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“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”


-Revelation 21:4

SURRENDER IN FAITH -  

BY MARY WILDER TILESTON

In Joy and Strength

Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. - LUKE 1:38

OH, let my thought, my actions, and my will

Obedient solely to Thy impulse move,

My heart and senses keep Thou blameless still,

Fixed and absorbed in Thine unbounded love.

Thy praying, teaching, striving, in my heart,

Let me not quench, nor make Thee to depart. 

GERHARD TERSTEEGEN


WE can see plainly how her ready self-surrender in faith, in trust, to her unknown, her mysterious destiny; how her instant expression of entire self-oblation to the Divine Will, to all that she was called to be and to do, to bear all that might in the future be required of her, is a constant witness of the mind that ought to animate and pervade the whole action of the soul. Life, if true, should be always the offering up of what we are, to do our best for Him who has called us. The responsibilities, the ventures, the conscious obligations which press on the soul, with all their conditions and unknown possibilities, supply the question that is to be solved; but the true response is the result of a habit formed through countless, nameless acts of conscientious obedience, which by use have become the bright and cheerful exercise of the one purpose of giving its best and purest to One most fully loved. 

T. T. CARTER


This is a public domain version of Joy and Strength.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/surrender-in-faith#sthash.fSqo9fKm.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

BLESSED ENEMY -  

In Lessons on Living

Then Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" And he answered, "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord: 'Behold, I will bring calamity on you. I will take away your posterity, and will cut off from Ahab every male in Israel, both bond and free. I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and made Israel sin.'" - 1 Kings 21:20-22

Those who might be called our enemies can actually do us great service. Socrates noted that every man needs a faithful friend and a bitter enemy?the one to advise him, and the other to make him look about him. Benjamin Franklin said, "Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults." And the Greek philosopher Antisthenes admonished, "Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes."

Elijah could have helped King Ahab to discover his mistakes, if the king would have permitted him to do so. Ahab was surrounded by false prophets who were telling him only what they thought he wanted to hear. His wife, Jezebel, was leading him down the path of destruction by her zealous attempt to establish Baal worship in Israel. Elijah was his only hope, but the king dismissed him because he was an "enemy."

If a Christian is living for the Lord, he will have enemies. This will not be because he has cultivated them; it's simply the natural response of the world to the Gospel. But such a situation can be turned to our advantage. The Lord can use even our enemies to accomplish His will in our lives.

If you have an enemy, listen to him or her carefully. See if underneath their bitterness or anger there might not be a grain of truth in their complaint with you. Enemies often identify our faults much better than our friends do. Why not try listening to them? It may in the long run make you more Christlike.

Cherish your enemies; they may be blessings in disguise.


- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/blessed-enemy#sthash.ytvSRPml.dpuf

Dr. Woodrow Kroll served as President and Senior Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible from 1990-2013. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Kroll's passion is to increase Bible literacy in America by engaging people in the Bible and connecting them with the Author. His clear, incisive teaching of the Word keeps him in demand as a speaker all over the world. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/authors/woodrow-kroll#sthash.7Yrcap6W.dpuf

More of Dr. Woodrow Kroll: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Hurry or Urgency?    

This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

And immediately coming up out of the water, He (Jesus) saw the heavens opening…and immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness…and immediately they left their nets…and immediately He called them… Mark 1:10, 12, 18, 20 (NASB)

No one would debate that we live in a world that is filled with hurry. We hurry here and there at a frantic pace. Think through your own life for a few moments. Are you in such a rush through your day that you hardly accomplish anything? Is your time with your kids filled more with “headlines” than with deep, meaningful conversations? Was your most intimate time with your spouse the last time you said “I love you” over your cell phone? When was the last time you had some time just to talk with one of your closest friends? Do you even have close friends? Is hurry a problem in your life?

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus seems to be in a hurry. In one chapter alone, the word, “immediately” is used over nine different times. In fact, throughout the Gospel of Mark, it appears that Jesus is on the run through all sorts of events and relationships. Still, do not make the mistake of assuming Jesus was in a hurry. He wasn’t. For Jesus, there was a difference between hurry and urgency. Jesus felt urgency for things that were important. He knew His priorities; He knew why He was on earth; He knew the ministry that He had initiated and how it was going to change people’s lives. He may have sensed urgency about the things of the Kingdom of God, but He did not hurry through life. He still had time for deep, personal relationships and life events that led to the changing of human history.

God calls us to a sense of urgency, not hurry. We need to be clear about how God put us together with special gifts, talents, abilities and how He wants us to use those abilities to His glory. God calls us to deep relationships that add value to our lives. There are people, situations, circumstances and events that urgently need our full and complete attention. To hurry through them will only contribute to a feeling of futility and meaninglessness.

Today, intentionally strive to be aware of the significance of every moment and every person God brings across your path. This awareness of urgency can lead us to a place where God will use us in powerful ways.

GOING DEEPER:

1. Do you suffer from hurry sickness? What does this “illness” do to your life? What is God calling you to do about it?

2. What relationships or circumstances need your most urgent attention?

 

FURTHER READING:

Matthew 6:25-33; Revelation 1:3; Revelation 2:1-7; Psalm 18

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

DESPERATE DAYS -  

BY MRS. CHARLES COWMAN

In Streams in the Desert

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." - Hebrews 11:6

The faith for desperate days.

The Bible is full of such days. Its record is made up of them, its songs are inspired by them, its prophecy is concerned with them, and its revelation has come through them.

The desperate days are the stepping-stones in the path of light. They seem to have been God's opportunity and man's school of wisdom.

There is a story of an Old Testament love feast in Psalm 107, and in every story of deliverance the point of desperation gave God His chance. The "wit's end" of desperation was the beginning of God's power. Recall the promise of seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sands of the sea, to a couple as good as dead. Read again the story of the Red Sea and its deliverance, and of Jordan with its ark standing mid-stream. Study once more the prayers of Asa, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah, when they were sore pressed and knew not what to do. Go over the history of Nehemiah, Daniel, Hosea, and Habakkuk. Stand with awe in the darkness of Gethsemane, and linger by the grave in Joseph's garden through those terrible days. Call the witnesses of the early Church, and ask the apostles the story of their desperate days.

Desperation is better than despair.

Faith did not make our desperate days. Its work is to sustain and solve them. The only alternative to a desperate faith is despair, and faith holds on and prevails.

There is no more heroic example of desperate faith than that of the three Hebrew children. The situation was desperate, but they answered bravely, "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." I like that, "but if not !"

I have only space to mention Gethsemane. Ponder deeply its "Nevertheless." "If it is possible...nevertheless!" Deep darkness had settled upon the soul of our Lord. Trust meant anguish unto blood and darkness to the descent of hell--Nevertheless! Nevertheless!!

Now get your hymn book and sing your favorite hymn of desperate faith. --Rev. S. Chadwick


"When obstacles and trials seem

Like prison walls to be,

I do the little I can do

And leave the rest to Thee.


"And when there seems no chance, no change,

From grief can set me free,

Hope finds its strength in helplessness,

And calmly waits for Thee."


The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/desperate-days#sthash.2dAeUFeR.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

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