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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

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Daily Encounter with:  ACTS International - Page 13 Empty Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Jul 2012, 9:44 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Living in Harmony with God's Will

"I beseech you therefore, brethren [brothers and
sisters], by the mercies of God, that you present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service. And do not be
conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good and acceptable and perfect will of God."1

A Daily Encounter subscriber poses the question, "Do
you want only to be forgiven by God or also blessed by
him?" The idea behind this man's question was, do we
only want God's forgiveness so we can feel free from
guilt, and continue living as we please without any
concern for the need of God's blessing on our manner
of life, and all the while ignoring his purpose for
our life?

Over the years I have asked several hundred seminar
participants how many believe that God has a purpose
for their life. Almost every hand is raised, but when
I ask how many know what God's purpose for their life
is, very few have any specific details. They speak in
broad generalities. In light of all that God has done
so abundantly for us, serving him with body, mind and
soul, as the Apostle Paul points out in today's Bible
verse, is the very least we can do; that is, it is our
reasonable service. Doing this comprises the perfect
will of God for us.

So what does service to God include? First, it
involves living a holy, morally clean and upright
life. Second, another aspect is not allowing ourselves
to be shaped by the ambitions of the secular world with
its materialistic and achievement-oriented goals
designed primarily for self aggrandizement. Third,
service to God includes action; that is, what we do
for God and His Kingdom while we are here on earth.

This is a living sacrifice and it boils down to
serving people, and we serve people by using our
God-given gifts, abilities, and possessions to help
others in need. We also serve God by doing our utmost
to share the saving gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
with as many people as we possibly can. As Christ's
commission and command to every one of his followers
was and still is that we are to "Go into all the world
and preach the Good News [the gospel of Jesus Christ]
to everyone."2 This is one of the greatest needs in
today's world, for without Christ people are lost for
all eternity.

When the Apostle Paul uses the word "beseech," he is
urgently and fervently imploring us to serve God with
our total being. To successfully do this, we need to
be filled with God's Spirit [the Holy Spirit] who
empowers us to serve God and also to experience God's
blessing. For help be sure to read the next two issues
of Daily Encounter on "How to Be Filled with God's Holy
Spirit."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to fully
understand what your Word today teaches regarding
living in harmony with your perfect will so that my
manner of life will 'prove what is your good and
acceptable and perfect will.' So help me God. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully,
in Jesus name, amen."

1. Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV).
2. Mark 16:15 (NLT).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.

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

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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Jul 2012, 10:51 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Casa de Bendición (House of Blessing)

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love
covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to
one another without grumbling. Each one should use
whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God's grace in its various
forms."1

In her book, Open Heart, Open Home, author Karen Mains
"distinguishes between hospitality and entertaining.
Entertaining says, 'I want to impress you with my
home, my clever decorating, and my cooking.'
Hospitality, seeking to minister, says, 'This home is
a gift from my Master. I use it as he desires.'
Hospitality aims to serve.

"Entertaining puts things before people. 'As soon as I
get the house finished, the living room decorated, my
house cleaning done--then I will start inviting
people.' Hospitality puts people first. 'No
furniture--we'll eat on the floor! The decorating may
never get done--you come anyway. The house is a
mess--but you are friends--come home with us.'"2

Because where we live is reasonably close to the
Mexican border many of the streets and places in our
town have Spanish names, so Joy and I have named our
house: "Casa de Bendición" (House of Blessing). Our
constant prayer is that God will use our home to be a
house of blessing "and of hospitality" to all who
enter, and that he will use us to be as Jesus to
everyone who does. May he use your home to be a house
of blessing and hospitality too.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the home
that you have given to us especially when there are so
many who don't even have a home. We dedicate our home
and our lives to you. Please make our home a house of
blessing and true hospitality, and use us to be as
Jesus to all who enter in. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. 1 Peter 4:8-10 (NIV).
2. Cited on www.eSermons.com.

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *
Today's Daily Encounter

This Lady Drove Me Nuts

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that
you may become blameless and pure, children of God
without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in
which you shine like stars in the universe."1

"For several years now," wrote Nancy Streza, "I've
been the phone answerer for Christian Outreach Week in
our area. One year I absolutely hated it because I kept
getting phone calls from an Iranian lady named Sahok
(name changed). She needed detailed directions for
some 15 events … and she would talk and talk and talk,
complaining that I wouldn't give out the phone numbers
of the hosts. I thought I was much too busy, so
sometimes I would give Kris and Tom the message and
they would spend an hour or two on the phone with her,
giving her directions.

"Outreach Week came along and guess who showed up at
15 events? Sahok. I met her and talked with her. After
the week was over she started calling me again … asking
about Christianity … asking about baptism.

"And guess what, today I am going to Sahok's baptism!
Yesterday she called and invited me to come to her
baptism at church--a small 'private' one--with her
family and me. It brought me to my knees!

"'Forgive me, Lord, for all the complaining I did
about Sahok's phone calls. Thank you, God, for letting
me participate in this huge event for a Muslim convert
to Jesus! I pray that the transformation in Sahok's
life will impact her family, her community, and her
entire world.'"2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
sensitive to the needs of every person you bring into
my life … especially the ones that drive me nuts. Help
me to listen with my heart and be as Jesus to them so
that they, seeing Jesus in me, will want you for
themselves. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Philippians 2:14-15 (NIV).
2. An E-mail from Nancy Streza. Subject: "A Christian
Outreach Week Praise."

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *
Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Jul 2012, 9:57 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Freedom and Gratitude

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down
his life for his friends."1

Today is a day of celebration for U.S. citizens--the
day when each year they celebrate their independence
as a nation. For those who live in the U.S.A. let us
not forget that our independence was bought with a
price--the price of blood on the battlefields.
Thousands of men, supported by wives, mothers and
sisters, fathers and brothers, fought for our freedom,
multiplied thousands of whom gave their lives in the
process.

No nation in world history has experienced more
freedoms, privileges, and opportunities. This nation
was founded and built on a solid foundation of liberty
and justice for all with a firm belief and trust in
God.

Today, however, too many of us are taking our freedom
for granted and have forgotten that the "price of
freedom is still eternal vigilance;"2 not only
militarily, but perhaps even more important, morally.
Too many are confusing liberty with license and are
wanting personal freedom without personal
responsibility and accountability--not realizing that
they are being enslaved by their own passions and
selfish desires which will erode the very foundation
upon which this nation was built quicker than anything
else.

For all of us who live in a free country may we ever
be thankful to those who gave their lives to give us
our freedom and independence and may we guard these
freedoms with our lives. And may we also be ever
thankful to God for the gift of his Son who died so we
could be eternally free and for the wonderful privilege
that we can serve him with our lives. And may we never
ever forget that "blessed is the nation whose God is
the Lord."3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, for those of us who live
in a free country we give you our never-ending thanks.
May we never take our freedom for granted but guard it
zealously. And we pray for those people who are
enslaved by despot leaders, who are imprisoned and
tortured for their Christian faith, and for all who
know nothing of freedom--and we especially pray that
the gospel will go forth in spite of their situation.
And grant that those who belong to you will have peace
in the midst of their circumstances and be kept from
all harm and danger. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 15:13 (NIV).
2. Thomas Jefferson.
3. Psalm 33:12 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

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

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Jul 2012, 12:16 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Beautiful Feet

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those
who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring
good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,
'Your God reigns!'"1

According to God's Word, every one of us, when we come
to the end of our life's journey, will stand before God
to give an account of his or her life. Those who never
accepted God's forgiveness for their sins will be
required to pay the judgment price themselves for
their sins--which is spiritual death, and that
translates as eternal separation from God and all love
and meaningful life in the place the Bible calls Hell.

The good news is for those of us who have accepted
God's forgiveness by accepting Jesus Christ as our
personal Lord and Savior, will never be judged for our
sins. This is because Jesus paid that penalty for us
when he gave his life on the cruel Roman cross 2,000
years ago. However, we will be required to appear
before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account
of our life regarding how we lived for and served God
after receiving Christ as our Savior, and be rewarded,
or otherwise, accordingly. As the Bible says, "For we
must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so
that each of us may receive what is due us for the
things done while in the body, whether good or bad."2

I know that when I stand before the judgment seat of
Christ, Jesus will not be interested in or concerned
about my achievements in the business, academic, or
professional world. He will not be concerned in the
slightest regarding my physical beauty or lack
thereof--except (figuratively speaking) for my feet!
Will I have "beautiful feet"? I hope and pray so for
if there is one thing I want to have when I stand
before Jesus to give an account of my life is to have
"beautiful feet".

And how does one get "beautiful feet" in God's eyes?
It is simply by helping to spread the saving gospel
message of Jesus Christ by proclaiming God's message
of salvation.1

If you were to stand before Jesus today, would you
have beautiful feet … or would you want to hide your
feet?

For simple helps to proclaim God's message of
salvation, see ACTS People Power for Jesus website at:
http://www.actsweb.org/people_power/.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you
enough for giving your Son, Jesus, to die in my place
to pay the penalty for all my sins. And dear Jesus,
because you died for me, I surrender my heart and life
afresh to you today to live for you for all the days of
my life. So help me so to do, and please use me to help
proclaim your message of salvation to as many people as
possible while I am still able to do this. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus name, amen."

Note: If you have never accepted God's forgiveness for
all your sins, I urge you to do this today. For help
read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real
Christian," at: www.actsweb.org/christian. And if you
would like to re-commit your life afresh today to be
available for God to use you to help proclaim His
message of salvation, please record this at:
http://tinyurl.com/007-re-commit.

1. Isaiah 52:7 (NIV).
2. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com


Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.

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

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Sun 01 Jul 2012, 10:15 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Life Investment

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the
race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for
me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous Judge, will award to me on that day [in
Heaven]--and not only to me, but also to all who have
longed for his appearing."1

Roger Perkins of Higher Ground writes: "A few years
ago I sat and listened to an eighty-year old man who
had retired as pastor of a church in New Jersey after
serving there for forty years--his only parish. Ten
years before, at age seventy, he and his wife moved to
Africa to spend their final years in Kingdom work--much
of it in prisons.

"He said to our small gathering, 'I don't want to be
too harsh, but what are you doing that would cause God
to want to extend your life?'

"I was stunned. My old analytical self tried to
counter his reasoning, but the Spirit clearly gave me
a wakeup call to make every day count by remaining
close to God and living out his will. Life is short no
matter how long it is.

"The above pastor's name is Grover Wilcox. He started
a church in the inner city of Newark after graduating
from Wheaton College and was a pastor there for forty
years. He knows about faithfulness. He has experienced
planting, sowing and reaping. He's still going strong
in East Africa--he's about 85 now. And by the way, his
denomination wouldn't ordain him when he got out of
Wheaton College because they thought he wasn't good
material or ready for the pastorate."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to carefully
examine my life to see if there is any reason why you
would choose to extend my life. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV).
2. By Roger Perkins of Higher Ground.
higherground@triton.net.

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

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

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Sat 30 Jun 2012, 12:14 am

Today's Daily Encounter

It May Be Today

"In my Father's house are many rooms … I am going
there to prepare a place for you. And if I go … I will
come back and take you to be with me."1

I remember reading a few years ago about a strange
occurrence which I was informed took place in Haiti. A
man reported to a gas (petrol/fuel) station owner that
he had picked up a hitchhiker who was sitting in the
back seat when, as they were driving along, suddenly
blurted out, "Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!"
Whereupon the man looked around and his passenger had
disappeared.

Even more strange was the response from the gas
station owner who said, "You're the third person who
has told me the exact same story."

Whether this incident was a strange coincidence, the
figment of someone's imagination, or something
supernatural I cannot be certain. But of one thing we
can be sure, Jesus is coming again. He himself
promised he would.

Christ's first coming is an indisputable fact of
history. His second coming is just as certain. He said
he would come when we least expect it. The important
thing is to be ready by receiving him as our personal
Lord and Savior. He is coming again. It may be today.
If so, are you ready?

For help, be sure to read "How to Be Sure You're a
Real Christian" at: http://www.actsweb.org/christian.

Remember, too, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, Thank you for the
wonderful hope you have given us that Jesus is coming
again so we can all be together forever in heaven. I
pray today for all who haven't received you as their
Lord and Savior. Please use me to help share your
gospel message of salvation to others around the
world, which is now possible with e-Mail and the
Internet. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Jesus in John 14:2-3 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545
San Clemente, California 92673-0119
U.S.A.
Phone: 949-940-9050
http://www.actsweb.org
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
Admin
Admin
Admin

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

https://worldwidechristians.forumotion.com

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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Jun 2012, 8:42 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Importance of Little Things

"Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are
ruining the vineyards."1

Ben Franklin is credited with having said the
following: "For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for
want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a
horse the rider was lost; being overtaken and slain by
the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe
nail."

Whether it's little acts of kindness, little words of
encouragement, little acts of unkindness or little
acts of thoughtless deeds, little things play a big
role in, and are a major part of, our lives. Their
impact can far outweigh the size of the words or
deeds.

Furthermore, "Men trip not on mountains, they stumble
on stones." Reminds me of a song we used to sing as
kids in Sunday School,

"Oh be careful little hands what you do!
Oh be careful little hands what you do,
God is up above,
He is looking down in love,
So be careful little hands what you do."

That song may sound silly, but it isn't.

When addressing the chapel audience at Milligan
College (Tenn.) social activist, Tony Campolo, after
singing this song (with hand motions and all) shouted,
"That song! That song ruined my dating life. You know,
I'd be out there in a car and just when I'm ready to
make the move, this voice from heaven says, 'Be
careful little hands, what you do.'"2

Remember it's the little "foxes that spoil the
grapes," and it's the little acts of kindness and love
that enrich our own lives as well as the lives of those
we touch.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me always to
remember that it's the everyday 'little things' that,
added together, form the character and value (or
otherwise) of my life. Help me to also remember the
children's song: 'Be careful little hands' (and
tongue) what you do and say. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."


1. Song of Solomon 2:15 (NASB).
2. Cited on Terry Mattingly On Religion,
http://tmatt.gospelcom.net/column/1999/03/03/.

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

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

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Jun 2012, 10:01 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Mind Changes

We will no longer be like children, forever
changing our minds about what we believe because
someone has told us something different or because
someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound
like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in
love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ,
who is the head of his body, the church."1

Em Griffin in The Mindchangers said, "Some early
studies concerned with prejudice show that we're quite
capable of reordering our perceptions of the world
around us in order to maintain our conviction that
we're right.

"A group of white, middle-class New York City
residents were presented with a picture of people on a
subway. Two men were in the foreground. One was white,
one was black. One wore a business suit; one was
clothed in workman's overalls. One was giving his
money to the other who was threatening him with a
knife.

"Now as a matter of fact it was the black man who wore
the suit, and it was he who was being robbed by the
white laborer. But such a picture didn't square with
the prejudices of the viewers. To them, white men were
executives; black men were blue-collar workers. Blacks
were the robbers, whites the victims. And so they
reported what their mind told them they saw--that a
black laborer was assaulting a white businessman.

"As human beings who desperately desire our lives to
be consistent and untroubled, we'll go to great
lengths to reject a message that implies we're
wrong."2

As I've said before, the more dishonest we are with
our inner self, the more we will distort all
truth--including God's Truth/Word--to make it match
our twisted perception of reality in a vain attempt to
justify our every thought, perception, and action while
totally denying our reality and real motives.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
honest with myself, with you, and with others, and
never twist truth to make it justify what I have done
or want to do. Give me a pure heart and help me to
always be honest and real about my motives. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:14-15 (NLT).
2. Em Griffin, The Mindchangers, Tyndale House, 1976,
pp. 48-9

<Smile)))><

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

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Post  Admin on Mon 25 Jun 2012, 10:22 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Response to Shame and Guilt Trips

"Now I am happy," the Apostle Paul wrote, "not because
you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to
repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended
and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow
brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves
no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what
this godly sorrow has produced in you: what
earnestness…what concern, what readiness to see
justice done."1

In response to a Daily Encounter I wrote some time
ago, a subscriber wrote the following day, "I am
concerned about your article on guilt throwers and
guilt catchers. There are some things in this world
that are Biblically wrong! Our daughter has used that
article to justify a lifestyle that is inherently
fraught with sin. Sin is real and it is wrong. Some
people need to feel guilt. That is how the Holy Spirit
works to return them to God's guidance fold. I despise
the whole idea of this article--that there is nothing
about which we should feel guilt--BALONEY AND HERESY!
SHAME ON YOU!"

Dear Joan (name changed), thank you for your response
to the Daily Encounter about "Guilt Throwers and Guilt
Catchers." I always appreciate it when those who differ
with me say it directly to my face.

First, I would appreciate it if you would let me know
specifically what I said that you feel is baloney and
heresy? Also, where did I say "there is nothing about
which we should feel guilt or guilty?"

Second, this article is not talking about not feeling
guilty when we have done wrong. It's talking about
people who dump shame and/or guilt trips onto other
people, which is often used to control and manipulate
them--or to seek to justify their own actions.

Third, my article says that guilt is best left to the
Holy Spirit. In other words it is God's work to make
us feel guilty, not my responsibility to make others
feel shameful or guilty.

Fourth, it is true that we use the term "guilty" as an
emotional response but in the Bible guilt is a legal,
not an emotional, term. If we have done wrong, we are
guilty regardless of what we feel. It's the same with
the law of the land--guilt has to do with what we have
done or haven't done--not how we feel.

Fifth, the biblical "emotional" term and appropriate
response when we are guilty is "Godly sorrow" as seen
in today's Scripture passage.

Lastly, If your daughter is in rebellion against what
you believe, I would urge you to sincerely pray and
ask God to reveal to you anything you might possibly
be contributing in any way towards her rebellion. Keep
in mind, too, that people who know that what they are
doing is wrong, will often twist truth to make it
match their twisted perception of reality in a vain
attempt to justify their actions. Not what I or
anybody else has said is to blame. They are totally
responsible for their actions and their behavior.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me never to
twist your truth to make it say what I want it to say.
And help me never to justify my own or others' wrongful
actions, and help me never to use your truth to
manipulate others to make them feel shameful or
guilty. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 (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:
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Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Jun 2012, 1:15 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
On Sawdust and Planks

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your
brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in
your own eye?"1

One of the first rules in a healthy support group is
to not confess anybody else's sins and faults but your
own.

I think the following rule (though not likely to ever
happen) should apply to every newspaper journalist,
radio and TV commentator, and every politician in that
they should never be allowed to confess another's sins
publicly without having first confessed their own
publicly! This surely would silence a whole lot of
negative, nasty, and dishonest criticism.

As Greg Laurie said, "Show me a person who is
hyper-critical, and I will show you a person who is
guilty of far worse sin in his own life. David was
guilty of adultery and of premeditated murder. Yet he
thought it perfectly just to kill a man who had merely
stolen his neighbor's sheep. Of all people, King David
should have been 'Mr. Compassion.' But instead, he was
'Mr. Hypocrisy.' He fell neatly into Nathan's little
prophetic trap, as the prophet pointed his finger
straight at David and said, 'You are the man.'"

Here's another possible pitfall, to quote Cecil
Osborne again: "When we are hiding a deeper sin or
fault, we tend to confess a lesser one all the more
vigorously," to which I would add, "or we confess
someone else's sins and faults."

We can't expect open honesty with many non-Christians
but, for those of us who claim to be Christ followers,
before we look at the sawdust in another's eye, let us
make sure we get rid of the plank in our own eye.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from
the sin of having a critical, negative attitude and
help me to see that when I do criticize, it has more
to do with me than the one whom I am condemning.
Please help me to see and get rid of any planks in my
eyes. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Jesus in Matthew 7:3 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter
Never Missing a Wrong Note

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing
love; according to your great compassion blot out my
transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse
me from my sin."1

Before Ansel Adams became famous as a landscape
photographer, he studied piano and showed some talent.
At one of his first recitals he played Chopin's
Nocturne in F Major. "In some strange way," he said,
"my right hand started off in F-sharp major while my
left hand behaved well in F major. I could not bring
them together. I went through the entire nocturne with
the hands separated by a half-step. The next day,
someone walked up to him and jokingly commented, "You
never missed a wrong note."2

I can identify with Adams in that in much younger days
I used to play trumpet on a gospel team and one of the
first times I played a solo, I was so nervous I was
thinking one song and playing another! You can imagine
the effect. It was very embarrassing, to say the least.

Such mistakes are easily overcome. But some mistakes
we make in life can have long-lasting serious
consequences. With these mistakes, however, the good
news is that God's mercy is always available to all
who confess their sins and failures and ask for his
forgiveness.

Have you forgiven all who have ever hurt you? And have
you experienced God's forgiveness? If not, why not do
that today. For further help be sure to read the
article: "Forgiveness: The Power That Heals." It's
online at: http://tinyurl.com/dvwh5.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that 'You are a
God of forgiveness, Gracious and compassionate, Slow to
anger and abounding in lovingkindness,'3 and that you
forgive all my sins and trespasses when I genuinely
confess them to you. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV).
2. David Roper. Cited in KneEmail. To subscribe send a
blank message to: kneemail-subscribe@welovegod.org
3. Nehemiah 9:17 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Jun 2012, 4:21 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Power of Thanksgiving

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present
your requests to God. And the peace of God, which
transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus."1

"University psychologists recently conducted a
research project on gratitude and thanksgiving. They
divided participants into three groups. People in the
first group practiced daily exercises like writing in
a gratitude journal. They reported higher levels of
alertness, determination, optimism, energy, and less
depression and stress than the control group.
Unsurprisingly, they were also a lot happier than the
participants who were told to keep an account of all
the bad things that happened each day.

"One of the psychologists concluded that though a
practice of gratitude is a key to most religions, its
benefits extend to the general population, regardless
of faith or no faith. He suggested that anyone can
increase his sense of well-being just from counting
his blessings."2

As William Shakespeare said so eloquently: "Let never
day nor night unhallowed pass / But still remember
what the Lord hath done." To those words I would add a
very hearty "amen"!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a thankful
heart and may words of thanksgiving be always in my
heart and never far from my lips, and help me always
to live in an attitude of gratitude. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).
2. Chuck Colson in Breakpoint, May 17, 2005.
http://www.pfm.org/

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

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

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed
spirit dries up the bones."1

Science has finally caught up with these words in the
Bible that King Solomon wrote some 3,000 years ago.

The following report is from The Week magazine:
"Laughter is good for your health--and now scientists
know why. Researchers at the University of Maryland
found that when 20 healthy volunteers smiled and
guffawed while watching the comedy, Kingpin, their
blood flow increased by 22 percent, about the same
increase caused by aerobic exercise. But when
volunteers watched tension-filled scenes from Saving
Private Ryan, their blood flow decreased 35 percent.

"The researchers say that laughing apparently causes
the endothelium, the tissue that lines blood vessels,
to expand, which increases blood flow. Laughter may
also improve arterial health by reducing mental
stress, which constricts vessels and cuts blood flow.
A healthy lifestyle--researcher Michael Miller tells
New Scientist--would include 30 minutes of exercise
three times a week, and 15 minutes of hearty laughter
each day."2

It's a pity that so many totally ignore God's
directives for healthier, happier living. If we would
live by the principles as found in his Word, the
Bible, we would not only live healthier and happier
lives, but our relationships would improve out of
sight. We can't improve on God's plan. The wisest
thing is to get in on it.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the
principles given in your Word so that I can know how
to live a healthier and happier life, and in so living
greatly enhance my relationships. Please help me God to
so live. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 17:22 (NIV).
2. The Week magazine, March 25, 2005. Cited on
Parables, Etc., April 2005

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Jun 2012, 9:53 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Digging Up the Past

"Don't sin by letting anger gain control over you.
Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry,
for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil."1

"In 1642 England was caught up in the Civil War with
Cromwell and the roundheads. Five years later King
Charles the First was captured, tried and sentenced to
death. He was executed on January 30, 1649. Fifty-nine
men put their signatures to the death warrant.

"When Charles II was restored to the throne some
eleven years later, he wanted to avenge his father's
death. However, by that time, some had died and others
were living abroad. They were arrested, taken back to
England, and ordered to stand trial.

"As for those who had died, the bodies of fifteen
signatories, many of whom had been dead for years,
were exhumed and then hung on the gallows."2

That's exactly what resentment does. It digs up the
past. It is caused by nursing grudges and failing to
forgive--a practice that God's Words warns us not to
do. This is because buried and/or unresolved anger,
hurt, grief, bitterness, etc., work like emotional
cancer that "rots the bones," destroys relationships,
and keeps one bound by the past.

As I've quoted before, "Failing to forgive is like
drinking poison and waiting for the other person to
die." No wonder that God's Word also says, "So get rid
of your feelings of hatred [unresolved anger and
resentment]. Don't just pretend to be good."3

For further help read, "Forgiveness: The Power that
Heals" at http://tinyurl.com/btwy7.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from
the sin of nursing grudges and holding on to all
negative emotions so that I can become a happier,
healthier person and a clear channel of your love.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT).
2. Ivor Bailey, "Digging up the Past," Encounter
magazine (Australia), June/July 2005.
3. 1 Peter 2:1 (TLB)(NLT).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Fri 15 Jun 2012, 2:59 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
The Power of a Father's Influence

Wishing all fathers a very Happy and God blessed
Father's Day
"Fathers, do not exasperate [provoke to anger] your
children; instead, bring them up in the training and
instruction of the Lord."1

Many years ago a small Jewish boy asked his father,
"Why must we surrender our Jewish faith and start to
attend Lutheran services here in Germany?"

The father replied, "Son, we must abandon our faith so
that people will accept us and support our business
adventures!"

The young lad never got over his disappointment and
bitterness. His faith in his father and in his
religion were crushed. When the lad left Germany he
went to England to study at the British Museum where
he formed his philosophies for life. From those
intensive investigations he wrote a book that changed
the world called, The Communist Manifesto.

From that book one-third of the world fell under the
spell of Marxist-Leninist ideology. The name of that
little boy was Karl Marx. He influenced billions into
a stream that for 70 years ruined, imprisoned and
confused many lives. Today, that system of thinking is
crumbling, but only after people got a good look at its
tragic consequences. The influence of this father's
hypocrisy multiplied in infamy. Without godly faith,
all of us are subject to distortions in our
perspectives.2

As Pope John XXIII said, "It is easier for a father to
have children than for children to have a real father."


On the positive side of the coin, however, Mario
Cuomo, the famous former Italian governor of New York,
said, "I watched a small man with thick calluses on
both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw
him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet,
a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak
the language, who taught me all I needed to know about
faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his
example."

Jim Valvano said, "My father gave me the greatest gift
anyone could give another person, he believed in me."

Speaking personally, my father had his struggles, was
misunderstood by many (including myself), but he gave
me what I believe was the greatest gift any child
could ever receive--he took me to a church where I
learned about God and His plan of eternal salvation
through Jesus Christ my Lord.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, as a father [parent]
please help me to so live that my children, seeing the
example I set in following your ways and modeling what
a real Christian should be, will want to follow my
example to follow you. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Ephesians 6:4 (NIV).
2. Paul J. Fritz. Cited on
http://www.bible.org/illus.asp?topic_id=2

<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.

* * * * * * *
Today's Daily Encounter
Square Watermelons

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this
world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what
God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."1

Albert Lee writes, "I have read how farmers in
Zentsuji, Japan, are producing full-grown watermelons
for shipment--only these are no ordinary melons,
they're square!

"They were placed in tempered-glass cubes while they
were still growing. Why would anyone want a square
watermelon? They're much easier to store in a
refrigerator. They're a whole lot easier to pack too.

"It's amusing to think of how a naturally round
watermelon can become square because of the shape of
the container in which it's grown. This reminds me of
the forces in the world that exert their influence on
us, and attempt to shape us. If we meditate on God's
Word daily, it will shape our thoughts and help us
grow to become more like Christ. Then we will act in a
manner that pleases him. Pressures of the world will
continue to try to shape our character, but they will
not succeed if God's Word is changing us from
within."2

And if we neglect our spiritual life, get carried away
with materialism, feed our minds on mindless TV, run
with the wrong crowd, and forget God then these things
will shape our lives--not only for time but also for
eternity.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, give me the good sense to
live with eternal values in mind and choose wisely in
what I allow to shape my life. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Romans 12:2 (NIV).
2. By Albert Lee, cited on KneEmail. To subscribe send
a blank message to: kneemail-subscribe@welovegod.org.


Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Admin
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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Jun 2012, 10:28 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Confessing the Wrong Sin

"Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue
lasts only a moment."1

Years ago I remember reading a simple but profound
statement that Cecil Osborne made. He said, "When we
are hiding a deeper sin or fault we tend to confess a
lesser sin all the more vigorously."

For instance, an old friend had been trying to
overcome his smoking habit for twenty years without
success. He had been judged for this by folk in his
church for as many years. He had also confessed his
problem endlessly and prayed for deliverance, but no
matter what he did, he just couldn't beat the habit.

When he shared his struggle with me I simply asked
him, "Why do you need to smoke?"

He looked at me with a blank look as if to say, "Are
you crazy, what are you talking about? I don't need
this problem."

He then mumbled a few incoherent words, turned around
and walked away. He died a few years later of cancer!

My friend's smoking wasn't the real problem. It was
the fruit of a deeper root. He was confessing the
wrong sin. True, his addiction to tobacco was a
problem that needed to be resolved, but it was the
symptom of a deeper problem that, it seems, he didn't
want to look at, confront and deal with.

The same is true of all addictive behaviors and many
of our negative and sinful actions. We need to be
ruthlessly honest with ourselves, to at least one safe
person who won't judge or put us down, and to God, and
admit and confess not only the symptoms, but also the
causes behind them. We may need to ask God to give us
the courage to face these causes and lead us to the
help, support, and recovery we need to overcome. This
is the kind of praying that God hears and answers.

As his Word, the Bible, says, "The Lord is near to all
who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the
courage to face, see and resolve any and all causes
behind any symptoms in my life--whether they be
behavioral, physical, emotional or spiritual. Help me
to find a safe, trusted friend to confess these to.
And lead me to the help I need to overcome. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 12:19 (NIV).
2. Psalm 145:18 (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.

* * * * * * *
Today's Daily Encounter

When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up

In the Bible the Apostle Paul wrote, "When Peter came
to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was
in the wrong."1

People have asked, "When we speak out against others
we believe are in the wrong, are we being judgmental?"
This is a good question to ask and a lot harder to know
the right answer. However, remember that on more than
one occasion Jesus condemned the religious Pharisees
for their hypocrisy. Also, the Apostle Paul rebuked
Peter when he felt he was in the wrong.

So when is it right for us to speak out and when do we
need to keep silent? How do we know we aren't
projecting our own unresolved issues onto other
people? Or when someone attacks us personally, when do
we need to turn the other cheek, and when do we need to
stand up and confront? Or when we see wrong in society,
business, or politics, should we speak out or should we
look the other way and say nothing?

When people attacked Jesus personally and accused him
falsely, he remained silent and was totally
non-defensive because he had nothing to hide. However,
when people misused the house of God and used people
for their own ends, or tried to hide their hypocrisy
behind a facade of false religion, or loved their
man-made rigid rules more than they loved people,
Jesus spoke out against them in no uncertain terms.

The bottom line is motive. Jesus always did what he
did because he loved God and he loved people. He
attacked evil head-on because it was so destructive of
those whom he loved--us! Furthermore, Jesus always
spoke with authority but was never authoritarian,
rigid, controlling, or manipulative because he had
nothing in his own life he needed to hide.

What we need to do if we are going to make a
difference in our society is, first of all, to
acknowledge our own shortcomings and, with God's help,
work at overcoming these. Second, we need to love the
things God loves and hate the things he hates and
speak out against these as Jesus did. These are the
things we need to be angry at too. We simply cannot
love righteousness without hating and opposing
unrighteousness.

Meekness is not weakness and let us not forget the
words of Edmund Burke who said, "All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please continue to purify
my motives and give me the insight to know when to keep
silent, when to be non-defensive, and give me the
courage to speak out against evil when I see it. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. Galatians 2:11 (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.

* * * * * * *
Today's Daily Encounter

Everybody Isn’t Doing It

The well-know biblical prophet, Elijah, once said to
God, "The Israelites have rejected your covenant,
broken down your altars, and put your prophets to
death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now
they are trying to kill me too."1

On one occasion the prophet Elijah was convinced that
everybody in Israel except him had turned from God and
that he was the only one who hadn't. God reminded him
that there were seven thousand others in Israel who
weren't rejecting him.

A common excuse that many use to do as they please is
the claim that everybody's doing it. The fact is that
not everybody is cheating on their taxes or on their
spouses. Not everybody is getting drunk or stealing
from their place of employment, either.

Many may be doing these things but the statement that
everybody is, simply isn't true. Even if it were,
would that make it right? Of course not. If everybody
walked into a fire, would you or I do the same? Or,
like the proverbial lemmings who blindly follow their
leader over a cliff, would you or I do the same?
Hardly.

God didn't give us the Ten Commandments to kill our
fun, but to protect us. There is a valid reason for
every one of them. In breaking any we harm ourselves
or somebody else. Stealing, for example, isn't wrong
because one of the Ten Commandments says, "Thou shall
not steal." It's wrong because it is damaging to the
one who steals and hurtful to the victim. That's why
it's one of the Commandments and why it's very wise to
obey it and every other one of God's directives even if
everybody else isn't.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to realize that
all of your commandments are there for the good of
all, including myself and my loved ones. Give me the
courage to do right even if all around me aren't and
regardless of how I feel. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. 1 Kings 19:10 (NIV).

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Jun 2012, 11:09 am

Today's Daily Encounter
What If There Is a Heaven? Part III

"According to the Lord's own word ... the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."1

Regarding heaven, we have been given evidence from those who have had near-death experiences and what they witnessed, the testimonials of the last words of famous people including those of non-believers, and the experience of a very close friend as he departed this life. All of these are very interesting, but the final point is the most powerful evidence of all as to whether there is a heaven or not.

Fourth, we have evidence from Jesus Christ himself and the whole of God's Word, the Bible. Speaking about heaven Jesus said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. In my Father's house are many mansions. I am going there to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come back to take you there to be with me forever."2 While ministering here on earth, Jesus repeatedly made mention of heaven so it was clearly evident that Jesus believed in both heaven and hell.

Furthermore, according to one Bible scholar, there are 1,845 references to Christ's coming back to earth that are recorded in the Old Testament and 318 in the New Testament. There are many more references about heaven and hell. And as Jesus said, he is right now preparing heaven for all Christians and will, when everything is ready, return to take them to be with him forever.

Nobody can prove that there is a heaven or a hell. Neither can anybody prove there isn't. The evidence, however, confirms that there are both, and I know which side I'd rather be on. If I believe, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. But if I don't believe, I have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

The choice to believe or not to believe is each individual's decision. For those who choose to believe, the key issue is to be sure that you are prepared for heaven and ready to meet God face to face. You do that, first, by believing that when Jesus died on the cross 2,000 years ago, he died to pay the ransom price for your sins; second, by confessing your sins to God; and third, by responding to Christ's call to accept him into your heart and life as personal Lord and Savior.

The wonderful thing is that God's invitation to heaven is open to everyone. As God's Word, the Bible, says, "Whoever will may come."3

If you have not already done so, will you accept God's invitation to come to him by confessing that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness and by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Today? For help to make absolutely sure you are ready for heaven be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian (without having to be religious)" at: www.actsweb.org/christian. Receiving Jesus as your Savior is your Passport into Heaven. Whatever you do, don't leave earth without it.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you again for your promise of heaven for all who believe in you and have accepted Jesus as their Savior. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I confess that I am a sinner and ask you, Lord Jesus, to forgive me for all my sins, and come into my heart and life and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for hearing my prayer, for forgiving all my sins, and for your promise of a home in heaven. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NIV).
2. John 14:1-3.
3. Revelation 22:17.

NOTE: I repeat: to make absolutely sure you are ready for heaven read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian (without having to be religious)" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

<Smile)))><
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jun 2012, 11:32 am

Today's Daily Encounter
I Am the Greatest

"For by the grace given me I say to one of you: Do not
think of yourself more highly than you ought, but
rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in
accordance with the faith God has distributed to each
of you."1

"Muhammad Ali is considered the greatest heavyweight
boxer of all time. He won 56 out of his 61
professional fights and knocked out 37 opponents. His
most famous catch phrase was, 'I am the greatest!'

"One day, Ali was seated in an airplane when the
flight attendant came up the aisle to make sure that
all the passengers had their seat belts fastened.
Reaching Ali's seat, she asked him to buckle up.

"'Hmph!' the champ sneered, 'Superman don't need no
seat belt!'

"The flight attendant smiled sweetly and replied,
'Superman don't need no airplane, either.'

"Ali fastened his seat belt.

"The greater our success, the greater the risk of us
thinking too highly of ourselves."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
realistic about my abilities--never thinking too
highly (or too lowly) of myself. And may I always give
thanks, and the glory, to you for the gifts that you
have given me, and never deceive myself into thinking
and believing that the praise and glory for these
gifts belong to me. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Romans 12:3 (NIV).
2. Os Hillman, "The Success Test," The Upside of
Adversity. Cited on: KneEmail.
www.forthright.net/kneemail/

<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.

* * * * * * *
Today's Daily Encounter
Letting Go

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

One lady I know has a grown alcoholic daughter in her
mid thirties who still lives at home. When the
daughter goes out and is too drunk to drive home,
guess who goes and picks her up? And when she's too
drunk to go to work and can't make her car payments,
guess who makes the payments for her? You're right.
It's her mother. So, which of the two is the sickest?

As long as mother keeps rescuing her daughter, the
daughter has no need to face her problem and deal with
it. Mother is the enabler and is a part of the
sickness. Counselors tell us that for every alcoholic
there are four co-alcoholic or codependent enablers.
These people short-circuit the natural consequences of
somebody else's negative and self-destructive behavior.

As difficult as it may seem, there comes a time, after
nothing else has worked, when the enabler needs to let
go, stop all rescuing of the problem person, and let
them crash. Scary? Yes, but absolutely essential if
the person has any hope of recovery.

As a general rule, it's only when people with major
problems hit bottom, that they are likely to come out
of denial, admit what they are, and do something about
getting into recovery. There's no guarantee that they
will do this, but if we don't stop rescuing them, it
is a surefire guarantee that they will NOT get into
recovery. They have no need to. The prodigal son,
about whom Jesus taught, came to his senses only when
he hit rock bottom. The father let go of him so he
could do this. God lets us hit rock bottom, too, so we
will come to our senses and turn to him for help.

Is there someone in your life you need to let go of
and trust them to God? This won't be the most popular
thing you can do (to put it mildly), but it is the
most loving thing.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to support
people who are genuinely in need, but not rescue people
from the consequences of their self-destructive
behaviors. Give me the wisdom to know what I need to
do and the courage to do it. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 28:13 (NIV).


Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
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Admin
Admin

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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Jun 2012, 7:32 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Discovering the Will of God for Your Life

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of
God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable
service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may
prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect
will of God."1

A Daily Encounter subscriber asks, "I am always
wondering if I am doing God's will. How can I know if
I am going in the direction God wants me to go?"

The will of God has two aspects. First, as committed
followers of Jesus Christ it involves our manner of
living; that is, are all our actions in harmony with
the will of God, the standards of which are clearly
spelled out in the Bible, the Word of God. And as
today's Scripture points out, this involves living a
life of purity; not allowing our life to be shaped by
the attitudes and behaviors of those who have no
regard for the ways of God; and always disciplining
our thinking; for what the mind dwells on the body
acts on.

Second, the will of God also includes how we serve
God; that is, we need to know what our gifts and
talents are; get the best training we can to sharpen
these gifts and talents; and use these in a practical
way to help others--keeping in mind that we serve God
by serving and helping others, and communicating his
love and message of salvation to them.

Another subscriber asks, "As the Apostle Paul was
called of God to be an apostle,2 how would I know if
God wants me to serve him as a teaching or medical
missionary, a pastor, a chaplain or other form of what
is commonly called "fulltime" Christian ministry? As a
young man I struggled with this question for several
years. The advice I received from my pastor didn't
help. He told me, "If God is calling you into fulltime
ministry, you better get into it. If he isn't calling
you, you'd better keep out of it." The most helpful
piece of advice I received was from Oswald Chambers in
his book, My Utmost for His Highest. Chambers wrote,
"The call of God is like the call of the sea to the
sailor. Only he who has the nature of the sea within
can hear that call." That is, a person who is "born or
called" to be a sailor will never rest until he
launches out to sea. It's the same with the call of
God. If God is calling you to Christian service (which
doesn't have to be fulltime), you will never rest until
you launch or step out to do what God has put into your
heart to do. I can personally verify this statement.

Furthermore, doing God's will--overall--is doing that
which we find fulfilling. As Jesus said, I delight to
do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my
heart."3

Furthermore, every morning I pray and commit and trust
my life and way to God and trust him to guide me in the
way that he would have me go. I've been doing this from
my youth and, as I look back, I can see clearly how God
has led me--even through my down times. I encourage you
to also commit and trust your life and way to God every
morning and God will lead you too.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have a
plan and purpose for my life and are calling me to do
what you have gifted me to do. Help me to know what my
gifts are, get the training I need to sharpen these
gifts, and consistently use these to serve you by
ministering in some way to others. I commit and trust
my life and way to you and trust you to guide me in
the way that you would have me to go. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV).
2. Romans 1:1 (KJV).
3. Psalm 40:8 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Today's Daily Encounter

God Uses F-A-T People

"I [God] sought for a man among them who would make a
wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the
land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no
one."1

Whenever God has a job to do and a gap to be filled,
he always starts by choosing and calling an
individual. While men use methods, God's methods are
men and women.2

To start a nation to use as his special witness on
earth, God chose and called Abraham to be the father
of ancient Israel. When God wanted to lead this young
nation out of slavery in Egypt, he chose and called
Moses. And so it was with Joseph, Samuel, Esther,
David, John the Baptist, Mary, Peter, Paul and scores
of other lesser known individuals.

God today is still urgently looking for people who are
willing to stand in the gap to help save lost souls
from a lost and hopeless eternity and to do his work
here on earth. The kind of people God is looking for,
chooses, and calls are F-A-T people. That is: Faithful
… Available … Teachable.

F - Faithful. You don't have to be a Peter, Paul or a
John the Baptist for God to use. Think of the twelve
disciples. What a motley crew--rugged fishermen, a
despised tax gatherer and the like--they were. God
uses other ordinary people like them too, people who
daily trust their life and way to God and, with his
help, seek to serve and obey him faithfully in all the
circumstances of life.

A - Available. Years ago I told God that I was too
afraid to be a witness for him and that I was
quitting. "However, God," I prayed, "if you want to
use me to share the gospel with others, I'm available,
but you'll have to do it through me because I'm too
scared." The result? Today God is using our small
organizations to reach thousands around the world with
the gospel and Christian message every day. This is
because I made--and make myself available every
day--for God to use. He will in some way do the same
for you if you daily make yourself available to him to
use.

T - Teachable. One reason God used the disciples was,
not only because they were faithful and available, but
also because they were teachable. Naturally they spent
three years with the Master Teacher par Excellence and
had a lot to learn about the Christian way, especially
because it was brand new to them and everyone else in
their day. We also need to be teachable and learn
God's ways more clearly by studying and knowing what
his Word, the Bible, teaches and applying the
principles found therein in our everyday living.

So, if you want God to use you to be a part of what he
is doing in your world today, I urge you to pray and
tell God you are available--and renew that prayer and
commitment every day. To be an "Andrew" by quietly
helping to bring others to Jesus click on:
http://www.actsweb.org/announce.php to see how you can
do this in a simple, non-threatening way.

Remember that "when many people each do a little,
great feats for God can be accomplished."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I'm available again
today. Help me to be faithful and teachable to learn
your ways more clearly, and please use me to be as
Jesus in some way to every life I touch today. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully,
in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV).
2. E.M. Bounds.
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
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Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jun 2012, 8:39 am

Today's Daily Encounter
What If There Is a Heaven? Part I

"Men of Galilee," they [the angels at the time of
Christ's return to heaven after his death and
resurrection] said, "why do you stand here looking
into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from
you into heaven, will come back in the same way you
have seen him go into heaven."1

Dr. Maurice Rawlings, formerly a cardiologist and
professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee
College of Medicine in Chattanooga, and his colleagues
constantly treated emergency patients, many of whom had
near-death experiences. A study of these cases by Dr.
Rawlings was reported in Omni magazine.

It is no longer unusual to hear about people who have
almost died who speak of seeing a bright light, lush
green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and
experiencing a deep sense of peace. However, Dr.
Rawlings obtains additional information from his
patients by interviewing them immediately following
resuscitation while they are very much in touch with
their experience. Dr. Rawlings says that nearly 50
percent of the 300 people that he has interviewed have
reported lakes of fire, devil-like figures and other
sights reflecting the darkness of hell. Rawlings says
that these people later change their story because
they don't want to admit where they've been, not even
to their families.

"Just listening to these patients has changed my whole
life," claims Dr. Rawlings. "There is a life after
death, and if I don't know where I'm going, it's not
safe to die."

But do these experiences prove that there is a heaven
or a hell?

We don't really know because these particular people
didn't quite make it to the other side. Even if they
did and came back, we probably wouldn't believe them
because most of us tend to believe only what we have
seen or experienced for ourselves. Furthermore, we
tend to see and believe only what we want to see and
believe--often in spite of the evidence.

One can only present what evidence there is, and then
it is up to each individual to either accept or reject
that evidence. And what evidence do we have as to
whether there is a heaven and a hell or life after
death?

First, there is the evidence from scores of cases
mentioned by Dr. Rawlings and others who have written
about near-death experiences and explained what they
saw and experienced.

Second, we have the evidence from the testimonials of
famous people who gave us their last words.

To be continued …

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that when Jesus
returned to heaven after his death on the cross and
resurrection, you sent your angels to assure his
disciples and followers that Jesus would return to
earth to take all of his true followers to be with him
in heaven forever. Thank you for your wonderful promise
that heaven is a reality for all who truly believe in
you and have accepted Jesus as their Savior. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. Acts 1:11 (NIV).

Today's Daily Encounter
What If There Is a Heaven? Part II

"Now we know that if the earthly tent [our human body]
we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God,
an eternal house in heaven, not built by human
hands."1

In continuing our series on heaven we have the
evidence from the testimonials of famous people who
shared their last words. For example, it is reported
that Professor J.H. Huxley, the famous agnostic, as he
lay dying suddenly looked up at some sight invisible to
mortal eyes, and staring awhile, whispered at last, "So
it is true."

Sir Francis Newport, head of the English Infidel Club,
said to those gathered around his death bed, "Do not
tell me there is no God for I know there is one, and
that I am in his angry presence! You need not tell me
there is no hell, for I already feel my soul slipping
into its fires! Wretches, cease your idle talk about
there being hope for me! I know that I am lost
forever."

Dwight L. Moody, the famous Christian preacher,
awakening from sleep shortly before he died had just
the opposite to say: "Earth recedes. Heaven opens
before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no
valley here. God is calling me, and I must go."

"No, no, Father," said Moody's son, "you are
dreaming." "I am not dreaming," replied Moody. "I have
been within the gates. I have seen the children's
faces." His last words were, "This is my triumph; this
is my coronation day! It is glorious!"

Thomas Edison, the great scientific genius who was not
given to idle words, in his dying moments, said to his
wife and doctor, "It is beautiful over there."

Third, we have evidence from the experience of someone
close to us. One of my best friends had cancer and
passed away at age forty-four. As Graham's end neared,
with arms outstretched and lifted heavenward, he
graphically described to me how he longed to meet God.


The day before Graham died he went into a coma. Jenny,
his wife, was with him. Jenny reported to me that while
still in the coma, though gravely weakened in body,
without any warning Graham seemed strangely energized
as he suddenly sat bolt upright in bed and, turning
his face heavenward, reached up with open arms as if
being greeted by someone only he could see. A moment
later his body slumped back lifeless. Graham was gone.
Jenny also said, "Immediately following, a great sense
of peace and divine presence filled the entire house."


Graham was a committed Christian. He had accepted
Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He knew
where he was going after this life, and died
triumphantly.

How different compared to the experience I had with
Rosemary who also died of cancer. I was asked to visit
her in the hospital. As far as I know Rosemary was not
a Christian and was terrified of dying. She sat in a
chair night and day, refusing to lie down for fear she
would go to sleep and never wake up again.

It was difficult to communicate with her because she
kept going in and out of consciousness. We just held
her hand and repeated, "God loves you, Rosemary, God
loves you."

"When she brightens a little," I said to her friend,
"send for me and I'll come right back."

But Rosemary never brightened. Two days later she died
terrified. I can't think of anything more tragic than
to leave earth to go into a lost eternity when there
is absolutely no need to. To make sure you don't do
this, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure
You're a Real Christian (without having to be
religious)" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.

To be concluded …

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have
made it possible through the death and resurrection of
your Son, Jesus, for all my sins to be forgiven so I
can spend eternity with you in heaven. Help me to make
sure that I am prepared to meet you face to face when I
die. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV).


<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
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Post  Admin on Thu 24 May 2012, 7:41 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Because We Are What We Are

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be
comforted."1

Have you ever felt in the pits when a well-meaning
friend told you that you shouldn't feel that way? It
makes you feel worse. Right? Whether we should or
shouldn't feel what we feel is beside the point. We
feel what we feel because we are who and what we are.

Feelings are neither right nor wrong. They just are.
It's what we do with them that counts. And, contrary
to what many of us were taught, feelings are
important. They are a God-given vital part of our
humanity.

In one sense feelings are an "emotional thermometer."
They tell us what's going on inside of us--what our
emotional temperature is and, when interpreted
correctly, can indicate when we are emotionally well
or if there is some issue in our life we need to
resolve.

When feelings are repressed, one's "thermometer" is
out of order. It's a very unhealthy way to live. You
don't even know when you are sick (emotionally and/or
spiritually). Furthermore, people whose feelings are
repressed may be clever but can, at the same time, be
very cold, calculating, insensitive, callous, and--in
the extreme--even murderous.

Feelings can be trusted. What we can't always trust is
our interpretation of them. That's the difficult part,
but with help it can be learned and learn it we must
if we are to be emotionally, spiritually and
physically healthy.

Learn to listen to your emotions. Take time to write a
daily journal. Record what you are feeling without any
kind of self-judgment. David did a lot of this in the
Psalms. Get into a support, recovery or therapy group
where it is safe to express your feelings and get them
out into the open where they can be accepted and
examined. If emotions are deeply buried, chances are
you will need a capable therapist to help you work
through and resolve the barriers in your life that are
blocking your feelings.

Be aware, too, that the negative emotions we fail to
talk out creatively we will inevitably act out in one
way or another destructively. Also remember that Jesus
never told us how to feel or how not to feel--only how
to act.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to get in touch
with all of my emotions--both positive and
negative--and learn how to express them creatively in
a healthy manner so that I will become an honest and
real person as David was. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Jesus in Matthew 5:4 (NIV).

<:((((><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Wed 23 May 2012, 9:13 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
More on Projection

"How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me
take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself
fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite,
first take the plank out of your eye, and then you
will see clearly to remove the speck from your
brother's eye."1

Sometimes, though not always, the thing that upsets us
in others is the problem that we have never resolved in
ourselves.

On one occasion right after I conducted a short
personality test, which included only one brief
question about sexual attitude, I was approached by a
woman who said to me, "Wow, you sure have hang-ups
about sex, don't you!"

I replied, "And how old were you when you were
sexually abused?"

She looked at me in amazement and said, "How did you
know?"

I said, "You just told me."

Another common example is when a preacher or a
moralist continually condemns a particular sin that he
is obsessed about, you can be pretty sure that that's
his problem--either overtly or covertly. These people
project their own problem onto others. Because it's
their problem, they suspect it's other people's
problem too. Or to compensate for their guilt they
condemn others for what they themselves are doing or
secretly want to do.

It's no wonder Jesus told us to get rid of the plank
out of our own eye before we tried taking a speck of
sawdust out of anybody else's.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please face me with all
of my character issues and faults so I won't project
or dump them onto others, and so I can bring them to
the light for your healing touch. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Jesus in Luke 6:42 (NIV).

<:((((><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 May 2012, 11:00 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Gossip

"There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are
detestable to him … a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."1

Somebody has said that most of us wouldn't think of
stealing a man's transportation but think nothing of
stealing his reputation, which is what gossip does.

Unfortunately, with gossip, once it's out, it's out.
And like the ever widening concentric circles of a
pebble thrown into a pool, its effects can keep
reaching out into ever widening circles. And it can't
be taken back any more than one can "unring a bell."

Gossip can come in many forms besides saying negative
things about someone. When a person's name comes up
all we need to say is, "Oh. Him?" in a tone of voice
that immediately casts a doubt on that person. And we
would deny vigorously that we ever gossiped about that
person!

Gossip is not wrong because the Bible says so but
rather, like any sin, the Bible says it's wrong
because it is damaging to human personality. Remember,
too, that God listed the sin of gossip with other sins
such as homosexuality, evil, greed, depravity, envy,
murder, deceit, malice, and slander.2 A sobering
thought.

True, we need to be warned against dangerous people.
On the other hand it can be very difficult to discern
what needs to be said about another and what is
malicious gossip. With God's wisdom and help, let us
strive to avoid destructive gossip at all cost.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, some gossip can be such a
juicy morsel in my mouth. Help me to develop a real bad
taste for it--both for speaking it and for listening to
it. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 6:16,19 (NIV).
2. Romans 1:24-32.

<:((((><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Post  Admin on Mon 21 May 2012, 8:33 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Shooting the Wounded

"Praise be to the God … the Father of compassion and
the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our
troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves have received from
God."1

Someone has facetiously said that Christians form the
only army that shoots its wounded! A sad commentary
but too often too true. For example, some church
people still judge people suffering from depression
and other emotional problems saying they lack faith,
have unconfessed sin, or are not involved in enough
Bible study and prayer.

According to the author of the book, Beyond Seduction,
"There is no such thing as mental illness; it is either
a physical problem in the brain … or it is a moral or
spiritual problem." Another well-known Christian
leader basically agrees. In his book, Our Sufficiency
in Christ, he writes, "There is no such thing as a
'psychological problem' unrelated to spiritual or
physical causes. God supplies divine resources
sufficient to meet all those needs completely."

Whew! Can you imagine what it does to a person who is
mentally ill to hear that there is no such thing? It
makes him or her more depressed. Certainly some
depression is caused by a physical (biological) or a
spiritual problem, but certainly not all by any means.
Some is caused by psychological or emotional problems
and needs to be resolved with psychological tools just
as medical problems need to be resolved with medical
tools. Even Paul said to Timothy, "Take a little wine
for your stomach's sake."

And, how about Moses, Elijah, Job and Jeremiah who all
experienced times of depression.2 David, too, was often
downcast and depressed. Martin Luther also suffered
from long bouts of depression as did Charles Spurgeon,
the prince of preachers, and J.B. Phillips the great
Bible scholar.

What I believe God wants us to do when we are
depressed or mentally ill is to get the help we need
(professional if necessary) to find and treat the
cause/s. What we don't need is judgmental "friends"
who Christianize complexes and condemn us when we are
down or tell us we shouldn't feel the way we feel.
What we need is supportive friends who will listen to
us, give us their understanding, and help comfort us
with the comfort they themselves have received in
their times of trouble. Isn't that what Jesus was all
about?

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from
being cursed with the affliction to give unsolicited
advice to, or to be judgmental toward, those who are
emotionally down, depressed, or mentally ill. In all
situations please give me the grace, compassion and
understanding so that I will be as Jesus to friends
and neighbors who hurt. And please use me to be a
wounded healer. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV).
2. See Numbers 11; 1 Kings 19; Job 3; and Lamentations
1-5.

<:((((><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Post  Admin on Fri 18 May 2012, 8:00 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

People Who Need People

"One standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but
two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even
better, for a triple braided cord is not easily
broken."1

Many readers will be familiar with the song made
popular by Barbara Streisand, "People who need people
are the luckiest people in the world." She's right of
course.

Jesus was very definitely a people person. He was a
friend to and of sinners and ordinary people alike.
True, he needed space at times to be alone with God,
but he always came back to be with people. He rarely,
if ever, ministered alone (except for going to the
cross which he alone could do for us). And he relaxed
with friends, both male and female.

We all need some close, supportive friends. "Bear one
another's burdens" and "love one another" is at the
very heart of Christianity.

Make time to develop and maintain close friendships.
In a day of trouble you will need them. You will also
need them in good days. We were created for
relationships and can only live healthy lives when we
are in healthy relationships.

A poet wrote:

I went out to find a friend,
But could not find one there.
I went out to be a friend,
And friends were everywhere.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me first of all to
be a loving friend and then find loving friends to be
with. And thank you that you are a friend of sinners,
such as I. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (TLB)(NLT).

<:((((><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Post  Admin on Thu 17 May 2012, 9:19 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

More About Denial

"Be done with dishonesty … deception … and fraud. Long
to grow up into the fullness of your salvation."1

I once asked a group what they thought a Christian's
number one sin or problem was. As quick as a flash one
humorist replied, "Apathy, but who cares?" While he was
joking, he may have been correct, but my belief is that
another of our biggest problems is the sin of denial!

No matter what our problem is, as long as we keep our
head in the sand and don't admit there's a problem, or
refuse to face reality, there is no resolution. As one
ostrich said to the other, both with their heads in
the sand, "Is it safe to come out yet?"

One of my greatest strengths is to admit my failures
and weaknesses. That takes honesty and courage, but it
doesn't take courage to deny them. Denial is more a
sign of fear and weakness.

Without access to the truth there is no healing, there
is no overcoming our difficulties and problems, and
there is no freedom. We put ourselves outside of God's
"boundaries" to help us.

Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth
will set you free."2 So as long as there is any area
of my life where I haven't found freedom, then, to
that degree, there is some truth about myself that I
am not seeing or facing or am in denial about. Denial
is deadly. It prevents us becoming all that God wants
us to be. It is also the root cause of endless
physical sicknesses, relational conflicts, spiritual
dryness, and emotional problems including anxiety,
worry, false guilt, hostility, depression and so on.

Furthermore, as today's Scripture points out, getting
real is a part of growing up into the fullness of our
salvation and/or Christian maturity.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
totally open and honest with myself, with you, and
with at least one safe and trusted friend to whom I
can confess all my fears, failures, sins and
weaknesses without any fear of being judged,
criticized or put down. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. 1 Peter 2:1-2 (TLB)(NLT).
2. John 8:32.

<:((((><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com
Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Post  Admin on Wed 16 May 2012, 9:58 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Beware of Bible-Babble

"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test
the spirits to see whether they are from God, because
many false prophets have gone out into the world."1

Certainly I believe that God does lead, direct, and
communicate with us today. However, unless the word
received is directly from the Bible or in direct
harmony with biblical principles, it needs to be
rejected. Remember that God never goes against his own
Word--ever.

If we use "God-talk-bible-babble" as a means of
getting our own way--God-talk such as: "The Lord told
me it is to be such and such a way," or "God told me
you are to be my wife/husband," etc., etc.; or when we
quote a Bible passage out of context (which is really a
pretext), or when we blame God for our problems or for
things that go wrong when it is entirely our own
fault, or quote the Bible as a means of avoiding our
own or another's reality, it is meaningless
bible-babble. Which, of course, is a part of
religiosity!

Bible-babble may sound impressive if we don't know
what God's Word teaches. More often than not it is a
defense against facing our fears and insecurities and
as a means of avoiding personal responsibility. It is
often a form of denial, which is always a
self-deceptive and dangerous path to follow. If there
is one thing I believe God wants us to be, it is to be
real, to be honest, and to stop using bible-babble. God
always desires truth.2

One of the major problems with denial is that when we
are in it, we deny that we are.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from
the sin of denial and using bible-babble and God-talk
when I am using it as a means of avoiding reality.
Help me to be real always in all ways and at all
times. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 John 4:1 (NIV).
2. See Psalm 51:6.

<:((((><

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

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2012 by ACTS International.

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

Posts : 66673
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 75
Location : Wales UK

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