The Strength of Brokenness




The Strength of Brokenness

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman




"The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength." - 1 Samuel 2:4

There is an oxymoron throughout the Bible. It says that brokenness is strength. How can this be? How can brokenness be strength? In order to use men and women to their fullest extent, the Lord has to break His servants so that they might have a new kind of strength that is not human in origin. It is strength in spirit that is born only through brokenness.

Paul was broken on the Damascus road. Peter was broken after Jesus was taken prisoner. Jacob was broken at Peniel. David was broken after his sin with Bathsheba. The list could go on of those the Lord had to break in different ways before they could be used in the Kingdom.

When we are broken, we see the frailty of human strength and come to grips with the reality that we can do nothing in our own strength. Then, new strength emerges that God uses mightily. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Do not fear brokenness, for it may be the missing ingredient to a life that emerges with a new kind of strength and experience not known before. Pray for a broken and contrite heart that God can bless.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.







Forgiving Ourselves





Forgiving Ourselves
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9

The apostle Peter was one of three disciples who walked with Jesus closer than the other nine. He was the most enthusiastic and the one man who was willing to step into territories where others would not dare. He was the first to step out of the boat and walk on water. He wanted to protect Jesus at times when Jesus rebuked him for having a demon influence him. He cut off the ear of the guard who wanted to arrest Jesus in the garden. As Peter matured, the Holy Spirit harnessed his many extreme emotions.

The greatest trial for Peter was when he denied the Lord just before Jesus was crucified. Three times he denied knowing Jesus. Jesus predicted that the cock would crow after the third time just to reinforce the prophecy to Peter. Peter was crushed when he realized he had failed His Lord so badly.

The Lord forgave Peter for his denial. However, gaining forgiveness from Jesus was not the most difficult part for Peter. The hard part was forgiving himself. As we mature in the faith, we begin moving in victory after victory with our Lord. Then out of nowhere, an event happens that reveals our true sin nature, and we are confronted face to face with this reality. We cannot believe that we are capable of such sin. There is no good thing in us save the grace of Jesus Christ and His blood that cleanses us. When God looks at us, He looks at the blood of Christ that has covered our sin. He does not look at our sin once we confess it.

When we have difficulty forgiving ourselves, this is pride at its deepest level. We are making an assumption that we should never have sinned and that we are too mature to sin. This is a trap from the enemy of our souls. People who cannot forgive do not recognize from what they have been forgiven. That includes us.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.



Forum on the Tribulation
CHRIST IN PROPHECY

My Sheep Hear My Voice




Hearing the Father Speak

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman




"My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me."
- John 10:27

An Englishman tells a true story of his encounter with a Muslim man while walking in the country. The Englishman wanted to share the gospel with this man but knew little of Muslim beliefs. The two men talked as they walked and agreed they would each share their beliefs with one another. The Muslim went first and dominated the time of sharing. The Englishman asked the Holy Spirit how to share his faith with the Muslim man. "Do you consider your god your father who speaks?" asked the Englishman.

"Certainly not," replied the Muslim man.

"That is one of the big differences between your god and my God. I consider my God as my Father who speaks to me personally."

"You cannot prove that," stated the Muslim man.

The Englishman again prayed to himself, "Lord, how do I prove this to this man?" A few moments later the two men began walking toward two young ladies on the other side of the road coming toward them. As they approached, the Englishman spoke to the ladies and made small conversation. He then said to one woman, "I believe you are a nurse, is that correct?"

The woman was startled that a man whom she had never met had just informed her of her occupation. "How would you know that? I have never met you before," she questioned.

He replied, "I asked my Father and He told me." The Muslim had his proof.

Many of us do not hear God's voice because we do not believe He speaks or desires to speak to us. In order to hear, we must listen. In order to listen, we must believe that He speaks. Ask the Lord today for a listening ear so that others might know that you have a heavenly Father who speaks.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders






  

Joseph Prince - Hear Jesus Only And Be Uplifted


 

The Key To Faith


Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional


The Key to Faith

by Robert Morris


The key to our having faith is in hearing the Word of God. I want to emphasize this: the key to having faith is not in obeying the Word of God – the key to having faith is in hearing the Word of God. Now I believe in obeying the Word, and we must obey God if we want to have His blessing on our lives. But it is not obedience that produces faith. Rather, it is faith that produces obedience. And faith only comes by the Word of God.

This is not my idea. God made this very plain in Romans 10:17 when He said, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." This scripture passage says that if I hear the Word of God, "faith comes." In other words, faith shows up. So all I have to do is hear the Word of God. So there is something about hearing the Word of God that produces faith.

Now I know the Bible says that I must be a doer of the Word as well. James 1:22 says, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." But it is hearing the Word that is the key to doing it! Because the more I hear the Word of God, the more faith I will have. And the more faith I have, the more I will want to obey God and live out the Word.

The reason that a lot of people are not doers of the Word is because they don't really have faith. The more faith you have, the more you will obey. The more you obey, the more the presence of God will manifest in your life. And the more often you live in the presence of God, the more you will prosper and succeed.

Every one of us can prosper, and every one of us can be successful! And the way we begin is by hearing the Word of God. So start to make the Word of God part of your life. Listen to His Word whenever you can. Read the Bible daily. Memorize Scripture passages, meditate on them, and write verses on note cards to tape on your mirror. If you hear His Word consistently, faith will naturally come. God promised that it would. And as your faith increases, you will find that you are walking in obedience. As you walk in obedience, you're going to have the presence of God on your life. And if the presence of God is with you, you're going to succeed!

There are no words to describe the blessing of having God's presence in your life. Right now I can feel that the favor of God is on my life, and it is a wonderful thing. It is so wonderful that I don't want to do one single thing to mess it up! The favor of God makes you feel that nothing is impossible. The favor of God makes you feel that anything you attempt to do for God will succeed. Because when you sense that God is with you, you know your efforts on His behalf will not fail.

What could possibly be worth losing that blessing, that favor, that manifested presence of God? I don't want to walk in disobedience, because I know that if I disobey God, His presence will leave my life. And I don't want to lose His presence or His favor!

So it really wasn't a hard thing that day at the airport to leave a note on the car I had bumped. It really wasn't hard to decide that we would miss our plane. It was easy to do the right thing – when I remembered that God has called me to be faithful in small matters, as well as great, as I live out my destiny according to His will.

I want to walk in the destiny God has planned for me. And I know that if I am to be set over much, I must be found faithful in little things – even a crack in a piece of plastic on an old car.

Eventually I received a call from the lady whose vehicle had been damaged. I apologized for the accident and gave her our insurance information so that she could get her bumper repaired. But before we got off the phone, she said, "I just have to ask you a question. I have shown your note to everyone in my office, and no one can believe that you actually left a note. It would have been so easy to just drive away. We don't know if you're a saint, a space alien or what – but none of us can figure out why you would leave a note."

The woman was an unbeliever. Yet she recognized that there was something different about my behavior. So I was able to explain to her the reason that I had left that note. I was able to share the gospel with her and tell her how Jesus Christ had changed my life – that He could change her life also. "You said that everyone in your office wants to know why I left that note," I said to her. "Be sure that you tell them. Be sure to tell them that the reason I left that note is because Jesus Christ has changed my life – and He wants to do that for all of them, too."

There is nothing on this earth that can compare to the joy of a moment like that, when the presence of God rests upon you as you do something important for Him. But it all begins by being faithful in the smallest things – by being a faithful steward. If I had not been faithful to do the right thing about the accident, I would never have had the opportunity to be God's messenger to the people in that office.

Faithfulness – good stewardship – causes us to be successful in everything we do. It causes us to have the favor of God and His presence in our lives. So be faithful in little things. Be a good employee, a good steward "as to the Lord" (Colossians 3:23). Spend time in God's Word and watch your faith increase. As faith comes, obedience will naturally follow. And when you honor God and walk in obedience to Him, He will honor you with His presence. Then His favor and blessing will rest on your life, and you will prosper in all you do.

This is an excerpt from From Dream To Destiny by Robert Morris. Copyright ©2011 by Robert Morris. Published by Regal Publishing. Available this week on Life Today as part of the Living Free teaching series.





An Encounter With God




An Encounter With God

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman


"So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision, I had no strength left, 
my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless." 
- Daniel 10:8

Daniel received a vision that troubled him greatly. He wanted understanding of this vision. He set himself out to understand the vision by fasting for three weeks. Three days after his three weeks of fasting, a messenger of God appeared to Daniel. The messenger explained that Heaven had heard his prayer from the first day, but the angel was temporarily prevented from coming by the prince of Persia, a demon angel, who sought to thwart God's messenger from coming to Daniel.

There are times in our lives when we must set ourselves to seeking God with all our hearts. It is in these times that we hear from Heaven in ways we may never have experienced before. Daniel's perseverance in prayer was rewarded with a personal encounter with Heaven. However, in order to receive from God, Daniel had to be left alone, have his strength removed, and be placed in a helpless condition. When we have no ability in our own strength to move Heaven or the events around us, we are in position to hear from Heaven. It is the acknowledgment of our humanity and our frailness that places us in a position to have a personal encounter with the living God.

Do you need a personal encounter with God today? Do you need God to intervene on your behalf? Seek Him with all your heart. Demonstrate to Him you are serious. Get alone and acknowledge your helpless condition before Him. He will reward you with His presence.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Lamb of God


William Bouguereau, L’innocence, 1893



“Behold, the Lamb of God 

Who takes away the sin of the world.” 

John 1:29






The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, 

and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. 


He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.


John 10:3



Eden's Bridge


LAMB OF GOD

OUR ONLY SON, NO SIN TO HIDE

BUT YOU HAVE SENT HIM
FROM YOUR SIDE
TO WALK UPON THIS GUILTY SOD
AND TO BECOME THE LAMB OF GOD


YOUR GIFT OF LOVE THEY CRUCIFIED
THEY LAUGHED AND SCORNED HIM
AS HE DIED
THE HUMBLE KING THEY NAMED A FRAUD
AND SACRIFICED THE LAMB OF GOD


O LAMB OF GOD SWEET LAMB OF GOD
I LOVE THE HOLY LAMB OF GOD
O WASH ME IN YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD
MY JESUS CHRIST THE LAMB OF GOD


I WAS SO LOST I SHOULD HAVE DIED
BUT YOU HAVE BROUGHT ME TO
YOUR SIDE
TO BE LEAD BY YOUR STAFF AND ROD
AND TO BE CALLED A LAMB OF GOD


O LAMB OF GOD SWEET LAMB OF GOD
I LOVE THE HOLY LAMB OF GOD
O WASH ME IN YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD

TILL I AM JUST A LAMB OF GOD








Do You Need Something To Pray For?





Do  You Need Something To Pray For?


Mayday - National Day of Prayer...
Koinonia Institute 


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
— Psalm 46:1
Today marks the 63st annual National Day of Prayer. Cities and churches throughout the nation will hold prayer gatherings to recognize God’s goodness and to thank Him for the many blessings He has poured on America. Millions will gather to seek His guidance and protection for our national and local leaders, our communities, and our families.
On February 19, 1795, President George Washington proclaimed a day of public thanksgiving, and since that time there have been many days of national prayer in America. In 1952 Congress established an official National Day of Prayer, and in 1988 set aside the 1st Thursday in May for that purpose.
The NDP theme for 2014 is “One voice, united in prayer,” based on Romans 15:6: “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 4 makes clear that the Church is a body, and if we are all moved by the same Spirit, we will function smoothly with the same heart of God.
“We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep,” The Pensacola News Journal relayed a reminder from NDP Chairman Shirley Dobson. “If we do not become involved and support the annual NDP, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too.”
God still works in human lives. He is ever in the miracle business, and our prayers can indeed have an impact on the hearts and minds of those human beings who walk in the halls of government. Faith still moves mountains. [See links below for some encouragement.]

Need Something To Pray For?

  • Pray for Government: From the President and Congress and Supreme Court down to our local mayors and town councils, our government officials need prayer for guidance and wisdom. Whether or not we agree with them politically, these men and women are in positions of authority, and they need our prayers, not just on Thursday, but constantly.
  • Pray for Military: There are plenty of miracle stories among America’s soldiers about times they’ve witnessed amazing protection during deadly situations. Keep praying for our soldiers on the field as well as for their leadership all the way up to the decision-makers in the Pentagon. Also remember the families of the fallen, who continue to grieve long after the battles are over.
  • Pray for Media: We need an honest and unbiased media in America that will give straight-forward news. We also need to pray for righteous role models in the sports and entertainment industries. Pray for America’s heart to be moved regarding these things.
  • Pray for Business: This means far more than praying for the economy. We need to pray for honest and ethical behavior in American companies. The United States is a nation of business, and righteous and wise business practices lead to prosperity just as corruption and greed have led to destruction.
  • Pray for Education: A knowledge of the Bible was once considered an integral part of education, and literacy was vital to being able to read God’s Word. That attitude has completely changed in our education system, and despite vast amounts of money and effort, our schools are riddled with apathy, illiteracy, and violence. We need to pray for the students in our schools as well our teachers and the policy makers who affect education decisions.
  • Pray for Church: Our pastors and their families need constant, daily prayer. They need to be able to lead their local bodies through the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and they need protection and encouragement in the midst of constant stresses and temptations. We also need to pray for the Church across America and across the world. We are a Body, and when one member is hurting, we all suffer. We need to care for one another.
  • Pray for Family: We were all raised by somebody. Family is the foundation of society, and if our homes are filled with abuse and neglect, our country is in serious trouble. We need to pray for loving marriages in America. We need our homes to be places where parents practice what they preach and demonstrate to children how wise and healthy decisions are made.
Please prepare to join others in your city or church, or start your own prayer gathering. There are prayer events being held in communities from Seattle to Washington DC and from Los Angeles to Augusta to Ft. Lauderdale. Prayer warriors are meeting at city halls and parks, schools and military bases, prisons and homeless shelters and even gas stations! Gather wherever you can, and join hearts with other believers to seek God for our nation, our communities and our families.
The World trusts in riches and power and prestige, but these things are temporary and can be lost in a day — as we have seen repeatedly in recent years. Only God is always faithful. Only God is holy and incorruptible. Only God can provide real safety and strength. Only God gives us true hope.
Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
— Psalms 86:11–12 


Joseph Prince - 'Daddy, God!'—The Heart Of The Father 


Hearing His Voice




Hearing His Voice

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman



"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." - John 8:47

Jesus said that the key to being able to hear God's voice is first to be one of His children. One of the great mysteries of the universe to my logical mind is how God can communicate with six billion people on the earth at the same time. It is one of those mysteries I must let go of because my "hard drive" would crash if I had to explain and understand this before I believed and trusted in Him. It is as though God places a computer chip in each human being, and when we place our faith and trust in Him, it becomes activated. We begin to communicate with Him. Jesus says that if we are children of God, then we can hear God's voice. He further explains this relationship in the following parable:

"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice (John 10:1-5)."
The Shepherd is always representative of Christ. Sheep are representative of God's children. This passage tells us that the Shepherd communicates with His children. We are called by name and we can listen to our Shepherd's voice. There is another comforting aspect to this relationship. The Shepherd goes before the sheep to prepare the way. Jesus has already gone before us today to prepare our way.

Knowing the Shepherd and His voice allows us to have the assurance that we will not be fooled by another shepherd's voice. The sheep know His voice. It is only when we are dull of hearing that we mistakenly hear another's voice and follow it. Sin can create a poor frequency in our communication with the Shepherd. Make sure your frequency is free of static (sin) today so that the Shepherd can lead you and go before you.

Finally, distractions can also keep us from hearing our Shepherd's voice. When the sheep get entangled in the fence or wander off, they get too far away to hear the Shepherd's voice. We must stay in close proximity to the Shepherd to hear His voice. Stay close to the Shepherd today. Listen and follow. He wants to lead you.


Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.



Lead Me To Calvary

 

The Place of Calvary





The Place of Calvary
Pastor Adrian Rogers

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.” - Luke 23:33

Jesus carried our sin to the cross. The spot where that happened was Calvary, also called Golgotha—the same spot known as Mt. Moriah where in Genesis Abraham offered Isaac to God. Mt. Moriah, the temple mount, and Calvary are all on the same limestone ridge—all the same mountain.

Centuries before Christ was born, God told Abraham, the brightest star in the Hebrew heaven, “Abraham, I want you to take your son, your only son, the son that you love, the son of promise, to a place I will show you. Not just any place—a certain place. And there you are to offer your son.” That spot is the very spot where one day, centuries later, Jesus Christ would be crucified.

For Abraham and Isaac, a ram caught in a thicket provided the substitute. There was no such substitute for Jesus Christ—for He was our Substitute.


Meditate today on what it cost God the Father to sacrifice His only Son on Calvary’s mountain and what it cost the Lord Jesus to be that “ram caught in the thicket” for us. Let what God the Father provided—and what His Son did for you—sink into the deepest part of your heart. “I will praise Him, Praise the lamb for sinners slain. Give Him glory, all ye people, for His blood can wash away each stain.”



For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org







It's Friday, But Sundays Coming



     

        He paid a debt He did not owe...


          I owed a debt I could not pay!





Matthew 28:6

The First Step Toward Freedom




The First Step Toward Freedom
Bayless Conley

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.  In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.  For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.  Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" (John 5:2-6).

Jesus asked this man a seemingly ridiculous question, "Do you want to be made well?"  It's obvious isn't it?  He is at the pool, isn't he?  The only reason people went there was to be healed.  What kind of a question is that to be asking?  Of course, he wanted to be healed.

But Jesus was not convinced.  This man had been stuck in his condition for a long time.  He was not only lying down on the outside, he was lying down on the inside.

Sometimes people get used to living in their problems.  While they may outwardly be going through the motions to get free (generally because they know that is what is expected of them), inwardly they have given up.

The first step toward getting free from your problems and that which binds and restricts your life is wanting it—really wanting it.

You have to stand up on the inside before you can ever stand up on the outside.

Let me be very bold and ask you:  Do you want to be made well?  Do you really want things to change?  Or have you grown accustomed to living under the devil's heel?

If you are tired of defeat, mediocrity and bondage, then stand up on the inside and say, "Enough is enough!"

It is the first step toward freedom. 




Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God 





Fire by Night 

LINGERING" PROBLEMS

                    Glenn H. Jackson                        
                                                                                      

    If one truly trusts Me THEN they WILL be found obeying Me - 
in even the smallest of details.


        ...."Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths".... Proverbs 3:5-6 The Amplified Translation

        ...."He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much".... Luke 16:10 NASB

        ...."humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully [Ps. 55:22]".... 1 Peter 5:6-7 The Amplified Translation

        ...."We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience [Love] of Christ".... 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB

        The reason why many of God's children experience "lingering" problems in spite of all of "their" efforts is that they are operating from their "own" strength and understanding [from the position of a heart that is not "wholly" given to the Father in the area that they are having difficulty] - and, thus, they continually open the door to the Evil One to "maintain" his mind-sets [strongholds of fear] and schemes in their life. Casting the care of any "ground" exposed by the Holy Spirit upon the Father [as one draws near to Him in the "inner chamber"], and bringing EVERY thought captive to a revelation of His Will [Word] will lead to obedience in even the smallest of things that are "revealed" to their heart - and this "ongoing" [abiding]obedience will, ultimately, [sometimes spontaneously] provide the solution to the problem[s] - without exception.  



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