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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Dec 2013, 11:19 pm

December 11
Today's Reading: Hosea 5; Revelation 2
Today's Thoughts: The Weather Man
Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. - Hosea 6:3
Wherever you live, rain is a big deal. If we have little rain or a lot of rain within the year, the weather makes a huge impact on us. The weather conditions command our daily attention as we graph and chart the amount of rain. We have entire television stations dedicated to the weather around the world. When a natural weather disaster hits, all other news stops to report the extent of the damage. We pay a lot of attention to the weather as we depend on this information to plan our day.
There is nothing wrong with following the weather patterns, but Hosea is stating that as surely as we acknowledge the sun and rain coming, we need to acknowledge the coming of the Lord. Jesus rebuked the people for acknowledging the signs of the weather but not acknowledging the signs of the Lord. In Luke 12:54-56, Jesus said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'It's going to rain,' and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot,' and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?”
Are we sensitive to His ways? Are we in tune with His will? Do we study His Word daily for direction and guidance in our day as much as we tune into the weather? Could Jesus rebuke us today for the same things? Even though the rain seems to be later than expected some years, we do get rain. We might think that Jesus is late in His coming too. But surely He will come. If we are not acknowledging Him, He may not acknowledge us. And even if Jesus doesn’t come here during our life time, it is inevitable that we will go to Him some day.
Who do you worship? Who do you serve? Just by examining your need to know the weather in comparison to your need to know the Lord should shed some light on what your priorities are. When we acknowledge the Lord in everything, we are able to interpret His signs because we become sensitive to His ways over our own. We give so much attention to the weather but Jesus truly is the ultimate Weathhttp://forums.delphiforums.com/jesusplace/messageser Man, whether we acknowledge Him or not.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Dec 2013, 10:57 pm

December 10
Today's Reading: Hosea 1; Revelation 1
Today's Thoughts: Watch Your Stubbornness
“For Israel is stubborn like a stubborn calf; Now the Lord will let them forage like a lamb in open country." - Hosea 4:16
Giving my dog a bath gives me a good glimpse at a stubborn animal. He instinctively knows when I am getting ready to bathe him. Once he is convinced that I am coming to get him, he tries to hide. At that point, talking to him will not get him to change his mind. He must be dragged by the collar to the hose outside (hot and cold water, of course). It is not like he isn't spoiled and usually gets what he wants, but a bath is what is best for him, and for those around him. When the bath is over, he is the happiest, most energetic dog I have ever seen. He seems to like the after effect much more than the process he has to go through to get there.
The Lord compared Israel to a stubborn calf. They would not listen to the Lord's commands and would not obey His Word. Regardless of how much God blessed them, they still returned to their wicked ways. Regardless of how much they saw God's hand taking care of them, rescuing them, and providing for them, they had a short memory of those things. They were constantly returning to their sinful practices of worshiping other gods and pursuing their fleshly desires. Stubborn and stiff-necked is how God referred to them as He looked upon their rebellious ways.
I wonder how often the Lord looks at us the same way. How often do we rebel against what God has for us because we do not want to go through the process (or the bath we need)? For me, even though I revel in the after effects of God's touch, I still resist that necessary cleansing of the sin in my life. If we are not careful, we will find ourselves too comfortable with being unclean. Once that begins to happen, we may also find ourselves slipping into practices that do not glorify God, just as the Israelites did. When you know the Lord is coming to get you for that special time of bathing, just let Him have His way with you. The process will go much faster and you will feel so much better when you surrender to Him. I keep giving my dog the same advice even though he is not catching on. But we should.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 7:48 pm

December 8
Today’s Reading: Daniel 8; 3 John 1
Today’s Thoughts: Being Double Minded Part 2
"he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." - James 1:8 (Part 2)
After we ask for His wisdom, we may still be apprehensive to step forward in faith. We might need to look for further confirmation on the matter. Now, we need to make sure that we are sensitive to His confirmation, assuring His Will over our own will. We are instructed in Matthew 18:16 that at the testimony of two or more witnesses, every Word may be established. He will confirm His Will to you. God can use various means to confirm His message to our hearts; always start in His Word then continue to ask Him to bring things to your mind. When you have received the same message several times and you know in your spirit that the Lord is impressing His Word upon your heart, then rest in His counsel and have confidence in knowing that He is speaking to you, to guide you in His ways.
But we still have the choice to choose His ways or not. James 1:5-8 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
If we know how God is leading and we still chose to wrestle, struggle, doubt, worry and fret—we become double-minded. It would have been better to just make your own decision and live with the consequences. Instead, ask for wisdom, believe He gives it without reproach and receive His answers in faith.
Let's say something goes terribly wrong after going through this process. I have seen this happen also. We need to remember that God rewards those who diligently seek Him and God rewards faith. If you went through this process of seeking His will over your own, and you stepped out in faith, then rest with the results. Those results are now God's burden and we all know that His burden is easy. Always remember: God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Oh Lord, thank You for allowing me to find You when I search for You with all my heart. Please give me wisdom, knowledge and discernment as I desire to do Your will over my own. And I will trust You with the results.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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December 9
Today's Reading: Daniel 11; Jude 1
Today's Thoughts: In Time
 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. - Revelation 1:3
The key word in today's verse is the word "time." When the Lord says, "the time is near," He is referring to time from His perspective, not from the perspective of time that we have. Our minds cannot comprehend God's concept of time, which puts us in a place of trusting Him for His perfect timing in all things.
Time seems so finite to us on earth, but in the kingdom of God, time is very different from what we know today. Even setting the clocks back one hour throws our schedules and internal systems off. It takes many of us all week to get adjusted to the time change. How can we begin to even imagine time being eternal? But it will be eternal for our spirits, and the choice of where we will spend it is up to us. For those in Christ, eternity in Heaven awaits us and the concept of time will no longer matter. For those who die without knowing Christ as their Savior, eternity consists of a Hell too terrible to comprehend.
Today, we should value time from the perspective that it is too short and is running out fast. Let's get out and spread the Good News before time runs out. The book of Revelation is written so that we will know of what is to come and to believe that the "time is near." We must never become complacent or apathetic regarding the Lord's prophecies and promises. His words will come to pass…in time.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 8:55 pm

December 7
Today’s Reading: Daniel 5; 2 John 1
Today’s Thoughts: What is Double Minded? Part 1
"he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." James 1:8
James tells us not to be double-minded because we will be unstable in all our ways. No one wants to be unstable, so how can we prevent ourselves from being double-minded?
First, we have to define what it means to be double-minded. Thinking through decisions and weighing out the cost/benefit ratio is not being double-minded. That, instead, is called "counting the cost." In every decision we make, we need to count the cost; it is important to gather information and know the options first. This process can take some time, and for some of us, it takes too long when our thoughts become consumed by our choices. It is important to include the Lord during the "count the cost" process because if we have missed something, the Lord will bring to mind what we need to remember. But there is only so much information we can gather and there is only so much time that can be allotted for each decision. Continuing to extend the process; leads to second guessing (or being double-minded). Set a time limit to gather information and then make a decision. No looking back and no regrets. It is better to make a wrong decision than to make no decision. God can work together anything for good and we learn from every decision, the right and the wrong ones.
Another way to prevent double-mindedness is by asking the Lord for wisdom. Your goal should be to make a choice that will bless the Lord as well as be best for you. At the outset, do not jump to conclusions of what you think is best in pleasing Him. When I have done this in the past, I usually ended up being wrong. For some odd reason, I tend to believe that whatever is best for God is not what is best for me. WRONG! Or I want to believe that what is best for me has to be best for God—wrong again. Be open, be willing, and be in the Word. When we ask for wisdom, we are really asking for God to make His choices known to us. We have to be willing to listen. The only way I have learned to be willing to listen is by understanding that God's ways are best for me, regardless of what those "ways" may look like. He is a God of love and purpose, and His purposes are filled with love. We can trust Him. Pray and believe in faith that God hears you. James tells us to not doubt that it is God answering. Pray for faith to do what He has led you to do, despite your doubts.
(Part 2 in tomorrow's reading)
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 12:22 am

December 6
Today's Reading: Daniel 3; 1 John 5 

Today's Thoughts: Be Aware
Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. - Genesis 34:1-2
The Lord had a plan for His people as He was beginning to develop His own nation. But long before the children of Israel would fully understand what that meant, God began to teach them the importance of being set apart from the Gentile (or pagan) nations. When Dinah "went out to see the daughters of the land," she may not have realized the potential danger in mingling with the foreigners. This danger became real when Hamor "violated her."
As Christians, we must be aware of the danger of mingling in the world's activities. There must be a distinction between us and the world. There are times to witness and to shine the Light of Jesus Christ into the world, but we need wisdom to know when to be careful of dangerous places. Jesus prayed for us to be in the world but not of the world. God has a purpose for us in how we live and also in the activities of which we participate. We must train ourselves to be aware of the enemy's schemes to lure us into trouble, which often happens because we are in a place where we should not be.
Dinah found herself in trouble by visiting the women of the land. This trouble led to even greater problems for the family. Let us receive this message and apply it to our own lives as we pray to be aware of these types of dangers. What can seem harm-lesscould actually be harm-ful. Get into the habit of bringing every decision to the Lord first and then asking for the wisdom and guidance in what to do next.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 10:00 pm

December 5
Today's Reading: Daniel 1; 1 John 4
Today's Thoughts: God’s Favor
Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. - Daniel 1:9 
I love the Old Testament stories that illustrate how God brought someone into favor in an unfavorable situation. Daniel was given favor in the king's palace, even though he was a captive and taken prisoner. Joseph was given favor with the guards as a prisoner in Egypt. And even David, before he was king, was given favor when he sought refuge in enemy territory with the Philistines. Why such favor with these people in these situations? Was it because of what they had done to earn it? No. It was because of who God is.
Even today, we see God's favor upon us. As I opened my hometown's newspaper last week, I saw a picture of my nephew being awarded "Student of the Month." Knowing that he is not a stellar student but wondering if he had suddenly had a major change, I called my sister to congratulate him. When I asked her why he received the award, she said, "Well, for some reason the teacher just picked him once before, and she picked him again for this month." My sister had no real answer as to why he got the award the first time, much less the second. I knew that my nephew had found favor with his teacher. Because of what he had done? I doubt it. But because of who God is.
There are many times that I ask God to give me favor in certain situations or with certain people. Sometimes we hold back from asking for such things because we feel unworthy or undeserving. But the Lord wants us to ask because He loves to answer. I have been given favor in situations where I deserved nothing but wrath. When we truly embrace God's grace, then we can begin to understand a snippet of how much He loves us.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 12:47 am

December 4
Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 47; 1 John 3
Today’s Thoughts: In Your Sight
Then Moses said to the Lord, "See, You say to me, 'Bring up this people.' But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.' Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people." Exodus 33:12-13
My family and I went skiing for a few days. The first day, we were in a blizzard and I quickly discovered that my goggles were broken. At times, I thought I would have skied better if my eyes were closed because my goggles made the weather conditions even worse. The second day, the sun was out shining and the conditions were beautiful. I didn’t need goggles, sunglasses would work just fine. Well, I pulled out my sunglasses on the first chairlift. To my surprise, one of the lenses fell into my hand. When instances like this happen two times in a row, I know that the Lord wants my attention. While staring at the lens, I immediately said to the Lord, “What are you trying to teach me about my eyesight?”
What came to my mind at the end of that prayer was the Scripture that I had been meditating on from Exodus 33: “found grace in Your sight.” Three times Moses said to the Lord that he knew he found grace in God’s sight. I was meditating on why Moses added in “Your sight.”  I know that I have also found grace but what does the “in Your sight” mean to me?  God used my goggles and broken sunglasses to explain. We are very dependent on what we can see or what we perceive. We make judgment calls and assessments through our eyes. When something impairs our ability to see, we compensate by using our other senses, and in those times I do a lot more praying for wisdom. I realized how much I judge by what I see. I depend on my sight (or perception) more at times than on how God see things.  But it cannot be about how I see things, but what the Lord sees in me. Like Moses, I know that I have found grace in His sight but am I living to be pleasing in His sight every day, with every decision? Do I value the things the Lord sees more than the things I see?
The Lord wants us to live with spiritual eyes. He wants us to fix our eyes on Jesus so that our decisions and choices may be pleasing in His sight. We have already found grace because we know Jesus, but we also need to live a life that is pleasing in His sight daily.  I just wish I could have learned this lesson safely at home instead of on top of a mountain. But of course, it was up on a mountain that Moses learned the most too. 
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Dec 2013, 11:44 pm

December 3
Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 45:1-28; 1 John 2
Today’s Thoughts: Our Perspective Matters
The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. Isaiah 57:1-2
A friend of ours went home to be with the Lord recently. God had blessed her with a heart of wisdom as she served Him in ministry as well as in the company of those in the world. We, as a church, prayed fervently for her healing and for extended life but the Lord took her home a few months after her diagnosis.
It is difficult to understand why the Lord would want to take someone home to be with Him when she was serving Him so faithfully and fully here. Thinking in the earthly perspective, she was too young to die, still had too much left she could do and was too much of a godly model. When I think about her from this perspective, I am stumbled by God’s will and confused by God’s ways. And I just want her back. However, when I pull myself back enough to see it from an eternal perspective, I am sincerely envious that I am not in the presence of the Lord with her right now too. Our hearts should groan for heaven even though our flesh refuses to accept death. The dichotomy of life and death is a continual reminder that earth is not our home. We are just passing through. The goal of each Christian should be that our walk with Him doesn’t change from here to there. The place changes but not the relationship.
Our perspective matters. If we chose to continually see things from man’s perspective, we will be discouraged and disappointed with the Lord. If we choose to get into the Word and see life from His perspective, we find joy peace and excitement by drawing closer to Him. I am saddened by my loss of a sister in Christ but I am also thankful that we will remain friends for eternity.
Oh Lord, bring us home as dedicated and committed to You as our friend was.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Dec 2013, 12:03 am

December 2
Today's Reading: Ezekiel 42; 1 John 1
Today's Thoughts: There is Only One Way
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
A few years ago, the Lord put a burden on my heart for someone who worked for my husband.   She was a loyal employee, a hard worker and a mature manager. Her ethics and values made her trustworthy and honest. Why would I have a burden for such a good, well-balanced person? She began attending a church and her life began to change. Her church was a Self-Realization Fellowship temple. She learned from them that her good works and good life would gain her much favor when she was reincarnated. If she continued to improve in her good works each time that she returned to earth (in whatever form that might be), then eventually she would reach the pinnacle of her life's goal: she would become god. Believe it or not, this is the teaching of the New Age movement. She bought in to their lies and deceptions.
The Lord gave me the verse listed above and told me to tell her that He is the only Light. I remember the morning that I asked her to come over and have a cup of coffee with me. I told her that the Lord loved her and that He wanted her to know Him. I read 1 John 1:5 to her and said that in God, there is no darkness. She began to cry and she shared with me her fears of darkness. She was struggling and hurting. I talked with her about Jesus and that there is only one true God. Jesus is the only Way. There is no alternative path to everlasting life. The hard part in witnessing to someone in this position is that they will often agree with you. She agreed with me in everything I said about God and that she most certainly believes in God. But, she was not so sure about Jesus being God. She believed in Jesus but she had made Him out to be just a really good man, a prophet and a teacher. She could not accept His sacrifice for her sin, because she convinced herself that, in the end, her good works were all that really mattered. She would earn her way.
She would later leave our company and move on. The differences in our beliefs really stressed our relationship at times. Without realizing it, she changed in ways that made her hard-hearted and opinionated. In denying Jesus, she was continuing to bring increasing darkness into her life. The “good life” is deceptive and blinding. It simply is not possible for us to be "good" people. I still pray for her when the Lord brings her to my mind and I hope that one day she will come to the true Light. For me personally, I learned a lot from going through the experience of witnessing to her. Despite my burden for her soul, I know that only the Lord can save her. If you know someone in this type of cult or other false religion, do not give up praying for them. There is always hope—until their very last breath.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sun 01 Dec 2013, 6:59 pm

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 35; 2 Peter 1
Today’s Thoughts: Life After Death
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. - 2 Peter 1:5-8
My friend’s husband passed away a few months ago. My friend has now found herself with a new identity of becoming a widow. The Lord asks us to take care of widows and orphans frequently in the Bible so I do feel an added obligation to listen intently and meet their needs.
My friend was talking out loud. There were times of definite grief in her words and then she would try to gain some strength to make plans. I was driving so it was easy to remain quiet as she cycled through these out loud thoughts until she said something that immediately broke my silence.
Her words, “Well, I am 53 and getting older. It’s ok to be a widow. I do not have much longer to live either. I will just be around for my kids until it’s my time to join him.”
I turned my head towards her and said, “You could have another 35 strong years! Age is not a factor in treating cancer or having heart surgery.  My husband did heart surgery on a patient who was 98 years old and the patient did fine. Age is not a factor in determining what you can and cannot do!”
God called Moses into full-time, hard-core ministry at 80 and then He called Joshua at the same age. Who are we to say that we have reached an age to maintain status quo?  Until the Lord returns or we literally go to Him, there is work on this earth to do, discover and explore.
I told my friend, “You need to get into an exercise class, take up a hobby, volunteer at something that fills your heart, become involved with a mission that focuses your prayers. Move, shift gears, be willing to change.”
If we want to admit it or not, there are certain circumstances in life that causes change. We need to embrace the change in honor of the Lord. Keep the faith and push forward.
I think that is why Jesus told us that the death of a spouse frees the remaining spouse. It is much easier to take on the loved-one’s death than to live without the loved-one.
As a former ICU nurse, I have had to deal with life and death issues a lot. Despite our belief system, all of us struggle with sickness, disease, stress disorders, aging bodies and eventually death.  We pray for healing to the day we die because it brings rays of hope. Let’s make every day count instead of counting down every day. Let’s live our lives to the fullest, giving God the glory for the fullest of His faithfulness in giving us one more day. The term “life after death” is true in many aspects.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Today's Reading: Ezekiel 37; 1 Peter 2
Today's Thoughts: The Holy Spirit in You
I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD. - Ezekiel 37:14
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God and He is a gift from God the Father that allows us to have a relationship with the Lord. The Spirit of God intercedes for us in prayer as He uses words that enter into the throne room of God when we can only moan and groan. He is our Counselor, our Teacher, our Comfort and our Guide. But the most important eternal promise we receive when the Spirit of God is placed in us is the seal of our salvation as we come alive spiritually for eternity. Amazing!
Do you realize the power you have living inside you? That power raised Lazarus from the dead, healed all kinds of diseases and delivered souls from bondage. That same power is found in you through Jesus. Jesus shows us this power through His indwelling peace. When we receive the Spirit of God, we have peace with God, not peace as the world gives, but the peace of God that surpasses understanding. It is peace that "settles" you. No matter where you are or what you are struggling with, God has settled your soul to have peace with Him.
The peace of God is a promise for you today. Claim it, speak it and live in it. Throw off the distractions of illness, financial loss, negative comments, guilt, and self-condemnation. And let the peace of Christ dwell in you richly. Nothing can interfere with the love Christ has for you and the peace that is yours by knowing Him. All these things on earth will pass away, but your security for eternity is fixed. Fix your eyes on Jesus by reading His Word. Get a verse today that you can claim as a promise and live beyond the struggles. Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Fri 29 Nov 2013, 7:00 pm

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 30; 1 Peter 4 
Today's Thoughts: Hypocrisy
 
Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.  And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. - Galatians 2:11-13
 
The Apostle Paul was a bold man in his faith. He seemed to have no problem confronting Peter about his hypocrisy. At the time this letter was written, the Gentiles were new converts into the salvation of Jesus Christ. The Jews had always been God's chosen people, circumcised and set apart, and were never to associate (especially to eat) with the heathen Gentiles. The Jewish prominence and exclusivity was abolished when Jesus died on the cross for all sins, for all people. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles and he would not tolerate the contradictory behavior of his fellow Jews, especially from their leader, Peter. The leader has tremendous influence on the others, as seen in Barnabas' behavior in following Peter as well.
 
This holiday season will bring many families together for meals and fellowship. How will you behave in front of your un-believing family member? Will you stand firm as Paul and make your faith in Jesus Christ your standard of behavior? Or, will you go with the flow of the others and return to past traditions like Peter? A change is especially hard in families where traditions do not glorify God. If you are new to Christ, you may have a hard time with the old traditions, but will have a harder time going against them. Fear of ridicule and rejection are common to many of us who have had to go through these changes. It is much easier to just go with the family consensus and keep the peace. But is that what God wants you to do?
 
Regardless of where you find yourself in these situations, please remember to pray about them. Holiday gatherings tend to be times of deep-rooted family rituals—too much food, too much drink, too much indulgence of many kinds. As a child of God, pray for wisdom and discernment in these situations. God may not be telling you to be a Paul and confront all your family members. Paul confronted his brother in Christ, Peter. You, however, can set an example by simply not partaking in the behaviors that you know would not glorify Jesus. You never know who else will follow your lead. Do not criticize or judge. Hypocrites are those who judge others while committing the same acts. Let your actions be without hypocrisy. Pray in advance.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Today's Reading: Ezekiel 33; 1 Peter 5
Today's Thoughts: Perfect in Suffering
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. - 1 Peter 5:10
The word "suffer" is not a word that brings comfort or peace. When we hear someone is suffering, we feel concern, sympathy and even sadness for that person. The definition for suffering means "to experiencea sensation or impression (usually painful)." The other fact that we as Christians must deal with is that God allows suffering. Nothing on this planet or in the universe happens without God's approval.
Why does this loving, gracious God allow tragedies that bring such suffering? Why does evil persist, even in homes and families who seek the Lord the most? These and many more questions are asked when we try to make sense of God's ways. Satan has taken full advantage of these events in our lives; at least he has tried to. Have you ever had thoughts like: "Why should I believe that doing things God's way brings me any assurance of protection or blessings?" Or, "If God loves me then why is He letting this happen to me?" The same logic applies when we turn those same thoughts to others. People hurt us, so let's not trust people anymore. Circumstances hurt us, so let's control everything we possibly can to prevent being hurt (Hurt, by the way, is just another description for suffering.).
The bottom-line answer is that we will never fully understand why God does what He does. We must live as He has told us to live—by faith. We must believe and trust that the Lord has a reason for everything that happens to us. When we dig into His Word and study His teachings, then we will have more peace in those times of confusion and pain. Today's verse is an example of how we can find peace and hope in times of suffering. We should pray this verse and meditate on it as we are going through those times of suffering. If we can look beyond our pain for the moment and pray to see the bigger picture that God has for us, then we can find hope and even peace in what we are going through. Even in the midst of great tragedies that tempt us to ask God "why," we can trust that He has a much greater plan than what we see in the short term. The question for us is whether or not we will trust Him or turn from Him.
Take time today to really meditate on the verse above. Take comfort and trust the Lord to "perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you" after you have suffered a while. Only God knows the timing of such things. Pray for the perseverance to endure.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Nov 2013, 12:35 am

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 24; 1 Peter 2
Today's Thoughts: Be on God’s Side
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites and prophesy against them.  Say to them 'Hear the word of the Sovereign LORD. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you said "Aha!" over my sanctuary when it was desecrated and over the land of Israel when it was laid waste and over the people of Judah when they went into exile, therefore I am going to give you to the people of the East as a possession.'" - Ezekiel 25:1-4
In the first half of the book of Ezekiel, God rebukes His people for their attitudes toward Him. The Lord uses words like stubborn, hard-hearted and rebellious to describe His people. The Lord speaks through Ezekiel and tells the people to understand that their choices come with consequences. If they make good and righteous choices that honor God, they will be blessed. If they make poor and wicked choices that honor themselves, they will be punished. As the story continues, the reader knows what choice the Israelites made because God starts talking about the judgment that is to come upon them.
In Chapters 25-27, God redirects His message and begins proclaiming judgment on the nations that punished the Israelites. God warned His people to turn from their sins and to turn back to Him. They did not heed the warnings and God allowed the other nations to invade Israel (just as He said would happen). But then God judged the nations that came against His people because they did not show respect towards the Lord or towards His people during their captivity. That is amazing.
If you are God's child, He desires that you walk with Him and love Him with your whole heart. If you do not, you will not lose your salvation but you will have to live with the consequences of making bad choices. Those consequences are usually inflicted upon us by other people. But those people will not get off easy in their unjust deeds and prideful attitudes towards you. They, too, will have to suffer the consequences for how they deal with you, God's child. God is always on your side. He wants you to walk with Him and He will go out of His way to warn you. God is amazing. I always want to be on His side for He always gets the last word.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 27; 1 Peter 3
Today’s Thoughts: In Whose Strength?
“…then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth’” - Deuteronomy 8:17
I was talking to someone the other day who has been up and down financially more than I could personally handle. He has been very successful in more than one business venture, only to lose it all, and then start over again. This last venture; however, has cost him greatly. Great amounts of money have gone into something that now sits in a warehouse, with little hope of distribution. What is he going to do? In his own words, “I am going back to church.” The key point here is the word back. At one time, he and his wife were involved in their church, gave to missions, and looked for ways to use their financial blessings to bless others. Then, as the business grew, they got busier, and had less time for the things of God. Before long, they even stopped attending church.
The Lord warned the Israelites to be very careful when they entered the new land of promise and prosperity. They would be tempted to think that their success and wealth were of their own doing. Or they would forget God when they felt satisfied with their prosperity. They would serve mammon rather than God. But the Lord wanted them to remember that He was the One who brought them up from the land of Egypt. He was the One who delivered them from slavery and bondage. He was the One who brought them to this land of blessings. We can be so arrogant as humans. Not only do we start to think that we have made our own way by our own strength, but also we turn away from the One who blessed us so wonderfully. That is what happened to the Israelites and that is what happened to my friend.
When times are hard, we cry out to God for help. We press into Him. He is our only hope. We tend to be less attentive to God when we are doing well and life is cruising along. Regardless of where you are today, remember one thing: You have a Lord and Savior who only wants you. We have a Lord who desires to be with us, have a relationship with us, and wants us to desire Him above anything else in the world. He is a jealous God and He will do whatever it takes to get our attention. Draw closer to Him today. Pray that you do not fall away. If you have, then come back to Him. Do not get caught up in the things of life and lose sight of your relationship with Jesus. Stay with Him so He does not have to come get you back.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Mon 25 Nov 2013, 11:52 pm

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 22; 1 Peter 1
Today’s Thoughts: Submitting to God
"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." - Acts 10:14-15
Do you feel comfortable saying "no" to God? We might not have the ability to admit it but we each say "no" to God in some way. Sometimes we say "no" by choosing to not witness. Sometimes we say "no" by refusing to volunteer. Sometimes we say "no" by ignoring the prompting of our heart. But most of the time we say "no" because we refuse to accept His will for our lives.
In Matthew 16:13, Jesusasked His disciples, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" The disciples answered His question by stating what others think about Him. "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter is the only one who answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus acknowledges to Peter that God, Himself, has revealed this to him. A few passages later, Jesus begins explaining that He will have to suffer. Peter again is the only one who speaks up as he disagrees with God's plan, taking the liberty to rebuke the Lord. Matthew 16:22-23 says, “Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’ Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’” Peter has gone from a place of esteem to a place of rebuke. In Acts 10, we find Peter disagreeing with God again as he says, "Surely not, Lord."
We are flesh and our natural born nature rebels against the Lord at times. God can handle whatever position we take and He wants to reason with us on our position. Talk to Him and be honest. The problem comes when we place our thoughts and desires over God's, to a point of rebuking the Lord. We may not have the boldness to tell Him we think He is wrong, but our actions show the thoughts and intents of our hearts as we choose not to submit or yield or even listen to what He is trying to say. God's ways do not make sense to us and His thoughts are not our thoughts.. Peter was a man who had an honest relationship with God. His rebukes may not seem respectful but he kept himself in a position to keep listening until his will lined up with God's will.
What is the Lord trying to tell you today? Are you going through a set of circumstances that you refuse to acknowledge is God's will for your life? Are you fighting or submitting? Are you willing to listen or are you running? Let us all pray that we are on God's side. When it comes down to it, He is going to win. Don't you want to be on His team?
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sat 23 Nov 2013, 11:38 pm

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 18; James 4
Today's Thoughts: Resist the Devil
Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. - James 4:7 
As believers, we face so many obstacles that can take us away from serving the Lord. We have thoughts that control us, wants that consume us and feelings that move us. Because none of us were born understanding God’s ways, our natural inclinations work against living out a Spirit-filled life. Coming to Christ means that we lay aside our natural inclinations and ask the Lord to fill us with His wisdom instead. That process is known as submitting. To submit means to be under obedience. So we take what we want to do, what we feel is right to do and what we think is best and tell the Lord that we want His Will instead. Waiting on God and trusting Him begins.
To resist the devil means that, after we have submitted to God, we go to the Word of God to counteract our thoughts, feelings and wants. The devil is fully aware of who we are and how we think. As a result, he uses our desires to entice us to keep from submitting. We start questioning the love of God and His motivation. We begin to fear and hold on to our thoughts, feelings and wants, instead of trusting and letting go. We have to realize that the devil is alive and well. His desire is to use your fleshly desires against you so that you sin against God.
Jesus resisted the devil by the Word of God. Now, if the Living Word, Jesus, needed to speak forth the written Word, the Bible, to resist the devil and have him flee, how much more do we need to submit to God in this pattern also? Trust Him; in faith speak forth and pray the Word of God. Believe Him, submit to Him and the devil will flee from you. It is a promise–God’s promise!
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Nov 2013, 11:56 pm

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 14; James 2
Today’s Thoughts: Who Do You Say That I Am?
And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" So they answered and said, "John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God." - Luke 9:18-20
"But who do you say that I am?" As many people began to discuss and debate who Jesus really was, Jesus asked His disciples this question. Did the people closest to Jesus even know or believe in Him? Peter's answer was correct. Jesus was, and is, the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus is the Messiah, the One who came to earth to redeem us from sin and save us from eternal darkness. But even though Peter confesses rather boldly in this statement who he believes Jesus to be, not too long after this, Peter would also deny Jesus three times (Luke 22:54-62). In Jesus' greatest time of need, His closest friends deserted Him. So it is not just in words that we need to know and confess who Jesus is, but also our actions testify of our belief in Him. Do your actions line up with your words?
Today, take time and pray for situations that you may encounter with others who have questions about your faith. Pray for strength and courage to speak up and stand up for Jesus. Pray that you can be His witness. Only the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of Jesus Christ to our hearts. Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to those you love and to use you as a testimony as to His saving grace and mercy. Pray that your words and actions will line up with His Spirit.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Nov 2013, 11:37 pm

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 11; James 1
Today's Thoughts: Count It All Joy
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. - James 1:2-3
In our Discipleship Program, we closely examine the biblical teaching on trials. How often do we find joy in the midst of our trials? Can we realistically count it all joy today? Does this statement by James even make sense? Let us examine these verses more closely and see if we can better understand what James is saying. One of the main reasons for us to read and study the Bible is not just to learn meaning and content, but also to learn how to apply its principles to our lives. So, what is God saying to us about trials, faith and patience from these verses?
Since this first statement comes right after the greetings in verse 1, we can assuredly note its importance. In these two verses, there are three main points: we will fall into different types of trials, our faith will be tested, and patience will be produced from the testing. James is not trying to be politically correct and he is not concerned about offending anyone. He is stating the facts. Today, we deal with all kinds of trials in our lives. The issue is not if we will have them, it is how we will get through them. When we feel as though the battle is too much and the struggles are too intense, how do we respond? Difficulties with marriage, kids, finances, health and daily issues of life can seem overwhelming at times. But James says to "count it all joy" when these problems come. We can only begin to understand the meaning of this statement if we look at the results in our own lives.
God's goal in allowing us to experience various trials is to make us grow stronger, to learn patience, and to develop a deeper faith in our walk with God. We can choose to "count it all joy" as we go through them because we have the assurance in God's word that the end result will benefit our faith. How many times have you looked back after a trial has passed and recognized the benefits it produced in your life? So often, we get the point after the fact. We tend to acknowledge the blessings after the trial is over. "Oh, now I see what God was doing." Trials and testing can produce patience. There is not much we can do about avoiding such things in life; however, we can decide how to get through them.
If you find yourself in trials today, ask the Lord to help you find joy through His Holy Spirit so that you will come through the testing with an increased patience, strength and faith.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Tue 19 Nov 2013, 11:59 pm

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 8; Hebrews 13
Today's Thoughts: I Will Not Fear
So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6
I have noticed recently that my dog has developed an unusual kind of fear. He hesitates at times as he walks over thresholds. He scopes out the door frame and the floor in front of him, especially when he is going outside. It all started when something jumped at him one day when he was going out the back door. To be honest, I think it was a small insect that startled him (yes, he is a big baby.). I watch him now as he cautiously looks at the ground, suspicious of danger lurking about. The other day, he stopped in front of a twig. I think he is becoming neurotic about this fear thing. I wonder if the Lord looks at us and how we fear things and thinks we are also a little neurotic at times.
My dog has no ability to understand and cannot be reasoned with, regardless of how much I try. After all, he is a dog; but what about us? God has not only created us in His image, but also He has given us His Holy Spirit who lives within us. But fear has a way of creeping into our lives and before we know it, we fear situations, circumstances or people that are no real threat to us at all. Sometimes we are startled or caught off guard in a situation, and moments of fear can be a normal response. The problem lies in allowing the fear to remain.  It can then take over, control the situation and even enter other areas of our life. Fear will keep us in a place of bondage, instead of freedom.
As I watch my dog tiptoe over a twig, I am reminded of how silly some of my fears look to God. What about your fears? Have you thought about the things or even the people who bring fear to your life? Maybe it is time to step back and really look at the cause of the fear. When and where did it begin? Has it gotten blown out of proportion? Are you hindered or even crippled by it? If so, please know that the Lord wants to set you free, beginning today. Ask the Lord to help you pray through it. Take a bold stand and say, ”Enough!” Life is too short and Jesus wants to give you freedom, liberty and victory. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”(2 Timothy 1:7) 
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Nov 2013, 11:05 pm

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 5; Hebrews 12
Today’s Thoughts: Miracles
Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites." - Judges 6:13
This past weekend we hosted a radio talk show. We were told to pick whatever topic the Lord put on our hearts and then spend the hour discussing it with our audience. The Lord impressed upon us the message of miracles. How does God work miracles in our lives today? Does He do the same kinds of miracles as He did in the Bible? We asked these types of questions and discussed the answers. We pray that we shed some light on God’s desire to perform miracles in our lives everyday. We need to recognize miracles and give glory to the Lord when things happen that we tend to call “just a God thing.”
I gave an illustration that seemed to strike a cord with people. I talked about missing a freeway exit. I kind of spaced out and perked up past my exit. I got off the exit, turned around, and then missed the street I was to take. After missing both exits, I said, “Ok, Lord, You must have a reason for this. I thank You for whatever reason that may be.” I did not know what was going on but I knew it was not a coincidence. Someone called in and gave a story of getting off on an exit that they had not planned to get off on. When they returned to the freeway, an automobile matching their description almost exactly had just been totaled in an accident. This person knew the hand of God had just saved them. Miracle or coincidence? We believe that God is working in our lives on a daily basis, some things we see clearly, others we may never know about.
We need to believe in miracles because we need to be encouraged and have hope that our God is with us, protecting us, and doing supernatural wonders in our lives. We do not need an explanation for all that happens. Just give glory to the Lord and watch what He does in your life. Gideon would soon learn of God’s miraculous power as the Lord would use him to win the battle against the Midianites. Sometimes, we need to just ask and believe. God will respond.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Nov 2013, 9:59 pm

Today's Reading: Ezekiel 3; Hebrews 11:20-40
Today's Thoughts: Our Real Hope
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. - Hebrews 11:24-26 
The world news is depressing. There seems to be so much suffering in the world. Why must we suffer? As children of God, why must we go through such painful trials and tribulations?
When we are going through painful times, there is no easy answer to those questions. But let's take a moment and just remind ourselves of what the Bible tells us. First of all, we are told throughout the pages of God's Word that we will suffer. Suffering is not an option. It is a fact of life. First Peter 4:12 tells us to not be surprised by the fiery trials. In other words, be ready for them. Do not be caught off guard when they happen. Moses chose to leave the palace and suffer the same types of afflictions that he had watched his people endure. Hebrews 4:15 comforts us by saying that we have a High Priest who understands our sufferings. No one suffered more than Jesus. No one understands our pain more than Him. We are never alone and never forsaken.
The next point for us to remember is this: Philippians 4:7 says, "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." The peace that Jesus promises is not always consistent with our definition of peace. The peace of God is a feeling of inner comfort and joy, which cannot be explained or humanized. How do we get such peace? We ask for it in faith. We pray. We seek Jesus. We continually lay our cares at His feet. We ask the Lord to give us an eternal perspective so that we can keep our focus on His purposes and not our own. Romans 8:17-25 is a great passage of Scripture that reflects this message of an eternal hope. The Apostle Paul speaks of our suffering with Christ, a suffering that all of creation must endure because of sin. "We ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:23)
For us today, our only hope is in Jesus. His living Word is our eternal food. His Holy Spirit is our living water. His very presence in our lives will change our hearts and minds with a wisdom and understanding that goes beyond our earthly desires. Jesus never promised that we would not suffer, but He did tell us to be of "good cheer." Even though we will have tribulation in the world, we have His peace and He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sat 16 Nov 2013, 9:47 pm

Today’s Reading: Lamentations 3; Hebrews 10:19-39
Today’s Thoughts: Staying Spiritual During the Holidays
“And you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at His birth.” - Luke 1:14
If the holidays are about our faith, family and food feasts, then why do we struggle the most with staying spiritual during these times? Shouldn’t these times bring us peace on earth and joy to the world? But the reality for many of us is that we become emotionally stressed out, financially maxed out and physically burned out trying to keep up and keep it all together. Day after day, we become burned out and stressed out and now, our faith becomes affected as we start questioning God, “Are You hearing me?” and “Why won’t You help me?” Like Eve in the garden, we question God’s goodness and His basic command. Eve exchanged the peace of God for a piece of fruit but we exchange His presence for presents.  The serpent tempted Eve to compromise and we know that Jesus called him a murderer from the beginning. He is still up to the same old tricks. We are allowing the enemy to have too much influence at times. He kills our dreams, steals our peace and destroys our hope for the future. Jesus came to earth to reverse the process of death and yet our undisciplined lifestyle of choosing not to obey can lead to negative consequences in our lives.
 To stay spiritually minded during the holidays, we need to keep our eyes focused on the Lord and include Him in our thoughts. Instead of talking to ourselves, we need to start talking to Him and then give Him the time to talk back. The enemy will use every scheme he can against us to distract us from maintaining a walk with the Lord. It has been said, “If the devil cannot make you bad, he will make you busy.” To combat the temptations to over commit in your time and finances, we must stay in the Word of God to renew our minds and to surrender to His will over our natural-born desires. Through the Holy Spirit, we can overcome and live a life pleasing to God that brings peace in the midst of chaos.
Joy to the world begins with each of us individually. Joy cannot come without the conscious awareness of the Lord’s promised presence wherever we go and whatever we do. By allowing our thoughts to think about God in the daily routines of life, we allow the Lord to have the ability to move through our actions. Only then can we truly maintain the Spirit of Christmas and sing the song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Today's Reading: Ezekiel 1; Hebrews 11:1-19
Today's Thoughts: Faith and Prayer
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. - Hebrews 11:6
God rewards faith. Christianity started with the faith of Abraham. Faith means that we do not see to believe. So, praying is an act of faith. When we pray, we are acknowledging that God exists and listens even though we do not see Him. God rewards our faith by answering our prayers.
I have noticed that when I first came to Christ, He answered my prayers pretty quickly. It was as if I was in "obedience school" and He wanted to reward my good behavior of including Him. As I grew in my faith, I next noticed that God answered some prayers quickly but other prayers, He did not answer at all. He was then training me to learn how to pray and ask for certain things differently. When I studied the Word to see God's heart on the matter or asked God to clarify my motives of why I was asking, He would answer those prayers as well as what I asked.
Now, after having walked with the Lord for many years, my prayer life has changed again. I have more of a conversational prayer life than an "ask and believe and receive" prayer life. Now, I talk with the Lord about my requests. I ask Him to reveal His heart to me about the matter and I wait to see if there is any change in my heart as I also search the Scriptures to hear His heart. The requests themselves have now become smaller in comparison to the relationship of talking and listening and learning from Him. There is no request or unanswered prayer that becomes more important than my ongoing relationship with Him. So my faith is rewarded in a completely different way than answered prayer; my faith is rewarded by enjoying His presence in the process.
God is good. Learn to seek Him in faith. It starts with prayer requests and continues until you are praying without ceasing. You will not be disappointed. How could we ever be more satisfied than with the very presence of God Himself?
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Nov 2013, 10:09 pm

Today's Reading: Lamentations 1; Hebrews 10:1-18
Today’s Thoughts: A Blessing For Others
And Laban said to him, "Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake." Then he said, "Name me your wages, and I will give it." So Jacob said to him, "You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me. For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amount; the Lord has blessed you since my coming. And now, when shall I also provide for my own house?" - Genesis 30:27-30
Jacob had two wives and eleven children and he wanted to return to his own land. The time had come for him to leave his father-in-law, Laban, but Laban was not ready to let Jacob go. Both men acknowledged the blessings upon Laban’s house as being from the Lord. Jacob lived with and worked for Laban for over 20 years and both men prospered greatly, but the blessings came to Laban because the Lord’s hand was upon Jacob.
The same should be true of the Christian today. Because we know the Lord Jesus, our lives should bring blessings to others. The blessings come in many ways, such as recognizable calmness in our presence and stability. Many times, others do not want to admit that their blessings are a result of the Christian’s convictions and prayers. The unbeliever’s pride causes them to take the glory for themselves. But as Christians, our lives do bless others. In time, God will get the glory as the fruit of our lives, as well as the testimony of our mouths, will clearly point to His intervention
Are others blessed because of you? Even if you are the only Christian in your family, God’s hand is on you and your home will be covered with your prayers. Continue to pray for your family and seek the Lord’s blessings over those who do not yet know Him. Press on to not grow weary in doing good. Wherever we go, we bring the Lord’s presence because His Holy Spirit lives within us. We need to acknowledge the Lord’s blessings not only in our own lives but also in the lives of those around us. Let your light shine to those around you and give God the glory for all things.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Nov 2013, 12:20 am

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8
Today’s Thoughts: No Condemnation
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment [or condemnation], but has passed from death into life.” - John 5:24
Although there is a huge difference between conviction and condemnation, they seem to be interchangeable in the Christian life at times. When Christians are convicted, often this leads them into feeling condemned. The thoughts and feelings associated with the word convicted suddenly become closely defined to the words "convict or a prisoner". When convicted, we act as if God wants us to wear prison clothes, eat prison food and wake up behind prison doors to remind us of how we have fallen short. God does not want that for us. Neither word: condemned nor convicted, applies to the believer negatively.
The Bible defines these words differently. Condemnation has to do with whoyou are, either in Christ or not. Conviction has to do with whatyou do, to bring you closer to Christ. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, if His blood does not cover your sins, you are condemned. You have not passed over from death to life and you remain in your sins. However, if you are a Christian, you will never be condemned because Jesus has given you eternal life. Thoughts of condemnation are not from the Lord, not ever. Condemnation is about your spiritual state for eternity, not your daily thoughts or actions.
For the Christian, there is a clear distinction between conviction and condemnation. Conviction leads us closer to Christ as we confess and repent to Him. Condemnation makes us feel as if we cannot come to God as we concentrate on our own shortcomings. Condemnation is a tactic of the enemy. Pray that you do not fall prey to his lies. Romans 8:1 tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
If you know Jesus, He is for you. He is always on your side and He wants you to succeed at everything you do. Stay on His team by thinking His thoughts about you. Work with Him to change. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ because He has come to give you life in abundance.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 51, Hebrews 9
Today’s Thoughts: A Good Sharpening
As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. - Proverbs 27:17
Today's verse is one that is quoted often when referring to healthy and productive friendships. Just as iron is used to sharpen iron, a man or woman is used to sharpen his or her friend. What is this verse really saying? How do we apply this wise proverb to our friendships?
To sharpen a knife (even the basic kitchen knife) we must use a metal tool designed to sharpen the blade. Wood will not do the job, nor will plastic or glass. Certain types of stones were used in ancient times but many of the knives were also composed of stones or metallic substances. It takes a substance of similar strength and durability to handle the friction required to sharpen the object. Sharpening in itself is a process of fine grinding, requiring just enough to remove the dull edges. How does this compare to sharpening a friend? The knife is without a will of its own. It is in complete submission to the person doing the sharpening. Friends, however, have wills and opinions, and are much less likely to submit.
To sharpen the countenance of a friend we must first love them. When our motives are founded on love, our words and actions will reflect the love in our hearts. The Bible tells us to speak the truth in love and that without love, nothing we do really matters anyway. It is when we truly love a friend that we are willing to take the steps necessary to sharpen them. Just as with a knife, the process requires friction, some grinding and the removal of bad edges. And, just as with a knife, a person of similar strength and durability is required to handle the job. Sharpening involves heat, intensity and duration. A loving friend knows when heat and friction are needed, despite how long or intense the process. A loving friend is honest, even to the point of pain. If we are willing to submit to that friend, then we will be sharpened. Friends willing to work through these things in the Lord will bear much fruit together.
Do you have a friend who sharpens you? Are you the kind of friend who sharpens others? God has given us friends for His purposes. We have the greatest Friend of all as Jesus calls us His friends. He will sharpen us if we submit to Him. Friendships based on prayer and love will result in growth and maturity. Pray for your friends today. Ask the Lord to lead you in how to sharpen them. Also, ask the Lord to help you receive their counsel. If we place everything in God's hands, He will work through us in mighty ways. And one of the greatest ways to see God work is through our friendships. 
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Nov 2013, 10:33 pm

Today's Reading: Jeremiah 48; Hebrews 7
Today's Thoughts: Stop Talking to Yourself
You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. - Psalm 139:3 
Does God want to be involved in every decision we make? Is it necessary to pray about every little detail? Many would say that God doesn’t care, He saved you and He gave you a mind to think things through for yourself. I would completely disagree. After spending years of praying over the details in life, I have come to appreciate all He does for me just by including Him and looking for His fingerprints in my life.
But how does this work? Well, for a great starter, stop talking to yourself and start talking to the Lord. If you are late, talk to God about it. If you are confused, include God in it. Talk to Him as a friend, a counselor and a companion. He says that He is all those traits so get to know Him in those ways. In every relationship, there needs to be two-way communication. Prayer obviously is your part in the communication process with the Lord. But the Bible is God’s way of speaking back to you. So let’s say it is on your heart to buy a new car. Start talking to Him about it. Ask Him to change your heart if it is not His will or to lead your heart in the car buying process. Next, go to the Bible and ask the Lord to give you verses to guide you in this decision. If some verse pops out to you, pray over it and ask God to make His message clearer through that verse. If He does give you the go ahead, do further research with that promise.  Keep talking to Him and keep going back to the Word, asking for specific direction. Whatever you include Him in, the Lord will work with you from dealerships to your finances. As you grow in the knowledge of God’s guidance, you will gain a peace in your decision of what to purchase. Regardless of the outcome, you will have assurance of God’s hand in the process. Walking through these decisions in our lives with God is the only way to assure peace. The more we include Him in every decision, the more we grow in our knowledge of Him, which leads to a closer walk with the Lord.
Are you in the midst of a trial or major decision in your life? Are you searching for answers in various places? Knowledge can bring peace, but the knowledge of God brings everlasting peace that continues to surpass our understanding. Start out everyday in God’s Word. Take time to put His Word in your heart and mind. Before the day is through, you will need to hear from the Lord on something that crosses your path. The knowledge of His Word will give you peace and assurance in ways you could never imagine. Try it and see what God will do.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sun 10 Nov 2013, 9:58 pm

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 46:1-19; Hebrews 6
Today’s Thoughts: Down With a Shout
And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!” Joshua 6:16
The story surrounding the city of Jericho is amazing. The Bible tells us that the walls came down with a shout. Just imagine the fear that already existed within the people in the city. For six straight days, the Israelites arose early in the morning and marched around the city of Jericho. A regiment of armed guards in the front, the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant in the middle, and another regiment bringing up the rear marched around the city, never saying a word, just blowing their trumpets. Then, on the seventh day, they did it again, but not once, but seven times! And on the seventh time, at Joshua’s command, they shouted with their voices…and the walls came down. What an awesome display of God’s power!
We learn a lot from this story and this verse. We learn that God is sovereign and has a plan for all things. We learn that God’s ways are not our ways and that His works seem mysterious at times. We learn to trust Him, obey Him and wait on His timing, despite what we think. We learn that the battle is His, not ours. We may want to use all of our weapons and all of our own strength, but God can strike the enemy with one word or one shout! We learn that we serve an awesome God, for He is God alone and there is none other. Let Him take down your walls today. Follow Him, trust Him and obey Him. Stop looking for worldly proof and evidence, just put your faith in His Word and start marching to the beat of His drum.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Nov 2013, 9:00 pm

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 43; Hebrews 5
Today's thoughts: The Peaceful Fruit of Righteousness
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. - Hebrews 12:11
We know that the Lord disciplines those He loves but sometimes I wonder why He has to go to such extremes to love me so much? I have told the Lord that it is a good thing He told us that discipline is based on love because, at times, I would misinterpret the pain as something else.
I have noticed that through the process of chastening, I probably will not remember the circumstance that brought the trial, but I will remember the intensity of the pain. When God really gets a hold of me and starts working on changing me, I feel hallow and empty. During those times, I feel like a pumpkin. God cuts around my handle and scrapes me clean of all the seeds and stringy things. But I liked all those seeds, stringy things and even the dingy environment; at first, I grieve over missing the “old me”. But then, He goes a step further and takes the knife of the Word and starts carving at my hardened protected outside. Now my insides become exposed to the outside, and light has the ability to shine through.  So often, I can barely handle such exposure and I feel embarrassment and vulnerability no matter what angle the light hits.  During these times I cry, yell, pray and beg Him to stop, not understanding why I have to go through this painful process. But in His perfect timing, I realize that the peaceful fruit of righteousness has resulted in me. Finally, I pray for His light to be placed deep within me so others can see His good work.
We need the Lord. There should be nothing else we want to do but to love Him with all that we are and to serve Him with all of our lives. As we continue to walk with Him, we better understand that His purpose for us is best for us. We are called to endure these trials of life as we are becoming more like Christ, and being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Jesus needs to become our everything. We need to ask Him to help us yield to His will in the discipline process and to resolve ourselves with His timing, being content with His will. Though the process is painful, He knows what is best and we can trust Him to finish the work He started in us.
Are you dealing with something painful today? Maybe you are wondering why God has put you in such a place. Regardless of the reasons for our sufferings, we must remember that He is our answer. Go to Him today and ask for His strength and guidance to lead you through this time. Begin thanking Him for His purposes in the work He is doing in your life. He will never let you down. 
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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