Tonight I pray that you allow yourself to grow strong in the Light of HIS Presence! The world around you is moving so quickly that sometimes you feel overwhelmed. He is the calm at the center of your life during the storm!!! Your weakness does not make Him angry or want to give up on you. On the contrary, it attracts His mighty power so that it can flow into your heart when you yield yourself to Him. Never forget that when you are at your weakest He will saturate you with His power!!! Don’t go to the world for sustenance instead be still and know that He is God. Rest in Him… Yield up everything to Him, for it is when we are still and trusting in Him that He can become our Light, Salvation and Strength to bring us through the hardest times in our lives, so that we can be a blessing to others. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!! God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/730kVW
Part Two by Charles R. Swindoll
For the Lord God helps Me,Therefore, I am not disgraced;Therefore, I have set My face like flint,And I know that I will not be ashamed. Isaiah 50:7
Making one’s own decisions develops healthy mental muscles. But there will always be a few who crave to be told what to do. A major reason some prefer to be indecisive is laziness. Decision making is hard work. Peter Drucker was correct when he said:
A decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives. It is rarely a choice between right and wrong. It is at best a choice between “almost right” and “probably wrong”—-but much more often a choice between two courses of action, neither of which is probably more nearly right than the other.
That may sound like a tongue-twister, but in reality it’s a mind-boggler, requiring a painful, exacting process rare to many … a process called thinking.
How much easier it is to adopt a list, to click off the answers one, two, three, four, five. You don’t have to think. All you need to do is follow instructions. Don’t weigh the consequences. Don’t sweat the details. Just do as you are told and leave the driving to “us,” namely a few guys at the top. Don’t think it through and decide … just submit.
If that is the approach you prefer, let me remind you of two words, just two words—-Watergate and Jonestown.
Decisiveness in both of those tragedies was replaced with blind obedience, unquestioned authority, and absolute loyalty. Somebody, somehow, at some time in each of those outfits convinced the troops that Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s battle cry in Charge of the Light Brigade was the standard operating procedure for them:
Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die.
There is a place for that philosophy in the military where there isn’t time to stop and think. Discussion groups aren’t too popular in combat when the objective is survival.
But in day-to-day living, when issues are not clearly spelled out in Scripture, when there is a lot of gray instead of black and white, we need to learn a lesson from Moses’s mature successor, Joshua.
Think wisely. Weigh the alternatives. Choose for yourself. Decide now whom you will serve. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Part One by Charles R. Swindoll
We Will Serve the Lord”“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15
I like Joshua’s style in Joshua 24:14-15. Like a good leader, he laid out the facts. He exhorted those about him to get off the fence and get their spiritual act together. He encouraged personal authenticity and strong commitment … but not once did he pull rank and fall back on intimidation to get his way. He risked being ignored and rejected when he left the final decision up to them. He respected their right to follow his advice or walk away when he told them, in so many words, “Make up your mind!” But there was never any question where he stood. He had weighed the evidence, considered the alternatives, and come to a settled conviction—-he and his family were going to serve the Lord God, no question about it. But what others would do was strictly up to them. They would have to decide for themselves.
Unusual combination. A strong leader who knew where he was going, but gave others the space they needed to choose for themselves. No threats. No name-calling. No public put-downs. No exploitation or manipulation or humiliation. He didn’t play on their emotions or attack their alleged ignorance or use some gimmick to gain strokes in defense of his position. He knew what God would have him do, and he realized the consequences of their choosing differently … but they needed to weigh those issues for themselves. It needed to be their decision, not his. At that point, he backed off and said, “Now you decide.”
That’s not only smart, it’s an evidence of two admirable virtues: security in himself and respect for others. Today, it is clear to all of us that Joshua made the right decision back then. From our objective perspective, he chose the correct alternative … as they also did later on. But note again that he didn’t hurry his people to opt for his position. Joshua knew that if they didn’t wrestle with the issues on their own, the resulting decision might be superficial … fragile … a commitment that might very well melt under the inevitable heat of difficulty and trial.
Nevertheless, there will always be some who want others to make their decisions for them. Many individuals in Christendom are continually looking for some evangelical guru or superstar pastor or bionic authority figure to cosign for their lives.
It takes the restraining power of the Holy Spirit to withstand such tempting invitations to take control. It is helpful to remember that every time we yield to that destructive desire for power we retard others’ growth toward maturity. Making one’s own decisions develops healthy mental muscles. But I repeat, there will always be a few who crave to be told what to do. They are the ones who remain so indecisive their favorite color is plaid.
We’ll talk more about acting decisively tomorrow. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
TONIGHT I PRAY that you will not let anything or anyone come between you and the Lord and His Holy Word. I pray that each one of you will realize how fortunate we are to have a completed Bible to get us through these last days! So many people are being deceived by false prophets preaching a gospel other than that of the Lord Jesus Christ! I pray that all of you will test everything to the BIBLE. It is a supernatural book unlike any other and if you pray the Lord will reveal the truth to you. He will show you the right path to take. I PRAY WE RECEIVE HIS POWER AS WE STAND ON HIS WORD!!! Listen for HIS voice and you will hear it in your deepest being. We are blessed and loved to be able to hear from Him so directly. We must respond to Him with a heart of thanksgiving. Building our house on HIS firm rock, where life’s storms can never can never shake our faith or our walk in Him. That He will fill us with His strength, faith and knowledge to make it even until the end. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I love you all!!!! God bless you!!! Maranatha!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/7127kT
Remember the very first cell phones? I’m talking about the ones that were the size of a small child—the kind you had to carry around in a wagon. They were pretty cool, weren’t they? But over the years, cell phones have become smaller and more powerful, and now they can take pictures, access the Internet almost anywhere, and download music and apps. They can call people, too.
But your phone was designed to become obsolete. It’s cool today, but the company that made it has already anticipated what the next several models are going to be. Your gadget was planned to become outdated so that you’ll hunger for the next one. It’s all part of their scheme, and it works incredibly well. In the same way, the Law was designed by God to have a shelf life. It was designed to be temporary. It was designed to become obsolete.
In ancient times, the Jewish people began their study of the Bible in Leviticus, a book of the Law, because they wanted to teach their children early on that the way to God is through sacrifice. Every Israelite was required to bring a sacrifice of some kind during their life, including the mandatory sin and trespass offerings. It was the business of the priest—the representative of the people before God—to offer these sacrifices to God.
But, Hebrews says, “The law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered?” (Heb. 10:1-2).
That’s why there was a need for a new covenant. That’s why Jesus Christ came. Under the new covenant, the sacrifices and the role of the high priest were fulfilled in Him. He made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross, and He is the High Priest who presented His blood before the throne of His Father and is now seated at the right hand of God. Under the new covenant, you can come boldly before the throne of God; you don’t need a human priest on the earth anymore, because Jesus Christ is the great High Priest.
In other words, the book of Leviticus has lost its punch because Jesus came and fulfilled it all. That’s the point the writer of Hebrews was making: “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins…. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb. 10:4, 11-12).
Do you know how significant this is? Priests didn’t sit down. They were constantly on their feet, standing to minister. They would only sit down when they were off duty and their work was finished. Then they would get back up and do the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
But Jesus made an offering once for all, and He sat down because there were no more sacrifices to offer. When He said “It is finished” (John 19:30), He meant all of Leviticus, all of the Law. It’s over. We don’t offer animal sacrifices anymore. Our High Priest’s offering was so complete that He could sit down at the right hand of His Father.
As believers, we have a joy that’s very different from the kind that goes on in the world: we celebrate our hero’s bloody sacrifice, because that was enough to end the need for any further sacrifices. By accepting Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross, we can say, “It was good enough for Him; it’s good enough for me.” And we can sit down and rest in that once-for-all finished work of our great High Priest.
Pastor Skip nailed it!!! I hope that you enjoyed this as much as I did!!! Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Heartbreak … and Glory
Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. —John 11:14–15
Have you ever had a crisis overwhelm you—maybe even to the point where you didn’t think you could survive the experience? Have you ever found yourself facing a set of circumstances so crushing, so utterly devastating that you couldn’t imagine how you could ever get through? Have you ever wondered why God allowed a tragedy in your life or in the life of someone close to you?
Perhaps you have found yourself saying, in so many words, “Lord, where were You?”
In John 11, the Bible gives us a true-life account of two sisters who had to wrestle with all of those questions. It’s the story of an unexpected death and how it brought a great trial of faith and shattered the happiness of a close-knit little family. But it is also the story of how Jesus responds to such situations—and how God can gain glory through it all.
In our lives here on earth, we will experience pain, grief, sickness, and the death of loved ones. I know that may be a depressing point, but it’s true, and we might just as well come to grips with it and stop running from it. It might be the death of a spouse, an infant, a teenager, a sibling, or someone who might be close to us in age. And suddenly we are made aware of our own mortality.
That was the case with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. They were a tight, loving little family, and then suddenly one of them was at the point of death. But ironically, it was through this experience that they learned even more about the power and love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to His grieving friend Martha, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40).
It’s not easy to believe in the goodness and glory of God when your heart is breaking. But when you do, when you rest your full faith and confidence in God — even when nothing else on earth seems to make sense — you will never, never be the loser … in this life or the next. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Grace—True As Ever
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. —Romans 8:28
I survived a crazy childhood, growing up in an alcoholic home, with my mom being married and divorced seven times. But I came to Christ in high school, at the age of seventeen, and turned my life over to the Lord.
The stats all say that if you come from a divorced home, you most likely will end up divorced yourself. But by God’s grace and against all odds, my wife and I are closing in on our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. So all in all, in spite of the heartbreaks in those early days, it has been a pretty happy story.
Lost Boy, the film that tells my life story, closes with our family walking down the street together, and it’s almost as though you could write the words on the screen: “And they lived happily ever after.”
I had been showing this film in various churches in different parts of the country, and I would speak afterward, telling the story of Joseph, how he faced many adverse circumstances in his life, and how God brought good results out of evil circumstances. Not that bad is good, but God can bring good out of bad and bring glory to His great name through it all.
And then came that morning in July 2008 when we got the terrible, incomprehensible news that our thirty-three-year-old son Christopher had been killed in a car crash on the freeway.
Good out of bad? The best results out of the worst circumstances? Was the message of Lost Boy still true, or was it all a sham?
Even in the depths of our grieving, we had to say the message of that movie hadn’t changed. The chronicle of God’s grace and faithfulness that we told in Lost Boy was as true as ever. We found ourselves in the midst of a life chapter we would have never, never chosen. But God still will bring good out of bad. He will bring glory to Himself. I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day! God bless you!!!
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. —Romans 5:2
Peace with God takes care of our past because He will no longer hold our sins against us. Access to God takes care of our present because we can come to Him at any time for the help we need. The hope of the glory of God takes care of the future because we are confident that one day we will share His glory.
When I was a kid, I went to Disneyland every birthday. I still remember to this day making a vow as a child in the backseat of the car that one day, when I became an adult and made my own money and had my own car, that I would go to Disneyland every single day.
A few years ago, someone gave me an annual pass to Disneyland. I could go any time I wanted, free of charge. Do you know how many times I used it? Not that many. It is a funny thing because I would even brag about it: “I can go to Disneyland anytime I want, free of charge.”
"Do you want to go right now?"
"I can’t go now. Maybe next week." I kept putting it off.
We can be that way when it comes to our access to the presence of God. As believers, we can go into God’s presence 24/7 — anytime we want. When is the last time you went?
God has opened this incredible door for us. But we have to walk through it. If you would like to have Jesus as your Savior I would love to pray with you.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3:3-6
If you want a new life in Christ Jesus, ask Him into your heart today. Simply pray this: Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You took the pain and the sins of world on the cross to give me new life. I ask You to come into my heart and to give me Your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive You now as my Lord and Savior. Today I come home. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow You and to serve You all the days of my life. Thank you so much for loving me and forgiving me, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. If you prayed that prayer you are a new creature in Christ Jesus! You are Born Again!
I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
It’s Already Yours Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. —Romans 5:5
Have you ever owned something that you didn’t use? Have you ever gone shopping for something, only to come home and find it in your closet already? I have done that. I get this idea that I need a blue shirt. I have in mind exactly what it should look like. Then I go shopping, come home, hang it up, and see that I already have that blue shirt. No wonder I had such a vivid idea of what it should look like.
This is how we can be as Christians. We are searching for things that are already hanging in our spiritual closet, so to speak. Many times we ask God for what He has already given us.
For example, we pray, “God, give me peace.” But the Bible says, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). God is saying, “Enjoy it to the fullest.”
We might say, “God, I need more love,” when actually we need to use the love God has given us. We are praying for more of an emotional feeling of the love that God already has given us. God won’t necessarily answer a prayer like that. When we love someone, when we forgive someone, it is an act of obedience, believing “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).
God has given us everything we need for spiritual growth. Many of us simply need to read His Word to find out the balance in our spiritual bank account. And then we need to start appropriating it. Thank you Jesus!!! I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/6yDVHF
You Don’t Have to Work for It When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. —Romans 4:4–5
As a young Christian, I remember thinking that the reason God was blessing me was because of my disciplined Bible study. I would get up well before school every morning and study the Scripture for about an hour. Then I would pray for an hour or more (I know because I kept checking my watch). I could say to my friends, “While I was studying the Bible for an hour and praying for over an hour today, the Lord showed me… .” It gave me bragging rights. I thought that when I got to school, God would use me because I had done so much for Him. Look at how faithful I was! Look at how diligent I was! I was so proud.
Then one morning my alarm didn’t go off, and I woke up very late. I didn’t have time to pray or read my Bible … and it turned out to be one of the most blessed days of my life. God even allowed me the privilege of leading someone to Christ that day. I thought, What does this mean? Don’t read the Bible or pray? I think what God was trying to say to me was, “Greg, don’t do those things to seek My approval. Rather, do those things because you have My approval.”
It is not because of what we have done that we have God’s approval; it is because of what God has done for us. We put our faith in Him, and then God puts His righteousness into our account. He loves us when we do well, but He also loves us when we stumble.
This really touched my heart today!!! I hope that it touched yours as well!!! I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/6xn1Nj
Take It to the Bank
We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort. —Philippians 1:3
A homeless man was standing on a street corner, asking for money, when a well-dressed attorney came walking by. The attorney looked at him and said, “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”
The man recognized the attorney and said, “Remember third-period English in high school?”
“You sat right next to me,” the attorney said. “What happened?”
“I just fell on hard times.”
The attorney said, “Don’t say another word.” He pulled out his checkbook and wrote out a check for $500. Then he said, “I want to help you out. Take this money, get cleaned up, and get a new set of clothes. Don’t thank me. It’s the least I can do.” And off he went.
With the check in hand, the man made his way down to the bank where the attorney’s account was. But when he saw how nicely dressed the people were and how clean and tidy the bank was, he felt unworthy and didn’t go in.
The next day, the attorney was walking down the same street when he saw the same man asking for money. He said, “What are doing here?”The man said, “I felt ashamed. I didn’t feel worthy to go into the bank and cash your check.”
The attorney told him, “That check has my signature on it. You take that down and cash it. It’s not based on who you are. It is based on me. My signature is on it, and it is good. Cash it.”
That is what God has done for us in justification. God’s grace has been extended to us. We are wrong when we think we have to do something to somehow earn it. I really enjoyed this devotion from Pastor Greg. I hope that you did as well! Have a Simply Heavenly day!!!
Innovation, Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Yesterday, we talked about innovative people, and I mentioned that there are a whole lot more innovative people around than any of us can imagine. Could you be one of them?
Let’s take a little test and see. I have Earl Nightingale to thank for this list of twenty-five traits generally found in creative, innovative people. No, relax. You don’t need all twenty-five … but if you have most of them, you may be closer than you think.
Drive—-a high degree of motivation
Courage—-tenacity and persistence
Goals—-a sense of direction
Knowledge—-and a thirst for it
Chance taking—-willingness to risk failure
Enterprise—-willing to tackle tough jobs
Persuasion—-ability to sell
Outgoingness—-friendlyPatient yet impatient—-patient with others, yet impatient with the status quo
Adaptability—-capable of change
Perfectionism—-seek to achieve excellence
Humor—-ability to laugh at self and others
Versatility—-broad interests and skills
Curiosity—-interested in people and things
Individualism—-self-esteem and self-sufficiency
Realism/idealism—-occupied by reality but guided by ideals
Imagination—-seeking new ideas, combinations, and relationships
Okay, that’s enough. I told you creative thinking was hard work! But there is something even harder … and that’s change. It’s admitting the need, being honest and humble enough to face the facts, then secure enough to consider new ideas, methods, or devices, to pull it off. Swallowing our pride shouldn’t be that difficult, since that’s what we eat all day.
Go ahead and give it a whirl. Take one of those many things that keeps dragging you under and search for a creative way to solve the problem. And don’t quit until it’s done … and that smile of relief returns to your face.
I know you can do it! You did it before and it worked. And that problem was so huge you could hardly continue. Then came the change … the most important decision you ever made based on the most innovative combination ever devised. A man. A cross. Blood. And belief.
God defines it: “The introduction of something new … a new birth.” I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/6wjlTv
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