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Daily Encounter with:  ACTS International - Page 2 Empty Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 15 Oct 2013, 10:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Where Are the Nine?

"One of them [a leper], 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."1

Even Jesus was disappointed when he healed ten lepers
and only one returned to say thank you and give praise
to God. "He 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?' Then he said to
him, 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'"2

One of my constant prayers is that God will give me a
thankful heart, not just at Easter, Thanksgiving, and
Christmas, but every day of the year.

No matter what trials I am going through there are
always many things to be thankful for: food, clothing,
shelter, friends, family, for life itself or to put it
this way:

I love the gift of life, Dear God,
with all its beauty everywhere:
Blue skies, white fluffy clouds,
green trees, rocky mountains,
open meadows, the restless timeless sea,
the black bird on my window sill…
But most of all I love dear friends,
and if you will, please give to me
a greater love for you --
my dearest friend of all.3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, for all of these and so
much more--especially for dying for my sins and giving
me the gift of eternal life--I give you thanks. And
please help me always to appreciate all that you have
done for me, and give me a generous heart so that I
will give to others as you have given to me. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. Luke 17:15-16 (NIV).
2. Luke 17:17-19 (NIV).
3. Dick Innes. Copyright. From the poem, "Life." See
more poems by Dick at:
www.actscom.com/store/poems_all.php.

<Smile)))><

Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

Opportunity Lost

"Then [King] Agrippa said to Paul, 'Almost you persuade
me to be a Christian.'"1

Years ago Walter took his friend Arthur to see some
land in open country where cattle were idly grazing.
Walter explained about his dream for developing this
area. He told his friend that in time the area would be
surrounded by many restaurants, hotels and convention
centers. He told Arthur that his plan would take all of
his money and he needed others to develop the
surrounding area. He wanted his friend to have the
first opportunity to buy into this project.

But Arthur thought to himself, "Who in the world is
going to drive twenty-five miles for this crazy
project?"

He said to Walter that he would think about it and
decide later on.

"Later on will be too late," Walter cautioned Arthur.
"You'd better move on it right now."

"And so Art Linkletter turned down the opportunity to
buy up all the land that surrounded what was to become
Disneyland. His friend Walt Disney tried to talk him
into it. But Art thought he was crazy."

Life's like that. King Agrippa had the opportunity to
accept Christ and become a Christian. He turned it
down. Judas had one of the greatest opportunities in
all history to become a follower of Jesus. Instead he
betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
Unbelievable! The two thieves who were crucified with
Jesus also had the opportunity to receive the gift of
eternal life. One accepted. The other didn't.

Life offers all of us many opportunities. We all have
the opportunity to become followers of Jesus and to be
a part of what God is doing in the world today. That
choice is ours. Today. As God's Word says, "Now is the
accepted time …now is the day of salvation."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when opportunities from
you come knocking on my door, no matter how quiet they
are, please give me an ear to hear, a listening heart
to hear what you are saying, and the wisdom to say,
'Yes,' to you and your call. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."


Note: If you have never accepted God's invitation to
accept Jesus as your personal Savior, please click on
www.actsweb.org/christian for the article, "How to Be
Sure You're a Real Christian without having to be
religious." I urge you to do that right now.

1. Acts 26:28.
2. Corinthians 6:2.

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Post  Admin on Thu 10 Oct 2013, 10:59 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
To Confess or Not to Confess  

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

Of the two kinds of sinners in Jesus' day, with whom
did he prefer to mix?

The honest ones. They were the only ones he could help.
As The Living Bible puts today's text, "A man who
refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful.
But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another
chance."

Confession is also a fundamental way to
healing--physical as well as emotional and spiritual.
James said, "Confess your sins and faults to one
another, and pray for each other so you will be
healed."2

As the medics tell us, many of our physical ills are
either caused or greatly aggravated by unresolved inner
problems as a result of impaired relationships, guilt,
anger, resentment, bitterness, hurt, grief, worry,
anxiety and other super-charged repressed negative
emotions.

Very often these are the things that make us sick.
Literally. Confessing them, getting them off our chest,
and emptying out these feelings clears the way for the
healing of many ills. So, in many ways some healing at
least is a choice. To confess or not to confess? That's
the choice, as that's an imperative way to healing of
some ills. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, give me the courage to
confess all of my sins, failures, weaknesses,
shortcomings and any super-charged repressed negative
emotions, and[,] wherever possible, put right every
wrong that I have done. And help me to be a
non-judgmental, non-preachy person to whom others feel
safe to confess their sins and failures. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen." 

P.S. When you decide to confess, make sure it is not
only to God, but to a safe person. A safe person is
another honest sinner who will not preach at you, put
you down, make you feel guilty, give you unsolicited
advice, or try to fix you. And, while not condoning
what you have done, he/she will not condemn you, but
accept you and love you for your honesty--the way God
loves all sinners. He hates our sin because it hurts
the ones he loves--us, but he loves the sinner
unconditionally.

1. Proverbs 28:13 (NIV).
2. James 5:16.

Note: If you have never received Jesus as your Savior
or received God's forgiveness, I encourage you to do
that today. To do so see "God's Invitation" at:
www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or for further help
read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.

<Smile)))><    
  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
 When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Oct 2013, 8:32 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Arm-Twisting for God  

"Be eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted
to you, but being examples."1

Some time ago at a church where I was a deacon we had
one man in particular who claimed to have several
spiritual gifts. When the deacon board was seeking an
answer for a significant situation, our friend informed
us that he had a word from God and said, "God told me
it was to be such and such."

End of discussion! Who can argue against God?

However, my reply was, "God hasn't told me yet so can
we discuss this matter further." 

I'm not saying that God doesn't lead and guide people.
Not at all. What I am saying is that sometimes some
insecure people need to feel important and hide behind
"God's skirt" as it were. Others claim to have a word
from God simply as a means of controlling others and
getting their own way; that is, as Jo Baily put it,
they are adept at "arm-twisting for God."

Actually the Bible says, "Don't believe every spirit,
but test them to see whether they are from God."2 A
wise path to follow.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the ability
to be able to discern whether a word or Spirit/spirit
is from you or not, and grant that I will never misuse
your name or "arm twist for you" to get my own way.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. 1 Peter 5:3 (NIV).
2. 1 John 4:1.

<Smile)))><    

  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter
In the Beginning  

"In the beginning God…."1

It's fascinating how God introduced himself to the
human race. He is totally non-defensive and
non-explanatory. He simply opens his Word, the Bible,
with the simple but profound statement saying, "In the
beginning God…." That is, "In the beginning God created
the heavens and the earth."

God didn't tell us how he did it. Thousands of years
later scientists are still trying to work out exactly
how it all began and how it happened. My guess is that
they will never fully unfold this mystery--not this
side of eternity anyhow.

Believing in God and his creation boils down to faith
and choice. We basically choose what we want to
believe. Many of us believe in God because that was
what we were taught as children but at some point we
made the choice whether to continue believing in him or
not.

For some people choosing to believe in God has more to
do with morality than it has to do with intellectual
issues. Many don't want to believe in God (or in some
parts of the Bible) so they can live and behave as they
choose. However, if we believe in God, we know that we
are morally responsible and accountable to him.

Another tragedy when we don't believe in God is as the
Russian author, Dostoyevsky, said: "When people stop
believing in God, the danger is not that they will
believe in nothing. It's that they will believe in
anything."

Or as another has said, "If we don't stand for
something we may fall for anything."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I choose to believe in
you. I choose to trust my life to you and, with your
help, I choose to love and serve you all the days of my
life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. Genesis 1:1.

Note: If you have never received Jesus as your Savior
or received God's forgiveness, I encourage you to do
that today. To do so see "God's Invitation" at:
www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or for further help
read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.

<Smile)))><    
  
  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International.
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
Admin
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Post  Admin on Tue 08 Oct 2013, 9:07 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Use It or Lose It  

"I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the
ground."1

Oswald Chambers said, "God who made the birds never
made bird cages. It's men who make bird cages [and put
people in them] and after a while we become cramped and
can do nothing but chirp and stand on one leg."

In one of his parables Jesus illustrated how everybody
is responsible for making good use of the talents he or
she has been given. The one who had been given ten
talents invested them wisely and was rewarded
accordingly. The man who had only one talent and sat on
it, lost it.

This principle is true in many areas of life. A few
years ago I snapped an Achilles tendon--twice in a
three-month period. I was on crutches for several
months. When I was back on both feet again, my right
leg was very weak and my calf muscle had already shrunk
from lack of use. I had to have intensive physical
therapy to get its use and strength back again.

What we don't use we take the risk of losing. This is
true in various areas of life. And as Jesus' parable
intended to teach us, it is even more applicable when
it comes to using our gifts and talents for the Kingdom
of God and investing them in eternal values.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the talents
you have entrusted to me. Help me to invest and use
them wisely for your Kingdom. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Matthew 25:25 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    

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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Fri 04 Oct 2013, 9:36 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Is That You, God?  

"I [God] have loved you with an everlasting love."1

When my boys were little, I would tuck them into bed
every night, say their prayers with them, and speak
positive affirmations to them--affirmations such as, "I
am so proud of you," "I'm so glad God sent you to be a
part of our family," "I love you devotedly," etc., etc.

When my youngest son, Mark, was about nine I crept into
his bedroom early one morning. I was certain he was
asleep--because he looked like an angel!

I quietly leaned over and whispered in his ear, "O
beloved of the Lord."

As quick as a flash he spun his head around and,
looking upward, asked without a moment's hesitation,
"Is that you, God?"

When I regained my composure, I whispered back in his
ear, "No, it's not God, but he sent me to tell you
that."

Dear Reader, God is "sending" me to tell you that today
too. No matter what you have ever done or have failed
to do, God loves you with an everlasting love and has a
wonderful plan and purpose for your life.

His primary purpose is that you find God and receive
his forgiveness for all your sins and his gift of
eternal life. If you have never done this and would
like to, click on: www.actsweb.org/invitation.php, or
for further help read the article, "How to Be Sure
You're a Real Christian at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

Second, God wants you to discover and fulfill his
divine purpose for your life and in so doing become a
part of what he is doing in the world in which you
live. Your life purpose will have to do with using your
God-given abilities to serve God by helping others.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I thank you that you love
me with an everlasting love no matter what. Help me to
know and experience your divine love, forgiveness, and
acceptance and communicate these to every life I touch.
Help me, too, to discover and fulfill my God-given life
purpose. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. Jeremiah 31:3.

<Smile)))><    

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Post  Admin on Thu 03 Oct 2013, 9:23 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Gripes of Wrath  

"A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue
him, you will have to do it again."1

The past few years have certainly been marked by many
major crises and natural disasters … terrorist attacks,
bombings, massive earthquakes and devastating floods. 

In the midst of these disasters we witnessed incredible
acts of compassion and unprecedented deeds of kindness
by thousands of good-hearted people. We also witnessed
dastardly evil: looting, crime, anger, rage,
irresponsibility and the never-ending nauseating
"playing the blame game." 

Sadly, the world is filled with gripes* of wrath. This
is about angry obsessive complainers who blame God, the
government, their spouse, their boss, or anybody else
for the problems they have. They gripe about the
weather, gripe about the service be it good or bad, and
even gripe when they are being helped by the sacrifice
of others. These are those who avoid personal
responsibility, live in a state of constant denial, and
gripe, gripe, gripe. 

Yes we need to help the helpless and those who are in a
position where they literally cannot help themselves.
But let's wake up! Stop rescuing those who can and need
to help themselves. As the Bible teaches, if we rescue
these people we will have to do it again … and again …
and again. The most loving thing we can do for this
kind of person is to help him to help himself. And we
can only do this if he wants to become self-reliable
and personally responsible. For those who can help
themselves but don't want to, we need to get out of the
way and let them crash in the hopes that this will
bring them to their senses and face the reality of life
as it really is. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the
sin of being an obsessive complainer, playing the blame
game, and/or for being irresponsible. And deliver me
from rescuing those who are quite capable of and need
to become responsible and learn to help themselves.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

* For those for whom English is not their primary
language, "gripe" means to complain. 

1. Proverbs 19:19 (NIV). 

<Smile)))><    
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Post  Admin on Wed 02 Oct 2013, 8:06 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Opportunity Comes to Pass--Not to Pause  

"For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:
'The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.'"1

In a speech in August of last year a well-known woman
of color shared the following: "A little girl grows up
in Jim Crow Birmingham--the most segregated big city in
America," she said. "Her parents can't take her to a
movie theater or a restaurant, but they make her
believe that even though she can't have a hamburger at
the Woolworth's lunch counter, she can be President of
the United States. And she becomes the Secretary of
State [of the USA]."2

The speaker's name? Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary
of State, a committed woman who knows first-hand the
values that make a nation exceptional and what it means
to live the American Dream!

From time to time I receive requests from overseas
young people who want me to help finance them to come
to America and receive a college education. And how do
I help them? I do it by telling my story as I came from
humble beginnings in Australia. My father made me quit
school at the age of 13 and work full-time, insisting
that I give every penny I earned to help support our
family of four siblings. 

Did I become resentful of other kids whose parents
allowed them to go to high school? No. I believed in
hard work and always worked diligently. By age 15 I was
put in charge of a department where I worked in a radio
factory. By age 16, while working full time, to learn a
trade I put myself through a five-year, part-time
course at a technical college. When I felt called to
Christian ministry and wanted to come to the U.S. for
training, I never asked nor received a penny from
anyone to help me. All I prayed for was that God would
give me enough work so I could earn all I needed to
come to America to study, and that when I got here that
He would help me to find part-time work so I could pay
my way through college. God answered these prayers. I
never lacked finding work and accepted any type of work
I could get … including scrubbing floors and more. In
the summer time I worked three jobs at once--one
full-time and two part-time--seven days a week. 

Sadly today, however, we are living in an
ever-increasing entitlement society where too many
believe that the world owes them a living and where too
many government leaders are supporting this
societal-self-destructive way of life. At the local
pier where I live there is a notice that says. "Don't
feed the birds. It will make them over-dependent so
that they will become unable to take care of
themselves." 

Yes, I believe in helping those who genuinely cannot
help themselves (including those who simply cannot find
any kind of work), but when we do for others what they
can and need to do for themselves, we are NOT helping
them, but keeping them over-dependent, immature and
irresponsible. 

Remember that opportunity comes to those who prepare
themselves and are ready for it when it appears! They
know that it comes to pass--not to pause. As basketball
coach, Bobby Knight, stated, "The will to succeed is
important, but what's more important is the will to
prepare." 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to realize that
while I was not responsible for my initial background,
I am totally responsible for what I become and for what
I do with my life. Deliver me from the sin of expecting
others to be responsible for me and help me to prepare
myself for all opportunities that come my way. And help
me to live a fruitful and productive life and always do
so for your glory. Thank you for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NIV).
2. http://tinyurl.com/d5r6jqp

<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) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Tue 01 Oct 2013, 8:57 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Why Does God Have Me in This Relationship?  

"You do not have because you do not ask [God]. You ask
and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,
so that you may spend it on your pleasures."1

A Daily Encounter subscriber writes, "I have fallen out
of love with a man over a year now, so is it possible
for me to fall back in love with him? We are not
married. We have had a roller-coaster ride in this
relationship over many years, so why is God allowing us
to stay in this relationship. Also we are back together
after 16 years. If we are meant to be together as
husband and wife, why doesn't God show me?

"Dear Henrietta" (name changed), I replied, "First of
all realize that--at least in our Western
culture--'falling in love' has more to do with being
strongly attracted to someone, being fascinated with
this person, or more often than not being physically
and/or sexually attracted to this person. It may lead
to true love but it isn't love. It's either fascination
or just plain lust. True love is a commitment of one
imperfect person to another imperfect person, with or
without so called 'in love' overpowering feelings.

"Secondly, God isn't co-dependent. God will give us
wisdom and guidance if we genuinely want it, but he
doesn't make our decisions or choices for us. If he
did, he would be keeping us immature and
over-dependent. The reality is that you are still in
this not-going-anywhere relationship because you, and
not God, have chosen to be in it.

"Also, realize, that only happy and mature people find
and relate to happy and mature partners, and vice
versa, and have happy and fulfilling relationships.
Furthermore, it's not so much a case of praying for the
right partner but rather praying that you become the
right partner, for only as you become the right
person/partner will you be attracted to the right
partner, and he to you. In life we all are either as
sick or as healthy as the partners we are attracted to
and they to us. Thus, if you are choosing to stay in a
bad relationship, it indicates that you have issues you
need to resolve. This is what God wants you to see. His
concern for you is that you become a healthy and mature
person before becoming involved in a committed
relationship that could lead to marriage.

"To pray the right prayer you need to ask God to show
you the truth about you and why you are in such an
unhealthy relationship, and to help you find the help
you need to recover and become whole. For only to the
degree that we are made whole will our lifestyle, our
attitudes, our behavior, and our relationships be
wholesome. Only as we face the truth about our self,
resolve our issues, and become whole will any of us
have a chance of finding a meaningful and genuinely
loving relationship. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me always to
pray the right prayer--with the right motives--so that
I will have the assurance that you have heard my prayer
and that you will answer it according to your will.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 4:2-3 (NIV).

Note: for further help, see the following website for
articles on relationships at:
http://www.actsweb.org/articles/Marriage.php.

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Post  Admin on Mon 30 Sep 2013, 3:52 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Way It's Always Done

"If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a
pit."1

In his book, Mind Your Own Business, Murray Raphel
shares the following story. "Years ago, in Russia, a
czar came upon a lonely sentry standing at attention in
a secluded corner of the palace garden. 'What are you
guarding,' asked the czar. 'I don't know. The captain
ordered me to this post,' the sentry replied.

"The czar called the captain. His answer: 'Written
regulations specify a guard was to be assigned to that
area.' The czar ordered a search to find out why. The
archives finally yielded the reason. Years before,
Catherine the Great had planted a rose bush in that
corner. She ordered a sentry to protect it for that
evening.

"One hundred years later, sentries were still guarding
the now barren spot."

The application is obvious.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the wisdom
to know what to guard carefully--especially that which
is imperative and eternal--and forget continuing to
guard that which is no longer relevant. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Matthew 15:14.

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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Sep 2013, 10:09 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes

"He [Jesus Christ] came unto his own, and his own
received him not."1

Change. It can be very threatening.

Sometimes we unconsciously choose to become
ineffective, irrelevant, or even die rather than
change. It happens with individuals, marriages,
businesses, organizations, and unfortunately with some
churches. Even the "church" people of Christ's day who
were looking for and expecting the promised Messiah
didn't accept him when he came because he didn't come
the way they expected him to come, nor did he do what
they wanted or expected him to do (that is, overthrow
the oppressing Roman rule). Consequently, they rejected
Christ, the Messiah, and clung to their irrelevant
religious traditions.

Traditions and rituals are effective as long as they
are relevant. While truth never changes, times change
as do the needs of people, so when our traditions are
no longer relevant, we need to be open to change; that
is, creative and productive change--not just change for
change's sake, or simply to be so-called "politically
correct" which, more often than not, is an oxymoron if
ever there was one.

The same principle applies to my personal and family
life. If I want to see change, instead of doing more of
the same--which many of us tend to do when what we are
doing isn't working--I need to make some creative and
relevant changes.

As the saying goes, "Nothing changes if nothing
changes, and if I keep doing what I've always done,
I'll keep getting what I've always got, and will keep
feeling what I always felt.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, give me the insight to
accept traditions that are relevant; the courage to
change the ones that aren't, and the wisdom to know the
difference. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 1:11.

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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Sep 2013, 7:18 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
People Power

"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will
be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give
him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him
will become in him a spring of water welling up to
eternal life.'"1

I read how a mother with young children was out jogging
when she was attacked and killed by a mountain lion in
California. Trackers with dogs hunted down the lion and
destroyed it but they spared the lion's cubs.

A fund was set up to help raise and educate the woman's
children. Another fund was also established--one to
help care for the mountain lion's cubs.

You've probably already guessed the outcome--the lion's
cubs received more financial help than the dead woman's
children.

It's becoming increasingly alarming where people's
priorities are today. According to Chuck Colson,
"Christian bashing" has become very popular in many
circles today. Abortion doesn't mean a thing to
millions of Americans. Homosexuality has become more
and more acceptable by the masses, and, tragically, gay
marriage is being accepted even by some church leaders.

The fact is that the masses have great power. As
Richard Halverson pointed out "People Power" is a
mighty force. Even in business if people don't buy a
particular product no matter how good it is, it goes
off the market. It's as simple as that.

People have the power to close down any operation--or
prosper it! For example, pornography prevails because
enough people want it, buy it, watch it, listen to it,
and read it. It is extremely profitable because
countless people prosper it!

People Power has also prospered the tobacco industry,
the liquor industry, the movie industry, the abortion
"industry" and a hundred thousand other products and
industries--some of great value, some of little or no
value whatsoever, and some that are totally destructive
of individuals, families, and society.

A few years back one very prosperous soft drink
company--made prosperous by People Power--had a goal to
give everybody in the world a taste of their product in
a matter of a few years. As a result just about
anywhere you go you can see the familiar insignia of
Coca-Cola.

And we Christians have had the "Water of Life" for
2,000 years and still millions of people around the
world have never had a chance to drink of the water
that Jesus offered to the woman of Samaria. As Jesus
put it, "Indeed, the water I give him will become in
him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

People Power. The same principle applies to publishing
and communicating the gospel. God's people have the
power to prosper it. Or close it down. It, too, is as
simple as that!

Here in ACTS International we had been publishing
printed gospel literature for three decades. It has
been used by several thousand churches, scores of
chaplains in hospitals, prisons, and military bases
around the world. Thousands have been helped to find
the Savior as a result. But because of a lack of
"People Power" to support it, we could no longer afford
to print it.

However, we are still totally committed to publishing
the gospel, now through e-mail and the Internet from
our U.S. office. Currently we are reaching mega
thousands of people worldwide actually every day
through Daily Encounter and the Internet, but with
increased "People Power" support we could be reaching
millions more--millions who desperately need the
Savior.

So, will you please prayerfully consider supporting the
gospel ministry of ACTS International to ensure that we
will have sufficient "People Power" to keep us reaching
the lost with the gospel? You can do this through one
or both of the following ways: (1), by becoming a badly
needed monthly financial supporter at:
https://actscom.com/donate.php, and/or (2), by joining
with us as a People Power Partner at:
www.actsweb.org/people_power.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please show me how I can
join with others and become a part of "People Power" to
help reach millions of people around the world with the
gospel and thereby be a part of what you are doing in
the world today. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 4:13-14 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Sep 2013, 9:34 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Over the Edge

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of
courage; be strong."1

"Back in 1911 a stuntman named Bobby Leach went over
Niagara Falls in a specially designed steel drum--and
lived to tell about it.

"Although he suffered minor injuries, he survived
because he recognized the tremendous dangers involved
in the feat, and he had done everything he could to
protect himself from harm. Several years later, while
walking down a street in New Zealand, Bobby slipped on
an orange peel, fell, and badly fractured his leg. He
was taken to a hospital where he died of complications
from that fall. He received a greater injury walking
down the street than he sustained in going over Niagara
Falls. He was not prepared for danger in what he
assumed to be a safe situation."2

I've visited Niagara Falls several times and have
never ceased to marvel at the breath-taking beauty and
the incredible power of the millions of gallons of
water rushing over the falls every second. I've been
extremely careful to view the falls from a very secure
position. If you stood in an unsafe place, one slip and
you'd be gone.

When it comes to life's temptations, we're very much
aware of and are careful to avoid the ones that "roar
around us like the rushing waters of Niagara." But like
Bobby slipped on an orange peel, it is extremely easy
for us to ignore the seemingly "little" temptations
that slip up on us silently but don't appear to carry
any threat. However, a little drink here, a tiny taste
of a drug there, a small gamble now and then, a tiny
indulgence in lust, a quick look at a pornographic
website … can lure us and ever so slowly, little by
little, draw us closer to the edge … and we wake up and
discover to our dismay that we have slipped over the
line into an addiction that has us hopelessly trapped.

No wonder the Scriptures warn us to be on our guard …
and "If you think you are standing firm, be careful
that you don't fall!"3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me realize
just how vulnerable I am and susceptible to life's
'little' temptations, and that daily I need to commit
and trust my life and way to you. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV).
2. KneEmail, Mike Benson, Editor.
3. 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Sat 21 Sep 2013, 9:39 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Leading by Serving  

"Instead, the greatest among you should be like the
youngest, and the one who rules like the one who
serves."1

It has been said that you can tell a truly great person
by the way he or she treats ordinary people.

Many years ago a rider on horseback came across a squad
of soldiers who were trying to move a heavy log. A
corporal stood by giving lordly orders to "heave." But
the log was too heavy for the squad to move.

"Why don't you help them?" asked the man on the horse
addressing the corporal.

"Me? Why I'm a corporal, sir!"

Dismounting, the stranger carefully took his place with
the soldiers.

"Now, all together, boys--heave!" he said. And the
heavy log slid right into place.

The horseman was George Washington.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the
sin and vanity of 'riding on a high horse,' thinking
that any job is below my (false) pride and dignity.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. Luke 22:26 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Sep 2013, 5:13 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
With Enthusiasm  

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your
might."1

Henry Van Dyke wisely said, "Use what talents you
possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds
sang there except those that sang best."

I grew up in Brisbane,  Australia, and attended a
primary school where there was a motto written over the
door of every classroom. The only one I remember is
today's verse taken from the Bible: "Whatever your hand
finds to do, do it with your might"--that is, whatever
you do, do it to the best of your ability and do it
with enthusiasm.

That's one motto I have tried to live by and, with
God's help, plan to continue for the rest of my life.

Everyone has been given at least one gift/talent--most
of us several. May we all use them to the best of our
ability to serve God and our fellow man and thereby
help make our homes and our world a better place in
which to live.

God hasn't called most of us to be experts but he has
called all of us to be faithful in putting to good use
the gifts he has given to us. So, "Whatever your hand
finds to do, do it to the best of your ability with
enthusiasm."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to appreciate the
gifts and talents you have given me and to use them to
minister to others and therein be a part of what you
are doing in the world today. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ecclesiastes 9:10.

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Post  Admin on Wed 18 Sep 2013, 10:32 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Reveille Call   
One mid-morning last week Joy and I had a most puzzling
experience. We were standing in my office at home when,
suddenly--and seemingly out of nowhere--was this very
loud, clear-as-crystal trumpet blast. It was
"Reveille," the well-known military bugle call: "You've
got to get up; you've got to get up; you've got to get
up in the morning!" 

A few minutes later the same trumpet call sounded
again. Three times it sounded. I felt like it was
coming from my office. The second time, Joy felt like
it was coming from her office. The third time, we were
standing in the hall and we both thought it was coming
from somewhere in the hall. It felt like we were in the
middle of surround-sound without the vaguest idea from
where the trumpet call was coming. 

We live "next door" to Camp Pendleton Marine Base and
wondered if it came from there. We noticed through our
window that our neighbor across the street was in his
front yard at this time, so we asked if he heard the
trumpet call. He didn't, so we concluded that the calls
didn't come from Camp Pendleton. Had they done so, it
wouldn't have been in mid-morning! Half joking and half
serious, I said to Joy, "This isn't God's trumpet call
announcing the return of Jesus, is it?" We waited … but
nothing more happened. 

Interesting, too, that Joy and I both heard these three
trumpet calls. Had only one of us heard them, we may
have been tempted to think the other one was losing it!
But it was very distinct to both of us. Furthermore, we
were equally puzzled--and still are. 

Regardless from where they originated, they are a
graphic reminder that sooner or later, just as
suddenly, God's promised clear-as-crystal trumpet will
sound with the call: "It's time to get up; it's time to
get up; Jesus has come; it's time to get up and go with
him to Heaven!"

As God's Word promised, in writing about Christ's
return the Apostle Paul stated, "Behold, I show you a
mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at
the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the
dead [believers in Jesus] shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed.1

Furthermore, Jesus Himself promised his followers: "Let
not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe
also in Me. In My Father's house [Heaven] 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 See
also What God's Word has to say about Christians who
have already died at the time of God's trumpet call.3

Of this we can be absolutely certain--like the trumpet
call Joy and I heard--when it is least expected, God's
trumpet call will sound. If it were today, would you
hear it? Would you be ready to get up and go with
Jesus? We will either go with Jesus, or we will be left
behind--the latter of which is an extremely sobering
thought. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your
promise, and that of Jesus, that Jesus will return to
earth to take all his true followers to be with him in
Heaven forever. I look forward to your great trumpet
call to announce that Jesus has come. Please help me to
be ready for this day and this moment. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus'
name, amen."

Note: If Jesus should come today and you are not
absolutely sure you would be ready to be caught up with
him, I urge you to read the article, "How to Be Sure
You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.


1. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (KJV). 
2. John 14:1-3 (NKJV). 
3. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. 

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Today's Daily Encounter

"Loneliness: It's Such a Sad Affair"  

"There are three things that remain--faith, hope, and
love--and the greatest of these is love."1

"Love … look at the two of us, Strangers in many ways."
These were words that Karen Carpenter hauntingly sang.
Likewise, in another song she expressed how loneliness
was "such a sad affair." Tragically, Karen's own life
was a sad affair. Lonely and not feeling loved, she
starved herself to death. A tragic loss.

In the U.S. at the turn of this century it was
estimated that some 50 percent of adults 25 and older
would be single. Many, if not most of these, long to
love and be loved by at least one special person. Some
will be fortunate to find meaningful love. Some
probably won't. And there are millions of married
people who, like strangers, live together alone apart.
Their lives are consumed by loneliness, as are the
lives of many elderly folk. This, too, is a very sad
affair.

Whether single or married, young or old, the fact is
that while we can live without romantic love--even if
not desirable--we cannot live healthily without at
least one or two healthy, loving relationships. We are
created for such and need to get this requirement met
in healthy ways. If we don't, it can take years off our
life.

In perhaps the greatest literary masterpiece on love
ever written, the Apostle Paul wrote of the emptiness
of life without love: "If I speak in the tongues of men
and of angels, but have not love, I am only a
resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the
gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all
knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move
mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give
all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the
flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."2

Paul also gives us the key for finding love in loving
relationships: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does
not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not
rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight
in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always
protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always
perseveres."3

And in the words of John Oxenham of New Zealand:

    Love ever gives, 
    Forgives outlives, 
    And ever stands with open hands, 
    For while it lives, it gives. 
    For this is love's prerogative --
    To give, and give, and give.4

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your great
love in giving your Son, Jesus, to die in my place for
my sins. Please help me to find healthy loving
relationships and learn to love others as you have
loved me. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (TLB)(NLT).
2. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV).
3. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV).
4. See www.actsweb.org/wordsoflove/love_ever_gives.php.


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Post  Admin on Tue 17 Sep 2013, 1:14 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Tact  

"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have
become all things to all men so that by all possible
means I might save some."1

"British statesman and financier Cecil Rhodes, whose
fortune was used to endow the world-famous Rhodes
Scholarships, was a stickler for correct dress--but
apparently not at the expense of someone else's
feelings. A young man invited to dine with Rhodes
arrived by train and had to go directly to Rhodes's
home in his travel-stained clothes. Once there he was
appalled to find the other guests already assembled,
wearing full evening dress. After what seemed a long
time Rhodes appeared, in a shabby old blue suit. Later
the young man learned that his host had been dressed in
evening clothes, but put on the old suit when he heard
of his young guest's dilemma."2

In the words of Dale Carnegie, if we are going to "win
friends and influence people," it is important that we
understand people and, as much as possible (within
moral bounds of course), that we are sensitive to their
situation and, as much as possible, identify with them.
As the old saying goes, "to win some we need to be
winsome."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me an
understanding heart and help me always to be sensitive
to the needs and situation of others so that my life
will be a channel of your love to every life I touch.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. 1 Corinthians 9:22 (NIV).
2. Today in the Word, February, 1991, p. 10.

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Post  Admin on Fri 13 Sep 2013, 7:56 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
A Godincidence  

"And we know that all things work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are the called
according to His purpose."1

Yesterday I wrote about missing our Caribbean vacation
cruise because I left my "Green Card" (my immigration
papers) at home. Consequently, we flew home early. On
board the airplane soon after we left Florida en route
to California, a doctor or nurse was called for, as a
lady with diabetes took very ill and was in serious
condition. Apparently there weren't any doctors on
board, so Joy, being a nurse, answered the call. She
knew exactly what to do, held the lady all the way
home, helped to keep her from going into a diabetic
coma and quite possibly helped save her life. The crew
had called ahead and an ambulance was waiting on the
runway to whisk the lady to the hospital as soon as we
arrived at our destination. 

When we daily commit and trust our life and way to God,
we make ourselves available for him to use and never
know what circumstances we will face each day.
Sometimes circumstances happen for no obvious reason.
Other times it's because of our (or somebody else's)
poor planning or unwise decisions. And sometimes they
happen, not so much as a coincidence, but rather
because they are a "Godincidence"--that is, a God
thing! At least we do know that God can, and often
does, use our mistakes to be a blessing either to
ourselves or to another.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that 'all things
do work together for good to those who love you, to
those who are called according to your purpose.' Help
me always to see this, and always be available to be
used by you to help others when they are in need. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

NOTE: By the way Southwest Airlines sent us two freebie
airline tickets to anywhere in the U.S. in appreciation
for what Joy did to help this sick lady on their flight
from Florida! Even more exciting is that we received 33
salvation responses as a result of yesterday's Daily
Encounter message when we sent this same message seven
years ago!

1. Romans 8:28 (NKJV).

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Post  Admin on Thu 12 Sep 2013, 9:31 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Don't Miss the Boat  
"Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!"1

Some time back I was treated to a wonderful seven-day
Caribbean Cruise. Joy and I were really looking forward
to this break. We were to visit three ports in Mexico
and visit some very interesting historic places. We
flew to Florida where the ship was berthed and were
ready to board when I ran into a problem--a big
problem. I, being a Permanent Resident of the U.S., had
my Australian passport with me but forgot my Green Card
(my U.S. Permanent Resident identification card). 

Big mistake. 

A well-meaning airline staff member had assured me that
all I needed was my passport. Wrong. I was not allowed
to even board the ship. I was assured that if I left
the U.S., I would never be allowed to re-enter the
country without my Green Card and would be sent back to
Australia even though I have been a legal resident in
the U.S. for many years. A half-hour before the ship
sailed our luggage was unloaded and Joy and I, feeling
extremely disappointed and let down, flew home to
California. 

You can rest assured that I will never do anything like
that again. I will make absolutely certain that all my
travel documents are in order.

This to me was a graphic reminder that we all need to
make absolutely certain that all our "documents"
(preparations) are in order for when we leave planet
earth for eternity. Many a well-meaning friend will
seek to assure us that as long as we live a good life,
do more good things than bad things, or follow the
religion of our choice and are sincere, we will be
allowed entrance into God's heaven. Not so. As the U.S.
government made the rules that governed my entrance
into the U.S., so God makes the rules that govern the
entrance into his Heaven. 

As God instructed the ancient Israelites to prepare to
meet him face to face--the same principle applies to
you and me. Thus, it is imperative that we prepare now,
while we have the opportunity, to meet God for our turn
will come. 

Eternity is forever. So be absolutely certain to obtain
your "passport" for heaven today. Whatever you do,
don't leave earth without it. For help see the article,
"Passport for Heaven" at http://tinyurl.com/dm472. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that your Word
makes it very clear what is required to enter your
heaven, and thank you for providing that way through
your Son, Jesus Christ. Please help me to make sure
that all my 'documentation' is in order. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Amos 4:12 (NKJV).

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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Sep 2013, 9:03 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

God's Wake-Up Call  

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond
cure. Who can understand it?"1

Lest we forget. Today we are graphically reminded how,
on September 11, 2001, the world was shocked beyond
belief when Muslim fanatical terrorists attacked the
U.S.A. bringing down the two World Trade Towers and
crashing into the Pentagon--and some 3,000 innocent
victims were killed by these fanatical religious
terrorists.

Then we recall how on April 20, 1999, one of the
teenage killers at the Columbine High School massacre
in Littleton, Colorado, pointed his gun at Cassie
Bernall and asked her his life-or-death question: "Do
you believe in God?"

She paused. The gun was still there. "Yes, I believe in
God," she said. Those were the last words that this
17-year-old Christian teenager would ever speak. The
gunman asked her "Why?" She had no time to answer
before she was shot to death. Terribly difficult to
understand. Two youths, in cold blood, murdered twelve
students and one teacher.

But has the violence in our society abated since these
and many other senseless killings and inhumane acts of
terrorism? Sadly no. Nightly on the news we are fed a
continuous diet of violence; gang shootings and
murders; sexual predators abusing and raping children,
women being raped, etc., etc.--right here in the U.S.A.


Sadly no. "On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20,
fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff
members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary
School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, 
Connecticut. Before driving to the school, Lanza had
shot and killed his mother, Nancy, at their Newtown
home. As first responders arrived, he committed suicide
by shooting himself in the head."2

For a short while after September 11, 2001, it appeared
this might trigger a spiritual awakening at least here
in the U.S.A. But sadly, no, it didn't. It wasn't long
before we were back to business as usual.

And will the ever-increasing violent acts of terrorism
around the world trigger a wake-up call, first, among
us, who claim to be Christians? Would we, like Cassie,
still name the name of Jesus with a gun pointed at our
head? This is happening today in other parts of the
world where numerous Christians are being raped and
murdered. It could happen in Western countries, too, if
radical Islam continues to spread and take hold as it
is doing throughout other lands. Fanatical Muslims are
on the attack in various parts of the world in the name
of Allah! They hate Jews, Christians, and the West and
do not hesitate to kill us on our own soil.

Think of 9-11 for example! And with the president of
Iran very likely to acquire nuclear weapon capability
with the determination to wipe Israel off the map, the
world could be heading for a holocaust far greater than
that of Hitler's Germany. Or could it be Armageddon
we're speeding towards?

Here in the U.S. an anti-God and anti-Christian
sentiment has permeated at least the public arena, and
when we exclude God from our sphere of influence, we
create a spiritual and moral vacuum; and what rushes in
to fill it? Godlessness and evil--with an acceleration
of violence and moral decline. It is no surprise that
more and more we are accepting and approving of the
homosexual lifestyle and gay marriage, and continuing
to allow abortion for almost any reason, not to mention
the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion which
is murder. Period. Can you imagine how God must feel
about what our society is allowing and doing? Have we
forgotten that "blessed is the nation whose God is the
LORD?"3

We Christians at least need to hear God's "wake-up
call" and unite to create a spiritual force throughout
our society, because without a spiritual awakening
society is not likely to hear God's wake-up call. 

Spiritual awakenings don't come from governments,
political leaders, universities, or scientists. They
start at a grass roots level when God's people get
honest with themselves, each other and with God, and
when they get serious about their spiritual commitment.
One of the great hindrances to a spiritual awakening at
least in the West is that we haven't suffered enough.
Yet. We can pretty much get along quite well without
God--or so we think. 

As God said to the ancient Israelites when they turned
from Him, "When I shut up the heavens so that there is
no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send
a plague among my people, if my people, who are called
by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my
face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear
from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal
their land."4

Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, in light of the
ever-increasing moral decline and the accelerating
terrorism around the world, please help us Christians,
leaders, and the nation as a whole to hear your wake-up
call and turn our hearts back to the God whom so many
of us have forgotten in our everyday living and
actions. Please send a revival and start your work in
me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV). 
2. Wikipedia, http://tinyurl.com/school-tragedy.
3. Psalm 33:12. 
4. 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (NIV).

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  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Sep 2013, 9:26 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Codependent on God  

"Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation."1

A reader writes, "I've been receiving Daily Encounter
devotions for a number of years and very much
appreciate their practical application of the gospel
and Christian message. I was discussing with a friend
the reverse question from a recent Daily Encounter--not
whether God is codependent but whether we are
codependent on God. Can you please address this issue?"

Someone facetiously said that as long as there are
tests/exams for school children, there will always be
prayer in the schools. I can attest to that fact--at
least when I was in college. Many a time when I felt I
was inadequately prepared for a test, I prayed like
crazy for God's help. In fact, a roommate was so
worried about my flunking one important exam, he had
several students pray for me. When I passed and got a
better grade than he did, he was not happy with me. So,
did my friends' prayers have any effect? Only if they
helped calm my mind so I could better remember the
answers I already knew because of the study I had done.
Had I not studied at all, then God wouldn't have helped
me.

I think some of us act towards God as if he were
codependent. But God isn't codependent. Never was.
Never will be. If he allowed us to be codependent on
him, he would be keeping us immature and irresponsible.
If I hadn't done any study for the exam just mentioned,
I would have deserved to have failed and God would have
let me!

Sometimes we approach God as if he were a "giant father
Christmas in the sky" expecting him to grant our every
whim and wish. Or as John Powell put it: "Some people
treat God as if he were a Giant Bayer Aspirin
(pain-killer pill)--take God three times a day and you
won't feel any pain!" God doesn't work that way. He
doesn't jump through our hoops. His goal for each of us
is that we grow up, mature and act responsibly in every
area of life. God will do for us what we cannot do for
ourselves (that's why he sent Jesus to die for our
sins), but he will not do for us what we can and are
quite capable of doing for ourselves. 

As today's scripture says, "Long to grow up into the
fullness of your salvation." And a vital part of
growing up is acting responsibly and not expecting God
or anybody else to do for us what we can and need to do
for ourselves.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see and
understand what I need to be and do to grow up into the
fullness of your salvation, and act responsibly in
every area of my life. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."


1. 1 Peter 2:2 (TLB)(NLT).

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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Sep 2013, 9:47 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Creative Solutions  

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my
path."1

Ideas can come from the strangest places. Creative
genius comes to people who are open to new ideas and
seeing different ways of doing things.

For example, in 1964 the freighter Al Kuwait, which was
carrying 6,000 live sheep capsized and sank in Kuwait's
harbor. The sunken ship with its decomposing cargo was
presenting a serious threat to the country's water
supply through its desalination processing plant.

To overcome the problem the ship had to be raised and
moved to a safe place without falling apart and dumping
its poisonous contents into the nation's water supply.

Karl Kroyer, a Danish engineer working in Kuwait came
up with a novel idea. He pumped 27 million ping-pong
balls into the freighter's hull which slowly raised it
to the surface.

And where did he get this idea? From a Donald Duck
comic book. Somebody sank Donald's boat and he and his
feathered friends raised it by filling it with
ping-pong balls!

When it comes to creative and meaningful living the
most valuable resources are found in the Word of God,
the Bible (not always in a comic book), It pays to know
what it teaches and hide its truths in one's heart.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a greater
love for your Word, the Bible, and help me to live by
its principles so it will truly be 'a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.' Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 119:105 (NIV).

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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Sep 2013, 11:06 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Failure Is Never Final  

"For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises
again."1

Failure is never final for the person who gets up one
more time than s/he stumbles, falls, or gets knocked
down. The crucial thing, whenever we fail or fall, is
that, with God's help and the support of loving
friends, we get up, go on, and learn from the
experience.

In younger days I recall how I made a big error on a
construction site I was working on. Fortunately I had a
very understanding boss. I felt really bad but have
never forgotten his encouraging words. He said, "Dick,
the person who never made a mistake never made
anything!" Good advice for all of us who have failed
and made mistakes.

I trust the following poem is as encouraging for you as
it has been for me:

   I would rather stumble a thousand times
   Attempting to reach a goal,
   Than to sit in a crowd
   In my weather-proof shroud,
   A shriveled and self-satisfied soul
   I would rather be doing and daring
   All of my error-filled days,
   Than watching, and waiting, and dying,
   Smug in my perfect ways.
   I would rather wonder and blunder,
   Stumbling blindly ahead,
   Than for safety's sake
   Lest I make a mistake,
   Be sure, be safe, be dead.2
                        -- Author Unknown

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to always
get up when I fail, fall, or get knocked down. Help me
not to beat myself up or blame others for my failures,
but accept your forgiveness, forgive myself, learn from
my mistakes, and go on to bigger and better things.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name."

1. Proverbs 24:16 (NIV).
2. See Words of Inspiration at:
http://www.actsweb.org/wordsofinspiration/attempt_goal.php.


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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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  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
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Post  Admin on Fri 06 Sep 2013, 11:09 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Beauty and Meaning of Life  

"When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I
had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a
chasing after the wind."1

In speaking about the meaning and purpose of life, one
insightful writer said, "It is not about writing great
books, amassing great wealth, achieving great power. It
is about loving and being loved. It is about savoring
the beauty of moments that don't last, the sunsets, the
leaves turning color, the rare moments of true human
communication."

King Solomon, one of the wisest and richest men of
antiquity said about his life: "I undertook great
projects: I built houses for myself and planted
vineyards. I made gardens and parks … reservoirs to
water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and
female slaves …. I also owned more herds and flocks
than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver
and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and
provinces….In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I
denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my
heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my
work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet
when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I
had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a
chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the
sun."2

When we realize that the essence of life is not in
power, performance, or possessions but in loving
relationships--both with our fellow man and with
God--and in appreciating the beauty of his creation,
and fulfilling his purpose for our lives, we will have
discovered what Solomon took a lifetime to learn.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, give me the wisdom to
understand that the beauty and true meaning of life is
not found in power, performance, or possessions, but in
loving relationships the human heart yearns for, and in
loving and serving you. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."


1. Ecclesiastes 2:11 (NIV).
2. Ecclesiastes 2:4-8, 10-11 (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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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Sep 2013, 9:10 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

What Is the Gospel? Part 3  

"Behold, I [Jesus] stand at the door [of your heart and
life] and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the
door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he
with Me."11

Yesterday and Monday we explained what God's Good
News--that is, the gospel, is all about. It is a
message about God, a message about sin, a message about
Jesus Christ, and a summons to faith and commitment.

Sad to say, some churches give a good presentation of
God's gospel message but never give listeners the
opportunity to make a commitment to accept Jesus as
their Savior. I believe there are many church members
who understand the gospel and are ready to accept
Jesus, but have never been invited to do so. I say this
because it is my understanding that so many of the
people who made their commitment to Jesus at a Billy
Graham crusade were church members. 

It isn't enough just to believe in our head that Jesus
is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for our
sins. The devil knows and believes that. True, we need
to believe this, but we also need to accept God's offer
of forgiveness and gift of eternal salvation to come
into our heart and life as Savior and Lord. It also
involves making a commitment of our will to follow
Jesus. 

Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door [of his/her
heart and life], I will come in and eat with him, and
he with me."11

Again, if you have not yet opened the door of your
heart and invited Jesus to come in and asked for God's
forgiveness, and made a commitment of your life to
Jesus, I would like to give you that opportunity again
today. The following prayer will help you to do this: 

"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 to pay the
penalty for my sin for which I am truly thankful.
Please forgive me for all my sins, and I invite you,
Jesus, to come into my heart and life as Lord and
Savior. I commit and trust my life and will 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 name, Amen."

If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, please
let us know by filling in the form at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php. (Be assured that
we have a strict privacy policy and will never give any
of your information to anyone.)

If you need further help read "How to Be Sure You're a
Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

11. Revelation 3:20 (NIV).

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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Sep 2013, 1:20 pm

What Is the Gospel? Part 1  
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the
power of God that brings salvation to everyone who
believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."1

In the first century AD, in a time of severe
persecution of the early church and Christians, the
Apostle Paul, being anything but politically correct,
stated unequivocally that he was not ashamed of the
gospel. 

But what is the gospel that Paul was not ashamed of,
and was so convinced of its reality that he was
prepared to face persecution and death? As Webster's
Dictionary explains, the meaning of "gospel" is
"godspell, God story, or good news." It is the good
news about God's story of his salvation plan for
mankind. Specifically, as another has said: "The gospel
is a message about God, a message about sin, a message
about Jesus Christ, and a summons to faith and
repentance."

First, the gospel is a message about God. The gospel is
not a message about religion. It's about having a right
relationship with God. Religion tends to want to fix us
from the outside in. God wants to fix us from the
inside out. The first can become an impossible,
legalistic burden. The latter is what brings freedom.
Neither is the gospel a set of rules and regulations.
It is experiencing God's divine love, divine acceptance
and divine forgiveness--and learning to communicate
these to every life we touch.

It helps to realize that God isn't out to zap us for
the wrongs we've done. In fact, no matter what we have
ever done or have failed to do, God loves us with an
everlasting love and has a wonderful purpose for our
lives--for this life as well as the next! As Jesus
said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one
and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not
perish but have eternal life."2 And again, "My purpose
is to give life in all its fullness."3

Second, the gospel is a message about sin. Many people
understandably ask, "If there is a God and if he is a
God of love, why does he allow so much suffering,
sickness, and sadness in today's world? Without
sounding too simplistic, this is because we have all
sinned and separated ourselves from an infinitely holy
God.4 It's not that God left us, but rather, we left
God and separated ourselves from him--and, in so doing,
we separated ourselves from his protection. Furthermore
sin has its own natural consequences that, as a human
race, we have brought upon ourselves.

Another misconception about God is that he is out to
punish us for our sins when, in fact, we bring sin's
punishment on ourselves because sin has its own natural
consequences. If we try to break the universal law of
gravity, for instance, we can't. It will break us.
Neither can we break God's universal moral law. When we
do, it breaks us, and besides its painful effects in
this life--suffering, sorrow, sickness, and physical
death--its ultimate and tragic consequence is spiritual
death, which is not the cessation of life; that is, the
life of our soul, but rather eternal separation from
God, the author of all love and life, in the place
where God's Word, the Bible, calls hell. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you
enough for loving me so much that you gave your Son,
Jesus Christ, to die in my place on the cruel Roman
cross, to pay the penalty and punishment for all my
sin, so that when I receive Jesus as my Savior, I will
be freely forgiven and receive your gift of eternal
life, knowing that when my life on earth is finished, I
will spend eternity with you in Heaven forever. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus' name, amen."

Note: If you have never received Jesus as your Savior
or received God's forgiveness, I encourage you to do
that today. To do so see "God's Invitation" at:
www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or for further help
read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.

1. Romans 1:16 (NIV). 2. John 3:16 (NIV). 3. John 10:10
(TLB)(NLT). 4. Romans 3:23.

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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter
What Is the Gospel? Part 2  
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."5

Yesterday we had noted that the Gospel is a message
about God and, second, it is a message about sin.

Third, the gospel is a message about Jesus Christ. God
is not only a God of absolute holiness, but also a God
of perfect justice. Because of this, all sin has to be
judged, the just sentence of which is spiritual and
eternal death, which is not the cessation of one's
existence but eternal separation from a holy God5--the
creator and author of all love and life--in the place
the Bible calls hell.

However, the gospel is also about how God is not only a
God of absolute holiness and perfect justice but also a
God of infinite love. Because of God's infinite love
for us, he gave his own Son, Jesus Christ, who came to
earth in the form of a man and willingly died in our
place on the cross of Calvary to pay the just penalty
for all our sins. Because Jesus was without sin, he was
the only one qualified to die in our place to pay the
penalty for our sins. Had there been any other way to
save mankind, Jesus wouldn't have had to die for us.

Fourth, and finally, the gospel is a summons to faith
and repentance. The really good news is that God's gift
of forgiveness and eternal life is available to all who
will accept it. Here's how to do this:

1. We need to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of
God and that he died in our place to pay the penalty
for all our sins. "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you
will be saved"6 states the Word of God.

2. We need to confess our sins to God and ask for his
forgiveness. God's Word also says, "If we confess our
sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."7

3. We need to repent. That is, we need to turn from
sinful and selfish ways to follow God and his ways.
Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and
believe the good news."8 That is, we need to turn from
sinful and selfish ways and make a commitment of our
will, with God's help, to follow God and his ways.

4. We need to receive Jesus as our Savior. God's Word
says, "To all who received him [Christ], to those who
believed in his name, he gave the right to become
children of God."9 God's Word also said, "That if you
confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe
in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you
will be saved. For it is with your heart that you
believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth
that you confess and are saved."10 

Admitting and confessing our sins, believing that Jesus
died to pay the just penalty for all our sins, inviting
him into our lives as Lord and Savior, accepting God's
forgiveness and turning from our sinful ways to live
God's way is what makes us a real Christian. This is
what godspell--God's good news is all about! 

To be continued ...

If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Savior
and would like to do this today, the following prayer
will help you to do this: 

"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and have fallen
far short of your standard of holiness, and thank you
for loving me so much that you gave your Son, Jesus
Christ, to die in my place to pay the penalty and
punishment for all my sin. I accept Jesus as my Lord
and Savior. Please forgive me for all my sins, and
grant to me your gift of eternal life. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus'
name, amen."

If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, be sure
to let us know and we will send you, without any
charge, additional online articles to help you in your
Christian life. You can do this online at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php

Note: If you need further help, be sure to read the
article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.  

5. Romans 6:23 (NKJV). 6. Acts 16:31 (NIV). 7. 1 John
1:9 (NIV). 8. Mark 1:15 (NIV). 9. John 1:12 (NIV). 10.
Romans 10:9-10 (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

   When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
  Today's Daily Encounter
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