David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” —2 Samuel 9:1
Mephibosheth was only five years old when his father, Jonathan, and his grandfather, Saul, were killed on the battlefield. Imagine, if you will, life as he had known it up to this point. The privilege and potential of his pampered life as a prince could not have prepared him for the hard life he would face in the future. There was life in the palace as a young prince, with people waiting on him hand and foot, and he was being raised by his godly father, Jonathan. Life was good for this young boy.
But there were dark clouds gathering in his world. In one moment, through no fault of his own, his entire life would change forever.
Jonathan knew things were going to change. That is why he persuaded David to make an agreement to look out for his descendants. He made David promise to show kindness to his family forever. David willingly made that promise—and he kept it.
When news hit the palace that Saul and Jonathan had been killed on the battlefield, the nurse who was caring for Mephibosheth, in her frenzied state, dropped this little boy on the ground. As a result, he was crippled for life.
Perhaps you have gone through hardships in your childhood. Maybe something traumatic has happened to you. You have been dropped in life, so to speak. You wonder if anything good can come out of your life.
Mephibosheth was dropped in life, but God intervened. In fact, God specializes in taking people who have been dropped and picking them up again. That is just what David did for Mephibosheth. And that is just what God will do for you. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Tonight I pray that you refuse to worry!!! Look to Jesus for everything that you need He will never leave you or forsake you!!! I pray that you get a real hunger for His Word in these last days so that you can hide His Word in your heart so that you will have it there when you need it. Rest in the comfort of HIS Presence and remember that ALL THINGS are possible through Him!!! When worry tries to wedge its way into your thoughts, remember that you have a Shepherd who will take care of you and you need not worry at all!!! Though sometimes this fallen world can seem dark and dangerous, know that the safest place that you can be is in HIS will for your life. For He has a plan for you and they are good!!! Simply thank Him and trust Him for all the good that will come out of this trial. Rest in Him and He will strengthen you and prepare you for what lies ahead! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!! God Bless You!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6ljw4R
Living with Purpose
When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. —Acts 11:23
If you were asked to complete the sentence “My purpose of life is …” what would you say? As Christians, I know we would quickly say, “God.” But let’s be honest and not just say what we think is the right thing to say. What really is your purpose in life?
To put it another way, where do you channel most of your energy? What do you think about the most? What is the most significant thing to you in life?
Some people, if they answered honestly, would say, “My purpose in life is to have fun.” Someone else might say, “My purpose in life is to experience pleasure.” Another might say, “My purpose in life is to be successful.” Another might say, “My purpose in life is to make money.”
The book of Acts tells us that when Barnabas came to Antioch, he exhorted the believers there “that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord” (Acts 11:23). And Paul said, “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]” (Philippians 3:10, amp).
Paul knew where he was going. And if you don’t know where you are going, then you won’t know whether you get there. Paul was essentially saying, “My purpose in life is to know Him. Yes, there are other things that I do, but my primary purpose is to intimately, deeply, and personally know God.”
Is that your purpose in life right now? I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
by Charles R. Swindoll
Jesus Teaches at the FeastAfter these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly.
If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him. So Jesus *said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.
Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?” There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.” Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews. But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. John 7:1-14
As we’ve been discussing, there are certain times when it’s necessary to keep quiet, to relax, to back off. Intensity often leads to futility. Like the little boy who plants the seed and then nervously digs it up every day to see if it is growing. Waiting is as necessary as planting and fertilizing.
When the fish aren’t biting, banging on the water with an oar won’t help. You can’t get sap out of a hoe handle. Nor can a relationship be corrected by legislation and force. Remember, God says there is a “time to shun embracing” (Ecclesiastes 3:5) just as there are times to embrace. “To give up as lost” (3:6) may, on some occasions, be the wisest response, though extremely painful. Sometimes that means simply being silent and allowing God to work. In other words, back off so God can move in. This is never more essential than among family members in a home. Allowing some slack in the rope is, at the right time, a mark of real wisdom.
What a difficult pill for up-tight parents to swallow! Kept edgy by impatience, rigidity, and unbending determination, they foolishly rush in where angels loathe to tread. The result? Exasperated kids. Rooms choked with threats and irritating pressure.
Young guys can do this with girls they date. She wants room to breathe, some space to think things out for herself, but he continues to smother. We can do this with people we have offended. They need time to reason, freedom to forgive without being hurried. To push for a quick closure is like a hard-sell salesman pressing you to buy when you are trying to decide what’s best. The faster he talks and the harder he pushes, the less interested you become in buying—-even something you need. The wise salesman knows when to allow you the privilege of deciding for yourself—-when to back off and leave you alone.
Nobody is able to eat while they’re weeping. Serving more food isn’t the answer. The appetite will return when the agony subsides … and not until. That takes time.
Stop and think. Think first about your family. Then your other friends. Are you being wise or foolish? Are you using force or providing freedom? Are you being pushy or patient? Are you intimidating by your intensity … or backing off and relaxing? Are you allowing the ground fog to roll back, or are you launching blindly into dangerous flight?
Want to go deeper? Read John 7:1-14 and notice how Jesus “backed off” on occasion. Study closely His words throughout John 7 to find the keys for knowing when to back off and when not to. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
TONIGHT I PRAY that you seek His face so that you will find fulfillment of your deepest longings. I pray that when you see the beauty in this world that you will recognize His Glory and abiding Presence ever near to you. He is here for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear Him. I pray that His precious Holy Spirit lights up all of the dark corners of our minds with HIS light and love, so that He will literally glow through us as a beacon to others who are lost in the dark and cold. If we let our pride go and give everything to Him, His Glory will reflect through our lives to save a dying world. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen…. I love you all!!! God bless you!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6kj1Ff
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. —1 Corinthians 16:13
There will come times in all of our lives when we will be tested in our faith. There will be times when what we believe will be challenged. There will be temptations to do the wrong thing.
We might ask ourselves, Will I be able to stand strong spiritually when this happens? That is entirely up to you. It isn’t up to God. It is up to you. God wants you to stand, but He will not force you to stand. He will give you all the resources you need. He will give you the power to resist. He will even give you a way out. But you have to cooperate. There are some things only God can do. And there are some things only you can do.
Only God can forgive sin. But only you can fall into sin. Only God can give you the power to change your life. But you need to be willing to have your life changed. You need to cooperate with Him. He is not going to force you to resist what is evil. You have to be willing to resist it on your own, then take hold of the resources that He gives you. You decide today whether or not you will fall tomorrow. The stand you make today will determine what kind of stand you make tomorrow.
When you are building a house, the most important time is not when you lay carpet or paint; it’s when you lay the foundation. If you don’t do that well, then all of your decorative additions will be for nothing. You have to get the foundation right.
Therefore, you determine today what kind of situation you will be in tomorrow. I love this devotional today and I hope you did as well. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
There is perhaps no more hotly debated issue in the church today than the issue of women serving as pastors. As a result, it is very important to not see this issue as men versus women. There are women who believe women should not serve as pastors and that the Bible places restrictions on the ministry of women, and there are men who believe women can serve as preachers and that there are no restrictions on women in ministry. This is not an issue of chauvinism or discrimination. It is an issue of biblical interpretation. I love being a woman of God. I think that we have it better than the men do. The Word of God proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world (1 Timothy 2:13-14). God, through the apostle Paul, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors over men, which definitely includes preaching to, teaching, and having spiritual authority.
There are many “objections” to this view of women in ministry. A common one is that Paul restricts women from teaching because in the first century, women were typically uneducated. However, 1 Timothy 2:11-14 nowhere mentions educational status. If education were a qualification for ministry, the majority of Jesus’ disciples would not have been qualified. A second common objection is that Paul only restricted the women of Ephesus from teaching (1 Timothy was written to Timothy, who was the pastor of the church in Ephesus). The city of Ephesus was known for its temple to Artemis, a false Greek/Roman goddess. Women were the authority in the worship of Artemis. However, the book of 1 Timothy nowhere mentions Artemis, nor does Paul mention Artemis worship as a reason for the restrictions in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.
Similar arguments are made using Priscilla and Phoebe in the New Testament. In Acts 18, Priscilla and Aquila are presented as faithful ministers for Christ. Priscilla’s name is mentioned first, perhaps indicating that she was more “prominent” in ministry than her husband. However, Priscilla is nowhere described as participating in a ministry activity that is in contradiction to 1 Timothy 2:11-14. Priscilla and Aquila brought Apollos into their home and they both discipled him, explaining the Word of God to him more accurately (Acts 18:26).
In Romans 16:1, even if Phoebe is considered a “deaconess” instead of a “servant,” that does not indicate that Phoebe was a teacher in the church to men. “Able to teach” is given as a qualification for elders, but not deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9). Elders/bishops/deacons are described as the “husband of one wife,” “a man whose children believe,” and “men worthy of respect.” Clearly the indication is that these qualifications refer to men. In addition, in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:6-9, masculine pronouns are used exclusively to refer to elders/bishops/deacons.
The structure of 1 Timothy 2:11-14 makes the “reason” perfectly clear. Verse 13 begins with “for” and gives the “cause” of Paul’s statement in verses 11-12. Why should women not teach or have authority over men? Because “Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived.” God created Adam first and then created Eve to be a “helper” for Adam. This order of creation has universal application in the family (Ephesians 5:22-33) and the church. The fact that Eve was deceived is also given as a reason for women not serving as pastors or having spiritual authority over men. This leads some to believe that women should not teach because they are more easily deceived. That concept is debatable, but if women are more easily deceived, why should they be allowed to teach children (who are easily deceived) and other women (who are supposedly more easily deceived)? That is not what the text says. Women are not to teach men or have spiritual authority over men because Eve was deceived. As a result, God has given men the primary teaching authority in the church.
Many women excel in gifts of hospitality, mercy, teaching, evangelism, and helps. Much of the ministry of the local church depends on women. Women in the church are not restricted from public praying or prophesying (1 Corinthians 11:5), only from having spiritual teaching authority over men. The Bible nowhere restricts women from exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). Women, just as much as men, are called to minister to others, to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and to proclaim the gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).
God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions Pastor in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching or having spiritual authority over men. This logically would preclude women from serving as pastors to men. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them. I believe that it has to do a lot with the duties of the wife in the home. She brings life into the world. She teaches the children and runs her household and I can tell you from personal experience to do the job you are on call 24/7. That leaves little to no time to run a church. Remember that in the family of God there is no confusion and that is why I believe that the Lord set it up this way.
The Lord allows us to be the ones that bring life into the world and nurture and teach and train them up in the way of the Lord. I love the way a woman is portrayed in Proverbs 31:
Description of a Worthy Woman
10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
I think any woman who thinks that a Christian woman doesn’t have a mighty place in the community needs to read this verse every day. She runs everything. It says from her earnings she buys a field and plants a vineyard. She makes linen garments and belts and sells them. She has her own business here right out of her home. This is a woman to be reckoned with.
She is a woman of God who loves her husband and loves her place in his life. I believe he asks her opinions on everything and is proud of what she has brought into their family and home. I think that he delights in her and treats her like his queen. It says that she wears robes of purple and that is the color of royalty. She lives her witness to the Lord.
As a woman I believe that we have it much better than men do. We can travel the world as an evangelist preaching the Gospel, we can lead music and worship ministry and we can teach children and women. We have all of the best of ministry without all of the headaches. The Lord is not now nor has He ever claimed to be “Politically Correct” He is God. The bible tells us: “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” – Job 40:2
I always have people ask me about Beth Moore and Anne Graham Lotz and the many women who are out there preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.. They are not pastors they are evangelists.
TONIGHT I PRAY that you keep yourself open to the working of the Holy Spirit in your life. Sometimes God will allow you to go through situations to draw out impurities in your character. Embrace what He’s doing so you can get to the next level in your spiritual journey. Sometimes when you are praying over and over and you don’t believe that your prayer has been answered, I pray that you just stop and be still. Listen to the Holy Spirit within you. Sometimes God removes a person in your life for your protection. Think about that before you go running after them. He gives us what we need so that we can grow into the men and women that He has planned for us to be. I pray that you realize that His deepest desire for you is that you learn to depend on Him totally in every situation. It is when you do that He will work with you and through you. Use your freedom wisely, by relying on Him constantly. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen…. I love you all!!! God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/6gkTnm
I Pray TONIGHT for an increase in revelation knowledge, wisdom and understanding. You will walk in supernatural favor and be anointed by the Most High God! I bind every spirit of rejection, failure and defeat over your life, your family, your finances and your calling! You will be blessed in everything the Lord has assigned you to do! I break any fear, intimidation and anxiety that holds you back from fulfilling your dream and destiny in the name of Jesus! BE BLESSED! Amen and Amen…. I Love you all… God bless you!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6ckNw7
I Pray TONIGHT you experience the love and Presence of God in an unprecedented way! That you will KNOW HIM - personally and intimately! Let the love of God crush every seed of rejection, anger, bitterness, and resentment in the name of Jesus! I pray that All blockage to your spiritual, emotional and physical release is being broken right now! I pray the Wind of God blow away all debris that causes clutter in your spirit and soul! I pray that He give you a real insatiable hunger for His Word so that you can grow as a mighty man or woman of God!!! I pray that you be RENEWED RIGHT NOW THOUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT!! In JESUS name I Pray, Amen and Amen… I Love you all!!!! God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6bhgJ4
Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. —James 5:7
The early rains in Israel usually would come in late October or early November. The farmer would anxiously await these because they would soften the hard-baked soil for plowing. The latter rains would come in late April or May. These were essential to the maturing of the crops. If the farmer were to rush out and harvest his crops before their time, he would destroy them. So he had to wait.
As today’s opening verse demonstrates, James knew that patience also was an important factor in awaiting the Lord’s return. No crop appears overnight. Like farmers, we need to be patient and recognize that it takes time for growth to happen in our lives. However, the word patience does not speak of a passive resignation but of an expectant waiting for the Lord. This is not a casual, nonchalant approach. Rather, it is an excited expectancy, a readiness.
Some believers don’t live this way. They just passively bide their time. But the Bible tells us we should be actively preparing as we await the return of Christ: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Romans 13:11-12).
Let’s be sure we are living in a holy manner—and with expectant optimism and joy—as we patiently wait for Christ’s return. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Tonight I pray that you see yourselves only through the eyes of the Lord and not those of other people. Realize that it is nearly impossible to discern what others actually think of you. Moreover, their views of you are variable: subject to each viewer’s spiritual, emotional, and physical condition. The major problem with letting others define you is that it borders on idolatry. I pray that you realize that when you desire to please others it dampens your desire to please the Lord your creator. Tonight take that step in faith and see yourself through the eyes of the One who created you. His gaze upon you is steady and sure, untainted by sin. It is through His eyes you can see yourself as one who is deeply, eternally loved. Rest in His loving gaze, and you will receive His deep peace. I pray you respond to His loving Presence by worshiping Him Spirit and Truth. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all… God bless you!!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6ZfQMN
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