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Take 5 (4/8/09)

Posted by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 8:57 PM
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Gospel Hiway

Daily Devotionals July 24, 2008

July 1, 2008

The Power In Meekness

READ: Exodus 2:11-15; 3:7-12
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. -Isaiah 30:15

Niagara Falls is one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen. The roar of 6 million cubic feet of water each minute makes it the most powerful waterfall in North America. Few people, however, know that more than 50 percent of the river's water is diverted before it reaches those falls via four huge tunnels. This water passes through hydroelectric turbines that supply power to nearby areas in the US and Canada before returning to the river well past the Falls.

Some would love to have others think of their lives like Niagara Falls- wild, spectacular, and loud. But power without control dissipates into useless energy. Moses thought he could use his royal power to bring about deliverance for God's people from slavery. He misused his power by killing an Egyptian, which only dissipated his power because he lost the respect of his own people (Ex. 2:11-15). God had to teach him meekness (Num. 12:3).

The meek prosper because they are the ones who have power under control. Our Lord said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5). You may be trying to live in this world by your own power. Let God teach you meekness so that you can live in, and depend on, His strength.  - C. P. Hia

We strive to do the will of God
And struggle to succeed;
But we may fail to recognize
God's strength is what we need. -D. De Haan

Nothing is stronger than strength under God's control.

Pleasing Worship by Dr. Woodrow Kroll

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

Although little or nothing is known of the personal life of Malachi the prophet, nonetheless he has given us one of the most interesting books in the Bible. Not only is this the last book of the Old Testament, it is also the last stern rebuke of the people of God, the last call for them to repent, and the last promise of future blessing for Israel.

In Malachi's day the people had become increasingly indifferent to spiritual matters. Religion had lost its glow and many of the people had become skeptical, even cynical. The priests were unscrupulous, corrupt, and immoral. The people refused to pay their tithes and offerings to the Lord and their worship degenerated into empty formalism. While the people had strong male lambs in their flocks, they were bringing blind and lame animals to be offered on the altars of Jehovah. Malachi was commissioned by God to lash out against the laxity of the people of God.

This prophecy is unique for it is a continuous discourse. In fact, Malachi has been called "the Hebrew Socrates" because he uses a style which later rhetoricians call dialectic. The whole of this prophecy is a dialogue between God and the people in which the faithfulness of God is seen in contrast to the unfaithfulness of God's people. Thus Malachi is argumentative in style and unusually bold in his attacks on the priesthood, which had become corrupt.

The most blistering attack in the entire book comes in Jehovah's dispute with His priests. If anyone should have known better than to fall to idolatry and corruption, it ought to have been those who served at the Temple of God. Still, the priests had again and again polluted the bread of the altar of God; they had sacrificed spotted animals on that altar and thus had made the table of the Lord contemptible. In addition to this, the priests were involved in empty formalism. They went about their duties day after day in dull drudgery rather than in faith. This was not pleasing to Him and Jehovah told them so.

In contrast, Jehovah declared the kind of worship that is acceptable: "For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles" (Malachi 1:11). It is obvious this was not true in the days of Malachi, for the Gentiles had not yet come to praise the name of Jehovah. Nonetheless, Malachi is speaking prophetically and the day will come, the great millennial day, when all the nations of the earth will flock to the Temple in Jerusalem and there they will worship in sincerity the God of Israel. This worship will be carried on from the rising of the earliest sun to its setting hours later. All day long, service in that day will not be dull drudgery but will be a delightful duty.

What a contrast there is between the conclusion of the Old Testament and the conclusion of the New Testament. The Old Testament concludes with an invective against dead formalism in the church. The New Testament concludes with the bright and morning Star in the midst of the church. Thank God that prophecy does not end with the Old Testament but continues until the day that Jesus Christ will usher in an eternity with Him in Heaven. But let's not wait until then. Let's rise with the sun today and begin a day filled with praise to our God.

O worship the King, all glorious above,
And gratefully sing His pow'r and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise


Living Free Every Day®

Today's Scripture
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

Thoughts for Today
Dealing with the consequences of a loved one's problem is difficult. Pain, stress and frustration often build up to an overload level. Living in that overload condition can do harm. It can affect our emotional and physical health-virtually everything in our lives.

In order to avoid this state of overload, we must believe that there is hope. Not hope in our loved ones' ability to overcome the problem on their own. Not hope in our own ability to fix the problem. As much as we may want to, we can't take charge and make things right.

There is only one real hope-faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in his love-he cares greatly about where we are and what we need. Faith in his power-he is able to deliver us from the fears and stress. Faith in his plan for us-he has a plan for our future that will not harm us, but will prosper us.

Consider this
God won't force our loved ones to change, but he will help them when they are ready to reach out to him. In the meantime, he will comfort and strengthen us. Ask him to help you approach each day with an attitude that confidently expects him to do good things in your life and in the lives of those you care about.

Father, sometimes I really do feel as though I'm running on overload. Thank you for reminding me that I don't have to-that I'm not alone. Teach me to trust Jesus instead of being overcome with worry.

These thoughts adapted from
Concerned Persons by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee is designed for the many people who have a current or past relationship with a person who has a life-controlling problem. It is suggested for home groups, support groups, recovery groups or cell groups. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples

Mom to 2 boys, wife to a wonderful husband 
 Group Owner - Marraige Under God
Group Admin - Christian Mom's Bible Study Group
Group Admin - Mommies4Jesus

by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 8:57 PM
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