Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Anxious to Please the Crowd – Mark 15:15

Key Passage Pilate wanted to please the people. So Pilate freed Barabbas for them. And Pilate told the soldiers to beat Jesus with whips. Then Pilate gave Jesus to the soldiers to be killed on a cross.— Mark 15:15 ERV (Read Full Text) Key Thought Pilate knows Jesus is innocent, yet gives in totally to ... [Read more...]

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Never Leave You (Dec 1st)

Verse [Jesus said,] “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.”— John 14:15-17 nlt Thought The translators have tried to capture the essence of the Spirit’s identity revealed ... [Read more...]

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Christmas Can Bring Out the Best in Us!

The city lights have now become giant snowflakes. One by one, homes are adorned with lights, wreaths, mangers, Santas, and the words, “Merry Christmas!” The sounds of Christmas are being heard loud and clear, far and wide. Choirs are singing “Joy to the World!” “Silent Night” is heard in the background as shoppers walk through ... [Read more...]

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Preparing for the End

Passage Philippians 4:7-11 Prayer Dear Father, victorious deliverer,May I be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on rule-keeping but that which is through trust in Christ, the righteousness of God that depends on trust, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, ... [Read more...]

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Psalm 112:1 (12-01-16)

Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. — Psalm 112:1 (NIV) Devotional provided by Heartlight®© 1996-2016. All rights reserved. from “Daily Wisdom by Heartlight (NIV)” via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2gAYVw3 Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on December 01, 2016

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An Outsider’s Story

Note from Jesus Dear Friend, You just have to love the apostle Levi! You may know him better as Matthew since that is the name of the first gospel in your New Testament — same guy, just known by both names. My choosing Matthew as one of My 12 apostles was a big surprise to ... [Read more...]

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Name the Capital

Today’s category: BlondesName the Capital      A blonde was complaining to her friend about constantly being called a dumb blonde. Her friend tells her "go do something to prove them wrong! Why don’t you learn all the state capitals or something?" The blonde thinks this is a great idea, and locks herself up for two weeks studying. ... [Read more...]

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Psalm 90:10-14

Our days may come to seventy years,    or eighty, if our strength endures;yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,    for they quickly pass, and we fly away.If only we knew the power of your anger!    Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.Teach us to number our days,    that we may gain ... [Read more...]

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Don’t Think

Today’s category: StupidityDon’t Think      A terrific explosion occurs in a gunpowder factory, and once all the mess has been cleared up, and inquiry begins. One of the few survivors is pulled up to make a statement. "Okay Simpson," says the investigator, "you were near the scene, what happened?"       "Well, it’s like this. Old Charley Higgins was ... [Read more...]

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Don’t Think

Today’s category: StupidityDon’t Think      A terrific explosion occurs in a gunpowder factory, and once all the mess has been cleared up, and inquiry begins. One of the few survivors is pulled up to make a statement. "Okay Simpson," says the investigator, "you were near the scene, what happened?"       "Well, it’s like this. Old Charley Higgins was ... [Read more...]

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1 Peter 5:7 NLT

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. from “K-LOVE Encouraging Word” via original RSS feed: http://nlt.to/1+Peter+5 Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 29, 2016

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Galatians 5:16-21

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if ... [Read more...]

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1 Corinthians 11:29 (11-29-16)

For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. — 1 Corinthians 11:29 (NIV) Thoughts on Today’s Verse… The Lord’s Supper is a precious time for Christians. We remember the incredible sacrifice Jesus made to save us from our sins. We also realize that when ... [Read more...]

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Focused on Goodness

Passage Philippians 4:8-9 Prayer Dear Father, praiseworthy God, Help me set my mind only on things that are true, that are noble, right, pure and lovely, things that are worthy of admiration.If there is anything excellent or praiseworthy, O God, let me think only about such things!Whatever I have learned or received or heard through ... [Read more...]

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NIV Devotions for Men – Week of Nov. 29

from “Devotionals” via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2fwdgNk Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 28, 2016 at 10:00PM

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Crucify Him! – Mark 15:12-13

Key Passage Pilate asked the people again, “So what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?” The people shouted, “Kill him on a cross!”— Mark 15:12-13 ERV (Read Full Text) Key Thought The sickening answer to Pilate’s question reverberates through time—”Crucify him!” How horrible this is! Yet as much ... [Read more...]

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A Glimpse at the awful Truth (Nov 29th)

Verse Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.— Revelation 17:3 tniv Thought The Spirit carries John away in a vision to see the ghastly, awful truth about ... [Read more...]

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After the Crowd Has Gone

Thanksgiving is over. What do we do after the crowd has gone? All our frantic preparations are past tense. The meal and feasting are over. Our family and our guests are gone, many carrying a few extra pounds and more than a little family baggage home with them. All the conversations are over even if ... [Read more...]

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The Secret Burden

Today’s category: GodThe Secret Burden      A much loved-minister of God once carried a secret burden of long- past sin deep in his heart. He had committed the sin many years before, during his Bible school training. No one knew what he had done, but they did know he had repented. Even so, he had suffered years ... [Read more...]

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Colossians 2:7 NLT

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. from “K-LOVE Encouraging Word” via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/1Yzpe5B Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 28, 2016

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

1 Chronicles 16:8-15

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;    make known among the nations what he has done.Sing to him, sing praise to him;    tell of all his wonderful acts.Glory in his holy name;    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.Look to the Lord and his strength;    seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done,    his ... [Read more...]

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Everything New

Note from Jesus Dear Beloved, You are part of My people, the church, My bride. A time is coming when all My people will share in the glorious eternal day when everything has been made new. The fatal flaw (mortality) brought on the creation because of sin will be eliminated. The threat of sin, death, ... [Read more...]

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On His Way Rejoicing (Nov 28th)

Verse When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing.— Acts 8:39 nlt Thought Jesus. Baptism. The Holy Spirit. Cross-cultural sharing of the Good News about Jesus. Rejoicing. These things go together. Jesus had commanded that ... [Read more...]

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Rejoice! and Pray!

Passage Philippians 4:4-7 Prayer Dear Father, forbearing God,Let me rejoice in the Lord always! Again I ask this from you: Let me rejoice always!Let me be gentle, open to reason, slow to make negative judgments.Let this forbearing spirit be apparent to everyone.I know the Lord Jesus is near, so I have no reason to be ... [Read more...]

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Philippians 2:14-16 (11-28-16)

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did ... [Read more...]

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Luke 11:28 (11-28-16)

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” — Luke 11:28 (NIV) Thoughts on Today’s Verse… God gave us his word to bless us. When we obey what he asks of us, we get to walk in that blessing. On the other hand, as Jesus reminded us at ... [Read more...]

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Priests of Politics – Mark 15:11

Key Passage But the leading priests persuaded the people to ask Pilate to free Barabbas, not Jesus.— Mark 15:11 ERV (Read Full Text) Key Thought Pilate knew that the leading priests had handed Jesus over because of envy (Luke 15:10). Now they are behind the scenes orchestrating the events and stirring up the mob for ... [Read more...]

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School Security

Today’s category: SchoolSchool Security      As a new school Principal, Mr. Mitchell was checking over his school on the first day. Passing the stockroom, he was startled to see the door wide open and teachers bustling in and out, carrying off books and supplies in preparation for the arrival of students the next day.       The school where ... [Read more...]

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Malachi 3:1 NLT

“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. from “K-LOVE Encouraging Word” via original RSS feed: http://nlt.to/Malachi+3 ... [Read more...]

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Matthew 11:16-19

“To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: “‘We played the pipe for you,    and you did not dance;we sang a dirge,    and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man ... [Read more...]

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Received with Joy (Nov 27th)

Verse So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. — 1 Thessalonians 1:6 nlt Thought How can a convicting message, a message that calls us to turn our lives around (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10), ... [Read more...]

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A Time for Praise

Note from Jesus Dear Faithful Follower, What John saw and shared in the verses below is the powerful image of Me coming as a conquering warrior to destroy the evil power that persecutes and oppresses My people. Every Babylon will fall! Those who belong to me — whether in heaven or on earth, whether human ... [Read more...]

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My Joy and Crown

Passage Philippians 4:1 Prayer Dear Father,Help me to stand firm in the Lord, not only for my own sake but because I am someone’s joy and crown, the object of their love and longing.May I reach out to others to call them to follow the example Christ. Let them become my joy and crown, the ... [Read more...]

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1 John 1:8-9 (11-27-16)

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:8-9 (NIV) Devotional provided by Heartlight®© 1996-2016. All rights reserved. from “Daily Wisdom ... [Read more...]

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Matthew 11:27-28 (11-27-16)

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” — Matthew ... [Read more...]

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Pilate Knows the Truth – Mark 15:9-10

Key Passage Pilate asked the people, “Do you want me to free the king of the Jews?” Pilate knew that the leading priests had given Jesus to him because they were jealous of Jesus.— Mark 15:9-10 ERV (Read Full Text) Key Thought So often, people make their decisions to honor Jesus based upon the opinion ... [Read more...]

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Mud Baths

Today’s category: DeathMud Baths      A man goes into his doctors office for an annual physical. After a while, the doctor comes out and says, "I’m sorry Bill, but we have discovered you have a condition which only allows you another 6 weeks to live."       "But Doctor," Bill replied, "I feel great! I haven’t felt better in ... [Read more...]

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Ecclesiastes 12:13 NLT

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. from “K-LOVE Encouraging Word” via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2gqIcLb Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 26, 2016

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Matthew 11:11-15

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been ... [Read more...]

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The Holy Spirit Produces Joy (Nov 26th)

Verse But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,…— Galatians 5:22 nlt Thought Even in life’s darkest hours, the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, can bring the light of God’s joy to the darkest corners of disappointment. Because the Holy Spirit is alive within us, ... [Read more...]

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Every Babylon Must Fall

Note from Jesus Dear Precious Follower, Over the centuries, one powerful nation after another — often symbolized by a powerful city — has arisen. Many of these nations, represented by their dominant cities, have oppressed My people. Each of these cities accumulated power and wealth. They attracted the world’s attention. Those in commerce bowed to ... [Read more...]

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Matthew 7:4-5 (11-26-16)

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. — Matthew ... [Read more...]

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A Citizen of Heaven

Passage

Philippians 3:16-21


Prayer

Dear Father,I want to join all your holy people in imitating the example of your apostle Paul, and I want to take notice of people in my own time who live by the same example.Thank you, my God, that my citizenship is in heaven, from which I wait the return of my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.Thank you, Father, that he will come to change my lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him to subject all things to himself.In the name of Jesus I ask these things. Amen.

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John 11:26 (11-26-16)

“Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:26 (NIV)

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Several days ago, we emphasized that Christians who died physically were never really separated from their relationship with God’s loving presence. Today, Jesus challenges us to believe a very similar thing. Do you believe that the real, living part of you made by God will never die even though your physical body dies? It’s an incredible thought, isn’t it? We are eternal, immortal, joined with Jesus and his future is joined with us. (see Colossians 3:1-4)

My Prayer…

Almighty God, I do believe that because of Jesus, I will never die. Please bless me, dear Father, so that I can make every minute count while I am here in this life. At the same time, dear God, I do look forward to seeing you face to face. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Devotional provided by Heartlight®
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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 26, 2016

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Release! – Mark 15:6-8

Key Passage

Every year at the Passover time the governor would free one person from the prison. He would free any person the people wanted him to free. At that time, there was a man named Barabbas in prison. He was in prison with the rebels. These rebels were guilty of murder during a riot. The people came to Pilate and asked him to free a prisoner like he always did.

— Mark 15:6-8 ERV (Read Full Text)


Key Thought

Jesus’ ministry was all about release—release from the power of death, release from the power of disease, release from the power of the devil, release… We shouldn’t find it surprising that as Jesus’ death sentence approaches, the issue of release is front and center on people’s minds. The Cross is about release—our release at the cost of Jesus’ freedom, Jesus’ comfort, and Jesus’ life.


Prayer

For my freedom, dear Father in heaven, I thank you. I know my freedom from the power of sin and death came at such a great price. I know that in many ways, I am Barabbas—deserving punishment but granted freedom because of your Son. Thank you. In Jesus’ name I praise you. Amen.


Related Scriptures

Devotional provided by Heartlight®
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from “What Jesus Did! from Heartlight”
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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 26, 2016

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Shhhhhhhh!


Today’s category: Heaven

Shhhhhhhh!

      A man arrives at the gates of heaven. St. Peter asks, "Denomination?" The man says, "Methodist." St. Peter looks down his list, and says, "Go to room 24, but be very quiet as you pass room 8."

      Another man arrives at the gates of heaven. "Denomination?"

      "Lutheran."

      "Go to room 18, but be very quiet as you pass room 8."

      A third man arrives at the gates. "Denomination?"

      "Presbyterian."

      "Go to room 11, but be very quiet as you pass room 8."

      The man says, "I can understand there being different rooms for different denominations, but why must I be quiet when I pass room 8?"

      St. Peter tells him, "Well the Baptists are in room 8, and they think they’re the only ones here.


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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Romans 5:7-10

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

NIV Listen

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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 24, 2016 at 11:00PM

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Mark 11:25 (11-25-16)

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Mark 11:25 (NIV)

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

To me, this is one of the most challenging reminders of God’s will in Scripture. I must forgive others! When I refuse, it cuts me off the stream of forgiveness that God so longs to give to me. While forgiving others is never easy, God has not only commanded us to do it, he has also given us his Son as an example of forgiveness. In addition, he has promised to empower us to be able to do his will by the power of the Holy Spirit. The real issue: Will we let go of our bitterness toward those who have wounded us?

My Prayer…

Dear God, I want to forgive ____ of the sin committed against me. Please block cynicism and bitterness from my heart. Please empower me to forgive as Jesus did. In addition, dear Father, please teach me what my commitment to forgive actually means in terms of the life changes I need to make. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 25, 2016

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War and Hell’s Defeat

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

The images in My Revelation to John are strong and powerful. Today’s images are a reminder that My incarnation and ministry on earth were more than just My living a good life and doing kind deeds. My coming to earth was the beginning of the final battle in the Father’s war against Satan. I came to save the people of the world, including you, from Satan’s demonic forces and evil’s grip on your world. I came to bring deliverance for the people of God. I came to defeat Satan and assure you that the final victory over Satan and his banishment to hell are certain.

Satan has his heart set on evil. When I came to earth, I defeated the evil one because of My willing surrender to the will of the Father. Because of My victory over Satan, the Father brought you the promise of victory over sin, death, and hell. Not only did the Father deliver Me from My death brought on by Satan’s influence, but He also delivered you through My resurrection. The Father banished Satan from heaven (Luke 10:18). Satan’s recognition that his presence and power on earth were limited made him determined to use his influence for evil. Even though his power was limited, he has repeatedly unleashed violence and evil against Me and My people. His being cast down from heaven and My resurrection signaled that his defeat will one day be final and complete.

My sacrifice (“the blood of the Lamb”) and My people’s faithfulness (“by… the word of their witnesses… [and their willingness to] not hold on to their lives, even under the threat of death”) have assured My people of victory over hell’s power and fury. Despite Satan’s anger and evil intentions, he will not defeat My people. Their faithfulness unto death ensures their ultimate victory with Me in the presence of the Father. However, as long as I have not returned for you, My people, Satan roams the earth and seeks to claim more victims. What Peter warned is true:

Most importantly, be disciplined and stay on guard. Your enemy the devil is prowling around outside like a roaring lion, just waiting and hoping for the chance to devour someone.

(1 Peter 5:8)

My resurrection from the dead and My exaltation to the right hand of the Father on high have assured My people ultimate victory — whether through life or death. So Peter finished his warning with this assurance:

Resist him [the devil] and be strong in your faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are fellow sufferers with you. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of grace Who has called you to His everlasting presence through Jesus the Anointed will restore you, support you, strengthen you, and ground you. For all power belongs to God, now and forever. Amen.

(1 Peter 5:9-11)

What Peter says in plain language, I revealed to John in vision and imagery. But if you listen through the imagery in the verses below, you will hear the same message. Satan is evil. He views all people, especially those who are Mine, with murderous intent. He will inflict wounds on My precious followers. But these wounds are not permanent. Evil’s defeat is assured; in fact, it has already occurred (Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 2:14-15). That is the reason you can depend on Our power being available to you through the Spirit to defeat temptation as well as to provide ultimate victory through your resurrection. Satan knows this. So be faithful. Resist him. Trust in My victory that will also be yours when I return in glory. While your part of the battle may be fierce, know that both present-day victory and ultimate victory are yours and sharing in My glory is assured.

Verses to Live

While the war of good and evil is fierce and cosmic in scope, the images you read in today’s verses paint My truth in powerful and graphic detail. The victory has been won over Satan, evil, the demonic forces, and the power of hell. However, being cast down out of heaven, Satan still wages war on earth until I return to banish him forever. Take heart in knowing that My people will be preserved, and those who are faithful unto death are not lost as casualties in the fight. In their death, they are ushered into My presence and eternal glory.

As I looked, a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman came into view clothed in the radiance of the sun, standing with the moon under her feet, and she was crowned with a wreath of twelve stars on her head. She was painfully pregnant and was crying out in the agony of labor. Then a second sign appeared in heaven, ominous, foreboding: a great red dragon, with seven crowned heads and ten horns. The dragon’s tail brushed one-third of the stars from the sky and hurled them down to the earth. The dragon crouched in front of the laboring woman, waiting to devour her child the moment it was born.

She gave birth to a male child, who is destined to rule the nations with an iron scepter. Before the dragon could bite and devour her son, the child was whisked away and brought to God and His throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place of refuge and safety where she could find sustenance for 1,260 days.

A battle broke out in heaven. Michael, along with his heavenly messengers, clashed against the dragon. The dragon and his messengers returned the fight, but they did not prevail and were defeated. As a result, there was no place left for them in heaven. So the great dragon, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was cast down to the earth along with his messengers. Then I heard a great voice in heaven.

A Voice:

Now the salvation and the power

and the kingdom of our God

and the authority of His Anointed One have come.

For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,

who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God,

has been cast down and silenced.

By the blood of the Lamb

and the word of their witnesses,

they have become victorious over him,

For they did not hold on to their lives, even under threat of death.

Therefore, rejoice, all you heavens;

celebrate, all you who live in them.

But disaster will befall the earth and the sea,

for the devil has come down to your spheres,

And he is incredibly angry

because he knows his time is nearly over.

When the dragon realized he had been cast down to the earth, he pursued the mother of the male infant. In order to escape the serpent, she was given the two wings of the great eagle to fly deeper into the wilderness to her own special place where she would find sustenance for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a raging river that chased after the woman, trying to sweep her away in the flood. But the earth came to her rescue. It opened its gaping mouth and swallowed the river that spewed from the dragon’s mouth. As a result, the dragon was enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children — those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus.

And the dragon stood waiting on the sand of the seashore.

(Revelation 12:1-17; Revelation 13:1)

Response in Prayer

Father, I confess that war against hell’s fury and Satan’s deadly attacks wear me down. When I see what is happening to my brothers and sisters who are facing hardship and persecution, I can become discouraged. When evil seems to triumph over good, when those in power seem corrupt, and when good people are hurt and killed for their faith, we — Your disciples — find it hard to keep our hope alive. But I know that over the long course of history, Your people have faced greater hardship, and things seemed far worse, and You intervened in clear ways to deliver them. So now I ask, dear Father, that You bring deliverance for our brothers and sisters who are facing such horrible persecution in many parts of the world. Give them deliverance and show Your power over evil and protect your people from hell’s fury. I do trust that Jesus has conquered Satan, but please display hell’s defeat in our day or send Jesus to deliver us in His ultimate triumph. In the name of Jesus my Savior, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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Overflow of Hope (Nov 25th)

Verse

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 tniv


Thought

Rather than much commentary on this beautiful blessing, let’s share the joy of this blessing and the confidence of our hope with those we love! And may this blessing be yours during this time of Thanksgiving. May hope be yours because of the precious gift of the Holy Spirit within you!


Prayer

O Father, I thank you for living hope — my living Savior who conquered death and the Holy Spirit’s living presence within me assuring me that I will share in glory with you. I thank you that my hope is not just a wish for something in the future, but it comes with the deep assurance that what I hope in will happen. Thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Not a Word – Mark 15:3-5

Key Passage

The leading priests accused Jesus of many things. So Pilate asked Jesus another question. Pilate said, “You can see that these people are accusing you of many things. Why don’t you answer?” But Jesus still did not answer. Pilate was very surprised at this.

— Mark 15:3-5 ERV (Read Full Text)


Key Thought

Once again, as Old Testament Scripture had promised, Jesus does not try to defend himself. He is silent. Pilate is surprised at such silence. Why would Jesus not defend himself? Because the issue at stake was not his innocence, but our guilt. He goes as the sinless one to be convicted and sentenced to death for our sins.


Prayer

Dear Father, as we approach the time of giving thanks and for remembering your Son’s birth, it is hard to be reminded of the outcome of that birth. I am ashamed that we killed your Son when he came. I am horrified that he was treated so barbarically. I am angered that justice was so perverted. I am enraged that political preservation was more important to those in charge than the life of your Son. However, dear Father, I am eternally grateful that you would love me, and love all of us, so much that you had your Son endure what he endured. And, Lord Jesus, not only do I pray this in your name, but I thank you with all my heart for what you did for me. Amen.


Related Scriptures

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Psalm 94:12 (11-25-16)

Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law; you grant him relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked.

Psalm 94:12 (NIV)

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Living from the Future

Passage

Philippians 3:15


Prayer

Father,May the motivations of my life come from the future you have appointed for me rather than from the past I have lived.Let every one of my fellow Christians be mature in this matter too, along with me.If I, or they, are lacking in any way, please disclose this to us, and change us!Help us hold true to what we have already attained. Don’t let us throw this away!In the name of our Lord Jesus I ask these things and pray that you will grant us a spirit of perseverance unto eternal life. Amen.

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The Hikers


Today’s category: Prayer

The Hikers

      One day, Joe, Bob and Dave were hiking in a wilderness area when they came upon a large, raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do so.

      Joe prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river."

      Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river in about two hours, although he almost drowned a couple of times.

      Seeing this, Dave prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools to cross this river."

      Poof! God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river in about an hour, after almost capsizing the boat a couple of times.

      Bob had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools, and the intelligence, to cross this river."

      Poof! God turned him into a woman. She looked at the map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards, then walked across the bridge.


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Instagram Post:


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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Lamentations 3:22-32

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
    while he is young.

Let him sit alone in silence,
    for the Lord has laid it on him.
Let him bury his face in the dust—
    there may yet be hope.
Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
    and let him be filled with disgrace.

For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.

NIV Listen

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Acts 11:24 (11-24-16)

He [Barnabas] was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

Acts 11:24 (NIV)

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Barnabas was a good man! Why? For many reasons. But, the key reason was that he was full of faith and the Holy Spirit. This shouldn’t surprise us. When the Holy Spirit lives in us, he is at work producing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and conforming us to the character of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). No wonder Barnabas’ influence was so great on the lives of those who lived in Antioch; his life was under the influence of God’s Spirit!

My Prayer…

Dear Heavenly Father, I want my life to be influential for the good of the Gospel and the growth of your Kingdom. I offer myself to you as a living sacrifice, asking that you conform me to the nature of your Son Jesus and bring forth in me the fruit of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Are You the King? – Mark 15:1-2

Key Passage

Very early in the morning, the leading priests, the older Jewish leaders, the teachers of the law, and all the Jewish council decided what to do with Jesus. They tied Jesus and led him to Pilate, the governor. They gave Jesus to Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Yes, that is right.”

— Mark 15:1-2 ERV (Read Full Text)


Key Thought

What follows will be another sham trial and another travesty of justice. Jesus was condemned to die by the Jewish high council and the High Priest along with his priestly conspirators. Pilate has to approve of the execution because the Jews could not carry out that sentence without Roman approval. About the only truth that comes out of the trial is Jesus’ acceptance of Pilate’s title for him—King of the Jews. Jesus is the king appointed by God. He will be recognized at God’s time and in God’s way. He is still the reigning King of God’s people.


Prayer

Father in heaven, according to your promise and your plan, Jesus is King. We gladly accept him and praise him as our King. He will reign on David’s throne forever and ever. While we hate that the price of his kingship was so high, we are thrilled that he is our Lord and the King of glory and that he will reign forever and ever. Amen.


Related Scriptures

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Complete with Joy! (Nov 24th)

Verse

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.

Romans 14:17-18 nlt


Thought

Whoa! While we’re stuffing ourselves at Thanksgiving, let’s remember that life in God’s Kingdom is not about what we eat or drink. Because of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power within us, we find ourselves at the table of thanksgiving because the Spirit’s presence leads to the Spirit’s blessings coming to life in us. Things like goodness, peace, and joy don’t happen accidentally; they are the intentional work of God’s presence within us through the Holy Spirit. So as we pause to eat and give thanks, let’s also remember the source of all that is good in our lives, the basis of our peace, and joy that sustains us: the Holy Spirit. No wonder the Holy Spirit is called the gift of God and no wonder we give thanks for this special gift!


Prayer

O Father, thank you for all your many gifts showered upon me. Thank you especially for the Holy Spirit, who is transforming me to become more like Jesus and empowers me to live a good life, to enjoy the peace that passes all understanding, and to know your deep and abiding joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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James 1:23-25 (11-24-16)

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 1:23-25 (NIV)

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To Know Christ

Passage

Philippians 3:10-14


Prayer

Father,I want to do this because I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, and be allowed even to share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.Dear Father, I know that I have not made this my own yet, but one thing let me do: Let me forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. Help me to keep pressing forward toward the goal so that I may win the prize according to your will in Christ Jesus, my Lord.In his name of our Lord Jesus I ask these things and pray that you will grant us a spirit of perseverance unto eternal life. Amen.

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My Powerful and Tender Presence

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Believer,

The history of your planet is pockmarked by violence, famine, war, disease, fear, sin, torture, persecution, and death. This was not how We — Father, Son, and Spirit — created the world to operate. The gift of great beauty and diversity in Our creation was broken by human rebellion that resulted in sin (Genesis 3:9-19; Romans 5:12-14). Creation continues to writhe and groan in pain as people abuse each other and ravage the wonderful place created to be your home (Romans 8:18-22).

As the seven seals are opened in the story of Revelation, the created world shudders in fear as judgment is exercised on a world gone mad in its own evil. My people are oppressed, persecuted, abused, and martyred for their faith in Me. However, as bad as the world condition seems, it is not as bad as it could be. No matter how powerful evil appears to be, I AM still at work to preserve, redeem, and restore My people.

Nevertheless, a high price is paid among My beloved faithful followers. Physical lives are lost, good people are abused, and faithful disciples are persecuted and martyred. These problems are why I want you to get a glimpse of the glory they share with Me before the Father. Stephen saw this glory as he died as an early martyr for My cause (Acts 7:54-60).

Those who like Stephen have paid such a high price for their faith in Me are in My presence. Their sorrow, fear, and loss are caught up in the joyous celebration of victory as they share in My presence and glory. I AM their Shepherd Who protects, sustains, and nourishes them. I AM gentle with them and gently wipe away their tears, acknowledging their hurt while welcoming them into a life of grace, peace, joy, and fellowship. They will find the water of life, My never-ending supply of grace and life to sustain them forever.

On the hearts and from the mouths of My martyred people come the most powerful songs of praise and blessing you will ever hear. They acknowledge My control and My plan to intervene when and how it is best for all of My people. Evil will not defeat them. The worst that Satan, his demons, his human co-conspirators, and his oppressive ways can do to My beloved disciples is to send them into My eternal presence. Paul’s words said it well as he faced his own possible death:

I [Paul] don’t expect that dishonor and shame will plague me in any way, but I do hope that I will continue to be able to speak freely and courageously about Jesus, and that now and forever the Anointed One will be glorified and placed above all else through this body of mine — whether I live or die. For my life is about the Anointed and Him alone. And my death, when that comes, will mean great gain for me. So, if it’s His will that I go on serving here, my work will be fruitful for the message. I honestly wouldn’t know how or what to choose; I would be hard-pressed to decide. I lean toward leaving this world to be with the Anointed One because I can only think that would be much better. To stay in this body of flesh — even with all its pains and weaknesses — would best serve your needs. Now that I think of it, I am sure of this: I would prefer to remain to share in the progress and joy of your growing belief. When I return to you, we will celebrate Jesus the Anointed even more.

(Philippians 1:20-26)

If you face persecution today, please take heart. Be faithful no matter what you face. Unending glory in My presence awaits you. If you do not face persecution, remember your brothers and sisters who do. As you minister to them, please know you are doing My work, the very work I do with those who have been faithful unto death and come into My presence.

Despite how things may appear, My people will triumph. They will share in My victory and the conquering power of My grace. Your sorrow, hardship, and tears are not wasted or are they forgotten.

Verses to Live

With all the powerful and sometimes violent images revealed to John, I want you to focus on two non-violent images in today’s verses.

First, notice that “a huge crowd of people, which no one could even begin to count, representing every nation and tribe, people and language” gathered around Me to praise Me with shouts of praise and joy. Persecution and martyrdom could not strip them of their faith or their victory.

Second, notice My tenderness with those who have been oppressed and who have suffered because of My name. Remember this tenderness for those who are mine when you read about the destruction of the wicked, the demonic, and the allies of Satan. I AM both the “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5) and the Lamb Who voluntarily let himself be slain to buy you from the clutches of Satan and his desire to have hell be your future.

After this vision, I [John] saw four heavenly messengers standing at the four corners of the earth. They were holding back the four winds so that the earth would not be overcome by violent, rushing winds blowing over the land or over the sea or blowing down any tree. Then I saw a fifth messenger, coming up with the sun as it was rising in the east, carrying the seal of the living God. He called with a great and loud voice to the four messengers who had authority to harm the earth and its seas.

Fifth Messenger:

Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we seal the servants of our God with a mark of ownership on their foreheads.

Then I heard that 144,000 would receive the seal, that is 12,000 from every tribe of Israel: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.

After I heard about these who would be sealed, I looked and saw a huge crowd of people, which no one could even begin to count, representing every nation and tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and waving palm branches. They cried out with one loud voice.

Crowd:

Salvation comes only from our God, Who sits upon the throne, and from the Lamb.

All the heavenly messengers stood up, encircling the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell prostrate before the throne and worshiped God.

Heavenly Messengers, Elders, and Living Creatures:

Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom

And thanksgiving and honor

And power and might

Be to our God on and on throughout all the ages. Amen.

One of the Elders (to me):

Who are these people clothed in white robes, and where have they come from?

John:

Sir, surely you know the answer to your own questions.

One of the Elders:

These are coming from the time of great suffering and affliction. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, cleansing them pure white.

Responding out of a heart filled with praise, they congregate before the throne of God

and constantly worship Him day and night in His temple.

The One seated on the throne will always live among them.

They will never be hungry or thirsty again.

The sun or blazing heat will never scorch them,

Because the Lamb Who stands at the center of the throne is their shepherd and they are His sheep,

and He will lead them to the water of life.

And God will dry every tear from their eyes.

(Revelation 7:1-17)

Response in Prayer

Almighty Father and eternal God, please work in our history today to liberate and deliver Your people from oppression and deliver those facing persecution. Receive into Your glory those who have already been martyred for the cause of Christ. I pray for Your intervention. I plead for You to deliver them and bring peace to our troubled world. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2016, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Three Old Sisters


Today’s category: Old Folks

Three Old Sisters

      There were 3 sisters living together 92, 94 and 95 yrs. old. The oldest went upstairs one evening to take a bath. As she was getting in the tub with one foot in and one foot out, she called down to her sisters, "Am I getting in the tub or am I getting out of the tub?"

      The 94 yr. old decided to go upstairs to see if she could help figure out the situation. She got to the 3rd step and stopped – then called out, "Was I going up the stairs or was I coming down the stairs?"

      The 92 yr. old, sitting at the kitchen table, thought she better knock on wood and as she knocked on the kitchen table she said, "I hope I never get as bad as my sisters. Now was that the front door or the back door?"


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Psalm 89:6-11

For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
    Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
    he is more awesome than all who surround him.
Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
    You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;
    when its waves mount up, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
    with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
    you founded the world and all that is in it.

NIV Listen

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And Yet


The last few months have proven to be a time of drastic contradictions and improbable outcomes.
In the United States, we have threatened our neighbors with “Trick or Treat”, and now we offer thankfulness followed by acknowledging a time of offering gifts and love. Ironically we will then plan to do it all again next year.
We also endured a political campaign of egos and personalities who screamed, hurled insults and accusations followed, once the electorate had chosen a “winner”, with the call for unity and healing of wounds in two short months.
I, like you, stand on the edge of the stage of the whirling world, seemingly inept to affect the spiral that sees violence and conflict as the only realities.
And yet, thankfully there is an “and yet,” I am reminded that things here in our world are only temporary. Our faith is grounded in the promise given in the gospel of John, where we are told we have eternal life. As faithful followers of Jesus we believe that:

God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

So while the world around us tilts ever closer to self-destruction, and the choices being made offer harsh contradictions of almost horrible conclusions, our focus must be on God and His Son.
Our reality is the “And Yet”, for God sent Jesus to be born and then to die for each one of us. And offers the hope and promise sung by angels:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
Good will toward men
(Luke 2:14).

And Yet!

Let’s talk about the “And Yets” of your life. Join the conversation at www.hopeforlife.org.

(Expressed written consent must be obtained prior to republishing, retransmitting or otherwise reusing the content of this article. Contact us at info@hopeforlife.org).



© Herald of Truth




Bill Brant is the President and CEO of Herald of Truth Ministries based in Abilene, Texas.


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1 Corinthians 11:23-24 (11-23-16)

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Remember Jesus! Remember his great sacrifice. Remember his incomparable love for you! Remember him through his Supper! Remember Jesus!

My Prayer…

O Father, thank you so much for Jesus! Thank you for blessing me with a spiritual meal which reminds me and proclaims again that Jesus died, offering his body and blood as the atoning sacrifice for my sins. Thank you for giving me the day of his resurrection as the day I can powerfully remember this great sacrifice and anticipate the great day of reunion that his resurrection has secured for your children. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Filled with Joy! (Nov 23rd)

Verse

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 13:52 tniv


Thought

Soup and sandwich. Love and marriage. Horse and carriage. These go together according to a couple of old songs. But there are two things that go together far better than any of these. No, I am not talking about ham and eggs — or green eggs and ham. I am talking about the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit within us and the deep rivers of lasting joy. When you find the Holy Spirit present in a person, you will also find joy. This joy is part of the irrepressible grace of God’s presence within us through the Holy Spirit, bringing us assurance that our future is assured in him. The Spirit leads us and guides us in the present moment. The Spirit is at work conforming us to Jesus throughout our lives. The Spirit intercedes for us when we pray and fills us when we sing. The Spirit is the reminder of our future glory as we are molded with ever-increasing glory into the likeness of Jesus. Yes, the Spirit brings joy. Sometimes it is the giddiness of delight in experiencing God’s presence. Sometimes it is comfort in the worst of disasters. Other times it is just that gentle assurance that we are not alone. But underneath it all, like the heartbeat in our chest, is the joy of the Spirit reminding us that we are God’s child.


Prayer

O God, my Abba Father, thank you for the joy I have in knowing that I am yours and that you live in me through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Hebrews 13:8 (11-23-16)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Ministry on November 23, 2016

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And Yet


The last few months have proven to be a time of drastic contradictions and improbable outcomes.
In the United States, we have threatened our neighbors with “Trick or Treat”, and now we offer thankfulness followed by acknowledging a time of offering gifts and love. Ironically we will then plan to do it all again next year.
We also endured a political campaign of egos and personalities who screamed, hurled insults and accusations followed, once the electorate had chosen a “winner”, with the call for unity and healing of wounds in two short months.
I, like you, stand on the edge of the stage of the whirling world, seemingly inept to affect the spiral that sees violence and conflict as the only realities.
And yet, thankfully there is an “and yet,” I am reminded that things here in our world are only temporary. Our faith is grounded in the promise given in the gospel of John, where we are told we have eternal life. As faithful followers of Jesus we believe that:

God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

So while the world around us tilts ever closer to self-destruction, and the choices being made offer harsh contradictions of almost horrible conclusions, our focus must be on God and His Son.
Our reality is the “And Yet”, for God sent Jesus to be born and then to die for each one of us. And offers the hope and promise sung by angels:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
Good will toward men
(Luke 2:14).

And Yet!

Let’s talk about the “And Yets” of your life. Join the conversation at www.hopeforlife.org.

(Expressed written consent must be obtained prior to republishing, retransmitting or otherwise reusing the content of this article. Contact us at info@hopeforlife.org).



© Herald of Truth




Bill Brant is the President and CEO of Herald of Truth Ministries based in Abilene, Texas.


Website: Hope For Life

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A Precious Promise

Passage

Philippians 3:8


Prayer

Dear Father, Keeper of all your promises,You have promised: \”Be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life.\” Thank you for such a precious promise! You are so gracious to me!Help me to count everything as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord. For his sake I would gladly suffer the loss of all things – at least I hope I would – and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him.Father, you know my heart. You know that I don’t want a righteousness of my own based on self-sufficient rule-keeping, but one which comes from trusting Christ.I want the righteousness that you provide when I commit myself to your trustworthy care.In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Worthy

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious Disciple,

The world can be a confusing place. You love and adore the Father. You recognize the sacrifice I made for you. I know that you believe that I rose from the dead to give you victory. I know you trust that the Holy Spirit is at work in you. But, there are real problems in your world that are hard to reconcile with your glorious idea of Who I AM and how We — Father, Son, and Spirit — work in your world.

During times of severe persecution, as some of your Christian brothers and sisters are facing right now, the persecuted can wonder where We are and if We are going to do anything to help them. They long for us to say something substantive to give them hope. I gave John a vision of Me. He was caught up in the Spirit so that he could see what lies ahead for My churches and for his dear family of faith in Asia Minor.

However, before I revealed to John what lay ahead for My church, I reminded him of the Father’s glory. I showed him the place of all creation in the Father’s presence. All created beings bowed in reverence, prostrate before the throne of the One Who is worthy of all glory and honor. In the vision, the Father was surrounded by amazing beauty and glory beyond description. All present recognized the Father’s holiness. They praised Him for being the one true and living God, the great I AM — the One “Who was, and Who is, and Who is coming.”

In this image I gave to John, the Father held in his hand the full and complete message of what lies ahead for My people. However, this message was sealed. Only the One Who is worthy could open the seals and reveal that message. No one in heaven or earth, no one among the heavenly messengers or heavenly beings or humanity, was found who was worthy.

Then at the moment of great desperation, John saw Me in his vision. I alone was found worthy to reveal the future for My people. I alone am fully One with the Father, yet I offered Myself to be killed as the perfect Lamb of sacrifice for the sins of the people, including you. In a moment of joyous hope, all in heaven erupted in praise to Me. They used almost identical words to praise Me as they did the Father — they recognized that We are One and that We alone are worthy of their adoration and praise.

Just as I did not escape persecution because of My commitment to the Father, you and other disciples may also have to suffer persecution. The vision for John was to tell both My early disciples and you that a glorious future awaits for those who remain faithful to Me no matter what they face. As Paul wrote to the Roman Christians:

If we are God’s children, that means we are His heirs along with the Anointed, set to inherit everything that is His. If we share His sufferings, we know that we will ultimately share in His glory. Now I’m sure of this: the sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us.

(Romans 8:17-18)

Verses to Live

As the One Who has borne humanity in Myself, I AM worthy to reveal to My church, My people, what the future holds. This revelation of heaven’s glory — of the Father and His glory and Me in My glory — sets the stage for what unfolds in the rest of the Revelation to John. For today, however, I want you to say out loud the words of praise to the Father. Praise the One Who sits on the throne. Worship the Father with your physical posture as the host of heaven did. Worship Him in your physical posture and actions as illustrated in the following verses. Physically worshiping Him in this way helps you recognize His glory.

Now use the words of praise said to Me in the second part of your readings today. Follow the lead of the host of heaven and worship Me in this way. Open your heart to praise. Too often in your dignified world, you hold back on praise and on demonstrating your worship through your physical posture. But, in times of need, you are willing to do anything to “get God’s attention”; don’t wait for desperation. Praise the Father as he deserves. As you do, realize how much you are loved, known, and valued. As you do, realize that you will never face a day alone. We will never leave or forsake you. We will work in history to preserve the church and deliver our people. I AM both the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah Who has won the victory for you, and I AM also the Lamb Who was slain to redeem you. Your praise provides Me the dwelling place on the throne of your heart.

After I [John] wrote down these messages, I saw a door standing open in heaven and heard again the first voice that sounded like a trumpet.

A Voice:

Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.

Immediately I was caught up in the Spirit, and I saw a throne that stood in heaven and One seated on the throne. The One enthroned gleamed like jasper and carnelian, and a rainbow encircled the throne with an emerald glow. Encircling that great throne were twenty-four smaller thrones with twenty-four elders clothed in white robes with wreaths fashioned of gold on their heads. Out of the great throne came flashes of lightning, sounds of voices, and peals of thunder. In front of the great throne, seven torches were ablaze, which are the seven Spirits of God. Also in front of the throne was a glassy sea of shimmering crystal.

In the midst of the throne and encircling the throne were four living creatures, covered all over with eyes, front to back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second creature was like an ox, the third creature had a face like the face of a human, and the fourth creature was like an eagle in full flight. These four living creatures, each of which had six wings and was covered with eyes — eyes on the outside and on the inside — did not cease chanting. All day and night they were singing.

Four Living Creatures:

Holy, holy, holy

Is the Lord God Who is the All Powerful,

Who was, and Who is, and Who is coming.

And when the living creatures declared glory and honor and thanksgiving to the One seated on the throne, the One Who lives throughout all the ages, the twenty-four elders fell prostrate before the One seated on the throne, worshiped the One Who lives throughout all the ages, cast their golden wreaths before the throne, and chanted to Him.

24 Elders:

Worthy are You, O Lord; worthy are You, O God,

to receive glory and honor and power.

You alone created all things,

and through Your will and by Your design, they exist and were created.

And then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One seated upon the throne, a scroll written both on the inside and on the outside. It had been sealed with seven seals. Then a mighty heavenly messenger proclaimed with a loud voice,

Mighty Messenger:

Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?

No creature of creation in all heaven, on all the earth, or even under the earth could open the scroll or look into its mysteries. Then I began to mourn and weep bitterly because no creature of creation was found who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into its mysteries. Then one of the elders consoled me.

One of the 24 Elders:

Stop weeping. Look there — the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. He has conquered and is able to break its seven seals and open the scroll.

I looked, and between the throne and the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders stood a Lamb Who appeared to have been slaughtered. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes (the eyes are the seven Spirits of God sent out over all the earth).

The Lamb came and took the scroll from the right hand of the One seated upon the throne. And when He took it, the four living creatures and twenty-four elders fell prostrate before the Lamb. They worshiped Him, and each one held a harp and golden bowls filled with incense (the prayers of God’s holy people). Then they sang a new song.

Four Living Creatures and 24 Elders:

You are worthy to receive the scroll,

to break its seals,

Because You were slain. With Your blood, You redeemed for God

people from every tribe and language, people from every race and nation.

You have made them a kingdom; You have appointed them priests to serve our God,

and they will rule upon the earth.

When I looked again, I heard the voices of heavenly messengers (numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands). They surrounded the throne, the living creatures, and the elders.

Thousands of Messengers (with a great voice):

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain.

Worthy is the Lamb to receive authority and wealth and wisdom and greatness

And honor and glory and praise.

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and beneath the earth and in the sea and all things in them echoing the messengers.

Every Creature:

To the One Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

Be blessing and honor and glory and power

Throughout the ages.

And the four living creatures kept on repeating:

Four Living Creatures:

Amen. Amen.

And the elders fell down and worshiped Him Who lives forever.

(Revelation 4:1-11; Revelation 5:1-14)

Response in Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, I praise You. I praise with my head bowed and on My knees because I am not worthy to be in Your presence. I bow before You, dear Father, because You are worthy of my humble obedience. And I thank You that, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I know I am welcomed into Your presence not as a servant, but as a beloved child. Even as Your child, dear Father, I bow before You in thanks and adoration for all that You have done to save me. As we look at ominous things in our world, I pray that You comfort my heart with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Use the Revelation to John to encourage me and remind me that Jesus is not only at work in my life and in His church, but He is also involved in shaping history. So until the day He returns, I commit to honoring You, dear Father, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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