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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 12:07 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Envy: A Poison of the Soul  

"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all
deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind."1

"Aesop had a fable about two eagles, one envious of the
other because the other could soar higher and more
elegantly than he could. So the envious eagle would
pluck his strongest feathers from his own body and
shoot them as arrows, trying to wound or kill the other
eagle. It was his own undoing, however. He could not
hit the high flying eagle, and he was eventually
grounded by his lack of feathers. Envy destroyed the
eagle."2

Envy, greed, and jealousy are all related. They are not
only destroyers of the soul, but also of our physical
well-being. As Proverbs says, "A heart at peace gives
life to the body, but envy rots the bones."3

And wasn't envy the cause of Satan's downfall? He was
envious of God and wanted to be God himself; and look
at the unbelievable mess he has gotten us into--or
rather, look at the incredible mess we've gotten
ourselves into because we have followed the ways of
Satan instead of the ways of God. And how many of the
atrocities that are happening in today's world are
caused by the envy and greed for control by certain men
who claim themselves to be leaders when, in fact, they
are destroyers! 

Envy is a destroyer. It will destroy you and me, too,
if we allow it to do so. Like all of God's
instructions, it is not without good reason that his
Word tells us to get rid of all envy, malice, jealousy
and hatred. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, if there is any envy,
malice, jealousy, or hatred in my heart, please reveal
it to me, and give me the courage and good sense to
face it, to resolve it, and get rid of it. And please
forgive me for it. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen." 

1. 1 Peter 2:1 (NIV).
2. Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999. 
3. Proverbs 14:30 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 8:57 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Story of Valentine's Day  

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved
you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends."1

In ancient Rome, the 14th of February was a pagan
holiday in honor of Juno, the goddess of women and
marriage and the queen of the Roman Gods and goddesses.

Later, however, it became a Christian holiday named
after a Christian priest. An Internet report says that,
"According to church tradition St. Valentine was a
priest near Rome about the year 270 A.D. At that time
the Roman Emperor was imprisoning Christians for not
worshipping the Roman gods. During this persecution
Valentine was arrested. Some say he was arrested
because he was performing Christian marriages, but
others say it was for helping Christians escape prison.

"During the trial they asked Valentine what he thought
of the Roman gods Jupiter and Mercury. Of course
Valentine said they were false gods and that the God
that Jesus called Father was the only true God. So the
Romans threw him in prison for insulting the gods.

"While in prison Valentine continued to minister. He
witnessed to the guards. One of the guards was a good
man who had adopted a blind girl. He asked Valentine if
his God could help his daughter. Valentine prayed and
the girl was given her sight. The guard and his whole
family, 46 people, believed in Jesus and were baptized.
When the emperor heard about this, he was furious that
Valentine was still making converts even in prison, so
he had Valentine clubbed and beheaded.

"Valentine knew that he might get caught in his
Christian activities. He knew that if he told the court
the truth about the Roman gods that he would be thrown
in prison. And he knew that if he continued to witness
to Christ in the prison he would make his captors
angry. But he continued because he loved the Lord and
his fellow humans. He was willing to risk his life to
free the prisoners and spread the Good News of Jesus
Christ to those who needed to hear it." (Source
unknown.)

According to Bob McIlhenny, high school teacher,
Valentine and the prisoner's daughter that had been
blind developed a special friendship, and, before he
was executed, Valentine wrote her a note of
encouragement and signed it "Your Valentine." From this
sad situation we now celebrate Valentine's Day as a
special day for expressing love and friendship. 

As Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that
he lay down his life for his friends." This is what
Valentine did. He loved and cared enough for his
friends and loved ones (including his jailors) to
introduce them to Jesus at the risk of his life, which
he gave. 

And this is what God did for us. While we were still
sinners Jesus died for us. So on this Valentine's Day
let us be quick to express our love, not only to our
loved ones and friends, but also especially to the Lord
Jesus Christ who gave His life so that we would be able
to have our sins forgiven and live with God forever in
heaven.

"Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You so
loved the world that You gave Your Son Jesus to die on
the cross for my sins. And Lord Jesus, I thank You from
the bottom of my heart for loving me enough to die on
the cross in my place to pay the just penalty for all
my sins. Because You died for me so I could live
forever, help me to live always in all ways for You.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."

1. Jesus, John 15:12-13 (NIV).

<:((((><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 8:49 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Conviction Vs. Compulsion  

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."1

In my younger days I sincerely wanted to obey God and
do his will but was confused about how to know his
will.

I went through a time when I felt that the "little
voice inside my head" was God speaking to me, which I
interpreted as a conviction. But I was wrong. It was a
compulsion.

Admittedly, it can be tricky to discern between a
conviction and a compulsion. I like to compare the
difference between the two like that of comparing lust
to love. Lust can look like love, smell like love, and
feel like love--but is a world apart from love. Love
can wait. Lust can't. Love gives. Lust takes. Love is
an energizer and a motivator of persons. Lust is a
deceiver and a destroyer of persons.

And so it is with compulsions; they can be from within
ourselves, or from the tempter. For instance, if the
devil knows he can't pull us down into a life of sin,
illicit sex, alcohol and the like, he will try and push
us over the top and, as the old saying goes, we become
so heavenly minded we are of no earthly use.

Whether from the devil or our own self, compulsions are
deceptive and destructive--and are never from
God--ever. For "where the Spirit of the Lord is there
is liberty"2--always. But where the spirit of
compulsion is, there is bondage. A conviction is where
you are drawn to follow and you always have the freedom
not to do so. With a compulsion, you are driven and
feel compelled to do so--it's that little voice inside
your head that says, "You've got to do it. You've got
to do it. You've got to do it--or something bad will
happen if you don't." Taken to an extreme, as it is for
those who suffer from the mental illness, OCD
(Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), it can drive a
person--and those whom they live with--“crazy."

Because of compulsions, some Christians do some crazy
things in the name of the Lord. True, sometimes God
wants some people to do unusual things, but never weird
things. For instance, in younger days, had the "little
voice in my head" told me to stand on my head, I would
have felt compelled to do it. I doubt if I would have
done it, but would have felt guilty if I didn't. We
need to remember that God's Word says, "Let all things
be done decently and in order."3 That's wise advice to
follow. God has also given us a head as well as a
heart, and we need to use both.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the insight
to know the difference between a conviction and a
compulsion, the wisdom to reject compulsions, and the
courage to follow convictions that come from Your
Spirit. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NASB). 
2. Ibid (NASB). 
3. 1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV). 

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * *
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

Cardboard Butterflies and Cultural Christians  

"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down
and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will
recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord,
Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he
who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."1

I read the following illustration about "an intriguing
entomological experiment Annie Dillard tells about in
The Writing Life. This experiment shows that a male
butterfly will ignore a living female butterfly of his
own species in favor of a painted cardboard one if the
cardboard one is bigger than he is--bigger than any
female butterfly ever could be. He … [romances] the
pieces of cardboard. Nearby, the real, living female
butterfly opens and closes her wings in vain."2

Amazing, isn't it? 

However, it's not too unlike some of us who could be
identified as "cultural Christians." We're attracted to
and want to be a part of the Christian movement that is
a large part of our culture (at least in North America)
because it's a big, impressive movement. It can make us
look good, feel good, important or whatever. But it's
not the real thing we're attracted to, but rather the
outward trappings of Christianity--or rather,
churchianity! 

We flirt with a "cardboard-Christ" as it were but never
make a genuine commitment to the real Christ who is
waiting in the wings--in vain. 

If I am merely a cultural-Christian, I may look like I
have the real thing, but it doesn't make any difference
in my manner of living. The sad fact is that there may
be multitudes of church-goers who are in this category.
I say this because research has repeatedly shown that
there is no measurable difference in the manner of life
between those who claim to be born-again or genuine
Christians and those who don't. 

As Jesus said, "By their fruit you will know or
recognize them." We are not saved by or get into heaven
through our good works (fruit) but only by the grace of
God through faith. But our fruit shows whether our
faith is genuine or “just cardboard." 

Jesus' words in today's Scripture lesson are very
sobering. Let's all be certain we have the real thing
and are not flirting with "cardboard Christianity." 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to know
without a shadow of a doubt that I have genuinely
accepted You as my Savior and Lord and am not a
cultural Christian flirting with a cardboard church or
Christ. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: To be sure you are a real Christian click on
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

1. Matthew 7:19-21 (NIV).
2. The Writing Life, New York: Harper & Row, 1989,
17-18.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.


Today's Daily Encounter

Criticism  

"He [Jesus] did not retaliate when he was insulted.
When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He
left his case in the hands of God, who always judges
fairly."1

"He who fears criticism," declared Thomas Jefferson,
"is hopeless. Only those who do things are criticized.
The idler is lost sight of in the march of events--but
the doer is watched and criticized. To hesitate for
fear of criticism loses the battle while the doers
march on to victory and triumphs.

"If your cause is right, be not afraid of criticism:
Advocate it, expound it, and, if need be, fight for it.
Critics always will be, but to the strong-minded they
are a help rather than a hindrance. As the horse spurts
forward when prodded with the spur, so the doers forge
ahead under the lash of criticism. Take your part on
life's stage and play your part to the end. Stand for
that which is good [that which is right]. Be a doer,
not a drone. Look the world in the face and let the
critics criticize."

The fact is those who achieve anything worthwhile in
life are bound to be the target for the jabs and jibes
of jealous lesser men. Furthermore, the person who, for
fear of criticism, tries to please everyone ends up
pleasing no one.

Realize too, that an incessant, negative criticizer
with a chip on his/her shoulder is basically an angry
person. They have never resolved their hurts from the
past and are looking for hooks to hang their anger on.
That is, they are projecting their anger and/or
failures on to others rather than accepting the
responsibility for their own unresolved issues.

On the other hand, when constructive criticism is
given, let's accept it in the spirit in which it is
given, evaluate it realistically, and make changes
where necessary. This is a characteristic of a mature
person.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
Christ-like when criticized in that I accept all
criticism in a mature manner and don't become
defensive. Wherever the criticism is valid, help me to
accept it gladly and make changes accordingly. Thank
You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. 1 Peter 2:23 (NLT).

<Smile)))><    

 
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 7:14 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Forgiveness  

"If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge."1

I have read about "a scene from a movie a few years ago
called 'Nobody's Fool.' There's a working man named
Donald Sullivan. Everybody calls him Sully. He's about
sixty years old, and spent his whole life in the same
town. When his parents died, he inherited their house.
He never moved in. Instead he left it alone. It was the
house where his father beat him as a child. So he has
left it alone, and every day he drives by to watch it
slowly fall apart. One day he takes one of his friends,
a builder, through that broken-down house.

"The builder says, 'Sully, you could have saved this
place. You could have fixed it up a little bit, rented
it out. You could have sold it and put the money in
your own pocket. Instead you stick it to your old man.
What's it been--thirty, thirty-five years? You're still
keeping score? Well, here's the good news: you won.'"

Failing to forgive keeps us bound by the past and under
the control of the one whom we feel hurt us and towards
whom we are still nursing a grudge--even if they are
dead! Little by little it will also cause the love in
our heart to decay and crumble. Furthermore, nursing
grudges can take years off our life.

Jesus, the Master Teacher, knew exactly what and why he
was saying to forgive seven-times-seventy--meaning to
never quit forgiving. Let’s be realistic and realize
that "failing to forgive is like drinking poison and
waiting for the other person to die!"

It's not only important that we forgive all who have
ever hurt us or let us down, but also that we seek
forgiveness for ourselves from those whom we have hurt
and above all--to ask for and experience God's
forgiveness for all our sins and wrongs.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to face any
grudges I may still be nursing, confess these to You
and to a trusted friend and, in turn, freely forgive
all who have ever hurt me. And please forgive me for
wherever I have hurt others. And where needed, give me
the courage and grace to ask for forgiveness from
anyone I have hurt. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: For further help see “Forgiveness: The Power That
Heals" at: http://tinyurl.com/3bw3q3 

To know and experience God's forgiveness click on:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq91. Ephesians 4:26 (TLB-NLT).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

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Join date : 2008-10-25
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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 12:24 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

A Father’s Blessing  

"Joseph said to his father, ‘They are my sons, whom God
has given me in this place.’ And he said, ‘Please bring
them to me, and I will bless them.’"1

Working with people in support groups over a number of
years it has amazed me how many participants--both men
and women--had a father issue. That is, they felt that
their father was never or rarely involved in their life
either physically or emotionally when they were a child
and/or a teenager. All of these people have a deep
father wound because they never received their father's
affirmation or blessing.

Popular author and psychologist, Gary Smalley, lists
some key answers received after asking one hundred
people how they knew that they had received their
father's blessing. Following are some of the answers he
received: 

1. "My father would put his arm around me at church and
let me lay my head on his shoulder."

2. "When my father was facing being transferred at
work, he purposely took another job so that I could
finish my senior year in high school at the same
school."

3. "When I wrecked my parent's car, my father's first
reaction was to hug me and let me cry instead of
yelling at me."

4. "When I was thirteen, my dad trusted me to use his
favorite hunting rifle when I was invited to go hunting
with a friend and his father." 

5. "My father went with me when I had to take back an
ugly dress a saleswoman had talked me into buying."

6. "My father would let me practice pitching to him for
a long time when he got home from work."

7. "Even though I had never seen him cry before, my
father cried during my wedding because he was going to
miss me no longer being at home."

For those of us who have had or still have an
unresolved father issue we know the pain of missing out
on our father's blessing. For fathers of children/teens
who are reading this article, I trust you will realize
the crucial role you play in the emotional and
spiritual development of your children. With your
blessing they have a much greater chance of having a
fulfilling life and a healthy marriage and family life.
Without your blessing they may, like millions of
others, spend the rest of their life seeking love in
all the wrong ways and places, albeit in an unconscious
and desperate attempt to fill the empty void in their
heart caused by a lack of their father's blessing and
their subsequent father wound. 

Suggested prayer (if you have a father wound): "Dear
God, thank You for helping me to see that I never
received my father's blessing. Please lead me to the
help I need for the healing and recovery of my father
wound. (If you are a father): Please help me to be the
father my children need so they will know without a
shadow of a doubt that they have my full blessing.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: For further help see "Healing a Man's Father
Wound" (the same principles apply to healing a woman's
father wound) click on: http://tinyurl.com/9dse4. See
also Norm Wright’s book, Healing for the Father Wound.
Available at: http://tinyurl.com/32scsv)

1. Genesis 48:9 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 61475
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 11:16 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Fully Living ... Fully Loving  

"Jesus wept."1

There's an old story about a school teacher who injured
his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the
upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was
not noticeable. 

On the first day of the term, still with the cast under
his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest
students in school. Walking confidently into the rowdy
classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and
then busied himself with desk work. When a strong
breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and
stapled the tie to his chest. 

He had no trouble with discipline that term. 

Sometimes it would be nice if life were that simple--if
we could wear a plaster cast around our heart so our
feelings would never get hurt! 

Not so. The problem is, when we put a cast around our
hurt feelings, that same cast also covers and blocks
out our warm and loving feelings! 

Also, when we hide and subsequently bury our feelings,
we never bury them dead but very much alive; and in one
way or another they come back to taunt us. And where do
those feelings go? For me, by the time I was five I had
learned that "big men" don't cry so I stuffed my
feelings, and by the time I was in my early thirties, I
suffered from wretched hay fever. Worse still, my close
relationships were anything but close. 

I knew I needed help. Even though I had had years of
teaching that feelings weren't important and couldn't
be trusted, because my life was so empty, I got on my
knees and asked God to help me feel again. Oh boy! That
prayer turned my world upside down and made praying for
patience look like a Sunday school picnic. It took deep
pain to break through my cast-like defenses.

My recovery and healing didn't happen overnight, but
the good news is that when I learned to cry again and
express my hurt and pain instead of repressing, burying
and denying it, I was healed of hay fever. And my
personal relationship have never been more fulfilling,
ever. With God's help and the help of excellent
teachers and counselors I have learned to truly live
and love. 

It may not sound refined, but the fact is that the
feelings we stuff, stuff up our lives!

When it comes to handling feelings as God intended, the
best example we can ever find and follow is to read
about the life of Jesus in the Gospels and see how He
handled His emotions. When He grieved, He wept. When He
was angry, He expressed it creatively and did something
about what made Him angry. 

Suggested prayer. "Dear God, how dull and empty life
would be without the emotions You have given to us as a
gift to be cherished. Please help me to be real with my
feelings and handle them creatively--as Jesus did--so I
can learn to fully live and fully love. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen." 

1. John 11:35.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Feb 2016, 10:06 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Can We Prove That God Exists?  

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies
proclaim the work of his hands."1 

A young lady from overseas wrote, "I have been asked
the following question by one of my non-believing
friends: 'How can you prove if God is real?' he asked.
I didn't know how to explain because it's just
something I feel in my soul and heart. Can you please
help me?'"

I shared with her some helpful articles from our
website but also suggested that she might like to ask
her friend how he could prove that God doesn't exist?

For a simple but excellent answer allow me to quote the
following poem:

       There was a little boy,
       On the week's first day,
       Coming home from Sunday School
       And wandering on the way.

       He scuffed his shoes into the grass
       And found a caterpillar.
       He found a fluffy milkweed pod
       And blew out all the filler.

       A bird's nest in a tree above,
       So wisely placed on high,
       Was just another wonder
       That caught his eager eye.

       A neighbor watched his crooked course
       And hailed him from the lawn.
       He asked him where he'd been that day
       And what was going on.

       "I've been to Sunday School," he said
       As he turned a piece of sod,
       And picking up a worm, he smiled,
       "I've learned a lot from God!"

       "That's a fine way," the neighbor said,
       "For a boy to spend his time.
       Now if you can tell me where God is,
       I'll give you a brand new dime."

       Quick as a flash the answer came,
       The boy said without complaint,
       "I'll give you a dollar, Mister,
       If you can tell me where God ain't!"

                                   - Author Unknown

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to so live
and love that people will see Jesus in me and in so
seeing, will want Him for themselves. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen."

1. Psalm 19:1 (NIV).

NOTE: For additional helpful articles see the
following:
"Where Is God?" http://tinyurl.com/b6dsq
"Astronauts Who Found God" http://tinyurl.com/6mhmuh 
"The Stones Cry Out: http://tinyurl.com/6642fh

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Fri 29 Jan 2016, 4:08 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Pathway to Deliverance and Freedom  

“You ask, and don't receive, because you ask amiss
[wrongly], that you may consume it upon your lusts."1 

A subscriber struggling with sexual addiction writes
for help as her prayers for deliverance weren’t being
answered. I thanked her for her honesty telling her
that that was the beginning point for delivery from any
problem, and replied to her as follows.

Sometimes our prayers are not answered because we are
praying the wrong prayer. That is; sometimes when we
have a problem, we pray and ask God to deliver us from
the problem we see, but often the problem we see is not
the problem that is, but rather, the symptom of a
deeper problem or the cause of the problem.

For instance, people with sex, love or any kind of
addiction very often never felt truly loved as a child
by either their father or mother, and deep down
(unconsciously) are still searching for love in all the
wrong ways and places. When we don’t feel loved,
multiple sexual or romantic relationships will never
heal the deep wound of not feeling loved. Feeling
wanted is not feeling loved. It can end up making the
person feel used--and thereby less loved.

The first step, as already noted, is to admit that one
has a problem and confess it to a trusted pastor,
counselor or an understanding, safe friend who will not
be “cursed with the affliction to give unsolicited
advice" that never delivers anyone. 

The second step is to learn how to pray the right
prayer; that is pray for truth because, as God’s Word
says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set
you free."2 Thus, as long as we are not free, there is
some truth we are not facing and dealing with. So I
encourage you to pray the following prayer every day
until deliverance comes and you are set free: 

“Dear God, I confess that I am a sex/love/alcohol or
‘whatever’ addict; please confront me with the
truth/reality of why I am an addict and help me to see
the reason/s and cause of why I am acting out in
self-destructive ways via my addictive behavior--no
matter how painful it might be to face the cause of my
problem. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

The third step, if needed, is wherever possible to get
the help of a fine professional Christian counselor. If
you live in the U.S. or Canada you can call the
Narramore Christian Foundation at 1-800-477-5893 and
press “1" and ask if they can give you the name of a
fine Christian counselor in your area.

1. James 4:3 (KJV).
2. John 8:32 (NIV).

<:((((><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
 
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 11:07 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Angel in the Marble  

"Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming
more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head
of his body, the church."1

It is said that when Michelangelo, the great
artist-sculptor, was walking one day outside the city
of Florence, he saw a piece of marble and looking at
it, declared, "What God-like beauty you hide."

It is also reported that he said words to this effect:
"I saw the angel in the marble and chiseled until I set
it free."

What great illustrations of how God sees you and me. He
sees our potential--and with His help what we can
become, and what we can achieve with our life. God has
a perfect plan for your life and mine. He also sees our
wounded-ness and wants to heal us so we can be freed
from the chains that bind us, and the unresolved issues
that hinder our becoming all that He has envisioned for
us to be.

And as the marble yielded to Michelangelo's skillful
touch, everyday we need to yield and submit our lives
to the even greater skillful touch of the Master
Sculptor so that we will become more and more like
Christ in every way.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, as best as I know how I
commit, trust, and surrender my heart and life to You.
Please work in my life so that I will become the person
You want me to be. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."  

1. Ephesians 4:15 (NLT).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Jan 2016, 12:12 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

What Happens to Christians when We Die?  

"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that
we who are alive and remain until the coming of the
Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For
the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of
God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we
who are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And thus we shall always be with the Lord."1

Here's an interesting question posed by a Daily
Encounter reader: "When a Christian dies, does he/she
go directly to heaven to be with the Lord, or does
he/she remain in the grave until the resurrection and
return of Jesus when the ‘dead in Christ’ shall rise?"

My challenger believed that I was in error saying that
my friend who died is now in heaven with the Lord.

And certainly the Apostle Paul in today's Scripture
seems to indicate that when we die, we will remain in
the grave until the Lord returns.

On the other hand, the Apostle Paul also said, "So we
are always confident, even though we know that as long
as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the
Lord. That is why we live by believing and not by
seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would
rather be away from these bodies, for then we will be
at home with the Lord."2

Again Paul seems to indicate that when a Christian
dies, he goes directly to be with the Lord in Heaven.
He said, "For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is
even better. Yet if I live, that means fruitful service
for Christ. I really don't know which is better. I'm
torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and
sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would
be far better for me, but it is better for you that I
live."3

I don't claim to be a theologian by any means, but it
seems to me that it is our bodies that will be raised
at the resurrection and return of the Lord, and that
our soul/spirit goes directly to be with the Lord when
we die. 

As an interesting sidelight, another Daily Encounter
reader shared the following: “When my grandmother (who
was the strongest Christian woman I've ever known) was
on her deathbed from cancer in her last moments, I
vividly remember her having a smile on her face and
saying, ‘Oh my, Oh my!’ I firmly believe that this was
because she was seeing heaven. It is truly there!"

Either way, the most important thing of all is that we
are ready to meet God face to face. I'm not in a hurry
to prove my point as I hope by the grace of God I can
keep publishing the gospel for many years to come.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You
enough for Your great love and so great a salvation,
and for the blessed hope I have as a Christian, knowing
that after this life on earth is over, I will live
forever with You in Heaven for all eternity. And
because You loved me enough to die for me, please help
me to love You enough to live for You all the days of
my life--or until Jesus comes if that should come
first--to take me home to Heaven. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

NOTE: If you are not sure that you will go to Heaven
when you die, be sure to read the article, "How to Be
Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9. 

1. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NIV).
2. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NLT).
3. Philippians 1:21-24 (NLT).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 9:45 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Fishing in the Bathtub  

Jesus said: "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under
a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all
who are in the house."1

Many years ago when growing up in Australia, I still
remember the following ditty shared by a vititing
American evangelist:

     He who whispers down a well
     About the things he has to sell,
     Doesn't get as many dollars
     As he who climbs a tree and hollers!

Have you ever noticed that the vast majority of
non-church people aren't knocking down our doors in a
rush to hear us preach the gospel? At least I've never
seen it anywhere I've lived.

It's like an old preacher friend of mine used to say,
"You don't catch fish in the bathtub. You go where the
fish are."

With the ongoing acts of evil aggressive terrorism
overseas, and here in the U.S.A. the growing rejection
of Christianity, God and the Bible, plus the
accelerated acceptance of anti-Christian religions--if
ever there was a time when we Christians in the West
need to hear God's wake-up call and let our voices be
heard and let our light shine, it's today.

But whether it's in secular business or God's business,
he who whispers down a well is not going to get a
hearing. And he who fishes in the bathtub isn't going
to catch any fish! Or he who hides his light under a
basket isn't going to have it seen!

As Christians we need to do everything in our power to
abate the forces of evil by demonstrating and
communicating the love of God and the gospel message of
Jesus Christ in some way to every life we touch and to
all people everywhere. 

However, to win some we need to be winsome--that is,
before people will listen to our message, they need to
see Jesus in us and in so doing, want Jesus for
themselves.

Remember the kid's song we used to sing in Sunday
school: "See this little light of mine, I'm going to
let it shine, See this little light of mine, I'm going
to let shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it
shine." Not under a basket. Not down a well. But in
everything we do, wherever we go, and by every
legitimate means available to us.

Remember too, that all the darkness (evil) in the world
cannot put out the light of even the smallest candle!

May God help each of us to be candles for Jesus and let
our light shine 'til he comes!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to stop, stand
still, and listen--with my heart--and hear your wake-up
call echoing out of today’s terrorism and the
increasing rejection of Christianity, and do everything
I can to let my light shine and thereby demonstrate
Your message of love and salvation to every life I
touch. Help me too, to do what I can to support, not
only my church, but missionaries and those who are
taking Your message of love and salvation to the ends
of the earth. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: For simple helps to be a light for Jesus and
share the gospel with others see the People Power for
Jesus website at:  http://www.actsweb.org/people_power/


1. Matthew 5:15 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
 
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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Admin
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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Jan 2016, 10:38 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Overcoming Fear  

"The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can
man do to me?"1

"In a Peanuts cartoon strip, Charlie Brown goes to Lucy
for a nickel's worth of psychiatric help. She proceeds
to pinpoint his particular 'fear'. 'Perhaps,' she says,
'you have hypengyophobia, which is the fear of
responsibility.' Charlie Brown says, 'No.' 'Well,
perhaps you have ailurophobia, which is the fear of
cats.' 'No.' 'Well, maybe you have climacophobia, which
is the fear of staircases.' 'No.' Exasperated, Lucy
says, 'Well, maybe you have pantophobia, which is the
fear of everything.' 'Yes,' says Charlie, 'that is the
one!'"

Fear is a common problem among most people. We are
plagued by all sorts of fears: fear of heights; fear of
the dark; fear of spiders, grasshoppers, mice and all
sorts of tiny bugs (that are a thousand times smaller
than we are); fear of unemployment; fear of terrorists;
fear of closeness; fear of love; fear of rejection;
fear of death; fear of being alone; and all sorts of
fears ad infinitum. Some are valid, some are learned,
some are imagined, some are real, and some are false.

In fact there are some things we ought to be afraid of
such as driving through red street lights; driving an
unsafe vehicle; diving from high places without
checking the depth of the water; and so on. And we
certainly ought to be afraid of death if we aren't
prepared for life after death. These are healthy fears
and are nature's way of warning us to avoid certain
situations, to prepare ahead for certain situations,
and to protect and take care of ourselves and our loved
ones. To ignore these fears is pure foolishness.

It's the seemingly irrational fears that cause us
havoc. For instance, some people are afraid of success,
so unconsciously set themselves up to fail. Some people
are afraid of getting sick and set themselves up to get
sick. Some people are afraid of closeness in
relationships and set themselves up for a life of
loneliness. So how do we overcome our fears? 

Learned fears. Some learned fears we can overcome by
doing the thing we fear ... little by little. For
example, my mother was terrified of
grasshoppers--especially those big ones that were
plentiful where I grew up. From an early age, I learned
to be afraid of them too. To overcome this fear I
practiced picking them up--the small ones to start
with--until I conditioned myself to pick up the
biggies. 

Livable fears. Some fears are harmless and we can learn
to live with them. For instance, I have a fear of
certain foods (probably because of some bad situation
in the past) but I can live without eating asparagus! 

Buried fears. I've written about this before but my big
fear was a fear of love/closeness that came from
painful early childhood experiences. I won't spell out
the details here but I had a deeply buried fear as an
adult that if someone loved me, they would leave me,
smother me, or even try to get rid of me. Consequently,
for much of my life I was plagued by a deep inner
loneliness until I came to the realization that I was
running from love. 

Only as I saw and admitted this was my problem, was I
able to get the help I needed to overcome it. I also
knew that if I didn't overcome it, I would be running
from love for the rest of my life. With God's help and
the help of a good therapist, I was able to stop
running from love for which I am extremely thankful.
Again, I knew it was my problem and knew that I needed
help, commitment, and hard work to overcome it. 

Circumstantial fears. In circumstances that are beyond
our control, we need to commit our life to God and
learn to trust Him. This is something we can choose to
do. When I am in these situations, I like to keep
quoting a Psalm of David who said (when King Saul was
trying to kill him), "The Lord is with me; I will not
be afraid. What can man do to me?"2

Remember, too, where there is no fear, there is no need
of courage. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You
understand my fears. Please help me to come to terms
with all my fears--to be responsible in situations
where fear is a warning of danger ahead. Help me to
confront and overcome fears that are hindering my
becoming all that You have envisioned for me to be, and
help me learn to trust You in all circumstances that
are out of my control. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen." 

1. Psalm 118:6 (NIV). 
2. Psalm 118:6 (NIV). 

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 61475
Join date : 2008-10-25
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Jan 2016, 8:21 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Who Is Jesus Christ? Part I  

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He
asked His disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man
is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others
say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the
prophets." "But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you
say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ,
the Son of the living God."1

Almost 2,000 years ago when Caesar Augustus was ruling
the vast Roman Empire, Jesus Christ was born in
Palestine in very humble circumstances. Until he was 30
he was virtually unknown.

However, during a brief three-year public ministry, His
impact was such that it changed the world--including
the change of our calendar from B.C. to A.D.

H.G. Wells, the famous historian, once said about
Christ: "I am not a believer. But I must confess, as an
historian, this penniless creature from Galilee is
irresistibly the center of history."

No other person ever made the stupendous claims that
Jesus did. He claimed to be the Son of God, the
promised Jewish Messiah, and the only way to God for
all mankind. He claimed to have power to forgive sins
and to give people eternal life. Above all, He claimed
to be God, saying, "I and the Father [God] are one."2

Socrates once said, "Oh, that someone would arise, man
or God, to show us God." Four hundred years later
Christ came and claimed to be that person.

But was Jesus Christ the Son of God? If not, He would
have been the greatest impostor who ever lived!

Lew Wallace, a distinguished general and literary
genius, and Robert Ingersoll, a notable skeptic, agreed
to write a book that would prove Christianity to be a
myth. After two years of research, however, in some of
the leading libraries of Europe and America in
preparation for writing this book, Mr. Wallace had a
transformation of attitude. He was only up to the
second chapter when he fell to his knees and prayed,
"My Lord and my God."

After studying the evidence, Wallace became convinced
of the deity of Jesus Christ. He then wrote Ben Hur,
one of the greatest novels ever written about the times
of Christ. Later, Robert Ingersoll had this to say: "In
using my speeches, do not use any assault I may have
made on Christ, which I foolishly made in my early
life." A similar thing happened to one of today's
leading Christian authors and spokesmen, Josh McDowell.
His outstanding book that supports Christianity,
Evidence That Demands a Verdict, began as his attempt
to deny Christianity.

As another has said, "You can speak of Jesus as
prophet, holy man, teacher, or spiritual leader, and
few will object. But speak of Him as Son of God,
divine, of the same nature as [God] the Father, and
people will line up to express their disapproval. A
billion Muslims will say: "Prophet, yes. God, no!" Jews
scattered around the world will say: "Teacher, yes.
Messiah, no!" Some liberal Protestants and religionists
of various stripes will say: "Exemplary man, yes.
Divine, no!"

But as Jesus said to His disciples He also says to you
and me, "Who do you say that I am?"

One's answer to that question will help determine his
or her eternal destiny and that of every person alive
today.

To be continued...

Suggested prayer. "Dear God, in a world where lies
abound and where truth is contaminated by lies, making
it more deadly than poison, help me to see the truth
about You, the truth about Jesus, the truth about Your
Word, and the truth about me and the condition of my
soul--and help me to see my need of Your forgiveness
and eternal salvation. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen." 

1. Matthew 16:13-16 (NIV).
2. John 10:30 (NIV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Today's Daily Encounter

Who Is Jesus Christ? Part II  

"From that time on Jesus began to explain to his
disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many
things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and
teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on
the third day be raised to life."1

Jesus Christ is not the only religious leader who
claimed to be God, but He is the only one who ever
convinced a great portion of the world that He is. He
is also the only leader who ever claimed that He would
rise from death.2 According to historical evidence, He
did. He was seen by the women who visited His tomb and
found it empty, by the disciples, and by more than 500
other witnesses.3

Further evidence to support the deity of Christ is seen
in the more than 300 prophecies concerning Him and His
life that are found in the Bible and were written
centuries before His birth.

For instance, 700 years before Christ was born in
Bethlehem, Micah wrote, "But you, Bethlehem ... though
you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will
come for me one who will be ruler over Israel."4

A thousand years before Christ's death, David predicted
how He would die. "They have pierced My hands and My
feet," he wrote.5 This happened at Christ's
crucifixion. This is even more remarkable when
considering that in David's time, death by crucifixion
was unknown. This inhuman, torturous death was first
used by the Persians centuries later.

David also predicted that Christ would be betrayed by a
friend, that people would "throw dice" for His clothes,
and that He would die with criminals.6 He also
predicted the dying Savior's cry: "My God, My God, why
have you forsaken Me?"7 All of these predictions came
true.

Six hundred years prior to Christ's coming, Daniel
predicted when it would be. One hundred years later
Zechariah told how Christ would enter Jerusalem riding
on a donkey; how He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of
silver; and how this money would be used to buy a
potter's field.8

All these predictions about Christ and many
more--written hundreds of years before His coming--were
fulfilled in detail, giving evidence to show that Jesus
Christ was indeed God's promised Messiah--the Savior of
the world.

When Jesus came, He asked His disciples, "Who do you
say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son
of the living God."9

This is the crucial question that each of us needs to
answer. If Christ is who He claims to be, then our
response to this question will determine our
relationship to God for all eternity.

Jesus Himself said, "He who is not with Me is against
Me."10 That is, unless we act on our belief and make a
commitment to follow Christ in our everyday life, we
are automatically against Him.

However, if you do believe Jesus Christ is the Son of
God, and have never committed your life to Him, you can
do so through a simple prayer of faith. Tell Christ
that you believe He is the Son of God who died for your
sins, and that you would like to become one of His true
followers starting today. To assist you in doing this,
click on “God’s Invitation at:
http://tinyurl.com/6k49w.

Suggested prayer for those who have accepted Jesus as
their Savior: "Dear God, thank You for revealing
Yourself in the heavens and all of nature; in Your
Word, the Bible; and especially in and through Jesus
Christ--the Son of the Living God-my Lord, My God, and
my Savior. Help me always to live so my life will be a
living example of Christ living in me. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen." 

 1. Matthew 16:21 (NIV).
 2. Matthew 16:21.
 3. Luke 24:13-43; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8.
 4. Micah 5:2 (NIV).
 5. Psalm 22:16 (NIV).
 6. Psalm 41:9; 22:18.
 7. Psalm 22:1 (NIV).
 8. Daniel 9:25-26; Zechariah 9:9-10; 11:12.
 9. Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV).
10. Luke 11:23, 4 (NIV).

NOTE: Yesterday and today's Daily Encounters have been
adapted from the article, "Jesus Christ: God or Man?"
by Dick Innes at: http://tinyurl.com/lu577

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 11:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Where Was God?  

“’Where have you laid him?’ He [Jesus] asked. ‘Comeand
see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews
said, ‘See how he lovedhim!’"1

The following questions are often asked: “Where was God
when my baby sister died suddenly?" “When my husband
died in the prime of life?" “When my child was
kidnapped, raped, and murdered?" This question is as
old as Job and as fresh as today. So many also ask this
question when we see acts of terrorism, massive
suffering caused by evil leaders, and other tragedies. 

So where is God when mankind suffers? God is where He
always was and is. He is present. He knows all. He sees
all. And I believe that as Jesus wept when His friend
Lazarus died, so God also weeps over the suffering of
mankind.

So why doesn’t God stop all this suffering? Why didn't
He stop Hitler massacring millions of Jews and why
didn't He stop Stalin and others who have slaughtered
millions? And why doesn't He stop terrorists, rapists,
kidnappers, and murderers? For the simple reason that
He has given mankind a free will to choose--either to
follow and obey Him or to go our own sinful, evil way.
It's mankind's choice. It is every individual's choice.
God never created or wanted puppets on a string. We all
have been given a free will.

However, when mankind chooses the way of evil, the
heart of God grieves, In fact, because God loved us so
much, He gave His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die
for our sins and deliver us from evil and from sin's
eternal consequences--hell and eternal separation from
Him, the source of all love and life.

As the hymn writer, Frank E. Graeff, expressed in
words:

     Does Jesus care?
     O yes He cares,
     I know He cares,
     His heart is touched with my grief,
     The long hours weary
     So sad and dreary
     I know my Savior cares. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that
when I hurt, You feel my pain and grieve with me. Thank
You, too, that You also grieve when evil in the world
is unleashed and people are struck down in the prime of
life. And thank You that You have the gift of salvation
for all who come to You confessing their sinfulness and
their need to be delivered from all evil, sickness,
sadness, sorrow, death, and eternal death. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. John 11:34-36 (NIV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 7:45 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Hidden Treasures  

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with
Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order
that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable
riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in
Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the
gift of God."1

You've probably read how the late newspaper publisher
William Randolph Hearst invested a fortune in
collecting great works of art.

On one occasion he read about an extremely valuable
painting and was determined to obtain it for his
collection. Apparently, his agent searched in art
galleries worldwide--all to no avail. Some months
later, the prized painting was actually found in one of
Hearst's own warehouses!

Oh the incomparable riches and unlimited blessings that
we all have in Christ Jesus--riches that will take
eternal ages for us to fully comprehend and appreciate.
Today, they are ours for the taking. Above all is God's
full and free pardon for all our sins and the gift of
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Have you discovered and accepted these incomparable
gifts from God for yourself?

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open the eyes of my
understanding so that I will see all the riches of
grace You have in store for me, and accept these. And
above all, help me to see my need for and accept Your
gift of salvation, sins forgiven, and the gift of
eternal life. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior
and are not sure of life after death, be sure to read
"How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

1. Ephesians 2:6-8 (NIV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.

 
Today's Daily Encounter

The Power of Appreciation  

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is
called today, so that none of you may be hardened by
sin's deceitfulness."1

In Character Counts Michael Josephson shares how the
students at Sandy's high school were badly shaken by
the news that a classmate had just committed suicide.
He left a note saying, "It's hard to live when nobody
cares if you die." Realizing this was both a traumatic
event that needed to be confronted and a teachable
moment, a teacher talked to the students about how
important it is that people feel valued. So, he told
them to imagine they were about to die. Then he gave an
assignment: "Write a note to tell someone how important
he or she is to you."

Sandy, who had a rocky relationship with her mother,
was especially moved by the idea that she might die
without telling her mom how important she was, so she
wrote a note: "We've had some rough times and I know I
haven't been a very good daughter but I know I'm lucky
to have you in my life. You are the best person I've
ever known. Thanks for not giving up on me." She told
her mom about the assignment and gave her the note. Her
mom cried and hugged Sandy but said little.

The next morning Sandy found a note on her mirror.
"Dearest daughter," it said, "I want you to know how
much you are valued. Being your mother is the most
important thing in my life. The truth is I've felt like
such a failure I was seriously considering ending it
all. I thought you'd be better off without me. Your
appreciation makes my life worth living."

Be careful not to underestimate the power of expressed
appreciation. As Sandy learned, it can make a big
difference.2

Need I say more?

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be an
encourager to all the people You bring into my life,
and help me always to remember and be thankful for all
the encouragement I have received from You. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen." 

1. Hebrews 3:13. (NIV).
2. This is Michael Josephson reminding you that
character counts. www.charactercounts.org. 

<Smile)))><

     
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
  
  
Today's Daily Encounter

Life Is Not a Game  

"Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls
a stone will have it roll back on him."1

Again today I want to quote Michael Josephson of
Character Counts. Speaking about athletes he said the
following:

"I was leading a discussion with former elite athletes
when someone asked about the ethics of trying to
intimidate or injure an opponent. 'Football's a
physical game,' said a former NFL star, who went on to
extol the advantages of intimidation through the
infliction of pain. A former Super-Bowler spoke without
remorse about 'taking players out' with a particularly
dangerous but then legal ‘chop block’ aimed at the
knees.

"When an Olympic track athlete said that, legal or not,
it is wrong to be intentional or callous about
inflicting possible career-ending injuries, he was
ridiculed. 'It's part of the game,' was the response,
and a room full of men continued to rationalize
brutality. 

"Another former football player brought the room to
silence. A huge man, he barked, 'Hold on,' and held his
hand up high. In it was a prosthetic leg. He said his
leg was amputated from the knee down due to a chop
block. ‘Was it worth it?’ he asked.

"Applying 'game theory,' athletes not only injure
others but permanently damage their own health pumping
up with illegal drugs, politicians breed cynicism and
distrust with lies and insincerity, and
numbers-manipulating executives disgrace themselves and
demolish the jobs and retirement accounts of thousands.

"Declaring a tactic 'part of the game' may delude the
conscience, but it doesn't justify vicious,
disrespectful or dishonorable conduct--no matter how
many people are doing it. Life is not a game."2

Thank you, Michael, I couldn't have said it better.
Character does count if we want to leave a better world
for our children and our children's children. Plus, we
always reap what we sow--always--even if it is
eventually!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to always
remember that character counts. And please deliver me
from the temptation to take any shortcuts that would
hurt anybody else in order for any kind of selfish,
self-centered, self-gain. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen." 

1. Proverbs 26:27 (NKJV).
2. This is Michael Josephson reminding you that
character counts. www.charactercounts.org. 

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jan 2016, 2:04 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Lord, Have Mercy  

"As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a
large crowd followed Him. Two blind men were sitting by
the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going
by, they shouted, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on
us!'"1

Down the hot, dusty Jericho Road, leaving with His
disciples and a host of followers thronging around Him,
Jesus was trying to move on from Jericho. Farther down
the road two blind men (probably beggars) were sitting
by the wayside. Wondering what all the commotion was
about, they inquired about what was happening.

"I think it's the man they call Jesus--that unorthodox
religious fellow," they heard someone say. "They say He
goes against many of our religious traditions and the
leaders hate Him because of it. But He also heals
people of all sorts of ills. It will be great to hear
Him. He's coming this way."

The blind beggars knew all about Jesus but they'd never
"seen/heard" Him this close before. "Now's our chance,"
they said to each other. Somehow they knew that this
might be their only chance to ever come anywhere near
this man they call Jesus. He would be passing right by
them.

As the crowd neared them and they sensed that Jesus was
somewhere near, they yelled at the top of their voice,
"Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

The crowd rebuked them and tried to shut them up, but
with dignity thrown to the wind, they shouted all the
louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

And Jesus stood still! Amazing words. Amazing action.
The Son of God stood still.

Imagine it! The winds and the waves couldn't stop
Jesus. The crowds couldn't block Him. The Roman
soldiers had no power over Him without His permission.
King Herod failed to have Him killed when He was just a
baby. And the religious leaders couldn't silence Him.
But the cry of two blind, lonely beggars caused the Son
of God to stop dead in His tracks. And listen!

And Jesus called to them, saying, "What do you want me
to do for you?"

"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."

And Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their
eyes. Immediately they received their sight and
followed Him.

"Lord, have mercy on me," is one cry that God always
hears and for which Jesus always stands still and
listens, and basically says to you and me through his
Word, "What do you want me to do for you?"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that two blind
beggars had the power to stop You and You had the power
to heal them. Help me to see my deepest need and
confess this to You. Have mercy on me and forgive all
my sins, and grant to me the healing of my wounded soul
and the gift of eternal life. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer just as You heard and answered the
cry of the two blind me. Gratefully in Jesus’s name,
amen."

NOTE: For further help read “How to Be Sure You’re a
Real Christian" at: How to Be Sure:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. Matthew 20:29-30 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jan 2016, 11:59 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Theological Rigidity  

"Then Jesus asked them, 'Which is lawful on the
Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to
kill?' But they remained silent. He looked around at
them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn
[hardened] hearts, said to the man, 'Stretch out your
hand.' He stretched it out, and his hand was completely
restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot
with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus."1

Can you imagine it? Jesus was in church (synagogue) and
He noticed a man who had a withered hand--and the
religious leaders watched Jesus closely to see if He
would heal this man on what they considered to be "the
Lord's Day"--a day in which people were not to do any
unnecessary work. Jesus was angry at them because of
their hardness of heart. But He healed the man anyhow,
and lo and behold the religious Pharisees planned how
they could kill Him; Jesus, that is!

And why was Jesus so angry at these religious bigots?
It was because of their non-feeling, stubborn,
theologically rigid, cold, hard hearts. Consequently,
they loved their man-made rules much more than they
loved people--or God.

For some strange reason, people who are theologically
rigid have deceived themselves into believing that
their rigidity is a form of spirituality, when in fact,
it is a symptom of emotional rigidity, which in turn,
is a form of denial (self-deception). This in turn
leaves them with a hard, non-feeling, cold heart! They
are out of touch with their own reality (their true
inner feelings and motives), and being out of touch
with their own feelings, are insensitive to everybody
else's. They also tend to be authoritarian and
dogmatic.

Sadly, those who are rigid in their personality don't
know or admit that they are rigid. What they also fail
to realize is that people who are rigid, dogmatic and
authoritarian, are riddled with self-doubts, are
insecure, and fearful--and, living in denial, they seek
to hide their insecurities behind a phony mask of
super-spiritual superiority.

While Jesus was the supreme example of genuine
authority and always spoke with authority, He was never
authoritarian. And while He was also the supreme
example of Truth, He was never dogmatic about it. 

Furthermore, God is not into rules, religion, or
rigidity! He is into growth, recovery, wholeness and
loving relationships--not only for us to have with Him,
but also with others and our own selves.

So be very much aware of any religion that is based on
rules, religiosity, and rigidity--it is not of God no
matter how appealing or plausible it may appear to be.
For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty
[not rigidity].2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from
self-deception, denial and theological rigidity. Help
me always to be honest with You and myself so that I
will always be real, genuine and authentic in all that
I say and do. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen."

1. Mark 3:4-6 (NIV).
2. See 2 Corinthians 3:17.

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
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  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Jan 2016, 4:46 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Facing Death Triumphantly  

"When the perishable has been clothed with the
imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the
saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been
swallowed up in victory'; 'Where, O death, is your
victory? Where, O death, is your sting?'"1

Some time ago I wrote about my friend Graham who died
of cancer at age 44. When visiting him in the hospital,
he shared with me how he was ready to die and how much
he was looking forward to meeting his Heavenly Father.
The day following his death, Graham's wife, Jenny,
shared with me how he had made a videotape to leave
some thoughts with friends and family and how, with
outstretched arms he described how he was longing to
meet God face to face.

On Graham's last day (now at home), seeing him gasping
for breath, Jenny called for the doctor. As the doctor
walked into the room, Graham's almost lifeless body
momentarily seemed to come to life. With eyes closed,
suddenly he sat bolt upright in bed, and looking upward
as if seeing something human eyes couldn't see,
stretched out his arms heavenward--and was gone. His
lifeless body collapsed on the bed. Jenny said how
there seemed to be a divine presence and aura that
filled the entire house.

Graham has been gone from this life for a number of
years now, but he lives on with his Heavenly Father in
Heaven forever. This is the blessed and most wonderful
hope every true believer and child of God has to look
forward to. Our death, too, will be swallowed up in
victory!

This is because all who have accepted Jesus, the Son of
God, as their personal Savior and have had all their
sins forgiven, have God's promise and assurance of
eternal life with him in Heaven where there will be no
more sickness, sadness, suffering, sorrow, parting or
dying. Forever! 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You gave
Your Son Jesus to die on the cross in my place to pay
the ransom price for all my sins and to give me the
gift of eternal salvation. Thank You, too, for the
blessed hope that I have because I have accepted Jesus
as my Savior and I, too, look forward to meeting You
face to face. In the meantime, help me to live life to
the fullest always with eternal values in mind. Thank
You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus’s name, amen."

NOTE: If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior
and are not sure of life after death, be sure to read
"How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jan 2016, 10:57 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Listen Up  

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted
among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."1

I have read how, in days of yesteryear, people used
ice-houses in order to preserve their food. I heard how
one man lost his pocket watch while working in one of
these ice-houses. He searched diligently for it raking
through all the sawdust on the floor--but without
success. Fellow workers also failed to find it.

A boy who wanted to know what all the fuss was about
went into the ice-house, closed the door, and before
long he emerged with the watch.

“How did you do it?" the men asked.

"I closed the door," the boy replied, "lay down with my
ear in the sawdust on the floor, and kept very still.
Soon I heard the watch ticking."2

Many people ask, “Does God speak to people today?" And
how would I know if God spoke to me?

Actually God speaks to us in a myriad of ways. But
unless we stand still long enough and listen with our
heart, we may never hear Him. God may not speak in an
audible voice but He “speaks" very specifically through
His Word, the Bible. But we need to read and study it
to get His message. And God “shouts" to us through
creation. As His Word, the Bible, says, “The heavens
declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work
of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge. There is no
speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to
the ends of the world."3 

God also speaks to us through various circumstances.
Unfortunately, some of us don’t stop and listen until a
crisis hits us and causes us to slow down and take
stock of our life. 

Basically, however, in life we see what we want to see,
we hear what we want to hear, and we pay attention to
what we want to pay attention. Hearing God’s voice is a
choice. If we truly want to hear it, we will.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank You that You have
revealed yourself clearly to all of mankind especially
through Your Word, the Bible, and through Your
creation. Please help me to slow down and listen with
my heart to what You are saying to me. Help me to not
only hear, but also to obey. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen."


1. Psalm 46:10 (NIV).
2. Story taken from "Directions" by James Hamilton.
3.  Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 1:26 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Freedom from Guilt  

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever
confesses and renounces them finds mercy."1

I read a story about a husband who came home drunk late
one night and snuck up the stairs as quietly as
possible to avoid waking his wife. He looked in the
bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he'd
received in a fight earlier that night. He then
proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought
that he'd pulled a “swiftie" over on his wife.

When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood
his wife. "You were drunk last night, weren't you?"

"No, honey."

"Well, if you weren't, then who put all the Band-Aids
on the bathroom mirror?"

If truth be known, most of us want to hide our sins and
the wrongs that we have done for fear of being found
out and shamed. However, try as we might, we can never
hide the accompanying guilt. We may bury it in the
unconscious mind but there it is never forgotten--and
what we fail to talk out (confess) creatively we will
inevitably act out destructively in one way or another.
Unresolved guilt can cause serious physical, emotional
and/or spiritual distress and major relational
conflicts.

When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and
had her husband, Uriah, killed in an attempt to hide
his sin, his guilt tormented him. 

In the Psalms he wrote, “Day and night your [God’s]
hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength
evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I
confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide
my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my
rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my
guilt is gone."2

We have all sinned and we all need God’s forgiveness
and healing from guilt and its damaging consequences.
The good news is that, as God’s Word says, “If we
confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will
forgive us our sins and purify us from all
unrighteousness."3

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, how can I ever thank You
enough for giving Your Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty
for all my sins which I now confess to You. Please
forgive me and give me the courage I need to run from
temptation, and the help I need to overcome all of my
sins. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen."

NOTE: For further help to be sure that you are forgiven
by God read, “How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian"
at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9 

1. Proverbs 28:13 (NIV). 
2. Psalm 32:4-5 (NLT).
3. I John 1:9 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Jan 2016, 11:00 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Come Unto Me  

Jesus said, "Come unto me, all you who are weary and
burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon
you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my
yoke is easy and my burden is light."1

I have read that one of Denmark's leading sculptors had
a consuming ambition to sculpt the greatest statue of
Jesus Christ ever made. He began by painstakingly
shaping a clay model of a triumphant, majestic figure.
"This will be my masterpiece," he stated on the day the
model was completed.

However, during the night, a heavy fog rolled into the
area and sea-spray seeped into the sculptor's studio
through a partially open window. In the morning, he was
shocked to see his model. The droplets of moisture that
had formed on the statue created the illusion of
bleeding. The head had drooped. The facial expression
had melted into compassion. The arms drooped and
expressed welcome. The artist was horrified and was
aghast at having to start all over again.

As he kept looking at his statue of the Savior, his
thoughts began to take a different shape. He realized
that this image of Christ was much closer to reality.
He then wrote his caption and placed it under the
figure: "Come unto me!"

Indeed, that is the call of Jesus to each of us today,
"Come unto me ... and you will find rest for your
souls."

Suggested prayer: "Dear Jesus, 'Just as I am without
one plea / And that Your blood was shed for me / And
that You bid me come to Thee / O Lamb of God I come, I
come.' Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

If you would like to come to Jesus to find rest for
your soul, go to http://tinyurl.com/8glq9 and read the
article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian."

1. Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV).

<Smile)))><     
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * *
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Sat 26 Dec 2015, 9:45 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Christmas: A Call to Remember, Part II  

"Then Jesus said, 'Come to Me, all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'"1

As we said yesterday, don't miss the silence of
Christmas Day as much of the world comes to a
standstill on this day. Take time to listen with your
heart. Be still and hear the true message and meaning
of Christmas that, above all, is a call to remember
that even though much of mankind has forgotten God, God
has not forgotten us, but is vitally involved in the
affairs of mankind. Today we celebrate how two thousand
years ago God came to earth in the person of Jesus
Christ to save us from our sins. 

Among the many tragic consequences of men forgetting
God, in this past century alone, have been World Wars I
and II, followed by the division of Eastern Europe and
the onslaught of godless Communism, the Korean and
Vietnam wars, the ongoing Mid-East conflicts, endless
other wars, and the ever-increasing acts of terrorism
around the world by religious fanatics and others.
History has repeatedly shown that when individuals and
nations forget God, they ultimately lead themselves to
self-destruction. 

But every year Christmas comes around to call us to
remember God and to turn back to Him--as
individuals--to save us from eternal damnation and--as
nations--to save us from self-destruction. 

Another tragedy of our time is that, instead of
recognizing Christmas as God's call to turn back to
Him, people look for a vision or an emotional high or
something electric as a sign of God's presence. And
they miss Him. When Christ came the first time, people
didn't recognize Him either because He didn't come the
way they expected Him to come. They missed not only the
opportunity of a lifetime but also of an eternity!

Don't miss Christ's call to you this Christmas because
you don't have some new experience out of the ordinary.
Among other ways, God speaks to us through the miracle
of Christmas, and commitment to Him is a step of faith
based on an act of your will--with or without any
feelings or great flashes of insight. 

Christ's call to commitment is the same today as it has
been for the past two thousand years: "Come to Me, all
of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I
will give you rest"2

If you believe the true meaning of Christmas--that
Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to die for
your sins--and you have never made a commitment of your
life to Him, or if you sense a need to recommit your
life to Him, click on the "Your Invitation from God"
link below for further help. 

Your Invitation from God at: http://tinyurl.com/6k49w.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, grant that this day as the
wheels of industry come to a standstill, that the world
will again be reminded of the reason for the silence
and give thanks for the greatest Christmas Gift mankind
has ever seen--the gift of Your Son, the Lord Jesus
Christ. And grant that we who know the Savior will do
everything in our power to heed Your Great Commission
to communicate the good news of Your salvation to
everyone everywhere. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen." 

1. Matthew 11:28 (NLT). 
2. Ibid.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Thu 24 Dec 2015, 9:36 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Christmas: A Call to Remember, Part I  

"An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and
said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take
Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in
her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a
Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He
will save His people from their sins.'"1

In his book, A Room Called Remember, Fredrick Buechner
tells about the great snowfall in New York City in the
winter of 1947. At first it seemed no different from
any other snowstorm. The flakes gently floated down
without any wind to drive them. All day they fell.
Gradually the sidewalks, parked cars and buildings were
covered with a blanket of white. Streets became slushy.
Shopkeepers were out with their shovels trying to keep
clear a path to their doors. And the snow kept falling.
The plows couldn't keep ahead of it. Consequently, the
traffic nearly came to a standstill. Businesses closed
early and people did their best to get home before
nightfall. 

By the next morning bustling New York was a totally
different city. Abandoned cars were buried. Nothing on
wheels could move. Skiers glided gracefully down Park
Avenue. The most striking transformation, however, was
the silence. The only sounds were muffled voices and
the ringing church bells. People listened because they
couldn't help themselves. And our world rarely listens
anymore--whether in New  York or Toronto, London or Los
Angeles, Sidney or Singapore--unless a crisis of
sufficient magnitude thrusts a wrench into the wheels
of our high-speed, technological society and forces us
to a standstill. 

Except, perhaps, as Buechner points out, at Christmas
time when it's hard not to stop and listen. Business
increases to a frenzied pace. Canned carols blast out
over the din of traffic. Bells jingle. Red-robed Santas
freeze in Chicago, while their counterparts fry in
Melbourne. Then, suddenly, night falls on Christmas
Eve. The last shop closes. All the hullabaloo stops.
Everything is silent--for one brief day.

This year don't miss the silence. Take time to listen.
Be still and hear the true message of Christmas which,
above all, is a call to remember that God has not
forgotten us, but is vitally involved in the affairs of
mankind. Two thousand years ago He came to earth in
person to save us from our sins.

So as Christmas day arrives, may I encourage you to
pause for just a moment and listen--listen with your
heart--to God's Word: "The virgin will be with child
and will give birth to a Son, and they will call Him
Immanuel [which means] 'God with us.'"2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You
enough for Your great love gift to the world--the
greatest Christmas gift I could ever receive--the gift
of Your Son, Jesus, who came to earth as a babe to live
and then die for my sins so I can receive the gift of
forgiveness and that of eternal life to live with You
in heaven forever and ever. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen."

Your Invitation from God to accept His forgiveness ...
the greatest Christmas of all:
http://tinyurl.com/6k49w.

1. Matthew 1:23 (NIV). 
2. Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
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  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
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Post  Admin on Wed 23 Dec 2015, 9:21 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

God So Loved the World  

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not
perish, but have eternal life."1

In a tribe of Indians, or so the story goes, someone
was stealing chickens. The Chief declared that, if
caught, the offender would receive 10 lashes. 

When the stealing continued, he raised it to 20 lashes.
Still the chickens methodically disappeared. In anger
the Chief raised the sentence to 100 lashes. 

The thief was finally caught, but the Chief faced a
terrible dilemma. The thief was his mother! When the
day of penalty came, the whole tribe gathered. Would
the Chief's love override his justice? The crowd gasped
when he ordered his mother to be tied to the whipping
post. 

The Chief removed his shirt, revealing his powerful
stature, and took the whip in hand. But instead of
raising it to strike the first blow, he handed it to a
strong, young brave standing at his side. Slowly the
Chief walked over to his mother and wrapped his massive
arms around her in an engulfing embrace. Then he
ordered the brave to give him the 100 lashes. 

That's what JESUS did for you and me when he came to
earth clothed in an external garment of human flesh
some 2000 years ago, which is commemorated as
“Christmas." In love he became our substitute and died
in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins. He
overcame our inability to save ourselves by paying the
price for our sins. His death bridged the gulf between
God and man and made it possible for us to be
reconciled to God and to be restored to fellowship with
him through faith in Christ and in his atoning death
for us.2 

Suggested prayer: "Dear Jesus/God, how I thank You for
loving me so much that You gave Your life to die on the
cross at Calvary to pay the penalty for every sin I
have ever committed, for Your full and free pardon, and
for the gift of eternal life for all who accept You as
their personal Savior. For this I will be eternally
grateful. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. In Jesus's name, amen." 

NOTE: To help you to be sure you have accepted God's
forgiveness and his gift of eternal life, click on "How
to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://www.actsweb.org/christian.

1. John 3:16 (NASB).
2. Contributed by Alexandra Perros from Holland. 

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 

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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 Dec 2015, 5:49 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

I Don't Do Ceilings  

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your
might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are
going, there is neither working nor planning nor
knowledge nor wisdom."1

Some time ago I read how a graduating student at United
Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, had just received
his appointment from the bishop. He was grumbling
because the appointment didn't fit what he felt he
deserved. Another student, in a loving but
unsympathetic way patted him on the back and said, "You
know the world is a better place because Michelangelo
didn't say, 'I don't do ceilings.'"2

My very first job in the church started when I was
barely a teenager. It was back in the day when we used
hard copy printed hymn books. It was a very small
church with old-fashioned pews without any racks on the
back for holding hymn books. So after every church
service for several years I voluntarily collected all
the song books from every pew and stacked them very
neatly in the hymn book cabinet.

Not that I was looking for any reward because I wasn’t,
but because I was faithful in this task, by age 16 I
was asked to teach a boy’s Sunday School class. Then I
was asked if I would teach this same class in a second
church. For three years I taught this Sunday School
class in two churches--one in the morning and the other
in another church in the afternoon where church was
held later to suit farmer families. Even in my college
days I worked part-time in a very large church in
Chicago as a janitor and helped clean up that church
after Sunday services--including scrubbing floors in
fellowship rooms!

Over the ensuing years, while there have always been
challenges, more opportunities opened up until today
the ministry of ACTS via several gospel websites, Daily
Encounter and Weekend Encounter is reaching many
thousands of people worldwide every day of the year
with the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

My point is that every Christian is called to serve
God, and when we are faithful in serving God even in
the smallest ways, God opens doors for wider
opportunities. We do this in thanksgiving to God for
all He has done for us--especially in giving His Son,
Jesus, to pay the penalty for all our sins through His
death on the cross so we could be freely forgiven and
receive God’s gift of eternal life to live with Him
forever in Heaven, and we do this for God’s glory--and
never for our own. 

Suggested prayer for the first thing every morning:
“Dear God, I am available afresh today. Please make me
usable and use me today to be an effective witness for
Jesus and to be ‘as Jesus’ in some way to every life I
touch. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen." 

Imagine the impact that could be made for Christ’s
Kingdom if every Daily Encounter subscriber would
genuinely make this commitment--and do it year after
year after year! 

Remember, too, in the words of another. “Only one life
‘twill soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will
last."

Note: By way of interest, I have prayed this prayer
every morning since the days of my youth, and plan to
do so every day for the rest of my life. I challenge
and encourage you to do the same.

1. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV).
2. Homiletics Annual CD, 1999 Edition Cited on
www.sermons.com    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * *
  
  Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International.
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
  ACTS International.
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