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11/9/14 10:29 A

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I Samuel 2:19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.


Hannah was the prophet, Samuel’s, mother. She had prayed and asked the Lord for a son for a long time, until finally the Lord granted her this request. Eli, the priest, even thought that she was drunk, as she was weeping and praying so passionately for a son during one of her visits to the tabernacle. In exchange for a son, Hannah promised the Lord that she would give him back to serve in the tabernacle. This took a great sacrifice on her part, as she had longed for a son for so long. But she followed through on her promise, and she gave him to Eli in the tabernacle after he was weaned. For her obedience, God blessed Hannah with several additional children, but she always visited Samuel in the tabernacle each year and took him a handmade robe, as mentioned in the verse above. Because of Hannah’s faithfulness and sacrifice, Samuel grew up to be a great prophet, serving God in the tabernacle, and eventually the Lord used him to anoint Saul and later David as kings over Israel. In fact, all of Israel was blessed because of Samuel’s service to the Lord.

Edited by: MISSM66 at: 11/9/2014 (10:29)
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11/8/14 12:10 P

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Good Ground
that Produces



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
(Matthew 13:8, NLT)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



In life, there are many kinds of seeds we can sow, but do you know what produces the best crop? The seed of God’s Word planted on the soil of our hearts. The more of the Word you take into your heart, the more abundant the harvest will be.

Our job, as believers, is to make sure we are good ground. The scripture tells us there are things that can choke the seed of the Word — the cares of this world and greed and selfishness act as thorns that stop the seed from growing. It also tells us that in order for the seed to take root, we need to stand strong during the difficult times when persecution and challenges come.

If you have hard or dry places in your heart today, God wants to soften those areas. He promised in Ezekiel that He will take out the stony, hard heart and replace it with a new heart, a heart that is good ground and open to Him. This is the heart that will produce an abundant harvest of blessing in every area of your life!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for the seed of the Word which is alive and growing in my heart. Search my heart and mind today. Have Your way in me. Use me for Your glory and produce a harvest in me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/8/14 11:38 A

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How to Develop a Solid Faith




Saturday, November 8, 2014



1 Peter 1:6-7

Every one of us will go through troubling times, and when those times come, it’s easy to get disheartened. But the Bible indicates that even during periods of challenge and adversity, God expects His children to respond correctly. And His Word equips us to do so.

Today’s passage teaches us to rejoice during difficulty. Of course, this does not mean that we must be glad about the hardship. But we can be joyful because we know that God is using the circumstances to prepare and grow us. Although having a positive attitude during a negative situation does not seem logical, here are two reasons why doing so makes sense.

First, the Lord teaches us endurance through the difficult experiences we encounter. Our natural reaction to pain is to run in the opposite direction—and as fast as possible. However, God wants us to “hang in there” so we can derive the full benefit of whatever lesson He has for us.

Second, the heavenly Father uses trials as a refining fire to purify His children and bring them to greater spiritual maturity. He has a plan for each believer, and hardship is one of the necessary tools that prepare us to do His will. In the process, we will find that our faith has been strengthened.

As we realize God brings benefit from our adversities, we’ll begin to face challenging times with confidence that He always has our best interest in mind. We can rejoice in the fact that He is building our endurance, purifying our hearts, and making us people with unshakable trust in Him.


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/8/14 6:16 A

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Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”


Know this…if you share your faith, people will hate you but it is really the message they hate, not you. They will lie about you behind your back, they will say all kinds of evil things about you (like bearing false witness or gossiping) but it will be on Jesus’ account, not yours, and by the way, that’s a good thing. Why do I say that? Because you can rejoice because you’re in good company since they persecuted Jesus and the prophets up to the point of killing them. You know you have a great reward awaiting you in heaven if you are being persecuted for His sake. Peter knew about persecution and he would say, “Bring it on!” Why? He writes that “to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pet 4:24-14). Imagine that! The “Spirit of glory…rests upon” those who are persecuted for Jesus’ sake. Don’t you want that?

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11/8/14 4:07 A

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Genesis 50 Burial of Jacob and death of Joseph

Read Genesis 50

After Jacob dies his body, as requested is taken to his own tomb. I've often wondered if Israel should have left Goshen and returned to Canaan at this time. The famine was over, Joseph and his family had a certain amount of wealth and means. Just a thought. History does tell us what happened. Because Joseph was well respected and the people comfortably prospered, they remained in Egypt.
Which caused other problems, primarily the people of Israel inter married with the Egyptians and many of them brought the Egyptian idols in their homes.

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11/7/14 5:51 P

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Equipped to Serve




Friday, November 7, 2014



1 Peter 4:10-11

The Lord has given an amazing responsibility to those whom He has saved. He has called believers to be His servants and accomplish His work here on earth. Just think about how remarkable this is: Almighty God, who needs nothing and can do all things, actually invites us to share in what He is doing to draw people to Himself, to bring His children to spiritual maturity, and to care for those in need.

Being a servant of the Lord requires that we put ourselves under His authority, listen to His instructions, and carry out His commands. In our own strength, this task is beyond our abilities, but when we are walking obediently with Him, He supplies all that we need.

The Father never gives assignments for which He will not equip His children. He begins by developing Christlike character within us. Then, as we cooperate with His Spirit, God transforms a self-centered heart into the heart of a servant who delights in meeting the needs of others.

To further enable Christians to do His work, the Lord gives them spiritual gifts, which are to be used for the benefit of others. With specific assignments in mind for each believer, the Holy Spirit bestows the precise gifts needed to accomplish God’s purposes.

The invitation is issued; the strength and ability are provided. All that is needed are some willing servants to participate in the most exciting adventure on earth. Join with the Lord in His work, use your spiritual gifts, and make an impact for Christ in this world.


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/7/14 7:20 A

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John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”

This is a great verse spoken by Jesus, as He is declaring here that He is the light of the world. The earth is often a very difficult and dark place, and many people struggle to survive the challenges they face on a daily basis. As Christians, though, our lives are filled with much more optimism and opportunity. Those who listened to Jesus’ voice in New Testament times and those of us who “listen” to him now, get to chose between following the “light” of the Lord or walking in the “darkness” of the world. We have a decision to make—one will give us life, hope and joy in our lives—but the other will lead to pain, suffering, and difficulties. Jesus is the only one that offers us a love relationship and an abundant life.

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11/7/14 4:29 A

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Zephaniah 3 Only God can truly change people

Read Zephaniah 3

There is in the world a multi-million dollar industry of 'self-help'. The problem with this is that we can't help ourselves. Most of the people that buy into this end up buying a lot and in most cases don't change. There are exceptions. But real change comes from God. The beginning of the chapter describes proud pig-headed people, with no regard for God. Why would a self made, self righteous man want to change? Try to convince a proud arrogant person that they need to change. Might as well talk to a wall. Real change comes when people recognize the need and accept that it can't come from themselves.

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11/6/14 12:38 P

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Now I Can See



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“ ‘I don’t know whether he is a sinner,’ the man replied. ‘But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!’ ”
(John 9:25, NLT)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



One time, Jesus healed a blind man, and the religious crowd got upset. They started arguing over why he was healed, how he was healed, and who was to blame for him being blind in the first place! They were hounding the man with questions. Finally, the man said, “Listen, guys. You all are confusing me. I can’t answer all of your questions. All I can tell you is this: I was blind, but now I can see.” He was saying, in effect, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! He was saying, “You can argue all day long, but I know the reason I can see is because of God’s healing in my life.”

There are people today who don’t think you are supposed to be blessed. They don’t think that God wants people to prosper and live in victory. But it’s too late because we’ve already experienced His blessing. He’s already opened up supernatural doors! We’ve seen His favor! Don’t let the naysayers talk you out of your blessing. Don’t let them convince you that God’s Word isn’t true. He’s already done so much in your past, and He’ll do more in your future. Keep standing, keep believing and keep hoping. Soon you’ll see His blessing in every area of your life!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father in heaven, thank You for opening the eyes of my heart so that I can, first of all, see You and then see every good thing You have in store for me. I look to You with an attitude of faith and expectancy and believe that You are at work in me in Jesus’ name! Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/6/14 12:24 P

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Called to Serve





Thursday, November 6, 2014



Matthew 20:20-28

Christians are identified by a variety of names in the Bible—such as believers, brothers, and saints—but one title we seldom call ourselves is “servants of Christ.” However, that is exactly what the Lord tells us to be. After His disciples wrangled about who was the greatest, Jesus turned their worldly thinking upside down with a call to become great in the kingdom by being a servant of all.

Christ is not just our Savior but also our Lord and Master, and we are to follow His example. Just as He served His Father by caring for people, so we serve our God by lovingly meeting the temporal and spiritual needs of those around us.

Service is essential for spiritual growth. God is always at work in the believer’s life, transforming his character into the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). A major hindrance in this process is self-centeredness. Serving others is one of the tools that the Lord uses to set us free from the slavery of selfishness.

Service is required to achieve God’s purpose for our lives. The Lord has designed specific works for each of us to accomplish in our lifetime (Eph. 2:10). If we only take in and never give out, we will miss much of what He has planned for us.

Never forget that you have a high calling, which is realized only by lowering yourself to the level of a servant. Look for the opportunities that the Lord will give you today to serve someone. Take your place alongside Christ, who was the ultimate servant of all.


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/6/14 9:13 A

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"...God is love..." 1 John 4:8

It occurs to me that everytime we make a statement beginning with "God is.." .we are like one of the blind men in the story. If you remember that one: the first man felt the ear and said that an elephant is like a fan;another felt the leg and said that the elephant is like a tree; the next felt the tail and said that the elephant is like a rope. St. John is searchng for a metaphor in 4:8 and he says that God is love. Yes, God is love, but he is love beyond what we can ever know or appreciate. He is truth, justice, righteousness, and so much more than we can ever feel or say. We are told in other passages that God dwells in unapproachable light...that no one has ever seen or can see Him. And so forth! What awe and reverence we ought to have,then, when we approach him in prayer or go into his church! What humility we ought to have when we think about what a great gulf there is between our position (earthy) and his position (heavenly)! My mind is completely boggled!

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11/6/14 4:03 A

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Zephaniah 2 Prophecy against Judah's enemies

Read Zephaniah 2

There is an expression I sometimes hear, it goes either of two ways. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, or the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. This will be a great example of the second statement. When Nebuchadnezzar conquered that region he not only destroyed Jerusalem but also the area of the Philistines, Moabites, Canaanites, and Ammonites. God's judgment and justice reaches to everyone. He used the Babylonians to chasten Israel and at the same time Israel's enemies.

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11/6/14 3:57 A

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Ruth 1:16, “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

Ruth’s story is an amazing one, as she chose to follow her ex-mother-in-law, Naomi, to a foreign land during a time of extreme sadness in her life. When faced with the devastating loss of her husband, she could have stayed among her own people to seek comfort and provision. However, she not only followed Naomi, but she also chose to embrace the God of Israel. Ruth had a loving relationship with her mother-in-law, and she had probably heard about Naomi’s powerful God. So she decided to bless her mother-in-law, and in turn she was blessed by making the most important decision of her life—she chose to follow God. As a result of this famous decision, she became King David’s grandmother and part of the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

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11/5/14 12:08 P

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1 Peter 1:15-21King James Version (KJV)

15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/5/14 12:06 P

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Pursuing Holiness



Wednesday, November 5, 2014



1 Peter 1:15-21

God’s children are called to live holy lives that are marked by a deep reverence for Him. One strong motivation for righteous living is the cross and what it represents.

First, the cross is a reminder of our original position as outsiders, separated from God because of sin. Second, it points to our need for a Savior. Divine justice decrees that the penalty for sin is death (Rom. 6:23). But the only acceptable payment is a blood sacrifice from a life without defect (Lev. 17:11; Deut. 17:1). Since we’re all guilty, we can’t pay for our own sins. Third, it was on the cross that Jesus took our place and endured God’s wrath so we could be forgiven. Fourth, the crucifixion marks the time when God’s justice was satisfied and His mercy was demonstrated. Finally, it points out the way to be reconciled to the Father and adopted into His family. Only by faith in Jesus Christ can we be saved (John 14:6).

Sadly, many have forgotten about God’s requirement of holiness (v. 15). Instead of keeping to His standards of attitude and behavior, they tend to embrace some worldly values that seem more comfortable or self-satisfying. Then, secular goals like pleasure and material wealth tend to replace godly ones like obedience and servanthood. Such worldly goals are encouraged by our culture, which has little fear of God and typically ignores His warnings and commands.

To counteract the culture’s influence, keep the meaning of the cross before you. Then you’ll be motivated to pursue holiness in honor of the One who gave His life to save you.


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/5/14 12:02 P

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Now I Can See



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“ ‘I don’t know whether he is a sinner,’ the man replied. ‘But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!’ ”
(John 9:25, NLT)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



One time, Jesus healed a blind man, and the religious crowd got upset. They started arguing over why he was healed, how he was healed, and who was to blame for him being blind in the first place! They were hounding the man with questions. Finally, the man said, “Listen, guys. You all are confusing me. I can’t answer all of your questions. All I can tell you is this: I was blind, but now I can see.” He was saying, in effect, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! He was saying, “You can argue all day long, but I know the reason I can see is because of God’s healing in my life.”

There are people today who don’t think you are supposed to be blessed. They don’t think that God wants people to prosper and live in victory. But it’s too late because we’ve already experienced His blessing. He’s already opened up supernatural doors! We’ve seen His favor! Don’t let the naysayers talk you out of your blessing. Don’t let them convince you that God’s Word isn’t true. He’s already done so much in your past, and He’ll do more in your future. Keep standing, keep believing and keep hoping. Soon you’ll see His blessing in every area of your life!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father in heaven, thank You for opening the eyes of my heart so that I can, first of all, see You and then see every good thing You have in store for me. I look to You with an attitude of faith and expectancy and believe that You are at work in me in Jesus’ name! Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/5/14 5:47 A

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Even though it is difficult to determine the circumstances in which David wrote this psalm, its content speaks for itself. In the midst of danger, David takes refuge in the Lord. "What can I do?" he sighs. The opposition is enormous, but God is in control. That is why he takes refuge in Him.

David

In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me, "Flee like a bird to your mountain.
For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.
When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?"
The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.
For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.
(Psalm 11:1-4, 7)








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11/5/14 4:06 A

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Zephaniah 1 Judgment on Judah

Read Zephaniah 1

To get an idea of the time and events you need to go back to 2 Kings 20-22. Hezekiah was a good king by most standards. He had ups and downs and tried to walk upright. When he died his son Manasseh however was evil incarnate. It is said that he did more evil than the Amorites, he placed idols and phallic symbols in the temple of God. His son Amon was no better. The people realized that he was evil and killed him (Amon) to place his son Josiah on the throne. Josiah was 8 when he became king.

So knowing the event in Kings and Chronicles, this prophecy took place between the first and 18th year of Josiah's reign. The people of Judah are doing everything that God said not to do and so far will not listen to His prophets. So God pronounces a judgment on the leadership and the people for their sins.


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11/5/14 3:33 A

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A word from the Word

November 5 – Those that loved Jesus and those that despised Him

Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

The ministry of Jesus was mixed with those that loved Him and followed Him And those that despised Him and plotted to kill Him. Both were very important in His ministry.

Jesus came to show the love of God but Jesus also came to die on the cross. It took both love and hate to complete His ministry.

Thanks be to God for His love and thanks be to God for His redemption found on the cross.

-------

Pray for our Churches. If revival is going to come it will come through the believer. Pray that marriages and family relationships throughout the congregation will be strengthened. - - - - Pray for the healing needed in my life. Thank you.


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11/4/14 10:40 A

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Our word for today from the Word of God comes from

Lamentations chapter 3, and we're going to begin reading at verse 19. Now, you probably were not discussing Lamentations over breakfast this morning, but Jeremiah wrote it. It follows his long book that's named after him. Of course, he's a great man of God, but he's a great man of God who knew about failure too. In fact, here's what he says; maybe some things you and I can relate to. I'm sure we can. Beginning with Lamentations 3:19 and then ending with a phrase that you may have sung in church many times.

"I remember my affliction in my wandering..." Can you relate to that? He says, "the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them." See, his mind is playing back failures. "My soul is downcast within me," he says. "This really gets me depressed," in other words. "Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope." Okay, the sun's coming up now. "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassion's never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness."

Jeremiah is reflecting on times when even the most committed of us believers fall off, so to speak, as my friend fell off that Jet Ski. And he captures the feelings very well. "When I fail my Lord I feel discouraged, I feel depressed, sometimes like, 'What's the use?' But every new day, every morning His compassion's do not fail, His mercies are new every morning. Every new day I find my Lord circling near me to pick me up even though I fell off


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11/4/14 4:06 A

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Habakkuk 3 A prayer of praise and confession

Read Habakkuk 3

He begins with accounts of all that God has done both in the earth and for the Jews. The very creation of the earth, how He went before Israel, to battle their enemies. He uses the elements of nature to wage war against men. As Habakkuk declares these things he is reminded of the power and nature of God. At verse 16 he realizes his own sins and the sins of Israel, his body trembles. Do you ever tremble at the power of God?

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11/4/14 2:39 A

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A word from the Word

November 4 – Jesus heals in many ways.

13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

We see something here that we don’t see in other healings. Jesus didn’t speak the healing. Jesus didn’t say anything except “stretch forth thine hand”. Jesus did not say hand be healed. Jesus did not even touch him. Jesus simply said “stretch forth thine hand”

Do you think Jesus did this for a reason? Everything Jesus did He did for a reason.

Every time Jesus healed He did it in a different way. Once Jesus said “who touched me and the woman was healed”, another time Jesus said “Your faith has healed you”, another time Jesus placed mud in a man’s eyes and he was healed. Each time Jesus healed Jesus did it in a different way.

There is no special way that we must come to God for healing. We simply come placing our faith in Him believing that He is a God of healing.

---------------

I would like for us to pray for the Church. If revival is going to come it will come through the believer. 2 Chronicles 714 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. - - - - Pray for the healing needed in my life. Thank you.


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Nothing Wasted



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ ”
(John 6:12, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



The Bible tells of a time when Jesus fed a crowd of five thousand with only five loaves and two fishes. He blessed it and multiplied it. That day, everyone had more than enough to eat, and there were still twelve baskets full of bread and fish left over. That’s because we serve a God of abundance! Then Jesus told the disciples to collect all the leftovers “so that nothing is wasted.” With God, nothing is ever wasted. He’ll never waste an experience; He’ll never waste a hurt; He’ll never waste a dream; He’ll never waste even a single piece of bread.

If you’ve felt like you’ve wasted years of your life in the wrong job, hanging around the wrong people or doing the wrong things, God will gather those years and restore them to you. He’ll take those experiences that the enemy meant for your harm and turn them around for your good. He’ll make you stronger, wiser and better off than you were before. He can launch you further into your destiny than before. Be encouraged today because with God, all things are possible! He is your provider, and nothing is ever wasted!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, I give You every bit of my life, my past, my present and my future. Thank You for taking every experience and turning it around for my good. I know that with You, nothing is ever wasted in Jesus’ name! Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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Praying for you Herb!
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"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/3/14 8:25 A

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A word from the Word

November 3 - Not doing very well

Back in and out of the hospital. Infection in the surgical aria May take several months to heal.

Please pray, pray and pray


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Devoted to Prayer




Monday, November 3, 2014



Colossians 4:2-4

The Savior was devoted to prayer. He met with God in the early morning, sought Him in the midst of busy days, and slipped away for nighttime fellowship with Him. His actions testify to the central place prayer is to have in the lives of believers.

Prayer seemed to come naturally to Jesus, but most of us have to work at maintaining regular communion with God. We find ourselves easily distracted by the details of life, our own desires, and the demands of people. The road to a deepening prayer life begins with the firm commitment to develop a habit of talking with God and to make it a high priority in our day. We follow through by setting aside a daily time with the Lord and by identifying a location that minimizes interruptions. Sacrifice will be necessary to make this happen—we might have to accept less sleep, give up a favorite activity, or use our lunch hour for prayer. And parents might have to ask friends for help with the kids in order to have alone time with God.

In addition, our prayer life must be undergirded by Scripture, which teaches us about God’s character, promises, and priorities. The Bible turns our thoughts from worldly cares and pleasures to a focus on the Lord. Reading it daily will remind us that He is supremely important to our life and our desire should be to please Him. Then, we’ll be ready to make requests according to His will—and to hear what He has to say.

Evaluate the current state of your prayer life, and commit to improving at least one area described above.


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/3/14 4:08 A

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Habakkuk 2 The righteous shall live by his faith

Read Habakkuk 2

The prophet sees himself as a watchman. Looking for the enemies of his people and waiting upon God.

The answer comes as a prophecy that's near being fulfilled and God, through the prophet, declares who will live. The unrighteous live by their own strengths, declaring personal gains to be of their own making. The righteous live by faith in God, trusting in Him and living by His laws. So many times it seems the unrighteous have so much better stuff but life is not just limited to now. The final judge is and will always be God, life eternal is reserved for those who trust in Him.


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11/2/14 8:16 A

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Knowing Your Identity



Do you know who you are? I’m not talking about who you are because of your parents, your background, or your upbringing, but I mean do you really know who you are in Christ? Most people know who they are in the natural realm as it relates to their family and upbringing, but when it comes to their true identity in Christ and what that entails, they don’t have a clue.


Often, people have a hard time identifying with Jesus, because they relate to their physical, natural identities and the things they can perceive with their senses more than they do with Him. In addition, they equate their outward behavior with their identity and think that what they do is who they are. However, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and personal Savior, we become one with Him. Knowing who we are in Christ is the catalyst for walking in the power of God and demonstrating that power to the world.
The knowledge of who we are in Christ is so vital to our confidence as Christians, and it is the area in which Satan will consistently attack us. In fact, he attacked Jesus in the area of identity when He was fasting in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. When Satan tried to question Jesus’ identity in the wilderness, Jesus responded with the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-7). For example, When Satan said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Once Satan realized Jesus didn’t have an identity problem, he left Him alone. Likewise, when Satan comes to attack our identity in Christ, we must remind him of what is written, and he will leave us alone too.


Jesus wasn’t the first one Satan attacked in the area of identity. In the Garden of Eden, he also attacked the identities of Adam and Eve. God had created Adam and Eve in His image, but they allowed the voice of the enemy to deceive them by suggesting that they weren’t who God had made them to be. They believed the lie and, as a result, they took the bait and fell into his trap.


By constantly looking into the mirror of God’s Word, we are able to maintain a consistent consciousness of our identity in Christ. The Word will tell us exactly who we are and what we look like from God’s perspective. It will also reveal to us any areas of our lives that may not line up with God’s Word. We should identify with the identity that God has given us.


Even though we possess the power of God on the inside of us, if we don’t embrace the same mindset that Jesus had about His identity for our own lives, we will never be confident enough to walk in that identity. Renew your mind to who you really are and declare it every day. You are the righteousness of God by faith, not by works. You are God’s beloved child, and He loves you uniquely and unconditionally. No matter what you face in life, you are more than a conqueror in His eyes. When you walk in your identity, you will send the devil running in the opposite direction!



"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/2/14 5:35 A

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Genesis 49 Jacob/Israel blesses his sons

Read Genesis 49

Some of these blessings could be considered a curse. I am just going to look at three.
Ruben was the first born and entitled to a double portion, we saw earlier how Jacob manipulated that to Joseph. But Ruben loses out because he slept with one of Jacob's wives/concubines, (Gen 35).
This practice wasn't that odd, it was a power grab, used to establish a family hierarchy. Ruben essentially challenged Jacob's position to lead the family.

Judah is blessed and prophesied to bring messiah. That he should rule and that the scepter should always be Judah's. I like the symbolism of washing garments in wine, we look at that as a type of blood of Christ and we are indeed washed in that. The wine will stain the garments of that day, giving them color but the blood of Christ bleaches ours cleaner than snow.

The third could be considered a double, it deals with Simeon and Levi. Jacob prophecies that they will be scattered through Israel because of what they did. Back in chapter 34, because a Canaanite raped Dinah their sister, these brothers contrived a plan and slaughtered an entire town. For that sin they will have no specific inheritance and Levi will eventually fill the role as priests. When you consider what that entailed it's not such a glamorous position. Both tribes were indeed scattered although Simeon more confined to Judah in the southern kingdom.


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James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
The Bible says in Psalm 1 that a person who meditates on God’s Word will be blessed. The wisdom of the Bible will help guide a person to avoid wrong friends and influences. Meditating—memorizing, studying and thinking about—brings the promise of being like a tree planted by a river. The person will have the life-giving nourishment that God provides through His Word. A further promise to that person is that God will guide their way in life.




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11/1/14 11:36 A

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The Nature of Conviction

John 16:7-11



Jesus assured His disciples that it was to their advantage that He go away so that the Helper could come (John 16:7)--God sends Him to convict people of their sin. Since the Holy Spirit is unlimited by time or space, He can reach out to every individual on the planet. However, His work differs with regard to believers and unbelievers.



With regard to unbelievers, God's Spirit penetrates the heart and brings awareness of wrongdoing. He reveals that according to God's holy standard, they have sinned and stand condemned by their transgression. Unbelief is the greatest sin against God, so every prick of the heart is meant to point out their need for the Savior.



As for believers, the Holy Spirit deals with them on the basis of their relationship with Jesus Christ and convicts us of disobedience to Him. In other words, He makes us aware of specific sins and the Lord's attitude about them. But He also prompts us to be accountable before Christ for our wrongdoing by confessing it and repenting.



Convicting believers of sin is an important part of the Holy Spirit's job, but He is equally delighted to make them aware of the Lord's approval. God commends righteous living, obedient actions, and loving acts done in His name.



While conviction is often uncomfortable for unbelievers and believers alike, it's a beautiful demonstration of God's love. He desires to bring us into the center of His will and keep us there for our good and His glory. The Holy Spirit's work makes that possible, if we choose to follow His promptings.

"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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11/1/14 4:34 A

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Genesis 48 Jacob adopts his grandsons

Read Genesis 48

When the tribes of Israel are counted there is no tribe of Joseph. I found that interesting, there are actually two tribes from Joseph's sons. The traditions held that the first born son would receive a double portion as inheritance. Jacob's first was Reuben, who had a falling out with dad when he slept with his concubine. We know that Jacob favored Joseph over all others so perhaps by adopting his sons Jacob was able to give the double portion to Joseph.


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10/31/14 5:48 P

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God Is Good to All




Friday, October 31, 2014



Psalm 118:1-4

The world is corrupt, but God is good, and non-Christians often experience His kindness (though they may attribute it to luck or hard work). Yet we who follow Christ sometimes feel unbelievers don’t deserve benefits of prosperity or good health, particularly if we've been faithful but find ourselves struggling. However, no matter how great our service to God, we’re no more deserving than anyone else.

Our omniscient God takes many things into consideration when deciding what is truly good for an individual and how best to bless that person. He bases His determination on His knowledge of each heart. For instance, a $10 tithe may not seem like a huge amount to a young person, even though he earns just $100 a week. A few years later the same person, now successful and wealthy, may decide he can’t afford to give $1000, even though that figure represents the same percentage of his paycheck.

At times the Lord refrain from pouring out blessing because He knows that too much of a good thing can have a negative effect. Or He may be selective about what He bestows so we won’t be tempted to worship the gift instead of the Giver.

In fact, unless we’re wise stewards, the Lord may withdraw certain benefits. To be fully blessed, we must heed what the psalmists teach: God unleashes blessing on those who walk uprightly, take refuge in Him, and obey (Ps. 84:11; 34:8-9).

Every good thing comes from the Lord (James 1:17), and we must seek Him to better understand His plans. Our part is to walk according to His will and follow His ways.




"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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Close the Door on Fear



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Do not give the Devil an opportunity to work.”
(Ephesians 4:27, ISV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



So many people today are living with less than God’s best because they’ve allowed fear to creep in and take root in their lives. Fear is the greatest weapon the enemy uses to try to hold us back. Fear is not from God. Scripture tells us that fear brings torment. It’s designed to paralyze us and keep us from God’s blessings.

The good news is that God is greater than fear. His power in you is greater than any power that comes against you. But in order to walk in His power, you have to close the door on the enemy. See, the enemy can’t have access to your life unless you open a door and give him access. That’s why we have to be careful what we watch, what we listen to, what we read and what we say. When we open ourselves to fear, we give the enemy opportunity.

If you’ve allowed fear to steal from you in any area of life, today you can be free — you can be finished with fear. Conquering the enemy starts by making the choice to close the door on fear by receiving God’s love and meditating on His promises. Receive His truth and speak His truth. Let Him set you free and lead you into victory as you close the door on fear.



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, I come to You in faith declaring that I am finished with fear. Thank You for giving me a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Fill me with Your peace and joy today as I worship You and move forward in victory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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10/31/14 5:44 P

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N_SPECT_R~ emoticon The pagans are taking over! God`s judgment will surely come.



MISSM66 ~ emoticon When we start our prayer with "Our Father" we acknowledge a personal relationship with God...how emoticon is that!

"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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In Matthew 6, Jesus prayed, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

A prayer that begins. . . “May I not view you as a distant father, but as one who has come to earth and understands the challenges and temptations of my life. Be near me today, whisper reminders that you’re close. My friends need you today as they make difficult decisions in their workplace and in their families. Show them you are closer than even their earthly fathers. Thank you for hearing me and listening to my pleas. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray this, amen


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10/31/14 4:05 A

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Habakkuk 1 The law is paralyzed

Read Habakkuk 1

That sentence is so descriptive of today. The laws that really should be enforced are ignored while stupidity reins. There are so many descriptions that I am thinking of but I won't list them, just look at any headline and you can find how the laws have become perverted. In the middle section God says that He has raised up a pagan military nation to chasten His people. It's like saying that since they wouldn't listen to God and wanted to behave like the pagans, then God will let the pagans take care of the problem. Folks the pagans are coming for us.

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10/30/14 2:28 P

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Great thoughts, PurplePeony!

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Knowing and Trusting the Lord



Thursday, October 30, 2014



Psalm 9:7-10

How much do you trust God? Before you answer, think about these scenarios: Do you really trust the Lord when everything seems out of control and He appears absent? When He has called you to move in a certain direction that seems illogical and risky? When painful circumstances continue, making you wonder if the Lord really cares?

We all have times of doubt when our expectations of God are dashed by the reality of our situation. Many of us want to trust Him more but aren't sure how.

David reveals that the key lies in knowing the Lord (v. 10). Distance in our relationship with Him results in a lack of faith, but those who are intimately acquainted with Christ find it easier to trust Him wholeheartedly.

Whenever you are tempted to doubt, remember these essential truths about the Lord:

• He is totally sovereign (Ps. 103:19). God has everything in His control even when we can’t perceive it.

• He is infinitely wise (Rom. 11:33-36). God knows every side of the situation (inside and out) and every event (past, present, and future).

• He loves perfectly (Ex. 34:6). Without exception, He always chooses what is best for us, even if it’s not easy.

We grow in faith, not by trying harder to believe but, rather, by pursuing the Lord. This involves doing all we can to get to know Him—in particular, spending time in His Word and talking with Him in prayer. Then our trust in Him will grow as we learn that He never forsakes those who seek Him.


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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10/30/14 7:56 A

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The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to mankind." John 1:4

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:23: " The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eyes are no good, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be!"

Darkness in the Scriptures is a symbol of ignorance; light is a symbol of awareness. And the eyes spoken of here are our spiritual eyes. However, the body will follow where the spiritual eyes lead. If our spiritual eyes see only darkness, our bodies will go right into that darkness; if our spiritual eyes see light, our body will follow right into that light. What is light? Jesus says, "I am the light of the world..."Therefore, our spiritual eyes need to be focused solely on him! We do not need to focus outside ourselves, as we remember that our God is indwelling, immanent as well as transcendent-closer to us than our own breathing. In the words of the old hymn "Holy Spirit, Light divine, dawn upon this soul of mine. Let your word dispel the night. Wake my spirit, clear my sight." For me, the light has not come in a flash of inspiration; it has come more like the dawn. I cannot claim to be enlightened..I am only in the early morning, but I am praying for full day!


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You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)

Joseph

The story of Joseph appeals to young and old alike. Joseph who went from pit to palace. Joseph who kept his conscience clean and his character pure. Who was faithful under the most difficult circumstances. The man who resisted temptation. Who was unspoiled by sudden prosperity. Joseph who proved that "prison walls do not make a prison." Who enjoyed the presence of God and waited for his deliverance from God.

The man who answered cruelty with love and hatred with goodwill. Joseph, the perfect type of Christ. An outstanding young man. While we learn from him in the coming days, we acknowledge that we may not have all his gifts, but realize that we can practice all his principles. We may never reach his greatness, but we can show forth his goodness. To friends and foes alike. Resulting in the saving of many lives.


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10/30/14 4:10 A

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Nahum 3 Heartless killing in war

Read Nahum 3

It was said that Nineveh was three days journey across. Imagine how many people could live there. It tells us in verse 3 that the horsemen came through slaughtering everyone and leaving heaps of bodies in the streets. I accept that in war there will be killing, it should be limited to combatants and should always be with regret.  I just can't imagine how anyone could be so cold and callous.

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10/29/14 5:01 P

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Love Gives



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
(John 3:16, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



Have you ever thought about how love affects giving? Someone once said, “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” Love prompts us to give of ourselves, our time, abilities and resources. The Bible tells us that God is love, and the world will know that we are His followers by the love we show. Giving is what shows our love!

We are entering into a time of the year that the world knows as the season of giving, but let’s remember to take time to focus on the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal, abundant life through Jesus. If you’ve never received this gift, open your heart and pray this simple prayer: “Lord Jesus, I come to You today, giving You all that I am. I repent of my sins and confess that I need You. I believe You died and rose for me. Be my Lord and Savior and make me new today. I receive Your love and Your gift of eternal life.” Then, go out and share the gift of love with someone else because it’s the gift that will last in eternity!



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for loving me and setting me free. I choose to serve You with my whole heart all the days of my life. Help me to love others the way You love me. Give me opportunities to be a blessing everywhere I go in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen



"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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10/29/14 9:42 A

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I'm continuing my quote from the Book of Wisdom, Chapter 3 about the righteous dead!

"In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their king forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones and his care is with his elect."

May the souls of our faithful departed ones rest in peace!

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Love Is Unselfish

First Corinthians 12:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
First Corinthians chapter 13 may be the greatest chapter on love in all the Bible and love is displayed here by many tangible evidences. It is patient; with people and circumstances. It is kind; to people and animals. It doesn't brag; about self but brags about others and glorifies God and gives Him the credit. It isn't arrogant; lording over people your position, power, or knowledge. It isn't rude; but polite and displays manners and proper etiquette. It doesn't insist on its own way; but give precedence and priorities to others, even if it has to compromise. It isn't irritable; it is not easily provoked to anger by people or circumstances. It isn't resentful; it rejoices when others succeed, even at their own expense. It doesn't rejoice in wrongdoing; it never delights in other people’s sins…instead, it rejoices in the truth of the Bible, it bears all thing (all means all), believes all things (gives people the benefit of the doubt), hopes all things (hopes for the best for all concerned) and endures all (all, like being used, abused, persecuted and so on). These things are love.

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10/29/14 4:07 A

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Nahum 2 The siege and fall of Nineveh

Read Nahum 2

This chapter details how the Medes and Babylonians will surround and besiege the city. Every detail described comes to pass, chariots racing through the streets, the people are taken as slaves, everything of value plundered. Here is one of the wealthiest cities ever and it is reduced to nothing. When people become rich and powerful they tend to have no need for the one true God.

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10/28/14 9:00 P

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Overcome with Good



TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
(Romans 12:21, NIV)



TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria



The scripture says, “We overcome evil with good.” In other words, when somebody’s rude or inconsiderate, don’t sink down to their level. Don’t be rude and inconsiderate back to them. No, if you are going to rise higher, if you are going to overcome, you have to do just the opposite. You have to show kindness, grace and mercy. It isn’t always easy; in fact, it’s almost never easy. It takes a lot of humility to treat someone with respect who is disrespecting you. But do you know what happens when you walk in humility? God gives you His grace. He empowers you to walk in His goodness. Scripture plainly says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Today, walk humbly with God and overcome evil with good. Show mercy and sow mercy. Receive His grace, receive His power, and receive His strength to be everything He’s called you to be.



A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for the grace to overcome in this life. I choose Your goodness. I choose Your ways. Help me to show Your love and walk in peace in every circumstance in Jesus’ name. Amen.

— Joel & Victoria Osteen


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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10/28/14 6:36 P

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Standing Before God’s Open Door




Tuesday, October 28, 2014



1 Corinthians 16:5-9

Uppermost in God’s thoughts is man’s salvation. He expects Christians to have the same mindset. We've been charged with advancing His kingdom by sharing the gospel and discipling others. As His servants, we’re to focus on His agenda, not preoccupy ourselves with earthly concerns (2 Tim. 2:4).

To achieve His plan, God will open doors of service for each of us—in local churches, neighborhoods, workplaces, or foreign lands. Our part is to watch for opportunities and be ready to take an active role. Spiritual preparation includes prayer and a daily quiet time, plus accountability with other believers. Whether God assigns us major tasks or smaller ones, we must be in position and all set to say yes. When we answer His call, we will discover He has equipped us with everything that we need to fulfill our mission (2 Pet. 1:3).

The most important work in our world is to help with the Father’s redemptive plan: He is rescuing people from the power of sin, adopting them into His family, and transforming them from rebellious, self-centered beings into reflections of His obedient and loving Son Jesus. Those of us who have been the beneficiaries of God’s saving work have an obligation to assist in His plan to rescue others. We have a responsibility to prepare ourselves—by surrendering our desires for His, committing to know Him better, and obeying His directions.

The Lord has prepared work for each of us to do (Eph. 2:10). How is He asking you to use your spiritual gifts and abilities to fulfill His plan?


"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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10/28/14 6:27 P

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@ PAPAW402161

Herb we are so glad surgery was successful! What a MARVELOUS God we serve!

Father God we thank you for a COMPLETE healing from cancer for Herb. We thank You & praise You Lord for Your faithfulness! May Herb always give You the glory and the honor. Amen.

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"I wish above all that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers" 3 John 1:2


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BENE38464's Photo BENE38464 SparkPoints: (11,305)
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10/28/14 11:28 A

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I am so happy to hear that you are cancer-free! It is not an automatic death sentence, as some people believe! I have been here since 1985 to prove it!!!! emoticon

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