Be As Little Children
Be as Little Children
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1a
"I have an important business meeting in the morning. Would you please set the alarm for 5:30 a.m.?" I said to my wife.
"Oh, that won't be necessary. Just tell the Lord what time you want to wake up. He does it for me all the time," my wife said.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief. "Well, I'd feel more comfortable if we set the alarm."
"Okay, ye of little faith. But just to prove my point I am going to ask the Lord to wake us up just before 5:30."
The next morning I awoke before the alarm went off. I looked at the clock. It read 5:15. I looked at my wife, who had just awakened at the same time with an I-told-you-so smile.
Sometimes we wrongfully view God as someone we go to for only the "big things." The idea of "bothering God" for such a trivial matter seems foolish and presumptuous. However, when you were a child and had to get up in the morning for school, didn't your mom or dad come wake you up? They were your parents, and you could come to them with the most trivial concerns or requests. Why would our heavenly Father be any less approachable? Perhaps our problem is that we simply have not developed a level of intimacy with God so that we feel the freedom to approach Him at these daily, routine levels. We often operate with an unwritten code that says our needs must have a certain degree of importance or crisis before we come to God with them. This is not God's character towards us.
Does the Lord desire this level of intimacy with you and me? The apostle Paul exhorted us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17 KJV). There is never a caution to pray only about matters of greater importance.
Today, go to God with matters that you might view as trivial and would normally avoid bringing to God. Ask God to increase your level of intimacy with Him. You may even be able to get rid of your alarm clock.
..."Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes" (Revelation 18:4). Oh God, what a wicked world we live in. You created it to be a beautiful place; a place where you would come and fellowship with your beautiful creation, but humans disobeyed and gave in to the deceitful voice of Satan. While I am in this world, please help me to not take place in the sins of the world; to resist temptation; to rebuke the voice of Satan and run to you for shelter. Thank you, God, for loving me. I want to please you and fellowship with you. Protect me, please. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.
A Holiday Miracle
by Naomi Ragen
September 27, 2010 -- There is such a thin line between joy and sorrow, so learned a young Israeli couple, Sharon and Neta Shuker. The young couple were driving from their home in Beersheva yesterday to transport their belongings to their new home in Tena Omrim near Hebron when a passing car shot at them point blank. Neta, who was 41 weeks pregnant, received bullet wounds in her legs, and her husband Sharon was lightly wounded. Driving to a security point, the couple was transported to a hospital where Neta delivered a healthy baby boy by Cesarian section. After the birth of the baby, the new mother was wheeled back into the operating room for an operation on her injured legs.
"He was supposed to be born on Simchat Torah, but we are celebrating early," said the father as he held his son in his arms. "Now all my thoughts are for my wife."
Do they regret their decision to move?
"We're living in the Middle East," Neta's brother told Ynet reporter Ilana Coriel," There's always something. This conflict has been going on for a hundred years. We've experienced many greater and more difficult things. To our great Mazal, this time something good was born of it, and the incident ended in joy."
Equipped for the Valley
Dr. Charles Stanley
If a sermon is worth listening to, make it a habit to write down the important points. Writing etches wisdom deeper into your heart and mind, which is where you build a foundation of biblical theology.
Christians cannot afford to let a message wash over their ears and drift away: believers who aren't listeners may panic upon walking into a spiritual valley. Since they've retained very little teaching, their understanding of the Lord will be limited. People with a shaky theological foundation don't realize: 1) God is upholding them through their difficulty (Isa. 41:10); 2) it has purpose (Rom. 8:28-29); and 3) they must surrender to His work in their life or be set aside—still a believer but useless to the kingdom (Rom. 12:1-2). Consequently, a believer without a solid biblical foundation may seek out counsel from worldly "problem solvers" who offer only temporary release from pain and fear.
David, the psalm's author, said that he did not fear evil (Ps. 23:4). He knew God. What did he have to be scared of when the One who controls everything was on his side? How could he be stifled by anxiety while in the Spirit's comforting presence? The writer held God to His promises and God delivered (Ps. 23). But the psalmist had to know those pledges in order to believe that the Lord would keep them.
A spiritual relationship heavy on emotion but light on facts falters in a valley. Believers must know how Scripture applies to life. Unless you have a belief system that can withstand pressure, pain, and criticism, you are at risk. Start building your biblical foundation so it will help you in times of need.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Tuesday, September 28, 2010