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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 2:44 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Finding Direction  

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on
your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge
Him, and He will make your paths straight [direct your
path]."1

A NASA official involved in space exploration was
talking to a reporter about humans landing on Mars. The
reporter was concerned about how they would be able to
return to earth. 

"That involves a highly complex plan," the space
official said. "It begins with the words, 'Our Father
who art in Heaven.'" 

Jokes aside, the reality is that most people pray at
some time or another. Even those who rarely pray often
do when they are in trouble. How much wiser it is to
daily commit, surrender, and trust our life to God and
seek His guidance in all that we are and do--at all
times. 

Sometimes it's hard to see how God is directing or
making our path straight--especially when we're going
through a series of rough times. In time, however, when
we have daily committed, surrendered, and trusted our
life to God and look back, we can see how God has led
us all the way. It is true, all things do work together
for good to those who love God2--even if it is
eventually! 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that when I
commit and trust my life and way to You, depend on You
for wisdom and guidance, and acknowledge You in every
area of my life, You have promised to direct my path
and make my way straight. For this I am truly thankful.
Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV).
2. See Romans 8:28.

<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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 9:25 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Another Serenity Prayer  

"You will know the truth and the truth will set you
free."1

Truth. Perhaps the most powerful principle in the
world. Without access to it there is no freedom, no
deliverance, no inner healing, and no eternal life. 

On the other hand, denial is one of the most
destructive habits or sins we can commit. For instance,
to the degree that I have not found freedom in any area
of my life I am still in denial. There is some truth I
am avoiding. Denial is a killer of close relationships,
a destroyer of families and individual lives, and
causes many and varied physical, emotional and
spiritual ills. 

I certainly don't agree with everything that M. Scott
Peck says but I do agree with the following statement
of his: "Emotional sickness is avoiding reality [truth]
at any cost. Emotional health is facing reality at any
cost." That's just rephrasing what Jesus said: "You
will know the truth and the truth will set you free." 

The following prayer by Billy Joe Vaughn sums it up
very well in the suggested prayer for today: 

"Dear God, grant me the ability to reject the things
about me that are not true, the humility to accept the
things that are, and the discernment to know the
difference. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Jesus in John 8:32 (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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 11:57 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Costly Success  

"Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, saying: 'The
ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And
he thought within himself, saying, "What shall I do,
since I have no room to store my crops?" So he said, "I
will do this: I will pull down my barns and build
greater, and there I will store all my crops and my
goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have many
goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat,
drink, and be merry.'" But God said to him, "Fool! This
night your soul will be required of you; then whose
will those things be which you have provided?" So is he
who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich
toward God.'"1

Alan Smith tells about a wrestler, Yussif, the Terrible
Turk, "a 350-pound wrestling champion in Europe a
couple of generations ago. After he won the European
championship, he sailed to the United States to wrestle
the American champion, whose name was Strangler
Lewis--a little fellow by comparison who weighed just a
shade over 200 pounds. 

"Although he wasn't very big, Strangler had a simple
plan for defeating his opponents and it had never
failed to work. He'd put his massive arm around the
neck of his opponent and cut off the oxygen. Many an
opponent had passed out in the ring with Strangler
Lewis. 

"The problem when he fought Yussif the Turk was that
Yussif didn't have a neck. His body went from his head
to his massive shoulders. Lewis could never get his
hold and it wasn't long that the Turk flipped Lewis to
the mat and pinned him. After winning the championship,
the Turk demanded all five thousand dollars in gold.
After he wrapped the championship belt around his vast
waist, he stuffed the gold into the belt, and boarded
the next ship back to Europe. He was a success! He had
captured America's glory and her gold!

"He set sail on the SS Bourgogne. Halfway across the
Atlantic, a storm struck and the ship began to sink.
Yussif went over the side with his gold still strapped
around his body. The added weight was too much for the
Turk and he sank like an anvil before they could get
him into a lifeboat. He was never seen again."2

"What a fool," we say, but how many of us in reality
(especially we in the West) spend so much of our lives
investing in the pursuit of possessions and grasp onto
them until our dying day? 

As Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives up that
which he cannot keep in order to gain that which he
cannot lose."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, deliver me from the vain
pursuit and grasping of material possessions, and help
me to realize that my life does not consist in the
abundance of things I possess, but in my love of, and
in my service to You through serving others. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. Luke 12:16-21 (NIV).
2. Contributed by Alan Smith, www.TFTD-online.com.

<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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Aug 2016, 9:16 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Seeds of Opportunity  

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face
trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing
of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must
finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything."1

One of the most asked questions from Daily Encounter
readers has to do with suffering and why God allows it.
Recently one reader asked the question, “Why doesn't
Jesus return to end all the evil that is in today's
world?" At a more personal level, others ask, why does
God allow me and my family to go through so many
problems? 

I suppose all of us have asked the same question at one
time or another. I certainly have and my answer is, I
don't know. I'm sure my parent's generation asked the
same question especially during the days of Hitler,
World War II, and Stalin. However, had Jesus returned
before I was born, I probably wouldn't have been born,
nor would I be given a home in Heaven, nor would I have
the wonderful privilege of publishing the gospel and
reaching so many others with God's message of eternal
salvation. 

The fact is that every generation has gone through
suffering of one kind or another and only God knows
when Jesus will return to end it all. The point is that
we need to realize that evil happens because we live in
a broken and sin-full world, the results and effects of
which affect us all. The other thing is that God wants
us to use our pain to draw us closer to Him and help us
to grow and become healthier and more mature persons.
We also know that God wants everyone in the world to be
given the opportunity to hear the gospel before Jesus
comes again. 

Also, it helps to remember that "no matter how
disappointed you are feeling or how much you are
hurting, know that every heartache and loss has within
it the seeds of opportunity. Hidden within each
disappointment is a pearl of great price that, when
found, will totally dwarf your problem. The greatest
success stories are written by people who, against
seemingly overwhelming and often insurmountable odds,
have accepted their trials and turned them into
opportunities for personal growth and stepping stones
on their pathway to success. With God's help you can do
the same. Trust him and choose friends who will empower
you to do so."2  

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to use
every trial and problem that comes into my life to draw
me closer to You and to help me grow towards becoming
the person You want me to be. Also, please help me to
be an effective witness for You and to be a part of
Your plan in reaching every one in my world and beyond
with the gospel by being 'as Jesus' in some way to
every life I touch, and by being ready to share the
gospel with every opportunity that presents itself.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. James 1:2-4 (NIV).
2. From How to Mend a Broken Heart, by Dick Innes.
Available on sale at: http://www.actscom.com/store.

<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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
  
  Today's Daily Encounter

Attitude of Gratitude  

"As he [Jesus] was going into a village, ten men who
had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and
called out in a loud voice, 'Jesus, Master, have pity
on us!' When he saw them, he said, 'Go, show yourselves
to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back,
praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at
Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the
other nine?'"1 

William Stidger, a Methodist minister, began to think
of the blessings he had received during his life. He
remembered a special elementary school teacher who had
gone out of her way to give him an appreciation for
verse. It had been more than 50 years since Stidger had
been in her class, but his appreciation for verse had
endured since that time. Stidger wrote to his former
teacher a letter of appreciation and she replied: "My
Dear Willie, I cannot tell you how much your note meant
to me. I am in my eighties, living alone in a small
room, cooking my own meals, lonely and, like the last
leaf of autumn, lingering behind. You will be
interested to know that I taught in school for fifty
years and yours is the first note of appreciation I
ever received."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a grateful
heart and a thankful spirit, so that I will always give
and express credit where credit is due, thanks where
thanks is due, and appreciation where appreciation is
due. And above all, give me a thankful heart for the
countless blessings You have given so freely to me and
especially for Your gift of salvation and a home in
Heaven to be with You forever. Help me to so live that
my life will be a living expression of gratitude for
all that You have done for me. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Luke 17:12-17 (NIV). 
2. From Pastor Ron Clarke, Tasmania, Australia. 

<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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 8:48 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Choose Happiness  

"I [the Apostle Paul] have learned to be content
whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in
need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have
learned the secret of being content in any and every
situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living
in plenty or in want."1

In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy asks Charlie Brown, "Why do
you think we were put on earth?" 

Charlie answers, "To make others happy." 

Lucy replies: "I don't think I'm making anyone happy,"
and then adds, "But, nobody's making me very happy
either. Somebody's not doing his job!" 

This may sound simplistic but in a very real sense
happiness is a choice. Too many people in today's
culture expect other people to make them happy. People
talk about finding the right partner to marry which is
all back to front. To find the right partner we need to
be the right partner. The fact is that only happy
partners make happy marriages, and the only person who
can ever make us happy is one’s self. 

Furthermore, happiness and/or contentment is not only a
choice, it is a decision, a commitment to action and to
personal honesty that requires a good hard, honest look
at ourselves, and then a whole lot of hard work to
resolve all the things in our lives that hinder
happiness and/or make us unhappy. 

The starting point for finding happiness and
contentment is by making up your mind that you will no
longer look to anyone else to make you happy; that no
matter what, you will accept responsibility for doing
what you need to do to find happiness; and above all,
by learning to pray the right prayer such as the
following: 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please confront me with
the truth about me--no matter how much it hurts--and
reveal to me any and every unresolved issue in my life
that is hindering my finding contentment and lasting
happiness--whether the problem be emotional, spiritual
and/or physical. And please lead me to the help I need
to overcome. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Philippians 4:11-12  (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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 7:39 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Opportunity  

"King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that
you do believe.' Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'You almost
persuade me to become a Christian.'"1

The author of an article in U.S. Catholic magazine
tells of the time when he was not ready for the
opportunity of a lifetime. Like many young men, he
dreamed of playing baseball in the big leagues but
never really thought the opportunity would come his
way. Suddenly, it materialized as he was scanning the
want ads for a summer job. The Toronto Blue Jays were
having tryouts in his hometown. His baseball cleats
were rusty and his pony league uniform was layered with
dust, but he decided to go for it! Why not!

After arriving at the tryout site, his anxieties
soared. "How long ya been practicing for this?" one
hopeful asked another." "'Bout six months. Wished I
started sooner," he moaned.

"Our would-be big leaguer had already struck out. He
knew it and it was too late to do anything about it."2
He simply hadn't prepared for his day of opportunity.

One of the things I learned in the Boy Scouts many
years ago, something I've never forgotten, was their
motto: "Be Prepared."

Other mottos I've never forgotten are these: "It's
better to be trained and not called than to be called
and not trained," and "Opportunity comes to pass--not
to pause!"

It's extremely important that we prepare ahead of time
for this life including the following: getting an
adequate education to prepare for meaningful life work
(and preparing for a second and even a third profession
if necessary in our rapidly changing world) ...as well
as training for marriage ... parenting ... and for old
age.

It's even more important and critical that we prepare
now for the hereafter. In Bible times King Agrippa had
the opportunity of a lifetime when the Apostle Paul
invited him to believe in and accept Jesus as his
Savior. As far as we know he never did do this and he
missed not only an opportunity for a lifetime but for
all eternity. "He was an Almost Persuaded."

Don't be an "Almost Persuaded." If you have never
accepted Jesus as your Savior, be sure to do this today
as this is a day of opportunity for you. "Behold, now
is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of
salvation."3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see that
life is full of opportunities--opportunities to serve
You in a myriad of ways--opportunities to reach out and
help others. Help me always to be ready and use these
opportunities to glorify You. And above all, help me to
be sure of my salvation and not end my life as an
'almost persuaded.' Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name. Amen."

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


1. Acts 26:27-28 (NKJV).
2. From www.sermons.com.
3. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (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: 
  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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 60355
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 74
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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 3:58 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Encouragement  

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other
up, just as in fact you are doing."1

Paul Harvey reports how "Snow Man was a nameless,
gray-white gelding that Harry De Leyer picked up
cheaply at a horse auction. The only other bid for the
horse came from a glue factory.

"Harry trained Snow Man, and the horse served well at
the girls' school where Harry was the riding master.
However, when the school closed for the summer, a
neighbor made a generous offer for Snow Man, and Harry
could not afford to refuse it. So Snow Man had a new
home.

"Snow Man, however, liked his old home. Time and time
again he jumped the neighbor's high fences and returned
to Harry. Finally, Harry bought his horse back.

"In that series of events, though, was a clue to Snow
Man's real greatness. Snow Man was a natural jumper,
and the horse that once jumped fences to return to his
loving previous master later jumped at Madison Square
Garden for two national titles!"2

There's nothing like loving attention and encouragement
to bring out the best in all of us! We all need it. And
we all need to give it! The word "encouragement" comes
from "en" meaning "in" with the word courage. Thus, to
encourage someone is to put courage into them--to help
them to be and do their very best.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for all the
people who loved me, believed in me, and encouraged me
to help me get to where I am today. Please help me to
be a great encourager to all my friends and loved ones,
to all the people You bring into my life, and to those
whose path I cross. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. I Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV).
2. Paul Aurandt, Paul Harvey's the Rest of the Story,
Lynne Harvey, ed. (New York: Bantam Books, 1977), pp.
6-8.

<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
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:17 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Three-Legged Stool  

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace
to any people."1

In the grade school I attended as a kid growing up in
Australia, there was a motto written over the door of
every class room. Some were taken from the Bible such
as, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all
your might."2

Also, every week students were required to attend the
religious instruction class of their choice. One had to
have a note from his or her parents NOT to attend. Keep
in mind that Australians as a whole are not a religious
people, but the secular authorities knew the importance
of teaching a high standard of moral ethics. We were
also taught that a vital part of character was being
honest and keeping our word.

In today's world here in America we have taken the
Bible and prayer out of our schools. We are forbidding
the use of God's name and anything that is religious
(especially Christian) to be displayed in public
places, and have carried the separation of church and
state to a ridiculous extreme in a nation that was
built on a solid Judeo-Christian ethic with the
inscription on our coins, "In God we trust." The
result? Moral ethics have become irrelevant or
non-existent in far too many circles.

Hence such tragic events as the crisis and crash of the
major Enron and other businesses.

Chuck Colson quoted theologian Michael Novak who argues
that western liberal democracy is like a three-legged
stool. One leg, political freedom; the second, economic
freedom; the third, moral responsibility. Weaken any
leg--the stool topples.

Colson continued, "Enron's [and other business]
collapses exposes a decayed third leg--moral
responsibility. Now mind you, Enron's leaders were the
best and the brightest pillars of the community.
Enron's chairman, Kenneth Lay, boasted he hired only
graduates of the top business schools.

"What Enron's collapse exposes is the glaring failure
of these business schools. Ethics, you see,
historically rests on absolute truth, which our top
schools have systematically assaulted for several
decades. And business school graduates leave the
schools, as I discovered when I lectured at Harvard
Business School ten years ago, without a clue about
ethics."3

And how do we change our world? One person at a time
who will stand for integrity, honesty, justice, and a
high standard of morality and moral ethics.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, in a day when moral
standards and ethics have already collapsed, please
change the world in which I live and let Your work
begin in me. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Proverbs 14:34 (NIV).
2. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIv)
3. BreakPoint with Chuck Colson, April 15, 2002.
http://www.breakpoint.org.

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Post  Admin on Sat 16 Apr 2016, 7:11 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Turn off the TV  

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever
things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever
things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever
things are of good report, if there is any virtue and
if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these
things."1

Some time ago, according to Chuck Colson in BreakPoint,
"When Edward Bello committed his most recent crime, he
expected to go to prison. Instead, the judge sentenced
him to nine months with no television. He said he
wanted 'to create a condition of silent introspection'
in order to induce Bello to change his behavior.

"Belo's lawyers were outraged. They appealed on the
grounds that making Bello keep his seven TV sets turned
off is 'cruel and unusual punishment'--and thus
violates the Constitution."2

Can you believe it? Astounding! What has our society
become? Not watching television is supposed to be
"cruel and unusual punishment!"

While television is an incredible means of
communication and does have some very uplifting,
educational, and inspiring programs, you have to
carefully choose it as much of the programming
glorifies illicit sex, violence, instant gratification,
easy divorce and no end of trash. Even some of the
religious programming with its glitz, glitter and phony
spirituality is incredibly embarrassing!

At one time (in the U.S.A.) it was "Turn off TV Week,"
and it was a good idea to turn your TV off for the
week, but it's much more critical always to guard what
we watch and what we allow our children to watch. This
is because constant repetition of any type of
programming programs the unconscious mind and one's
belief system. For example, if I constantly watch
illicit sex, I will gradually come to accept it and
then believe that it is acceptable, and so believing
sets me up to act it out! That's how so much
irresponsible TV is helping to shape the beliefs,
practices, and the ever-decaying morals of our society.

Even Jesus said that if your eye offends you, better to
pluck it out. In other words, we need to be very
careful what we watch and allow our minds to meditate
on. For if we meditate (let our minds dwell on) good,
we will act accordingly, and if we meditate on sin and
evil, we will also act accordingly. Let us never forget
that what the mind dwells on, the body acts on! And as
David said to God, "I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against You."3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your Word,
the Bible that gives me instructions not only for life
after life, but also for how to live life to the
fullest in the here and now. Please give me the desire
to meditate on Your Word and thereby program it into my
unconscious belief system so that I will always live in
harmony with Your will. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Philippians 4:8 (NKJV).
2. Chuck Colson, BreakPoint, April 19,2002
http://www.breakpoint.org
3. Psalm 119:11 (NIV).

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  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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 3:16 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Accountability  

"He [Jesus] also said to His disciples: 'There was a
certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation
was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.
So he called him and said to him, "What is this I hear
about you? Give an account of your stewardship."'"1

It was a sad day when on "July 16, John F. Kennedy,
Jr., along with his wife and her sister, were killed
when their plane crashed into the waters off the coast
of Massachusetts. They were buried at sea with their
ashes being scattered at a site not far from where they
died."

Friends say John F. Kennedy, Jr. will spend eternity
where generations of his family have sought escape,
solace, and recreation--at sea.

"We all came from the sea," his father, the 35th
president, a Navy veteran and an avid sailor, said in
1962. "We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to
the sea--whether it is to sail or to watch it--we are
going back from whence we came."

"That the sea would factor in so largely in his death
is rather ironic," said Wendy Northcross, vice chair of
the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. "And his remains
will ultimately stay with the sea."2

Well, not quite.

Not even the sea itself, in all of its mystical glory,
will shield us from our day of accountability with the
Lord. Our souls do not remain in the sea. Whether we
are rich or poor makes no difference, for every one of
us will stand before God and give an account of
ourselves, or as the Bible also says, "It is appointed
for men to die once and after this comes judgment."3

I only hope that JFK Jr., his wife and her sister, were
prepared to meet God, for neither the sea nor anything
else apart from the salvation offered through Jesus
Christ could save them or anybody else.

And Dear Reader, if you have never accepted God's
forgiveness and are not absolutely sure you are ready
to meet God, you can be, today, by accepting God's free
pardon for all your sins and accepting Jesus as your
personal Savior. To help you do this, be sure to read,
"How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You have
made it possible for me to stand before You at the end
of life's journey without any fear of being judged for
my sins and failures. This is because Your son, Jesus,
died in my place to pay the penalty and judgment for
all my sins. This I believe with all my heart. Please
help me to be sure that I am a true Christian and am
ready to meet You face to face. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Luke 16:1-2 (NKJV).
2. Adapted from AP Reports, July 19, 1999.
3. Hebrews 9:27 (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
  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: 
  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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 12:09 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Disappointment His Appointment  

"And we know that in all things God works for the good
of those who love him, who have been called according
to his purpose."1

The story of this one man had a profound impact on my
life.

The year was 1920. The scene was the examining board
for selecting missionaries. Standing before the board
was a young man named Oswald Smith. One dream dominated
his heart. He wanted to be a missionary. Over and over
again, he prayed, "Lord, I want to go as a missionary
for you. Open a door of service for me." Now, at last,
his prayer would be answered.

When the examination was over, the board turned Oswald
Smith down. He did not meet their qualifications. He
failed the test. Oswald Smith had set his direction,
but now life gave him a detour. What would he do? As
Oswald Smith prayed, God planted another idea in his
heart. If he could not go as a missionary, he would
build a church which could send out missionaries. That
is what he did. Oswald Smith pastored The People's
Church in Toronto, Canada, which sent out more
missionaries than any other church at that time. Oswald
Smith brought God into the situation, and God
transformed his detour into a main thoroughfare of
service.2

This story is of particular interest to me because in
1968 when I was the South Australian Director of Youth
for Christ, I helped organize a special week of
meetings for Oswald Smith. On a Wednesday night, Smith
preached on the importance of the printed page. God
used this man to deeply challenge me about the power of
the printed word--within weeks of that meeting I
started a literature ministry which saw more than 40
million of ACTS' gospel brochures distributed in many
countries by several hundred churches and many
hospital, military and prison chaplains, and now
through Daily Encounter, Weekend Encounter, and the
ACTS World Wide Web ministry, we are reaching thousands
of people around the world every day of the year with
the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So I can verify how Oswald Smith's disappointment was
indeed God's appointment, which in turn was used of God
to challenge me to launch the outreach ministry of ACTS
International.

God can use your disappointments, too, if you will
surrender them to him with a simple prayer such as the
following:

"Dear God, every sorrow, every trial, and every
disappointment I surrender to You with my humble
prayer, 'Not my will but Yours be done.' Please take my
sorrows and turn them into blessings and use them and
my life to glorify You in whichever way You choose.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Romans 8:28 (NIV).
2. Brian L. Harbour, Rising Above the Crowd.

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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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  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: 
  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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Apr 2016, 10:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Appreciation  

"He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and
he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten
cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to
return and give praise to God except this foreigner?'"1

Although you may have missed her, actress Kathy Bates
played the vital role of heiress Molly Brown in the
movie Titanic.

Bates became known as the "mom" to the crew and became
known as well as one who continually encouraged the
crew and cast. Bates told a story in an interview some
time ago to explain her perspective.

"There's a great story I always remember when I think
about crews and directors. There was a guest conductor
who was rude to everyone in the symphony. Everyone
hated him. Finally, at the packed dress rehearsal, he
lifts his arms and nothing happens. Not a sound. He's
stunned. He draws himself up and gives the down beat
again. No sound. Finally, the first-chair violinist
stands up and says, 'That's just to show you that no
sound comes out of that baton of yours.' I always think
about that when I am making a movie."2

Everyone needs to be appreciated. And everyone needs to
express appreciation.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please give me a thankful
heart and help me always to live in an attitude of
gratitude. Open my eyes to see, not only Your great
love for me, but also the innumerable blessings You
give to me every day of my life. And help me to express
appreciation to all the people You bring into my life
... and help me to practice appreciation most of all at
home. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Luke 17:16-18 (NIV).
2. Adapted from USA Today, May 1998

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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 7:07 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Loving from the Heart  

"Fervently love one another from the heart."1

There is a story by an unknown author being circulated
on the Internet that reflects the outlook of Peter's
letter to the churches in Turkey. You've probably read
it, but it is worth repeating. It may or may not be
true, but it does make an excellent parable if you keep
in mind that Jesus made up stories to illustrate a
point.

It is about a little boy who is about to have
open-heart surgery.

"Tomorrow morning," the surgeon began, "I'll open up
your heart."

"You'll find Jesus there," the boy interrupted.

The surgeon looked up, annoyed. "I'll cut your heart
open," he continued, "to see how much damage has been
done."

"But when you open up my heart," said his young
patient, "you'll find Jesus in there."

The surgeon looked to the parents, who sat quietly.
"When I see how much damage has been done, I'll sew
your heart and chest back up and I'll plan what to do
next."

"But you'll find Jesus in my heart," the young boy
insisted. "The Bible says He lives there. You'll find
Him in my heart."

The surgeon had had enough. "I'll tell you what I'll
find in your heart," he said coldly. "I'll find damaged
muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. And
I'll find out if I can make you well."

Later, the surgeon sat in his office, recording his
notes from the surgery, "Damaged aorta, damaged
pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope
for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers
and bed rest. Prognosis," here he paused, "death within
one year."

He stopped the recorder, but there was more to be said.
"Why?" he asked aloud. It was clear he was speaking to
God. "Why did you do this? You've put him here; you've
put him in this pain; and you've cursed him to an early
death. Why?"

The surgeon's tears were hot, but his anger was hotter.
"You created that boy, and you created that heart.
He'll be dead in months. Why?"

And thus a dialogue began between the surgeon and God.
And in that dialogue this frustrated physician
discovered a new understanding of God's providence and
love.The surgeon wept.

Now he sat beside the boy's bed; the boy's parents sat
across from him. The boy awoke and whispered, "Did you
cut open my heart?"

"Yes," said the surgeon. 

"What did you find?" asked the boy.

"I found Jesus there," said the surgeon.

In times of persecution and suffering, in times of
grief and stress, when it all comes down to it, we have
only one place to turn, and that is to the power of the
indwelling Christ. If, at the heart of the universe,
there is not love, then nothing else we believe
matters.

As the Bible says, "Fervently love one another from the
heart."1

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You loved
me so much You gave Your Son, Jesus, to die for my
sins. Thank You, too, that because I have accepted
Jesus as my Savior, He now dwells in my heart. Please
help me to communicate His love to every life I touch.
And grant that people, seeing Jesus's love in me, will
want Jesus in their heart too. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name,
amen."

P.S. If you have never invited Jesus into your heart
and life, why not do that today? For further help see
the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Christian," at: 
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

1. 1 Peter 1:22 (NASB).

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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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
  
Today's Daily Encounter

Learning from Eagles  

"He [God] spreads his wings over them. Even as an eagle
overspreads her young. She carries them upon her
wings--as does the Lord his people [Israel]."1

According to Mike Johnson, one interesting thing about
eagles is how they build their nests.

Those who have studied such things tell us that the
building of the nest begins with all kinds of prickly
and sharp things. Briars, jagged sticks, and other
sharp things are laid down first.

The mother eagle then fills this foreboding place with
the softest things she can find. Wool, feathers, and
fur from her kills change the nest into a place that is
not only desirable, but also inviting. Here the babies
grow in a very comfortable environment.

At the proper time, the mother reverses the process.
She begins to stir up the nest exposing the sharp items
with which the nest began. She throws the wool,
feathers and fur to the wind, thereby making the nest
not so friendly a place to be. After a short period of
time, the babies, now mature enough to leave, cannot
stand the discomfort of the nest any longer--wanting to
be anywhere else.

This is the mother's way of forcing her babies to
maturity. She knows that if they do not get out on
their own, experiencing life, and learn to feed and
care for themselves, they will have no future.2

While today's scripture lesson was directed to the
young nation of Israel, its message applies to all of
God's children. God will stir up our nest (our
comfortable places of ease) to motivate us to grow, to
mature, to depend on the Lord so that we, too, will
renew our strength and mount up with wings like eagles,
run and not be weary, and walk and not faint.3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You love me
just as I am, but love me too much to leave me as I am.
And thank You that You use the uncomfortable
circumstances of my life to motivate me to grow, to
become more mature, and to make me strong so that I
will be equipped to achieve the heights You have
envisioned for me to reach. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Deuteronomy 32:11 (TLB-NIV). 
2. Source: Mike Johnson KneEmail www.oakhillcoc.org 
3. See Isaiah 40:31 (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: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 10:24 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

What You See Is What You Get  

"According to your faith will it be done to you."1

For better or for worse--what we believe shapes our
lives. This is especially true in what we believe about
ourselves.

In life we don't see (and believe) things the way they
are but the way we are. And the way we see things is
largely dependent on the way we see ourselves. If we
see and believe we are lovable, we will act in a
lovable manner and attract love to us. If we believe we
are capable and have integrity, we can achieve great
and noble goals with our life.

On the other hand, if we believe we are unlovable, we
will act accordingly even though it is a lie. That is,
we will act in such a way that we will get ourselves
rejected, and the thing we fear we will make happen.

I know a man who believes he isn't very smart because
he doesn't have a university degree, but he is highly
intelligent and is very clever. But because he believes
his own lie about himself, he has cheated himself of
what he could have achieved with his life. I believe in
education but a college degree doesn't make one smart
or give one wisdom. There are many brilliant uneducated
people and there are many educated fools.

The lies we believe, deceive. As Jesus said so
poignantly many years ago, only the truth will set us
free. He also said, "According to your faith [what you
believe] so be it done to you."

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please give me 'ears to
hear' the lies I tell myself and the 'eyes to see' them
for what they are--lies! Give me the courage to discard
them forever, and so deliver me from their power over
me. Help me always to see and the courage to walk the
'Truth Road.' Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Matthew 9:29 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:25 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

God's Eternal Promise  

"But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book
until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro,
and knowledge shall increase."1

John Jordan explained how if we made a graph to
indicate the increase of man's knowledge from the
beginning of time to 1845 it would measure 1 inch
(25mm). From 1845 to 1945--just 100 years--it would
measure three inches (76mm). From 1945 to the present
day it would be as tall as the Washington Monument,
which is 555 feet (169m) high! According to one of my
college professors, the world's knowledge was then
doubling every five years. I believe that today it is
doubling every two years. And with the computer age,
knowledge is increasing at an ever-accelerating rate.

This, according to Daniel (a major prophet in the
Bible) is one of the signs of the end times which will
be climaxed by the return of Jesus Christ to earth to
take all His true followers to be with Him for all
eternity.

Daniel said another sign of the end of this world age
as we know it would be that of mankind rushing to and
fro. Some Bible translations indicate that this means
rushing to and fro for knowledge. Whether it means this
or just men rushing to and fro [here and there] makes
little difference as both are happening as never before
in the history of mankind.

So, whether Jesus returns in our lifetime or not
remains to be seen. The important thing to realize is
that Jesus is coming again and that we need to be
ready--for at a time when we least expect it, He will
come again.

Jesus Himself promised His disciples and followers that
He would come again. Before He was crucified He said,
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God,
believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many
mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I
go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare
a place for you, I will come again and receive you to
myself; that where I am, there you may be also."2

After Jesus's resurrection, at the time of His return
to heaven, the angels also promised "that this same
Jesus" would come back again. As the Bible says, "They
[Jesus's disciples and followers] were looking intently
up into the sky as He [Jesus] was going, when suddenly
two men dressed in white stood beside them. 'Men of
Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking
into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from
you into heaven, will come back in the same way you
have seen Him go into heaven.'"3 

And this is the promise of hope that every true
follower of Jesus has. Jesus is coming again and this
evil world with all its sickness, sadness, sorrow and
suffering will come to an end for all who put their
faith and trust in Jesus for their eternal salvation.
As God's Word says, "And God will wipe away every tear
from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor
sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for
the former things have passed away."4

What a day, glorious day, this will be!"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Jesus's
sacrificial death on the cross to pay the penalty for
all my sins. And thank You for His resurrection from
death and the grave, and that He is now in heaven
preparing a place for all His true followers. Thank You
for this wonderful promise. Help me to know for certain
that my sins have been forgiven and that I will go to
be with Jesus forever when He returns, or if I should
die before He comes again. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

NOTE: To be sure that you are ready for Christ's return
be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a
Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

1. Daniel 12:4 (NKJV).
2. John 14:1-3 (NASB).
3. Acts 1:10-11 (NIV).
4. Revelation 21:4 (NKJV).

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Post  Admin on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 10:29 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Is God Punishing Me?  

"Confess to one another therefore your faults (your
slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and
pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and
restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The
earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous
man makes tremendous power available…."1

A Daily Encounter reader asks, "Can you explain why I
feel so miserable, guilty, and unhappy for not keeping
my promise to God to quit smoking? I feel he is
punishing me for failing and for breaking my promise." 

No, no, no, no, no! In fact, you are punishing
yourself!

God is not like that. He is not a "punishing" father
like some earthly fathers--perhaps even like your
father was when you were little. God is much bigger
than that. It's we ourselves who punish ourselves. 

Quitting smoking, or any addiction--small or large--is
not likely to happen by giving a promise to anyone, God
included. The root cause of the addiction is the
symptom of a deeper problem--also used as a means of
avoiding the real issue. As the saying goes, symptoms
are the fruit of a deeper root. Also, as another has
said, "God is merciful, when we have unresolved
problems, He gives us (or allows us to have) symptoms!"


Sure, it's important not to neglect dealing with the
symptom but God wants to heal us at the deeper lever,
at the root cause of our problem. Symptoms need to be a
wake-up call for us to get the help we need. 

So, first of all, pray the right prayer. If you are
struggling with an addiction or a bad habit, ask God to
give you the insight and courage to see the cause/s
behind the habit--why you started it in the first
place. Also, is it an escape from facing some
unresolved issue in your life? Ask God to confront you
with the truth behind your problem--the root cause--no
matter how painful this may be. 

Second, ask God to lead you to the help you need to
overcome, which may be both medical and
psychological-counseling help, and to help you find a
support, twelve-step, or an overcomers anonymous
group--whatever it takes to help you overcome your
problem so it will no longer overcome you. 

And remember, if you confess your failure to God and
ask for His forgiveness, Hhe will always forgive,
forgive, and forgive. Remember that Jesus said we were
to forgive seventy-times-seven which mean forgiving
without end. That's the way God forgives us. This is
not an excuse to behave as we like but an expression of
God’s love when we genuinely want His help and
deliverance. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that symptoms
are often a sign of unresolved personal problems. About
my bad habit of ________ (name it), if this is the
fruit of a deeper root, please give me the insight to
see the cause/s, the courage to confront it, and to
admit it to You and to at least one trusting person,
and the good sense to get the help I need to overcome
it. And please lead me to the help I need to do so.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. James 5:16 (AMP).

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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 7:56 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Love's Greatest Symbol  

Sir John Bowring, at one time governor of Hong Kong,
was a very gifted naturalist, statesman, political
economist and linguist who could write in thirteen
different languages and dialects.

One day when he was in the Orient, he was looking over
an area devastated by an earthquake. Standing high
above the ruins, like a lone sentinel, stood the tower
of a church. And piercing the sky with its silhouette,
on the very tip of the tower was a cross. The sight of
this so moved Sir John Bowring that he penned the words
of that great old hymn:
In the Cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o'er the  wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head  sublime.
Most crosses are a symbol only of death. But the Cross
of Christ is much more than this. While it is a symbol
of Christ's death on the cross, more than ever it is a
symbol of  life--eternal life.

Every time we see a cross, whether it be by the
roadside  or on a tombstone, we are reminded of the
certainty of death--an appointment we all will keep. As
God's Word says, "No one has power over the day of his
death."1 And, "It is appointed for men to die once and
after this comes judgment."2

But every time we see a cross that represents the Cross
of Christ we are reminded of the  fact that over two
thousand years ago the Son of God came to earth to die
in  our place that we might receive the gift of eternal
life. He came to identify  himself with all mankind,
only to be rejected, condemned and crucified on the
Cross at Calvary. He came to die, not for Himself, but
for you and me in our place,  to pay the just penalty
for all our sins that we might be cleansed, forgiven,
made whole and fit for  Heaven.

God's Word explains it this way: "Therefore, just as
through one man sin  entered into the world, and death
through  sin, and so death  spread to all men, because
all sinned."3 And again, "For since death came through
a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also  through
a man. For as in  Adam all die, so in Christ all will
be made alive."4

No matter how hard we try, we  simply cannot save
ourselves--neither through good works, intellectual 
achievement nor man-made religions. Had we been able to
save ourselves, Jesus  Christ never would have had to
die for us. And as "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and
the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me.'"5 Now through Jesus Christ we can
receive the gift of eternal life by placing our  faith
and trust in Him.

Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. 
Only through Him can we find true hope for this life
and the life to come. This hope of eternal life can be
yours today simply by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ
as your personal Lord and Savior.

You can do this right now by praying a simple and
honest prayer such asthe following:"Dear God, I confess
that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus Christ  died on
thecross for my sin and I invite You to come into my
heart and life to be my Lord and Savior. Please forgive
me for all my sins and help me to become the person You
want me to be. Icommit and trust my life and way to
You, and ask You to direct me in all my ways by
YourHoly Spirit. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's  nameamen."

If you genuinely prayed this prayer, please let us know
by filling in the form at www.actsweb.org/decision.php
and we will send you the web address of special
articles to help you in your Christian life--all
without charge.

1. Ecclesiastes 8:8 (NIV).
2. Hebrews 9:27 (NASB). 
3. Romans 5:12 (NASB).  
4. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (NIV).
5. John 14:6 (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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  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

The Lies We Tell Ourselves  

"When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching, he said of him,
'Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing
false [an honest man].'"1

For several years I used to facilitate support groups.
I remember one woman who repeatedly told us what a good
husband she had while all the while we knew he was
mistreating her something terribly. Over and over she
would also tell us how honest she was. 

Finally, I said to her as kindly as I could, "Florence
(not her real name), if I have to tell you what a
gentleman I am, you can be pretty sure I'm not. If I
have to tell you how humble I am, you know I've already
lost it. And if I have to keep telling you how honest I
am …." 

Wow, she got really mad at me and stormed out of the
room--which proved my point. Fortunately she came back
and we remained friends. 

It's amazing the lies we tell ourselves and the amount
of denial we are in--in order to avoid facing the
painful reality of the truth. 

Jeffrey Gitomer agrees. He said, "My experience has
shown me that if you have to say what you are, you
probably aren't. Think about that for a moment. 'I'm
honest,' 'I'm ethical,' even 'I'm the boss,' or 'I'm in
charge,' often indicates just the opposite." 

What freedom and release we find when we have the
courage to admit our faults, sins, and problems--not as
a means to put ourselves down--but as a means to quit
the merry-go-round trap of denial, and grow in love and
maturity. It's amazing what being honest and becoming
real will do for improving our relationships--both with
God and others! Denial is a mask to hide behind but
masks can't relate. Only real people can. Furthermore,
only God can help us to the degree that we are honest
with ourselves and with Him. It's the only way to live
life to the full!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
open-faced, honest and real--with myself, others, and
above all with You. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. John 1:47 (NIV).

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Today's Daily Encounter

The Supreme Sacrifice  

"For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet
perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."1

"Leslie Weatherhead, in his book, Key Next Door, told
about a benevolent ruler named Goho who, centuries ago,
lived on the island of Taiwan. One ritual he
desperately wanted stopped was the ancient custom of
offering humans for sacrifices. He wanted them to
substitute an ox or a pig for their annual offering.

For many years he succeeded. However, after one
extremely poor harvest the tribal leaders complained
that the animal sacrifices weren't working and they
needed a human sacrifice to appease the gods whom they
believed to be angry at them.

Unfortunately, Goho failed to convince his tribe of the
error of their way and finally gave in to them. He
said. "Go into the forest tomorrow morning. There you
will find a victim tied to a tree. He will be wearing a
red robe of sacrifice and a red cloth over his face and
head. Strike! For this is your next victim."

The following morning the men went to the forest and
found the victim just as Goho said. In a crazed frenzy
they rushed in and decapitated him. When they uncovered
his head they realized what they had done. They had
killed Goho, their leader!

According to the story, Taiwan has never again had a
human sacrifice. Goho accomplished through his death
what his teaching failed to do.2

And on this day some 2000 years ago Jesus's death on
the cross at Calvary accomplished what all of man's own
efforts could never do. He died to pay the penalty for
your sins and mine so we could be fully forgiven and
given the gift of eternal life. If you have never
accepted God's full and free pardon, you can do that
right now by praying the following prayer:

"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry
for all the wrongs that I have done. I believe that
Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins.
Please forgive me. I invite You, Jesus, to come into my
heart and life as my Lord and Savior. I commit and
trust my life and way to You. Please give me the desire
to be what You want me to be and to do what You want me
to do. Thank You for dying for my sins, for Your free
pardon, for Your gift of eternal life, and for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name,
amen."

If you prayed this prayer, please let us know by
clicking on www.actsweb.org/decision.php  and we will
send you the web address for a free PDF copy of "How to
Grow" to help you in your Christian life, plus the web
site for additional helpful articles--all without
charge.

For further help be sure to read, "How to Be Sure
You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. Romans 5:7-8 (NKJV).
2. From the "Supreme Sacrifice" at
http://tinyurl.com/38h6qn

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Post  Admin on Fri 25 Mar 2016, 10:53 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Two Days that Changed the World Forever  

"But he [Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, He
was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement
[punishment] for our peace was upon Him, And by His
stripes we
 are healed."1

G. Franklin Allee wrote how, "Years ago, a young mother
was making her way across the hills of South Wales,
carrying her tiny babe in her arms when she was
overtaken by a blinding blizzard. She never reached her
destination alive, and when the blizzard subsided, her
body was found beneath the snow. But the searchers
discovered that before her death she had taken off all
her outer clothing and wrapped it about her baby. And
when they unwrapped the child, to their great surprise
and joy, they found he was alive and well. She had
given her life for her child, proving the depth of her
mother love. 

"Years later that child, David Lloyd George, when grown
to manhood, became prime minister of the United
Kingdom, and without doubt was one of Britain's
greatest statesmen. The UK was a better place for a
time because a mother gave her life for her son."

On a much greater scale the world today is a better
place because on Good Friday 2,000 years ago God the
Father gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cruel
Roman cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all
mankind. Thank God that includes you and me. And now,
because of Jesus's death, all who put their trust in
Him will live forever in Heaven with God where there
will be no more sickness, sadness, sorrow or death. 

Thus Good Friday and Easter Sunday--when Jesus rose
from the dead--are two days that changed the world
forever.

Note: If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior,
be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a
Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/articles.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You
enough for giving Your Son, Jesus, to die in my place
on the cross. Because You died for me, Lord Jesus, I
give my heart and life to live for You all the days of
my life. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV).

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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, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
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Post  Admin on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 11:33 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

No Condemnation  

"When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but
the [adulterous] woman, He said to her, 'Woman, where
are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?'
She said, 'No one, Lord.' And Jesus said to her,
'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."1

To me there is no more beautiful picture of God's
unconditional, non-judgmental, non-shame-based, yet
non-condoning love than in the example where the
religious people brought the woman caught in the act of
adultery to Jesus (as seen in today's Scripture
passage). 

In those days the penalty for adultery was death by
stoning--a terrifying situation for this woman to be
in. But for the life of me I can't even begin to
imagine how a woman could be caught alone in the act of
adultery! This was because this occasion was a setup to
trap Jesus--and the "accusation stones" hidden in the
accusers' pockets were to throw at Jesus rather than at
the adulterous woman! 

"The Law of Moses says," these jealous religious
guilt-throwing-shame-based-hypocrites said to Jesus,
"that this woman must be stoned to death. What do you
say?" No matter what He answered, they believed they
had Him trapped and would find Him guilty. If He said
she should be stoned to death, they could accuse Hof
having no mercy. If He said she should not be stoned to
death, they could accuse Him of breaking the Law of
Moses. 

Jesus's answer was brilliant, "Yes," He said, "the Law
of Moses says she should be stoned to death. So go
ahead and kill her!" But before they had a chance to
move a finger, Jesus added, "And let the man who has
never sinned be the first one to cast a stone!"

Thud! The silence was deafening as one by one those
religious bigots, like frightened, guilt-ridden puppy
dogs tucked their religious tails between their legs
and slinked away as quickly as they could.

Jesus then asked the woman, "Where are your accusers
now?" To which she replied, "They've all gone, Lord"
Then Jesus made a profound statement, "Neither do I
condemn you. Go and sin no more." 

Not always of course, but some people commit adultery
(and/or fornication) because they are looking for love
in all the wrong places. Chances are that this woman
was loved and accepted by a man (Jesus) for the first
time in her life--loved for who she was and not for
what she had to offer lustful men. Jesus's acceptance
of her and His giving her total unconditional love
would free her from a life of sin. This is why Jesus
could say to her, "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin
no more, or go and leave your life of sin." Notice, He
didn't condone her sinful behavior, but neither did He
condemn her. Again, it was Jesus’s unconditional love
that would set her free from her sinful behavior.

God is never about condemning us, making us feel
guilty, or making us feel ashamed. It's people who do
that to us--including some religious people. God wants
to forgive us and set us free from a life of sin. So
we, too, need to come to Jesus and receive His
unconditional, non-judgmental, and non-condoning love.
It's there for "Whosever will may come." 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your
unconditional love for me and that You have provided a
way of escape from the consequences of my sin by giving
Your Son, Jesus, to die in my place to pay the just
penalty for my sins. Please help me to love and accept
myself and others the same way that You love and accept
me. Deliver me from any sinful ways and help me to live
always to glorify You. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

Note: For further help, if you have never confessed
your sins/sinfulness to God and accepted His
unconditional love, read, “How to Be Sure You’re a Real
Christian at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. John 8:8-11 (NKJV).

<:((((><    
  
  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 Wed 23 Mar 2016, 11:31 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Strike Three and You’re In  

"Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often
shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up
to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to
you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times
seven.’"1

When I was a kid growing up I loved to play football
(rugby, I might add), but was never into baseball.
However, I did know what the saying "strike three and
you're out" meant. It meant if you missed hitting the
third ball that was in, you were out! 

Life can be like that too. If you keep missing the
mark--of other's expectations of you--pretty soon you
discover that you're out--at least on the outside and
no longer with the in-group. You end up feeling and
believing that you are a loser. 

And then you consistently set yourself up to lose
because that’s what you believe you are--a loser.

The opposite is also true. If you believe that you are
a winner, you will act in a winning manner. Even when
you fail at something, you will use it as a lesson to
improve what you do and move on to another success and
thereby reinforce your belief that you are a winner. 

In other words, if you believe you're a loser, you will
lose. Or if you believe you're a winner, you will win!

However, if we feel we are a loser, little by little we
can change our belief about ourselves by building on
our successes--no matter how small they are--and not on
our failures. Every one of us can do something well if
we choose to--even if we start by doing a good job
sweeping the kitchen floor and taking pride in the fact
that we did a good job, and then keep repeating this
practice with other chores.

Unfortunately, too many people have the belief that
they are either too bad or not good enough for God to
accept them and they feel that, to Him, they are
losers. Not so. With God you can strike out "seven
times seventy" (ad infinitum) and you're still not
out--unless you allow yourself to be.

With God no matter what we have ever done or have
failed to do or how many times we have failed, we never
strike out with Him. He loves us unconditionally. All
we need to do is acknowledge the fact that Jesus died
to pay the penalty for our sins, confess our sins and
failures to God and ask for His forgiveness--and of
course accept it with thanksgiving--and then little by
little learn to forgive ourselves. That's what you call
hitting the greatest home run of all.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that I never
strike out with You. Thank You, too, that You forgive
all my sins and failures when I confess them to You.
Help me always to remember that when I accept Jesus as
my Savior, I am a child of the King of Kings, and help
me to truly believe this and live accordingly. Thank
You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

Note: If you have never confessed your sins/sinfulness
to God and accepted His forgiveness, read, “How to Be
Sure You’re a Real Christian at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. Matthew 18:21-22 (NASB).

<:((((><    
  
  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) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Thu 25 Feb 2016, 10:22 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Life Purpose  

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was
lost."1

I have read that Bob Russell, in his book, When God
Builds a Church, tells about one occasion when he went
to The Pancake Factory restaurant and noted that their
luncheon special for the day was a grilled chicken
sandwich with spicy Mexican sauce. He "kind of" felt
that they had lost their focus.

I'm sure that many businesses have lost their main
focus--as have some churches which get sidetracked into
doing many good things, but miss the main thing. But
what concerns me today, however, is how so many
Christians have lost their main focus, if in fact they
ever had one. 

For example, I have asked hundreds of people in various
classes I have taught: "How many believe that God has a
purpose for your life?" Almost every hand is raised.
Then I ask, "How many of you know what your God-given
life-purpose is?" 

Here's the shocker--barely a hand is raised! 

If we are to be true followers of Christ our focus,
first of all, needs to be on Him and to be committed to
living in harmony with God’s will according to the
principles found in His Word, the Bible, so that we
glorify God in all that we are and do. 

Second, our purpose needs to include our personal and
spiritual growth and maturity.

Third, God's purpose for us is also in how we invest
our lives in living for and serving Him. Keep in mind
that we serve God by serving others--using the gifts
and talents that God has given to each of us. 

Fourth, our purpose as Christians is also to be
witnesses for Christ--not as a preacher or evangelist
(although that will be true for some)--but in all that
we are and do so that others seeing Jesus in us will
want Him for themselves, and to share our Christian
faith as the opportunity arises. 

It helps to clearly define your God-given life
purpose--basing it on you gifts, talents, abilities and
interests--by writing it down and getting it into sharp
focus. Then memorize it and repeat it every day so that
it is programmed into your subconscious mind. This in
turn makes it a part of your deep-down belief system
and helps you to live it automatically. 

Don't write it in generalities. Be specific. State
exactly what you are going to be and do and how you are
going to do it. Remember, "'Blessed' is the one who
aims at nothing for he/she shall surely hit it." 

Suggested prayer: "Thank You God that You have a
purpose for my life. Please help me to discover what it
is and get the training I need to fulfill it to the
best of my ability. Please help me to so live that
others will see Jesus in me and, in so doing, will want
Him for themselves. Thank You for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Luke 19:10 (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
  
  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 Sat 20 Feb 2016, 12:22 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Notable Successful Failures  

"For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise
again."1

You have probably read how "Einstein was four years old
before he could speak and seven before he could read.
Isaac Newton did poorly in grade school. Beethoven's
music teacher once said of him, 'As a composer he is
hopeless.' When a boy, Thomas Edison's teachers told
him he was too stupid to learn anything. F.W. Woolworth
got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21, but his
employers wouldn't let him wait on a customer because
he 'didn't have enough sense.' A newspaper editor fired
Walt Disney because he had 'no good ideas.' Enrico
Caruso's music teacher told him, 'You can't sing. You
have no voice at all.' And the director of the Imperial
Opera in Vienna told Madame Schumann-Heink that she
would never be a singer and advised her to buy a sewing
machine.

Leo Tolstoy flunked out of college. Werner von Braun
flunked ninth-grade algebra. Admiral Richard E. Byrd
had been retired from the Navy as 'unfit for service'
until he flew over both Poles. Louis Pasteur was rated
as 'mediocre' in chemistry when he attended the Royal 
College. Abraham Lincoln entered the Black Hawk War as
a captain and came out as a private. Louisa May Alcott
was told by an editor that she could never write
anything that had popular appeal. Fred Waring was once
rejected for high school chorus. Winston Churchill
failed the sixth grade."2

Speaking personally, my father wouldn't allow me to go
to high school. I was only 13 when he made me go to
work to earn my own way. But through faith in God and
sensing His purpose for my life, hard work, and
determination I not only graduated from college but
also from graduate school. True, I started late, but I
made it. You can too. 

My advice to one and all is this: Don't allow your past
to determine your future. Discover God's purpose for
your life and, with His help, give it all you've got. 

Remember, failure is an event--not a person. When you
stumble and fall (and you will from time to time),
don't stay down. Get up, learn from your mistakes, and
go on! Every day for the rest of your life commit and
trust your life and way to God and He will be with you
every step of the way. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to know what Your
plan and purpose for my life is. And give me the faith
and insight to learn from my failures and the strength
and courage to never give up until I become all that
You envisioned for me to be, and to do all that You
planned for me to do. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Proverbs 24:16 (NKJV).
2. Dr. Milton E, Larson, "Humbling Cases for Career
Counselors," Phi Delta Kappan, February 1983. Volume
LIV, No. 6; 374. 

<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 Thu 18 Feb 2016, 11:21 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Truth Decay  

"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach
me wisdom in the inmost place."1

I'm sure most readers will be familiar with the concept
of selective exposure, selective attention, selective
perception, and selective retention. In other words,
most of us tend to expose ourselves and give attention
only to messages we want to hear. Furthermore, we see
things the way we want to see them, and remember only
what we want to remember. Everything else we filter
out. We turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what we
don't want to see or hear. 

The fact is we see and hear things not the way THEY
are, but the way WE are. We all see things through our
mental filter which has been formed by years of past
experiences. The more we were hurt or felt
disillusioned in the past (unless these are resolved),
the more distorted our view of reality will be--and the
more selective we will be in what we unconsciously
choose to hear and see. 

Plus, the more we are into denial about past hurtful
experiences and are not being honest with ourselves,
the more TRUTH DECAY sets in causing us to distort all
other truth (including God's truth) to make it match
our distorted perception of reality. For instance, why
do so many people twist God's Word to make it say what
they want it to say? 

On the other hand, the more honest and truthful we are
with our inner self (our gut level feelings and
motives), the clearer we will see--and the less we will
distort--all other truth, including God's truth. Also,
the closer our relationships with others will be.
People who wear masks to hide their true self cannot
have in-depth relationships with others or with God.
Masks may look fine on the outside, but masks cannot
relate. All maskers have is a masquerade. 

Truth decay is destructive to one's physical,
emotional, relational, and spiritual health. It is a
destroyer of societies and opens the door for evil to
enter. It is not without very good reason why God
desires truth in our innermost being--not for His sake,
but much more so for ours. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You are the
source of all truth. Please confront me with the truth
about me, deliver me from the sin of denial, and help
me always to walk and live in the way of truth. Help me
to be an honest, open, and authentic person. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. Psalm 51:6 (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
  
  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 Wed 17 Feb 2016, 11:45 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

What Is Sin Anyhow? Part II  

"But He [Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, He
was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for
our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are
healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have
turned, every one, TO HIS OWN WAY; And the LORD has
laid on Him the iniquity [sin] of us all."1

The unanswered question we asked yesterday was, "When
did Adam and Eve sin?" Was it when they picked the
forbidden fruit from the tree, when they ate it, or
just when was it? 

Actually they sinned before they took the fruit. Eating
the fruit was the result of their decision to elevate
themselves above God. They did exactly what Satan did.
They set themselves up to be the judge between God and
Satan, thus making themselves their own final voice of
authority--making themselves as “god" or their own
“god." (This, too, is the essence of the supposed New
Age movement, the essence of which is as old as Satan.
New Age people speak not of God within, but of “the
god" within.)

And that is at the heart of all sin and evil. When we
make our own rules and defy those of God's, we too
become our own authority, and exalt ourselves above
God, the Creator of us and the entire universe. Instead
of being led by the Spirit of God, we are being led by
the spirit of, or the example of, Satan, the devil--the
original one to defy God, and in so doing he became the
creator of evil. For a very poor comparison, making
ourselves the final voice of authority by putting
ourselves above God would be like an ant telling a man
that it, the ant, knows better than the man. Rather
absurd to say the least! 

What self-proclaimed so-called free-thinkers don't
realize is that it is impossible for any person to be a
free-thinker for the simple reason that we all have a
sin nature which contaminates our ability to think
purely with total honesty and to see the truth as God
sees it. Plus we all have prejudices, biases, and mixed
motives that contaminate our thinking. And the more
dishonest we are with our inner-self, the more we will
distort all truth to make it match our distorted
perception of reality. The only true freedom we have is
the freedom to choose God's way or our own--to let God
be God or make ourselves a “god" unto ourselves. 

When you have millions of people setting themselves up
above God, becoming their own authority, and deciding
what is right and wrong (and justifying what they
decide and do), it's no wonder that evil is running
rampant throughout the world. And it will continue to
do so unless we quit playing god and let God be God and
accept His Word as our final voice of authority, and
live in harmony with His will and rules for fully
living and fully loving. 

Remember, sin is defying God and going our own way. And
the fact remains; we cannot defy God and live. He has
warned us that the wages of sin is still death … but
the gift of God is eternal life. It is our choice which
route to take--that of life or that of death.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see
clearly what the nature of sin really is and how
totally destructive it is of human personality. Thank
You with all my heart for providing an escape from
sin's eternal consequences through the gift of Your
Son, Jesus Christ, who died in my place to pay the
penalty for all my sins. Help me to live in harmony
with Your will and Your Word, so that my life will
always bring glory to Your holy and eternal Name. Thank
You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. Isaiah 53:5-6 (NKJV). 
NOTE: To be sure you have received God’s forgiveness
read, “How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9.

<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.
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Post  Admin on Wed 17 Feb 2016, 12:50 am

Today's Daily Encounter

What Is Sin Anyhow? Part I  

"And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to
eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat
from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for
when you eat of it you will surely die."1

A man who calls himself a free thinker wrote to me
saying: "Sorry folks, you have to learn a totally new
way of seeing if you want to help this earth. According
to your teachings your God has sinned. He created
everything good and evil. And whoever creates evil is
evil. Enough preaching. Enough fairy tales. Santa Claus
is OK for children. Jesus Christ was most likely a
nice, loving man who tried to help others. He might
have even been crazy, with fanatical visions. But he
was only a man." 

Quite a judgment--but also very interesting in that it
pinpoints that which is at the very core of sin and
evil. Note that he has put himself in the position of
judging both Jesus and God which means he has put
himself above God. Keep this in mind as you read this
series. 

First, God didn't create evil. However, He allowed it
to happen for the simple reason that He created both
angels and mankind not as puppets, but with a free will
so they could choose to go God's way or "create" their
own. 

Second, keep in mind that the fall of Satan, the
instigator of sin and evil, said, "I will become as the
most high." In other words he wanted to dethrone God
and set himself up above God and become “god" himself. 

Third, God told the first man and woman, Adam and Eve,
that they could eat of every tree in the Garden of Eden
except for the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.2
This was their free-will test to choose for themselves
whether to obey God or go their own way. However, God
warned them of the serious consequences should they
disregard his warning and eat from the forbidden
tree--the consequences would be death--both spiritual
and physical.3 

Enter Satan, the devil, who, sowing a seed of doubt in
Eve's mind, said to her, "Did God really say, 'You must
not eat from any tree in the garden'?"4 Then came the
part-truth-lie: "You will not surely die.... For God
knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."5

True, they would know good and evil, but what Satan
didn't tell them was that if they disobeyed God, ate of
the forbidden tree, and then ate of the Tree of Life
they would be forever confirmed in a state of evil and
sin--which, or course, was Satan's goal. 

So when did Adam and Eve sin? Was it before or when
they ate the forbidden fruit? Stay “tuned" for we will
answer this question tomorrow in Part II.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open the eyes of my
understanding so that I will be able to see clearly
what sin is from Your perspective, and why it is so
totally destructive of human personality and those whom
You love--us! Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV).
2. Ibid.
3. Genesis 2:17 (NIV).
4. Genesis 3:1 (NIV).
5. Genesis 3:4-5 (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
 
  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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