CLASSIC DEVOTIONALS: "Imitation of Christ" -Thomas a Kempis

The Imitation of Christ

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OF THE READING OF HOLY SCRIPTURES



It is Truth which we must look for in Holy Writ, not cunning of words. All Scripture ought to be read in the spirit in which it was written.

We must rather seek for what is profitable in Scripture, than for what ministereth to subtlety in discourse. Therefore we ought to read books which are devotional and simple, as well as those which are deep and difficult. 

And let not the weight of the writer be a stumbling-block to thee, whether he be of little or much learning, but let the love of the pure Truth draw thee to read.

Ask not, who hath said this or that, but look to what he says.

2. Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.

Without respect of persons God speaketh to us in divers manners. 

Our own curiosity often hindereth us in the reading of holy writings, when we seek to understand and discuss, where we should pass simply on. 

If thou wouldst profit by thy reading, read humbly, simply, honestly, and not desiring to win a character for learning.

Ask freely, and hear in silence the words of holy men; nor be displeased at the hard sayings of older men than thou, for they are not uttered without cause.

CLASSIC DEVOTIONALS: "Morning & Evening" -C.H. Spurgeon

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Morning...
 
Hosea 14:4
I will love them freely.
 
This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning is a theologian, and he who can dive into its fulness is a true master in Israel. 

It is a condensation of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The sense hinges upon the word "freely." 

This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are. 

The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness: "I will love them freely." Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then He would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, "I will love you freely." 

We complain, "Lord, my heart is so hard." "I will love you freely." "But I do not feel my need of Christ as I could wish." "I will not love you because you feel your need; I will love you freely." "But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I could desire." 

Remember, the softening of spirit is not a condition, for there are no conditions; the covenant of grace has no conditionality whatever; so that we without any fitness may venture upon the promise of God which was made to us in Christ Jesus, when He said, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned." 

It is blessed to know that the grace of God is free to us at all times, without preparation, without fitness, without money, and without price! "I will love them freely." These words invite backsliders to return: indeed, the text was specially written for such-"I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely." Backslider! surely the generosity of the promise will at once break your heart, and you will return, and seek your injured Father's face.

Evening...
 
John 16:15
He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you.
 
 
There are times when all the promises and a doctrines of the Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. We are thirsty, but too faint to crawl to the water- brook. 

When a soldier is wounded in battle it is of little use for him to know that there are those at the hospital who can bind up his wounds, and medicines there to ease all the pains which he now suffers: what he needs is to be carried thither, and to have the remedies applied. It is thus with our souls, and to meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth, who takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us.

 Think not that Christ hath placed His joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb up to them for ourselves, but He draws near, and sheds His peace abroad in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art to-night labouring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well, but the promises He has written in the Word He will write anew on your heart. 

He will manifest His love to you, and by His blessed Spirit, dispel your cares and troubles. Be it known unto thee, O mourner, that it is God's prerogative to wipe every tear from the eye of His people. 

The good Samaritan did not say, "Here is the wine, and here is the oil for you"; he actually poured in the oil and the wine. So Jesus not only gives you the sweet wine of the promise, but holds the golden chalice to your lips, and pours the life-blood into your mouth. The poor, sick, way-worn pilgrim is not merely strengthened to walk, but he is borne on eagles' wings. 

Glorious gospel! which provides everything for the helpless, which draws nigh to us when we cannot reach after it-brings us grace before we seek for grace! Here is as much glory in the giving as in the gift. Happy people who have the Holy Ghost to bring Jesus to them.

CLASSIC DEVOTIONALS: ""The Lord is my light and my salvation"" - Daily Light

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MORNING

O God, my heart is fixed.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. - He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. - In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy: I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strength-en, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.

PSA. 108:1. Psa. 27:1. Isa. 26:3. -Psa. 112:7,8. Psa. 56:3. Psa. 27:5,6. I Pet. 5:10,11.

EVENING
The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. - Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

I am the LORD, and there is none else; there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the in-habitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? - If God be for us, who can be against us?

He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. - Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.


PSA. 103:19. Prov. 16:33. Amos 3:6. Isa. 45:5-7. Dan. 4:35. Rom. 8:31. I Cor. 15:25. Luke 12:32.

CLASSIC DEVOTIONALS: "Superior to Angels" -A.W.Tozer

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Superior to Angels




The writer of the letter to the Hebrews gives his readers a vivid, vital portrait of Jesus, the eternal Son. He knows their familiarity, through the Old Testament, with the concept and ministry of angels. He trades on that knowledge to point out the overwhelming superiority of the victorious Jesus as He ministers in the heavenly world above:

Again, when God brings his first-born into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." In speaking of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire." But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom" (Hebrews 1:6–8).

In this revealing comparison between angels and the Messiah-Savior, Jesus Christ, we need to bear in mind that the ministries of angels were very well known and highly respected among the Jews. 

It should be of great significance to us, then, that the writer would assure them that Jesus our Lord is infinitely above and superior to the brightest angels who inhabit the kingdom of God. Never has there been a created angelic being of whom it could be said, as it was said of Christ, He is "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being" (1:3).

CLASSIC DEVOTIONALS: "The Witness Of The Spirit" -My Utmost for His Highest

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The Witness Of The Spirit



We are in danger of getting the barter spirit when we come to God, we want the witness before we have done what God tells us to do. "Why does not God reveal Himself to me?" He cannot, it is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the road as long as you won’t abandon absolutely to Him. 

Immediately you do, God witnesses to Himself, He cannot witness to you, but He witnesses instantly to His own nature in you. If you had the witness before the reality, it would end in sentimental emotion. Immediately you transact on the Redemption, and stop the impertinence of debate, God gives on the witness. 

As soon as you abandon reasoning and argument, God witnesses to what He has done, and we are amazed at our impertinence in having kept Him waiting. If you are in debate as to whether God can deliver from sin, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot. Do not quote this and that person, try Matthew 11:28 – "Come unto Me." Come, if you are weary and heavy laden; ask, if you know you are evil (Luke 11:13).

The Spirit of God witnesses to the Redemption of Our Lord, He does not witness to anything else; He cannot witness to our reason. 

The simplicity that comes from our natural common-sense decisions is apt to be mistaken for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature, and to the work of Redemption, never to our reason. If we try to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder we are in darkness and perplexity. 

Fling it all overboard, trust in Him, and He will give the witness.

DANIELS PRAYER at 3:00


DANIELS PRAYER
at 3:00

"While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people, and the nation, my leaders, my teachers, my family of faith; presenting my plea before the Lord my God" 

“O Lord 
according to all your righteous acts
The Love you have for you Son
The work He has done for the World 

Let your anger and your wrath turn away from this Land,
Let your righteous anger be turned to Mercy
Let your wrath turn to Grace

Because for our sins, 
and for the iniquities of our fathers
We are guilty

Forgive us.
Have Mercy on us
O God shed your grace. 

O our God
Our Father 
Listen to the prayer of your servant 
Hear His pleas for mercy,

HEAR OUR CRY 

For your own sake, 
O Lord 
For the Obedience of your own Son
Who Died For Us

Make your face to shine upon Us,

O my God,
incline your ear and hear. 
Open your eyes and see our need
Lord have mercy on us

We do not present our pleas before you 
because of our righteousness, 
but because of your great mercy.

O Lord, hear; 
O Lord, forgive. 
O Lord, Have mercy on us.
Act upon your Grace to us. 

O my God, 
because your Son

and we who are called by His name.

Lord Have mercy on us.



COMMUNION DAILY: "NOT SOMETHING I CAN PUT IN WORDS...,"


NOT SOMETHING I CAN PUT IN WORDS...,
But for a personal "Spirit Check"

Having to commune daily with Jesus,
and choosing to do so in mind of
remembrance to,
and declaration of His Coming again.

There is a difference,
a separation.......

AND I LIKE IT.

COMMUNION DAILY: ""Do this in Remembrance of Me""



Jesus Said
"Do this in Remembrance of Me"

SO WE DO DAILY AT 1:00

Sometime today

Kool Aid and Graham Crackers
Or
Kosher Wine and Matzoh

TODAY

COMMUNE WITH YOUR GOD

And 

"Do this in remembrance of me"

DANIELS PRAYER at 12:00


DANIELS PRAYER
at 12:00

"While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people, and the nation, my leaders, my teachers, my family of faith; presenting my plea before the Lord my God" 

To us, O Lord,
belongs open shame.


We are shamed and we are ashamed
Of our Country and our Government, 
of our Congress and our Judiciary.


From the Fathers of our Children, 
to the Mothers that have borne them
From One corner of this land to other 
For the stranger within and citizen inside

WE ARE MORE THAN ASHAMED


BECAUSE WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU


We hide our heads in sorrow.
O Lord Our God


To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness.
It is not our right to ask.
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness. 
We have rebelled against him
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness.
We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God 


WE HAVE SINNED
We have done wickedly 
We have not obeyed your voice


TO YOU O LORD OUR GOD
 BELONGS MERCY AND FORGIVENESS






DAILY DEVOTIONS: "Moses" -Mike MacIntosh


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Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."
Exodus 32:1


Patience is not something that comes naturally for any of us. Wouldn't you agree? We want to eat right away, so we hop in the car and pick up fast food. We want to listen to a song, so we download the MP3. We buy and sell stocks instantly, with the click of a button. In a world of instant satisfaction, it's no wonder we lack patience -- especially with God.

The Israelites found themselves growing impatient. Here they were, camped beside Mount Sinai, waiting for Moses to return from the mountaintop, where he was talking with God. But what was taking Moses so long? Did he die? Nearly 40 days had passed since anyone had seen or heard from him, and the people were starting to get antsy. 

They complained to Aaron, "Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." But the Israelites were making a huge mistake.

First, the people assumed that because Moses had not yet returned, he would never return. And this is the mistake of many who reason that because Jesus has not yet returned for His church, He never will.

It is the same mistake we make when we think that the Lord cannot change someone's heart, simply because that person has yet to change, or that God will not answer a prayer, simply because He has not answered it yet. But it is always a mistake to assume that present circumstances will never change simply because they have yet to change.

Next, notice that the people see Moses as their liberator -- they call him "the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt." But Moses had not led them out of the land of Egypt -- God had. Moses had never even claimed to be their leader. In fact, while speaking with God on the mountaintop, Moses humbly tells God, "You have brought [them] out of the land of Egypt" (Exodus 32:11). 

The people, though, did not acknowledge God; they effectively made Moses their god. They didn't rely on the commands of God, but on the presence of a man. How, then, could they understand God's will in the man's absence? When we fail to see God's leading -- when we blame the people around us for problems and delays, the way the Israelites blamed Moses in his absence -- we grow impatient. We try to take charge. And that led to the Israelites' biggest mistake.

The people were tired of waiting, and they wanted to take action -- they wanted to replace Moses. Not with another man, or even with a number of men, but with gods. False gods, plural. And Aaron didn't say one word to counter them; he facilitated the creation of a golden calf, of which the people proclaimed, "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!" (Exodus 32:4). First it was Moses who delivered them, now a golden calf? Would the people never acknowledge God?

You know, we can read this story and understand the foolishness of the Israelites to grow so impatient and act so impulsively. But are we guilty of the same mistakes? I'm sure the Israelites must have been proud of their teamwork in coming together to create a golden calf. I'm sure it took much skill to create.

 And I'm sure they found the golden calf impressive. But did that make it worthy of the credit that only God deserved? Do we grow impatient with God, and build idols in our lives that rob Him of the glory He deserves?

Today, let me encourage you to wait on the Lord. Maybe you need His wisdom on an important decision, or His provision for the coming days, weeks, and months. Maybe, like the Israelites, you're wandering in the wilderness, waiting for God to point you to the promised land. 

Trust that He is in charge. Know that He can bring change to your life, and hope to your soul. And always acknowledge Him in everything you do. Proverbs 3:5-6 says it best: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

VidDevo Meditations: "Today was Made For You"




DAILY DEVOTIONS: "Empty Wells" -David McGee

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Change is Coming
Nehemiah 6:3
So I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?"
NKJV


Satan never has a good day. He is miserable, and he wants you miserable too. He offers you fun, that turns into sorrow, laughter that turns into tears and temporary pleasure that turns into a life of pain and possibly into an eternity of pain. The Bible tells us that we must resist. Satan wants to destroy our life while God desires to give more of life.

John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." NKJV

In order for us to resist the devil, we must first allow Jesus to change us from the inside out. You can go through the motions and do all the right things, but if you don't let Jesus change the old ways, you are being ripped off. Don't allow the enemy to gain control. Submit to God and allow His Spirit to change you.

Life Lesson: If you don't allow Jesus to change your old sinful nature, the old selfish you, the enemy will have easy access to your life to rip you off.

Dear God,
I know there have been times I have allowed the enemy to pull me away from your best. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear You more clearly through your Word, your Holy Spirit and other believers. I want Your ways, not the enemies ways! In Jesus Name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee

DAILY DEVOTIONS: "Power-producing presence" -Bob Coy

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Power-producing presence
When Israel went out of Egypt… Psalms 114:1 (NKJV)


Psalm 114 recounts Israel's exodus from Egypt. It tells us that when this happened some extraordinary things took place. The sea fled, the Jordan River was driven back, the earth trembled, and a fountain of water flowed from the rock. But all these amazing things aren't the real focus of this Psalm.

Instead, the Psalmist points us to the power of the presence of God, which is the reason the sea fled, the earth trembled, and the fountain flowed. Israel's power came from God's presence, not from the miraculous events that it produced. It was Him in them that made all the difference:

Judah became His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion. (Psalms 114:2 NKJV)

Now, there's a direct parallel between Israel's exodus from Egypt and the Christian life. Israel represents us, and Egypt represents the old life of bondage in sin. The exodus represents our leaving that life and following the Lord's leading to a better land, a better life.

With that in mind, we need to remember that in the Christian life, our power comes from God's presence in us and not in any external miracles or signs. Those things may very well happen—life-long addictions may be overcome and giants may fall. But as Psalm 114 shows us, it's God's presence that produces the powerful results that surround us, not the other way around.

As we sojourn through this life, filled with obstacles and temptations, we can't be reminded enough that everything goes back to the presence of the Lord. Without it, we won't get any further in our journey than Israel would have. But as we also see from their example, when God is with us, nothing can stop us.

May Your presence, O Lord, be the one thing we desire more than anything else...and may Your presence empower our lives!
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?

DAILY DEVOTIONS: "The Sacrifice Of Thanksgiving (Psalm 50)" -Ray Steadman

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The Sacrifice Of Thanksgiving  (Psalm 50)


Read the Scripture: Psalm 50
Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High. (Psalm 50:14).
What does God want from us? He does not want mere hymn singing, although that is fine. Nor does He want only prayer, although that too is fine. He does not simply want our attendance, although that is fine. What He wants, first, is a thankful heart. That is what He seeks, a thankful heart. Each one of us is to offer to Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving. A sacrifice is something into which we put effort; it costs us. 
Have you ever asked yourself why the Scriptures stress thanksgiving so much? Both the Old and New Testaments emphasize that above everything else, God wants thankfulness. Give thanks in all circumstances, says the apostle Paul, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Why is this? It is because thanksgiving only comes as a result of having received something. You do not give thanks until you have received something that comes from someone else. Therefore thanksgiving is the proper expression of Christianity, because Christianity is receiving something constantly from God.
Of course if you have not received anything from God, then you have nothing to thank Him for. Though you come to the service, you really have nothing to say. God is a realist. He does not want fake thanksgiving. I know there are certain people (and they are awfully hard to live with) who think that Christianity consists of pretending to be thankful. They think it means screwing a smile on your face and going around pretending that troubles do not bother you. That is a most painful form of Christianity. 
God does not want you to go around shouting, Hallelujah! I've got cancer! But there is something about having cancer to be thankful for. That is what He wants you to see. There are aspects of it that no one can possibly enjoy, but there are other aspects that reveal purpose, meaning, and reason. God wants you to see this--what He can do with that situation and how you can be thankful. Thanksgiving is the first thing He wants in worship.
The second thing is an obedient will. Fulfill your vows to the Most High. Notice the kind of obedience it is. It is not something forced upon you; it is something you have chosen for yourself. A vow is something you decide to give, a promise you make because of truth you have seen. You say, I never saw it like that before. I really ought to do something about it. God helping me, I'm going to do such and such. That is a vow. God says, I'm not asking you to do things you have not yet learned are important. But when you have vowed something, then do it. Act on it. Obey it.
Lord, I offer to You right now the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Thank You that You are at work for good both in me and through me. Grant that I might obey your truth out of a heart of gratitude.
Life Application: We can expend much energy complaining, blessing no one. How can we re-focus our thoughts so that we have an attitude of gratitude no matter our circumstances?
We hope you were blessed by this daily devotional.

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