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Post  Admin on Fri 14 Jun 2019, 10:21 am

Date: June 14, 2019 at 12:32 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call

"So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith."  Galatians 3:9
Scripture Focus: Galatians 3

When we start thinking that we have to add something to the gospel to be made right with God, we need a wake-up call. Paul doesn't mince words when he confronts the church in Galatia: "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you" (vs. 1)? That sounds a little over the top. What would you think if a pastor stood in the pulpit and said, "What's with you people?" We might recoil and take offense. But we shouldn't. It's a wake-up call we all need. The primary job of a faithful herald of the gospel is to remind us of who we are in Christ and call us to the freedom of that wonderful truth. We need to be reminded because too often we forget and start trying to pay our own way to peace with God. When we've forgotten who we are, we need God's Word of forgiveness to grab us by the shoulders and ask, "What's with you?" Again and again we must be reminded that our debt is paid when we rely on Jesus. Isn't that a breath of fresh air? Never recoil at the reminder to rely on the forgiveness and grace of Christ alone.

Insight: "I have brought you the true Gospel, suddenly you drop the Gospel. What has got into you?" (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

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Post  Admin on Thu 13 Jun 2019, 10:48 am

Date: June 13, 2019 at 12:58 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Jesus is No Javert

Jesus is No Javert

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17

Scripture Focus: John 3

In Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables, we meet a character named Javert who was born in prison and grew up to be a prison guard. Strict justice is all he knows. He becomes an officer of the law with an undying love for authority and a hatred of rebellion. When the character Jean Valjean escapes prison, it is Javert's all-consuming passion to hold him to justice. Javert simply can't envision a world where grace or mercy exists. Unlike Javert, Jesus can envision a world where grace and mercy exist. In fact, they are the very reason He came. He didn't come hunting down and condemning law-breakers. He came to give His life for them. But He doesn't commute their sentence; He fulfills it. He takes their condemnation on Himself and saves them by His life and death in their place. We're like Jean Valjean-guilty and in need of grace. So it's good news for us that Jesus is not Javert. John tells us "The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (1:17). And that grace is chasing hard after you.

Insight: "Christ is no sheriff. He is 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.'" (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Jun 2019, 2:28 pm

Date: June 12, 2019 at 1:11 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Body They May Kill

The Body They May Kill

"They called out in a loud voice, How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Revelation 6:10

Scripture Focus: Revelation 6

Luther was very aware of the real threat to his life for taking a stand for truth. He was told to retract his teachings, and after a day of sober reflection, he replied with the now-famous words, "I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me." He said he was bound to the truth and could not waver in his resolve to teach the gospel of grace. A price was put on his head, but he continued faithfully laboring in the service of truth. There will always be a price to pay when we stand for truth. In today's reading, we're given a glimpse into the throne room, and depicted there are those who have lost their lives for their witness to Christ. They cry out, "How long, Sovereign Lord!" They cry out for justice, and rightly so. The answer? They receive a white robe, and they're told to wait. We're not very good at waiting, are we? Justice is coming, and God's kingdom will prevail. We can wait patiently for justice, knowing we've received something even better than justice-the white robes of Christ's righteousness!

Insight: "The body they may kIll; God's truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever!" (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Jun 2019, 12:42 pm

Date: June 11, 2019 at 12:49 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:23-24

Scripture Focus: Romans 3

Many believe that salvation is a matter of canceling out a giant set of scales in the sky. We know we've been bad, but if we can just do enough good, then maybe the scales will balance out and God will accept us. Yet as we work to obey the law and even out that scale, we come to realize the scale is so weighed down with our sin that it's like trying to balance out Mount Sinai with a tiny grain of sand. In fact, this exercise in futility shows us that the problem is deeper than we first realized. The problem isn't only that we're more sinful than good. The law shows us we're sinners by nature. "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10). But God made a way both to satisfy His justice and mercifully declare us righteous. God's justice and God's mercy meet in Christ. It's the great exchange! Christ took our sins upon Himself and was punished in our place. In return, we're declared righteous by faith in Jesus. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (see Romans 3:22).

Insight: "By faith Christ changes places with us. He gets our sins; we get His holiness." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

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We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Jun 2019, 10:51 pm

Date: June 6, 2019 at 12:20 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Faith Lays Hold of Christ

Faith Lays Hold of Christ

"Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me!"  Matthew 14:29-30

Scripture Focus: 

Maybe you've had one of those dreams where you're falling, and you wake up with a start because you reach out grasping to lay hold of something to save you. Or maybe you remember sputtering to the surface when you were learning to swim, flailing your arms until you found the pool's edge to hold fast. Laying hold of something can be the difference between life and death. Faith by itself isn't very useful. Faith needs to lay hold of something-that's what makes it faith. It looks away from ourselves to something outside of us. That's why we can be justified by faith. The story of Peter on the waves is a wonderful example. If anyone would have a chance on the stormy sea, it's this seasoned fisherman. But when Peter looks out at the swells that surrounded him, he cries out to the Savior. And what happens? He lays hold of the strong arm stretched out to save him. When the stormy sentence of the law sends our sins crashing over us, our faith lays hold of Christ our Redeemer and finds its rest in His righteousness alone.

Insight: "Faith is able to Justify, because it apprehends Christ, the redeemer." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
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A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


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Post  Admin on Wed 05 Jun 2019, 9:12 pm

+DEV+  Making Faith Lovely
Tue Jun 4, 2019 10:07 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Michael Inman" n0klu
Date: June 5, 2019 at 12:05 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Making Faith Lovely

Making Faith Lovely

", so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive." Titus 2:10b

Scripture Focus: Titus 2:10-14

My wife is always decorating our house, making it a lovely home. If it were left to me, there would be walls without paintings, sofas without throw pillows, a porch without flowers. She embellishes it, makes it lovely. It would still be our home without these things, but it wouldn't be lovely. Luther says that's the place of good works in the Christian life. Good works do not save us-faith does that. Good works are the embellishment. They make faith lovely. As Paul writes to his young friend Titus, a pastor he mentored, he says that Titus must not only teach sound doctrine, but also "what is appropriate to sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1). He gives instructions to people in all walks of life. But these instructions for doing good are in the context of what Christ has already done, finally and completely. Once the grace of God finds us and delivers us from our guilt and shame, it also trains us to renounce ungodliness and to live in such a way that the "teaching about God our Savior" is made lovely (Titus 2:11-14).

Insight: "The true Gospel declares that good works are the embellishment of faith." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 3:36 pm

Date: June 4, 2019 at 12:43 AM

Topic: +DEV+  What about Good Works?

What about Good Works?

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  Ephesians 2:10

Scripture Focus: Ephesians 2

Martin Luther, responding to a distorted gospel preached by many in his day, spoke very strongly about our inability to be saved by our good works. But good works certainly have a place in the Christian life-and Luther would agree! Good works are the very reason we were created new in Christ. But the proper order is always that salvation by grace alone comes first, then good works follow. Reverse the order, and you lose the gospel. You lose joy in Christ. You lose assurance of salvation. Life becomes an endless quest to do enough good works. We have been declared righteous by faith apart from any works at all-praise the Lord! And that incredible blessing of salvation by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) simply overflows in grateful obedience to the One who has made us new. "Since you have found Christ by faith," Luther said, "begin now to work and do well. Love God and your neighbor." Only after we're freed from guilt do we lead the grateful life of good works "which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Insight: "Let good works flow from a cheerful heart, because you have remission of sin in Christ." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

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Post  Admin on Mon 03 Jun 2019, 10:30 pm

Date: June 3, 2019 at 1:57 AM
Topic: +DEV+ By Faith Alone

By Faith Alone

"So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." Galatians 2:11-21

Scripture Focus: Galatians 2

As you read today's passage, you may think Paul doesn't sound like a very nice guy. After all, he was an apostle by the skin of his teeth, so to speak (even he said in 1 Corinthians 15:8 that Jesus "last of all, appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born"). Yet he boldly confronted Peter who had walked and talked with Jesus. Seeing Peter act as though God's free grace in Christ was insufficient to be made right with God, Paul was compelled to speak up. Similarly, Luther saw his church out of accord with the gospel, weighing believers down with requirements of works on top of faith for salvation. As the church clouded the message of free grace in Christ, Luther urged it to recover the simple truth of the good news in Jesus. When the church leaders refused to hear Luther's call for reform, a new movement was born: the Protestant Reformation. At its foundation, the Reformation was about five wonderful, life-directing "alones" (solas): Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone, and To God Alone be Glory.

Insight: "Now the true Gospel has it that we are Justified by faith alone, without the deeds of the law." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site: http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

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Post  Admin on Fri 31 May 2019, 9:37 pm

Date: May 31, 2019 at 12:24 PM
Topic: +DEV+  I Just Can't Forgive Myself

I Just Can't Forgive Myself

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

Scripture Focus: 1 John 1

"I know that God has forgiven me, but I just can't forgive myself." Have you ever said these words? Maybe you've never vocalized them, but that's the cloud hanging over your tormented heart. A habitual, hidden sin. A relationship you drove into the ground. A poor financial decision that brought hardship on your family. You feel a sense of guilt or shame that threatens to undo you. The Bible clearly teaches that there is "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1), and that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us. Why then, despite the daily new mercies of the Lord (Lamentations 3:21-23), do we often refuse to receive those mercies? Is it because you can't forgive yourself? Christian, you don't need to. Luther beat one beautiful drum longer and louder than anyone: "The Gospel announces that Christ is come to forgive the sins of the world." It's true that you can't forgive yourself-only God can do that! If you cling to Christ by faith, God has forgiven you.

Insight: "The Gospel announces that Christ is come to forgive the sins of the world." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

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Post  Admin on Thu 30 May 2019, 3:02 pm

Date: May 30, 2019 at 12:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+  The Triumph of Truth

The Triumph of Truth
Date: May 30, 2019 at 12:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+  The Triumph of Truth

The Triumph of Truth

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."  Isaiah 40:8

Scripture Focus: Isaiah 40

Perhaps one of the most-loved hymns of the Reformation is Martin Luther's A Mighty Fortress is Our God. The hymn bursts with confidence in the triumph of truth: "And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God has willed, his truth to triumph through us." If you grew up attending church, perhaps you can still hear the organ swelling out those powerful chords. This line may have frightened you as a child-a world filled with devils threatening God's people is not a pretty picture! But that's the image Luther had in mind when he thought of anyone who distorted the good news of grace and truth in Jesus. Paul said that if man or angel should preach "a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned" (Galatians 1:9)! Luther was bold, but he was under no illusions that he could combat such lies in his own strength. Remember that God can use us when we take a bold stand for His free grace. We're feeble and frail, but His Word of grace endures forever.

Insight: "The truth will win out." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


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Post  Admin on Wed 29 May 2019, 9:33 pm

Date: May 29, 2019 at 12:35 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Fleeing to Christ

Fleeing to Christ

", Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever."  Galatians 1:4-5

Scripture Focus: Galatians 1

Martin Luther loved pronouns. If you're like me and you struggled in English class growing up, you might be ready to turn the page-but don't! Luther squeezed a beautiful truth out of the little pronoun "our" in Galatians 1:4, and it's a tremendous help for believers when Satan reminds us of our sins. The pronoun "our" welcomes all sinners. Luther says we readily acknowledge that Christ died for Paul, Peter, or others who seem to deserve it. But we find it hard to apply "our" to ourselves. Luther reminds us that this is a great help when Satan accuses us. Rather than curl under the condemnation of past sins, we should stand boldly because "our sins" includes "my sins." Jesus gave Himself for your sins, Christian! He says that when Satan accuses us of sin, he's simply reminding us that Christ died for us! His condemnation becomes a comfort because it causes our hearts and minds to flee to Christ and the Father's love for us in Him. A simple grammar lesson becomes a gospel-encouragement to believe.

Insight: "If Satan says, thou shalt be condemned, tell him: no, for I flee to Christ." (Martin Luther, 1535)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.


Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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Post  Admin on Tue 28 May 2019, 4:12 pm

Date: May 28, 2019 at 12:57 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Now and Forever Free

Now and Forever Free

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."  Genesis 3:15

Scripture Focus: Genesis 3

Genesis 3:15 is the first place the gospel is plainly announced in the Bible. Adam and Eve had just fallen into sin by disobeying God. When God created Adam and Eve, they lived naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). But once sin entered the picture, we're told that "they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves" (Genesis 3:7). It was a physical manifestation of the spiritual shame they felt because of their sin. Like Adam and Eve, we're all prone to try the fig leaf solution. But we can't cover our shame ourselves. A solution from above is needed. The good news is that God has provided it. It's pictured beforehand when God clothes Adam and Eve with garments He Himself made for them. That's the answer to what Luther called the "fiends of sin and conscience." We need a solution from God Himself, and that solution is Jesus, His Son sacrificed in our place. No longer must we hide in shame from God. We're now and forever free from the fiends of sin and conscience because God Himself has covered us in Jesus.

Insight: "Sin and conscience torment us, but christ has overcome these fiends now and forever." (Martin Luther, 1535)


If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.


Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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Post  Admin on Fri 24 May 2019, 8:36 pm

Date: May 24, 2019 at 1:07 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Rest for Weary Bones

Rest for Weary Bones
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, you will find rest for your souls."  Matthew 11:28, 29b

Scripture Focus: Matthew 11
If you've ever travelled with kids, you know that you're always scanning the horizon for the nearest rest stop. For kids, it's a chance to run around and let out some energy. For the weary driver, it's a chance to close your eyes for a moment or stretch out your legs. But the rest doesn't last. No sooner are you back on the road than the kids are fidgety and your weary body is crying for a rest stop again. Sin wears on us like that. When our consciences are burdened, all we can think to do is try harder to be better. Martin Luther put forth every effort to be a devoted Augustinian monk. He is remembered as saying that if ever someone would enter heaven by being a good monk, he would be the one! But later he realized the beauty of Jesus' offer of rest. He said religious exercises could never give peace of conscience, that "it is impossible to gain peace of conscience by the methods and means of the world. Experience proves this." As we travel along life's journey, we see that only the grace of Christ gives us true and lasting rest


Insight: "We find no rest for our weary bones unless we cling to the word of grace." (Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, 1535)

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Post  Admin on Thu 23 May 2019, 10:49 am

Topic: +DEV+  Christianity 101

Christianity 101

"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."  Galatians 1:3

Scripture Focus: Galatians 1

If you asked Martin Luther to explain Christianity, you might expect a long answer. Maybe 95 theses, like those he famously nailed to the chapel door of the Wittenberg Castle church 500 years ago this month. You might be surprised that Luther could summarize Christianity in two small, powerful words: grace and peace. Referring to Galatians 1:3, he said grace leading to peace is the core of the Christian faith. That's Christianity 101. Luther explained the problem with our instinctive impulse to make peace with God by obeying God's commandments: "Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the law. The law reveals guilt, fills the conscience with terror, and drives people to despair." The law never leads us to peace with God. It reveals sin but can't remove sin. It tells us what to do, but it doesn't give us power to do it. "The fact is," says Luther, "the more a person seeks credit for himself by his own efforts, the deeper he goes into debt. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God." Remember this basic lesson: you have an endless storehouse of God's grace!

Insight: "These two terms, grace and peace, constitute Christianity." (Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, 1535)


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Post  Admin on Thu 23 May 2019, 2:10 am

Date: May 22, 2019 at 12:39 AM
Topic: +DEV+ New Hearts Needed

New Hearts Needed

"For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean." Mark 7:21-22

Scripture Focus: Mark 7

In rebuking the religious leaders' emphasis on man-made traditions instead of the Word of God, Jesus goes to the heart of the problem: our hearts. The heart of a person-that is, the core of who we are-is defiled by wickedness. Our hearts are corrupted by sin. It's why Jeremiah pronounced our hearts "deceitful above all things and beyond cure" (17:9). Theologian and Reformer John Calvin famously wrote, "Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols." We set our hearts on always inventing new distractions and new things to adore instead of God. Through Jesus Christ, there is a cure for our sinful hearts. When we repent and believe the gospel, God gives us a new, clean heart. But as long as we remain in this world, we are still sinners. James understood this. His words about harboring bitter envy and ambition in the heart, and about fights and quarrels coming from within, were written to believers (James 3:14; 4:1-2). Trust Jesus fully. He changes everything-right down to your sin-tainted heart.

Insight: Jesus is the great physician who diagnoses our problem perfectly and offers Himself as the sure medicine we need.

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Post  Admin on Mon 20 May 2019, 11:03 am

I thought this was good, so I’m sharing this…...

ADONAI
Master over all

O Lord [Adonai] God, You have begun to show
Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand;
for what god is there in heaven or on earth who
can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?
~Deuteronomy 3:24~
✝

ADORATION
O Lord God, My Adonai, you are a great and mighty God. You have opened my eyes to see your greatness and your strong hand. What god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the amazing and powerful things you can do? Who can create a mountain? Who can make the deep where the waters rest, far beyond anything we can see? Who can calm a storm with just one word? None other than you, Adonai. You are the Master over all. You are the Lord above all. And you are deserving of the highest honor and praise.

CONFESSION
Adonai, I humbly bow and ask for your forgiveness for failing to honor you as I should. I ask you to show me great mercy for the many times I’ve gone about my day without considering that you are the Lord and Master over all. How dare I fail to acknowledge your hand? How dare I attribute to man what I ought to attribute to you? Forgive me for my shortsightedness and lack of faith. 

THANKSGIVING
Adonai, thank you for being my Lord and my Master and yet allowing me to know you intimately. Thank you for remembering me constantly and reminding me of your presence. Your love captivates me. Your power mesmerizes me. All I need is your love in my life, and I thank you, Adonai, for giving me access to you throughout my day. Any moment I need you, you are there. I love you, Adonai, and I thank you for granting me the privilege of loving you and receiving your love.

SUPPLICATION
Adonai, help me align my thoughts, actions, heart, decisions, and desires underneath you and your rule so I can fully experience the blessing of your hand in my life and so I can fulfill the destiny you have prepared for me. May I live out all of the days you have ordained for me, and may I discover the calling you have given me. Help me to see where I can share the knowledge of you with others and how I can spread the love you have put in my heart to those who need it the most. May your caring eyes watch over all I do. I ask you to empower me to impact the lives of those around me with your kingdom agenda.
From Tony Evan’s book - PRAYING THROUGH THE NAMES OF GOD pgs. 17-18



"Standing On The Promises Of God For Israel"

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Post  Admin on Thu 16 May 2019, 9:50 pm

Date: May 16, 2019 at 1:05 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Pure Eyes, Pure Hearts

Pure Eyes, Pure Hearts

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."  Philippians 4:8

Scripture Focus: Philippians 4

One of the greatest gifts a husband can give his wife is to be diligent to maintain his purity. Every day his eyes are assaulted with thumbnail images on news websites, pop-up ads, and myriad other inescapable conduits in our high-tech society. It's our job and our privilege as husbands to do all we can to not be, as James says, "dragged away and enticed” (James 1:15). Ad blockers and web filtering software are a great help for accountability. But the two best resources are staying close to Jesus every day and having a wife or an elder Christian brother who will commit to pray faithfully with you about this. Jesus sets prisoners free, including those who find themselves powerless to break from the shackles of looking at things that are dishonoring to God. Jesus changes everything for men and women who desire to be cleansed from even the most life-dominating of sins, forgiven fully, and healed forever. His grace and redemption have no limits. There is no place the Good Shepherd won't go to rescue a sheep in danger.

Insight: Lord, as more and more men and women in churches admit they are ensnared by sin, please bring them hope and healing in Jesus' name.

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Post  Admin on Wed 15 May 2019, 8:42 pm

Date: May 15, 2019 at 1:06 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Nothing but the Gospel

Nothing but the Gospel

"I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus." Acts 20:21

Scripture Focus: Acts 20

There is no shortage of ideas about religion, and there never has been. Once I met a man who said he believes that when people die, they become stars. I asked how he knew this to be true. He replied that it was just something he thought up. Another time, another man pulled out his phone to show me photos of the golden idol his family worships. Even within what is accepted as "Christianity," there are false teachers preaching false gospels. As today's reading shows, "savage wolves" and false teachers have always lurked among God's people. If Jesus is to change everything in our lives, He must have everything, including our minds and our beliefs. Like Paul, our life's goal must be to "know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of, his sufferings" (Philippians 3:10). The only form of religion that unites us with God is the one God Himself prescribed: turning to Him in repentance for sin and believing what His Son did on our helpless behalf. Rest your searching soul on nothing but the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Insight: God has only given one holy book: the Bible. It not only teaches us the truth, but also trains us to detect-and reject-error.

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Post  Admin on Tue 14 May 2019, 10:56 pm

Date: May 14, 2019 at 12:11 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Live By Faith

Live By Faith

"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth." Hebrews 11:13

Scripture Focus: Hebrews 11

It's easy to read Hebrews 11 and be captivated by the great acts of the heroes of the faith noted there. We might forget that they were ordinary people like us. But marveling at their accomplishments is not what the writer of Hebrews intended for his first readers. Like the refrain of a hymn whose words repeat the thrust of the whole song, we read the echoed phrase throughout Hebrews 11: "by faith." Everything each one of these people did was done "by faith," living in imperfect expectation of what God had promised. And they all died never even obtaining it. However, Chapter 12 opens with the glorious proclamation that Christ had come, faith was perfected in Him, and now it is our turn to live "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (vs. 2). Our charge now is to run the race by that same faith, to experience how Jesus changes everything. The ancients looked toward the cross; we look back to its perfect work. Put off the sin "that hinders and, entangles," and head for the finish line.

Insight: Your race and mine will be over before we realize it. Let's live by faith, holding nothing back. In the Spirit's power, finish well.

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Post  Admin on Fri 10 May 2019, 2:18 pm

Date: May 10, 2019 at 1:01 AM

Topic: +DEV+  The All-Powerful King
The All-Powerful King

"Why do the nations say, 'Where is their God?' Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him." Psalm 115:2-3 
Scripture Focus:  Psalm 115

This verse might be a bit unsettling to you. It thunders the majesty and power of God. It is entirely proper for us to be awestruck and fearfully reverent like the Israelites were with the cracks of lightning, shaking mountain, and blasting trumpet sounds at Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:18.) Jesus is our Friend and Brother, but we also must remember that He is the sovereign God, the Great King before whom all heaven and earth will one day bow. There are essentially two reactions we can have to this truth. One is to rebel against His authority the same way the kings of the earth through the centuries have tried in vain to do (Psalm 2). The other is to surrender according to the terms of peace He offers, falling in behind Him as one of the happily conquered. And when the Lord allows hardships into our lives, this verse along with many others reminds us that while He does whatever He pleases, He is good. When the mountains of life tremble before us, we know that our all-powerful King changes everything.

Insight: Because every purpose of god for the christian is only, ever, eternally for our good and His glory, we can pray, "Thy will be done."

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Post  Admin on Thu 09 May 2019, 11:11 am

Date: May 9, 2019 at 12:56 AM
Topic: +DEV+ The Cure for Worry

The Cure for Worry

"Do not worry about your life, Do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?', Do not worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25a, 31, 34

Scripture Focus: Matthew 6

Strangely, there are some sins Christians tolerate more than others. I know I've been guilty of joking about how much I ate at a church supper. Everyone would laugh while I made light of the fact that I committed the sin of gluttony. Worry is another more socially-acceptable sin. After all, we reason, worrying about things just shows how deeply we care. It's human nature, right? But it's not what pleases the Lord. And it often is the result of frustration we feel because we have not been able to control a situation. We wish we were God! Did you know that Jesus gave us the cure for worry? It's Him. He changes everything! Psalm 55:22 says we are to roll our burdens onto Him. Peter echoes the sentiment in 1 Peter 5:7. Jesus Himself said we are to take His easy burden and light yoke upon ourselves, and we will find rest (Matthew 11:28-30). In today's Bible reading He repeats the command, "Do not worry," giving us one assurance after another of the Father's goodness and care. When we cast our cares on Him, He sustains us.

Insight: The Father loves and cares for His children. No need to worry-we are in good hands!

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Post  Admin on Wed 08 May 2019, 9:40 am

Date: May 8, 2019 at 2:16 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Don't Stop Praying

Don't Stop Praying

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved."  Ephesians 2:4-5

Scripture Focus:  Ephesians 2

When we think of transgressions or sin, is there any particular sin that should surprise us? Those words span the most socially-acceptable sins like a consuming drive for career success to the worst choices, crimes, and addictions a person can pursue. "Dead in transgressions" covers way more than we want to think about-or often admit. But for over 20 centuries, millions of people who have been steeped in sin and whose lives seemed to be headed for hell have been pulled back and transformed by Jesus Christ. He changes everything! Men and women, boys and girls, caught up in any kind of sin you could imagine have been made alive in Christ. And the best part is, it still happens around the world every single day. "God, who is rich in mercy," made me alive when I was dead in my sins. I hope you can remember when He did the same for you. If you have been praying that your loved ones would know Jesus and be saved, keep praying! He who was rich in mercy towards you has mercy and power enough to give them life, too.

Insight: "I was a wild beast on the coast of Africa till the Lord caught and tamed me." (John Newton, as quoted by Charles Spurgeon in 1885)

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Post  Admin on Wed 08 May 2019, 12:25 am

Date: May 7, 2019 at 1:19 AM
Topic: +DEV+ One Greater Than

One Greater Than

"And now one greater than Solomon is here… One greater than Jonah is here." Luke 11:31b, 32b

Scripture Focus: Luke 11

As you read through the Gospels, you will see several striking passages of Jesus dealing with His critics. Luke 4:14-30 tells of Jesus walking right through the crowd that had sought to push him over a cliff. He always made His way through their deceptive tactics. He pitted His critics against John's baptism and the people's respect for John. He used a coin as an object lesson to answer the religious leaders' question about paying taxes to Caesar. Later, at His own trial, it was His silence that spoke volumes. Jesus amazed His hearers and taught "like one who had authority" because He did have authority. No wonder the temple guards sent to arrest Jesus came back empty-handed and dumbfounded, answering only, "No one ever spoke the way this man does" (John 7:46). Two thousand years have passed, and countless learned men and women have criticized and mocked and lost. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of our Lord never will. Truly the One greater than all-the One who changes everything-is here.

Insight: If you are arguing with Jesus, there is important news: you will not win. Surrender and serve Him today, and eternal life will be yours.

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Post  Admin on Mon 06 May 2019, 9:55 pm

Date: May 6, 2019 at 12:42 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Plenty of Other Options

Plenty of Other Options

"Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD."  Isaiah 31:1

Scripture Focus: Isaiah 31

In Old Testament times, Egypt was a powerful nation whom others would pay to go to war on their behalf. Judah, too, looked to Egypt to defend itself against Assyria. But God alone was to be Judah's defender. Jesus changes everything for a Christian looking to find his or her way in this world. What may seem like viable options for others are not available to us when we bow to the King of kings. Others may choose to cut corners in school or cheat on their taxes, but we cannot. Some will make careers of offering products or services that would dishonor the name of Christ, but we may not. Plenty of people use questionable sales and marketing tactics and alluring but misleading advertisements. Again, we ought not. "But among you there must not be even a hint of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people" (Ephesians 5:3). Our God is not bankrupt or weak. He is not limited in His provision for us. Look to Him for your needs, not to the "Egypt" of the world's ways. He will provide!

Insight: One way we grow more mature in the Lord is by counseling ourselves in hard times, recalling past times of God's faithfulness to us.

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Post  Admin on Thu 02 May 2019, 6:37 pm

Date: May 2, 2019 at 1:27 AM

Topic: +DEV+  Jesus in Our Suffering

Jesus in Our Suffering

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will."  Ephesians 1:11

Scripture Focus: Ephesians 1

You know that Jesus changes everything, you see that there is no area of our lives where Christ does not make something beautiful, even from ashes. While the world searches to make sense of suffering apart from Christ, we have blessed hope. Grief and sorrow were familiar to Him; He endured the agonies of the cross to fulfill the Father's perfect will. He cared enough to tell us that we would suffer, but He reassured us with many tender promises that He would see us through. Though the "problem of pain" will always be something we struggle to understand fully, we have confidence that nothing happens in our lives outside the sovereign will of God. We can say as Joseph did that what was meant for evil, God meant for good (see Genesis 50:20). Paul reminds the believers in Ephesus that the Lord brings everything in a believer's life into conformity with His divine purposes. Only Christ could assure us of troubles but immediately add, "Take heart!" How can we? Because He has overcome the world (see John 16:33).

Insight: "Inevitably, one who serves God faithfully will face suffering. But the joy God gives and the reward He promises will recompense Him for all." (Wong Ming Dao, 1981)

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