of the phrase "eternal life," or "everlasting life" (same Greek words). We receive God's promise of life everlasting, of course, only through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, for "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36).

This is not just eternal existence however. The Scriptures give many wonderful promises of eternal blessings as well. We shall have an eternal home, "a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (II Corinthians 5:1). We are also joint heirs with Christ, "that by means of death . . . they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15).

God will wipe away all tears, for our heavenly Father "hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace" (II Thessalonians 2:16). There will even be unending glory for every believer, for He "hath called us unto His eternal glory" (I Peter 5:10). Therefore, as Paul says, "our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (II Corinthians 4:17).

These eternal blessings are all ours through Jesus Christ, for He is "the author of eternal salvation"  and has "obtained eternal redemption for us," all accomplished through His own shed "blood of the everlasting covenant" (Hebrews 5:9; 9:12; 13:20).

We shall, in fact, reign as kings with Him in "the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:11), where we "shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 22:5). Best of all, however, we shall be with our Savior throughout the endless ages to come.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on September 13, 2007, 10:21:48 AM
To Whom Much Is Given, Much Will Be Required
9/08/2007   
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to get over the fact that Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog. Two of her grandchildren received nothing, but her dog got $12 million. Go figure it.

I could not believe how blind Ms. Helmsley was to her own extravagance. There are just too many needs where that kind of money can make a difference, which is why I think the Bible says, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pointed to Helmsley’s gift of a perfect example of how we have strayed from the biblical hierarchy that God established between man and animals. Unfortunately, many of us, just like Leona Helmsley, have elevated our pets to the status of children.

As I searched for Scriptures for this week’s column, I ran across the story of the adulterous woman. The Scribes and the Pharisees had brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. They reminded him that Mosaic Law commanded that she be stoned. But Jesus told them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)
I realized as I read that verse that I was throwing stones at others rather than looking at sin in my own life. God has been very good to me, but the real value from those blessings is determined by what I do with them. That’s why Jesus said, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)
Instead of dwelling on Leona Helmsley, God convicted me to look at how I was using what He had given to me. I was embarrassed by what I saw. Oh, we are poor by Leona Helmsley’s standards, but in my life I see examples of the same unwise use of the resources which God has given us. I know now that I had no right to cast that first stone.

I sure am glad I serve a forgiving God, but I have got to admit that sometimes I wonder what he sees in a sinner like me. There I stood ready to condemn sin in the life of someone else when I was guilty of the same sin. Isn’t it great that our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus and that there are no limits to his forgiveness?

What about you? How are you using the resources with which God has given to you? Listen to what Jesus says: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)posted by Mike Ruffin on 9/08/2007


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on September 13, 2007, 11:07:55 AM
From a Christian Bodybuilding blog

Being a Christian in today's climate is not easy-that is for certain. Being a STRONG WARRIOR FOR GOD may almost seem impossible. But, for us brave souls on a Mission, we have NO OTHER WAY TO BE.

I've put some thought into making a list of some tips I've used in my own life...

1. Make God #1-Take time, Make time for Him-There is really no excuse for not taking time to give thanks & pray to Him. He is after all the Reason for Being.

2. Turn off the TV & Take time for Prayer, Praise, the Bible, and spending time with other Christian folk. We need to be strong community for each other.

3.Find an Accountability Partner or Friend. We are ALL tempted by by sin, but by having somebody to turn to we can help avoid the pitfalls of sin & wickedness.

4.Spread the word! For years I was afraid of what people would think if I spoke of my convictions & beliefs. Somehow, through God's hand, those fears seem to be fading! SPEAK OUT about your Love of God. WE AS CHRISTIANS HAVE A DUTY TO GOD TO DO THIS!

5.Stay educated-keep up on news & current events in the Christian community.

MOST OF ALL, MAKE GOD #1!!!!!!!!



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 14, 2007, 05:37:12 AM
To Whom Much Is Given, Much Will Be Required
9/08/2007   
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to get over the fact that Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog. Two of her grandchildren received nothing, but her dog got $12 million. Go figure it.

I could not believe how blind Ms. Helmsley was to her own extravagance. There are just too many needs where that kind of money can make a difference, which is why I think the Bible says, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pointed to Helmsley’s gift of a perfect example of how we have strayed from the biblical hierarchy that God established between man and animals. Unfortunately, many of us, just like Leona Helmsley, have elevated our pets to the status of children.

As I searched for Scriptures for this week’s column, I ran across the story of the adulterous woman. The Scribes and the Pharisees had brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. They reminded him that Mosaic Law commanded that she be stoned. But Jesus told them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)
I realized as I read that verse that I was throwing stones at others rather than looking at sin in my own life. God has been very good to me, but the real value from those blessings is determined by what I do with them. That’s why Jesus said, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)
Instead of dwelling on Leona Helmsley, God convicted me to look at how I was using what He had given to me. I was embarrassed by what I saw. Oh, we are poor by Leona Helmsley’s standards, but in my life I see examples of the same unwise use of the resources which God has given us. I know now that I had no right to cast that first stone.

I sure am glad I serve a forgiving God, but I have got to admit that sometimes I wonder what he sees in a sinner like me. There I stood ready to condemn sin in the life of someone else when I was guilty of the same sin. Isn’t it great that our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus and that there are no limits to his forgiveness?

What about you? How are you using the resources with which God has given to you? Listen to what Jesus says: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)posted by Mike Ruffin on 9/08/2007

Man!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this devotional, GymForLord!  This is such a powerful testimony.  You really spoke to my heart, and I'm sure many others who have read it.  Thank you for posting, and I look forward to more devotionals from you.  Thanks, bro.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on September 14, 2007, 07:30:27 AM
Can't take credit for writing this, but it is awesome!

I am a soldier in the army of my God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer.
The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.
Faith, prayer, and the Word are my weapons of warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, Trained by experience,
and Tried by adversity and tested by fire
I am a volunteer in this Army, and I am enlisted for Eternity.
I will either retire in this Army at the Rapture Or die in this Army;

But I will not get out, Sell out, Be talked out, Or pushed out.

I am faithful, Reliable, Capable and dependable.

If my God needs me, I am there.
If He needs me in the Sunday school,
to teach the children, Work with the youth,
Help adults or just sit and learn.
He can use me because I am there!
I am a soldier.

I am not a baby.
I do not need to be pampered,
Petted, Primed up, Pumped up,
Picked up Or pepped up.
I am a soldier.

No one has to call me, Remind me,
Write me, Visit me,
Entice me, Or lure me.
I am a soldier.

I am not a wimp. I am in place,
saluting my King, Obeying His orders,
praising His name, and building His kingdom!

No one has to send me flowers,
Gifts, food, Cards, candy
or give me handouts.

I do not need to be cuddled, Cradled, Cared for, or catered to.
I am committed.


I cannot have my feelings hurt
bad enough to turn me around.
I cannot be discouraged enough
to turn me aside. I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

When Jesus called me into His Army,
I had nothing. If I end up with nothing,
I will still come out ahead.
I will win.

My God has and will continue
to supply all of my needs.
I am more than a conqueror.
I will always triumph.
I can do all things through Christ.

The devil cannot defeat me.
People cannot disillusion me.
Weather cannot weary me.
Sickness cannot stop me.
Money cannot buy me.
Governments cannot silence me
and Hell cannot handle me.
I am a soldier.

Even death cannot destroy me.
For when my Commander
Calls me from this battlefield,
He will promote me to Captain
and then allow me to rule with Him.
I am a soldier in the Army,
and I'm marching claiming victory.

I will not give up. I will not turn around.
I am a soldier, Marching Heaven bound.

Here I stand! Will you stand with me?

Guess what?

If you've accepted Jesus Christ
As your Savior, You're already enlisted!

Question is, which part of the service are you in?

1. Active Duty: Serving the Lord faithfully, daily, and on duty 24-7?
2. Reserve Status: Serving only when called upon or twice a year, Christmas and Easter?
3. Guard Status: Backing up the Active Duty group
4. A.W.O.L.! Absent without the Lord?

". . . The Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on September 14, 2007, 12:49:05 PM
Man!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this devotional, GymForLord!  This is such a powerful testimony.  You really spoke to my heart, and I'm sure many others who have read it.  Thank you for posting, and I look forward to more devotionals from you.  Thanks, bro.
Thanks, Colossus! True Thanks goes to Him! :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on September 24, 2007, 01:07:58 PM
The Goodness of God
In Luke 16:1-9, Jesus told us a parable of the Unrighteous Steward.  In short, the steward was squandering the possessions of the landowner.  This is discovered and the landowner demands an accounting.  Before the unrighteous steward gets fired, he goes to the people who owe the landowner money and has them reduce their bills by substantial amounts.  The end of the parable has Jesus saying this:  "And his master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light" (Luke 16:9, NASB).

Why did Jesus say this?  Is He condoning deceit?  Is Jesus approving of this unrighteous steward's misrepresentation of the facts and the debt owed his master? 

The most probable cultural setting for the parable is that of a large estate consisting of land divided into portions, where the steward is entrusted with carrying the business of that estate. The debtors are most likely renters who had agreed to pay a fixed amount of produce for the yearly rent. The steward was no doubt making extras "under the table," but these amounts were not reflected in the signed bills. He was a salaried official who, in addition, was paid a specific fee by the renter for each contract. The master was a man of noble character respected in the community who cared enough about his own wealth to fire a wasteful manager, and this is the key to understanding this parable.

The debtors will assume that the steward is acting on behalf of the orders of the landowner.  This means that the landowner will be looked upon as being kindhearted and noble.   The steward knows that when the landowner finds out, he will have two alternatives: First, he could gather the renters and tell them that the reductions were unauthorized and thereby showing his stinginess and risking ridicule from them and the community. Second, he can keep silent, accept the praise that is even now being showered on him, and allow the clever steward to get away with the scheme. Obviously, the steward knew the master was a generous person, otherwise he would not have taken such a risk; after all, he wasn't jailed to begin with.

Therefore, in verse 9 Jesus is not praising the dishonesty, but the ability of the steward to recognize the generosity of his master, see what was coming, and use what he had at the time to obtain something far greater: self preservation. This is significant. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God can condemn you to eternal damnation. It is wise to seek a way out of that. In fact, the judgment of damnation is so terrible, that praise is offered to the one who, in desperation, seeks a way out of it. If the unrighteous steward was praised for trusting in the goodness of the master. 

So, how much more will you be rewarded if you trust the true and holy Master, the Lord Himself?  Abiding faith in God is the action of continuous trust in Him.  Count on His goodness and trust Him. 

 




Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 25, 2007, 07:37:04 AM
The Fire of God
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
"For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29).  

Fire was considered by certain of the ancient pantheistic philosophers to have been the primeval element out of which all things had evolved, and this same myth is promulgated today by evolutionary cosmogonists in the form of their "Big Bang" theory. The fact is, however, that fire is a creation of God used both actually and symbolically as God's vehicle of judgment on sin.

It is significant that both the first and last references to fire in the Bible mention both fire and brimstone, used in flaming judgment on human rebellion against God. First, "the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven" (Genesis 19:24). And finally, "the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8 ).

Our text is a reference to Moses' words to the tribes as they were preparing to enter the promised land after his death. Warning them against corrupting their faith through idolatry, he said: "For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God" (Deuteronomy 4:24). Its New Testament context is a grave warning against rejecting God's Word: "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven" (Hebrews 12:25).

In a sense, God's Word is also God's fire. "His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay" (Jeremiah 20:9). It is better to be refined with the fire of God's Word than to be consumed by His judgment fire. HMM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on September 26, 2007, 03:09:14 PM
Joy Robbers by Tony Beckett and Woodrow Kroll

 Song of Solomon 6-8, Galatians 4
Key Verse: Galatians 4:15

Paul asked the Galatians an agonizing and penetrating question, "What has happened to all your joy?" Biblical Christianity allows us to live life to the fullest extent intended by God, a life of blessing, one that is to be characterized by the joy of the Lord. We should be concerned when God's people are robbed of their joy.

The joy robber in Galatia was the restraints of legalistic Judaism. Later Paul would describe these people as ones who "cut in on" them as they were running a good race (5:7). They sought to enforce rules that were not of God but of man.

The problem is not with rules or with having "standards" in our lives. The problem is with the reason we keep them. If we observe special days or rules, especially those legislated for us by others, in hope of gaining some spiritual merit, then we are sinning. We regress from liberty to bondage and in the process can lose our joy.

In Christ we have liberty, which includes liberty from legalism. We can express our liberty in Christ and enjoy the blessing of it by keeping rules or having standards. Those are not wrong in themselves. The wrong comes from our motives if we do so to gain favor.

Joy will be found when we live a life of liberty, doing what we do to express our love for Jesus. Don't lose your joy.

Christian liberty is often misunderstood. Decide to do what pleases God, not to gain merit, but to show your love. Ask yourself if your Christian life is one of joy.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on September 27, 2007, 11:41:40 PM
To Whom Much Is Given, Much Will Be Required
9/08/2007   
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to get over the fact that Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog. Two of her grandchildren received nothing, but her dog got $12 million. Go figure it.

I could not believe how blind Ms. Helmsley was to her own extravagance. There are just too many needs where that kind of money can make a difference, which is why I think the Bible says, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pointed to Helmsley’s gift of a perfect example of how we have strayed from the biblical hierarchy that God established between man and animals. Unfortunately, many of us, just like Leona Helmsley, have elevated our pets to the status of children.

As I searched for Scriptures for this week’s column, I ran across the story of the adulterous woman. The Scribes and the Pharisees had brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. They reminded him that Mosaic Law commanded that she be stoned. But Jesus told them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)
I realized as I read that verse that I was throwing stones at others rather than looking at sin in my own life. God has been very good to me, but the real value from those blessings is determined by what I do with them. That’s why Jesus said, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)
Instead of dwelling on Leona Helmsley, God convicted me to look at how I was using what He had given to me. I was embarrassed by what I saw. Oh, we are poor by Leona Helmsley’s standards, but in my life I see examples of the same unwise use of the resources which God has given us. I know now that I had no right to cast that first stone.

I sure am glad I serve a forgiving God, but I have got to admit that sometimes I wonder what he sees in a sinner like me. There I stood ready to condemn sin in the life of someone else when I was guilty of the same sin. Isn’t it great that our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus and that there are no limits to his forgiveness?

What about you? How are you using the resources with which God has given to you? Listen to what Jesus says: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)posted by Mike Ruffin on 9/08/2007


Fabulous post with which I am in total agreement!!! (http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/thumbup.gif)   (http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/thumbup.gif)

This past week, I had the priviledge of watching my business partner Kim tie along with Theresa, my good friend of 3 years in receiving the FFi Humanitarian award. Kim's success with FFi in the past year, has not only empowered her to give her husband (a physician of 22 yrs) the option to retire, not to mention enjoy many moments in their child's life that most fathers miss, ...but she has also been able to build 2 schools in Thailand.

Theresa's success has enabled her to spend her time in Uganda doing what she loves... digging wells so children would no longer have to trudge 5 miles a day for a bucket of water. And when one of the local schools was in danger of closing for lack of funds, Theresa's success enabled her to step in and save the school from closing.

Money is really only simply a tool. Far too many however, choose to use it as a weapon.
With wealth, comes the ability to make a positive impact in our own lives, as well as the lives of so many others.

There is so much we can do to bring about positive change in the world, and to help others.
I am honoured to be able to work with some of the most caring and dedicated, men and women of integrity.

(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/975471003503_0_BG.jpg)

Kim & Theresa on stage accepting their awards

(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/500961003503_0_BG.jpg)

Kim & her newly retired hubby at dinner.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on September 28, 2007, 07:58:36 AM
God Bless & Thanks, Jaguar! I, too, like that devotion very much!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on September 28, 2007, 08:01:54 AM
Found this on the web & wanted to share!

Discipleship
What do you think of when the word discipleship comes to mind?  Do you think of discipline, or following Jesus, or helping others, or memorizing Scripture, etc.?  When I think of discipleship, of being a follower of Jesus, one common theme always comes to mind.  It is found in Jesus' words in Luke 9:23, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."  To me, this is the essence of discipleship.

The cross was a place of great pain and humiliation, but it is also a place of great love.  Jesus' endured the scorn and ridicule of so many in order to buy life for us.  He allowed Himself to be led to a place where He would suffer greatly.  He humbled Himself so that He could die.  He did not boast in Himself.  He did not seek His own. He did not remember a wrong suffered. Instead, He loved.  He taught.  He healed.  He forgave.  This is what He meant when He said to pick up your cross and follow Him.  He wants you to follow Him to the place of where you die to yourself, where you live humility, where you do not boast, where you are forgiving and loving, and kind -- and where you bring glory to God.  This is what He is asking of us because this is what He exemplified. We cannot serve two masters.  Either Jesus is Lord or our lives, or we are.

To be a disciple of Jesus means that we follow Him.  It means that we are trying to become like Him in many ways.  This is a very difficult thing to do because He is so good and we are sinners.  So much of it is left up to ourselves and our responsibility.  God lets us choose our way, our needs, our disciplines.  Of course, He desires that we seek Him first; He desires that we love Him first.  But, He will not force us into this.  He lets us grow and learn from our success as well as our mistakes.  He allows us the opportunities to die to ourselves and thereby grow in Christ.  He provides the means for us to put others first.  He arranges things so that we can make godly choices or choices that suit our fleshly desires and needs.  In this, He is discipling us by providing choices to make in our lives.

Every opportunity of every day can be a place of turning.  Whether or not someone else knows you are a Christian, or knows the motives of your heart, you are to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:1-3).  It is a high calling, this thing called Christian discipleship.  But it is a worthy calling.

Nevertheless, when I compare myself to Jesus, I find myself falling short.  To be honest, I don't like bearing the cross daily.  It is heavy.  I am not particularly fond of disciplining myself to read His Word, not to mention actually applying it to my life.  Being humble is something I struggle with and considering the welfare of others means that I have to be less selfish.  All of these things are difficult -- and all of these things are unChristlike.  Therefore, I cling to the cross, confess my sins, and yet again ask for forgiveness and the strength to continue to walk in a manner worthy of my calling.  I will choose to follow Him regardless of the difficulties, the humiliation, and the suffering.  Why?  Because that is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.  That is what it means if I claim the name of Christian for myself. 

How about you?  Do you claim the title of Christian?  If so, are you living as though that were true?


 




Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 04, 2007, 12:26:56 AM
On the Taming of Wild Beasts

"Instead of becoming conscious of the immense role they play in creation and participating in the work of the Creator, human beings confront each other like animals and tear each other apart. Yes, because in reality there are animals still living in them in the form of unbridled instincts: aggressiveness, possessiveness, sensuality, and so on.

Just because human beings have learned to appear more civilized, it does not mean they have rid themselves of their animal impulses. Sometimes, behind the friendly air of someone who smiles at you and says: ‘Hello, how are you? What a pleasure to see you!’ there lurks a wild beast who wants to pounce on you and devour you. And don’t you sometimes find yourself in a similar state of mind? Animals exist in our thoughts, our feelings and our desires, and our work is to tame them so that they can participate with us in cosmic harmony."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 04, 2007, 12:31:11 AM
On Jesus The Greatest Revolutionary

"By revealing that all humans without exception are sons and daughters of God, Jesus radically changed people’s consciousness. Yes, because until then this truth had been carefully hidden, for fear that once the masses became aware of their divine origin they would no longer obey the rules imposed by the few who aspired to control them.

As the greatest revolutionary, Jesus paid on the cross for his audacity in claiming not only that he was the son of God but that all people have the same divine origin. It is written in the Old Testament: ‘You are gods’, but this truth has been deliberately ignored and remains so today. A true spiritual teaching must above all lead human beings to understand and feel that they are all sons and daughters of the same Father – God, the cosmic Spirit – and the same Mother – Nature, the universal Soul."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on October 04, 2007, 12:15:09 PM
by Charles Spurgeon

"The hope which is laid up for you in heaven." {#Col 1:5}

Our hope in Christ for the future is the mainspring and the mainstay of our joy here. It will animate our hearts to think often of heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there. Here we are weary and toilworn, but yonder is the land of rest where the sweat of labour shall no more bedew the worker’s brow, and fatigue shall be for ever banished. To those who are weary and spent, the word "rest" is full of heaven. We are always in the field of battle; we are so tempted within, and so molested by foes without, that we have little or no peace; but in heaven we shall enjoy the victory, when the banner shall be waved aloft in triumph, and the sword shall be sheathed, and we shall hear our Captain say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." We have suffered bereavement after bereavement, but we are going to the land of the immortal where graves are unknown things. Here sin is a constant grief to us, but there we shall be perfectly holy, for there shall by no means enter into that kingdom anything which defileth. Hemlock springs not up in the furrows of celestial fields. Oh! is it not joy, that you are not to be in banishment for ever, that you are not to dwell eternally in this wilderness, but shall soon inherit Canaan? Nevertheless let it never be said of us, that we are dreaming about the future and forgetting the present, let the future sanctify the present to highest uses. Through the Spirit of God the hope of heaven is the most potent force for the product of virtue; it is a fountain of joyous effort, it is the corner stone of cheerful holiness. The man who has this hope in him goes about his work with vigour, for the joy of the Lord is his strength. He fights against temptation with ardour, for the hope of the next world repels the fiery darts of the adversary. He can labour without present reward, for he looks for a reward in the world to come.



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Dos Equis on October 04, 2007, 10:21:14 PM
To Whom Much Is Given, Much Will Be Required
9/08/2007   
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to get over the fact that Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog. Two of her grandchildren received nothing, but her dog got $12 million. Go figure it.

I could not believe how blind Ms. Helmsley was to her own extravagance. There are just too many needs where that kind of money can make a difference, which is why I think the Bible says, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pointed to Helmsley’s gift of a perfect example of how we have strayed from the biblical hierarchy that God established between man and animals. Unfortunately, many of us, just like Leona Helmsley, have elevated our pets to the status of children.

As I searched for Scriptures for this week’s column, I ran across the story of the adulterous woman. The Scribes and the Pharisees had brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. They reminded him that Mosaic Law commanded that she be stoned. But Jesus told them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)
I realized as I read that verse that I was throwing stones at others rather than looking at sin in my own life. God has been very good to me, but the real value from those blessings is determined by what I do with them. That’s why Jesus said, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)
Instead of dwelling on Leona Helmsley, God convicted me to look at how I was using what He had given to me. I was embarrassed by what I saw. Oh, we are poor by Leona Helmsley’s standards, but in my life I see examples of the same unwise use of the resources which God has given us. I know now that I had no right to cast that first stone.

I sure am glad I serve a forgiving God, but I have got to admit that sometimes I wonder what he sees in a sinner like me. There I stood ready to condemn sin in the life of someone else when I was guilty of the same sin. Isn’t it great that our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus and that there are no limits to his forgiveness?

What about you? How are you using the resources with which God has given to you? Listen to what Jesus says: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)posted by Mike Ruffin on 9/08/2007


I agree with Colossus.  This is great. 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 06, 2007, 10:36:10 PM
The Spiritual Path

"In a spiritual brotherhood you meet people at different stages of evolution, and even if they seem unpleasant and unattractive you must make an effort to understand them, to love them and to have enough strength of character to want to do something for them. In a spiritual brotherhood you have every opportunity to progress by putting your likes and dislikes aside.

Most people are forever looking for what suits them, for what they like. No, they must only seek what is good for their spiritual growth. Of course, if you are not looking to advance inwardly, you will be incapable of participating in a spiritual community. Only those who are looking for methods and conditions that will enable them to develop, to progress, will understand that what they find here they will never find anywhere else."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Deicide on October 06, 2007, 10:38:00 PM
2007 CE people...hello? Wake up... ::)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 09, 2007, 05:10:38 AM
Had to read this one over and think about it before I posted it.  I didn't like where she was going with this, but I had to keep reading to the end, and I think she's right.  Tell me what you think?

NEEDS vs. WANTS
by J.M. Farro

              "The reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it."  James 4:2 TLB
 
   One day, after my son made a remark about the pitiful condition of our dining room set, I mentioned to him that I had been praying for a new one.  He promptly informed me that new dining room furniture was not a need, and that I shouldn't ask God to replace it for me.  At first, his comments convicted me and made me feel guilty about my petitions.  Then, I went to the Lord in prayer and asked Him to give me His view on the situation.  Immediately, some of my favorite verses came to mind.  "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4), and "He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him." (Psalm 145:19), or "Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:24)  God reassured me that He wants to fulfill our needs AND our desires, and it isn't our job to figure out which is which.

   The Bible says:  "You do not have, because you do not ask God." (James 4:2 NIV)  God says there are some blessings we don't have, simply because we didn't ask Him for them.  Many times, it doesn't even occur to us to ask God for certain things that He is eager to give us--things that He may never allow us to have if we don't seek Him for them.  It never even occurred to my son to pray for new furniture.  Thank God I didn't have the same attitude he did.

   The following verse says:  "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives." (James 4:3 NIV)  Obviously, if we ask for things with the wrong motives, God will not grant them to us.  Why did I want a new dining room set?  It wasn't because I wanted to show off to my friends and family.  It was because my old set was literally falling apart, and it was uncomfortable for my guests, as well as an embarrassment to me.  I have new dining room furniture now, and I appreciate it tremendously because I asked God for it, and I waited on His timing.

   These days, I have an old car.  How many times does it have to break down before I can consider it a "need" and ask God for a newer one?  I don't worry about that anymore.  I just say, "Lord, I'd like a newer car, but I thank You for the one I already have."  I feel free to ask God for the desires of my heart, because I love Him with all my heart.  I ask for things with the right motives, and I'm willing to wait for His perfect timing.  I can live without nice things.  But I can't live without God.  With that kind of attitude, I can ask God for the desires of my heart.  And so can you.

   Lord, teach me how to ask You for all the things You want me to enjoy in this life.  Help me to wait on Your perfect timing for each and every one.  Give me a heart that always asks with the right motives.  Remind me that even though nice things are desirable, I can live without them.  Thank You that You "richly provide us with everything for our enjoyment"! (1 Timothy 6:17 NIV)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: gymforlord on October 10, 2007, 01:54:44 PM
The Difference Between Bitter And Sweet by Ron Hutchcraft

I've eaten a few plums in my life, but I never found it particularly inspiring or educational. But one of our team members ate a plum recently and got an insight that I found enlightening. When she bit into that plum, it tasted very sweet. It didn't stay that way. The closer my friend got to the center, the more bitter the plum tasted. She explained to me her simple, but probably accurate, theory about this bittersweet taste experience. She said what the sun has touched is sweet; what the sun hasn't touched is bitter.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "The Difference Between Bitter and Sweet."

I guess, in a way, I'm that plum. You're that plum. We've got parts of our personality, our ways of treating people, our ways of responding to stress that are actually pretty sweet and then there are those parts that are bitter for us and certainly bitter for the people close to us. Once you open your life to Jesus Christ, you have divine power available to help change those harsh, distasteful parts of you into something beautiful. It's part of that miracle II Corinthians 5:17 calls becoming "a new creation in Christ."

I can tell you from my own life, the parts of me that are becoming sweeter are the parts of me that I have opened up to the "sunlight" of Jesus Christ. And those things about me that I don't like, the people around me don't like, God doesn't like are the areas where I need to more fully open up to Jesus' control.

The people we love, the people around us, the people who are affected by us most would probably be able to provide a pretty good list of the "bitter" parts of our personality - of our responses. That's the list that needs to become top priority for surrendering to Jesus Christ. It's a matter of calling the ugly parts of us what they are - no more defending, no more excusing, no more blaming. You just say, "Jesus, here it is. Come into this stubborn, sinful part of who I am and shine Your light on it. I can't change it, but I don't want to be this way anymore. Please make me new."

In our word for today from the Word of God, He helps us see some specific attitudes and actions and approaches that are bitter stuff, and then what we can be like if we'll remove the walls around those areas of our life. Colossians 3, beginning with verse 8, says, "Rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator ... Therefore, as God's chosen people ... clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

The powerful reality about belonging to Jesus is that you don't have to keep on being what you've always been; maybe even what generations before you have been. Jesus changes people in ways they could never change themselves. But there may be a reason that your bitter has stayed bitter. Instead of repenting, instead of surrendering it to Jesus, you just keep looking for someone to blame for the way you are. You keep replaying the past, complaining, recruiting sympathy, or retaliating for what others have done. But you're not letting the Son - the Son of God - shine on it. It's time to open up your ugly side to Jesus. Release it completely to Him so He can make you like Him.

There's a Gospel song that says, "The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows." Let's add a verse. "The longer you serve Him, the sweeter you grow."





Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Deicide on October 10, 2007, 05:06:52 PM
The Difference Between Bitter And Sweet by Ron Hutchcraft

I've eaten a few plums in my life, but I never found it particularly inspiring or educational. But one of our team members ate a plum recently and got an insight that I found enlightening. When she bit into that plum, it tasted very sweet. It didn't stay that way. The closer my friend got to the center, the more bitter the plum tasted. She explained to me her simple, but probably accurate, theory about this bittersweet taste experience. She said what the sun has touched is sweet; what the sun hasn't touched is bitter.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "The Difference Between Bitter and Sweet."

I guess, in a way, I'm that plum. You're that plum. We've got parts of our personality, our ways of treating people, our ways of responding to stress that are actually pretty sweet and then there are those parts that are bitter for us and certainly bitter for the people close to us. Once you open your life to Jesus Christ, you have divine power available to help change those harsh, distasteful parts of you into something beautiful. It's part of that miracle II Corinthians 5:17 calls becoming "a new creation in Christ."

I can tell you from my own life, the parts of me that are becoming sweeter are the parts of me that I have opened up to the "sunlight" of Jesus Christ. And those things about me that I don't like, the people around me don't like, God doesn't like are the areas where I need to more fully open up to Jesus' control.

The people we love, the people around us, the people who are affected by us most would probably be able to provide a pretty good list of the "bitter" parts of our personality - of our responses. That's the list that needs to become top priority for surrendering to Jesus Christ. It's a matter of calling the ugly parts of us what they are - no more defending, no more excusing, no more blaming. You just say, "Jesus, here it is. Come into this stubborn, sinful part of who I am and shine Your light on it. I can't change it, but I don't want to be this way anymore. Please make me new."

In our word for today from the Word of God, He helps us see some specific attitudes and actions and approaches that are bitter stuff, and then what we can be like if we'll remove the walls around those areas of our life. Colossians 3, beginning with verse 8, says, "Rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator ... Therefore, as God's chosen people ... clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

The powerful reality about belonging to Jesus is that you don't have to keep on being what you've always been; maybe even what generations before you have been. Jesus changes people in ways they could never change themselves. But there may be a reason that your bitter has stayed bitter. Instead of repenting, instead of surrendering it to Jesus, you just keep looking for someone to blame for the way you are. You keep replaying the past, complaining, recruiting sympathy, or retaliating for what others have done. But you're not letting the Son - the Son of God - shine on it. It's time to open up your ugly side to Jesus. Release it completely to Him so He can make you like Him.

There's a Gospel song that says, "The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows." Let's add a verse. "The longer you serve Him, the sweeter you grow."





 ::) ::) ::)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 10, 2007, 05:25:16 PM
On Divine Garments

"Clothes are screens which insulate us and protect us from the world around us. Without our clothes we naturally become more sensitive. If we draw an analogy with the inner life, we can say that sensitivity is a manifestation of spirituality: those who shed the density of their ordinary preoccupations dissolve the layers surrounding them and become more receptive to the divine world.

In the sacred books, we read accounts in which those who have conquered their base desires and live in accordance with divine laws receive a garment as a reward. It may be white or coloured, but it is always depicted as a precious cloth, as a material of almost otherworldly beauty. This garment symbolizes the aura, which is our true garment. In order to earn it, we must rid ourselves of everything that weighs us down and dims our consciousness, so that we may enter into relationship with the divine world. Our aura, this garment of light, signifies that we have succeeded in doing so."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 12, 2007, 07:40:32 AM
Have a blessed weekend, everyone!   :D

An Unearthly Love
by Max Lucado

Your goodness can't win God's love. Nor can your badness lose it. But you can resist it. We tend to do so honestly. Having been rejected so often, we fear God may reject us as well. Rejections have left us skittish and jumpy. Like my dog Salty. He sleeps next to me on the couch as I write. He's a cranky cuss, but I like him. We've aged together over the last fifteen years, and he seems worse for the wear. He's a wiry canine by nature; shave his salt-and-pepper mop, and he'd pass for a bulimic Chihuahua. He didn't have much to start with; now the seasons have taken his energy, teeth, hearing, and all but eighteen inches' worth of eyesight.

Toss him a dog treat, and he just stares at the floor through cloudy cataracts. (Or, in his case, dogaracts?) He's nervous and edgy, quick to growl and slow to trust. As I reach out to pet him, he yanks back. Still, I pet the old coot. I know he can't see, and I can only wonder how dark his world has become.

We are a lot like Salty. I have a feeling that most people who defy and deny God do so more out of fear than conviction. For all our chest pumping and braggadocio, we are anxious folk--can't see a step into the future, can't hear the one who owns us. No wonder we try to gum the hand that feeds us.

But God reaches and touches. He speaks through the immensity of the Russian plain and the density of the Amazon rain forest. Through a physician's touch in Africa, a bowl of rice in India. Through a Japanese bow or a South American abraço. He's even been known to touch people through paragraphs like the ones you are reading. If he is touching you, let him.

Mark it down: God loves you with an unearthly love. You can't win it by being winsome. You can't lose it by being a loser. But you can be blind enough to resist it.

Don't. For heaven's sake, don't. For your sake, don't.

"Take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:18--19 MSG).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 14, 2007, 05:18:53 PM
The Usefulness of Repetition

"There are certain essential truths which you should bring to mind ten, twenty, thirty times a day. If you fail to discipline yourself in this way you will not progress. When you get carried away and do things that are not very virtuous or noble – and which you later regret – it is because you have forgotten the truths and laws which would have enabled you to triumph over your weaknesses.

You must recognize how useful repetition is. After all, there are so many things you consider it normal to repeat! Every day you agree to eat and drink several times, to sleep, breathe… or do the same foolish things! But when you hear someone reiterating truths that can save you, you find it intolerable. Is this intelligent?"

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 15, 2007, 04:24:10 AM
The Gospel of Prosperity
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you" (Romans 1:10).

This mention of the word "prosperous" is the first of the only four occurrences of the Greek word enodoo (meaning literally "good journey," but translated "prosper" or "prosperous") in the New Testament. Here it is actually rendered "prosperous journey."

It is obvious that Paul was not praying for his journey to prosper financially, for the next verse indicates his long desire had been to "impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established" (Romans 1:11).

However, the word has come to include any kind of prospering, as in I Corinthians 16:2, when Paul urged Christians to provide financial help for other Christians in need. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him," he said.

The term can also refer to physical and spiritual health. Its two other occurrences are in III John 2. "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." Unfortunately, certain teachers of these latter days have taken the Biblical teaching of spiritual prosperity to mean financial prosperity, which they teach is the right of every Christian. But this "prosperity gospel" is so clearly unscriptural that it is merely a testimony to the cupidity of the Christians who believe it. "They that |desire to| be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts," warned Paul (I Timothy 6:9). And to whatever extent God does prosper us financially, it is strictly for the purpose of helping others, not to indulge ourselves. "Charge them that are rich in this world, that . . . they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute . . ." (I Timothy 6:17-18). HMM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 16, 2007, 12:31:18 AM
The Fallibility of Earthly Love

"Men and women prize love above all else, and they hope to find the love of their life and to live it for all eternity. Why then do they find it so hard to sustain their love for a few years or even a few months? Because the moment they discover they love a man or woman, they become fixed on this person. They are not aware that this creature is a channel through whom the beauty, charm and qualities of another world flow, and that their soul thirsts for this other world. So they concentrate on this creature and expect everything from him or her. This is their mistake and the cause of their disillusion and sorrow. Men and women must learn to consider one another as a point of departure in their search for love’s source. Only in this way will they avoid disappointment, for at its source the water of love is always crystal-clear, pure and invigorating."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 17, 2007, 02:36:15 AM
On Man's Self Destructive Tendencies outside of the Spirit

"Human beings continually experience new needs, which is a clear sign of their evolution. But the greed and voracity which drive so many to seek satisfaction on the physical plane, and which cause them to devastate and pollute the planet, are leading humanity to disaster.

And why is it that even those who are aware of this cling stubbornly to this course? Quite simply because they do not know themselves and have never tried to explore their true riches. If they knew that at a subtle level the Creator had placed in them the equivalent of everything found in the universe, they would nourish and embellish themselves with the spiritual riches they would discover inside, instead of grabbing everything they could lay their hands on. Not only would they stop destroying things but everything they achieved on the physical plane would be stamped with the seal of the spirit."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 25, 2007, 04:23:30 AM
Altogether Different
by Greg Laurie, A New Beginning

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

The Ethiopian official's conversion in Acts 8 shows us what happens when someone becomes a Christian. A radical and immediate change took place in this man's life. He went instantly from being a miserable, empty, unhappy man to a man who was overflowing with joy.

This shows the essence of the Christian life. It serves as a reminder that when someone becomes a Christian, he or she is not simply a little better off than before. His or her life has not improved just a little. Becoming a Christian changes a person completely. Jesus described it as being born again. The apostle Paul wrote, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17

What really happens behind the scenes when a true conversion takes place? According to the Bible, it is turning from darkness to light and from the power of the devil to God.

Many people experience God in a way they can feel profoundly, but not everyone does. Others may have no idea how significant it is when they put our trust in Christ. When I asked Christ to come into my life, I felt no emotion whatsoever. And because of that, I was convinced that God had turned me down. It wasn't until later that I realized the significance of what I had done. It had nothing to do with my emotions.

That is not what conversion is about. Rather, it is about the change in your lifestyle that will result. If you have really met Christ, then you will be altogether different.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 26, 2007, 06:33:23 AM
On Human Differences

"Human beings are so different one from another! And yet when the Lord created them he gave them the same structure, which means they are driven by the same forces. But when they descended into matter they took different paths and had different experiences, and these awakened different and even contradictory tendencies and tastes in them. And since everyone is convinced that his or her particular truth is the only truth, it is now almost impossible for people to understand one another.

If they are to return to a state of harmony, if they are to understand and appreciate the same values, people must once again take up the inner path leading to the summit. Only in doing so will they resolve their political, economic, social and religious problems. Because if we are to truly resolve problems, we must not remain at the level of the problems themselves. We must carry out an inner work which affords us a higher perspective on them."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 07, 2007, 05:30:49 AM
Tragic Lot
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" (Psalm 1:1).  

One of the most tragic figures in all of Scripture is that of compromising Lot, Abraham's nephew, who renounced the land of promise for the sinful society of Sodom, ultimately to lose everything of importance.

His slide into apostasy, as traced in Genesis chapters 12-19, seems to parallel the progression described in our text as not becoming a godly believer.

Lot is first mentioned as traveling with Abram and Sarai from their homeland to Canaan in obedience to God's command (Genesis 12:4-5; 13:5). A petty problem arises which surely could have been resolved (13:6-10), but Lot chose (v.11) to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly" (v.13).

Lot soon found a home in the city itself, not content to merely herd his flocks in the fertile valley. By standing in the way of sinners, when Sodom was attacked by enemies, he was captured (14:12) and later rescued by Abram (vv.14-16).

Lot's identification with wicked Sodom did not end there, as it should have, for when the city's wickedness was beyond God's forbearance, Lot was found sitting in the seat of the scornful, a leader of the city, sitting in the gates with the town fathers (19:1). Lot was a "just" |or "righteous"| man, "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked" (II Peter 2:7), but his actions (Genesis 19:8) and his lack of spiritual influence even within his own family (vv.14-16, 31-38) testify to the horror of such a compromising lifestyle.

May God grant us all the persevering faith of Abraham and not the compromising faith of Lot. JDM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 09, 2007, 06:01:19 AM
God's Mission: Adoption
by Max Lucado

When we come to Christ, God not only forgives us, he also adopts us. Through a dramatic series of events, we go from condemned orphans with no hope to adopted children with no fear. Here is how it happens. You come before the judgment seat of God full of rebellion and mistakes. Because of his justice he cannot dismiss your sin, but because of his love he cannot dismiss you. So, in an act which stunned the heavens, he punished himself on the cross for your sins. God's justice and love are equally honored. And you, God's creation, are forgiven. But the story doesn't end with God's forgiveness.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8:15--16 NASB).

But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (Gal. 4:4--5 NASB).

It would be enough if God just cleansed your name, but he does more. He gives you his name. It would be enough if God just set you free, but he does more. He takes you home. He takes you home to the Great House of God.

Adoptive parents understand this more than anyone. I certainly don't mean to offend any biological parents--I'm one myself. We biological parents know well the earnest longing to have a child. But in many cases our cribs were filled easily. We decided to have a child and a child came. In fact, sometimes the child came with no decision. I've heard of unplanned pregnancies, but I've never heard of an unplanned adoption.

That's why adoptive parents understand God's passion to adopt us. They know what it means to feel an empty space inside. They know what it means to hunt, to set out on a mission, and take responsibility for a child with a spotted past and a dubious future. If anybody understands God's ardor for his children, it's someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us.
God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers and took you home.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 15, 2007, 06:36:10 AM
Living Waters
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon" (Song of Solomon 4:15).

There are eight verses in the Bible with the phrase "living water": four in the Old Testament, four in the New. All beautifully describe a spiritual truth under the figure of a flowing stream of refreshing water.

The first of these (in our text above) is a portion of the description of the lovely character of a bride as seen by her coming bridegroom, almost certainly symbolic of the Lord and His people. But then, through the prophet, God laments that "my people . . . have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13). "They have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters" (Jeremiah 17:13). One day they shall return, however, and Zechariah prophesies that "living waters shall go out from Jerusalem. . . . And the Lord shall be king over all the earth" (Zechariah 14:8-9).

In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus appropriated this metaphor to Himself as He spoke to a woman of Samaria: "If thou knewest the gift of God . . . He would have given thee living water" (John 4:10; see also v.11). "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14). Later in Jerusalem He cried out to all, saying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said |referring, no doubt, to the above Old Testament passages|, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38). Then, in the last book of the Bible is found a special promise for those who die for the Lord's sake. "|He| shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" (Revelation 7:17).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 30, 2007, 05:50:41 AM
He Gave Himself
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father" (Galatians 1:4).  

There can never be a greater gift than this. Our Lord Jesus Christ not only has given us forgiveness and salvation and all spiritual blessings, He gave Himself! The pure, glorious Son of God gave Himself, substituting Himself in our place to suffer the righteous judgment of God on our sins.

Six times this wonderful affirmation is found in God's Word. The first is in our text, assuring us that, when He gave Himself, He paid the price to deliver us from this present evil world into the eternal world to come.

Then, in the next occurrence, this promise is made intensely personal. Christ "loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). The gift Christ gave is more than the world could ever give.

The supremely sacrificial nature of His gift is then emphasized. "Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2). The sacrifice has brought us to Himself, for "Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it. . . . That He might present it to Himself a glorious church" (Ephesians 5:25,27).

The offering was sufficient to pay for the redemption of all sin, as He "gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (I Timothy 2:6). This ransom is not merely to redeem us from the penalty of sin at the judgment, however, but also from the power of sin in our lives, and this is the testimony of the final occurrence of this great declaration. Christ "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). HMM


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on December 26, 2007, 01:32:05 PM
Daily Devotional from the Love Worth Finding Ministry

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3


It’s the day after Christmas. The glow on the tree is just a little dimmer because the anticipation of the day is now past. Ever feel that way about your walk with the Lord? Well, let me give you some good news, my friend. The best is yet to be! That’s right. Christmas Day is past, but Resurrection Day is coming soon, and I don’t mean Easter. I mean the Second Coming of Our Lord is imminently on the horizon. He is coming again. And that’s not just a nice thing; that’s a rock-ribbed truth! Jesus is coming again!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on December 27, 2007, 11:41:30 AM
A MESSAGE OF RESTORATION
by J.M. Farro

   "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten...and you will praise the name of the Lord your God who has worked wonders for you."  Joel 2:25-26 NIV

   These verses in the Bible have special meaning for me because I didn't become serious about my relationship with God until I was almost 40 years old.  There have been many times when I've lamented over the fact that my children weren't raised in a true Christian home from the time they were born.  And I've often regretted that my relationship with my husband and our marriage didn't get off on the right foot because of our lack of devotion to the Lord from the very beginning.  If I allowed myself to dwell on things like these, I could come up with a multitude of regrets.  Thankfully, God gave me these verses as a personal promise that He would work wonders for me by restoring the blessings I forfeited during all those years I was living for myself instead of Him.  And He's been true to His Word.  As I live this new life in Christ daily, I am continually amazed by the marvelous works of restoration that the Lord performs for me and my loved ones on a regular basis.

   If you'll ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you as the God of Restoration, He will restore things in your life that you thought were lost forever.  I've seen Him restore broken families and relationships.  I've also seen Him breathe new life into lost dreams and visions.  And I've witnessed His miraculous power working in people's lives to restore their health and finances.  But I think the things He restores that mean the most to me are our faith, joy, peace and HOPE.  The Bible makes it abundantly clear--our God is in the restoration business.  And my life and the lives of many others are living proof.  If you're a child of the King, you don't have to assume that all the losses that come your way are set in stone.  If you'll give the Lord a chance to have the final Word, You'll be amazed at what He can do to make your whole life shiny and new!

   Lord, today I believe and receive Your precious promises of restoration.  I ask that You work wonders in my life by transforming my losses into blessings.  Help me to do my part by seeking You daily and putting my trust in You.  Thank You for making my whole life bright and beautiful for Your glory!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on January 03, 2008, 11:31:23 AM
A New Year Without Fear
by the late Dr. Adrian Rogers
 
God's Word brings us a comforting promise, along with an insightful command as we face a New Year: "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:5-6).

You and I can live this coming year without fear if we apply these four incredibly wonderful truths to our lives and root them deep into our hearts.

The Contentment Of His Provision

Contentment is not getting what you want, but it is wanting what you already have. First Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us therewith be content." If you know Jesus Christ, you have contentment. If you've got clothes on your back, something to eat, and Jesus Christ in your heart, you're rich!

Do you know why we have fear? Because we think our needs or the needs of someone we love are not going to be met. Or we fear that the things we think are meeting our needs are going to be taken away from us. The deepest need of your heart can only be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Companionship Of His Presence

I don't know what I'm going to face next year. But there's one thing I know, He will never leave me. Are you a child of God? He will never leave you either. Isn't that wonderful!

What's another reason we may fear in the coming year? Because we're afraid we're going to have to face something we don't understand, and we're going to have to face it alone.

When God's Word promises that God will never forsake you, it literally means that He will never abandon you. He will not give up on you. We need to practice the presence of the Lord this coming year. When the devil comes and knocks at you heart's door, you can simply say, "Jesus, please go answer the door."

The Confidence Of His Promise

We're going to zero in on a little phrase in our verses in Hebrews, "He hath said." A promise is no better than the one who makes it. Who says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"? It is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. This is the confidence of His promise.

In the coming year, when you say, "God, I just don't have the strength." The omnipotent God will answer, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." When you say, "God, I'm afraid of what is going to happen." The omnipresent God says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." And when you say, "God, I don't know what to do." The omniscient God will respond, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." He himself hath said it.

The Comfort Of His Protection

Hebrews 13:6 promises, "So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Now, put that with verse five which says, “He hath said."

Like I said earlier, I don’t know what you’re going to go through this coming year. But I know you can boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, so I will not fear what man shall do to me." When you find your contentment, companionship, and confidence in Jesus. Then, you'll find your comfort and courage in Jesus.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: columbusdude82 on January 11, 2008, 08:10:10 AM
Daily Devotional from the Love Worth Finding Ministry

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:3


It’s the day after Christmas. The glow on the tree is just a little dimmer because the anticipation of the day is now past. Ever feel that way about your walk with the Lord? Well, let me give you some good news, my friend. The best is yet to be! That’s right. Christmas Day is past, but Resurrection Day is coming soon, and I don’t mean Easter. I mean the Second Coming of Our Lord is imminently on the horizon. He is coming again. And that’s not just a nice thing; that’s a rock-ribbed truth! Jesus is coming again!

Yeah, sure he is ::)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on January 15, 2008, 09:42:54 AM
The Wisdom of This World
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (I Corinthians 1:20).

The scholars and scientists and intellectuals of this world may be held in great esteem by men, but to God, their humanistic reasonings are foolishness. In fact, the evolutionary philosophy which dominates the "wisdom of this world" has led to our modern amoral culture, to racism, to imperialism, to communism, Nazism, to New Age pantheism, humanism, atheism, abortionism, and to all manner of evil and foolish beliefs and practices.

Yet many modern evangelicals feel they must accommodate the wisdom of this world in their own schools and churches, forgetting that "the world by wisdom knew not God" (I Corinthians 1:21). God has warned us not to follow "the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought" (I Corinthians 2:6). Why should we waste precious time in teaching our students or our congregations the wisdom of this world that not only is false and harmful, but is soon coming to nought? The only valid reason at all for doing so is to teach them what’s wrong with it, so that they can "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh" (I Peter 3:15).

Above all, they must not accommodate the wisdom of this world in their own worldview. God has gravely warned against the evolutionary philosophy of the world (II Peter 3:3-6) in these sobering words: "Seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness" (II Peter 3:17).

Therefore, "If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (I Corinthians 3:18,19).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on January 31, 2008, 07:10:32 AM
That I May Know Him
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death" (Philippians 3:10).

Paul deeply desired to know Christ in an intimate fashion--to experience an even deeper relationship. In our text, he lists three things which will also be known if we know Christ:

The power of His resurrection: The victory of Christ over sin and death exhibited His great power. Paul not only longed for an ultimate resurrected body, "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead" (v.11), but he longed for the power over sin as well "to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11).

The fellowship of His sufferings: Paul's desire to know Christ was so great he was willing, if need be, to suffer as He suffered. And, indeed, Paul did suffer in many ways (as seen in II Corinthians 11:23-27 and elsewhere). "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps" (I Peter 2:21). "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:17).

Being made conformable to His death: Paul was willing to die as Christ died and soon did die a martyr's death, beheaded in a Roman prison. But that is not in view here. Rather, he wanted to be like Christ in His death, gaining complete victory over all sin. "For he that is dead is freed from sin" (Romans 6:7).

To know Christ in this way, to be conformed to Him as Paul desired, primarily demands developing the servant's heart and selfless humility that took Christ to the cross (Philippians 2:58) to make it possible for us to know Him.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on February 13, 2008, 06:45:23 AM
I'm Happy for You
February 13, 2008
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

Key Passage: Luke 1:57-66

Topic: Relationships; Love; Christian Living

And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. (Luke 1:58, ESV)

OK, let's get real for a second. Have you ever been in a situation where you got a little...um...irritated or disgruntled at someone else's happiness? That's hard to admit, huh?

But, honestly, we've all dealt with this at some point. We have this thing in us that keeps us from experiencing true, unselfish joy for someone else. Call it selfishness, call it self-centeredness, call it ego--whatever, it's very "me-focused."

For example, let's say you audition for a play and someone else gets the role you wanted. Now, if you're truly selfless, you'd go, "Congratulations!" and mean it. But if you're like most people, you’d say, "Congratulations!" but mean, "It should have been me!"

Look at today's verse--it's such a great picture of how God intends for us to love people. Here's Elizabeth, a childless old woman now having her first baby. And everyone rejoiced with her! 

There may have been neighbor women or family members who were also struggling with infertility, hoping for a child of their own. But the Bible says everyone rejoiced. The people saw what God did for Elizabeth and they were happy. They celebrated the gift given her.

When God does something cool for someone else, it can be difficult if He's not done the same for you. If He's given someone money, or a great job, provided a husband or a wife, a baby, or even just a good friend, and you're wishing for the same, it's hard to rejoice with the "lucky recipient."

Think about it: Do you need to check your attitude toward anyone?

Now that we've been honest here, is there any internal struggle you need to deal with? Any rejoicing that needs to happen--for someone else? How can you celebrate someone else's gift today?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on February 21, 2008, 04:51:54 AM
FINAL PROMISE
by Charles R. Swindoll
February 21, 2008 

Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.  Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried."

"I will do as you say," he said.

"Swear to me," he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.  Genesis 47:27-31



"Swear to me, Joseph---promise me this," Jacob said. "Place your hand under my thigh and swear." Making promises to the dying is nothing unusual. That is still done today. Frequently I have heard spouses or children tell of promises they made to a dying mate or a parent. But what about this strange gesture of placing one's hand under the thigh of another? What's that all about?

Brown, Driver, and Briggs, old but still reputable authorities on the Hebrew text, suggest that this sealing of the promise was done by placing the hand beneath the lower back or beneath the buttocks. Joseph promised to do as his father asked, and he also indicated this symbolically by placing his hand under Jacob. It was an oath-taking posture common at that time.

"Promise me before our God, Joseph, that you will bury me back in my father's land. Promise to bury me over there in Canaan, the land of our people, not here in Egypt. God brought us to Egypt so we could survive the famine, but I want to be buried in the land of our forefathers, along with Abraham and Isaac and Leah. Take me back there. Don't bury me in Egypt. Swear before God that will not happen." And Joseph swore to keep this promise to his father.

On Jacob's tombstone, Joseph could have placed the words: "He worshiped." Years earlier, of course, "He deceived" might have seemed more appropriate, but now that Jacob was almost a century-and-a-half old, he had come a long way with God. At the end of his life, one of his final acts was to worship the God he had both wrestled with and served. In his old age he urged Joseph to remember that Canaan---not Egypt---was the Promised Land, so he made his son promise to make his final grave there.



Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on February 27, 2008, 06:42:21 AM
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Work in Progress

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

I am an artist.  I like to draw and design.  Sometimes when I am sketching, someone will come along, look over my shoulder, and see only a certain shape or form.  They only see what is visible for the time being.  But I am still working.

“What is it going to be?” the person asks.

“Just wait.”

“I think you should do it this way. . . .”

“Just let me do it,” I say.  “Why don’t you let me alone until I’m finished, and then I will gladly show it to you.”

Every artist loves to display his work.  But when I am working on my art, I know it is a work in progress.  When I am done, then I am happy to show it to others.

You, too, are a work in progress.  God is doing a work in your life.  When it is done, He will show you.  If it is not done yet, be patient.  God sees the end from the beginning.  We can’t see what it is, but God can.  That is important to remember.

As God told the exiled nation of Israel, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

For Israel, it meant they would be in Babylon for a while, but ultimately, God would get them out.  For us, what it means specifically to us on a day-to-day basis, time will tell.  Whatever it is, it is good, because God is in control of it.

Copyright © 2008 by Harvest Ministries.  All rights reserved.  Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on February 28, 2008, 04:16:03 AM

Avoiding Christian Cliques

Key Passage: Luke 4:42-44
Topic: Jesus; Gospel; Relationships

But he said to them, "I must preach the Knowledge Basegood news of the kingdom of God ! to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose." (Luke 4:43, ESV)

Do you have a "core" group of friends? Do you ever refer to close-knit groups of people as "cliques"? Those groups that are always together? That doesn't happen in Christianity, does it? 

Jesus was a great spiritual leader; that goes without saying. And yes, He had a group of twelve disciples that He hung out with. And people followed Jesus everywhere.

But Jesus wasn't afraid to branch out. He ate with crooked tax collectors like Zacchaeus (Luke 19). Jesus kept His disciples close for instruction and accountability, but they weren't the only people he interacted with.

If you're leading people in any way, don't confine yourself to only those people. If your friends are Christians, beware of forming a "clique". Think like Jesus did, when He said to the Pharisees, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick" (Luke 5:31, ESV). 


If Jesus had spoken only with his disciples and never instructed them to branch out, Christianity could have died right then and there. 

If your friends try to keep you from leaving (Luke 4:42), explain that you're not leaving them or your friendship behind. You are simply needed in other towns or places (Luke 4:43), as Jesus was. Tell them that they may be needed by others too. 

And always remember that there is one ultimate friend: Jesus. He's the greatest friend we'll ever have, and we can always meet in His name and fellowship together, renewing our strength and supporting one another.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 03, 2008, 08:00:36 AM
FLAWLESSLY FAITHFUL
from "The Active Word" ministries with Pastor Bob Coy (http://activeword.org)
 
"Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him . . . -Deuteronomy 7:9 (NKJV)
 
Life teaches us that a promise is only as good as the character of the one who gives it. It doesn't matter how great or grandiose the promise might be. If it's given by someone who doesn't have a track record of faithfully following through on his or her word, then it's not worth getting excited about.
 
But this truth cuts both ways. A promise made by someone with a positive track record deserves a degree of excitement. That's because their faithful character has been proven to back up their commitments, and if they promise something, there is a very good chance of it actually happening.
 
Now let's pull this principle into the realm of God's promises towards us. What conclusions can we draw about His promises based on His character? If there's one truth displayed and declared for us in Scripture, it's that God, our God, is flawlessly faithful. He has never once failed to follow through on a promise which He has given. In fact, the Bible is a succession of stories and testimonies to God's great faithfulness.
 
From the days of Adam, Noah, and Abraham to the times of Gideon, David, and Jeremiah-and from the incredible incarnation of Jesus to the miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit-this single truth is seen from a myriad of different angles: God faithfully performs what He promises.
 
Our understanding of God's promises must be anchored in the awareness and conviction of His faithfulness. We must remember that they are the one thing in this world worth trusting because they're backed by something outside our fallen condition: God's flawless character.
 
"Blessed be the LORD. . . . There has not failed one word of all His good promise . . ." (1 Kings 8:56 NKJV)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 07, 2008, 08:05:56 AM
God Has No Limitations
by Max Lucado (maxlucado.com (http://maxlucado.com))
Friday, March 07, 2008

“Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?”Psalm 139:7

You and I are governed. The weather determines what we wear. The terrain tells us how to travel. Gravity dictates our speed, and health determines our strength. We may challenge these forces and alter them slightly, but we never remove them.

God—our Shepherd—doesn’t check the weather; he makes it. He doesn’t defy gravity; he created it. He isn’t affected by health; he has no body. Jesus said, “God is spirit” (John 4:24). Since he has no body, he has no limitations—equally active in Cambodia as he is in Connecticut.

“Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?” asked David. “Where can I run from you? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I lie down in the grave, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-8)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 28, 2008, 04:48:15 AM
No Fish
March 28, 2008
Topic: Service/Servanthood; Obedience/Discipleship
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

But he [Jesus] said to them, "You give them something to eat." (Luke 9:13, ESV) 

"What did He say?" This seems to be the disciples' reaction when Jesus tells them to take care of food for five thousand people.

The amazing thing is, Jesus had just called these men together and given them the authority and instruction for spreading the Word of God. But the minute something big comes up, they're telling Jesus to send everybody home.

Jesus, however, had the situation under control. He doesn't get up and say, "Okay, people, get out of here, there's nothing to eat." 

No, He'd preached all day to a crowd that followed Him when He'd tried to be alone. But He didn't turn them away; He took care of their spiritual needs. Now it was time to take care of their physical needs.

Do you ever focus on things like the disciples did--on a lack of something? They had very little food and no money to get more, so they immediately thought it was impossible!

But Jesus wasn't concerned with what they didn't have. He knew what they did have--a blessing from God just waiting to be called on.

God isn't limited by how little fish and bread you have to serve; He's only limited to how much faith you have in His ability to multiply what you do have to Knowledge Baseserve Him.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 29, 2008, 04:38:57 AM
On Seeking The Approval of Others

"If you really need to be understood and appreciated by others, it is best to choose carefully the people whose respect you wish to gain. You will say, ‘Oh, we know that,’ but are you really sure? Are you certain that, in your desire to draw the approval and applause of the crowd, you never transgress the laws of goodness and justice?

When you participate in criticizing and ridiculing others, what are you doing? Deep down, you are well aware the criticism and ridicule are often exaggerated, but you have to put your oar in, just to please others, to make them laugh. And how many artists and even politicians make compromises for the sake of success!

They’re not bothered about whether they’re appreciated by the wise; that’s of no interest, there are so few of them! They would only have a very small audience or very few votes at elections. But is it really worth making compromises for this kind of success?"

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 29, 2008, 07:10:05 PM
On The Divine Seeds of Life

"Alchemists say that, in order to make gold, you must start with at least one atom of gold, as a seed, for nothing in nature can be produced without a seed. The alchemical process is therefore similar to the growth or reproduction of a seed. A grain of wheat begins by producing one ear of wheat, and then one day there’s a whole field! In the same way, for those who know the secret, a grain of gold can ‘multiply’ itself an infinite amount of times. We, too, possess this grain of gold, the divine seed given to us by the Creator. Now that he has given it to us, nothing and no one is able to take it away from us or make us lose it. But it’s up to us to become aware that this seed exists, to awaken it and bring it to life, until it finally develops into a tree… a temple… the New Jerusalem… the Christ Child… So many images and symbols have been used to interpret this reality! All human beings possess this seed, and once they know where and how to look for it so they can work with it, the words ‘life’ and ‘resurrection’ will really mean something to them."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 02, 2008, 08:05:06 PM
On Achieving Peace

"Just as health is the result of harmony between the different parts of our physical organism, peace is the result of harmony between the different principles of our psychic organism: spirit, soul, intellect, heart and will. If it is so difficult to obtain peace, it is precisely because these principles are rarely in accord. A person may have wise, lucid thoughts, but if passionate feelings steal into his heart they will make him do foolish things. Or perhaps he is inspired by the best of desires but his will is paralysed. How can he find peace in the midst of all these contradictions?

You will never know what peace is, and you will have even less chance of achieving it, if you do not understand it as being a result, a consequence. Yes, peace is primarily a state of consciousness, one in which all the physical and psychic functions and activities of a human being are in perfect balance and harmony."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 03, 2008, 09:24:07 AM
The Most Important Fact of All History
March 18, 2008
By Brent Riggs
seriousfaith.com (http://seriousfaith.com)


1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. (NKJV)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important event and fact of all of human creation and history. It has neither equal nor competitor in scope or consequence.

Most people would take that as strictly religious comment but it is not. This proclamation is true for all mankind in all times and in all ways. It has no limitation, constraints or discrimination attached to it.

* The effects of the resurrection saturate everything, physical and spiritual, the entire universe and every inhabitant.

* If the resurrection is not true, there is no hope for salvation either physically or for this broken universe, or spiritually for broken man.

* If the resurrection is not true, the Bible is not true and our faith is not true.

* If the resurrection is not true, then the existence of the God of the Bible is completely untrue, for His entire plan for the universe and              humankind sits on the fulcrum of the resurrection.     

This week, the traditional world of Christianity celebrates a holiday known as Easter. This holiday is not in Scripture and arguably has its roots in pagan culture. However, it is still a time when very Biblical events are given focus in a society that ignores them for the most part. So it is a time that prudent and shrewd ambassadors for Christ will still utilize to proclaim His life, His death, and His resurrection.

For 2000 years man has sought to discredit the resurrection in ways that range from persuasive to absurd, from logical to idiotic. It is hard to say just how educated each individual Christian needs to be concerning the most common arguments against the resurrection, but it is certainly not a stretch to say that Christians should be much more educated about it than they currently are. The average Christian man knows a whole lot more about the NFL than he does the proofs for the resurrection of his Savior. The average Christian woman is a whole lot more savvy about pop culture and fashion than they are concerning the evidence surrounding the resurrection.

It is well beyond the scope of a lesson from me or even a series of lessons to do more than touch on some basics so I would encourage you to engage in some study on their own concerning this most important topic. There could be no greater use of your study time.

One of the first considerations for the resurrection is to believe that Jesus Christ was indeed dead. His body had expired and his spirit had passed from the flesh. All throughout history this fact has been attacked. There have been theories that he merely fainted or passed out and was revived in the tomb. There are theories that he was never in the tomb, that he was secreted away by the disciples. There have been theories that it wasn't his body or that it WAS his body, but he never rose to life.

The common denominator is this: it could NOT have been Christ, dead in the tomb and alive again, because that would mean the Bible is true, and the resurrection occurred. Of course we KNOW that couldn't have happened, so we must brainstorm all of the ways it could have APPEARED to happen. There MUST be an explanation, because it goes without saying that Jesus rising from the dead could not have happened.

What never crosses the mind of the true skeptic is the obvious alternative: maybe it did happen. Since that alternative is never even considered, the silly search for silly theories continues on its silly way. The skeptic never even considers the obvious "other choice".

Jesus lived. He lived a perfect life. Then we killed Him. Dead. His body was dead. Three days later that body was gloriously transformed and rose to life, scars and all. This single fact is the reason why this sin-cursed earth, this fractured universe, our disease-racked bodies and our hellbound souls can be rescued, redeemed, restored, and renewed.

Believe this fact, and have hope. Ignore this fact and miss out on life, both now and for all eternity.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (NKJV)


Lord God, help us to not only believe in the resurrection of your dear Son, but to know about it too and to be able to defend our faith to a skeptical world. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

James 1:22 - But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 05, 2008, 11:18:18 PM
On Dreams and Dreaming

"Some people believe the works of mystics or poets are nothing but fantasies. But no, these mystics and poets have simply entered another dimension of reality. We can call this other dimension a ‘dream’, so long as we don’t confuse it with mere wanderings of the imagination or those adventures we experience during sleep.

Initiatic Science considers dreams to be the seed of all reality. The material, physical world is only the crystallization of a dream, and even if the world disappeared the dream would remain because it alone is real: it is the dream that brings all sentient forms into existence. Every day, make a conscious effort to open the doors to this world of dreams. In it you will find all the essential elements you need to rebuild your life and give it meaning. And then even your face will reflect something of this world of light, beauty and unfailing joy. That is what true life is. "

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 08, 2008, 06:52:32 AM
Judging One Another
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" (James 4:12)

Christians commit two types of sins related to criticism. One is that of criticizing others; the other is taking offense when they criticize us. Criticism is, in reality, judging, and as our text brings out, none of us are really qualified to judge others. Only God is qualified to judge. "Let us not therefore judge one another any more" (Romans 14:13).

Criticism almost inevitably generates resentment, quarreling, and enmity. It actually harms the character and testimony of the critic as much as that of the recipient. Even unspoken criticism is harmful. Love "seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil" (1 Corinthians 13:5).

This does not mean that Christians should condone doctrinal error or moral evil when circumstances indicate clear conflict with Scripture. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).

Now, while it is wrong for a Christian to criticize others, it is often true that others criticize us. What should we do then? The answer is hard, but here it is: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: . . . Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:21, 23). There is a possibility that the criticism may be valid and, if so, we should be thankful and profit from it, difficult as this might be. Even if false and hurtful, however, it can still be helpful, for it has been granted to us by Christ, "not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake" (Philippians 1:29). "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you," He said, "and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. . . . for great is your reward in heaven" (Matthew 5:11, 12).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 09, 2008, 12:43:02 AM
(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/em/lightbulb_idea.gif)
On True Love

"True love is a manifestation of God himself, of his immensity and all-powerfulness. If you wish to attain this love, this force and vibration that commands matter, you must try to exchange only particles of light with the one you love. When two people feel a sublime love for one another, when they love each other for their soul and spirit, it takes only a look to fill them with wonder and ecstasy. Initiatic Science predicts that in the distant future, when a man and woman wish to bring a child into the world, they will simply be in one another’s arms and will look at each other as though they were giving each other heaven.

Their thoughts will be so concentrated, their love so intense, that a spirit will soon afterwards arrive to incarnate with them: its body will be made of the pure luminous particles given by its parents through their emanations alone. Of course, we are speaking of a far distant future. But such evolution is part of the plan of cosmic Intelligence."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

----------------------------------------------------------------

This is rather interesting in what it suggests or implies about the possibility of "virgin birth"


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Deicide on April 09, 2008, 07:07:52 AM
(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/em/lightbulb_idea.gif)
On True Love

"True love is a manifestation of God himself, of his immensity and all-powerfulness. If you wish to attain this love, this force and vibration that commands matter, you must try to exchange only particles of light with the one you love. When two people feel a sublime love for one another, when they love each other for their soul and spirit, it takes only a look to fill them with wonder and ecstasy. Initiatic Science predicts that in the distant future, when a man and woman wish to bring a child into the world, they will simply be in one another’s arms and will look at each other as though they were giving each other heaven.

Their thoughts will be so concentrated, their love so intense, that a spirit will soon afterwards arrive to incarnate with them: its body will be made of the pure luminous particles given by its parents through their emanations alone. Of course, we are speaking of a far distant future. But such evolution is part of the plan of cosmic Intelligence."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

----------------------------------------------------------------

This is rather interesting in what it suggests or implies about the possibility of "virgin birth"

Chemical Interactions....nothing more.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 11, 2008, 10:48:29 PM
Chemical Interactions....nothing more.

That's a cut & dry description of infatuation, ...not love. They're 2 different things although many confuse them


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 14, 2008, 04:33:50 PM
On Wisdom

"Wisdom enlightens us; it allows us to distinguish between good and evil and so take the necessary steps to repel evil. But even our friends will not remain with us for long if we only ever call upon wisdom. Of course, wisdom attracts, because it shines and can be seen from far away, but it is cold, and people don’t much like staying next to a cold light. That is why sages are often solitary beings, whereas those who are less wise but full of warmth are surrounded by friends. So what should we do? Is it better to neglect wisdom in order to avoid being alone? No, of course not, for those who allow themselves to be guided only by love risk being at the beck and call of others and end up being devoured.

Love binds and wisdom unbinds. That is why we must learn to harmonize the two currents within ourselves: to know when it is better to manifest love and when wisdom."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 16, 2008, 06:57:54 AM
Foolish Talking
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:4)

In the Book of Ephesians are included several guidelines for the Christian's speech--how we should talk and what we should talk about. These are not easy rules to follow, but are necessary if we would please our Savior and be effective in our Christian lives and witness.

As our text indicates, vulgar talk, idle chatter, and coarse jesting should "not be once named among you, as becometh saints" (5:3). "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (4:29).

The same applies to bitter, angry, malicious speech. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice" (4:31). And certainly our communications should be true and trustworthy. "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor" (4:25).

Thus, our words should not be crude or obscene, idle or foolish, bitter or angry, false or malicious. Instead, they should be good words, true words, gracious words, intended to edify--that is, build up--our hearers in their own Christian lives.

Further, if we would win others to Christ, we must always be [color=blue]"speaking the truth in love" (4:15)[/color]. What we say to them must be fully in accord with both biblical truth and genuine Christian love. Finally, we should "be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (5:18-20). Gracious, edifying words can only come from a thankful heart.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 18, 2008, 02:38:06 AM
On Truth

"Even though they have dedicated their life to searching for truth and have given the most evident proofs of their disinterestedness, their magnitude and their goodness, initiates and great masters are often considered to be people of very strange ideas. And yet ordinary people, those who are content to get by as best they can, are considered normal; they’re the ones to take as examples! But what does the book of living nature say on this subject?
 
Here is one example, but there are many others: when the sun rises in the morning, which places on earth are first to receive its rays? The valleys or the mountain peaks? The mountain peaks, of course. So, the purest, noblest and most luminous beings are the first to discover truths. And, who knows how many centuries later, ordinary people will receive something of these truths."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 25, 2008, 01:00:04 PM
Delusion from God
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." (2 Thessalonians 2:11)

This is a startling declaration! Why would God want to deceive people and cause them to believe a lie? The "cause" which would activate such an extreme decision on God's part must be very serious. The preceding verse states it plainly. It is "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Because they "resist the truth" (2 Timothy 3:8), they will "believe the lie!"

The specific context refers to those who elect to follow the coming "man of sin," but the principle is timeless. It tells us that God's attitude toward men is determined by their love of the truth, rather than by their knowledge of the truth. When people love God's truth, there is no limit to the amount of truth and blessing they may receive from God. Note the attitude of the writer of Psalm 119: "How sweet are thy words unto my taste!" "Thy testimonies . . . are the rejoicing of my heart." "I love thy commandments above gold." "Thy law is my delight" (Psalm 119:103, 111, 127, 174).

But when people begin to exhibit a disdain for God's truth, there may soon come a time in their lives when they find it impossible even to comprehend the all-important truth of God's saving gospel (creation, salvation, and reconciliation through Christ).

Because they refused the love of His truth when it would have been easy to believe, a blindness gradually engulfs their minds until they love the deceptive philosophies of the world, and they never escape the strong delusion which God has allowed to engulf them. Henceforth, though they are "ever learning," they are "never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7). How important it is, as early in life as possible, to receive from God His proffered gift of the love of His truth!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 14, 2008, 09:43:26 AM
Reconciliation
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Romans 5:10)

It is interesting to note that as important as is the doctrine of the atonement in Christian theology, the word itself occurs only once in the King James New Testament. It is in the very next verse after our text. "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement" (v. 11).

The Greek word is translated "reconciliation" in 2 Corinthians 5:18. "All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation." Thus the doctrine of atonement is the doctrine of reconciliation. Men are separated from our holy God both by their sin nature and also by their actual guilt of committed sin. But through the substitutionary death of Christ for our sins, "we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." That is, God has already reconciled sinners to Himself by the sacrificial death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The problem is that sinners are not actually reconciled to God until they personally accept this free gift of God's love to them.

But we who "have now received the atonement |that is, reconciliation| . . . joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:11). A part of that joy should be in the fact that God has now "given unto us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Thus, it has become our great privilege to tell others that they can be completely forgiven and eternally saved. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:20, 21).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 19, 2008, 09:19:46 AM
WORSHIP
Devotion from Pastor Bob Coy (senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale)
activeword.org (http://activeword.org)

After a night of binge drinking with his friends, William woke up in a place he didn’t recognize.

The Muncie, Indiana man was groggy and still a little inebriated, so it’s understandable that he was confused. His surroundings were dark and smelly. Random plastic bags and boxes seemed to be falling on him. And he was vaguely aware of a metallic screeching noise.

After a few seconds, the realization dawned in William’s alcohol-fogged mind that he was in the belly of a commercial trash-collection vehicle. The startled driver had just emptied a commercial dumpster into his truck and was about to activate its compactor when he heard William screaming.

William later told police that he had been drinking with buddies at a local bar until about 3 a.m., but he said he didn't recall how he ended up inside the trash bin.

The Slip-n-Slide to Garbage-ville

I mention this little news item because in addition to being kind of funny, it illustrates pretty vividly a larger truth about life.

Like a biblical parable, poor William’s experience perfectly captures the way the enemy of our souls offers a deal that looks pretty attractive on Friday night but invariably ends with a rude awakening in one of life’s garbage trucks on Saturday morning.

I speak from experience on this.

If you know my testimony at all, you know that God redeemed me out of a pretty seedy lifestyle in Las Vegas and that abuse of chemical substances was common for me. I never woke up in a trash truck but I did find myself in some strange and scary places.

For example, back in the days I started using cocaine, my “friends” and I all assured one another that this was the one drug that wasn’t addictive.

That’s right, I was one of those geniuses who fell for the pretty lie that you could experience all the upsides of the high without experiencing any of the negative consequences.

Of course, we were wrong. At great personal cost, we eventually found out that cocaine was very, very addictive indeed.

But sin is rarely like grabbing hold of an electrified fence—where you experience instant negative consequences. Satan is much more subtle and subversive than that. (“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” –Genesis 3:1, KJV)

The devil’s traps always start out fun. Then bit by bit the fun is replaced with dysfunction, decay and bondage.

For me it was. . . well, you have to wash cocaine down with something. So I used large volumes of alcohol to lubricate my downward slip-n-slide into the garbage truck.

Jonah ended up in the belly of a whale because he was running from God. Many of us, my old-self included, end up in one of life’s garbage trucks because we’re running with the devil.

Chasing an Illusion

Here’s the thing about idols. They insist on being served. And once you’ve served it for while, you find that you can’t think clearly anymore.

Back before I surrendered my life to Christ and experienced an amazing transformation, I served a variety of idols. Among them were pleasure, prestige, money, drugs and alcohol.

Everything they promised seemed so wonderful, but was an illusion.

But the truth is, even believers can fall into the trap of idol worship. Even bona fide, born-again Christians can find themselves chasing some tantalizing mirage put forth by the devil. And even the most mature and seasoned of saints can wake up one day and find that in some compartments of their lives, they’ve been serving someone or something other than the One who saved them.

And the results are always the same.

You wake up with Taco Bell burrito wrappers stuck to your face, on the verge of being compacted and trucked off to the landfill. But here’s the good news.

“Oh, there’s some good news here, Bob?”

Oh, yes! In fact, it’s great news. When you catch yourself slipping into idol-worship mode, there is a powerful and instant cure.

It’s called worship.

When we stop obsessing about ourselves and our circumstances long enough to focus on the majesty, magnificence and mercy of our Father God, it snaps us back into the right orientation.

It puts us into position to hear more clearly, see more clearly, and choose more wisely. That’s the power of worship. But most importantly, it’s the appropriate response to the extraordinary privilege we have to directly access the throne of the mighty Creator-God of the universe.

Until the whole world hears,

Pastor Bob


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 23, 2008, 06:26:32 AM
Repentance and Faith
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:14, 15)

There are many passages in the New Testament which indicate that repentance is the key to salvation. For example, Paul said that he had preached everywhere that they "should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance" (Acts 26:20). But he also preached that faith in Christ is the way to be saved. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). One could cite many verses stressing repentance and many that stress faith.

There can obviously be no real conflict here, though there is a danger in what has been called "easy believism," if repentance is ignored. Mental assent to certain facts about Christ is not true saving faith. Nor will it produce salvation for a person merely to be sorry for his sins and change his behavior if he did not really trust from his heart in the person and work of Christ.

It is not "either/or" but "both/and." One cannot truly repent (that is "change his mind" about Christ and His work, as well as his own life) without genuinely believing personally that Christ died for his sins and rose again to provide his salvation. Neither can one have genuine faith in Christ as Son of God and as his own personal Savior without having his whole life and attitude changed.

It is like two sides of the same coin--repentance on one side, faith on the other. We can only see one side at a time, but both are real and neither can be there without the other. The real "formula" for salvation is "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). As Christ Himself preached (see our text): "Repent ye, and believe the gospel."


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: mahg on May 30, 2008, 07:03:33 PM
(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/em/lightbulb_idea.gif)
On True Love

"True love is a manifestation of God himself, of his immensity and all-powerfulness. If you wish to attain this love, this force and vibration that commands matter, you must try to exchange only particles of light with the one you love. When two people feel a sublime love for one another, when they love each other for their soul and spirit, it takes only a look to fill them with wonder and ecstasy. Initiatic Science predicts that in the distant future, when a man and woman wish to bring a child into the world, they will simply be in one another’s arms and will look at each other as though they were giving each other heaven.

Their thoughts will be so concentrated, their love so intense, that a spirit will soon afterwards arrive to incarnate with them: its body will be made of the pure luminous particles given by its parents through their emanations alone. Of course, we are speaking of a far distant future. But such evolution is part of the plan of cosmic Intelligence."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

----------------------------------------------------------------

This is rather interesting in what it suggests or implies about the possibility of "virgin birth"


Who is this dumb asshole?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 11, 2008, 06:19:30 PM
On Understanding Scriptures

"It is absolutely impossible to interpret sacred books correctly without a discipline based on the development of our spiritual organs. When we develop these organs we acquire the ability to project ourselves into the higher worlds to investigate them. From below, we can see only separate parts of reality. And if we are unable to perceive an order and structure, in other words the links that unite all the elements and stages of creation, we cannot correctly interpret texts that were inspired by a vision of divine unity.

The sacred books of humanity are the interpretation of experiences that certain beings have had in the world above, a world different from the one we perceive with our five senses. So, in order to understand these beings, to understand their thoughts, we must go seeking on high, as they did, to see what they saw and feel what they felt."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 14, 2008, 06:50:24 PM
On Extracting Human Treasures

"With the technical means now at their disposal, chemists are able to extract a great many elements from metals, minerals and plants which are then used in the manufacture of different products. And they will continue to penetrate more and more of nature’s secret treasures. They will discover that everything in existence is composed of elements endowed with particular properties that can benefit human beings.

And don’t be surprised if I say that human beings are also ‘nature’. When you make the decision to enter the immense laboratory of your own being, you will find all the elements you need for your physical, psychic and spiritual development. There is nothing to prevent you from searching for these elements outside yourself, but never forget everything is inside you. You must make every effort to become conscious of and develop your inner wealth and power. Once you truly feel you carry all these elements within yourself, you will possess a treasure trove inside, which you will constantly be able to draw on."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 20, 2008, 12:25:21 AM

Who is this dumb asshole?

um, ...by "dumb asshole", ...are you referring to me, or Master Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov?  ???


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 20, 2008, 12:26:59 AM
(http://www.jaguarenterprises.net/images/sun.gif)
On Lessons We Must Learn From The Sun

"We must learn from the sun for it is the image of perfection. You will say, ‘But what can this ball of fire teach us? The sun doesn’t think; it doesn’t speak!’ Ah well, that’s where you’re wrong. Its light, warmth and life are a language, one of the most eloquent. Just think of this: it sends its light and warmth into the universe without bothering to know whether those who benefit from its rays are either deserving or grateful. Isn’t that a language?
It gives them all light, warmth and life, without exception.

The sun always presents you with the image of a radiant, generous being, and when you look at it you feel its influence. Even if we assume it’s not an intelligent, rational creature in the sense we understand it, the contact we have with its warmth and light can only inspire us with more fraternal feelings towards others: more patience, leniency and forgiveness."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 13, 2008, 08:20:43 PM
On The Futile Pursuit of Physicality

"What a lot of publicity and fuss there is at the moment concerning the needs of the physical body! All that matters is that you protect it, maintain it, take care of it, make it beautiful, dress it and adorn it. But to be preoccupied with one’s body to this extent is dangerous.

Whatever you do, your body is and will remain vulnerable and perishable, and to found a whole culture on something that is destined to disappear so rapidly has deplorable consequences for all other activities. If people show so little wisdom, understanding and kindness, it’s because they live with this obsession with the physical body. They don’t know how to reason or act correctly, for the starting point is wrong: they are identified with the physical body. But if they concentrated on the needs of their soul and spirit, which escape the laws of time and space, everything they did from that point on would bear the seal of light and immortality, and this would be the coming of the kingdom of God."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 14, 2008, 07:34:14 AM
Total Abstinence
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11)

The command to abstain occurs only a few times in the New Testament, but there are three occurrences which are especially relevant for Christians today: One of these is 1 Thessalonians 4:3: "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication." The Greek word here actually applies to any type of sexual relationship outside of marriage, and the command is not merely for temperance or for "love" in one's non-marital sexual relationships, but for total abstinence. This exhortation is perhaps needed more today than at any time since the days of pagan Rome, even for Christians and, unfortunately, Christian leaders. But that is not all. In the words of our text, we are also urgently exhorted to "abstain from fleshly lusts," since these carnal desires are in mortal combat with our very souls. One must avoid situations which might initiate or encourage fornication or its kindred activities.

But even that is not sufficient for the serious Christian man or woman. "Now we exhort you, brethren, . . . Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:14 and 22). The word here means anything that in outward form might appear to be evil, regardless of whether it is really wrong in itself or not. The Lord desires that we "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things" (Titus 2:10), and that we "Give none offense" (1 Corinthians 10:32).

A believer cannot afford to be careless in this warfare against his soul. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" {1 Peter 5:8}. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 15, 2008, 09:45:18 AM
The Remarkable Psalms
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee." (Acts 13:32-33)

Here is a clear instance in which the gospel ("glad tidings") was preached in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit, through the psalmist David, promised that one day the Son of God would rise from the dead--the "first born from the dead" (Colossians 1:18). The Lord Jesus actually used certain psalms to prove His own deity, quoting Psalm 110:1 (Matthew 22:43-45) and Psalm 82:6 (John 10:34-36) in support of His claims.

This unique passage in the Book of Acts offers another fascinating item of information that is often overlooked. By identifying the second psalm as such, the writer (guided by the Spirit) tells us in effect that the chapter divisions of the Book of Psalms were there by divine ordination right from the first. Furthermore, since each of the psalms is a poem, with clear-cut verse divisions, this longest book in the Word of God was evidently subdivided into chapters and verses by divine inspiration. Similar divisions were later added to the other books by biblical scholars in the Middle Ages, but they were in the psalms from the beginning. It is not surprising, then, that we can find many remarkable examples of design in the very structure of the Book of Psalms (e.g., the 22 stanzas of eight verses each in Psalm 119).

This second psalm is the first of the so-called Messianic psalms, but actually, the Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious gospel of salvation are clearly present in every one of the 150 psalms. "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him" (Psalm 2:12).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 17, 2008, 06:39:12 AM
So Little Faith
July 17, 2008
Key Passage: Matthew 8:23-27
Topic: Jesus; Faith/Trust
www.notreligion.com


And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:26, ESV)


"Why are you afraid?" Jesus asks.

Oh come on, wouldn't you be? Out on the lake in a storm in the middle of the night!

Then, not only does He question the disciples, Jesus criticizes them for having "so little faith." Can't say I'd take that very well in a moment like this.

Did Jesus expect the disciples to calm the waves and the wind or turn on some super power and row to safety? Probably not. So, why does He call their faith into question?

Maybe it's because their fear revealed a lack of faith. They evidently had faith to believe He could do something about the situation…but it wasn't enough to overcome the fear.

Does that happen in your life too? The storms roll in and it's fear first, faith later--when you're reminded to put your trust in Jesus.

After all, Jesus is in your rocking boat too. He's there with you when the call comes about your son's accident. When you lose the scholarship you depended on or the job you'd given your life to. When someone tells you they don't love you anymore, and they walk out. When the doctor returns your test results. When you're overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, and the hits keep on coming.

Jesus is there--but do you have the faith to trust first and let Him take care of the storm? Is your faith enough to overcome your fear, your anxiety, your worry?

You see, Jesus didn't prevent the storm or keep the disciples out of trouble, but He did give them what they needed to get through: His presence and His power over all things.

He's the one you can put your faith in and not be afraid.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 22, 2008, 05:31:52 AM
Power in the Robe?
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

Key Passage: Matthew 9:18-26 (NIV)

A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman

 18While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live." 19Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

 20Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed."

 22Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.

 23When Jesus entered the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24he said, "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him. 25After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26News of this spread through all that region.


Topic: God's Love; Jesus

Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. (Matthew 9:22, ESV)

Have you ever dealt with something for so long that it's become a part of your life? You've tried and tried but you don't see any hope. You actually believe that this drain on your life is a permanent fixture and you'll just have to get used to it.

What would you do if you met someone with the power to fix all of that? Would you rush up and beg them to help? Would you be intimidated and hang back, trying to get up the nerve?

This woman heard that Jesus was in town and believed He could deliver her from a problem that had afflicted her life for 12 long years. She knew if she was ever to be well, she had to get to Jesus.

So this dirty, scorned woman ventured out to find the One who could make her whole. As she drew near to Jesus, she thought, "If only I can touch His robe, I will be healed." She knew He was the answer but didn't want to waste His time. She figured that she'd just touch His robe and let Him go on about His business.

Was the power to heal in His robe? Of course not. It was in the One who wore the robe.

Over the last several days, you've read Daily Devotions that relate to Jesus healing people. This is one of the ways that Jesus demonstrated that both He and His message were from God. But the common factor is Jesus. The power is His. The need is ours.

The woman in today's story was in for quite a surprise. Not only was she healed (as she believed she would be), but Jesus stopped. He turned, He looked right at her and He spoke to her. Jesus showed her love in a way that she had not felt for a long time.

Today Jesus offers you that same love--a love that reaches down to heal the spiritual wounds in your life. Jesus gave Himself for you because He loves you.




Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Deicide on July 22, 2008, 06:54:51 AM
"For I did see my unworthiness in Her sight, for I was a sinner, destined forever to spend existence in the presence of the unholy Purple Oyster, waxing his shell and massaging his most wretched and slimy feet. For lo, the Purple Oyster doth truly have feet, and the legs thereof, and the toes thereof, giving him dominion over all the clams of the seas, and allowing him to go unto the children of men, and tempt them unto destruction." — The Revelation of St. Bryce the Long-Winded (Partial), Chapter One, Verses 9 to 11
 :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 24, 2008, 01:02:10 AM
Resistence is An Essential Component to Advancement

How is it that we’re able to move around easily on the earth?
It’s because the earth is hard and resistant. Try moving forward on quicksand, and you’ll be swallowed up. And how is it that boats are able to move over water? Because water, too, is resistant, not as resistant as the earth, of course, but all the same it’s thanks to the resistance of the liquid medium that boats go from one point to another. And it’s also thanks to the resistance of air that planes are able to rise and fly in the sky.

So, you see, whether on the earth, on water or in the air, movement and the possibility of going forward are due to a certain form of resistance. And it’s the same in the psychic domain. So, the day you understand that difficulties and obstacles represent a useful resistance, not only will you no longer complain, but you’ll see in them only magnificent opportunities to advance. You may say, ‘But I can refuse to go forward!’ Yes, you can, but then you will be crushed, trampled underfoot. Because the law of life is to advance.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on August 05, 2008, 05:41:49 AM
The Seventh Day
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:11)

God's word is omnipotent, and He could just as well have created an entire universe, fully populated and functioning, in an instant of time. Instead, He chose to do it in six days, with a seventh day to be set aside as a day of rest and remembrance of His completed, "very good," creation. Since that time, it has been the universal practice among monotheists--those who believe in one Creator God--to measure time in seven-day weeks, with one of those days observed as a day of rest and worship of the Creator.

This divine assertion was inscribed with "the finger of God" on a table of stone (Exodus 31:18), clearly settling, once and for all, the ancient question of the age of the cosmos, at least for those who really believe in the inerrant perspicuity and authority of the Holy Scriptures. Not only did the Lord precisely equate the six days of man's work week with the six days of His own work week, He then pronounced it all "very good" and "sanctified" the seventh day (Genesis 1:31, 2:3). This would have been an unthinkable thing for Him to say if there were, at that time, a great mile-deep graveyard, consisting of the fossil remains of dead animals from the so-called geological ages, extending all around the globe. These fossils must all be dated as post-Eden, after human sin and God's curse brought death into the world (Romans 5:12).

Today, those who believe in God and creation should certainly continue to remember Him by observing every seventh day as a day of rest and worship, in honor of their Creator, who has now also become their Redeemer and who will soon come again to reign as eternal King.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: w8m8 on August 08, 2008, 05:36:03 AM
Lao-tsu's Peace Prayer

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 23, 2008, 12:14:35 AM
"To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order;
to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order;
to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life;
and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right."
-- Confucius


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 23, 2008, 06:04:03 PM
On The Path To Enlightenment

"You take it for granted that others should show wisdom, kindness and honesty and are indignant if they don’t. But how do you yourself behave? You never ask yourself this, which is why there is so much chaos in the world. Everyone sees things the same way: they all expect others to be irreproachable, while they themselves can behave just as they wish. Radio, television and newspapers are full of people criticizing and accusing others – it’s all you’ll ever hear, see or read.

They make a career out of it, endlessly justifying their own mistakes. It’s just the same in daily life: people always have something to blame others for, while they see themselves as faultless. But, in an initiatic school, you will see that the opposite is taught, that true work involves dealing with oneself, with one’s shortcomings, deficiencies and mistakes – and in leaving other people alone!"


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 25, 2008, 09:22:27 PM
On Sensitivity and Satisfaction

"Little by little, pleasure that is purely physical blunts sensitivity: you need more and more pleasure and stronger and stronger sensations in order to feel anything or find it at all satisfying. So it becomes increasingly difficult to be satisfied, because you become increasingly insensitive. This is borne out in all areas of life. If you consume too much food and drink, you eventually lose your sense of taste; if you accumulate sexual experience, you become blasé and contemptuous of your partners.

So try to reduce your physical pleasures a little, and seek more subtle experiences. You will become more and more sensitive, and the least sensation will provide the greatest joy."


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on September 04, 2008, 09:22:50 PM
On Subtle Cosmic Frequencies

"World news, the most distant cosmic events and even the upheavals of vanished worlds reach us constantly, and we possess instruments inside us that record them. Of course, all this information remains in our subconscious, rarely reaching our conscious mind. You could say it’s the same as for radio waves.

The fact that radios and televisions exist proves there is a mass of information circulating throughout space. These waves escape our conscious mind, but the appropriate instruments allow us to capture them. At this very moment, incalculable numbers of waves are travelling towards us through space from all corners of the earth as well as from other planets and constellations.

These waves criss-cross and become entangled without destroying one another. Each one can be captured by an instrument tuned to its frequency. These waves pass through us, too, but we don’t feel them. Fortunately! For if our brain started to record, even for a moment, everything that takes place in the universe, it would be unbearable. It’s important to know that waves are continually passing through us, and it’s this that explains how we sometimes find ourselves in certain states without understanding the reason. This is why we must remain very vigilant."


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 16, 2008, 10:55:06 AM
When God Was Hungry
Jill Carattini

I have a friend who examines life with a flare for the literal. I do not mean to infer she moves about with little imagination, taking life only by fact or as it comes word by word. Quite the opposite, her imagination is always bringing the literal to life--so much so, that I must guard my metaphors and always prepare my ears for an honest accounting. She is the first to laugh when someone mentions "killing time" over the weekend or playing something "by ear." But she is also the first to respond with defeat and disruption when the prophets describe how our iniquities separate us from God or when Jesus depicts himself as hungry, in prison, and sick:

    "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me'"(Matthew 25:41-43).


Someone looking for assistance once knocked on my friend's door, and while I was immediately imagining all of the terrible scenarios of what could have happened by opening the door, she was concerned for weeks about a stranger who Jesus described as family. "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (25:40).

My friend is right. Scripture is replete with reasons to live in perpetual awareness of the image of God around us. Our neighbors--known and unknown--are of the same birthright as we. As the New Testament puts it, we are all God's offspring. Thus, "Those who despise their neighbors are sinners, but happy are those who are kind to the poor" (Proverbs 14:21). Or, in the words of Christ, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:43-44). The apostle Paul continues, "For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another" (Galatians 5:13). The image of God in the stranger we pass on the sidewalk or the colleague within our ranks is unavoidable. And for the Christian community, we are called to consciousness even more so: "If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it" (1 Corinthians 12:26-27).

In his great memorial oration given at Oxford University Church in 1941, C.S. Lewis masterfully spoke of the weight of glory within each human soul. "There are no ordinary people," said Lewis. "You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit."(1) Few of us have had someone physically knock on our door asking for food and water. But all of us have had someone knock on our door.

What would the world be like if we took Jesus at his word? "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in." What would happen if Christians everywhere treated everyone they came in contact with as if they were treating Christ himself? Lewis gives us an idea: "This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously--no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.... Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses."(2)

The great metaphor of a world of souls confronts us daily in literal flesh. And the King is still replying: I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these siblings of mine, you did for me.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.


(1) C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1980), 39.
(2) Ibid., 40.


© 2008 Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. All Rights Reserved.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: mightymouse72 on September 17, 2008, 06:49:01 AM
An introduction to 1 Peter


A Word to the Suffering.  What to do when trouble comes.


Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  4:12

A distant, swirling cloud of dust signaled the approach of Turkish death squads.  But who could escape?  The villages of Armenia sat exposed and defenseless on a rock plain.  Doomed Christians clung together on the floors of their homes, praying, singing, and shivering with fear. 
This scene was repeated often during World War 1, and it usually ended in a massacre.  The Turkish assault against Armenian Christians was one of history’s worst religion-inspired bloodbaths: over one million people died.  But, sadly, the Armenian tragedy was but one of many attacks against 20th- century Christians.
More people have died for their religious faith in this century than in all the rest of history combined.  Thousands of Christians died in East Africa, first in the Mau Mau uprising and then during Idi Amin’s reign of terror.  Millions more suffered under Soviet and Chinese governments.  And the oppression goes on: even today some countries imprison and torture converts to Christianity.  This fact alone makes the book of 1 Peter starkly relevant for modern readers.

How to Respond to Persecution
What advice would your give Christians about to undergo persecution?  The apostle Peter took up that challenge just as ominous rumblings from Rome were striking fear in every Christian community.  Half-crazed Nero had seized on believers as scapegoats for the ills of his empire.
Should the persecuted Christians flee or resist?  Should they tone down their outward signs of faith?  Give up?  Peter’s readers, their lives in danger, needed clear advice on suffering.
They also wanted explanations of the meaning of suffering.  Why does God allow it?  Can good result?  Does God care?  In short, they were asking the questions that occur to any Christian who goes through great trial.
According to Peter, suffering should not catch a Christian off guard.  We are “strangers” (1:17) in a hostile world, and where Christians thrive, storm clouds may gather.  Suffering is an expected part of a life of sincere faith.

Peter’s Own Experience
On the subject of suffering, Peter makes an ideal counselor, for readers then and now.  He had been flogged and imprisoned for his own faith, once even expecting execution (Acts 12).  Also, Peter had personally watched Jesus endure suffering, and in this letter he points to him as an example of how to respond.
Peter encourages his readers to “live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God” (2:12).  Suffering can refine believers and give us an opportunity to prove our faith, the result thus working out for our benefit.
This book emphasizes a further point also: suffering is temporary, to be endured only for “a little while” (1:6; 5:10).  Those who suffer with Christ will also glory with him in a life forever free of pain.  Skeptics have criticized the church for stressing a future life rather than working to improve this one.  “You promised pie in the sky by and by,” they taunt.  But to Peter’s readers-wary of enemies on the prowl, unsure of surviving another day- that message was as tangible and nourishing as food.
According to 1 Peter, our hope that suffering will one day cease is not a mirage but a “living hope” (1:3) in the One who has conquered death.


At first Christianity enjoyed official toleration by the Roman Empire, but gradually the government turned against it.  Rome resented the Christians’ talk about another kingdom and their objections to idolatry and decadence.  (Sound familiar?)
Although 1 Peter was originally written to people in severe danger, its lessons apply to all of us, for we all experience pain of some kind.  Why don’t things work out the way we want?  Is God trying to tell us something?  Peter gives authoritative answers.  As you read, try to apply what he says to your own situation.







Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 19, 2008, 05:03:31 AM
Mightymouse72,

Thanks for posting this encouraging devotional.   :D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 19, 2008, 05:08:14 AM
Ask Him

September 19, 2008
Key Passage: Matthew 21:28-32
Topic: Pride/Humility; Sin/Temptation

"Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you." (Matthew 21:31, ESV)

That's exactly what Jesus told those mouthy religious, highly educated, pious experts who constantly harassed Him!

His point was this: those who overtly sin, like corrupt tax collectors, prostitutes or drug dealers and thieves, those who know they're doing wrong are the very people who often recognize how much they need a Savior: someone who's paid the price for their sin, who can forgive them and help them live right.

These haughty religious experts, on the other hand, were not committing the open and obvious types of sin. They studied and followed all the rules. But they were arrogant, with proud and corrupt hearts. They had an image to maintain and consequently were not at all the sort of men who would admit their need for a Savior--even to themselves.

And so Jesus made it very clear, "I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you do."

Of course you don't have to be a publicly recognized sinner to realize your need to change. Maybe you follow all the rules on the outside. But you recognize that inside your life is corroded with bad attitudes and thoughts. And you want Jesus to make some changes in you.

Either way you weigh in on the "sin scale"--obvious public wrongs or private inner thoughts you're ashamed of--Jesus can make you into a person who pleases God.

Just ask Him.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on September 23, 2008, 07:20:09 AM
What You Don't Know
September 23, 2008
Key Passage: Matthew 22:23-33


But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29, ESV)

Some of the religious leaders approached Jesus with a question about the resurrection. In fact, it was more of a riddle meant to trap Jesus.

You see, certain religious leaders, called Sadducees, didn't believe in life after death. So, they came to Jesus and asked him a complicated theological question to try and stump Him.

But Jesus answered the question by saying they didn't know the power of God or His Word.

Think about Jesus' response. Could He say the same about us?

How often do we worry about things because we don't know the Bible or the power of God? Think about it. If we knew God's Word and believed what it said, then we wouldn't need to worry about anything, because God says He will provide for our every need. If we truly believe that nothing too difficult for God, then we wouldn't worry about facing what seem to be impossible situations.

So, the question for you and for me: Do we know the Scriptures and the power of God?

If not, get to know them. And the best way to do that is spend time with God through prayer and reading His Word.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: mightymouse72 on October 02, 2008, 02:40:21 AM
The Place of Humiliation

“If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” Mark 9:22.

After every time of exaltation, we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they really are, where it is neither beautiful, poetic, nor thrilling.  The height of the mountaintop is measured by the dismal drudgery of the valley, but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God.  We see His glory on the mountain, but we never live for His glory there.
It is in the place of humiliation that we find our true worth to God- that is where our faithfulness is revealed.  Most of us can do things if we are always at some heroic level of intensity, simply because of the natural selfishness of our own hearts.  But God wants us to be at the drab everyday level, where we live in the valley according to our personal relationship with Him. 
Peter thought it would be a wonderful thing for them to remain on the mountain, but Jesus Christ took the disciples down from the mountain and into the valley, where the true meaning of the vision was explained.  (Mark 9:5-6 & 14-23)

“If you can do anything…” It takes the valley of humiliation to remove the skepticism from us.  Look back at your own experience and you will find that until you learned who Jesus really was, you were a skillful skeptic about His power.  When you were on the mountaintop you could believe anything, but what about when you were faced with the facts of the valley?  You may be able to give a testimony regarding your sanctification, but what about the thing that is a humiliation to you right now? 
The last time you were on the mountain with God, you saw that all the power in heaven and on earth belonged to Jesus- will you be skeptical now, simply because you are in the valley of humiliation?



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 22, 2008, 06:22:28 PM
On Personal Responsibility

"When your personal interests are threatened, in other words your comfort, well-being or reputation, you must be patient; and not just be patient, but thank heaven for the opportunity to show how intelligent you are.

But, what do people do instead? They watch unmoved as the forces of evil carry out their work of destruction on others, but they mobilize a whole army when their own interests are threatened.

For this, they will one day be severely judged. Divine Justice will reproach them: ‘You protested against the slightest injustice done to yourself, and yet at the same time you remained impassive before the humiliations inflicted on others, so in some way you contributed to them.’ And it won’t do them any good trying to justify themselves by saying, ‘I didn’t know.’ They should have known."


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 15, 2008, 09:33:55 AM
On Examining Your Own Conscience

"Once an evening is not enough to ‘examine one’s conscience’, as they say. Several times a day, you should ask yourself, ‘Let’s see, how does my heart feel? Is this really love? And are my thoughts on the path of wisdom? Has an element slipped in that will cause me to make a mistake?’ Each time you introduce elements of love and wisdom into your thoughts and feelings, you attain more truth. So, each time you progress, you take one step forward in your search for truth.

These aspects, these steps are infinite in number; this is why you have to find truth and, at the same time, continue to look for it. How? By linking yourself once and for all to the two irrefutable principles of love and wisdom while, at the same time, discovering each day the most suitable ways to put them into practice."







Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 18, 2008, 01:52:04 PM
On Rebellion

"Who doesn’t feel justified in criticizing and attacking people when they find their behaviour appalling? And it’s true, it is right to rebel against certain behaviour. But people must also ask themselves whether there are not things more worth rebelling against. Instead of being constantly indignant about a certain situation, a certain individual or political party, why not rebel instead against your own weaknesses, your own mediocrity and vices? Yes, vent your indignation and disgust on these, and try hard to curb them.

If rebellion exists in the universe, it is because it has a role to play. But humans have not yet understood where, when, how or against whom or what to rebel. They must rebel, I agree, but against all the entities that have settled inside them, which deceive and gnaw away at them. These are their real enemies."






Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 30, 2008, 06:45:14 PM
On Being Born Again

"All those who think only of increasing their bank balance, their social influence and their power over others are, in reality, only limiting themselves inwardly. And even if, at first, they derive great satisfaction from these things, they will be forced at some time or another to limit themselves outwardly, too.

As for those who walk the path of spiritual growth, they become free, even if they cannot avoid a certain amount of suffering and limitation. Their suffering resembles that of a mother bringing a baby into the world. This child is the fruit of a long maturation period, and its arrival often takes place in the midst of pain, but what joy there is when it’s finally here! It is this experience that inspired Christianity to teach that the goal of spiritual life is for each of us to give birth to the Christ-child within."

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov




Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on December 05, 2008, 09:53:24 PM
On the Existence of Fear

"Fear is not often mentioned as one of man’s weaknesses, yet it is a great enemy of inner progress. It is very often fear that is behind cowardice, avarice and wickedness. You meet people who claim to fear nothing, but what do they mean by that? In reality, if they knew how to analyse themselves better, they would notice they are afraid of at least one thing or one person.

It’s impossible to even count the different forms of fear: they are infinite in number, from the fear of accidents, illness and death to the fear of public opinion, lack of money or being deceived by one’s wife or husband, and so on. Fear accompanies human beings throughout their life and obscures their inner sky. So every person must be ready to face it at every moment."



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 10, 2009, 10:04:44 PM
On Balancing Our Perspectives

"As most events and situations have both a positive and negative aspect, there is a danger of focusing all our attention on the negative side. Obviously, we should not delude ourselves and see only what is good, but neither should we dwell on what is bad, for then we no longer even see the good.

You’re thinking, ‘Oh, we already know all that.’ So, put it into practice then, if you know it! Watch yourself, and you will discover how often you forget what you know, giving way to unhappiness and pessimism. And then, not only do you fail to reason correctly, you also prevent your soul from opening out and taking flight. This is how people destroy themselves spiritually, even physically. Yes, why do we say colloquially, when someone is anxious and dissatisfied, that worry is ‘eating them up’ or ‘gnawing away at them’?…"


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on February 16, 2009, 07:44:28 PM
Willing to Forgive
Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor, Harvest Christian Fellowship

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
--Ephesians 4:31-32


Have you ever been angry with someone without cause? Or to rephrase that, have you ever driven on a freeway before?

Many people, in the depths of their heart, have anger and hatred to such a degree that their true desire would be for the one they hate to be dead. But that is clearly forbidden in Scripture. 1 John 3:15 says, "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." The word used here for hate means "to habitually despise." It implies not just a transient emotion of the affections, but a deep-rooted loathing.

The Bible is not saying that it is always a sin to be angry. But the idea in 1 John 3:15 is that of deep-seated anger and continuing resentment. It is to habitually despise.

Some people hold grudges. They operate by the phrase, "Don't get mad. Get even." Or maybe someone has wronged you. Maybe they have taken advantage of you or slandered you, and you've thought, "I hate them. I wish they would just drop dead." But there is no place for thinking like this on the part of the believer. God says, "Vengeance is mine," (Heb. 10:30). You have to let it go and forgive that person, whether or not he or she deserves it.

You have been forgiven a great debt, and as a child of God, you must forgive others. If we know anything of what God has done for us, then we must extend the forgiveness we have received to others as well.

Copyright (c) 2005 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 19, 2009, 07:03:56 AM
On Prayer

Prayer is not simply the act of addressing some entity or another in order to ask for health, success or a fine marriage. When we pray, we reconnect with the supreme Being, the Creator of heaven and earth. If you learn how to relate to this Being, which is eternity and infinity, you attract elements from the higher worlds, and then it will not just be a few physical, material conditions of your life that change but your deepest Self.

True prayer is contact with the sublime regions. Succeed in capturing just one element from these regions, and suddenly everything is different: you feel this element vibrating within you, purifying you, enlightening you, bringing back harmony to your whole being. And this beneficial state acts upon all those around you: they are influenced, because from you they receive something of this precious element.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 19, 2009, 07:04:38 AM
On Cosmic Light

The whole of space is filled with light, pervaded with light. If you cannot see it or feel it, it is because your spiritual organs are not developed enough to allow you to grasp such a subtle reality. But once you learn to concentrate on this cosmic light, you will succeed in refining your perceptions to such a degree, not only will you begin to feel it, you will also attract it to you to have it penetrate your cells and work upon you.

Make light the main object of your meditations, concentrate on it: little by little it will even come to replace all the worn-out, unhealthy particles in your body with new, purer particles. Then, once you become capable of attracting light into yourself, you still need to learn to project it out into the entire world in order to help the whole of humanity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEFB6PrKiaY


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 19, 2009, 07:06:01 AM
On Communion

The claim that believers are taking in the body of Christ simply by receiving the host from the hands of a priest is a wonderful invention, but, without wishing to offend Christians, an invention is all it is. How can they believe that Christ, the first divine emanation, would allow himself to be imprisoned in a host by priests of varying degrees of worthiness? Who do they take him for? And they call that the ‘mystery’ of the Eucharist.

No, there’s no mystery in it, only spiritual realities that obey laws: it is true that material objects can be filled with fluids, with influences, but not with God! What’s more, Jesus did not say, ‘Those who eat me and drink me…’ but ‘Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life’. So it is not Christ that the faithful eat and drink; it’s something that belongs to him, but it isn’t really him.

The flesh and blood of Christ are cosmic elements we can absorb through eating, breathing and meditating, and they can even be condensed into objects. But the Christ itself is a cosmic spirit, and nobody has any hold over it.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on February 24, 2009, 09:38:55 AM
On Tuning-In to the Right Frequencies

The workings of the human psyche can be compared to how a radio works. You turn your radio on, and you can choose whether you listen to music, drama or news, but sometimes, before you find the right station, you’re subjected to quite a cacophony. Well, it’s the same with your inner world: there too you have the choice of which programme you wish to hear, but occasionally, either through carelessness or ill-will, you press the wrong button, and then what a din, what a row! Correct your mistake immediately. Through thought and imagination you can pick up wavelengths that will allow you to hear the voices of heaven: the voices of peace and harmony.

What does it mean to pray? It means finding the wavelength in ourselves that will put us in touch with the heavenly entities, with the Lord, and these entities will let us participate in the orderly, harmonious movement of their existence. To pray is to release a divine vibration within ourselves.



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 07, 2009, 07:38:59 PM
On Worries & Concerns

Worries over the future, feelings of being unfairly disadvantaged, mistrust of others, and so on: get rid of these thought patterns that are so detrimental to your inner development, for they erode all your energy. Open yourself to everything that’s vast, generous and luminous, expose yourself to the beneficial rays of the spiritual sun. When you have learned to let the light and warmth penetrate you, you will feel yourself becoming a formidable source of energy. For the moment, your only concern is to shield yourself from danger, and by doing this you constantly place screens between yourself and the sun. No, don’t be afraid!

You are not being asked to abandon everything that has helped you protect yourself this far, leaving yourself empty and defenceless, no, only to gradually replace all sorts of old things with new, better things: to replace one activity with another that’s more beneficial, one thought with another that’s more elevated, one love with another that’s far greater.



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 21, 2009, 08:19:23 PM
On Beauty

Beauty, in its essence, does not belong to the physical world, and that is why we cannot grasp hold of it, much less own it. As soon as you draw close enough to touch it, it slips away. Beauty is a world made exclusively for the eyes; it is not meant for the mouth or hands. It likes to be looked at but cannot bear to be touched. So when you meet people who are beautiful you must always be very careful. If you do not have the right attitude, you can chase away the heavenly entities that inhabit these people, those that give them their beauty. And if these entities go away, you too will suffer, for you will lose this intangible element that simultaneously made your own life beautiful. So our joy and inspiration depend on the respect we have for beauty. By learning how to contemplate it every day, we are given a taste of true life.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 28, 2009, 01:40:54 AM
On Belief

It is easy to understand that everyone expresses themselves according to their own faculties, abilities, temperament and needs; that’s normal. But if someone says, ‘I believe this, I don’t believe that’, certain they’re stating an eternal truth, all it proves is they’re being presumptuous. As if it were enough for them to believe or not believe something for it to be true! It’s not a question of believing or not believing. It’s a question of studying and verifying. That is how you come closer to the truth.

Take those who say, ‘I believe’. Have they ever analyzed why they believe? What inspired their belief? Humans believe so many things just because it suits them, because they like it, because it corresponds to their needs, their sensibility and interests! Well, they can believe whatever they want to, they have the right, but they mustn’t imagine what they believe is the absolute truth, and above all they should stop wishing to impose it on others!



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on March 29, 2009, 08:55:06 PM
On The Marriage of Body & Spirit

By concentrating their efforts on the transformation of matter, alchemists had a better understanding of spiritual work than many so-called spiritual people, who concentrate all their efforts on escaping matter and separating the body and spirit.

Alchemy does not cut humans in two: into a spirit, which alone is worthy of our attention, and a body that should be ignored, despised and mistreated. No, spirit and matter, the spirit and the body, have work to do together.

The body is not the spirit’s tomb. Or, to be more precise, the body is only the spirit’s tomb for those who have not understood the meaning of the first verse in Genesis: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ Yes, not just the heavens but the heavens and the earth. By ‘heavens’ we are meant to understand ‘spirit’, and by ‘earth’ ‘matter’; if God created both, it is because they have something to do together. To separate the body from the spirit is to separate a house from its roof: exposed to bad weather, it collapses, and what does the roof do if it doesn’t have four walls to rest on?



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 11, 2009, 01:01:09 AM
On Morality

What is morality? Mostly, what is called morality is a collection of rules inspired by different geographical, historical and social conditions. In one place it’s immoral to show an ankle, while in another it’s quite moral to appear half-naked. In one place, it’s immoral for a man to look at a woman’s face, while in another he must agree to spend the night with his host’s wife, and so on. Obviously, none of that has anything to do with true morality.

For initiates, morality is the sum of laws inscribed by cosmic Intelligence in the human organism, at the core of the cells of a person’s organs, and anyone who does not respect these laws is destroyed psychically and physically. So the origin of morality lies in humans themselves. When you study the matter from this point of view, you notice there is an absolute morality, valid for the whole world. You cannot play around with it, and there are no arguments you can use that justify immorality. And since it lives within humans, true morality cannot be destroyed. When you break any of its laws, it shows you no mercy.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 27, 2009, 07:23:43 PM
On Nourishment

Nourishing oneself is not just about eating and drinking, which we do every day. Nourishing oneself is a process involving the entire cosmos. Yes, human beings have been created to receive all the elements necessary for life, and in every region of space they can find nourishment suitable not just for their physical body but for their etheric, astral, mental, causal, buddhic and atmic bodies as well. Try to understand this, and you will begin to experience creation as an immense symphony.

But, of course, for these exchanges to take place, the channels of communication must be kept open. All the while they are not, circulation is poor, and like blocked pipes they have to be unblocked. How? On the physical level, we can change our diet, do a fast, take purgatives or enemas, and so on. On the psychological level, we can remove the blockages by making rigorous choices as regards our thoughts and feelings, so that we keep only those that are the most luminous, disinterested and generous.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on April 29, 2009, 06:17:05 PM
On Dark Entities

How do dark entities set about harming humans? They urge them to make mistakes, for each mistake is an open door giving the entities the right to go in and torment them. If people resist, if they don’t make mistakes, the entities are powerless. This is why the devil – we’ll say ‘the devil’ for simplicity’s sake – only has the powers you give him. If you don’t want to deal with him, don’t let him in. He will not force you, he just makes suggestions – this is why he’s called the ‘tempter’ – and you are the one who says ‘yes’.

Most people imagine their disquiet, their distress and their anxieties have come suddenly, just like that, all at once. No, they prepared for them, they opened the door to them, they invited them in. How? By means of their desires, thoughts and lower feelings, by means of certain weaknesses and certain transgressions. At that very moment, the devil found the door open, came in and began his campaign of destruction.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: fitt@40 on April 29, 2009, 07:32:40 PM
On Dark Entities

How do dark entities set about harming humans? They urge them to make mistakes, for each mistake is an open door giving the entities the right to go in and torment them. If people resist, if they don’t make mistakes, the entities are powerless. This is why the devil – we’ll say ‘the devil’ for simplicity’s sake – only has the powers you give him. If you don’t want to deal with him, don’t let him in. He will not force you, he just makes suggestions – this is why he’s called the ‘tempter’ – and you are the one who says ‘yes’.

Most people imagine their disquiet, their distress and their anxieties have come suddenly, just like that, all at once. No, they prepared for them, they opened the door to them, they invited them in. How? By means of their desires, thoughts and lower feelings, by means of certain weaknesses and certain transgressions. At that very moment, the devil found the door open, came in and began his campaign of destruction.


From where did you get this?  I once read a book by Dr. Rebecca Brown that spoke of "opening doors."  The book was He Came to Set the Captives Free.   Many people open doors and are totally unaware of what has happened. 

There is a lot of truth and knowledge to the words you posted.  However, the phrase, "we’ll say ‘the devil’ for simplicity’s sake" gives me pause.  Please explain the intent of this statement. 


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 05, 2009, 05:25:44 PM
From where did you get this?  I once read a book by Dr. Rebecca Brown that spoke of "opening doors."  The book was He Came to Set the Captives Free.   Many people open doors and are totally unaware of what has happened. 

There is a lot of truth and knowledge to the words you posted.  However, the phrase, "we’ll say ‘the devil’ for simplicity’s sake" gives me pause.  Please explain the intent of this statement. 

I thought it was pretty simple and self-explanatory.

If you leave your front door open, ...anything or anyone can walk through.
It could be a concerned neighbour, looking to check up on you... to make sure you haven't fallen and can't get up,
...or it could be a malevolent soul seeking to harm you, or a thief looking to rob you in the night.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 22, 2009, 02:25:08 PM
On Altruism

Most people spend their time providing for their day-to-day life, starting a family, enjoying their leisure time, and so on. From time to time, of course, they do something for society, but in general they take care of their own affairs and work for themselves. And yet, whether they like it or not, they live in a community, and if troubles erupt in this community, their personal possessions, even their life, may no longer be safe. To focus on one’s own interests, on one’s own family and possessions, is not therefore the best way to safeguard them, since there is always the risk that events will take place in society to sweep away everything in their path. History provides us with numerous examples. Let’s be clear about this: individualism is not a worthwhile solution for anyone. The only worthwhile solution is for each person to endeavour to do something to improve collective life. Provided that happens, then, yes, each individual will be safe.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 27, 2009, 01:43:47 AM
On The Infinite Wonder & Abundance of Nature

Flowers, trees, oceans, even stones… every­thing in nature breathes. You’ll say, ‘But I can’t imagine the breathing process existing outside of the lungs!’ Why not? Life doesn’t necessarily need the same organs for the same functions to be fulfilled. Look at a tree: it has no lungs, stomach, liver or intestines, and yet it breathes, it takes in food, it assimilates, eliminates and reproduces. And it often lives longer than humans! It withstands bad weather; it gives fragrant flowers and fruits. Whereas, with all their abilities, humans are so fragile, the slightest thing can annihilate them.

Most people have the wrong ideas about nature. As far as they are concerned, to be really alive and intelligent means having to be made like them. But nature couldn’t care less about their opinions and their systems. For nature, it’s not necessary to have lungs to breathe or a brain to be intelligent. It has created such a multitude of life forms, there will be no end to our discoveries.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 28, 2009, 05:37:47 PM
On Rebellion Within Your Own Kingdom

How many monarchs, throughout the course of history, have been overthrown by the people, because they were not up to the task?!

They thought they could get away with every injustice and cruelty, but meanwhile others around them were in revolt, covertly preparing their downfall.

Everyone knows this, but how many have understood that these same rebellions and reversals of fortune also take place in their own inner life? Within themselves, human beings (the kings) will give way to laziness or debauchery and all kinds of excess. Some time later, hostile forces seize them, throw them into a dungeon and govern in their place; in other words, they become victims of illness, accidents and psychological problems, until such time as they understand they have a great deal to do to regain their place at the head of their kingdom.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on May 29, 2009, 04:05:57 AM
Don't Be A Cheetah
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt


...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. —Hebrews 12:1

A PBS webpage noted the following about the cheetah:

“Running as fast as 70 miles per hour over short distances, the cheetah is the fastest mammal on Earth. Swiftly rushing to make its kill, the cheetah uses its great speed to run down prey after stalking it closely. Yet in spite of its quickness, some victims get away. A fast starter, the cheetah lacks stamina and tires quickly, able only to maintain top speed for a few hundred yards.”

“...a fast starter, the cheetah lacks stamina and tires quickly...” The description sounds like some Christ-followers I’ve known, myself included. If following Christ was like a highway, I believe the shoulders of that highway would be littered with people who had started out well, but quickly broke down along the journey. In my own early days of ministry involvement, I think I was cheetah-like; a fast starter with lots of energy. I thought that charisma and drive alone would be enough to overcome the Enemy. Like many others, I learned that these things only carry you so far before the gas tanks of ministry and personal spiritual growth run dry.

The journey of the Christ-follower has been compared to a marathon rather than a sprint—and I believe that the same comparison applies to all who serve in ministry—from the new ministry volunteer to the professional clergy. In the long run, stamina, perseverance and faithfulness produce more effective ministry than high-energy ministry that can’t be maintained for long. So, remember when it comes to serving Christ, don’t be a cheetah!

How does one keep the gas tank full to be effective on the long journey of the Christian life? The perseverance needed only comes through daily commitment, obedience and communion with Christ. He is the source of our strength and our only hope to provide the power needed to serve Him with effectiveness day in and day out.



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 29, 2009, 05:49:36 PM

How does one keep the gas tank full to be effective on the long journey...


Surely you don't want me to answer that do you?  ;D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on May 29, 2009, 05:53:35 PM
On Unleashing the Dogs of War

Why must we reflect deeply before we take action? Because action releases forces, and once these forces are unleashed they do not stop half-way but keep going right to the end. Imagine you are in the mountains, and an enormous rock just above you is about to tumble down the slope: it’s up to you whether you let it be or hasten its fall. If you set it in motion, it is then impossible to stop it: it will crush you and many others with you. And if you opened the lock gates on a canal, try stopping the water then!

You are always in control of whether or not to act, but as soon as you decide to act, the forces you set free are out of your hands. When agitators start a riot, they very quickly lose control of it. This is why it is said, ‘Who sows the wind reaps the storm’, and the storm can carry away the very person who provoked it. Before we give the signal for war by what we say or how we look at someone or by what we write in a letter, we have every power, but then it’s too late, and we become mere onlookers, and often even victims.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 01, 2009, 05:21:53 PM
You Are a Daily Gospel to the World
This devotional was written by Jim Burns

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
—Galatians 2:20


Your life is not your own; you were bought with a price—the high price and sacrifice of Jesus on the cross at Calvary. Although you may look the same and even have the same personality and mannerisms, on the inside you become a new person when Jesus Christ enters your life. You become a representative of your Lord wherever you go.

A little poem has always helped me understand that my new life in Christ is a daily gospel to the world. I am saying, as the Apostle Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me."

Here's the poem:

You are writing a gospel,
A chapter each day,
By deeds that you do,
By words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithless or true,
Say, what is the gospel according to you?

      -- Author unknown


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 02, 2009, 06:23:50 PM
On Social Dynamics

Although all human beings are filled with the need to love and get on well with others, at the slightest annoyance and sense of injustice they give way to hate and vengeance. But if one day they find the right conditions and meet someone able to be an example to them and show them the way, they then receive insights that will lead them, little by little, to an understanding of how they should behave. This also shows that the way individuals succeed in resolving their own negativity is not just a matter for themselves; it also concerns all those around them whom they influence by their behaviour.

Even in the worst conditions, you must never stop working on yourself. And if certain people want to harm you, instead of getting even with them directly, show them by your attitude they haven’t succeeded in destroying you; on the contrary, due to them you have grown and become stronger; you are even more alive. That is the best revenge.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 02, 2009, 08:44:20 PM
God's Love
by Jim Burns

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. —John 3:16

Martin Luther once called John 3:16, "The heart of the Bible—the Gospel in miniature." This verse is one of the most famous verses in all of Scripture. It condenses the deep and marvelous truths of our faith into these incredible words:

God —The greatest lover   
so loved —The greatest degree
the world —The greatest number
that he gave —The greatest act
his one and only Son —The greatest gift
that whoever —The greatest invitation
believes —The greatest simplicity
in him —The greatest person
shall not perish —The greatest deliverance
but have —The greatest certainty
eternal life. —The greatest possession


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 07, 2009, 05:54:44 PM
On The Pursuit of The Divine

Even mystics have admitted that the search for God, for the absolute, is a long, disappointing one and that they have felt they were groping in the dark. And it’s true, sometimes it seems as if you are struggling in the void, but that’s only how it seems, and you shouldn’t become discouraged.

I’ll give you an example. A man digs a well so he can have water to quench his thirst. He doesn’t know how deep he will have to dig to find it, and this uncertainty could leave him discouraged. But he has an image, a likeness, of this water in his head, heart and soul. He lives with the idea, the thought, the hope, of obtaining this water, and even if the water is not yet flowing from a physical spring, at least it is flowing within him. In the same way, those who look for God may seem to find nothing, and yet they are working with a very powerful reality that lives inside them. They can say to themselves, ‘I’ve not really found God yet, of course, but he’s manifesting through my thoughts, feelings and wishes.’ And this hope, this faith is, in itself, God.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 10, 2009, 11:33:53 PM
On Chastity

Chastity, sexual continence, must remain a personal decision. For those capable of putting it into practice, it’s very good, but they should not concern themselves with what others do, they should leave them alone! It is even dangerous for them if they adopt a puritanical attitude, it proves their purity is nothing but repression, and such an attitude can lead to them becoming very unbalanced; there have been many such cases throughout history. When people are forever concerning themselves with the impurity of others, it’s quite simply that they are ill, mentally ill.

So learn to be more broad-minded: if the Lord is silent, why should you interfere? The Lord is indulgent and generous, why are you so narrow-minded? Be indulgent and generous, too, and work on yourself. There’s nothing to stop you from becoming a model of purity and sanctity, but leave others alone, do not interfere in their business. If, one day, they are called to account for their actions, it will be to heaven and not to you.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 13, 2009, 05:47:27 AM
To The Point

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me" (John 5:39, ESV).

Is Jesus really the Son of God?

In this passage, Jesus told the Jews about the witnesses that testify He is God's Son: the testimony of John the Baptist, the testimony of God the Father, and the testimony of His own miracles, like feeding 5,000 people, raising Jairus' daughter from the dead, healing the blind man and more.

Then Jesus emphasized, "The Scriptures point to Me!" Ever read an Old Testament scripture and then find it fulfilled in the New Testament? For example, Isaiah prophesies that a virgin will give birth to the Messiah (Isaiah 7:14).

In the New Testament, Matthew 1:18 and 22-23, shows us this prophecy is fulfilled: "Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit...All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel'" (ESV).

Not only do the Scriptures prophesy Jesus' birth, they also predict His death. Isaiah 53:12 speaks of a future Savior in these words, "Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death...yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors" (ESV).

And Romans 5:6 gives us the fulfillment: "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (ESV).

When we read the Bible, we discover the Scriptures truly point to Jesus. He is who He says He is. And following His resurrection, He sent one more witness for us. He sent the Holy Spirit to live in us. We have the witness of His presence as part of our daily lives.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 14, 2009, 04:57:38 PM
On The Necessity For Empathy

Until humans learn to empathize with each other’s situations, they will be guilty of the same errors of judgement, the same tactlessness, the same cruelties and injustices.

When you don’t know the conditions of people’s lives, it would be better to put yourself in their shoes for at least a few minutes before you judge or accuse them: often, you’ll realize that if you were in their place you’d be ten times worse. Do this exercise for just a few minutes, and you will begin to acquire qualities of nobleness, patience, tolerance and gentleness. Do this exercise especially with people you dislike and can barely stand. And then you will see how, gradually, you will be better able to understand their behaviour, and you will even begin to love them


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 17, 2009, 03:57:54 AM
No Offense
Key Passage: John 6:60-71
Topic: Heaven; Salvation; Jesus
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68, ESV).

Jesus didn't beat around the bush. When it came to communicating the truth, He was direct and to the point. And sometimes that bothered people.

In today's passage, several of Jesus' followers were offended by Him so they left. They got mad, picked up their toys and went home. Jesus told them things they either didn't want to hear or didn't understand, so they deserted Him.

What was so controversial? Well, Jesus basically said, "Look, you want to go to heaven? You want to live forever? Great. But human effort accomplishes nothing. You can't get yourself to heaven--you can only go through me."

To some people, those words are offensive. To those who believe you can work your way to heaven, or that how you live now determines where you go after death, Jesus' words are hard to swallow.

Jesus told his followers, "Look, there's only one thing you can do for eternal life--and that's believe in Me." Well, the truth is, some of them didn't believe. Not really. They may have thought Jesus was a smart guy, or very compassionate, or at the very least, intriguing. But they didn't see Him as the Son of God, the One who held the keys to heaven in His hands.

But look at what Peter said. He understood who Jesus was. "You have the words of eternal life," Peter declared.

So, what do you believe about Jesus? Are you ready to admit that He's the only One who has the authority to give eternal life? Or are you offended that you can't earn it yourself?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on July 26, 2009, 08:59:36 PM
On The Pursuit of True Freedom

Taking the path to the heights is the only way to win our freedom. And taking the path to the heights means trying to accomplish the will of God at every moment of the day. Freedom does not exist without submission to God, to the One called ‘the Almighty’ in the Psalms, who is Power, Wisdom and Love.

By separating themselves from the Creator, consciously or unconsciously, humans believe they become free: in fact they become the slaves of lower entities that have an interest in seducing and then controlling them, like the serpent that caused Adam and Eve to leave paradise. For what Genesis calls ‘the serpent’ is a symbolic expression used to designate a whole category of malevolent beings that had rebelled against God and then wanted to drag human beings into their rebellion. Now, in order to regain our freedom, we must link ourselves to those luminous entities that remained faithful to the Lord: they will help us to resume our path towards the summits.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 21, 2009, 07:41:29 PM
On Pessimists & Doomsayers

As they are convinced human beings are wicked and the world is going from bad to worse, pessimists are content to deal with their own affairs without worrying about other people. And how satisfied they are when the difficulties or misfortune they have predicted actually occur! So pessimism is the cause of selfishness, unkindness even, but also laziness. Yes, as they are convinced there’s nothing anyone can do to improve the situation, pessimists become lazy… except for when they are explaining all the good reasons there are for being pessimistic!

There are so many books written by people needing to reiterate that the world is doomed, existence is absurd, and nothing is worth any trouble! But, heavens above, why even make the effort to speak or write if good can never win, if there’s no meaning to anything, and nothing’s worth any trouble? It would be more logical to remain silent. Yes, what is the unhealthy need that makes these people cast black clouds over the heart and mind of all those who will hear or read them?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 26, 2009, 01:20:56 AM
On Effecting Revolutionary Change

‘Have a revolution.’ That’s how most people think society can be changed. But after each revolution, once again there’s the same disorder, the same dishonesty, the same injustice… The victims and torturers have changed sides, but that’s all, there are still victims and torturers. So the changes that need to be made are ones of attitude rather than external ones. Many people claim to be working for the happiness of humanity, but how many of them know what humans really need in order to be happy? Very few, and that’s why the results are not so great: even if we observe progress in some areas, at the same time we are forced to admit that things have regressed in others. Real progress and real improvement first take place within the heart, mind and soul as a result of the light. How can you expect effective change if human mentality remains the same: selfish, dishonest and treacherous? It’s this mentality that needs to be challenged; by changing attitudes you can change the world.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 07, 2009, 09:53:23 AM
Life's Not Fair
By Kelly McFadden
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)


Now, O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live. But the Lord replied, "Have you any right to be angry?”
Jonah 4:3-4

   

As children, my sister and I got along very well. There were, of course, some things that irked her about her younger sister, me. For example, I would take a toy she was playing with and when she reported this horrible act to my mother, I would be told to apologize. However, this was usually followed by my sister being told to share with me, which never quite seemed fair to her.

When God called Jonah, commanding him to go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent from their wicked ways, Jonah fled. I used to think he ran away as an act of being scared or feeling inadequate of what he was asked to do. However, Jonah 4:2-3 records that Jonah fled because he knew God was merciful.

When Jonah finally went to Nineveh, he preached the message God had instructed him to declare: that God would destroy the city because of its wickedness. In response to the message, the people of Nineveh repented. The forgiveness and mercy the Lord showed did not seem fair to Jonah. He wanted justice. Instead, God looked at the city like a mother to a child, and as soon as they repented, He demonstrated His compassion by withholding His judgment.

It is not up to us to decide how God should treat people. It is not up to us to compare ourselves or to try to prove we are better than another. Have you found yourself in a situation like Jonah? Have you been angry when someone was shown mercy when he or she deserved punishment? Or, have you been angered when someone does not follow the Lord’s ways but still is blessed by a promotion or an award? Are you convinced that bad things happen to good people and good things to bad people? Have you ever felt that you deserve to be blessed, but that God withholds His blessing toward you?

God’s response is simple: Whom God blesses or to whom He demonstrates His mercy, is not our concern. He will have mercy on whomever He chooses. Our concern and focus should be on our own relationship with the Lord and our obedience to Him.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 09, 2009, 06:36:27 AM
God Uses Imperfect People
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.  Hebrews 4:15

A youth worker shared with me about her ongoing struggle with a life-dominating problem. Of note was her own perception that this struggle has blocked her ability to know God and that until she conquers the problem God won’t allow her to be effective in ministry. As I heard her story, sadness fell over me as her struggle is not uncommon.

All too frequently, committed Christ-followers believe that God won’t reveal Himself or use anyone who doesn’t have life “all together.” An important question is this: Do you believe that God expects perfection from His followers?

One of my favorite encouraging stories in the Gospels, is the story of Jesus and Peter, after Jesus’ resurrection. The story takes place on the beach along the sea of Tiberias. Peter has seriously let Jesus down over the recent days, running away from Jesus at his time of greatest need and repeatedly denying he even knew Jesus. At their breakfast beach meeting, Jesus had every right to tell Peter, “I love you, but you let me down. I can’t trust you anymore.” Who among us would have blamed him?

Yet, Jesus did just the opposite. He gives Peter responsibility, “Feed my sheep.”  Peter was far from perfect. Peter was anything but a poster-boy for having it “all together.” Yet, Jesus not only revealed Himself personally to Peter, but He gave him authority to minister to others.

While God’s people are to pursue holiness, none of us is perfect and we all struggle with sin's grip on our lives. (See 1 John 1:8.) Yet, we need to embrace ourselves as we are: both saint and sinner, with strengths and weaknesses; successes and failures; victories and defeats. When we acknowledge our brokenness, struggles and our need for God, He will use us. When we embrace our weaknesses as part of us, and put our confidence in Christ's work in our lives, He will use us.

Rather than wallowing in the mire of self-condemnation today, receive this encouragement from Scripture: But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me... for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 14, 2009, 05:53:09 AM
Making Everything New
By Mike DeVries
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:5a

      
   
What if?

Those two words are perhaps the most powerful in the English language. They speak of a profound hope that is at the heart of what we as Christians believe and embrace; namely, that what we see and experience right now in our lives is not the end of the story. The pain we feel, the past that haunts us, the failures that leave us with the feeling of being less than desired… all of these things are not the end of your story, nor mine.

The hope of Christianity is that, in Jesus, God is making everything new again.

Revelation 21 paints an astounding picture of the dream God has for this world. In it, we find God remaking the cosmos – a new heaven and a new earth. Yet what is most extraordinary is what happens next:  Heaven comes crashing into earth – humanity does not go somewhere else to be with God, God comes here – His dwelling place is now among the people. It is in this new reality that God proclaims that He “is making everything new.”

God is making everything new and right again – everything from creation to your life and to mine. Everything made new again. Everything.

Let that sink in a bit. What might this mean for…

• The things that haunt us from the past?
• The hurts that seem to control us?
• Places of failure, where we just don’t have it all together?
• Places where we just cannot sense any victory?
• Our fears of what has been, or what is, of what could be?
• The anxieties we feel about the present or the future?
• Our relationships?

Think of the hope this brings. Your life, right now, is not the end of your story. The God who is about the business of making every new is more than able to make your life new again. The hope of Christianity is not merely that someday, somewhere else things will all work out, but that in the here and now you can experience freedom and wholeness.

This is the good news of Jesus.

What if? What if your life could be made new again? That would be heavenly, would it not?


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on October 21, 2009, 09:51:18 AM
Loving Your Enemies?
By Mike DeVries

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  Luke 6:27-28

Sometimes I really don’t like what the Bible has to say—and often it is not the things I struggle to understand, but the things I do understand. Case in point: Jesus’ teachings about loving your enemies.

For all I hear about people wanting to follow the teachings of Jesus, I find a disconcerting reality. Most of us select the things we want to follow, or the things that fit into our ideals for life. So, when it comes to loving our enemies, we might wish Jesus had said:

“Love those people who are around you whom you can love, do good to those who will do good back to you, bless those who are like you and pray for those whom you deem worthy.” But, that is not what He said. Instead, Jesus said:

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is it to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. (Luke 6:29-33)

Jesus calls on us to love our enemies—those who hate us, curse us, and mistreat us. These are the people we are to love—in our actions, not just our words.

This is a hard teaching because it calls us to go against the flow of culture. It calls us to step forward and do what appears to be crazy. But therein lies the beauty. To love those who hate us, curse us, and mistreat us is to proclaim the kingdom come and diffuses the hate with love, for love covers a multitude of sins, both others’ and ours.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on November 05, 2009, 05:58:25 PM
On Religion

"When we study the history of humanity, we become aware that religions have been the cause of the greatest rifts, because they have too limited a concept of the Divinity. People speak of the Jewish God, the Muslim God, the Christian God, as if there were several Gods, and even just among Christians there are so many divisions and misunderstandings!... But a true religion can only be a universal one, one that concerns not just certain peoples or certain nations but the whole world.

So, as from now we need to go further and turn to the universal Principle, the origin of all religions. The symbol for this universal religion is the sun. All religions come from the sun and are branches of the solar religion. Before human beings appeared, the sun already existed, and every day it tells them again and again, ‘Do not concern yourselves with the small differences there may be between you. Do as I do: give your light, your warmth and your life to all creatures!’"


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 19, 2009, 01:17:48 PM
Had one of those days yesterday.   :-\    But I am encouraged by the words of this song.  If you are where I am too, I pray that these words are of comfort to you.  Please know that God hears you and will provide the forgiveness you seek.  He's that perfect!!!  ;D

Bless you, my friends - Colossus_500



Me Again
by J Moss

Forgive me Oh Lord - It's me again
Forgive me Oh Lord - It's me again
I've disobeyed Your Word
I've slipped out of Your Will
Regretful I stand - me again

Forgive me Oh Lord - It's me again
Forgive me Oh Lord - It's me again
I've disobeyed Your Word
I've slipped out of Your Will
Remorseful I stand - me again

Forgive me Oh Lord - It's me again
Forgive me Oh Lord - It's me again
I've disobeyed Your Word
I've slipped out of Your Will
Regretful I stand - me again

Send Your mercy
Down from Glory
Lord please purge me
Renew me
fix me again




Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on December 09, 2009, 08:48:12 AM
Christmas Food for the Soul
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.”  -John 6:35
   

With Christmastime comes lots of good food. Christmas candy, cookies, cakes, pies, and Christmas dinner are all part of the special nature of our Christmas celebrations. It’s commonly noted that on average, people gain between five and ten pounds during the holiday season. Yikes! But, while we’re enjoying stuffing ourselves with Christmas goodies, how about doing some thinking on our spiritual nourishment?

Christmas is a wonderful time to remember that Jesus is the “bread of life.” It’s a powerful illustration of what Jesus is meant to be to our lives. He’s the source of life. He’s the food our souls need!

This Christmas, make sure your feeding your soul a healthy diet of Jesus.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on December 09, 2009, 01:26:19 PM
 :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on December 11, 2009, 06:20:15 AM
Away in a Palace?
By Jim Liebelt
homeward.com (http://homeward.com)

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:6-7
   

Wouldn’t you expect the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to be born in a palace with luxuries all around? That makes sense, but wasn’t the way the birth of Jesus took place.

Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here,
The silent Word is pleading.
This, this is Christ the King
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
 (from What Child is This?)


Jesus, the Savior of the world, entered this world under the most humble circumstances. No pomp, no palace, just a barn. I’m confident that the God of the Universe could have arranged for at least one available room in the inn. But, He didn’t. Have you ever wondered why? I have to believe it was done in keeping with the humility and gentleness that Jesus would demonstrate His entire life.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

In the Scriptures we never see Jesus forcing Himself upon others. Rather, we find a loving invitation to come and follow. The invitation is still open.

We celebrate Christmas, recognizing the gentle and humble nature of the Savior.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on February 23, 2010, 10:08:07 AM
Amazing Grace
By Kelly McFadden
HomeWord.com (http://HomeWord.com)


“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."  --Luke 7:47-48


John Newton, the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” found faith in Jesus onboard a ship as it was floundering in a storm. This was not just any ship; the ship he was on was a slave ship. In the mid 1700s, Newton’s professional trade was the trafficking of human life.

Newton and his crew would sail from England to Africa where they would pick up men, women and children who had been captured in tribal raids. They would trade arms and other goods for the finest of the prisoners. They would then chain them to prevent suicides, and lay them below deck side by side. As many as 600 people were crammed together on the ship as it made its three week voyage. Due to the inhumane conditions, at times, up to 20% of those captured would die.

After becoming a Christian, Newton left the sea for good and became a priest. He then wrote this hymn. You have probably sung it before, but read these words carefully knowing now why he wrote them.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come.
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.


God’s mercy and grace drastically changed John Newton’s life. He understood God’s unconditional love better than most. When I read those words through the eyes of someone who truly realized he did not deserve grace, I am humbled. Too often I chalk up all the good things I have done and wait for what I think I deserve. However, according to the Scriptures, the truth of the matter is that I deserve judgment. And, I don’t really want that! I am thankful for God’s generosity and that He sent His one and only Son to die for us so that we would not get what we deserve, but His generous love instead. This is truly amazing grace!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on February 26, 2010, 09:45:27 AM
Looks Great, Smells Great... But No Thanks!
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
--John 15:5 (NLT)

   

Imagine that you have been invited to a special meal at a friend’s home. This friend has prepared a feast and you are the guest of honor. All of your favorite foods are sitting around the table. All of the food looks great. Everything smells delicious. Everyone sits down at the table.

“Help yourself,” says the host. People begin to pick up bowls and platters and pass them your way. You hold a bowl and say, “Mmmmm, it smells so wonderful.” Then you pass the plate without taking any food. A platter is passed to you. Again, you comment as you pass the plate on to someone else, “This looks terrific!” You keep passing the plates never taking any of the food.

Imagine the host’s response. “What are you doing? Why won’t you take anything? I’ve worked so hard! Don’t you care for it? I thought these foods were your favorite!” Finally, you reply, “Well yes, they are my favorite foods, but no, I don’t actually eat the food. I just look and breathe in the aromas.”

Clearly, unless someone was on a very special diet, no one would do this! Yet, as Christ-followers, I’m afraid many of us do this very thing, spiritually speaking. We gather around a feast of good things that God prepares for us to strengthen and build our lives, such as the Scriptures, prayer, fellowship with other believers, worship and serving others in ministry. Too often our response is similar to the imaginary story described above. “Mmmm… Boy that mission project sure looks good, but no thanks,” or “Wow, I know that small Group Bible study is so wonderful, but it’s not for me.” And so, we sit at the table of a spiritual feast, and then pass the plates without taking anything.

God wants us to move beyond a safe, mediocre diet of Christianity—to experience all of what God offers in order to build our lives—so that we truly become all that He has created us to be. We need an ongoing connection to Jesus in order to remain healthy and effective as His servants!

Today, whatever spiritual growth opportunities present themselves, be sure to dig in!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 09, 2010, 05:45:18 AM
Those Who Listen
Key Passage: Matthew 13:1-17
Topic: Jesus; Obedience/Discipleship

"For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." (Matthew 13:12, ESV)

How well do you listen?

Or do you just hear? Someone's talking, and it goes in one ear and out the other. You have a vague idea of what they're saying, but it really doesn't matter to you so you tune it out.

But listening--that means focus, concentration, interest, significance...understan ding.

As Jesus spoke to the people around Him and taught them the things of God, He knew some only heard Him. They liked His nice words, good thoughts and cool miracles. But beyond that, they didn't really pay attention.

However, others were listening--soaking in His words, working through every concept, wanting to absorb the truth, even willing to make changes in their lives.

Jesus says this is why He taught in parables or stories. He knew some would listen and understand and act. Other would just hear a story about seeds, weeds and wheat. They'll wonder about it for a minute or two and then go on to the next thing.

When you really listen, it will lead you to a deeper understanding of what Jesus has for you, a sure knowledge of the kingdom of God. And it's a blessing. "But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Matthew 13:16-17, ESV).

What about you? When you read the words of Jesus, do you hear and go your way? Or are you really listening? That's when you'll begin to truly understand what He wants for your life.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 16, 2010, 07:02:10 AM
Good Fish, Bad Fish
Key Passage: Matthew 13:47-52
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad." (Matthew 13:47-48, ESV)

Would it surprise you to hear that not everyone who says they're a Christian is a Christian? Probably not.

The word "hypocrite" seems to be thrown at Christians quite often. And, unfortunately, it's true. There have been many publicized cases of proclaimed Christians not acting like Christians.

But first, we need to realize there's a difference between Christians who make mistakes (i.e. all of us), and Christians who only claim to follow Christ.

The difference is that the real Christian will recognize his or her mistake and come to God for forgiveness. The hypocrite or "fake" Christian isn't concerned about sin in his or her life. Who knows why he or she goes to church or hangs out with other believers? It isn't to draw closer to God.

Sometimes it's really hard to tell the difference between these two types of people, but you know what? That's not your job.

In this parable Jesus affirms that, yes, there will be true believers and false believers. But Jesus also tells us that when this world is over and He comes back, He will sort out the good and the bad.

Assuming you're one His genuine followers, Jesus told us what our job is: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35, ESV).


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on March 24, 2010, 05:46:43 AM
These are good Ro, thanks!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 25, 2010, 04:31:03 AM
God gets all the credit.   :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 25, 2010, 04:53:13 AM
Signs of the Times
Topic: Hope
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

He answered them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' And in the morning, 'It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times." (Matthew 16:2-3, ESV)

Why do people search everywhere for meaning and purpose...but refuse to look to God? The religious leaders, Jesus said, were good at reading weather signs and patterning their day around those, but they totally missed the "signs of the times" all around them.

Second Timothy 3:1-5 gives a look at what people will be like "in the last days." It says people will be "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." What about you? What are some of the signs of the times you see around you?

Have you noticed the trend that makes clothes smaller and more revealing? Have you also noticed that sexual activity seems to be more common at younger and younger ages?

Have you noticed how many people reject authority from anyone and everyone--parents, teachers, police, anyone? Have you also noticed that many people seem to be wandering aimlessly, trying to figure out who they are and where they belong in the world?

Have you noticed how easy it is to indulge in movies, music or TV shows that don't offer a positive message, but in fact present a world of degradation? A world where money equals happiness, where sex equals love, where violence equals power and where no responsibility equals freedom. Have you also noticed how hard people try to fill a void in their life they just can't satisfy?

The "signs of the times" say that without Christ, we are lost. Without Him, we have no purpose, no hope, no true happiness. That's not a very popular message. We'd much rather try to do things on our own. We'd rather find that one thing to buy or do, that one cute guy or girl to be with, and then we'll be truly happy. Our search for something new is an attempt to fill the void only God can fill.

You want something new? Check this out. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV).

God's love, faithfulness, and mercy are never ending--each day is new, and He is right here with you.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 26, 2010, 05:43:03 AM
Which Diet Are You On?
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)


Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.     1 Timothy 4:7b-8 (NLT)
   
Dieting continues to be a hot topic in our country. In fact, the United States appears to be diet-crazy! Just consider a list of names of some of the different diet plans that are available today: Alli, Atkins, Zone, Grapefruit, Cabbage Soup, Hollywood, South Beach, Beverly Hills, Blood Type, Scarsdale, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Fit for Life, Thin for Life, Exchange Plan, Herbalife, Sugar Busters, E-diet, Slim Fast, Dexatrim, 3-Day, 7-Day, Pritikin, Russian Air Force, Richard Simmons, Zone, and on and on. It seems odd to me that even with all of the national focus on diets, obesity rates have reached epidemic proportions. Regardless of the focus on diet and exercise, as a nation, we still struggle to stay fit.

How about spiritual fitness? The Bible points out that while a focus on the physical has some value, the fitness that really matters is spiritual in nature. Can you imagine what a difference it would make if Christ-followers in the United States reduced the amount of time and energy we place on physical diet and fitness by, let’s say, just ten percent—and placed that focus on spiritual fitness? I think we would be amazed at what the Body of Christ would accomplish if we placed more emphasis on the spiritual and less on the physical. And, of course, this is what the Apostle Paul tells Timothy in the Scripture highlighted above.

What does your spiritual diet look like? I have a challenge for each of us. Today, whenever we partake of food or fitness, let’s commit to also including a few moments for some spiritual exercise, be it reading a Scripture, meditating on Scripture, praying, or serving another in the name of Jesus. Let’s do our best to make spiritual fitness a priority. Truly, it is the only kind of exercise that will make a difference for eternity!
   

FURTHER READING:
1 Timothy 6:6-8; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on March 30, 2010, 07:11:07 AM
Who Do You Say I Am?
By Mike DeVries
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah."  --Mark 8:27-29


In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer made this insightful comment, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”1 In essence he was saying this: What you and I think about who God is directly influences how we live and interact with our Creator.

If we view God as some sort of judge, overseeing a kind of proceeding in a cosmic court case, doling out “justice” as people deserve, we will oftentimes live in fear, trying to hide our weaknesses and faults. We’ll live hoping and praying that the “judge” does not see who we really are, or we will face His wrath.

If we see God as an eternal ATM of blessings, where all we need to know is the right PIN number in order to “get what’s coming to us,” then we’ll approach our “spiritual life” as a way of “getting it right” so that God will open His account of blessings and shower them upon us.

Sometimes we see God as some sort of benevolent grandfather, whose job is to give us what we want, when we want it. And when things don’t end up working out as we want them to, we blame God, our heavenly grandfather, who has not come through on His job description.

Jesus knows all this. This is why He enters into the discussion with His disciples. First, he asks a broader question, “Who do people say that I am?” But this is not really His point. Like the master teacher he is, Jesus is looking for something much larger than the popular opinion of who He is. “Who do you say that I am?”

And this is the most central question in life, is it not?

Who do you think Jesus is?

Now before you answer that question, consider this: How you answer this question could change the way you live your life. If Jesus really is who we as His followers claim Him to be, it could change everything. In other words, if you could go along business-as-usual with your life, perhaps you may need to revisit who you really think Jesus is.

If Jesus is God, if He truly is God incarnate – then the things He teaches us, as well as the kind of life He lived, are to be emulated. If we truly call ourselves followers of Jesus, then our job is to... well, actually follow Him, orienting our lives around the way He lived and what He taught.

Who do you say Jesus is? What does the way you live your life say about what you truly believe the answer to be?

The way you answer that question could change everything.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 09, 2010, 04:33:54 AM
The Eleventh Hour
Topic: Forgiveness/Unforgiveness
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

"Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?" (Matthew 20:15, ESV)

Imagine reading in the newspaper about a death row inmate who, hours before his execution, "found Jesus." Most of us, if we're honest, would be a little skeptical or even angry with the idea that a man like that could be saved at the last minute. "I've lived my entire life for God," we say, "this inmate's done nothing to deserve heaven."

Is it right for God to honor a "deathbed repentance"?

Jesus' parable answers that question. In the parable, the vineyard owner pays a full day's wages to those who only work a single hour. He gives the same amount to those who worked all day. When questioned about it, the owner replies, "Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?" (Matthew 20:15, ESV).

Here Jesus says that God will forgive anyone who wants to be forgiven. Whether they're six years old or six hours from death, the promise given in John 3:16-17 stands. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him" (ESV).

When we arrive in heaven someday, no doubt we'll be surprised by some of the people we see there. But at that point no one will be asking, "Did he deserve to be here?"

On that day it will be very clear that only reason anyone is standing in heaven is because of Jesus our Savior and the kindness, love and mercy of God.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on April 09, 2010, 07:11:33 AM


When we arrive in heaven someday, no doubt we'll be surprised by some of the people we see there.



And people would be surprised to see us  :-[   ;D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2010, 05:12:28 AM
And people would be surprised to see us  :-[   ;D
LOL!!!!  I can just see a crowd of heaven-dwellers looking stunned and shocked to see me....."him????"   ;D :D


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 12, 2010, 05:16:27 AM
Be Authentic
By Jim Burns

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does.   --James 1:22-25

To make a difference in your world you've got to be real. There is nothing worse than a holier-than-thou Christian who never shares his hurts and sorrows. I don't know about you, but I can't relate to perfection. Authentic people make a difference in the world.

I heard recently of a minister in the Midwest who was going for a walk with a soap salesman in the community who was a real skeptic toward Christianity. They were having quite an active debate while walking through the park. The businessman was getting in some good jabs at the inconsistency of Christians.

As they were walking through the park the soap salesman questioned the minister, "How can you say that Christianity works when even within the inner-city park you see derelicts of every kind, drugs, and prostitutes? Then you have the problems of the family, war, and disease, not to mention the negative problems of the world. How can you say that Christianity works? Just look around-it's not working." They walked in silence for a few moments, and then the minister turned to him and said, "You're a soap salesman, right?" "Yes, of course," was the reply. "Is it good soap?" "It's the best soap on the market!" was the comment of the salesman. The minister turned and pointed to a small child playing in the park who was covered with dirt and grime, and said, "This boy is dirty and filthy from the mud in the park; doesn't your soap help him?" The salesman said, "Well, you've got to apply the soap." The minister's response was, "So it is with the Christian faith. You must apply the Christian faith in order for it to work."


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on April 23, 2010, 09:16:54 AM
Spiritual Self-Evaluation: Friend or Foe?
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  --Matthew 5:3

Do you ever find yourself comparing the strength of your faith with someone else’s and wonder why you come up on the short end of the stick? A while back, a friend and I were talking on the phone and found that we were both encountering fairly similar life situations. Both of us were looking for a little encouragement and advice from the other. Now, I’m the “professional” minister – and my friend is the “regular” guy. My sage advice to my friend was your average, “Stick with it – it will all work out in the end”. On the other hand, my friend suggested that I gather around myself some friends who would commit to praying for me regularly. Gulp. The comparison monster immediately reared his ugly head. Shouldn’t I have been first to suggest a more spiritual approach? What does that say about me? I immediately felt like a loser!

It’s probably inevitable that these comparisons come. The important issue is what we do with them. Realizations that we aren’t all we should be spiritually can result in different responses. They can either paralyze us or motivate change in our lives.

Spiritual self-evaluation should be a positive experience. We need to maintain a realistic view of where we are in our spiritual journey. Knowing that we fall short of God’s standard is actually a good thing. Jesus said in Matthew, chapter 5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is saying that those who understand their state of spiritual poverty and know that they must rely on God for deliverance are in a good spot. They receive the kingdom. Feeling bad after evaluation can produce good results when it drives us to Jesus for His grace and mercy.

No Christ-follower is perfect. We are all in the process of spiritual development. We’re all on the journey together. The next time you hear that inner-voice saying, “I don’t measure up,” admit the truth of the matter. The Apostle Paul (Romans 14:1,4) reminds us, “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on him…to his own master, he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” This is the key: God is able to make you stand. Believe it!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 02, 2010, 07:01:46 AM
Is Jesus for Sale?
By Jim Liebelt
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  ~1 Corinthians 3:6-7

I ran across this illustration and it made me chuckle. Perhaps you’ll find it funny – and instructive – as well. 
There was a man who wanted a job in a men’s clothing store as a salesman. The owner didn't want to give the guy a job because he didn't think he would be right for it. Yet, the man came back day after day asking for a job.

One day, because of the man's persistence, the owner decided that he could use a break and it was dinnertime – a time least likely for customers to come into the store. So, the owner told the man, “I'll give you a job on one condition: you must sell this one suit that’s been hanging here on the rack for years. This suit is hideous. If you can sell this suit while I go out for dinner, I’ll give you a job for life because you’ll have to be a great salesman to sell it.”

The owner went out to dinner knowing that nothing would happen. When he arrived back at the store, the owner was shocked! Here stood the man – his clothes were torn, he had scratches on his face and his hands. He was bloody. His hair was all messed up. He looked like a wreck. The owner asked, “My goodness, what happened?” The man replied, “I sold the suit. I've sold it, so now I've got a job for life.” The owner asked, “What do you mean you sold the suit, it looks like the guy didn't like it?” And the man responded, “No, no the guy loved it. But, his guide dog nearly killed me.”

Sometimes as believers, we get so anxious for others to know and embrace the saving knowledge of Jesus, that in our conversations with them we become tempted to act like salesmen, trying to “close a deal” on a sale. Let’s remember that Jesus is not for sale. He is the Lord of life – and his message is good news – great news in fact – but our calling is to “plant and water,” not force sales. We are called to be faithful in sharing who Jesus is and what he has done – and specifically – what he has done in our lives.

Be willing to invite others to consider and to enter into this wonderful story of God’s work in people’s lives. But, don’t try to “force a sale” on someone not yet ready to respond. Remember, God has his own timing and we can trust it to be perfect. In the meantime, keep doing the work of a gardener!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 03, 2010, 07:42:05 AM
He’s the Victim
nudgesite.com (http://nudgesite.com)

“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day…so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” Hebrews 3
 
The deceitfulness of sin.
 
One of my closest friends recently decided she didn’t believe in God anymore. She, like a lot of people, sees a conflict between God putting us into the world with certain struggles and faults–and then judging us for them. Our faults leak into our society and he does nothing to stop it. In fact, he actually condemns what he created.
 
Because important stuff about God can be hard to remember, we’re supposed to encourage each other as much as we can. To help remind each other who our God really is. It’s easy for me, after being a Christian for so long, to think I remember what the Bible says about most important things. I think I have a pretty good handle on who God is. But there is great danger in ruffling through dust-covered memories in order to find truth, rather than searching where truth can always be found.
 
Sin’s roots are not in God. They are in us. The sins or faults of humanity are NOT a part of its creator. Humanity has allowed filth like genocide and starvation, racism and hatred. Religious corruption…
 
But the devil would have you believe he’s the victim. That sin reigns because God won’t step up.
 
So we turn away. Our hearts settle into his confusion and bitterness. The whole time we were asking our questions, did we really want a response? Did we want to hear, like David, that we are that man? We are the problems we condemn? We are the damage we disgust?
 
That’s the deceitfulness of sin. God isn’t the problem–he’s our only hope.

~June


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on June 04, 2010, 05:32:16 PM
On Human Predestiny

"Humans are predestined, in the distant future, to become as their heavenly Father, to come closer each day to his wisdom, love and power and to manifest these in their life. But along the path leading to this great predestination, humankind must work with small predestinations. Thus the feet are predestined to carry the physical body and to walk in the direction shown by the head; sometimes the foot kicks someone, but that isn't its predestination! The hands are predestined to bring into being, to create, to bless; they can also hurt and destroy, but that isn't their predestination. The eyes are predestined to look, to receive images and light, but if they dart thunderous looks, that isn't to do with their predestination. And so on for every organ. And now, what about humans themselves? They are a synthesis of all these predestinations, and their role is to direct and organize these predestinations, which are there as means to assist their great and distant predestination, that of becoming like God himself."


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 11, 2010, 07:48:43 AM
God is Light
nudgesite.com (http://nudgesite.com)
 
Apparently, there are three Bible verses that contain the phrase “God is.”
 
There’s 1 John 4:8, “God is love,” but we all knew that.
 
Then there’s John 4:24, “God is Spirit.” And that’s pretty duh.
 
But then there’s 1 John 1:5, “God is light,” and that’s a little out of the blue to me. What exactly do you mean, John, when you say that God is light?  We’re quite used to the metaphor of God being like light but when you stop to think about it…really?
 
So, I do some reading. Not to be all Professor Science over here, but if you’ll go back to sixth grade with me for a moment…
 
We’re not sure what light is. Scientists refer to light as a photon, but that’s really just for lack of a better word. Sometimes it behaves like a wave. Sometimes it behaves like a particle. It sets the gold standard for speed in the universe and, really, everything has to adjust its movement relative to light’s. That's (sort of) Einstein's Theory of Relativity–in a nutshell.
 
Essentially, light is an ever-present yet unknown force that, nevertheless, is the inescapable guiding factor of the universe.
 
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5). And that particular light, of course, is God.
 
Good call, John. Very good call.
 
~Joe


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 18, 2010, 06:02:06 AM
Please watch the accompanying video after you read this morning's devotional.  I pray that you will know that we ALL have a Father in heaven who is willing to go the distance just for you.  Just for you!  He loves you that much!

The Love of a Father
By Kelly McFadden
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  1 John 3:1


There is a father-son combination that is like none I have ever heard of.  In 1962, Dick and Judy Hoyt gave birth to their son Rick. When Rick was born, the umbilical cord was caught around his neck, cutting off air supply to his brain. The Hoyts were told Rick would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. The Hoyts disagreed. In 1972, Rick was given a computer that would help him write out his thoughts, and three years later was admitted into public school. A few years later, Rick told his dad that he wanted to participate in a 5k race for a local athlete who was paralyzed in an accident. His father agreed to push his wheelchair in the race. Since then, Rick and Dick – known as Team Hoyt – have competed in over 900 events, including 64 marathons and over 200 triathlons.

So why does this father run, swim and ride with his disabled son through all these events? Because the day they finished their first 5k, his son said through his computer, "Dad, when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore.'' Dick wasn’t a runner, a swimmer or a biker before those words were said. He was simply a father who loved his son unconditionally. He was a father who wanted his son to feel like he could fly. The love of this father is amazing!

We too have a Father who loves us unconditionally and calls us His children. All of us grow up with different situations with our earthly fathers. Some people have fathers who coach Little League. Some have never met their fathers. Some fathers are workaholics, while others are alcoholics. Some people view their fathers as heroes; others view their fathers as villains. But, our Father in heaven is perfect. He loves us unconditionally, cares for us, knows what’s best for us and gives without asking for anything in return. He walks alongside us every step of life’s journey, its joys and its trials, never leaving us alone. Your Father in heaven withholds no good thing from you. And, just like Rick, all you need to do is ask.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPLCaAu_H2U


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on June 18, 2010, 06:44:51 AM
Ro, I have tears streaming down my face...thank you so much for this.  I think a lot of people don't understand how much God loves us...even believers question it sometimes...thank you so much Ro....still crying....thank you.  I am going to send this out to many!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: newmom on June 18, 2010, 07:27:11 AM
This weekend I will have to read this entire thread..

Thanks Colossus, brought tears to my eyes. Like I just learned as I have started going to services for first time in my life. We are designed in the womb, a purpose for everything. Puts EVERYTHING in perspective.

Thanks Stella


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 21, 2010, 06:34:42 AM
Ro, I have tears streaming down my face...thank you so much for this.  I think a lot of people don't understand how much God loves us...even believers question it sometimes..thank you so much Ro....still crying....thank you.  I am going to send this out to many!
God gets the glory, Ro.   :)  I'm just thankful He puts thinks likes on my heart to share from time to time.  Bless you, my friend.  :)

This weekend I will have to read this entire thread..

Thanks Colossus, brought tears to my eyes. Like I just learned as I have started going to services for first time in my life. We are designed in the womb, a purpose for everything. Puts EVERYTHING in perspective.

Thanks Stella
Newmom, bless you.  It's amazing how we begin to see and experience life when God is the owner of our perspective, isn't it?  :)  

Welcome home!  :)


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 21, 2010, 06:45:31 AM
Superiority Complex
Key Passage: Acts Acts 11:1-18
Topic: Salvation; Holy Spirit; Pride/Humility
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

"As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with[a]water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?" (Acts 11:16-17 NIV)

I don't know about you, but sometimes I have a superiority complex. You know, when you start thinking you know better than someone else, that you're smarter, maybe even more spiritual. For whatever reason, you're the better person...maybe not in everything, but in at least one or two areas.

Well, we see a little of that attitude in Acts 11. Some believers saw themselves as just that much better because they were circumcised and ate only what was clean (both practices instituted by God in the Old Testament).

However, something had changed radically.

In Acts 10, God used a dramatic vision to instruct Peter to take the Gospel to a group of people who weren't circumcised and who ate what was unclean. But they were devout, God-fearing, praying, generous people. God shows Peter that the Good News of Jesus Christ is for all, and old restrictions shouldn't keep people from new life.

Peter witnessed this change as these Gentiles put their faith in Jesus and received the Holy Spirit. Now, as he makes his report in Acts 11, he answers this challenge of superiority with a humble reminder: "If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?" (Acts 11:17, ESV).

Who are we to stand in God's way when He wants to work? Who am I to think He can't save some people? What makes me so much better that I think the Holy Spirit won't work in people who aren't like me?

That's the big question, isn't it? Let's be honest, why should Jesus save us anyway? What entitles you or me to the Holy Spirit? We're just as unclean and unfaithful as anyone else.

But, as Peter said, the Good News is for all who believe--Jew and Gentile, clean and unclean. The same gift those early Christians received is the one you and I enjoy--the saving grace of Jesus and the daily power of the Holy Spirit. There's no room for superiority in that!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: newmom on June 21, 2010, 06:48:51 AM
God gets the glory, Ro.   :)  I'm just thankful He puts thinks likes on my heart to share from time to time.  Bless you, my friend.  :)
Newmom, bless you.  It's amazing how we begin to see and experience life when God is the owner of our perspective, isn't it?  :) 

Welcome home!  :)

Thanks.

Actually I find it profound, in a good way of course


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 23, 2010, 05:02:37 AM
No Matter What We Feel
By Robin Dugall
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

I'm the man who has seen trouble, trouble coming from the lash of God's anger. He took me by the hand and walked me into pitch-black darkness. Yes, he's given me the back of his hand over and over and over again. He turned me into a scarecrow of skin and bones then broke the bones. He hemmed me in, ganged up on me, poured on the trouble and hard times. He locked me up in deep darkness, like a corpse nailed inside a coffin.  ~Lamentations 3:1-6 (MSG)

In today’s Scripture passage, we read that Jeremiah (the author of Lamentations) feels broken and destroyed by God’s angry hand. To us, though we have all probably felt the same way at one time or another, it likely feels a little wrong -- even sinful -- to actually blame God. Still, in this instance, Jeremiah is unashamed to come before God and tell Him exactly how he feels:

Abandoned. Rejected. Alone. Grief. Loss. Abused. Angry. Frustrated. Bitter. Apathetic. Hopeless. Dirty. Depressed. Betrayed. Vengeful. Let down. Heartbroken. Enslaved. Pained. Ugly. Judged. Lost. Afraid.

Perhaps you are experiencing one of these emotions right now. Jeremiah provides us an important reminder that God isn’t intimidated or surprised when we come to Him with our hurting hearts. As followers of Jesus, we get used to putting on a happy face and skipping the natural processes of coping and dealing with our hurts. Remembering that God made our emotions and has experienced each one Himself can help us get through difficult situations. Knowing that our Creator can relate to our experiences reassures us that we are not alone. Further, Jesus tells us that we are blessed when we are going though sadness or mourning:

You’re blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. Matthew 5:3 (MSG)

God can fearlessly handle the tears, the screaming, and the groaning from our hearts. He’s big enough, He loves us, and He doesn’t let us go. The times when we are distressed, He comes the closest. He uses our difficult circumstances to grow and change our hearts and lives. In tough times, God gives us opportunities to see how big He really is. If we look closely in the midst of troubles, we can see that God is not finished writing our story. He’s not done with us yet. He’s using our circumstances to recreate our lives to make us stronger, deeper and more reliant upon Him.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 24, 2010, 06:54:33 AM
you are a wonderful person.
nudgesite.com
 (http://nudgesite.com)

“Dis is whar i com from.” My friend, Avi, laughed deep like the roots of trees and continued in his thick Ethiopian accent. “See,” he said, “we ‘ad no shoes.” He laughed again. “Jesus tho. ‘e is the best. ‘e everything.”

He pressed his hand against his chest and his black dreadlocks danced like they were doorbeads barely veiling some secret party he was having inside of himself.

I never met anyone who was so wistful and contagious in his love for Jesus. which was surprising. because Avi had a life that was anything but wistful. He had grown up in Ethiopia and made an immigration to Israel with thousands of other oppressed families in the ‘80s.

He landed in Tel Aviv. Lived on the streets. Raised himself up that little ladder: a struggle for power mixed with drugs and money and all the stories he doesn’t like to tell anymore. He did pretty well…apparently. But what does ‘well’ mean when you get to the top and find the view rather disappointing. I knew about disappointing views.

I stayed up late hearing Avi’s story. He told me that he was meeting his sister the next day. A sister he hadn’t known existed until a couple days before. Every few minutes. he would look up and say “Jesus” like it was the name of some secret he was afraid he’d forget.

When I got up to leave, he told me “You. are a wonderful person.” He paused. “and messed up.” We both knew that he was reminding me. After all. Being messed up and being loved anyway is one of the best parts of what Jesus does.

“He knows how weak we are. But…” and what a great place for a contrasting conjunction. “The love of the Lord remains forever” (Psalm 103:14, 17).

Jesus loves us while we are nothing. and. he makes us something. That is very worth laughing about. deep. like the roots of trees.

Em


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 25, 2010, 09:34:53 AM
Looking To You, Lord

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.  ~John 17:1-5 (NIV)

It's been a very reflective week for me.  I've been looking at the situations of my life, both provoked and unexpected.  My human instinct is to sulk, beat myself up over the things I've done wrong.  I tell myself that "I deserve" what's happening to me.  I brought it all on myself.  But, then I realized, "hey, I'm a sinner.  Of course I deserve any consequence of my actions!"  

I was listening to a song a short while ago on Godtube.com (http://Godtube.com) and saw a video by Whitney Houston, "I Look To You".  Now, anyone who knows about the pop music diva and all of the turmoil from her actions that have been displayed for the world to see should know that Whitney Houston has made mistakes.  Maybe it's just the conviction in what she sings in this song that I see her talking directly to God and asking forgiveness and guidance for her life.  As I watched and listened, I began to apply the very same conviction for my own life.  Then I thought to share my thoughts with others.

Originally, I was looking for a verse of scripture that speaks of God's children "looking up to Him".  I ran across John 17, where Jesus is praying to his father (God) that he would would be glorified by taking on the tasks of coming to earth and glorifying God in heaven.  His plea the moves to his disciples and for all believers.  I got emotional as I read Jesus' plea for the believers, and thought, "he's praying for me!"  I don't deserve it, but because I believe...because I accept Jesus as the Savior and that he is the only way to live in the Glory of God the Father, I will get to be with Him.

Father, if I only do one thing right in my life, may it be that I look to You.  --Amen

Colossus_500

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pze_mdbOK8


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on June 25, 2010, 09:45:02 AM
Thanks Ro


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 28, 2010, 05:46:40 AM
Jealousy or Joy
Key Passage: Acts 13:44-52
 notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles"...And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:45-46,48, ESV)

Call it sour grapes; call it stubbornness; call it short-sightedness or even stupidity. It really comes back to jealousy.

As Paul preached in Antioch Pisidia, many people were drawn to the message of Jesus Christ. And they wanted to know more and more. As the crowds grew, so did the conflict. For the Jewish leaders in the town weren't happy with this new message, one they'd rejected.

To add insult to injury, this message was now given to the Gentiles. The Jews were jealous that God chose to work with people they considered as unclean, not worthy of God's attention. Like selfish children, they were angry God had taken what they'd turned down and given it to others.

For the Gentiles, this message was a matter of rejoicing. Salvation through Jesus Christ, new life under the power of the Holy Spirit, and hope for a future with God, was now theirs for the asking.

This Gospel brought meaning and purpose to their lives. And a new church grew in this community, even after Paul and Barnabas were driven out of town.

You know, sometimes we do that too. When we're not on good terms with God because of our disobedience or indifference and we see Him doing great things in someone else's life, so we get angry and jealous.

Instead, we ought to rejoice that God is at work, that a life is being changed. We need to make sure we're right with God in our heart and actions and then join in His work.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 29, 2010, 06:19:27 AM
Boldness & Division
Key Passage: Acts 14:1-7
Topic: Obedience/Discipleship; Evangelism; Speech/Words

notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the people of the city were divided (Acts 14:3-4, ESV).

Speaking boldly for the Lord is an awesome mission. It takes courage and confidence in the message of Jesus Christ. But beware--not everyone will be happy about it.

Paul and Barnabas had plenty of courage, confidence and boldness. They were eager, even driven to bring people the life-giving news that Jesus had died for their sins and had risen again. They spoke to Jews and Gentiles, in the synagogues and marketplaces, and many people believed.

Like Paul and Barnabas, we have this good news to deliver too. And we need to speak boldly. Your lifestyle may show that there's something's different about you, but you need words to explain what's different! Like Paul and Barnabas, we have the Holy Spirit to give us the words and the boldness. And we also have the Word of God to point the way.

But don't expect this to be a peaceful process. The message of Jesus Christ divides people. In Iconium, that division affected everyone: Jews, Gentiles, common people, government officials. The whole town was divided and eventually, Paul and Barnabas left as marked men.

This is just what Jesus said would happen. In Matthew 10, Jesus warned his followers, "Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake" (Matthew 10:17-18, ESV).

He said His message would split families, "Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake" (Matthew 10:21-22, ESV).

While we can now have peace with God, we won't always have peace with others. "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34, ESV).

Bold speaking brings the message of Jesus to people in need. But be ready for division and trouble too. Jesus told us it would; Paul and Barnabas show us it does.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 30, 2010, 04:44:50 AM
Please Sir, I Want Some More
By Elizabeth Cole
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

O taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8a

The classic musical Oliver! features a scene that has captured my heart. The young orphan Oliver has just come to the orphanage. It’s dinnertime and he’s been served very little to eat…and he’s hungry. He finishes what he’s been given, gets up and walks down the drab dining hall toward Mr. Bumble. The other orphans fall silent as they anxiously watch each step. Oliver sweetly lifts his bowl and asks, “Please, sir, I want some more.” Perhaps you recall the shock and disapproval that follow the request: Oh, the audacity, the impertinence, the presumption of the boy!

Now contrast that with the God we serve. We have a God who generously invites us to taste and see that He is good. Furthermore, I am convinced through Scripture that we have a God who – when we do taste and see how very good He is and when we do approach Him and say, “Please, sir, I want some more,” – smiles and holds out a big ol’ ladle-full and generously gives us more. He is, in fact, the God of More.

More of Himself and His goodness. More of His kindness, His mercy, His graciousness.

Imagine it. This very day, we approach our Father with confidence, lifting up our lives to Him and requesting, “Please sir, I want some more.” And then we receive and receive from His generous goodness, from His mercies that He assures us are new every single morning.

We have received not only eternal life, we’ve received the very presence of God’s Spirit in our lives. Over and over again, we receive His provision, His guidance, His strength, His comfort, His power…all of it expressions of His goodness.

Are you hungry this morning? Go ahead….ask for more!



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 30, 2010, 04:47:34 AM
I Need You More

I need you more, more than yesterday,
I need you more, more than words can say,
I need you more, than ever before,
I need you Lord, I need you Lord

I need you more, more than yesterday,
I need you more, more than words can say,
I need you more, than ever before,
I need you Lord, I need you Lord

More than the air I breath, more than the song I sing,
More than my next heartbeat...more than anything,
And Lord as time goes by, I'll be by your side,
'Cause I never want to go back to my old life

I need you more, more than yesterday,
I need you more, more than words can say,
I need you more, than ever before,
I need you Lord, I need you Lord


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 05, 2010, 03:38:30 PM
Authentic Christianity
By Jim Burns
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.  ~1 Thessalonians 2:8


A Be authentic. Be yourself. There is no greater witness than a person who is open and vulnerable about his love for God and his struggles. I don't know about you, but I can't relate to perfect people. Yet there are loads of Christians running around today who want you to think they are perfect. People who act like they don't have problems are one of the major stumbling blocks to their friends and family becoming Christians. I like the bumper sticker that says, "Christians aren't perfect - they're just forgiven."

I think the old Skin Horse gave the Velveteen Rabbit some outstanding advice about being an authentic person. Maybe this advice is good for you, as well.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs on his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."*


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 06, 2010, 07:06:53 AM
Please read my message after today's devotional message:

Some Night
nudgesite.com (http://nudgesite.com)

The first time I got drunk, I regained consciousness at the foot of a friend’s toilet, which was filled to the brim with my own (I think) vomit. Stumbling out of the bathroom, my head was hammering and I couldn’t see a thing–so I just threw myself on the first soft surface I could find and passed out for hours. It was the night before Easter, and the next day I had to sneak out of church to throw up again. I swore to myself, hovering over the church toilet, that I’d never get drunk again.
 
It was not a promise I kept.
 
In fact, it became a fairly regular routine over the next year or so. Get myself to some friend’s house for whatever party could be had, dump a few liters of alcohol into my stomach, throw it all up, pass out on a bed or couch or whatever till morning. You know, the good life. It all came to a head one night when I was drinking with about five other friends.
 
That night, my head was throbbing and my vision was jittery–but I couldn’t sleep. I thought about driving home, but was at least sober enough to realize that driving would be unwise. So, I just lay on the floor, using my sweater as a pillow, surrounded by unconscious kids.
 
A stream of pictures poured in front of my mind’s eye. Pictures of me leading my Bible study. Pictures of me going to classes at the Bible college I was attending. Pictures of me with my family. With my old youth group. Before God. And with that, my stomach started to get queasy again. I was, it occurred to me, a hypocrite. And with that came other labels. Disappointment. Tears flared. A failure.
 
“You do anything long enough to escape the habit of living,” David Ryan says, “until the escape becomes the habit.”
 
“When I am weak,” Paul tells the believers in 2 Corinthians, “then I am strong” (12:10).
 
I lay awake until morning. A buddy of mine stumbled out of an adjacent room and looked at me, blinking slowly. “Some night,” he said.
 
Some night is right.
 
Joe



What a great message and depiction of how even (I say, especially) Christians can fall short and miss the mark with following Christ's will for our lives.  About a month ago, I admitted to my wife that I had fallen back into looking at pornography (on my work computer no less).  This is after years of struggles to end the addiction.  Promise Keepers conferences, reading "Every Man's Battle", teaching the class "Every Young Man's Battle" for high school boys, internet filters, putting the computer in the family room (out in the open), working on the laptop only when my wife is present...As you can imagine, this cut my wife to the core, and she has all but shut me out completely.  She sees me as a hypocrite.  I agree 100%.  I am a hypocrite.  Where do I go from here?  Just as is mentioned in Joe's note:  "I am strong when I am weak".  I'm at a low point in my life.  I've lost something very precious to me...something I had to work extremely hard for...my wife's trust.  I may not ever regain that trust again, but I'm so thankful that I can look at myself through God's eyes.   Any other view would be deceiving.  I now have the task of proving to my wife that, though I'm not perfect, I am forgiven.  I hope she can forgive me.  I hope I can forgive myself.  

It's my prayer that whoever reads my accompanying message will either 1) Learn to look at yourself through God's lenses instead of your own or anyone else, or 2) help those that you have hurt to come to an understanding that..even with a professed and practicing faith, you will still fall short (miss the mark..aka...sin)

Colossus


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 07, 2010, 04:31:21 AM
Good News
By Mike DeVries
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said, “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!"  ~ Mark 1:14-15


I’ve been thinking about the “Good News” that Jesus proclaimed. What is it? What makes this news so good to a world in need?

The Good News is the news that my past and my present are not just forgiven, but are made new again – as if it never happened. I am not who I was.

The Good News is the news that what I am going through is not the end of the story. God has the final word – not a diagnosis, a hurtful comment, an abuse, a label, or a broken relationship.

The Good News is that there truly is hope, even when I don’t feel like there is much.

The Good News is the news that God is invading the broken places of my life and beginning the process of making me whole again. He has not only “saved me.” He is also “saving me.”

The Good News is the news that God sees and knows.

The Good News is the news that He cares enough to act.

The Good News is the news that God is restoring and reconciling all things, including all things in heaven and on earth.

The Good News is the news that, in Jesus, heaven has begun to crash into earth.

The Good News is the news that I am invited to be a part of God’s restoration movement, to partner with Him in making all things new again.

The Good News is the news that someday I will see Him face-to-face:  My Creator, my Sustainer, my Breath and my Life.

I don’t know about you, but that’s good news to me.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 12, 2010, 06:31:45 AM
Healthy and Sick
nudgesite.com (http://nudgesite.com)

Do you know who Jesus can’t stand? Good people.   
 
Drug addicts, prostitutes, thieves, corrupt politicians–these people he’s okay with, but the “moral majority”–he doesn’t have any room for them.
 
We tend to talk about the Pharisees like they’re this entirely foreign people who we would have nothing in common with. I think it’s quite the opposite. The Pharisees weren’t the theological liberals. They were conservative, traditional, and upright. They fought hard to keep their lust under control. They were generous with their tithes, they volunteered tirelessly, they had programs for the poor in their community. They were good, wholesome people.
 
It’s easy to see why the Pharisees didn’t really dig Jesus. He hung out with whores. His disciples were a bunch of ragamuffins with attitude problems; he broke the ceremonial laws and had little respect for authority,
 
Way too much of what we call Christianity is just a system of rules for qualifying as a good, wholesome person. I’m not saying I’m any better. When Jesus calls out the Pharisees for being “white-washed tombs” (Matthew 23:27) I hear him speaking to me.
 
At least drug addicts don’t justify their sinfulness. At least prostitutes don’t dress their best when they come to Jesus. At least thieves know that they don’t know the first thing about living a holy life. We are all helpless to our vices, addictions and sordid histories, but we who most vocally associate ourselves with Jesus are often the last ones to realize how much we need him.
 
I believe that God would rather have you be chemically dependent than self-righteously independent. Do you have to be morally destitute to be close to Jesus? No. But it might help.
 
“Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do.  I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough” (Mark 2:17).
 
Sam



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 15, 2010, 05:49:00 AM
Consistency
By Kelly McFadden
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. ~Isaiah 40:6-8

A great thing about walking into any Target store is that they all look the same. The aisles, the checkout stands, the greeting cards, home goods, electronics departments all have a familiar look and set-up to them. It makes it really easy to navigate and get around. They are consistent, so I always know what to expect.

While oftentimes I like to spice things up a bit and do things differently, I appreciate certain things in life that basically remain the same. No matter where I travel in the US, all stop signs are red hexagons. So even if I am coming from the other direction and cannot see the words “stop,” I still know what is expected of the other driver coming my way. Anyone who drives knows the difference between a double yellow line and a dashed line. These common rules of the road help us drive safely.

When I lived in Nigeria, the roads were basically everyone for themselves. Lines didn’t matter and there was no guarantee that even if you had a green light someone wouldn’t come through the opposite red. It was chaos!

In terms of guiding our lives, there is truly only one thing we can rely on that will never change: the Word of God. There might be different versions, but all words point back to the same meaning. We can rely fully on a never-changing God. When things get crazy and unpredictable around us, when doubt starts to creep in, when there is controversy between individuals and even denominations, God’s Word remains unchanging, allowing us to rely on it for truth and direction.

The Scripture also compares us to the grass and flowers in the field, promising that we too will fade. Our lives here will fade and end, so the message is clear:  Cling to the Word of God and His promises so that you too will stand forever.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 19, 2010, 04:28:44 AM
The Moral of the Story
Key Passage: Acts 20:7-12
Topic: Christian Living
notreligion.com (http://notreligion.com)

And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. (Acts 20:9, ESV)

Did you read the whole passage for today's Devotion? Then what would you say is the lesson in these verses?

Maybe it's: If you're listening to a long sermon, don't sit by an open window especially if it's on the third floor and you're sleepy.

Or, if you are a speaker, how about, Limit your preaching to a specified duration?

The Bible doesn't indicate that either point is the reason this story was included. The man, the one who fell asleep and toppled from an open, third-story window wasn't condemned in the Bible nor was the apostle Paul who had preached past midnight.

In fact, the incident seemed only to create a brief interlude in Paul's talk. Paul took care of Eutychus and got back to the business at hand--speaking to the believers.

It sort of makes you think that the lesson could be that, as Christians, we can't let ourselves be slowed down from doing whatever the Spirit of God has asked us to do.

There will be occasions in our lives when we'll have to deal with something that sidetracks us for a time--grief, illness, some sort of disaster.

But once we've dealt with whatever slows us down--with God's help-- we need to get on with doing what God has assigned to us to do for Him, whatever that is.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on July 20, 2010, 07:29:40 AM
OUR BATTLE AGAINST SIN
jesusfreakhideout.com (http://jesusfreakhideout.com)


"I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power."  Philippians 4:13 TLB
 

   Since I have begun walking closely with the Lord, and have made a commitment to follow Him wholeheartedly, I have been able to overcome many habitual sins and bad habits.  But there are some that remain and continue to trouble me.  I know that I will never reach perfection in this life, but I also know that God’s Word commands us to “aim for perfection” (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV).  So it is my heartfelt desire to cooperate with the Lord’s plan to make me more like Christ every day. (2 Corinthians 3:18)  When I earnestly sought the Lord recently about my deep desire to be free from some of my lingering bad habits, He revealed some principles from Scripture to help and encourage me in this area, and I would like to share them with you.

   First, the Lord told me that we must “face” our sin.  Even as believers, you and I have a tendency to run from God when He’s trying to deal with us about something in our lives that no longer fits who we are as followers of Christ.  But this kind of attitude only hinders our spiritual growth, and limits God’s ability to bless us and use us for His highest purposes.  The Bible says: “The Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.  You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons.” (Hebrews 12:6-7 AMP)  When we allow the Lord to deal with us about our attitudes and conduct, we are well on our way to victory.  In the heat of battle, God once told His people:  “You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you…  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to FACE them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:17 NIV)  Facing our sin is the first step to overcoming it.

   The second step is heartfelt repentance.  Repentance goes beyond simply confessing our sin to the Lord.  A good definition for repentance is, “A change of heart, which includes sorrow for sin and a determination to live a holy life.”  Very often, we are truly sorry for our sinful behavior, but we lack a sincere determination to leave it behind.  God wants to set us free, but He expects us to do our part.  And He usually requires us to show some good, old-fashioned backbone by taking a step or two away from our sin.   We may have to avoid certain people, places, or things in order to cooperate with God’s plan for our deliverance.  Very rarely are we able to overcome habitual sins without making a considerable sacrifice of some kind.  But it will be well worth it in the end, because this kind of true repentance prepares the way for God to work mightily on our behalf.  Scripture says:  “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.  And all mankind will see God’s salvation.” (Luke 3:4,6 NIV)  These are the words of John the Baptist, who preached that repentance for sins would reveal God’s glory and saving power.

   Lastly, we must rely on the presence and power of God’s Spirit.  Every time we try to overcome our sins, addictions, and bad habits without depending on the Spirit of God’s enabling power, we will fail.  Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) says:  “'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty.” The Living Bible translation says, “You will succeed because of My Spirit.” Our ultimate success lies in becoming more God-inside-minded, and learning to hear and heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis.  You and I can rejoice because the Lord’s will for us is total freedom from everything that would hinder us from fulfilling our God-given purpose and potential.  And He’s given every believer in Christ His Spirit to guide us and strengthen us with His own divine wisdom and power.  His Word says:  "Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image." (2 Corinthians 3:17,18 NLT)  You were created anew in Christ to be an overcomer.  Are you ready and willing to become all that He created you to be?
 
   Lord, today I renew my commitment to live for You, and to turn my back on sin.  Give me the strength and the resolve I need to face my sin, and to allow You to deal with me about it.  Move me to study and meditate on Your Word, and use it to correct, guide, and train me to live a holy life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)  Thank You that as I follow Your plan for my transformation, I will experience the victory, success, and freedom that can only come from Christ!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on August 11, 2010, 06:26:11 PM
On Evil

"In the Bible, the serpent symbolizes evil, but according to cabbalists it can only reach certain sephiroth; beyond that, the highest region, formed of the three sephiroth Kether, Chokmah and Binah, is forbidden to it. What conclusion, then, can we draw from this statement regarding our inner life? Since we were created in the image of the universe, there is a realm within us too, where evil no longer finds favourable conditions for existence. In the sublime realms of our being and of the universe, there reign such light and such intensity of vibrations that whatever is not in harmony with this purity and light disintegrates.

Yes, evil has no right to exist in the sublime realms; it is repelled. It can only exist in the lower regions, where it roams around, wreaking havoc and tormenting humans, because in these lower layers of matter all the conditions are right for it. So, depending on which region you are in, you may or may not be reached by evil."


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: 24KT on October 05, 2010, 06:18:26 PM
On Perceptions of Life

"In the swamps and jungles, you'll see nothing but animals devouring one another. But if you go much higher, among the angelic hierarchies in heaven, all you will see are beings ceaselessly giving each other love and light. Yes, on high, there is love and light but, below, hostility and merciless combat. In the same way, there are people whose desires and concerns have sunk to such depths that they can do nothing but fight and devour each other. Then, they draw conclusions about life on earth, saying it's a dog-eat-dog world, where the law of the jungle rules. Yes, it's true so long as they remain down there. But if they make their thoughts and feelings pure and luminous, they will find love and light with each other. "


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 16, 2010, 04:09:56 PM
It's been a while since I've posted.  Praying that all is well with the Getbig clan.  :) - Colossus

UNGODLY PHILOSOPHIES
by J.M. Farro
jesusfreakhideout.com (http://jesusfreakhideout.com)
 
   “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”  Colossians 2:8 NLT

 

   A young man wrote me recently asking for some advice.  He said that he had given his life to Christ two years ago, and believed that he was saved, but he was having some serious doubts about his faith.  He was attending college, and he was taking a philosophy course whose instructor was an atheist, and who professed that Christianity was utter nonsense.  This teacher insisted that people only believed in God to help themselves cope with the trials of daily living, and to console themselves with the belief that they were going to heaven someday.  He didn’t believe a word of the Bible, and he didn’t believe God was real.  Thanks to this man’s worldly philosophy, his student was wavering in his faith.

   I gave this young believer some advice straight from the Word of God.  Scripture says: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)  It also says: "Don't let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men's thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said." (Colossians 2:8 TLB)  I told this young man that it was up to HIM to “guard” his heart, and to not allow others to “spoil” his faith.  God is willing to protect us and our faith, but we must partner with Him in the process.  When we are being influenced by ungodly people and their philosophies, it’s our responsibility as followers of Christ to remove ourselves from their influence.  We must seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance in the matter, determining to do whatever we have to in order to please Him.  The apostle Peter wrote: "Be careful!  Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.  Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith.  Remember that Christians all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are." (1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT)  The devil can’t “devour” just anyone.  He has to search for believers who are weak and struggling in their faith, and who are receptive and vulnerable to his lies and deceptions.  Those of us who stand firm in our faith may have fleeting moments of doubt, but we will not let them take hold in ways that will open the door to destruction.

  Peter also wrote: “Be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  (2 Peter 3:17-18 NIV)  Becoming mature in Christ, and getting to know Him better, is our best defense against ungodly people and philosophies.  Every time we read the Bible, or listen to good preaching and teaching--taking godly principles to heart, and applying them to our lives—we have the potential to grow and mature in our faith.  Then, as the apostle Paul says:  "We will no longer be immature like children.  We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching.  We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth." (Ephesians 4:14 NLT)  Whenever I get the slightest inkling that I am wavering in my faith, the first thing I do is quote Scripture, either aloud or to myself, until my doubts evaporate.  That’s because it’s the truth of God’s Word that renews our minds to think like God, instead of like the world.  Paul wrote:  "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2 NASB)  Having a working knowledge of Scripture is a powerful defense against Satan and his attacks against our minds and hearts.

   Before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples:  "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]" (John 14:27 AMP)  Notice that the Savior says that we should “stop allowing” ourselves to disturbed and unsettled.  As followers of Christ, we have been endued with supernatural power to resist and refuse wrong thinking and behavior, and to walk in the divine peace that is our inheritance in Christ.  Are you ready to take your stand against the ungodly philosophies of this world?

   Lord, thank You that You have equipped me with the Holy Spirit to resist thinking and acting like the world.  Remind me often to cast down arguments, theories, and reasonings—and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God—and to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP)  I praise You for the victory and peace I will walk in as a result!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on November 17, 2010, 12:07:10 PM
Thanks Ro!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on November 26, 2010, 05:30:37 AM
Today
By Mike DeVries
homeword.com (http://homeword.com)

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:16-17

I’ve been thinking about this verse lately. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. Jesus lifts up the image of being childlike and says that, in fact, if we do not embrace the kingdom with a certain quality of a child, we will never enter it. The kingdom life will reside just outside of our grasp.

So I’ve been watching my kids lately to see if I can learn something about what Jesus was getting at. One observation I’ve had is this: Children live very present tense. They live in the here and now. I think there’s something we can learn here...

We as adults appear to be consumed with everything BUT the present. We often live either shackled to the past, or in fear of the future. On the one hand, too many live enslaved to some moment in the past and now every moment in the present is seen through the lens of the past. On the other hand, many also live in perpetual fear of the “what if” – worried about the things that might be, or might not be. So, in essence, we often live everywhere else but here, now, today.

Think about it. Have you ever seen a child worried about tomorrow? Have you ever seen a child live with regret over something in the past? I haven’t. Children have the amazing ability to be free, truly free, to live and breathe in the moment they have been given. What matters in the life of a child is the here and now, not tomorrow, not yesterday.

Jesus talked about this when He said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Apparently, central to living the kingdom kind of life and living in right relationship with God is to live presently, to live in the here and now.

So what about you? Is there anything that is taking up space in your head and heart? Is there some worry or anxiety that has you enslaved to anything but the present?

The good news is that Jesus invites us to come to Him with what enslaves us, whether it be past or future, and to find freedom and healing, so that like children we can live in the present – fully alive, fully awake to the here and now.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Colossus_500 on June 29, 2011, 06:13:20 AM
Knowing Who You Are
By Robin Dugall

I Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God… Romans 1:1

One of the things that I love about reading the letters of the Apostle Paul is that I get a chance to see someone who was very clear about his identity. There wasn’t much confusion in how Paul saw himself. There wasn’t a lack of clarity on how God has taken a hold of him and molded him into who he was. My experience tells me that many people are confused these days. We don’t know who we really are. We don’t understand the core of our identity. Below are some statements that might help you reclaim what God has done and is doing in your life. As you read the following, make it your own. They are already part of who you are! Know them and live them!

“I am a follower of Christ.” When the disciples were first called Christians, it was because they were “like Christ.” Their beliefs were worked out in the actions of their lives. They joined Jesus on a journey. Believe that God has called you to this journey as well…to a life-long process of being conformed to His image.

“I am a regular guy/gal.” Many of us struggle with thinking we are the center of the universe. The reality is that we are no different than any other follower of Christ. We experience the same joys and struggles as everyone else. There’s only one star in the Kingdom of God - and it’s not you or me. His name is Jesus.

“I am called to be a difference-maker in my world.” Jesus’ plan was to make His love real to people through us, His followers. The truth is, you can either influence or be influenced.

“I am a lover of life.” In light of eternity, we are given a small amount of time on this planet. Jesus said that He has come to give us life to the full. During our time here, live so as to finish the race, fighting the good fight, and keeping the faith.

“I am not finished…not even close.” Everyday, if we open our eyes, we can see the work of God in our lives. We are continually working out this gift that God has given us.  As Paul says, “he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it” (Philippians 1:6). Pray for more of Jesus…more of His love…more of His power in your life…more of His nature living in and through you.


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Man of Steel on November 22, 2011, 08:34:30 AM
Just some song lyrics that mean a lot to me.....Happy Thanksgiving!!

Through The Fire - The Crabb Family

So many times I've questioned certain circumstances
Things I could not understand
Many times in trials, weakness blurs my vision
Then my frustration gets so out of hand
It's then I am reminded I've never been forsaken
I've never had to stand the test alone
As I look at all the victories the spirit rises up in me
And it's through the fire my weakness is made strong

He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting
But he said help would always come in time
Just remember when you're standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And he will take you through the fire again

I know within myself that I would surely perish
But if I trust the hand of God, He'll shield the flames again

He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting
But he said help would always come in time
Just remember when you're standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And he will take you through the fire again



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Butterbean on November 21, 2012, 08:39:18 AM
Daily Devotional
by Charles Stanley

The Benefits of Gratitude

Psalm 105:1-5

Thanking God glorifies and magnifies Him, but did you know doing this also benefits us? The Lord doesn't need our thanks, but we need to give it so we can become what He wants us to be: unselfish, encouraged, and confident.

Giving thanks...
Refocuses our attention: Life is filled with situations and distractions that keep us from seeing all that God has done for us. Instead of getting out of bed with the weight of the world on your shoulders, try refocusing on the Lord by thanking Him for His past provisions, guidance, and faithfulness.

Relieves anxiety: Since our fast-paced society has lots of pressure, expectations, and responsibilities, many people live in constant anxiety. But when we bring our concerns to the Lord with thanksgiving, the burden shifts to Him, and His peace comes to us (Phil. 4:6-7).

Refreshes our relationship: Gratitude keeps us from thinking that the Christian walk is all about us and our needs. Our fellowship with God is enhanced because we're focused on Him instead of ourselves.

Reinforces our faith: When we thank the Lord for His past faithfulness, our confidence in His present faithfulness soars.

Rejoices our spirit: Thanksgiving is the best way to dig ourselves out of the doldrums of discouragement.

Although gratitude is always beneficial, it's not always easy. When you're discouraged or overwhelmed, it's probably not on your radar to thank God. But I've learned from experience that shifting focus and thanking the Lord for all He's done is the fastest way to change one's attitude and reenergize.



Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Man of Steel on November 21, 2012, 11:33:07 AM
Daily Devotional
by Charles Stanley

The Benefits of Gratitude

Psalm 105:1-5

Thanking God glorifies and magnifies Him, but did you know doing this also benefits us? The Lord doesn't need our thanks, but we need to give it so we can become what He wants us to be: unselfish, encouraged, and confident.

Giving thanks...
Refocuses our attention: Life is filled with situations and distractions that keep us from seeing all that God has done for us. Instead of getting out of bed with the weight of the world on your shoulders, try refocusing on the Lord by thanking Him for His past provisions, guidance, and faithfulness.

Relieves anxiety: Since our fast-paced society has lots of pressure, expectations, and responsibilities, many people live in constant anxiety. But when we bring our concerns to the Lord with thanksgiving, the burden shifts to Him, and His peace comes to us (Phil. 4:6-7).

Refreshes our relationship: Gratitude keeps us from thinking that the Christian walk is all about us and our needs. Our fellowship with God is enhanced because we're focused on Him instead of ourselves.

Reinforces our faith: When we thank the Lord for His past faithfulness, our confidence in His present faithfulness soars.

Rejoices our spirit: Thanksgiving is the best way to dig ourselves out of the doldrums of discouragement.

Although gratitude is always beneficial, it's not always easy. When you're discouraged or overwhelmed, it's probably not on your radar to thank God. But I've learned from experience that shifting focus and thanking the Lord for all He's done is the fastest way to change one's attitude and reenergize.



Dr. Stanley recently did a series of messages on handling anxiety and stress......this echos that series.....thx for posting this up!


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Man of Steel on April 22, 2013, 11:06:38 AM
I love to hear Ken Freeman speak!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYrtZZUljA


Title: Re: The Devotionals Thread
Post by: Man of Steel on April 22, 2013, 11:07:21 AM
I love hear Nick Vujicic speak!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXlCeKBWfaA