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  1. #1051
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2012
    Transforming Power
    And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
    Acts 4:31


    A number of years ago, hurricane-force winds battered an American town one night. In the morning, people emerged from their homes and shelters to assess the damage. One of the things they found was a flimsy plastic drinking straw embedded in a telephone pole. The tremendous power of the wind drove the straw into the wood like a *****.

    That is what happened on the Day of Pentecost. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon frail, weak men and transformed them so they became powerful witnesses for Jesus Christ. Although Pentecost was a one-time, never-to-be-repeated event, the same power that was poured out on those believers is available for every believer today.

    Also, there were many instances in Acts where the Spirit was poured out again on the believers. When Peter addressed the Sanhedrin, we read that Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit as he spoke to them (see Acts 4:8).

    When the believers were persecuted for preaching the gospel and were told to stop, they prayed for more boldness. Acts 4:31 tells us, "When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. . . ."

    This power came upon Paul when he was trying to preach the gospel, but was being opposed (see Acts 13:9–10).

    We need the power of the Holy Spirit. We need the gifts of the Spirit. And we need the working of the Spirit in our lives.

    Peter, referring to the Holy Spirit, said, "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:39). That is speaking of us. We have been called by God, and this power is available to us.

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    Copyright ©2012 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

    Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
    http://needhim.org/
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    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  2. #1052
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    April 19, 2012

    Getting to Where You're Going
    By Amy Carroll

    "... continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out." Nehemiah 4:21b (NIV)

    While it's true that God ultimately accomplishes His purposes in ways far beyond what we can ask or imagine, we have a part to play in His plans. God recently had me read the book of Nehemiah to see how one of His servants accomplished the huge task of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.

    I came away with a deep appreciation for my part of success—organization, communication, energy, delegation and hard, hard work. Scripture actually says that Nehemiah and the Israelites "...continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out." (Nehemiah 4:21b NIV)

    I've been guilty like many Christians in talking about my calling and spiritualizing "trusting God" without being willing to follow Him in obedience into the day-to-day labor required to build His Kingdom.

    How about you? Is something keeping you from doing the work? Perhaps you're faced with paralyzing questions posed by fear? "What if I try and fail?" "What if nobody else believes in me?" "What if God doesn't show up?" or worse "What if I've misheard God and am missing His will?"

    Or, are there distractions and time-wasters that take your focus off of what you know God's wants you to do?

    It's taken me many years to come to a place that I find the thought of working toward my calling encouraging rather than discouraging. I'm encouraged that it doesn't take innate genius or prodigal gifting to fulfill my calling. I don't have either of those.

    In an article published in The New York Times, David Brooks wrote about the place of hard work in success. He shared:

    "The key factor separating geniuses from the merely accomplished is not a divine spark ... Instead, it's deliberate practice. Top performers spend more hours (many more hours) rigorously practicing their craft."

    A study cited in the same article said that musicians who were said to be virtuoso practiced 10,000 hours; 5,000 more than those simply considered to be good.

    It reminded me of something I'd heard in an interview with my friend Lysa TerKeurst. She said that many people ask how she became a New York Times bestselling author overnight. Her answer was simply, "Through 17 years of hard work. I determined that I would do all that I could do while completely trusting God to do what only He could do."

    I'm called to become an increasingly effective communicator for Christ, not so that people can stand in awe of Amy Carroll but so that they can stand in awe of the One I speak about—Jesus. I'm called to help other women to grow too. I can't do that unless I'm a life-long student, learner and worker.

    What's your calling? Are you doing the work? My definition in this case is simply moment-by-moment, day-by-day obedience to God's Word and the leading of His Spirit. Some days that will look like moving forward while other days it will be stillness, waiting and listening. Either way, let's start working right now!

    Dear Lord, thank You for the calling on my life. Even though parts of my heart are nervous and struggle, I want to do the work and walk in obedience to You. Thanks for helping me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Follow this link for beautiful encouragement from Amy on her blog.

    Register today for She Speaks! Our annual conference that helps equip women in their calling to lead, speak and write.

    Contact our Next Step Speaker Services for help becoming a more seasoned speaker.

    Reflect and Respond:
    "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." ~Thomas Edison

    Pray for freedom from fear or distractions. Plan for time to work on your calling. Prepare your heart to hear from God.

    Power Verse:
    Proverbs 31:17, "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org
    http://needhim.org/
    http:biblegateway.com

    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  3. #1053
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    April 20, 2012

    A Timely Gift
    By Lynn Cowell

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 (NIV)

    Several years ago ... okay, many, many years ago ... my parents gave me a unique keychain with a key to their car. I loved it! That key represented freedom and independence. Exactly what I was craving as a teenager. It was the right gift at the right time.

    If my parents had given me that gift when I was six, it would have been strange and inappropriate. I would've wondered what it was for and how to use it. My parents knew what to give and when to give it.

    In James 1:17 we're told that God our Father gives good gifts to us, His children. Not only does He give good gifts, but He knows perfectly what to give and when to give it. His gifts are not spur of the moment because He forgot a special day was on the way. His gifts are all about perfect timing.

    When I was five, I couldn't reach my jacket hanging up just above the cement steps leading to our basement. I called out for help, but I didn't trust those who loved me would come and do what I needed when I wanted it. A tumble down those steps produced a black eye that stayed a long time.

    Many of us are asking God for help. We're crying out for something we need. The question is, can we wait patiently, trusting that His timing is perfect? Can we believe He has our best in mind and is working on our behalf?

    Sometimes we grow impatient. We want what we want and we want it now. So we make the mistake of trying to get it by ourselves.

    Is there one thing you feel if you could have it, your life would be complete? If you could just have that job at that pay, life would be so much better. If God would just open your womb, the emptiness would finally be gone. If He would just heal your broken, cold marriage, your heart would be joyful. Are you tempted, like me, to get that thing any way you can, even with the possibility you could end up with way more than a black eye?

    There are times when He seems to answer "no" or at least "not now." It is here, where our desires intersect His will, that we have to trust the Father knows best and every gift comes from Him. Every time,in His time, the gift is good and perfect.

    I've seen God's perfect gifts in my life as I've waited on Him. Waited on Him for a husband. Waited on Him to open doors for ministry. Waited on Him to draw my kids to Himself. Let's keep our eyes on His history of faithfulness in our lives as we wait for His good and perfect gifts.

    Dear Lord, waiting on You is so hard! My heart wants to get things moving, step up and take action. Help me to always bring my desires to You, knowing that You always have my best at heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Visit Lynn's blog to share and encourage others with your story of when you have waited and seen God's perfect and good gifts!

    His Princess, Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd

    Reflect and Respond:
    Are you currently in a waiting place? Are you waiting in faith, expecting to see God's good and perfect gift or living in a place of frustration because He doesn't seem to be doing things your way in your time?

    Today, tell God you want to choose to honor Him as you wait.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (NIV)

    Psalm 33:20, "We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org
    http://needhim.org/
    http:biblegateway.com

    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  4. #1054
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    April 24, 2012

    From Altercation To Altar Call
    By Tracie Miles

    "Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear." Matthew 13:8-9 (NIV)

    I noticed my 12-year-old son involved in a commotion on the other side of the sanctuary. He was sitting with his youth group, just like he does every Sunday, on the opposite side from where my husband and I do.

    I walked over there and motioned for my son to follow me into the lobby. There, we could discuss why an altercation was occurring in the church pew where he sat with his friends.

    Apparently someone wanted to sit in the spot where he and another friend were sitting. And so, a middle-school-boy-scuffle ensued. Even though he had tears—due in part to receiving an elbow in the eye, but also hurt by pride and anger—he insisted on returning to sit with the rest of the youth.

    Our pastor's sermon was about anger that morning. He shared ways we should respond, according to God's Word and gave a few examples:

    A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. (Proverbs 12:16 NIV)

    Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 NLT)

    When our pastor ended his sermon, soft music played as the congregation was invited to come to the altar if they felt God leading them to do so.

    I noticed a young man at the altar, bent knees, buried face in his arms, praying. He looked familiar, but seemed bigger than my son ... Could it be?

    Bending over to look closely, I discovered the young man kneeling at the altar was my son.

    My heart pounded as I watched my little man becoming a young man in Christ right before my eyes. His heart had been moved by the Word of God ... straight to the altar.

    After church, I asked Michael what he'd prayed about. "Mom, I listened to the pastor talk about anger, and felt bad for getting upset at my friend. So I asked God to forgive me and to help me control my temper."

    I was at a loss for words for three reasons: my son was actually paying attention to the sermon! His heart was hurting and he was listening for God's leading. And when God spoke to his heart, scriptures resounded in his mind and compelled him to move.

    Three simple steps: pay attention to God's voice, listen when He speaks through His Word, and move when He calls.

    I may not have physical altercations with others, as boys often do. But I do have emotional and spiritual altercations as I face the trials, demands, temptations and frustrations that life brings.

    My son's boldness to admit his need for forgiveness and strength, and to actually walk down to the altar, has prompted me to view my "altercations" in a new light.

    Instead of letting my struggles take me down and make me feel discouraged, I'm following in my son's footsteps. Paying attention to God's voice, listening when He speaks through His Word, and moving when He calls.

    Today, let's do the same. Let's respond to God's Word and lay our trials, fears and temptations at the foot of the cross, allowing God to mend our heart. With the faith of a child, we too can let our "altercations" lead us to the altar.

    Dear Lord, today I want to pay attention to Your voice and move when You call. Please make my heart soft to forgive my friends and family. Thanks for Your help in this. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Tracie shares more truth on her blog. Click here to visit.

    Many women allow the pain and shame of past sins to keep them from the altar. Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles will help you seek and accept God's forgiveness for past mistakes. Click here to order your copy today.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Pay attention to God's voice, listen when He speaks through His Word, and move when He calls.

    Feeling down or discouraged? Follow in Michael's footsteps and bring your hurt to the Lord.

    Power Verses:
    Hebrews 3:15, "As has just been said: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.'" (NIV)

    2 Peter 1:3, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org
    http://needhim.org/
    http:biblegateway.com

    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  5. #1055
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012
    Fear of Success
    Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
    —Matthew 28:18–20


    One reason we don't evangelize is because of a fear of failure. We don't want to tell someone about Jesus and have them shut us down or blow us off or laugh in our face. But I think there is another reason we don't evangelize: fear of success. Why? We don't know what we would do then. Now what?

    It reminds me of when I went fishing years ago with my friend Franklin Graham and caught a bunch of fish. That was the good part. I had never cleaned fish before, so I asked Franklin if he would clean them for me.

    "No," he said. "Clean your own fish."

    "I have never really done it," I told him.

    "So . . . time to learn."

    I had to cut the fish open and clean out the fish. The fun part was catching them. But then I had to actually clean them.

    We want to go out and tell others about Jesus. But if they believe, are we ready to take the next step? It means taking that person who has accepted Christ under our wing, getting him on his feet spiritually, and showing him an example of what a Christian looks like. And guess what? Then we do it again. That is fulfilling the Great Commission.

    Jesus said, "Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always . . ." (Matthew 28:19–20). That is our job. Every one of us is called to seek to win people to Christ and then disciple them. And then we are to do it again and again and again.

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    Copyright ©2012 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

    Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
    http://needhim.org/
    http:biblegateway.com

    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  6. #1056
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012
    Good Losses



    When you become a Christian, one of the more notable changes is that you will give up many of the things you once did. Of course, this depends on your lifestyle prior to your conversion. But for many of us, a dramatic change will take place.

    I have heard people share their stories of how they came to Christ and the great sacrifices they made to follow Him, saying things like, "I had a great life. . .I went to parties. . .I had so much fun. . .But I gave it all up for Jesus Christ, hallelujah! I left it all for the glory of God!"

    What did we really give up?

    When I hear statements like that, I feel like asking, "What in the world are you talking about? You gave it all up? What did you give up?" If they were to look at those things honestly and realistically, they would come to the same conclusion that Paul did. He said, "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. . ." (Philippians 3:7-8).

    Is it slowing me down?

    Paul was saying that the stuff that used to be so important, the stuff he once valued so highly, meant nothing to him now in comparison with the awesome privilege and value of belonging to Jesus.

    We might do well to bring certain activities or habits in our lives under the same scrutiny. It's a good idea to periodically ask ourselves, "Is this thing that I am doing slowing me down or speeding me along in my walk with God? Is it building me up spiritually or is it tearing me down?"

    The conclusion has to be the same: If anything is keeping you from an intimate, open-hearted relationship with God through Jesus Christ, whatever that thing may be, you must count it as a loss.

    Greg

    Have Pastor Greg's devotions blessed you? Write and tell him!
    Greg@harvest.org


    Copyright ©2012 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

    Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
    http://needhim.org/
    http:biblegateway.com

    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  7. #1057
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012
    The Power of God's Word
    Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
    &mdash;1 Timothy 4:16


    It amazes me that God has ordained verbal proclamation as a primary way to bring people into the kingdom of God. I really don't know why, but that is exactly what He has done.

    Some people will substitute Christian radio or Christian television for going to church. And sometimes there are extenuating circumstances in which people can't get out. But nothing takes the place of getting together with God's people and studying the Bible together. Christian programming can be good, but it is not a replacement for getting together with God's people. Something supernatural, something wonderful happens when the Word of God is proclaimed and when you hear it in person with fellow Christians. There is a freshness and an immediacy to it.

    The early church believed in preaching, because God established preaching. Remember, Jesus Christ was a preacher of the Word. We read that when He began His ministry, "From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand' " (Matthew 4:17).

    Preaching is God's primary way of reaching lost people. As the apostle Paul wrote, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe" (1 Corinthians 1:21).

    Notice Paul didn't say "foolish preaching," but "the foolishness of the message preached." God has ordained preaching and teaching in the church, and that is what the early church focused on.

    Preaching is not something I wanted to do, but it is something that I felt God called me to do. And after sharing it in so many different settings, I continue to be amazed at how God's Word impacts and transforms lives.

    Greg

    Have Pastor Greg's devotions blessed you? Write and tell him!
    Greg@harvest.org


    Copyright ©2012 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

    Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
    http://needhim.org/
    http:biblegateway.com

    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  8. #1058
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012
    The Importance of Fellowship

    We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3


    When I find a good restaurant, I want to take people there. And not only do I want to take them there, but I want to let them in on the best thing to order. I want them to discover what I have discovered.

    In the same way, when we are being taught from God's Word and being blessed, we want to share it with others. Fellowship is more than just socializing. We may talk about all kinds of things when we come to church, but our primary purpose is to talk about the things of God.

    When the Bible says the first-century believers "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship" (Acts 2:42), the word "fellowship" comes from the Greek word koinonia. It can be translated, "partnership," "communion," or "fellowship." The idea being communicated is that the early Christians were being taught the Word of God, and they wanted to share it with others.

    When you are walking with God, you will want to be with God's people. And if you are not walking with God, you probably won't want to be around God's people. I have found that when you are in fellowship with God and getting into His Word, then you will want to share it with fellow Christians. You will want to be around fellow believers.

    I have also found that people who are out of fellowship with God are almost always also out of fellowship with other believers. A lot of times, the problem is not with the church; the problem is with the person. Someone with covered sin in his or her life always will be trying to uncover sin in others' lives.

    Fellowship is praying together. It is serving together. It is growing and aging together. These are the fibers of fellowship. Fellowship with God and fellowship with other believers go together.

    Greg

    Have Pastor Greg's devotions blessed you? Write and tell him!
    Greg@harvest.org


    Copyright ©2012 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

    Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
    http://needhim.org/
    http:biblegateway.com

    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  9. #1059
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2012
    The Value of Worship
    So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
    Acts 2:46–47


    Just as something wonderful happens when God's people get together and study His Word, something extraordinary happens when God's people get together and sing His praises. Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Now this verse is not saying that God only shows up when people worship, because God is omnipresent. But He manifests His presence in a special way when His people lift up His name in praise and worship.

    The early church was a worshipping church. Acts 2:46–47 tells us, "They ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people." The phrase "gladness and simplicity of heart" literally means "with unaffected joy." There was joy in the early church. There was vibrancy. But there also was reverence. A few verses earlier, we read that fear came upon every soul, and wonders and signs were done through the apostles (verse 43). There should be joy and reverence. Those are elements that should be in our worship. The Spirit-filled church will be a worshipping church, and the Spirit filled Christian will be a worshipping Christian.

    Someone might say, "Well, I just don't always feel like worshipping." Do you think the first-century believers always felt like praising God? They were harassed. They were beaten. They were mocked. These Christians faced persecution on a massive scale, but they were thankful to God.

    The Bible doesn't say, "Give thanks to the Lord when you feel good." Rather, it says, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" (1 Chronicles 16:34). That is how Job was able to worship God after calamity came knocking at his door (see Job 1:20).

    Sometimes worship can be a sacrifice. But we should still worship.

    Greg

    Pastor Greg's devotions blessed you? Write and tell him!
    Greg@harvest.org


    Copyright ©2012 by Harvest Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

    Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
    http://needhim.org/
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    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

  10. #1060
    Super Moderator Michael Meyering's Avatar
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    SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012
    God Is Preparing You Today For Something Greater Tomorrow!
    For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
    Ephesians 2:10


    A traveler was visiting a logging area in the Pacific Northwest and was interested in seeing how the logs that would be used for furniture were chosen. As the logs came down the stream, the logger would suddenly reach out and hook one, pull it up, and then set it down. He would sometimes wait for a few minutes before grabbing another. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to his choices.

    After a while, the visitor said to him, "I don't understand what you're doing."

    "These logs may all look alike to you," the logger said, "But I can recognize that a few of them are quite different. The ones that I let pass came from trees that grew in a valley. They were always protected from the storms. The grain is rather coarse.

    "The logs that I pulled aside are from high up on the mountain, where they were beaten by strong winds from the time they were quite small. That toughens the trees and gives them a fine grain. We save these logs for choice work. They're too good to be used for ordinary lumber."

    Ask Peter or Joseph

    It was through the trying and testing that the logs were prepared for choice work.

    The same could be said of us as Christians. If you were to ask Moses how he became who he was, he would remind you of his trials with Pharaoh and his times of testing in the wilderness. If you were to ask Joseph, he would most likely refer back to his years as a slave, his imprisonment on a false accusation, and his imprisonment in Pharaoh's dungeon. Talk to Peter, and he would probably point back to his denial and how he learned many difficult yet important lessons.

    Maybe you find yourself facing something similar in your life today. Maybe God is preparing you for a choice work.

    Greg

    Have Pastor Greg's devotions blessed you? Write and tell him!
    Greg@harvest.org
    http://needhim.org/
    http:biblegateway.com

    Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'' (John 10:10).

    "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?”
    Penn Jillete


    Jesus is the Lifeguard of the World! (But will soon be Judging it)

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