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Yesterday at 4:50 PM
Posted by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 1:11 PM
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http://www.godtube.com/devotionals/our-daily-journey/articles.html

Daily Devotional, March 1st

Posted to 2 Corinthians 5:21 on Feb 22, 2010 at 03:44 PM

2 Corinthians 5:21

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
 

Celebrating a loss

As time ticked away at Hull City’s beautiful KC Stadium in the UK, an appreciative and raucous crowd stood in anxious anticipation. At game’s end, hundreds of fans scurried onto the field to celebrate. Their beloved Tigers had just gone toe-to-toe with legendary Manchester United and . . . lost?

The TV commentator explained, “Hull City may have lost this battle, but they’ve won the relegation war.” By losing “only” 0-1, Hull avoided relegation from England’s vaunted Premiership and the dreaded banishment to an inferior league.

Clearly, not all losses are created equal. The greatest loss of all time occurred when Jesus was crucified. He had come to live on this earth. He walked among us, ate our food, breathed our air, healed our sick, and offered eternal life to any who would accept it. What did He get for His trouble? The religious leaders of His day conspired to put Him to death.

Yet Jesus didn’t lose; He won! When Bono sings in Sunday Bloody Sunday, “to claim the victory Jesus won,” he’s singing about this victory. Jesus went willingly to the cross as a sacrificial Lamb to pay the price for our sins and to defeat sin and death. He who had never sinned became “the offering for our sin,” says 2 Corinthians 5:21. And the very next portion of Scripture makes this crucially important appeal: “We beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you’ ” (6:1-2).

Because of Christ’s victory, we aren’t relegated to live a dreary life of addiction to our sins, waiting for life’s final whistle. Jesus conquered death. In Him, ultimate and overwhelming victory is ours (Romans 8:37). His loss became His greatest victory—and demands our praise and celebration of Him. —Tim Gustafson, Our Daily Journey

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by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 1:11 PM
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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 6, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Daily Devotional, March 2

Posted to Psalms 19:1 on Mar 1, 2010 at 02:49 PM

Psalms 19:1

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
 

"What Our World Tells Us"

Dr. Clyde S. Kilby, longtime English professor and noted devotee/interpreter of C. S. Lewis, formulated and passed along 11 life resolutions. The tasks he strived to do every day were designed to keep his heart open to imagination and his eyes open for God. One of his resolutions reads: “Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are, but simply be glad that they are.” Kilby’s lifelong belief was that wonder lies all around us, if only we have the eyes to see it.

Scripture tells us that God’s wonder and majesty are woven into all of creation. Wherever we turn, wisps of glory and bits of beauty announce to us that God is near. The psalmist announces that “the skies display [God’s] craftsmanship” (19:1). And these skies (and all that lies beneath them) tell a story. Oh, how they tell a story! “Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known” (v.2).

The fact remains, however, that we have to be listening; we have to be looking. The voices echoing all around us, in every yellow daffodil and rippling creek and whispering willow, are strange voices. They do not yell. They do not shout and struggle to capture our attention. Rather, they “speak without a sound or word” (v.3).

A beautiful mystery: Creation always speaks, yet never says a word. And the name always spoken, though never uttered, is God. Elizabeth Barrett Browning captures the spirit of the psalmist: “Earth’s crammed with heaven. And every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees takes off his shoes. The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”

CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org —Winn Collier

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 6, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Daily Devotional, March 3

Posted to 1 Samuel 17:20 on Mar 1, 2010 at 02:50 PM

1 Samuel 17:20

So David arose early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the circle of the camp while the army was going out in battle array shouting the war cry.
 

"Hands Free"

Around our house, I am lovingly known as “the pack mule.” I have an incessant desire to carry everything from the car in one load. Whether I’m walking across the grass or trying to haul an entire shopping trip in two hands, I always look for the shortest distance between two points. Heaven forbid that I should have to make multiple trips. More than once, I’ve discovered the inconvenience (and groceries-damaging practice) of trying to unlock the door with full hands.

Detailing David’s battle with Goliath, 1 Samuel 17 takes us from his home to the frontlines. In the story, two phrases often get overlooked for their simplicity. Verse 20 says, “So David left the sheep with another shepherd,” while verse 22 tells us, “David left his things with the keeper of the supplies.”

When thinking about facing a Goliath, we want to know what the battle will demand. Will we have the faith to stand as David did? (vv.45-47). Will we have the confidence to reject man’s ideas in order to use the weapons the Lord chooses? (vv.38-40). Our actions away from the battlefront hardly seem relevant.

But for David, victory wouldn’t have come without his willingness to leave his sheep and his belongings behind. Imagine going to war with a flock and baggage in tow. Though he was not looking for a fight, David’s ability to leave the right things behind made him ready.

Though the battle looks different for us, the principle is the same: God may ask us to leave what we’re doing so that we can carry out His new assignment (v.20). When Goliath shows up, will you be ready?

—Regina Franklin

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 6, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Daily Devotional, March 4

Posted to Psalms 32:5 on Mar 1, 2010 at 02:53 PM

Psalms 32:5

I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD ”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.
 

"Postcard Secrets"

Some years back, Frank Warren handed out 400 blank postcards bearing his address to strangers and asked them to send their untold secrets to him. Warren began receiving confessions like: “I haven’t spoken to my dad in 10 years, and it kills me every day” and “Everyone who knew me before 9/11 now believes I’m dead.” Today, Warren’s Post-Secret project receives over 1,000 postcard secrets every week.

Since then a plethora of online confessionals have followed. Many of the confessions posted are fabricated. But many are heartfelt—like the woman who confessed to cheating on her boyfriend and then wrote: “I’m sorry. I don’t believe in a god, but I feel I need to finally tell someone the truth, even if it is just the Internet.”

The human soul longs to confess its guilt. Three thousand years ago, King David wrote in a song: “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long” (Psalm 32:3). We don’t know what sin was on his mind, but we know how he felt before he came clean: “Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat” (v.4).

David finally confessed his sin to God and discovered the power of divine pardon. “And You forgave me!” he sings heavenward in relief. “All my guilt is gone” (v.5).

Confessing our wrongs on a postcard or Web site may be partially therapeutic, but it doesn’t go far enough. It’s not just confession we need, but cleansing. The Internet doesn’t “hear” our confession. A postcard can’t “pardon” our sin. But the personal God of the universe can do both.

“Therefore,” David sings on, “let all the godly pray to You while there is still time” (v.6). Confess and be clean, for the God of forgiveness is listening.

—Sheridan Voysey

CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 6, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Daily Devotional, March 5

Posted to Deuteronomy 18:13 on Mar 1, 2010 at 03:03 PM

Deuteronomy 18:13

You shall be blameless before the LORD your God."
 

"Leave the dead alone"

There’s a growing fascination about life after death. Thousands of so-called psychics around the world claim to contact the spirits of the dead. And online, people can visit with psychics, spirit guides, and experts in reincarnation. There are nearly 16,000 witchcraft sites, 13,000 reincarnation sites, 12,000 psychics sites, and more than 1,000 sites dedicated to talking with the dead.

God told Moses to warn Israel that deliberate involvement with contacting the deceased was forbidden by Him (Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:9-14). Talking to mediums, seeking spirits, practicing sorcery and divination to try to contact the dead was forbidden because these practices prevented Israel from being a peculiar people—a people who would be a blessing to all nations (Leviticus 20:6-8). How could she influence her neighbors if she was imitating their evil behavior? So, why did people attempt to contact the dead? They were:

• desperate for guidance (1 Samuel 28:3-15)

• disobedient to God (1 Chronicles 10:13-14) • deceived (2 Corinthians 2:10-11; 11:3) For believers, these practices are forbidden as well. These practices are not motivated by the Spirit, but are the fruit of the sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21). Any believer who seeks out psychics, horoscopes, and mediums, for the purpose of contacting the dead, is choosing to follow Satan. They aren’t being peculiar and cannot please God.

Instead of having a fascination with contacting the dead, we should initiate loving contact with the living. That way we can tell them about God who— through His Son—loves them and can secure their eternal life.

—Marvin Williams

 CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 11, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Daily Devotional, March 8

Posted to 1 Peter 5:7 on Mar 1, 2010 at 03:05 PM

1 Peter 5:7

casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
 

"Anxious Times"

My friends were dealing with a daughter who was struggling physically and emotionally. Unable to determine the source of her problems, they were getting stretched thin. Not surprisingly, as their precious girl struggled with her anxiety—that invisible foe with physical manifestations—they too started to become anxious.

The world events over the past few years have led many people to experience anxious times. And while anxiety has different degrees of severity, with some people needing professional help, the apostle Peter has given us a prescription for dealing with it: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Peter’s two-pronged plan leads us to:

• Act. We can actively release our concerns to Jesus. The verb give, in verse 7, literally means “to throw upon.” By “tossing” our worries to Him, we can experience a release from the anxiety that’s threatening to take us down (Matthew 6:25-34).

• Acknowledge. We can be encouraged and sustained by the recognition that “He cares about [us]” (1 Peter 5:7). Instead of staying in emotional turmoil, we have the uplifting opportunity to look to the One who cares and provides for us (Philippians 4:19).

One of Peter’s traveling companions, the apostle Paul, expresses some similar thoughts: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done” (4:6). Both men faced “high anxiety” situations in which their faith was tested, so their words come from real experience.

Take Peter and Paul’s words to heart if you’re feeling anxious today. By taking action (giving your troubles to God) and acknowledging God’s care for you (looking to Him, not to your own resources), you can find rest and restoration (1 Peter 5:10).

—Tom Felten

CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 11, 2010 at 8:05 AM

Daily Devotional, March 9th

Posted to Psalms 116:6 on Mar 8, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Psalms 116:6

The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
 

Childhood again

Until today, I thought Davy Crockett was merely a fictitious raccoon hunter. This afternoon, however, fact dislodged my fictitious understanding of the Tennessee native as I read a Crockett biography to my 6-year-old son and 5-year-old foster child.

With the two small boys sitting by my side, I learned that though many myths surround the “King of the Wild Frontier,” beneath the coonskin cap lived a real American hero—a longstanding member of the United States Congress, and a legendary soldier.

Among the most exhilarating gifts that accompany raising children are the opportunities that we, as adults, have to learn and discover. Through children, we have opportunities to master subjects we once considered dull, relish the messages in fairy tales, and delight in simplicity. In terms of faith, though, God doesn’t suggest that we return to thinking and reasoning as a child (1 Cor. 13:11). But He does exhort us to return to “childlike faith” and to simply trust in Jesus.

He longs for our expressions of faith to echo those of the psalmist who declared, “I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” (Psalm 116:1-2).

The same God who “bends down to listen” to us experiences pleasure when we look up to Him. “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank You for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased You to do it this way!” (Matthew 11:25-26).

God desires that we once again view Him with credence versus skepticism, with trust instead of fear, and with hope rather than apprehension.

—Roxanne Robbins, Our Daily Journey

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 11, 2010 at 8:25 AM

Daily Devotional, March 10th

Posted to Luke 22:26 on Mar 8, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Luke 22:26

But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant."
 

Numero uno

Consider this scenario. You’ve invited the 10 most important people from church to dine with Jesus, people whom you would consider VIPs—your pastor, elders, deacons, or lay leaders, for example. As host, you’re in charge of the seating arrangement. Assuming you have a round table that seats 12 people, where will Jesus sit? And since Jesus’ left- and right-hand sides are places of highest honor, whom would you assign to sit next to Him?

As the disciples entered the upper room to eat the Passover meal, they were all intent on sitting in the places of honor. This was not the first time they had fought over who was numero uno (Matthew 20:20-24; Mark 9:33- 35,10:35-37; Luke 9:46). And the jostling surfaced yet again in the midst of the Passover meal (Luke 22:20,24), barely hours before Jesus was crucified.

It was not uncommon for Jesus’ disciples to vie with one another over who would sit at His right and left. But as Christ’s followers, we’re to be different. Those who are truly great Christian examples take the lowest rank and become like a servant (v.26). Jesus Himself “got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him” (John 13:4-5). Paul later commented, “Though He was God . . . He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave” (Philippians 2:6-7). Jesus showed us what it takes to be truly great.

When people look at you, do they see a leader in high position exerting authority? Or do they see a servant serving in humility?

—K.T. Sim, Our Daily Journey

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Daily Devotional, March 10th

Posted to Luke 22:26 on Mar 8, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Luke 22:26

But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant."
 

Numero uno

Consider this scenario. You’ve invited the 10 most important people from church to dine with Jesus, people whom you would consider VIPs—your pastor, elders, deacons, or lay leaders, for example. As host, you’re in charge of the seating arrangement. Assuming you have a round table that seats 12 people, where will Jesus sit? And since Jesus’ left- and right-hand sides are places of highest honor, whom would you assign to sit next to Him?

As the disciples entered the upper room to eat the Passover meal, they were all intent on sitting in the places of honor. This was not the first time they had fought over who was numero uno (Matthew 20:20-24; Mark 9:33- 35,10:35-37; Luke 9:46). And the jostling surfaced yet again in the midst of the Passover meal (Luke 22:20,24), barely hours before Jesus was crucified.

It was not uncommon for Jesus’ disciples to vie with one another over who would sit at His right and left. But as Christ’s followers, we’re to be different. Those who are truly great Christian examples take the lowest rank and become like a servant (v.26). Jesus Himself “got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him” (John 13:4-5). Paul later commented, “Though He was God . . . He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave” (Philippians 2:6-7). Jesus showed us what it takes to be truly great.

When people look at you, do they see a leader in high position exerting authority? Or do they see a servant serving in humility?

—K.T. Sim, Our Daily Journey

CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 11, 2010 at 8:37 AM

Daily Devotional, March 11th

Posted to 1 Kings 18:21 on Mar 8, 2010 at 12:11 PM

1 Kings 18:21

Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.
 

Hedging bets

Millions of people say they believe in God, but to guarantee the good life they also put their trust in capitalism, science, or immoral pleasures. Recently, however, we’ve seen further proof that these gods cannot deliver. Free markets have collapsed, sending the economies of most countries into deep recessions. Scientific breakthroughs have produced cloning and greenhouse gasses. And the sexual revolution left us with AIDS and increased divorce.

Our predicament is not unlike Old Testament Israel, which hedged its worship of Yahweh by betting on Baal, the god of fertility. Baal was the storm god who, with lightning in one hand and thunder in the other, promised to send rain on the Israelites’ fields and make them rich.

God by striking Israel at their point of compromise. You worship Baal for the rain he provides? Then “there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!” (1 Kings 17:1).

After 3 years of drought, the parched Israelites agreed to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel for a faceoff between Baal and Yahweh. The prophets of Baal shouted and cut themselves, but they couldn’t persuade Baal to drop a lightning bolt and burn their sacrifice. Elijah scoffed that perhaps the pagan god was “daydreaming” or “relieving himself,” “Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!” (1 Kings 18:27).

When the exhausted Baal worshipers had finally given up, Elijah called down fire on his waterlogged sacrifice, a fire so intense that it consumed even the stones of the altar. Then Elijah seized the prophets of Baal and slew them.

Capitalism, science, and sex are good gifts from God. But if we put our trust in them (instead of Him), He may use these very things to destroy us.

—Mike Wittmer, Our Daily Journey

 CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org

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I'm really sad they will be closing Cafemom community this Thursday. :(
Yesterday at 4:50 PM
by Group Owner on Mar. 12, 2010 at 8:26 AM

Daily Devotional, March 12th

Posted to Philippians 4:7 on Mar 8, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

“Uncertainties”

Due to the recent economic downturn, the university my brother-in-law attends will no longer provide any paid academic teaching or research opportunities for students who have been in the program for more than 5 years. This change has affected him big-time. He was set to graduate with his doctorate degree next year. But now new plans have to be made.

My sister referenced Romans 8:28 as she wrote in an e-mail: “Though these are uncertainties, we have peace in our hearts as we know that God works for the good of those who love Him.” It’s evident that believers in Jesus can have peace in the midst of uncertainties. But how? In Philippians 4:6, Paul tells the believers in Philippi not to worry about anything but to pray about everything. Why? The heavenly Father loves His children and cares for their needs (Matthew 6:25-34). We can bring all our concerns to Him with an attitude of thankfulness—trusting Him to meet our needs.

To say the peace of God surpasses all understanding reveals that we can’t explain it, but we can experience it as He guards our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). The word guard means to set up a sentinel or “to watch over.” God not only guards our hearts from anxiety, He also guards our minds from spiraling downward.

In verses 8 and 9, Paul gives us 10 things to focus on and do that replace worry. We are told to “fix our thoughts” on them, and to “keep putting [them] into practice.”

Our peace comes from being confident that God is in control. He alone provides the peace that settles our nerves, fills our minds with hope, and allows us to relax even in the midst of changes and challenges.

—Poh Fang Chia, Our Daily Journey

 CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org

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