Friday, June 30, 2017

One with Christ

Passage

Galatians 3:15-29

Prayer

Dear Father,Thank you, Father, for giving your holy law to Moses and for the role it played in bringing people to Christ.Thank you even more that Christ has come as our real teacher and that we have been delivered to him, that we might be justified by faith.Thank you for making us your sons through faith, for making it possible to put on Christ by our baptism into Christ.Thank you that in him there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but that we are all one in Christ.Thank you that by making us one with Christ you have made us to be Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise you made him.In the name of Jesus I offer my praise. Amen.

Devotional provided by Heartlight®
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Date: July 01, 2017
From: “Praying With Paul by Eldon Degge”
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Category: Praying With Paul

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Contrary to the Spirit (Jul 1st)

Verse

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 you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 5:17-18 NIV

Thought

Our flesh, our sinful nature, is at odds with the Spirit of God. Our flesh and the Spirit are at war. So we must yield to the Spirit’s leading rather than doing whatever we want. Our desires can only be purified by the Holy Spirit’s transformation of us into the likeness of Jesus. Only the Spirit’s power can help us put to death the misdeeds and desires of the flesh (Romans 8:13).

Prayer

O Father, I am tired of tripping over my own religious striving. I confess to you my inadequacy at becoming holy on my own willpower and strength. I want to be led by your Holy Spirit. I want to live by the power of your Holy Presence within me. So liberate me from my human desire to show myself righteous, and deliver me into the transforming power of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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Date: June 30, 2017 at 10:00PM
From: “God’s Holy Fire by Heartlight”
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Category: SpiritFire

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Greater Things

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

Even after I ascended back to the Father, the work of My apostles reminded people that My power and presence were still at work. I was calling Saul to turn from being the persecutor of My people to becoming the great proclaimer of My message, especially to Gentiles. I was also at work in the ministry of Peter to reach both Jewish people and non-Jewish people. Saul’s conversion brought peace to My persecuted disciples. Peter’s ministry also brought the true fullness of life — real peace, true shalom — to My people.

When you read about the two events (the healing of Aeneas and the raising of Tabitha) from the ministry of Peter in the verses below, you should be reminded of My miracles when I was physically on earth. The healing of Aeneas should remind you of those I healed who were paralyzed (Luke 5:17-26). Peter makes it clear that I actually healed Aeneas:

Peter:

Aeneas, Jesus the Anointed heals you. Get up! Now you can make your own bed!

And immediately — he got up! All the local residents — both of Lydda and nearby Sharon — saw Aeneas healthy and strong again, so they turned to the Lord.

The raising of Tabitha (also called Dorcas) has language similar to two people I raised from the dead: the son of the widow at Nain (Luke 7:11-16) and Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:40-56).

I want you to understand that My now being at the Father’s side doesn’t mean I have quit My ministry with you, to you, and through you. I promised you this:

I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son.

(John 14:12-13)

What you see happening is that as My disciples were scattered by the martyrdom of Stephen and the persecution that broke out with his stoning, My power and presence went with them. I was present with them and powerful through them through the Holy Spirit. Instead of My work remaining confined to just the familiar areas of My earthly ministry — Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee — I was working through My disciples in many places around the world.

So please, dear disciple, don’t think I AM detached from your struggles, hardships, pains, and sorrows because I AM now in heaven. Your problems touch Me. I care about you. I work through your problems. Sometimes I even do astounding things to bring the Father glory in the middle of them. Please know that wherever My people call on My name in prayer and honor Me as Lord in praise and in their lives, I AM present and powerful. In fact, I AM actually doing more through My people than I could when I was limited to one place at one time while I was present in My earthly ministry (John 14:12-13; John 16:5-11). So believe that I AM with you and will do greater things through you than I did when I was in My earthly ministry!

Verses to Live

As you read these stories from Peter’s ministry, listen to how they sound like My earthly ministry and realize I AM still among you and working through you to bring grace, healing, and hope!

And so the church enjoyed a period of peace and growth throughout the regions of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. The disciples lived in deep reverence for the Lord, they experienced the strong comfort of the Holy Spirit, and their numbers increased.

Peter hadn’t been idle during all this time. He was having a number of amazing experiences of his own, traveling from group to group and visiting the various communities of believers. Once he came to a town called Lydda, a border town between Samaria and Judea, and met with God’s special people there. He visited a man named Aeneas. This poor fellow had been paralyzed for eight years, unable to leave his bed.

Peter:

Aeneas, Jesus the Anointed heals you. Get up! Now you can make your own bed!

And immediately — he got up! All the local residents — both of Lydda and nearby Sharon — saw Aeneas healthy and strong again, so they turned to the Lord.

In a nearby coastal city, Joppa, there lived a disciple whose Aramaic name was Tabitha, or Dorcas in Greek. She was a good woman — devotedly doing good and giving to the poor. While Peter was in Lydda, she fell sick and died. Her fellow disciples washed her body and laid her in an upstairs room. They had heard Peter was nearby, so two of them went with an urgent message, “Please come to Joppa as soon as possible.”

Peter went with them and immediately entered the room where the corpse had been placed. It was quite a scene — the widows of the community were crowded in the room, weeping, showing the various items of clothing that Dorcas had made for them.

Peter asked them to leave the room; then he got on his knees. He prayed for a while and then turned to her body.

Peter:

Tabitha, get up!

She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. Giving her his hand, Peter lifted her up. Then he called in the other disciples — including the widows — and reintroduced them to their beloved friend. The news of this miracle spread throughout the city, and many believed in the Lord. Peter stayed in Joppa for some time as the guest of Simon, a tanner by profession.

(Acts 9:31-43)

Response in Prayer

O Father, I pray in the mighty name of Jesus that You use me to be a blessing to others. I want to bring healing, hope, and tender care. May all I touch with grace know that I do it in the name of Jesus and for Your glory, dear Father. Amen.

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

© 1998-2017, 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.

Date:
From: “A Year with Jesus”
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Category: Passion for Praise

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1 Peter 1:24 (07-01-17)

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.

1 Peter 1:24 (NIV)

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Date: July 01, 2017
From: “Daily Wisdom by Heartlight (NIV)”
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Category: Daily Wisdom (NIV)

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Psalm 127:1 (07-01-17)

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

“It’s all up to you!” That’s the prevailing mindset for high achievers in our world. But it is wrong. Our efforts to build and be a part of something great are ultimately in vain if the Lord doesn’t bless them. They may flourish for a time under our intense efforts, but if the plans and the construction of great things is not from the Lord, they will not stand the test of time.

My Prayer…

Almighty God and Eternal Father, forgive me for trying to make everything happen by my own efforts and relentless work. You can do far more to advance my work for your kingdom than all my worry and fretfulness could ever do. Please take the lead in every aspect of my life; defeat me in efforts not in harmony with your will and please empower those efforts which will bring you glory and others closer to your grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Devotional provided by Heartlight®
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Date: July 01, 2017
From: “Today’s Verse from Heartlight (NIV)”
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Category: Today’s Verse (NIV)

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Leaving the Crowd Behind – Matthew 13:36-39

Key Passage

Then Jesus left the people and went into the house. His followers came to him and said, “Explain to us the meaning of the story about the weeds in the field.” Jesus answered, “The person that planted the good seed in the field is the Son of Man. The field is the world. The good seed are all of God’s children in the kingdom. The weeds are those people that belong to the Evil One (the devil). And the enemy that planted the bad seed is the devil. The harvest time is the end of the world. And the workers that gather are God’s angels.”

— Matthew 13:36-39 ERV (Read Full Text)

Key Thought

Jesus leaves the crowd. They will not own him. They will not even be the source of his greatest or most important ministry the rest of his life. He will focus on his disciples. They are his work because they can continue it after him. He will pour himself into shaping them and preparing them for a life of ministry. Once again Jesus reminds the disciples that their ministry and his church will live in a real world where many people do not follow him. In fact, those who don’t follow him are under the rule of Satan to some extent or another (Ephesians 2:1-3). While we are in the world, we are not tied to the world. While the world may at times offer things that look like authentic faith, they are nothing more than Satan’s deceptive mirages. Our goal is to make a difference in the lives of those who are in the world and bring them into the Kingdom of light and prepare them for the day of the Lord’s harvest.

Prayer

Most powerful and holy God, help me to understand what is at stake in the lives of people who do not know you as Lord. Please give me a passion to work with Jesus in liberating them from the bondage under which Satan holds them. Through your Spirit, please stir my passion and my insight and my timing so that I can be used by you to make a difference in the lives of my friends who are not a part of the Kingdom family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Related Scriptures

Devotional provided by Heartlight®
© 1996-2017. All rights reserved.

Date: July 01, 2017
From: “What Jesus Did! from Heartlight”
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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: What Jesus Did!

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Problem Child


Today’s category: Doctors
Problem Child
      The mother of a problem child was advised by a psychiatrist, "You are far too upset and worried about your son. I suggest you take tranquillisers regularly."

      On her next visit the psychiatrist asked, "Have the tranquillisers calmed you down?"

      "Yes" the mother answered.

      "And how is your son now?" he asked.

      "Who cares?" she replied.


View hundreds more jokes online.
Email this joke to a friend

Date: June 30, 2017 at 09:00PM
From: “ChristiansUnite Christian Joke of the Day”
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Category: Joke of the Day

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Jeremiah 31:31-34

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

NIV Listen

Date: June 29, 2017 at 11:00PM
From: “Daily Manna”
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Category: Daily Manna

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What Do Addicts Need from You?

What Do Addicts Need from You?

If you have a family member or friend trapped in the throes of addiction, you know enduring pain. One of the most devastating realities of addiction is that it inflicts collateral damage on loved ones — the people trying to help the most end up being hurt the most.

Care for people struggling in addiction demands a resiliency of character and commitment that is extraordinarily difficult to sustain over time. Rescues fail, ultimatums are ignored, mercy is trampled, patience is exhausted, and trust is crushed. You are profoundly hurt, but you can’t simply turn away. You can’t write a loved one out of your life simply because addiction has overthrown theirs.

How do you stay in the fight? How do you keep your footing in the chaos?

Stabilizing Grace in a Chaotic Place

I believe there is a wonderful anchoring truth in the familiar but profound words of the apostle Paul:

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13) 

When we read the letters of Paul we see this “grace trilogy” embedded several times in his exhortations to people seeking to live as faithful disciples in a spirit-breaking world. Faith, hope, and love mark the lives of true believers (Colossians 1:3–5), compel sustained ministry effort during trial (1 Thessalonians 1:2–3), and provide stable constancy in times of darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:6–8).

If you are trying to help a loved one escape the clutches and cravings of addiction, remember faith, hope, and love.

Remember Faith

Faith keeps you focused on the right thing in the hard times.

You are tempted to trust one more promise, one more contrite confession, one more attempt at rehab or self-reform. Maybe tempted to take on the role of fixer and healer. Addicts want to make their helpers big, and put on them burdens of accountability and constancy that they can’t carry.

But God reaches farther, and speaks clearer, and acts stronger than you ever will. You tire; he never sleeps. Faith deflects those burdens onto the Savior, and extends instead humble, weak hands to help an addicted loved one embrace the real work of repentance and change over time. When you are tempted to trust your own efforts to keep an addict out of his addictive pattern, or your own words to argue her out of her foolish choices, remember to trust instead the God of intervening grace.

Remember Hope

To live in the environment of addiction is to embrace brokenness. It’s easy to see brokenness in addiction. What begins to creep in over time, though, is brokenness as a way of life.

A beloved child pours so much potential into wasted pursuits. A spouse or parent who’s out-of-control life slowly writes the family story as a tragedy. At some point this addiction problem becomes life itself. It is the family history; it seems like the family future.

Jesus has given a gift to the broken future that you face. It is the gift of hope. It is the promise that he will never forsake you, will never let you fall from his hand. He has prepared a place for you where brokenness is not allowed. You may not be there now, but you can already breathe that air and see the light of hope.

Jesus is the one who set glory at the end of your path, and he is the one who brings it close even now. He himself is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). If you have Christ, you have glory in your future. This is the hope that is your helmet of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8), the hope that can keep you whole in the brokenness without becoming broken yourself. And you need hope, because the addict you love may have none.

Remember Love

It is hard to love an addict. It’s hard to love someone who lives a code of rampant self-absorption and self-destruction. It’s hard to love when lies and deceit are a given. It’s hard to love an abuser of mercy and kindness.

The Bible says love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). But it feels like love just as easily enables sin in an addict. To love an addict is to invite pain. Love gets trampled by sin; mocked by sin.

Yes, it does. But that’s the point of love. Love was crucified by sin. Love crucified is ultimately the antidote to sin. Love starts with the presumption that sin abounds. No addict will ever find true freedom without love. You can get sober without love, but sobriety isn’t freedom. The love of Christ offered in his atoning sacrifice for their sin, his redeeming grace for their bondage, his life for their death — that is what your addicted loved one needs most from you.

The best thing you can ever give an addict is your confidence in the love of Christ displayed in the cross. It is the need for this love that binds addict and helper together. The shared need for the love of Christ will be your bridge of ministry over the long haul.

Love will help you risk trust one more time, or stand on a boundary you’ve had to draw. Love sees the sickness in addiction with compassion, and the idolatry in it, as well. Love is the only power of liberation, the only agent for change, that will turn an addict into a true worshiper. You know that because that is what happened to you.

Remember faith, hope, and love. Your friend, your loved one, needs these three things more than anything else you can do for them.

Date: June 30, 2017 at 05:00PM
From: “Desiring God”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2ttgZSk
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Desiring God Blog

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The Robust Faith of George III

The “mad” ruler of England during the American Revolution led a life of impressive personal piety.

Date: June 30, 2017 at 04:30AM
From: “Christian History”
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Category: Christian History

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Sin Always Lies

Sin can never lure you by offering something better than God. It can only entice you by lying to you.

Watch Now

Date: June 30, 2017 at 10:00AM
From: “Desiring God”
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Category: Desiring God Blog

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Why Christian Scholars Loved Peter Berger

His sympathetic treatment of faith made him a rock star among Christ-following academics.

In 1966, a Viennese-born sociologist, not quite 40 years old, produced a scholarly work that changed the world. Or more precisely, it changed the way we see and shape the world. The Social Construction of Reality, named one of the top five sociology publications of the 20th century by the International Sociological Association, became required reading for graduate students around the world soon after its publication. Moreover, Peter Berger (who coauthored the book with Thomas Luckmann) became one of the most recognized social scientists of the last century. On June 27, Berger passed away at his home in suburban Boston, concluding a lifetime of scholarly influence and a career that made him one of the most notable scholars of his generation.

It was Berger’s fascination with religion that made him and his work so significant to evangelical Christians. He called himself an “incurable Lutheran,” and his liberal Protestant theology might have placed him at odds with many evangelical leaders 100 years ago. But in our increasingly pluralistic world, Berger’s sympathetic treatment of spirituality and faith made him something of a rock star among Christ-following academics.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Berger’s work underscored the importance of social structures—and how they come to be through human actions (what social scientists refer to as individual “agency”). Culture, he argued, is most powerful when it is taken for granted. In The Sacred Canopy (1967) Berger explained how religion helped people make sense of the world by providing a “sheltering” tent under which all of life could make sense. But over time (in Europe, tracing an historical arc from the 1755 Lisbon earthquake …

Continue reading

Date:
From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
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Category: Christianity Today

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Video: Jesus Heal a Man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15) Bible Story Download

The kids in your ministry will enjoy this video Bible story from Crossroads Kids Club. Watch the preview below and then download a copy from their page on Vimeo. Don’t miss all their free Bible teaching videos.

John 5:1-15 NIV

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,x 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Date: June 30, 2017 at 06:32AM
From: “MINISTRY-TO-CHILDREN”
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Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Ministry To Children

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Buffet Discipleship: Picking and Choosing in Unbiblical Proportions

The root of being a disciple is discipline.

The allure of a well-stocked buffet is that you can load up on the foods you love and avoid those you dislike. For most of us, this means plates over-laden with entrees and desserts and void of foods we find unpleasant. We don’t include foods we don’t like, such as (for many of us) brussel sprouts, or even foods we think are boring, such as cottage cheese or gelatin. When faced with so many gastronomic options, we lack the discipline to fill our plates with well-balanced choices or to avoid sugary treats that really aren’t good for us. What we eat is based on our personal preferences, not based on the guidelines set forth by the USDA.

Arguably, many of us treat our spiritual lives like a buffet. Instead of following the entire menu of spiritual disciplines, we pick and choose what biblical guidelines we will or will not follow. While we know God prescribes a balanced diet of numerous disciplines, we tend to pick and choose in our spiritual lives just as we pick and choose in a buffet. Correspondingly, just as continually ignoring certain types of food at the buffet will result in us being physically malnourished, so continually ignoring mandates from God will result in us being spiritually malnourished.

Here are some reasons we suffer from spiritual malnourishment.

1. We don’t understand what we need to be healthy.

Since their inception, the USDA dietary guidelines have been presented in wheels, squares, pyramids, and plates. The recent iteration, My Plate, was launched in 2011, when the USDA abandoned the rainbow-banded pyramid that festooned our cereal boxes. After almost 20 years of redesign, they discontinued the graphic because people just didn’t understand what the pyramid meant in relation …

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From: “Christianity Today Magazine”
via original RSS feed: http://ift.tt/2u6Bul6
Reposted by: To Live Like Jesus Clothing Company
Category: Christianity Today

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