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4/19/15 9:50 A

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A word from the Word
April 19 - - - “Through His blood”

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

It says “In whom we have redemption through His (Jesus) blood”. The payment for our redemption, our salvation was, made at the cross.

Hebrews 9:22 "Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission". - - Without the shed blood of Jesus Christ there could be no forgiveness of sins!

We don’t talk much about the blood of Jesus anymore. When was the last time you heard a good sermon on the blood of Jesus? Some people get uncomfortable when we talk about blood in fact some denominations today have taken from their hymnbooks songs that speak of the "blood of Jesus". They believe that they are too primitive for today’s world and yet it was the very blood of Jesus that paid the price for our redemption.

The blood of Jesus was shed for the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness of sin is the loosing of a person from that which not only separates a person from God but also binds him in captivity to that very sin.

How does the old hymn go?

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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4/19/15 8:02 A

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Appointed Favor

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
(Ephesians 2:10, NASB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God has already prepared paths for you to take in your future! When God laid out the plan for your life, He lined up the right people, the right circumstances, and the right breaks. In your future, He’s already released favor, supernatural opportunities, and divine connections. The breaks you need in life have already been preordained to come across your path. If you will stay in faith and go out each day and be a person of excellence, you’ll walk into these appointments of favor. It will be just as if you stumbled into God’s blessings!

When you really understand this principle, you’ll begin to get excited about the opportunities in every single day! You’ll have a spring in your step as you think about what blessing is coming next. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week! Keep expecting. Keep believing. Stay focused on the fact that God has already released into your future everything you need to fulfill your destiny. Start declaring seasons of increase over your life. Declare that favor is on you and opportunities are coming. Then, get ready to move forward in the favor and blessing God has ordered for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for setting up a good life for me. Thank You for ordering blessings for my future. Help me to know Your ways so that I can walk with You in the paths You have for me all the days of my life 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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4/18/15 1:48 P

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Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 18

THE BLOOD OF AN OVERCOMER

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Dr. Felix Ruh, a Jewish doctor in Paris, had a granddaughter who died of black diphtheria. Vowing to find out what had killed her, he locked himself in his laboratory for days and emerged with a fierce determination to prove, with his colleague, Louis Pasteur, the germ theory. The medical association had disapproved of Pasteur and had succeeded in getting him exiled, but he hid in the forest near Paris and erected a laboratory for his forbidden research.

Twenty beautiful horses were led out into the forest to the improvised laboratory. Scientists, doctors, and nurses came to watch the experiment. Ruh opened a steel vault and took out a large pail filled with black diphtheria germs, which he had cultured carefully for months. There were enough germs in that pail to kill everyone in France.

The scientist went to each horse and swabbed its nostrils, tongue, throat, and eyes with the deadly germs. Every horse except one developed a terrific fever and died. Most of the doctors and scientists wearied of the experiment and did not remain for what they thought would be the death of the remaining horse.

For several more days this final horse lingered, lying pathetically on the ground. While Ruh, Pasteur, and several others were sleeping on cots in the stables, the orderly on duty had been instructed to awaken the scientists should there be any change in the animal's temperature during the night. About two a.m., the temperature showed a half degree decrease, and the orderly wakened Dr. Ruh. By morning the thermometer had dropped two more degrees. By night the fever was entirely gone, and the horse was able to stand, eat, and drink.

Then Dr. Ruh took a sledgehammer and struck that beautiful horse a deathblow between the eyes. The scientists drew blood from the veins of this animal that had developed the black diphtheria but had overcome it. They drove as fast as they could to the Paris municipal hospital and forced their way past the superintendent and the guards. They went into the ward where three hundred babies lay, segregated to die from black diphtheria. With the blood of the horse, they inoculated every one of the babies. All but three lived and recovered completely.

The blood of an overcomer saved them. The blood of an Overcomer has also spiritually saved many people. He too had to die to bring life to others.

RESPONSE: Today I will repeatedly praise Jesus for the blood He shed as an Overcomer for my sin.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for sacrificing Yourself, an Overcomer, so that I might have abundant and eternal life.

A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks

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4/18/15 9:10 A

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Troubles Won’t Last

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
(2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
In this life, God warns that we will have trials and tribulations. The good news is that He also promises to deliver us from them all! Now, He doesn’t necessarily say that He will deliver us instantly, or the way we expect, or on our schedule. It can be tempting to get discouraged when things don’t happen the way you expect. But when you feel like trouble is surrounding you, that’s when you have to dig your heels in and say, “I’m not giving up because God promised me victory!”

If you are going through a dark time today, keep moving through it! Remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn appears. That difficulty didn’t come to stay, it came to pass. Your job is to stay in faith and keep praising and thanking Him for delivering you. Set your hope in Him, stir up your faith, and keep believing because soon you will see the victory God has prepared for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for giving me the strength to overcome every obstacle I face in life. I set my mind on You. I set my hope on Your love knowing that You are paving the way to victory all the days of my life 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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4/18/15 9:10 A

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A word from the Word
April 18 - - - In whom we have redemption

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Redemption meaning deliverance from sin; salvation, atonement for guilt, repurchase, as of something sold. paying off, as of a mortgage, bond, or note. Repurchase, paying off, as in the story I use to tell the children in children church years ago - - many years ago.

Once upon a time – all children stories begin with this – A young boy and his father built a small boat together. This young boy loved this little boat dearly. Everywhere he went he took this boat with him. One day he took his little boat to the ocean and as he was playing the boat drifted away from him and was lost at sea. Some fisherman caught the little boat in their nets and brought it to a little store and sold it to the shopkeeper.

One day as the little boy was walking through town he saw the little boat in the shopkeeper’s window. He told the shopkeeper how he and his father had made the boat together and how it was lost at sea.

The shopkeeper told the little boy that if he wanted the little boat he would have to punches it. So the little boy went home and got the money needed to buy back the little boat that was once his.

THE LITTLE BOY REDEAMED HIS LITTLE BOAT.

Oh by the way the story ends by the little boy saying. The boat is mine now two times. Once because I made it and again because I redeemed it.

Jesus redeamed us with his blood. Romans 3:23 The wages of sin is death. Jesus paid this wage for us by His death on the cross.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Our redemption is also found in the Lord Jesus Christ

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.



My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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4/17/15 5:33 P

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Standing Strong Through the Storm, April 17

UNITY IN LOVE

“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”Colossians 3:12-14

Salim Manayer who heads a significant reconciliation ministry in Israel between Israeli believers and Palestinian believers tells this story of learning about true love for others in the body of Christ during a visit to Denmark.

“I experienced something so beautiful. The love and acceptance of the Messiah through the lives of the people who took me around, opened up their homes, took me shopping, took care of me when I was sick and took time out of their busy lives to drive me from one end of the country to the other. I was so moved by their kindness, their hospitality, their compassion, their honesty and their love. Through long country drives they shared and explained to me their reasoning for various traditions and teachings.

And who were these people? Well, if you want to get technical they were Lutherans. Lutherans who belong to the state church – many of them pastors. Yes, we are different – I am an Israeli believer who does not hold to these traditions, but we are called to love each other in spite of our differences. Put all of these labels aside, these amazing people were my brothers and sisters, they are my family because we belong to the family of God and they embraced me as their family.

I was moved as I sat around the kitchen table drinking coffee after confirmation class with one pastor and while eating apple crisp on Rosh Hashanah with another pastor, attentively listening to them as they shared their passion to see the lost people in their communities and parishes find God and believe in him. It left an impression on my heart and encouraged and inspired me to reach the people in my own community.

Sometimes stereotypes and prejudices are there in the back of your head and you don’t realize it until God places those same people you held stereotypes about in your face and they begin to show you the love God requires of his children…

Maybe I was sent to Denmark to impress upon, encourage, challenge and impart to the Danish believers to become reconcilers in their local communities; to bless them and show them that it is possible to break down the walls of bitterness and hatred, demolish their stereotypes and prejudices and to love their brothers and sisters. And yet, that is exactly what they taught me."

RESPONSE: I commit this day to show true love to my brothers and sisters breaking down prejudices.

PRAYER: Lord, I need Your help today to follow Your command to love all my brothers and sisters.

A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks


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4/17/15 6:31 A

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A word from the Word
April 17 - - -Unto the adoption of children

Ephesians 1:5-65 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Let us look at the word “adoption”. Paul gives us a picture of us being brought into the family of God by adoption. Being adopted by God means that we are accepted into His family and brings a multitude of blessings but also responsibilities. Being adopted by God also means that we receive new rights. Rights that we never had before.

Under Roman law, if you were an adopted son, you had the same legal rights as a son born of natural birth into the family. An adopted son had the right to the family name and rights to the father’s inheritance. So being adopted we stand before God with legal right to the Family name and with full rights to the family inheritance.

But an inheritance takes place only at the death of a person but be assured God is not dead. It was Jesus and His death on the cross that brought us into this adoption and also brought us into this inheritance.

Galatians 4:4-7 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Ephesians Verse 6 tells us why we have been adopted – It says we are adopted so we would be able to praise God for His glory and His grace. In other words, if we had never been adopted we would have never known God’s glory or God’s grace.

Oh by the way, YOU CAN NEVER BE UN-ADOPTED.

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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4/17/15 12:29 A

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Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 16

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Matthew 5:44

Perhaps the most difficult of Jesus’ commands is to love even our enemies. A true Christian always seeks another person’s highest good—even when mistreated. Brother Andrew says “The Christian’s only method of destroying his enemies is to ‘love’ them into being his friends.”

Romanian pastor, Dr. Paul Negrut, was visiting an old friend in Romania named Trian Dors in his humble home. As Paul entered, he realized that Trian was bleeding from open wounds. He asked, "What happened?"

Trian replied, "The secret police just left my home. They came and confiscated my manuscripts. Then they beat me."

Paul says, "I began to complain about the heavy tactics of the secret police. But Trian stopped me saying, 'Brother Paul, it is so sweet to suffer for Jesus. God didn't bring us together tonight to complain but to praise him. Let's kneel down and pray.'

"He knelt and began praying for the secret police. He asked God to bless them and save them. He told God how much he loved them. He said, 'God, if they will come back in the next few days, I pray that you will prepare me to minister to them.'"

Paul continued, "By this time I was ashamed. I thought I had been living the most difficult life in Romania for the Lord. And I was bitter about that."

Trian Dors then shared with Paul how the secret police had been coming to his home regularly for several years. They beat him twice every week. They confiscated all his papers. After the beating he would talk to the officer in charge. Trian would look into his eyes and say, "Mister, I love you. And I want you to know that if our next meeting is before the judgement throne of God, you will not go to hell because I hate you but because you rejected love." Trian would repeat these words after every beating.

Years later that officer came alone to his home one night. Trian prepared himself for another beating. But the officer spoke kindly and said, "Mr. Dors, the next time we meet will be before the judgement throne of God. I came tonight to apologize for what I did to you and to tell you that your love moved my heart. I have asked Christ to save me. But two days ago the doctor discovered that I have a very severe case of cancer and I have only a few weeks to live before I go to be with God. I came tonight to tell you that we will be together on the other side."

RESPONSE: Today I will destroy my enemies only with love.

PRAYER: God give me Your kind of love for my enemies—so they too will love You.

A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks


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4/16/15 2:40 P

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The Greatness of
His Favor

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us...raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
(Ephesians 2:4–7, NKJ)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Oftentimes, people set their focus on what God has done in the past — how He parted the Red Sea or stopped the sun for Joshua or fed thousands of people with just a little boy’s small lunch. Yes, God has performed many amazing miracles throughout history, and it’s important that we give Him glory for those things. But at the same time, we also need to look for what God wants to do in our lives today!

In today’s verse, Paul says that “in the ages to come” God would do things that far supersede anything He’s ever done before. I believe that the “ages to come” is this day and time we’re living in right now. God wants to outdo Himself in our generation!

Today, know that God has greater levels of His favor and blessing in store for you! Dare to believe, dare to dream big, and dare to take hold of every blessing that He has in store for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. Today I look for the greatness of Your favor! Thank you for increasing me in every area of life! Use me for Your glory 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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4/16/15 7:22 A

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A word from the Word
April 16 - - - God predestinated us unto the adoption

Ephesians 1:5
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

God’s plan for our adoption was predestined or I could say predetermined before the world was created. God predestined that we be adopted and that our adoption would be made through His Son Jesus.

Let us begin by looking at this word predestined or predetermined. This does not mean that some ore predestined to be saved and others are predestined to be lost. What this does mean is that God predestined for all to be saved.

For God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son - - - . God so loved ALL THE WORLD not just part of the world. God’s plan is for ALL TO BE SAVED.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.

So you see God predestined all to be saved or adopted. God provided everything that a person needs to be saved in Christ Jesus. If a person is not saved it is against what God planed or predestined. God’s plan of redemption is in Jesus and the cross and this is what predestined all to be saved but this must be received.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

I love where it say that this is the good pleasure of God’s will. You know it makes me pretty happy also. ----- This also is done in Christ Jesus.

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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4/16/15 12:17 A

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Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 15

TALE OF TWO SONS

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Brother Andrew loves to tell this parable from the Middle East.

A certain man had two sons. One was rich and the other was poor. The rich son had no children while the poor son was blessed with many sons and many daughters. In time, the father fell ill. He was sure he would not live through the week, so on Saturday he called his sons to his side and gave each of them half of his land for their inheritance. Then he died. Before sundown the sons buried their father with respect.

That night the rich son could not sleep. He said to himself, “What my father did was not just. I am rich and my brother is poor. I have plenty of bread while my brother’s children eat one day and trust God for the next. I must move the landmark which our father has set in the middle of the land so that my brother will have the greater share. Ah – but he must not see me; if he sees me, he will be shamed. I must arise early in the morning before it is dawn and move the landmark!” With this he fell asleep and his sleep was secure and peaceful.

Meanwhile, the poor brother could not sleep. As he lay restless on his bed, he said to himself, “What my father did was not just. Here I am surrounded by the joy of many sons and daughters while my brother daily faces the shame of having no sons to carry on his name and no daughters to comfort him in his old age. He should have the land of our fathers. Perhaps this will in part compensate him for his indescribable poverty. Ah – but if I give it to him, he will be shamed. I must awake early in the morning before it is dawn and move the landmark which our father has set!” With this he went to sleep and his sleep was secure and peaceful.

On the first day of the week – very early in the morning, a long time before it was day, the two brothers met at the ancient land marker. They fell with tears into each other’s arms. And on that spot was built the New Jerusalem.

RESPONSE: Today I will focus on the needs and interests of others rather than on my own.

PRAYER: Pray that this biblical attitude of love, humility and selflessness will pervade the church of Jesus Christ around the world.

A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks



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4/14/15 12:26 P

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Just Listen

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“And after the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
(1 Kings 19:12, TLB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Do you ever find that when people are talking, your mind is racing so fast thinking about what you are going to say instead of really listening?

In scripture, we see God’s voice is not the loudest one out there. Many voices of the world are vying for your attention. You have to be intentional in order to hear His voice. His voice is still and quiet, and so we must be still and quiet in order to hear Him.

Make hearing His voice a priority in your life. Set aside time each day to just listen. Develop a hearing heart so that you can know His voice and understand His ways.


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, give me the wisdom and discernment to hear Your still, small voice through the loudness of this world. Today I come to You, and I choose to be still and quiet and just listen. Thank You for speaking to me as I wait patiently on You 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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A word from the Word
April 14 - - -God’s Love

Malachi 12 “I have loved you,” says the LORD. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’

Many times when things happen in our loves that we don’t understand like a death or a sickness we fail to see Gods love. There are even times when we want to blame God and this is when we ask the question, “How have You love us?” What we most often fail to see is that the trauma did not come from God.

We know from the Word that death and sickness both come from sin, the sin of Adam in the garden. Romans 6:23 say’s “the wages of sin is death”. Had there been no sin there would have been no sickness or death.

So we say, “God how have you love us?” God has loved us by giving us life and then by giving us a new life in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ but not only did God give us life but He also provides for that life by giving us our daily needs.

So God loves us by giving but He also loves us by keeping.

Just a thought
---------------

Pray for our Churches. 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


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 13

TRAINING

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:25

A young Romanian Christian was called in to the secret police for interrogation. He had dreaded this moment. Fear gripped him throughout and he was unable to give a categorical rejection to the police offers of good treatment and security if he would only inform on his fellow-believers. He did not accept the offer either, but his inability to reject it unquestioningly brought personal agony.

He could not sleep that night because of his fear and guilt. The next morning led of the Holy Spirit, an older Christian came to visit the family. He was unaware of the young man’s dilemma. Being a former prisoner for his faith, he was able to counsel the young man from Scripture about his situation. He built up the young man in fellowship, training him for the next ordeal. It came the same afternoon when the youth was taken in for his second interrogation. The same thing happened and the young man was still upset by his answers. Again the older believer came to encourage him.

Three days of more interrogations passed. Eventually the young man was able to reject the police offer completely. With no further hold on him, the police let him go. Counsel, prayer and patient caring had brought him through and trained him in righteousness.

To maintain biblical integrity, let us consider training as a prescribed course in righteousness in which each individual is disciplined through practice to be obedient to God’s direction for mankind and able to withstand the schemes of the devil.

People who commit themselves for a cause have a right to expect training in the job for which they have been selected. In some of the trades, this is called “apprenticeship.” In medicine, it is known as “internship.” In the military, it is referred to as “basic training.” In Scripture, it is referred to as “discipleship.” However, in our modern day, training is often by-passed due to the pressures of time, need and a low value placed upon the office to be filled. This was not the case with Jesus in His selection and training of His disciples.

After calling His men to be with Him, he challenged them to commit themselves to following after Him – to be “fishers of men.” Jesus then began to train them to become His kind of “fishers of men.”

RESPONSE: I want to be a trained disciple of Jesus Christ. I will submit to His guidance and discipline.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to realize and accept Your “training” process as I follow You daily

Devotional message by Paul Estabrooks


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Embrace Your Season

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.”
(Proverbs 4:18, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God has ordained seasons in your life. It’s easy to get frustrated when our dreams aren’t coming to pass on our timetable. When that happens, we have to submit our plans to Him and trust that He has a better plan. Understand that in God’s kingdom, every season is not harvest. There are plowing seasons. There are planting seasons. There are watering seasons. And sure, we would love for every season to be a time of increase, but without the other seasons, we wouldn’t be prepared. It’s during the plowing seasons when God’s bringing issues to light that we need to deal with. He’s getting us prepared for promotion. If you’re not making as much progress as you would like, the key is to not lose any ground. Don’t go backwards. Hold your position by keeping an attitude of faith and expectancy, even when it’s hard. Keep plowing by speaking the Word daily. As you do, you’ll pass the test, and God promises your due season is coming!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father in heaven, thank You for Your faithfulness in all seasons of my life. I trust that my time is coming, and I choose to remain faithful. I submit my ways to You today and trust that You have the best plan for my life. I love You and praise Your name today 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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A word from the Word
April 13 - - -Holy and without blame.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

“That we should be holy and without blame”. Yes you and I have been chosen and yes you and I are holy and yes you and I are without blame. It is all hinges on “In Him and before Him in love”.

We stand before God in God’s love that is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. This being chosen and this holiness and this without blame all comes about in God’s love for us in Christ Jesus. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

“God so loved the world” that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that He (Jesus) might take upon Himself the sin of the world (our sin) so that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but might stand before Him (God) chosen and holy and without blame in His (God’s) own love.

How’s that for love?

Just a thought.

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 12

ONLY WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

“My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2

A few months ago a North Korean man successfully waded across the Tumen River into China looking for food, money and work in order to return later to his home country with help for his family. He was befriended by Korean-Chinese Christians (not an uncommon scenario among refugees there). As he sat in Christian meetings, an older woman said to him, “Receive the Holy Spirit or you can’t go back into North Korea; it’s too dangerous!”

After many discussions with believers, he confessed Jesus as Lord of his life and received the Holy Spirit. He packed Bibles along with his food cargo and crossed the river back to North Korea. Though it was a full moon night, there were no guards since everyone was watching North Korea play football (soccer) against Brazil in the World Cup games in South Africa.

As soon as he arrived home, he began talking about his new relationship with God. His family became irate. The young man’s uncle tried to beat this “new idea” of God and Jesus out of him shouting, “How can you believe these things?”

The young man replied, “How can you not? Without God how do the sun and moon rotate?” The Holy Spirit gave words to the surprised young man. Soon the beating was forgotten and the uncle was listening intently. The whole family of this young man ultimately received Jesus as Savior and Lord.

On returning to China for further training, he commented that unless people are filled with the Holy Spirit they should not go back to North Korea because the spiritual warfare is worse than ever.

He concluded, “Only with the Holy Spirit’s help can we be bold. Pray for me that when I am caught I may be bold in my faith.”

RESPONSE: Today I will rely on the Holy Spirit to make me bold in my witness.

PRAYER: Lord, my soul, my heart, my flesh, cry out to You for the filling and power of Your Holy Spirit.

A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks

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Thanks for your word today on prayer. Prayer does have the power to change thing. It can change the one were praying for but also the one who is praying. Good word thank you.

A word from the Word
April 12 - - -Who we are In Christ Jesus

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

In Christ Jesus "I have been chosen" What does it mean to be chosen? The word chosen means to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference: I love that “pick by preference”. I suppose we all recall when we were children and we played those games that children play, how excited we were when we were chosen. It tells us here that we were chosen by God before God even created the world.

Chosen and selected to be His. Now tell me if that doesn’t make you want to dance.

How can I a sinner be chosen and selected by such a Holy God? This is done by who we am in Christ Jesus. Everything we are is because Jesus is. When we look into the 1st chapter of the book of Ephesians we will see over and over that it says everything we are is because we are in Christ Jesus “Ephesians 1:4 According as He (God) has chosen us in Him (Christ Jesus) before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”

So in Christ Jesus and in his death on the cross we have been chosen to be holy and without blame before God in love.

All I can say is WOW!

Just a thought - - - See you in church

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


Edited by: PAPAW402161 at: 4/12/2015 (07:04)
My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 11

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

Pastor Ha's church in Vietnam grew from twenty-nine to over 5,000 in just a few years during the communist regime in the late 1970's. When asked the secret of this phenomenal church growth, Pastor Ha replied, "I have a very simple theology. When you have problems, pray! When you have more problems, pray more!" Every morning this church had a well-attended prayer meeting at six A.M. And the church grew and grew. Although they were constantly living under pressure, there was one Scripture text chosen for the wall of their sanctuary, "In everything give thanks."

And yet after his years of imprisonment, Pastor Ha said, “When I had my freedom, I worked with prayer sometimes in the background. In prison, I discovered that prayer is everything. It's like a pilot using a checklist before he takes off. If he skips the first item, many lives might be in danger. The first item on our checklist should always be prayer. If we skip it, the whole mission is in jeopardy.”

Vietnamese Pastor Cuong also spent over six years in prison. He says this about prayer:

“In my work I was so busy I had no time to pray. But in prison, I was thankful to God that He gave me time for prayer. I had about six hours of prayer every day. I had time to recall every member of my congregation to pray for them. Before that, although I served the church, I didn't have enough time to pray for them. I learned about the real presence of God in prayer there. When you kneel down and pray wholeheartedly with the Lord, you feel His answer right there.”

All of the world's major religions emphasize prayer. The Buddhists repeat their prayers fervently, although they do not believe anyone is listening. The Hindus pray regularly, believing one of their many Hindu gods may be listening, but they do not really expect any response to their prayers. The Muslims pray five times a day. They believe that Allah is listening, but he will not alter his plans to meet their needs.

Devout Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims consider Christianity a prayerless faith, because they rarely see Christians praying. Yet we believe—and know—we have a God who not only hears our prayers, but also will answer them in mighty power!

RESPONSE: Today I recommit to spending time in communication—prayer—with my Lord.

PRAYER: Pray that all Christians in prison will experience God’s presence in a special way today.

A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks

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A word from the Word
April 11 - - - Why

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Why did some people love Jesus and why do some people hate Jesus? Why do some people hate us because we are followers of Jesus? It’s all about Light and Darkness.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Some things just won’t mix. Water will not mix with oil and Light will not mix with darkness. We are called to be the light of the world in a world of darkness.

We need to understand that not only will light not mix with darkness but light has power over darkness. When you bring light into a room the darkness must leave. Darkness must and will always submit to light. We are called to be that light, the light of Jesus in the world of darkness of sin.

Let your light so shine before man, that Light that has the power to overcome the darkness of the world, the light of Jesus.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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April 10, 2015

Standing Strong Through the Storm

POWER IN THE WORD

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Outside the city of Seoul, Korea stands the memorial to the martyrs of the Korean church. Interestingly, the first picture in the gallery is of a Welshman, R. J. Thomas. He was a missionary to Asia who had a big heart for Korea, but it was a hermit kingdom. No foreigners were allowed in. So he went to China instead, and bided his time learning the language and studying the Bible.

In 1866 the opportunity he had been waiting a lifetime for came along. An American ship, the S.S. General Sherman, was going to steam up the Taedong River to the city of Pyongyang in hopes of luring the Koreans into trade. Thomas bought a berth on the ship, hoping to meet some scholars in Pyongyang who spoke and read Chinese. He took as many Chinese Bibles with him as he could stash on board.

The trip was ill fated. In a port on the way to the capital some of the General Sherman’s crew killed three Korean men in a barroom brawl. When they reached Pyongyang, the rumors had grown to such an extent it was impossible to berth. The people of Pyongyang were convinced the foreigners had come for their children to make soup from their eyeballs. There was nothing to do but to turn round and head down the river; except they got stuck on a sandbank. The Koreans lashed a series of small ships together, set them on fire, and maneuvered them so they surrounded the General Sherman, which then also caught fire. Everyone on board had to leap into the river. They came ashore with their swords, but were clubbed to death by the waiting Koreans.

R. J. Thomas also waded to shore. Before he could speak, a club dashed his brains into the water. But his killer noticed he had not emerged with a cutlass, but brandishing books. He wondered if he had killed a good man, and picked up the sodden Bibles and took them home.

Being illiterate, he decided to paper the outside of his house with them. Imagine his astonishment when he returned from the fields to find a bunch of long nailed scholars earnestly reading his walls. One of these scholars became a Christian by reading a Gospel portion plastered on the wall. His son helped a Scottish missionary, John Ross, make the first translation of the New Testament into Korean in Shenyang, Manchuria a mere twenty-five years later. The Word of God is powerful!

RESPONSE: I will treasure God’s powerful and living Word, today.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for the power of Your Word! May it impact North Korea anew in my generation.

-A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks

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A word from the Word
April 10 - - - Respond with Love

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

The world expects you to respond with getting-even and when you respond with Love it does not know what to do.

So they treat you badly and you treat them with kindness. They try to hurt you and you do kind things for them. They curse you and you pray for them. This is how a Christion is to respond to an enemy and if we respond to an enemy in this way it just might be that our enemy might stop being our enemy and then again maybe not. But if they change or if they don’t change our reaction to them is always the love of Jesus.

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.

My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 9

GOD’S WORD REVEALED

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21

Daniel, a Chinese living in Singapore, sat in the chair still shaking his head in unbelief. He had just returned from his first extensive visit to the People’s Republic of China. Now in the freedom of his home city, he was trying to assimilate and communicate all the impressions and messages he had received.

“How would you summarize what you learned on your visit, Daniel?” I asked him. He continued to shake his head and smile. Finally he began to speak.

“Probably by my visit to one particular house church,” he slowly replied. “It numbers several hundred believers who have had a lot of persecution over the past years. I asked them how they had been victorious and even grown in numbers during such terrible experiences. They quickly replied, telling me three things,” he continued. “First, obedience to the Word of God; second, communication with God, that is, prayer. And third, love for the brothers and sisters.”

This group memorized one chapter of the Bible every week. They began doing this because of a lack of Bibles, but continued doing so after they realized the blessing it brought to their lives.

The Bible is God’s written revelation of Himself and His desire for a relationship with people. It is more than just a revelation of God’s character. It is also a revelation of His intricate plan for the world. We could never have understood our great God if He had not chosen to reveal Himself.

His greatest revelation of Himself was when He came to live among us in a human body and was known as Jesus Christ. But even our knowledge of that revelation depends upon His written Word, the Bible.

Satan has conducted a massive propaganda campaign in the last century in an attempt to discredit the Bible. He would love to see Christians lose faith in the Word of God. In spite of his efforts, however, no one has ever been able to disprove its reliability. It remains the only absolute truth known to humankind.

The Bible is our God-given basis for faith, doctrine and practice. Many times Christians have knowingly departed from its teachings and suffered because of doing so. Many times when Christians depart from the Word, it is because they do not know or understand it.

The church can only be true to the revealed Word of God when its people know what it teaches. Study of God’s Word is an essential part of the Christian life. When Christians doubt, ignore or fail to understand the teachings of Scripture and depart from its principles, they lose their spiritual power.

RESPONSE: Today I will recommit to the daily study and application of God’s Word, the Bible.

PRAYER: Pray for believers in many parts of the world who still yearn for a copy of the Bible.

A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks

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Brighter Days Ahead

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.”
(Proverbs 4:18, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Are you facing a situation that seems dim today? Maybe you can’t quite see what’s going to happen in the future. As a believer, God promises that your path will shine brighter and brighter as you seek Him. He promises that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn shining brighter to the full day!

What does it mean to be righteous? Righteousness is simply being in “right standing” with God. Being in “right standing” with God is about surrendering your life to Him. It’s about obeying His commands and seeking His plan for your life on a daily basis.

No matter what you may be facing today, know that God has a bright future for you. He wants to show you His ways and lead you down a bright path! Seek Him in all things and trust that you have brighter days ahead!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for giving me a bright future. I know that You have a wonderful plan and purpose for me. Show me Your ways as I put You first in all things 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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Great Judith welcome

A word from the Word
April 9 - - Knowing is not Receiving.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

The last couple day we have been talking about how “the wages of sin is death” and how God has a free gift for us in the lord Jesus Christ Today I would like to talk about the most important word that is found in John 1:12. That word is “receive”.

What does the word receive mean. The word “receive” means to take it as my own to make it mine. So if I were to tell you that I was going to give you a five dollar bill. You could believe that I was going to do this. You could believe that it was a five dollar bill. You could believe that this five dollar bill has the power to purchase things that you might want but the five dollar bill is not yours till you take it out of my hands and put it into your hands. You must receive it, then and only then do you have the five dollar bill.

The same with Jesus and the free gift of eternal life. You can believe in Jesus. You can believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sin. You can believe that the free gift of eternal life is in Jesus but you do not have Jesus nor do you have the eternal life that is in Jesus until you receive it. You must take Jesus as yours. It is as simple as saying I want Jesus to come into my life. It’s giving your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a changing of direction. Walking after the world and the things of the world turning and now walking after God and the things of God. The bible calls this repentance.

You must take Jesus into your life and you do this by faith, by wanting and allowing Jesus into your life. When Jesus comes in eternal life also comes in.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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Here is a Brand New Devotional Series, Hope you enjoy...I will post daily if that is alright with everyone...

Standing Strong Through the Storm - April 8

THE WARRIOR’S PRAYER

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.” Ephesians 6:11

The Bible clearly says to use the full armor. We usually feel we are doing okay if we have most of the pieces of armor in place. Yet, if even one piece is missing, we have a weak spot where Satan can injure us, causing us to lose ground rather than standing firm. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

The New Living Translation in Ephesians 6:11 puts it this way; “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.”It further says in verse 13, “Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

RESPONSE:

Today I will put on the full armor of God to stand strong against Satan’s darts of doubt, denial and deceit.

PRAYER: “The Warrior’s Prayer”

Heavenly Father, Your warrior prepares for battle.
Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God!
I put on the Belt of Truth.
May I stand firm in the truth of your Word so I will not be a victim of Satan’s lies.
I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness.
May it guard my heart from evil so I will remain pure and holy, protected under the blood of Jesus Christ.
I put on the Sandals of Peace.
May I go out and proclaim the good news of the Gospel so your peace will shine through me and be a light to all I encounter.
I take the Shield of Faith.
May I be ready to deflect Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial and deceit so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.
I put on the Helmet of Salvation.
May I keep my mind focused on you so Satan will not have a stronghold on my thoughts.
I take the Sword of the Spirit.
May the two-edged sword of your Word be ready in my hands so I can use it to take authority over the Enemy.
By faith, your warrior has put on the whole armor of God.
I am prepared to live this day in spiritual victory.

Amen.

STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM
A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks

© 2010 Open Doors International. Used by permission

“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Proverbs 10:25

Right now millions of Christians face persecution because of their faith in Christ.

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A word from the Word
April 8 - -Free gift of eternal life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We talked yesterday about how “the wages of sin was death” and I do believe we can all agree that we all have sinned. It may not even be a big sin but it does not say that it needed to be a big sin. It says the wages of sin is death that would be any size sin even just a little lie.

We also talked about how death here is separation from God for eternity. Now today I would like for us to look at the second part of the verse. “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now what is a gift? A gift is something that we receive that we do not labor for. If we labor for it, do something in order to receive it then it is no longer a gift but a wage. That means that if is free you cannot and do not do anything to earn it. Now if I told you that I would give you something, say a bible, if you attended church next Sunday that would not be a gift because you would need to do something before you could receive it. You would need to attend church next Sunday that would make it a wage.

God said he has a gift for you and that gift is in Christ Jesus. Receive Jesus and you receive the gift. Take Jesus and His teachings into your heart or I could say life and you receive the free gift from God of eternal life.

“but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. That simply means that everything we need to receive eternal life has already been done for us in Jesus Christ and Jesus gives it to us as a free gift. The gift is in Jesus. Yes eternal life is in the person of Jesus and it is 100% free.

Eternal live is in Jesus. It’s as simple as this, RECEIVE JESUS AND YOU RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE.

Now how good is that?

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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A word from the Word
April 7 - - Why was it that the grave could not hold Jesus?

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In Romans 6:23 it says “the wages of sin is death” that means that if you sin you will and must die. Now were speaking of a spiritual death, a separation from God for eternity. This was given to us from God and in all fairness God cannot change it. If God changed it one time God would be unjust to all the others that he condemned by death because of their sin. So it stand for all eternity that if you sin you must and will die.

Then along came Jesus who had not sinned. Jesus did not sin. Jesus did not sin even one time. Jesus lived a complete sinless life but Jesus was put to death. Jesus died who had not sinned. For the first time in all times a person, Jesus who had not sinned died. This upset the balance of heaven and this had to be made right. So God allowed the unjust death of Jesus to become our death. Jesus became our substitute death.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; - - - - Jesus became our substitute death.

This is why the grave could not hold Jesus and this is why the grave cannot hold us.

Just a thought

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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A word from the Word
April 6 - - -Jesus lives

In Matthew 28:8 it tells us (New Living Translation) 8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very much afraid but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.

Matthew captures the moment in a beautiful way...“And they departed quickly. They departed with fear and great joy running to bring his disciples the word that Jesus was alive.

The resurrection of the Jesus allows us to view death in a different way. Death is no longer the end of life it is the beginning. Death is no longer something that one must face with fear. Death is no longer the enemy to the followers of Jesus.

The devil thought he had won. He though he had killed Jesus by nailing Him to the cross. He had seen the limp, lifeless body of Jesus removed from the cross and laid in a tomb. He had seen the tomb secured, sealed, and guarded by Roman Soldiers.

Yet, to his "Surprise"! Death and the grave cannot hold the Son of God. Jesus had the authority to lay down his life but Jesus also had the authority to take it up again!

Today.........we worship and serve a Risen Savior. Jesus is alive.

As spoken by the words of this great hymn “HE LIV ES”

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

Let me say that one more time. You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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A word from the Word
April 5 - - - They came in tears and left rejoicing

Matthew 28:5-6 5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

They came expecting to find the body of Jesus but instead they found an empty tomb. They came in tears and left rejoicing in gladness. We also often come to Jesus in tears and leave in gladness rejoicing. Finding the tomb empty they departed rejoicing. What a great way to leave a cemetery? Amen?

I don’t recall ever leaving a cemetery excited. We leave most often in pain crying. Even, if it’s not someone we were close to....excitement is not an emotion we usually feel leaving a gravesite...yet these ladies were excited!

The source of their excitement was the empty tomb. They had been told that Jesus had risen. Mark records that they left quickly and fled...and that they trembled and were amazed!

The resurrection of the Lord allows us to view death in a different way. Death for the believer is no longer the end of life it is the beginning. The Passion of Christ and his death would have been without meaning if it had not been for the resurrection.

Friday is always followed by Sunday and Good Friday is always followed by Easter Sunday. The death of Jesus is always followed by His resurrection

Jesus paid for our sins on the cross but He won the victory over death by His resurrection.

Happy Resurrection Sunday

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

Pray for our Churches. 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.



My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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Our Ultimate Hooray - Easter Devotional - Sunday, April 5, 2015

by Charles R. Swindoll

John 11

What gives a widow courage as she stands beside a fresh grave? What is the ultimate hope of the handicapped, the abused, the burn victim? What is the final answer to pain, mourning, senility, insanity, terminal diseases, sudden calamities, and fatal accidents?

The answer to each of these questions is the same: the hope of bodily resurrection.

We draw strength from this single truth almost every day of our lives—more than we realize. It becomes the mental glue that holds our otherwise shattered thoughts together. Impossible though it may be for us to understand the details of how God is going to pull it off, we hang our hopes on fragile, threadlike thoughts that say,

"Someday, He will make it right," and "Thank God, all this will change," and "When we're with Him, we shall be like Him."

More than a few times a year I look into red, swollen eyes and remind the despairing and the grieving that "there's a land that is fairer than day" where, as John promised in the Revelation, "He shall wipe away every tear . . . there shall no longer be any death . . . any mourning or crying or pain . . . there shall no longer be any curse . . . any night . . . because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever" (21:4; 22:3, 5). Hooray for such wondrous hope!

Just imagine . . . those who are physically disabled today will one day leap in ecstatic joy. Those who spend their lives absorbed in total darkness will see every color in the spectrum of light. In fact, the very first face they will see will be the One who gives them sight!

There's nothing like the hope of resurrection to lift the agonizing spirits of the heavyhearted. But how can we know for sure, some may ask. What gives us such assurance, such unshakable confidence? Those questions have the same answer:the fact of Christ's resurrection.

Because He has been raised, we too shall rise! No wonder we get so excited every Easter! No wonder we hold nothing back as we smile and sing and celebrate His miraculous resurrection from the grave!

Jesus Himself promised: "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies" (John 11:25).

Easter is a double-barreled celebration: His triumphant hurrah over agony and our ultimate hooray of ecstasy.

Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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Rise Up Today

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
(Romans 9:17, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ — that glorious event that changed history over 2,000 years ago. But, did you know that God is still in the resurrection business today? When you receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you become born again. Your spirit is resurrected so you that you can have a personal relationship with God.

Not only does He want to resurrect your spirit, He wants to resurrect your dreams, your hopes, your relationships and every area of your life! Today, call on Him and allow Him to display His resurrection power through you!

We love you and rejoice with you as we celebrate the resurrected life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
God, today I surrender every area of my life to Your resurrection power. I want to be born again into a new life with You! Help me to let go of my old ways and embrace the life You have for me! Thank You for sending Your Son so that I might have life in You! 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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On Saturday - Easter Devotional - April 4, 2015

by Max Lucado

John didn't know on that Friday what you and I now know. He didn't know that Friday's tragedy would be Sunday's triumph. John would later confess that he "did not yet understand from the Scriptures that Jesus must rise from the dead" (John 20:9).

That's why what he did on Saturday is so important.

We don't know anything about this day; we have no passage to read, no knowledge to share. All we know is this: When Sunday came, John was still present. When Mary Magdalene came looking for him, she found him.

Jesus was dead. The Master's body was lifeless. John's friend and future were buried. But John had not left. Why? Was he waiting for the resurrection? No. As far as he knew, the lips were forever silent and the hands forever still. He wasn't expecting a Sunday surprise. Then why was he here?

You'd think he would have left. Who was to say that the men who crucified Christ wouldn't come after him? The crowds were pleased with one crucifixion; the religious leaders might have called for more. Why didn't John get out of town?

Perhaps the answer was pragmatic; perhaps he was taking care of Jesus' mother. Or perhaps he didn't have anywhere else to go. Could be he didn't have any money or energy or direction … or all of the above.

Or maybe he lingered because he loved Jesus.

To others, Jesus was a miracle worker. To others, Jesus was a master teacher. To others, Jesus was the hope of Israel. But to John, he was all of these and more. To John, Jesus was a friend.

You don't abandon a friend—not even when that friend is dead. John stayed close to Jesus.

He had a habit of doing this. He was close to Jesus in the upper room. He was close to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was at the foot of the cross at the crucifixion, and he was a quick walk from the tomb at the burial.

Did he understand Jesus? No.

Was he glad Jesus did what he did? No.

But did he leave Jesus? No.

What about you? When you're in John's position, what do you do? When it's Saturday in your life, how do you react? When you are somewhere between yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's triumph, what do you do? Do you leave God—or do you linger near him?

John chose to linger. And because he lingered on Saturday, he was around on Sunday to see the miracle.

From He Chose the Nails



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A word from the Word
April 4 - - - They came expecting to find the body of Jesus

Mark 16:1-2 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

It tells us that “They arrived early”. These ladies didn’t arrive early in anticipation. They were not anxious to see the mangled body Jesus. After the crucifixion the body would not have been a very pleasant sight to see. Luke tells us that they had already seen the tomb where Jesus body was laid.

Luke 23:55-56 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.They had returned home where they prepared the spices, and ointments to anoint the body of Jesus according to the Jewish custom.

It was the custom to prepare the body (after cleansing) with various types of aromatic spices. Then the body would then be clothed in grave vestments made out of white linen. Then the grave linens were sewn together by women. No knots were permitted. No individual could be buried in fewer than three separate garments.

Starting at the feet, they would wrap to the neck. A separate piece would be wrapped around the head. The myrrh used was a drug which adheres so closely to the body that the grave clothes could not easily be removed.

Even though Nicodemus and Joseph had anointed the body of Jesus before placing it in the tomb it was done in haste and was not satisfactory enough for these ladies. So early in the morning on the day after the Sabbath while it was still dark, they left their homes and went to the tomb of Jesus. When they arrived they expected to find the body of Jesus but the tomb was empty.

Just when you think thing can get no worse the hand of God reaches down and changes everything. They expected to find Jesus dead in the tomb but they found the tomb empty and Jesus much alive.

Matthew 28:5-6 5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

It was the worst of times that turned into the best of times. Jesus is alive and because of the cross and the blood of Jesus we too are very much alive in Jesus.


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

Pray for our Churches. 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.


My name is Herbert but they call me Herb
I live in Louisville Kentucky the home of KFC. I think this may be why I am on SP now. LOL



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A Brand New Thing

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“For I am about to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun!...”
(Isaiah 43:19, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Can you see the “brand new thing” God is doing in your life? Sometimes we can see the hand of God moving, and other times the storms of life can cloud our vision. No matter where you are in life today, focus on the fact that God is working behind the scenes! You can trust Him because He is always faithful. His plan for you is good, and He wants to give you a future and a hope.

Ask the Lord to show His plan for you today. Ask Him to show you the new thing He is doing. Set your mind on things above and let go of the old. Take a step of faith and embrace the blessing and victory God has in store for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me even when I don’t see it. Thank You for doing a brand new thing in my life. I open my heart and set my mind on You today 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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Finished! - Easter Devotional - April 3, 2015

When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. —John 19:30

The cross was the goal of Jesus from the very beginning. His birth was so there would be His death. The incarnation was for our atonement. He was born to die so that we might live. And when He had accomplished the purpose He had come to fulfill, He summed it up with a single word: “finished.”

In the original Greek, it was a common word. Jesus probably used it after He finished a project that He and Joseph might have been working on together in the carpentry shop. Jesus might have turned to Joseph and said, “Finished. Now let’s go have lunch.” It is finished. Mission accomplished. It is done. It is made an end of.

So what was finished? Finished and completed were the horrendous sufferings of Christ. Never again would He experience pain at the hand of wicked men. Never again would He have to bear the sins of the world. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. That was completed. That was taken care of.

Also finished was Satan’s stronghold on humanity. Jesus came to deal a decisive blow against the devil and his demons at the cross of Calvary. Hebrews 2:14 says, “Only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who hadthe power of death.” This means that you no longer have to be under the power of sin. Because of Jesus’ accomplishment at the cross, finished was the stronghold of Satan on humanity.

And lastly, finished was our salvation. It is completed. It is done. All of our sins were transferred to Jesus when He hung on the cross. His righteousness was transferred to our account.

So Jesus cried out the words, “It is finished!” It was God’s deliberate and well-thought-out plan. It is finished—so rejoice!

Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.


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Stinky Feet - Easter Devotional - April 2, 2015

by Laura MacCorkle

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35, NIV

Do you celebrate Maundy Thursday?

The word maundy means "a new commandment" and is derived from the Latin word Mandatum in translating Jesus' commandment in John 13:34-35.

Before He said that, Jesus had demonstrated His love that same evening during the Last Supper, as He humbled Himself and washed His disciples' feet (John 13:4-5). This act perfectly illustrated His new command.

So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

After reading this, I can only imagine what washing someone else's stinky feet must be like.

Think about where your feet have been, especially if you live in a back-to-nature, shoe-optional locale. This starts getting very up close and personal. And, depending on the individual and their hygiene habits or lack thereof, perhaps not too pleasant. Washing another's feet is not a glamorous act of service at all. But neither is anything related to the role of a servant, since it represents a position of humility and a mindset of putting others first.

In this day and age, I know there are certain churches that do have foot-washing services on Maundy Thursday to commemorate Christ's actions and his command. I have not participated in one like this, but I am sure it is a great object lesson to help all ages understand how to love one another.

Taking this a step further, The Bible Knowledge Commentary has this to say about foot-washing:

"Foot-washing was needed in Palestine. The streets were dusty and people wore sandals without socks or stockings. It was a mark of honor for a host to provide a servant to wash a guest's feet; it was a breach of hospitality not to provide for it. ...[Jesus] had done a humble service for [the disciples]. Meeting others' needs self-sacrificially is what they ought to do too. This passage emphasizes inner humility, not a physical rite. Not to follow the example of Jesus is to exalt oneself above Him and to live in pride. No servant is greater than his master (cf John 12;26)."

So when we humble ourselves and serve the Lord as He served us, it is He who lifts us up. When we love Christ, He changes our hearts and motivates us to love others. And if showing this love means washing some stinky feet, then so be it.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and keep my laws (Ezekiel 36:26-27).


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Live in Peace

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
(Romans 12:18, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
There’s a tremendous strength that comes to you when you choose to live in peace. That’s why the Lord commands that we live at peace with those around us. When there is strife and contention, the enemy has an open door to move in your life. But when we are at peace with those around us, we are in a position of strength.

Being at peace with those around you doesn’t mean you have to agree with everyone all the time. It simply means you are choosing to walk in love. It means you are patient and kind, not envious or boastful. It means you are considerate and gracious even when you don’t agree. Today, choose peace, choose love, and choose to walk in the strength and blessing the Lord has commanded on your behalf!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of peace which is strength. Today, I choose to release any strife or contention in my heart. I ask You to fill me with Your peace so that I can be an instrument of peace 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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The Cradle of Hope - Easter Devotional - April 1

by Max Lucado

Christ rose first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will become alive again.
1 Corinthians 15:23 TLB

Let's go to the tomb, for Jesus lies in the tomb.

Still. Cold. Stiff. Death has claimed its greatest trophy. He is not asleep in the tomb or resting in the tomb or comatose in the tomb; he is dead in the tomb. No air in his lungs.

No thoughts in his brain. No feeling in his limbs. His body is as lifeless as the stone slab upon which he has been laid.

The executioners made sure of it. When Pilate learned that Jesus was dead, he asked the soldiers if they were certain. They were. Had they seen the Nazarene twitch, had they heard even one moan, they would have broken his legs to speed his end. But there was no need. The thrust of a spear removed all doubt. The Romans knew their job.

And their job was finished. They pried loose the nails, lowered his body, and gave it to Joseph and Nicodemus.

Joseph of Arimathea. Nicodemus the Pharisee. Jesus had answered the prayer of their hearts, the prayer for the Messiah. As much as the soldiers wanted him dead, even more these men wanted him alive.

As they sponged the blood from his beard, don't you know they listened for his breath?

As they wrapped the cloth around his hands, don't you know they hoped for a pulse?

Don't you know they searched for life?

But they didn't find it.

So they do with him what they were expected to do with a dead man. They wrap his body in clean linen and place it in a tomb. Joseph's tomb. Roman guards are stationed to guard the corpse. And a Roman seal is set on the rock of the tomb. For three days, no one gets close to the grave.

But then, Sunday arrives. And with Sunday comes light — a light within the tomb. A bright light? A soft light? Flashing? Hovering? We don't know. But there was a light.

For he is the light. And with the light came life. Just as the darkness was banished, now the decay is reversed. Heaven blows and Jesus breathes. His chest expands. Waxy lips open. Wooden fingers lift. Heart valves swish and hinged joints bend.

And, as we envision the moment, we stand in awe.

We stand in awe not just because of what we see, but because of what we know. We know that we, too, will die. We know that we, too, will be buried. Our lungs, like his, will empty. Our hands, like his, will stiffen. But the rising of his body and the rolling of the stone give birth to a mighty belief: "What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection.

We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us" (Rom. 6:5-9 MSG).

From When Christ Comes

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Jesus' Scars - Easter Devotional - Mar. 31, 2015

by Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth
"After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord" (John 20:20 NIV).

Friend to Friend
It was just a few days after Easter, and I was reading about the resurrection of Jesus in the Gospel of John chapter twenty. I had read the story many times prior, but this time God opened my eyes to see something I had never noticed before.

In my mind's eye, I saw the pre-morning mist hovering over the garden surrounding the tomb where Jesus' body had been laid three days earlier. There amongst the dew stood Mary Magdalene, deep in sorrow and mourning over the death of her beloved Jesus. Then…Mary hesitates…blinks, trying to readjust her eyes…and discovers the unthinkable. The heavy stone had been rolled away from the entrance to Jesus' grave.

How could this be? Mary thought to herself. Who would have stolen his body?

"I must go and tell the others," Mary said as she dashed from the empty tomb.

"They took Him!" Mary said as she burst through the door of the room where some of the disciples were hiding. "His body is gone!"

Without asking any questions, Peter jumped up from his sitting position on the floor and bolted out of the room. A much younger and more agile John followed close behind, eventually passing his older friend.

"He's not here," John whispered as he peered inside the opening of the cave. "His body is gone."

A moment later, Peter arrived - stunned.

"Look," John said, to his winded friend, "over there in the corner."

A ray of sunlight pierced the darkness like a spotlight illuminating a lone actor on the stage. At the end of the beam lay Jesus' empty burial cloths. Peter barreled past the timid John and burst into the darkened cave. There was just enough light to see the empty burial cloths and the strips of linen that had once covered Jesus' head.

"What happened here? What does this mean?" they mused.

"Hurry," they agreed, "let's go tell the others."

Running past Mary, Peter and John ran back to tell the other disciples of their discovery. But Mary stayed in the garden, weeping for her beloved Jesus.

Mary knelt at the opening of the empty tomb with her hands covering her tearful eyes. Suddenly, a beam of light caught her attention. There, at the spot where Jesus' body had been laid, sat two glistening angels clothed in white - one at the foot and one at the head…just like on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies, she thought.

"Woman, why are you crying?" the angels asked.

"They have taken my Master," Mary replied through her tears. "I don't know where they have taken Him."

Hearing a rustling in the myrtle bushes behind her, Mary turned her head. There appeared another figure as if in a dream. It was Jesus, but Mary didn't recognize or expect Him.

Jesus echoed the angels. "Woman, why are you weeping?"

Mary thought the man was the Gardener. Oh, she was not mistaken. He was The Master Gardener. "Sir," she whimpered, "if you know where they have taken Jesus, would you please tell me so that I can take care of him?"

Then Jesus whispered one simple word. "Mary."

At the sound of her name, Mary recognized the Lord.

After a brief conversation, Mary raced back to the disciples. "I have seen Him!" she proclaimed, "I have seen Him!"

"Who?" they asked in confused unison.

"I have seen Jesus! He is alive!"

Later that day, as the disillusioned band huddled in their hiding place, Jesus appeared in their midst. He didn't knock. He didn't open the door. He simply appeared.

"Peace be with you," Jesus said.

But the disciples didn't recognize Him. He looked like Jesus, talked like Jesus, but how…how could it be?

In order to convince the disciples that He was indeed the risen Christ, Jesus made a simple gesture. He held out His hands and revealed the nail pierced hands. Then he lifted up his tunic to reveal the scar in His sword pierced side.

It was then…that they believed.

As I read these verses, God played and replayed the frames in my mind's eye, but it was the final scene that captured my attention …"'Peace be with you!' After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord" (John 20:19-20).

Oh God, I prayed, they didn't recognize Jesus until He showed them His scars.

Yes, my child, He seemed to say, this is what I wanted you to see. They did not recognize Jesus until He showed them His scars, and this is how others still recognize Him today…when men and women who have experienced the healing of past wounds are not ashamed to show their scars to a hurting world.

It was an epiphany or sorts - a revelation - a cataclysmic shift of thinking.

See, Jesus did not have to retain the scars of the crucifixion on His resurrected body. He could have returned without them. After all, He is the one who put new flesh on the hands and feet of the lepers. But He chose to keep the scars, I believe, because they were precious to Him…that's how others would recognize who He was.

That is still the way that people recognize Jesus today, when we are not ashamed to show the scars in our own lives - when we reveal the wounds that are now healed and when we tell about the Healer who made it possible.

Let's Pray

Dear God, thank You that Jesus kept His scars when He rose from the dead. I pray that I will not be ashamed of the scars in my own life, but that people will recognize the Healer in my life through my story. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Now It's Your Turn

• Why do you think Jesus' kept His scars when he returned from the grave?

• What do you think of when you look at the scars on your own body? What comes to mind?

• How can you use the scars in your own life (the ones that are on your soul) to bring glory to God?


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Remembering His Sacrifice - Easter Devotional - Mar. 30, 2015

And they crucified Him.
--Mark 15:24

A medical doctor once gave a detailed description of what happens when someone is crucified:

"The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders again the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

"The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain--the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet.

"As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream.

Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

"Hours of this...pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

It is now almost over--the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level--the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues--the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues...finally he can allow his body to die."

The Bible records this process of death by crucifixion in just a few simple words. How often we take for granted the pain and suffering Jesus endured when He died on the cross for you and me. Let us remember this Easter the sacrifice He made.

PRAYER CHALLENGE: Thank Jesus for the price He paid for your sins through His painful death on the cross..

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A Balanced Workout

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. ”
(1 Timothy 4:8, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Scripture talks about the value of getting both physical exercise and spiritual exercise. Yes, our spiritual development will last into eternity but our physical development helps us to be more effective while we are here on earth. We have to take care of our whole person in order to live balanced life and reach our full potential.

Remember, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Are you making time to take care of your temple? Sometimes we make a bigger deal about getting exercise than we need to. You don’t have to get a gym membership or work out for a long time to have benefit. Just start somewhere. Start walking in your neighborhood. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little further away from the grocery store. Do whatever you can do to stay active because exercising spiritually and physically is what makes a balanced workout!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I declare today that I am committed to be my best spiritually and physically. I desire to honor you with my whole being. Help me to make good decisions for myself and for my loved ones and be an effective example 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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Good News! - Easter Devotional - Mar. 29, 2015

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

--1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Doesn't it seem that bad news is all around us? It's always the top story on the news or the main headline in the paper.

But as believers, we know the best news we could ever hear… and we celebrate it this month.

Easter is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the grave. This is the event that conquered sin… it conquered death… and it made it possible for you and me to have a personal relationship with God!

Perhaps, today, this is the first time you've ever heard or understood this Good News.

If so, I want to tell you something: Jesus died on the cross for you. He wore a crown of thorns and was nailed to a tree because He loves you… and He wants to have a personal relationship with you today.

Will you accept this Good News today?

THIS EASTER SEASON, SHARE THE GOOD NEWS WITH SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO HEAR IT!

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A Faith Worth Practicing - Easter Devotional - Mar. 28, 2015

by Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 15:15-19

A person's attitude about the resurrection is important any time of the year, not simply at Easter. If we are going to accept or reject a scriptural truth, we should understand how that principle impacts not only our faith but also our witness.

The greatest implication of claiming Jesus remained in the grave is that we are left with no hope of salvation. This, in turn, makes telling others about the Lord pointless. Jesus is the One who brings life-giving force to the Gospel message. Without Him, sharing the Word would have as much effect on someone's life as reciting, "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

Further, we would be lying about God when we witnessed according to Scripture, saying He raised Jesus when He actually had not. If the Father didn't resurrect the Son, then He must also be dishonest about the eternal nature of believers. How could we ever hope to be "absent from the body and… at home with the Lord" upon death if the blameless Son Himself did not receive such treatment? (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Without Christ's resurrection, we have no saving Lord, no powerful Word, no hope of eternity, and a dead faith. A religion with those characteristics hardly seems worth practicing. Yet, church members embrace this and other fallacies without thought. A wise believer studies Scripture and, therefore, recognizes how God's salvation plan fits together from Genesis to Revelation. The only legitimate basis for eternal hope is receiving Jesus Christ's sacrifice for our transgressions and believing He conquered sin and death to rise again.

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Abundant Life Today

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“...I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
(John 10:10, ESV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Are you living the abundant life Jesus came to give you? You may not have the biggest house or newest car, but God promises abundant life for you. His abundance goes way beyond the things we can see in the natural. It means that you can have peace in the midst of a storm. You can have joy when things are uncertain. You can have hope when circumstances seem hopeless. You can live and enjoy life to the fullest every single day because you have the Creator of life on the inside of you.

Sometimes it is easy to look at this verse and think, “God is going to give me abundant life some day.” But the truth is, God wants you to have abundant life TODAY. Ask Him to show you His abundant favor, blessing and peace. Focus on Him and let Him show you His abundant life — today!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I know that You want the best for me. Thank You for Your promise of abundant life on this earth. Show me your ways so that I can be a blessing every where 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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Acts 5:38-39
"So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God."
Gamaliel, a famous rabbi of the time of Jesus, gave this advice to the Sanhedrin. He is sometimes referred to as “the Wise Counselor.” And his advice has relevance for us today. We pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “…thy will be done…” but often we don’t recognize when the will of God comes knocking. It’s natural for human beings to get complacent and/or grasping about everything…their relationships, jobs, possessions. But that which comes into being eventually will change, end, or break. It’s just so hard for us to move on! So I listen to the words of Gamaliel: I back off, I consider whether this “thing” is of men or of God. If it is man’s plan, God will restore whatever I have lost 10, 100, or 1000 fold…something better is just down the turnpike. If God is in the change, I must not resist. He obviously has new plans for me! Never let me be found fighting against God!


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The Satisfaction of the Cross - Easter Devotional - Mar. 27, 2015

by Rachel Olsen

"When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied."Isaiah 53:11 (NLT)


Devotion:

Approximately 600 years before Jesus was condemned to the cross, the prophet Isaiah foretold of the event. Open up and invite those words to penetrate your soul today:

"See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. Many were amazed when they saw him beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was a person. And he will again startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not previously been told about; they will understand what they had not heard about.

Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power? My servant grew up in the Lord's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins that he was suffering their punishment? He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave.

But it was the Lord's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord's plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners." Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 (NLT)

Approximately 2,000 years after Jesus hung on the cross, the passion of our Christ is still the power of God unto salvation. His suffering accomplished righteousness for us, and through it, both He and we are satisfied.

Dear Lord, may I realize afresh today what Your death and resurrection mean for me. Forgiveness … Freedom … and the ability to walk with You through this fallen world into eternity. May I always find my satisfaction in You and Your willingness to offer Yourself to me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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He is Strong in You

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:10, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
We all have seasons in life when we feel overwhelmed. When unexpected things happen, we can be tempted to get discouraged. We may feel like we don’t have what it takes, or we may feel weak. Anytime you feel this way, you have to realize that feelings aren’t facts. The truth of the matter is that God has equipped you and He already has a plan for you to come out of that difficulty. Scripture says, when you feel week, that’s when God’s strength rises in you. His strength will overcome any opposition you may face.

Remember, anytime you feel week, that’s when God is strong on You! Keep praying, keep believing, keep pressing forward and rise up in the victory He has in store for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for giving me Your strength for any adversity I face in this life. I know that with You, I will overcome. Help me to keep my heart and mind focused on You as I 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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Don't forget to read the past 2 days of Easter devotions, it is posted below in a new window...

The Mystery Rolled Back - Easter Devotional - Mar. 26, 2015

For reading & meditation: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" (v. 55)

Mark's observation "that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away" (Mark 16:4) seems a simple statement, but behind it lies a truth that is positively staggering in its implications. One is that no longer can death be an intimidator. "Death," said someone, "is the great enigma of life; humanly speaking, it is the one secret of the universe which is kept, the silence of which is never broken." To the weary and despairing, death may come as a friend; the cynical and disillusioned may meet it with indifference; to the healthy and the happy it may appear as a foe; but it comes to all. Death is like a great stone that blocks the path of human aspiration. How certain can we be of the continuity of life beyond death?

What modest person would find in himself anything worthy to endure for all eternity? Such questions have been asked down the centuries. Death is a mystery - "the undiscovered country from which no traveler returns." Then came the first Easter Day, and the stone was rolled away. One Traveler did return. Death is an abysmal cavern no longer but a tunnel with light at the farther end. If people have seen it as a blind alley, then they need think no longer in those terms. It is now a thoroughfare, a highway. "'Tis death is dead, not He," said the hymnist. The mystery is a mystery no more. The stone that was rolled away the first Easter morn was not just the rock that sealed the tomb. Our Lord rolled back for us the mystery of death also.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, I rejoice and rejoice continually in Your glorious and triumphant victory over death. For Your victory is my victory. Help me to live by it, in it, and for it. I am grateful to my depths - grateful forever. Amen.

For further study:

John 11:1-44; Matthew 16:21; Mark 9:9; John 2:19

1. When did Jesus declare He was the resurrection and the life?
2. What are the implications of this?

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God's Plan for the Resurrection - Easter Devotional - Mar. 25, 2015

John 16:16-20

"A little while, and you will no longer see Me." Jesus repeated these words to His disciples several times. But He could tell by the blank stares on their faces that they did not understand what He had said.

At one point, He even overheard them debating what He meant by "You will not see me" (John 16:19). These men had been with the Lord for three years. They had laughed with Him, cried with Him, eaten with Him, and were willing to die with Him, or so they thought.

They had just entered the city of Jerusalem. And instead of being met by an angry legion of guards and protestors, they were met by palm-waving supporters shouting: "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." Yet as soon as they had settled into the upper room, Jesus broached the subject of His forthcoming death. Immediately, the mood of His followers went from one of celebration to shock and sorrow.

Often in difficult times, we cannot see beyond that moment. The resurrection was a few days away, but they could not fathom its wondrous coming.

God always provides the encouragement we need to stay the course, and Jesus did this for His disciples when He told them, "Your sorrow will be turned to joy" (v. 20). This also is God's message of hope and love for us today. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

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O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? - Easter Devotional - Mar. 24, 2015

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

Harry Houdini was an escape artist. They tried all kinds of ways to keep Harry Houdini locked up. They would bury him in a coffin, but he would get out. They would sew him up in canvas bags and throw him in the river, but he would come out. His biographer said, "He could escape from anything except your memory."

Yet there came a day when Harry Houdini died, and he did not escape the iron-clad clutches of death. But, I want to tell you, there was another who died. His name was Jesus, and He made the great escape.

Jesus came out of that grave, and He arose! Praise God, Jesus is alive!

Who in your circle of friends does not know Jesus? Pray for them right now - that they would hear the Good News, repent and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Edited by: JUDITH316 at: 3/26/2015 (04:58)
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New Life for Us All - Easter Devotional - Mar. 23, 2015

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

—1 Peter 1:3

A couple from Chicago was planning a vacation to a warmer climate, but the wife couldn't join her husband until the next day, because she was on a business trip. Her husband scribbled down her e-mail address on a little scrap of paper, but upon his arrival, he discovered that he had lost it. He wanted to send off a quick e-mail to let her know he had arrived safely. So trying his best to remember her e-mail address, he composed a brief message and sent it off.

Unfortunately, his e-mail did not reach his wife. Instead, it went to a grieving widow who had just lost her husband, a preacher, the day before. She had gone to her computer and was checking her e-mail when she let out a loud shriek and fainted on the spot. Her family came rushing in to see what was on the screen: "Dearest wife, I just checked in. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow. P. S.: It sure is hot down here!"

The good news is that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we don't have to be afraid of that real place that is hot down there. In fact, we don't even have to fear death. Because Christ died and rose again from the dead, we know that for us as believers, there is life beyond the grave.

If that were all the resurrection did for us, it would be worth the price of the ticket. Of course, we didn't buy the ticket. Christ did. But if all that Christianity offered was the hope of life beyond the grave, it still would be worth it to be a Christian.

But there is a whole lot more that the resurrection has for us. Our risen Lord will give us a new heart and put a new spirit within us (see Ezekiel 36:26). He will give us new knowledge, new comfort, new peace, and a new life in Him.

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3/20/15 4:15 A

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Egg-Hunting for Jesus - Easter Devotional - Mar. 20, 2015

Today’s Readings: Ruth 1:1: Luke 8:1

Today’s Thoughts: Happy Easter

“…which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…” Ephesians 3:5-6

We have just taught Ephesians 3 on the mystery of Christ in our local Bible study. Paul explains that the message of Christ was hidden from ages to ages. But the apostle Paul also explains that the holy apostles and prophets dropped hints that the Gentiles (anyone not Jewish) would receive salvation through the coming of Christ. Probably because its Easter time, I couldn’t help to think of how the Easter egg hunt is a great illustration of the hidden message of Jesus.

During the toddler years, the parents would “hide” the egg right on the top of the lawn. The challenge was for the toddler to actually see colored egg, walk up to it and balance themselves enough to pick it up. The next challenge was to get the toddler to claim the Easter egg as their own as they hopefully placed it in their basket. As the child grows, so does the challenge of hiding the Easter eggs. I have found myself giving my children hints by telling them if they are “hot” or “cold” in their searching.

The Lord tells us also to search for Him with all our hearts. As I have done that, I too have noticed that the Lord is giving me clues in my searching. As we seek the Lord, we discover more about His will for our lives. After a while, I can tell in my search if I am hot or cold as the Spirit leads and guides my heart.

The coming of Jesus was like the Easter egg placed on the grass for the toddler. God didn’t expect much from us. Jesus was sent to this earth to be noticed, embraced and hopefully to make Him our own by placing Him in our hearts. Today, Easter is a celebration of life. Today, we understand that Jesus died for all of us, Jew and Gentile alike, to come to a personal relationship with God. Today, we have freedom and hope with nothing hidden but a whole lot of hints pointing us to closer fellowship with God as the Spirit of God fills our baskets with love, joy and peace. Happy Easter!

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3/19/15 5:55 P

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Be Blessed

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God.”
(Deuteronomy 28:2, NASB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God wants His people to live a blessed life. He wants to increase You so that you can be a blessing to others. In scripture, God told Moses that if His people would obey Him, blessing would overtake them like a a flood!

Think about it, how would your life be different if every area were overwhelmed with God’s blessing? Now, think about your life. Are there any areas where you can rise up in your level of obedience to Him? Is there something you know you need to do? Is there someone you know you need to forgive? Are you being faithful in your giving of your time, talent, and resources? If you want to see the floodgates of blessing open, be quick to do what you know you need to do. Obey His leading and watch His hand of blessing overwhelm every area of your life!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, show me any areas where I need to be more obedient to You. Help me to love others and be an example of goodness everywhere I go. Thank You for choosing me and using me to be a vessel of Your blessing. 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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Succeed at Being Yourself

by Joyce Meyer - posted March 19, 2015

The [Holy] Spirit . . . bears us up in our weakness. - Romans 8:26

Are you tired of playing games, wearing masks, and trying to be someone other than who you are? Wouldn't you like the freedom just to be accepted as you are, without pressure to be someone you really don't know how to be? Would you like to learn how to succeed at being yourself?

God wants you to accept yourself, to like who you are, and to learn to deal with your weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses, but God doesn't want you to reject yourself because of them.

If you base your value on your weaknesses, you will underestimate your value. Your worth is not based on anything you do but on what God has already done.

So if the devil has been trying to convince you that you don't measure up to the proper standard, remind him tonight that everyone is imperfect and that God loves you just the way you are.


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


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3/19/15 11:53 A

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Beyond the Bunny - Easter Devotional - Mar. 19, 2015

1 Corinthians 15

What does Easter mean for you? If you go to church, then I'm guessing everyone you know there is making a huge deal out of Easter. Special services. Communion. Cool banners with great graphics. Easter egg hunts. All kinds of neat stuff.

But why is it that the church tries so hard to get people to come on Easter? And why is it that Easter is probably the one time of year when everyone - even those who really don't believe in God at all - go to church?

It is because what happened at Easter is the fountain of our faith. This is what a man named Paul said. Paul was a skeptic of Christianity until he met the Lord in a very dramatic way while traveling on a busy Roman highway. He became one of the most passionate evangelists in the history of the church.

Paul said that if what happened on Easter—Jesus Christ rising from the dead—than we are "of all men most miserable." This is how we would say it today.

If Easter is just a nice religious holiday with candy and bunnies and family and Jesus Christ really didn't rise again from the dead on the third day—then Christians are a really sorry lot. We might as well pack our Bibles and hymnals up and go home.

But the truth is—Jesus Christ did rise again from the dead. It's a historical fact. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul lays out the evidence. 500 witnesses saw Jesus Christ in the flesh after he had died and been buried in the tomb. You can't get 500 people to agree on anything, but they all testified that indeed Jesus Christ was alive after He wasn't supposed to have been.

Let's bottom line this. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event in human history. It's the most important event in your life and in mine.

The events at Easter are the only source of hope in this world. Thru Jesus Christ shed blood on the cross, his payment for your sin and for mine, and his resurrection from the dead give you and me new life. Eternal life forever, in only you believe (John 3:16: John 6:47; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Because of Easter, you and I don't have to be chained with the shackles of sin. We're free to live the life God intended. And one day we'll live forever in a place called Heaven, created just for our pleasure.

Because of Easter, we can walk with the God of the Universe as if He is our friend.

So, this Easter, don't let it be all about the bunny. Stop, worship the One who gave you life. Jesus Christ.

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Triumph in Tragedy - Easter Devotional - Mar. 18, 2015

by Max Lucado

What do you say we have a chat about graveclothes? Sound like fun? Sound like a cheery topic? Hardly. Make a list of depressing subjects, and burial garments is somewhere between IRS audits and long-term dental care.

No one likes graveclothes. No one discusses graveclothes. Have you ever spiced up dinner-table chat with the question, "What are you planning to wear in your casket?"
Most folks don't discuss graveclothes.

The apostle John, however, was an exception. Ask him, and he'll tell you how he came to see burial garments as a symbol of triumph. He didn't always see them that way. A tangible reminder of the death of his best friend, Jesus, they used to seem like a symbol of tragedy. But on the first Easter Sunday, God took clothing of death and made it a symbol of life.

Could he do the same for you?

Could he take what today is a token of tragedy and turn it into a symbol of triumph?

We all face tragedy. What's more, we've all received the symbols of tragedy. Yours might be a telegram from the war department, an ID bracelet from the hospital, a scar, or a court subpoena. We don't like these symbols, nor do we want these symbols. Like wrecked cars in a junkyard, they clutter up our hearts with memories of bad days.

But could God use such things for something good? How far can we go with verses like Romans 8:28 that says, "In everything God works for the good of those who love him"? Does "everything" include tumors and tests and tempers and terminations? John would answer yes. John would tell you that God can turn any tragedy into a triumph, if only you will wait and watch.

Could I challenge you with a little exercise? Remove the word everything from Romans 8:28 and replace it with the symbol of your own tragedy. For the apostle John, the verse would read: "In burial clothing God works for the good of those who love him." How would Romans 8:28 read in your life?

In hospital stays God works for the good.
In divorce papers God works for the good.
In a prison term God works for the good.

If God can change John's life through a tragedy, could it be he will use a tragedy to change yours?

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Hope For Your Future

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; this very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.”
(Zechariah 9:12, NASB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Are you a prisoner of hope? A prisoner of hope is someone who has an attitude of faith and expectancy even when things aren’t going their way. They know that God has a plan to get them through difficulty, a plan to restore their health, finances, dreams, and relationships. You may not be where you want to be today but have hope because all things are subject to change.

In this scripture, God promises to restore double to those who hope in Him. When God restores something, He doesn’t just set things back the way they were before, He goes above and beyond. He makes things better than they were before! That’s a reason to have hope today. That’s a reason to rejoice today! Don’t let circumstances drag you down, instead, choose to be a prisoner of hope and watch what God will do to restore every area of your life!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your good promises found in Your Word. I choose to be a prisoner of hope. I choose to keep my eyes on you knowing that you are working behind the scenes and you will restore double in every area of my life! 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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Waiting for Resurrection - Easter Devotional - Mar. 17, 2015

And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre (Matthew 27:61).

How strangely stupid is grief. It neither learns nor knows nor wishes to learn or know. When the sorrowing sisters sat over against the door of God's sepulchre, did they see the two thousand years that have passed triumphing away? Did they see any thing but this: "Our Christ is gone!"

Your Christ and my Christ came from their loss; Myriad mourning hearts have had resurrection in the midst of their grief; and yet the sorrowing watchers looked at the seed-form of this result, and saw nothing. What they regarded as the end of life was the very preparation for coronation; for Christ was silent that He might live again in tenfold power.

They saw it not. They mourned, they wept, and went away, and came again, driven by their hearts to the sepulchre. Still it was a sepulchre, unprophetic, voiceless, lusterless.

So with us. Every man sits over against the sepulchre in his garden, in the first instance, and says, "This woe is irremediable. I see no benefit in it. I will take no comfort in it." And yet, right in our deepest and worst mishaps, often, our Christ is lying, waiting for resurrection.

Where our death seems to be, there our Saviour is. Where the end of hope is, there is the brightest beginning of fruition. Where the darkness is thickest, there the bright beaming light that never is set is about to emerge. When the whole experience is consummated, then we find that a garden is not disfigured by a sepulchre. Our joys are made better if there be sorrow in the midst of them. And our sorrows are made bright by the joys that God has planted around about them. The flowers may not be pleasing to us, they may not be such as we are fond of plucking, but they are heart-flowers, love, hope, faith, joy, peace--these are flowers which are planted around about every grave that is sunk in the Christian heart.

'Twas by a path of sorrows drear
Christ entered into rest;
And shall I look for roses here,
Or think that earth is blessed?
Heaven's whitest lilies blow
From earth's sharp crown of woe.
Who here his cross can meekly bear,
Shall wear the kingly purple there.

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