Monthly Archives: January 2016

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Temptation

“God answered him by a Voice” (Exodus 19:19)

As long as we are in the world all of us have to face temptation. It does not matter who you are, where you are, or what you are doing. As human beings we have to face many temptations and difficult situations and troubles of one kind or another. But when we can hear the Voice of God clearly we can meet these situations victoriously. God shows us in His Word, how from the very beginning of our spiritual life we must learn to hear His Voice.

In the beginning of I Kings 19, the wicked queen Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah, so Elijah may have thought God would surely punish Jezebel. He went and sat under the juniper tree, for he was angry with God for failing to punish her. That is how we behave sometimes. That is how we misunderstand God and begin to doubt Him. But God’s ways are not our ways; they are higher than our ways. He will not work in our way. Elijah perhaps thought God was not doing His duty because He did not punish Jezebel, so he told the Lord: “Lord , from today onwards, I am not going to be your prophet.” Now, if you are in Government service you have to give three months’ notice if you wish to resign, but Elijah gave just one day’s notice! “Take away Your prophetship from me today;” he said in effect, “I am not going to speak in Your name from today. Many a time we also think the same. We want to dictate God. But God was not sleeping! He took Elijah to the mountain top and there dealt with him in a wonderful way.

Meditation by Bakht Singh

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Team Spirit

Do you have team spirit? Working together in a concerted effort builds relationships and increases the rate of success. Elementary school tug of war rope games taught me that much; when we dug in our heels and tugged the rope we were focused.

Staying focused in prayer is not always easy. We carry a burden for the lost and those who have fallen through the cracks; at times we may feel isolated in our intercession. We can link with other prayer warriors through our churches, workplaces and the Internet. Remember team spirit.

God the Son and God the Holy Spirit team up to intercede on our behalf.

When we feel at a loss for words, intercession continues.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27 KJV).”

Christ continually intercedes.

“It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us (Romans 8:34b KJV).”

Meditation by Pam Ford Davis

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Waiting Spaces

“Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:4 NAS

Life is full of waiting…in traffic, offices, airports, grocery lines, phone lines. Then there are other kinds of waiting that are more than an annoying inconvenience…for medical reports, for “the one”, for a baby’s arrival, for so many answers to prayer. We all find ourselves in waiting spaces throughout our lives. And the Lord advises us twice in Psalm 27:4 to wait for Him.

Now waiting times can be filled with varied emotions or virtues…impatience, expectation, dread, confidence, hope, anxiety, fear. There is an art to wait, for indeed we create our own waiting spaces. You can decide to just wait or you can decide to wait on the Lord. He will show up. Here are the promises found in God’s Word as you wait on Him:

God hears you. “I waited patiently for the Lord. And He inclined to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1

God helps you. “Our soul waits for the Lord. He is our help and shield.” Psalm 33:20

God gives you strength. “ But they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:31

God gives you hope. “My soul waits in silence for God only. For my hope is from Him.” Psalm 62:5

Are you in a waiting space? Are you not very fond of the décor that occupies your space? Things like anxiety, dread, fear, impatience, or a host of other negativities. Decide to wait on the Lord instead of just waiting. Focus on His arrival. He will come to hear your cries. And change the décor.

Devotional by Karen Pourbabaee

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God’s Voice

“Lead me in thy truth and teach me” (Psalms 25:5)

I was convinced at the first reading of the Bible, that it was the Word of God. So I said, “Lord, I respect this book, this is Thy Word. Kindly teach me and speak to me through its pages. Even though I may not understand everything in the beginning, Lord, I will never doubt Thy Word. Do take Your own time and teach me the meaning of Your Word, either now or even if it takes one or two years. I will not worry you. I want You to speak daily according to my need.” Then I found the light of God coming in brighter and brighter day by day. On the one hand, I saw my inward corruption, but on the other hand I saw His abundant grace to forgive me and wash me, and how He has made every provision to help me daily in my need.

At first I thought that by having Bible knowledge I would become more righteous, but then I discovered that it is neither knowledge, nor signs nor miracles that can make me righteous. Righteousness comes only by hearing the Voice of God. Before going to bed I used to pray,” Lord, tell me please, did my life today please Thee? Tell me if I made any mistakes and have grieved Thee by thought, word or deed.  If I have done something wrong, Lord show it to me.” He showed me, I confessed it and my Lord forgave me, and said to me; “I am well pleased with thee, go. “Straightway I would go to bed, and have a nice sleep. But if I had done something wrong and had not confessed it, I would find it hard to sleep. I would toss this way and that way, till at last I would go on my knees again, and say; “Yes, Lord, I am sorry, it was my fault. I have grieved Thee. Kindly forgive me. I believe in the efficacy of the precious blood. Lord, forgive me.” Then He would say to me, “My child, go to bed again. I am well pleased with thee, “Now I am happy every day.

Meditation by Bhakht Singh

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Is Your Relationship with God Blooming?

“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied;” Deuteronomy 8:11-13 NKJV

Remember how excited you were when you purchased your first house, vehicle, boat? You decorated, cleaned, and proudly showed off your purchase. Then after a while the thrill wore off, and it became just another possession. Some marriages fall victim to this same scenario. The couple is so excited to be married then after time one partner begins to take the other one for granted, and the marriage falters.

God, knowing our human nature included this verse in Deuteronomy warning us not to forget. We should not become so accustom to God’s blessings that we take them for granted and are no longer appreciative of His gifts. For when one becomes complacent and forgets the one responsible for distributing the blessings, they become less concerned about keeping His commandments and statutes.

God is very gracious to us, but we are still responsible for adhering to His commandments, being obedient, seeking His will, and trusting in Him. It is when we put Him at the center of our lives that our relationship with Him blossoms.

Dear Lord, You have so richly blessed my life; it is to You that I am thankful. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Devotional Karen B. White

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He assured

“Whoever comes to Me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)

We continually need assuring. We need to be assured that there is ground beneath our feet before taking the next step. We need to know that the road is clear before crossing it. The assurance comes by using our eyes where things visible are concerned.

But there are so many invisible things about which we need assurance. For instance, is one still loved by one’s husband or wife?  Are one’s children being properly taught at school? And many other imponderables. In such areas we valve any assurance that all is well.

Jesus constantly assured His disciples. We too may draw comfort from His assurances. He said “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.” (John 8:12) He said “I am with you always…” Matthew 28:20.

One of the most interesting phrases in the scriptures come from the pen of the writer to the Hebrews who wrote  ‘…..let us draw near to God with a  sincere heart in full assurance of faith…’ Hebrews 10:22. Assurance and faith are something opposites.  Yet they are brought together in this scripture and can also be brought together in the Christian experience. It is quite true that the Christian life can sometimes seem like a square circle or hot cold room, and that is when assurance is needed. Assurance is usually needed in the valley experience rather than when living on the mountain top.  Paul summed up that conflicting kind of situation when he said, ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ 2 Corinthians 12:10. He had the ‘assurance of faith’.

Over and above all quivers of fear, or doubt, or hesitation, we do well to remember the words of our Lord Jesus who said ‘heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away’ Mark 13:31.

By Christ our future is secured,

When by His Word we are assured,

He cannot fail to keep His Word,

We cannot fail, to trust our Lord.

If called to go through shadowed vale,

His promises will never fail.

We only need to trust Him more

As He has gone this way before.

Now let His Word our hearts assure,

It will for evermore endure..

And though the world may pass away,

His Word remains, it’s here to stay.

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God’s Grace

“By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10)

We take pride in ourselves. Yet all these things will soon pass away. Talents and gifts will soon pass away. We are nothing before God. In the Bible we read that Holy God calls our righteousness ‘filthy rags’. Such is our condition before God! After our conversion we are made into peculiar treasure. But it requires meekness in us to understand our heavenly calling. Paul says in 1 Corinthians15: 10, “the grace of God which was with me.”  He was a man of God whom the Lord used so mightily. Judging by his family, knowledge and education, he was a highly qualified man of the world. It was afterwards that he became an apostle. Yet he says, “By the grace of God I am what I am.

When we are born again, God gives each one of us some gift or other. But we should not feel proud of it. Whatever we receive from God we transmit to the people around us, and do so because of His grace. There is no reason why we should be proud of the talents given to us by God to be spent for others.

God will use us only when we are humble and meek, thankful to God everyday for His grace. By humility alone can one be qualified for God’s Kingdom and not by Bible knowledge or educational qualification. Please see Matt 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Any believer can obtain this inheritance. Thank God, our inheritance does not depend upon education or such thing.

Meditation by Bhakht Singh

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No Problem!

Last night, I went to check on my six-year-old daughter to see if she had fallen asleep yet. Even before I approached the door, I could hear her talking to herself. When I opened the door, she said, “Mom, I’ve been thinking about my party.”

She and her best friend have been discussing their parties for about six months now. Neither her friend’s mother nor I have ventured to ask when these little girls are planning on having them. These are things best left unasked, for as long as possible.

“Yes, Sabrina, what about your party?”

“Well, I want to have lots of people, but I don’t know who.”

I said, “Well, we’ll write it down. We’ll make a list, okay?”

“Okay, but what about invitations?”

I said, “No problem.”

“And envelopes, we’ll need envelopes for the invitations.”

“No problem.”

With utter exasperation in her voice she said, “Why do you keep saying, ‘No problem!'”

I left the room chuckling because I thought that’s just like us with God. We fret about a problem to the point we can’t even sleep, and then finally we talk to God about it. We explain the situation, and He replies, “No problem.” Skeptically we say, “But what about…?” And He still calmly replies, “No problem.”

With a total lack of faith, we feel He obviously doesn’t understand how difficult and complex the problem is. If He did, He certainly could not answer with “No problem!” We would actually feel much better if He replied, “Boy, this is going to be tough, but I think I can handle it. I’ll keep you posted.”

Isn’t it wonderful that God says in answer to all our problems, “No problem.” And He really means it.

Matthew 9:28 says, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”, and in Matthew 9:29, we read, “Be it done to you according to your faith.” (NASB).

Dear Father, how amazing You are! I am so grateful that my problems are not problems to You.

Meditation by Shari Weigerstorfer

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FAITH PRODUCES OBEDIENCE

Through Him and for His name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people…to the obedience that comes from faith. Romans 1:5 NIV

Obedience comes from faith. Faith comes from our consistent intake of the Word (Romans 10:17); therefore, obedience is the result of our habitual intake of the Word. Too many Christians forget this fact and try to prove their faith by feigned obedience. They will even quote the Word and say that faith without works is dead; however, they forget where faith originates. Faith comes from repeatedly ingesting the Word; it is a Spiritual fruit and it is not something we can achieve apart from Christ.

Faith without works is dead – faith that is dead is not Spiritual faith. For example, you may have “faith” that lying is wrong, but your faith is dead in this area if you’re still lying. You simply have knowledge that lying is wrong but you lack the Spiritual power to overcome it. When you see victory over lying, then your faith has been brought to life and it is complete. The work of the Word has produced the fruit that God promised it would. Faith is a process – it takes faith and patience to see God’s promises come to pass in your life (Hebrews 6:12). God promised us that our mouths would be a source of life – as we consistently fill ourselves with the Word, we will see that promise manifested in our lives over time.

Anything that does not find its roots in faith is sin. We can make ourselves “obey” but we cannot produce Spiritual obedience apart from faith. Thank God for the Word and all that is does for us!

Devotional by Stephanie White

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Wisdom for daily task

“Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men (Col. 3:23)

At one time in America, I had a long period of unemployment. After I had searched much for a job a man said to me, “Can you cook Indian food? It is so hard to find a good cook here. There is to be an Indian Medical Conference and many doctors will be here for seven days. If you can cook Indian meals for them I will pay you.”

I said, “I can cook for a few, but have never attempted doing it for such a large number.” “Well, replied he, “you try, and if you cannot manage we will remove you.” I prayed a whole night and the next day I started the cooking. I continued praying all the time I was cooking, and the Lord showed me what quantities of various ingredients I was to use each time.

After the meal a lady came to the kitchen and saw me in my long white coat and white cap. “Mr. Cook, she said, “I have been to India, and eaten in many hotels there, but I have never tasted food like this! Who taught you? “My Lord taught me,” I replied. My job as cook continued for ten months, and every day I provided a new taste.  They called me a good cook, never realizing that I was cooking only through the wisdom God gave me in answer to prayer. My point is that God gives wisdom for daily task. It is the same divine principle; by learning to pray for everything by faith, we can have the same experience as did Daniel and his three friends.

Devotional by Bakht Singh

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