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LAST GENERATION "Good News" MIDDAY FEATURED DEVOTIONAL#14 Tuesday April 17 2012 Nisan 25, 5772

April 17

Satan's Tools

"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and, let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1).

There are weights which are not sins in themselves, but which become distractions and stumbling blocks in our Christian progress. One of the worst of these is despondency. The heavy heart is indeed a weight that will surely drag us down in our holiness and usefulness.

The failure of Israel to enter the land of promise began in murmuring, or, as the text in Numbers literally puts it, "as it were murmured." Just a faint desire to complain and be discontented. This led on until it blossomed and ripened into rebellion and ruin. Let us give ourselves no liberty ever to doubt God or His love and faithfulness to us in everything and forever.

We can set our will against doubt just as we do against any other sin; and as we stand firm and refuse to doubt, the Holy Spirit will come to our aid and give us the faith of God and crown us with victory.

It is very easy to fall into the habit of doubting, fretting, and wondering if God has forsaken us and if after all our hopes are to end in failure. Let us refuse to be discouraged. Let us refuse to be unhappy. Let us "count it all joy" when we cannot feel one emotion of happiness. Let us rejoice by faith, by resolution, by reckoning, and we shall surely find that God will make the reckoning real.
--Selected

***

The devil has two master tricks. One is to get us discouraged; then for a time at least we can be of no service to others, and so are defeated. The other is to make us doubt, thus breaking the faith link by which we are bound to our Father. Lookout! Do not be tricked either way.
--G.E.M.

***

Gladness! I like to cultivate the spirit of gladness! It puts the soul so in tune again, and keeps it in tune, so that Satan is shy of touching it--the chords of the soul become too warm, or too full of heavenly electricity, for his infernal fingers, and he goes off somewhere else! Satan is always very shy of meddling with me when my heart is full of gladness and joy in the Holy Ghost.

My plan is to shun the spirit of sadness as I would Satan; but, alas! I am not always successful. Like the devil himself it meets me on the highway of usefulness, looks me so fully in my face, till my poor soul changes color!

Sadness discolors everything; it leaves all objects charmless; it involves future prospects in darkness; it deprives the soul of all its aspirations, enchains all its powers, and produces a mental paralysis!

An old believer remarked, that cheerfulness in religion makes all its services come off with delight; and that we are never carried forward so swiftly in the ways of duty as when borne on the wings of delight; adding, that Melancholy clips such wings; or, to alter the figure, takes off our chariot wheels in duty, and makes them, like those of the Egyptians, drag heavily.



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LAST GENERATION "Good News" MIDDAY FEATURED DEVOTIONAL #15 Tuesday April 17 2012 Nisan 25, 5772


April 17 

What Is Your True Purpose

1 Samuel 16:6-13

What do you live for each day? A pay raise? Retirement? Then perhaps you've discovered the reality that basing aspirations on getting ahead in this world typically ends in disappointment. People with a misguided sense of direction often wonder why they feel unfulfilled.

Maybe you've already realized a goal of saving for the future or moving up the corporate ladder. You give to charity and volunteer at church, but somehow still feel a sense of insignificance or aimlessness. If so, there is a truth you need to hear: God gives each of us life for a very specific reason: to serve Him. Nobody finds inner peace without reconciling this fact. Our society teaches us that pleasure, prosperity, position, and popularity will make us happy--but living in the service of self always leaves an emptiness no earthly reward can fill.

Besides, worldly philosophy won't stand the test of time. Few of us are going to live even 100 years. So whatever we'll become in this life, we're in the process of becoming that right now. Consider David: he was anointed king long before actually assuming the role (1 Sam. 16:12). He spent many years serving the purpose of God in insignificant places while developing into a great man. As his story shows, discovering God's purpose for your life is the surest path to success.

Our heavenly Father's purpose for our lives comes from His heart of love--which is perfect. None of us can foretell the great things He has in store for us, but we can trust His plan completely. Surrender to Him today and say, "Not my will, Lord, but Yours be done."

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.

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LAST GENERATION "Good News" MIDDAY FEATURED DEVOTIONAL #13 Tuesday April 17 2012 Nisan 25, 5772

 
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 Is God Asleep? by Dr. Warren Wiersbe
 Read Psalm 44:17-26

 

Have you ever thought that God is asleep? Maybe it seems He isn't concerned about your problems and difficulties. Or perhaps you feel He isn't listening to your prayers. The writer of Psalm 44 had a similar feeling in his difficult situation. He writes: "Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever. Why do You hide Your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression? . . . Arise for our help" (vv. 23,24,26).

God does not sleep! How we feel doesn't necessarily reflect what is true. Psalm 121:4 says that He who keeps Israel does not slumber or sleep. God is eternally vigilant and eternally alert. Our mothers learned how to sleep with one ear open. When we cried out, they were right there to help us. But God doesn't sleep at all, so both of His ears are open. "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry" (Ps. 34:15).

God is awake, and He is mindful of our needs. Then why doesn't He do something? He always waits to do His will at a time when it will do us the most good and bring Him the most glory. The delays of God are not denials.

Because His timing is perfect, we must wait, trust and not complain. It's easy to complain, but we need to wait in silence before the Lord. And praise Him, because one day you will look back and understand why you had to wait.

God is ever mindful of your needs, and He will act when it will do the most good. His delays are preparation. Are you waiting for Him to answer your cry? Trust in Him and wait patiently. He will answer you.

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