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‘At Ease’ Май 19, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»I will walk at liberty and at ease…» Psalm 119:45

In life, ‘it’s always something’. When you solve one problem, another is waiting to take its place. Jesus said, ‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33 NKJV). Observe two things Jesus said. First, ‘In Me you may have peace’; second, ‘In the world you will have [trouble].’ God’s peace becomes a certainty only when you listen to, and obey, ‘these things I have spoken to you’. The Psalmist wrote, ‘I will keep Your law continually…[hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it]. And I will walk at liberty and at ease, for I have sought and inquired for [and desperately required] Your precepts’ (Psalm 119:44-45 AMP). Two words in this Scripture are worthy of note. The first is ‘inquired’, which implies seeking to find the truth. The second is ‘required’, which implies walking according to its principles every day. Only as you do these two things will you be able to ‘walk at liberty and at ease’. Your life will not be frustrating, you’ll have joy in spite of the circumstances, and consulting God will be the first thing you do, not the last. So if you’ve lost your peace of mind today, ask yourself, ‘Am I walking according to God’s Word?’ Obedience brings rest: ‘For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest…’ (Hebrews 4:3 AMP). As soon as you start obeying God’s Word you will be ‘at ease’. And that is how God wants you to live today.

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How Much Can God Trust You With? Май 17, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»If you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth…» Luke 16:11

We never really own anything, it’s just a loan. It was God’s property before we arrived, and He’ll lend it to somebody else after we’re gone. Our selfish culture says, ‘If I don’t own it, why should I take care of it?’ Those who understand God’s will live by a higher standard. They say, ‘Because God owns it, I’ll take even better care of it!’ In God’s kingdom, ‘…those who are trusted with something valuable must show they are worthy of that trust’ (1 Corinthians 4:2 NCV). To illustrate this, Jesus told the story of a businessman who entrusted his wealth to his servants while he was away. When he returned he evaluated and rewarded them accordingly: ‘…»Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!»‘ (Matthew 25:21 NIV). When you make the most of what God has given to you He promises three rewards. First, you’ll be given commendation: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’ Next, you’ll receive promotion: ‘I will put you in charge of many things.’ Finally, you’ll be honoured with a celebration: ‘Come and share your master’s happiness.’ For many of us, money is the greatest test of all. Jesus addresses this: ‘If you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?’ (Luke 16:11 NLT). There’s a direct correlation between how you use your money, and the quality of your life. So the question is: could the way you’re handling your money be preventing God from blessing you with more?

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Elijah (3) Май 16, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»…»There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising…»» 1 Kings 18:44

Every success story begins with somebody taking a small step or sowing a small seed, which usually represents all they have at that moment. Simply stated: everything big starts with something small. If you’re not willing to start small, you can’t start at all! The servant who kept telling Elijah nothing was happening, finally saw something. It was just a tiny cloud, but it had great potential. God loves to use things we think are insignificant. He used a boy’s lunch to feed a multitude, a slingshot to bring down a giant, and a handful of clay to restore a blind man’s eyesight. He can use a little job, a little money, or a little idea to bless you. Little clouds are indicators of what’s coming; they’re conduits God has chosen to use. When God promises you something, He doesn’t need anything big to make it happen. Often the change that impacts many, starts with one individual. Whether it’s an Esther or a Paul or a Mother Teresa or a Billy Graham, God only needs one person who believes Him and dares to step out on His Word. When God pours out His blessing upon you, you’ll begin to see three things. First, that your problems are just an opportunity for Him to ‘…show Himself strong on [your] behalf…’ (2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV). Second, that His ‘»…strength is made perfect in [your] weakness»…’ (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV). Third, that you can reach a place where you actually begin to thank God for your enemies, because God ‘prepares a table’, and vindicates you right there in front of them (Psalm 23:5 NKJV).

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Elijah (2) Май 15, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»…»Go up now, look toward the sea.»» 1 Kings 18:43

Elijah said to his servant, ‘…»Go up now, look toward the sea.» So he went up and looked, and said, «There is nothing.» And seven times [Elijah] said, «Go again»… the seventh time… [the servant] said, «There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!» So [Elijah] said, «Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you»‘ (1 Kings 18:43-44 NKJV). Notice four things in this story. First, you must look to God for your answer, not people. ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream…It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit’ (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV). Second, you must keep believing what God says. Elijah kept getting the same negative report, ‘There is nothing’. But he kept believing God until finally, the seventh time, his servant said, ‘There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea.’ God had promised it was coming, so he stood on God’s Word. Third, you must not be influenced by those who don’t share your vision. Elijah’s servant kept saying, ‘Nothing is happening.’ But Elijah knew better. You can’t be led by those who aren’t in sync with you spiritually. Finally, you must position yourself to receive. ‘…He… put his face between his knees’ (1 Kings 18:42 NKJV). That’s the birthing position! Today what you sense within you is real, but if you don’t get into position and push it won’t happen. If you do, God will bless you with ‘abundance’ (1 Kings 18:41 NKJV).

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Elijah (1) Май 14, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»…there is the sound… of rain.» 1 Kings 18:41

Are you going through a spiritual dry spell? Are you busy encouraging others while your own life seems to be falling apart? You’re not unique. It happened to Elijah, a prophet who’d just called down fire from heaven on Mount Carmel and defeated 850 false prophets in a spectacular victory. Suddenly he found himself in a full-blown famine with every human resource dried up and his back to the wall. So what did he do? ‘…he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees’ (1 Kings 18:42 NKJV). Good move! Elijah decided to shut out his surroundings, reach for God’s help, and keep praying until he had an answer. When the answer came, it came as ‘a sound of abundance of rain’. Notice, what Elijah heard in his spirit was completely at odds with what he could see or hear around him. His spirit sensed rain before a drop fell. There’s an important lesson here. When God speaks to you He will speak to your spirit, not your flesh. What He says there will be more real than anything that’s happening in your circumstances. But be warned, what you hear in your spirit may go against what you hear in your intellect, or what you have in the bank, or what’s happening at work, or what’s taking place at home, or what’s happening in your body. Elijah had to discount all the ‘no rain’ reports he kept getting. So will you. When you know God has promised you a certain thing you must tune out the negativity around you, stand on His Word and keep believing!

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Appreciate Your Pastor Май 13, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»…[The] high priest is [only] a man…» Hebrews 5:1

When it comes to appreciating your pastor, notice four Bible principles. First, ‘[The] high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God.’ Let’s be clear: your pastor was chosen from among human beings, not angels. Second, because he is human, ‘he is able to deal gently with…people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses’ (Hebrews 5:2 NLT). The reason your pastor can empathise with you is because he fights many of the same battles you do. Charles Spurgeon said, ‘An untested, unscarred pastor can never be fully used of God.’ Third, ‘This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people’ (Hebrews 5:3 NLT). This may come as a shock, but pastors fail too and they need God’s grace. Don’t think because your pastor is a great preacher that he doesn’t struggle with his family, his finances, his fears and his flesh. Actually, he may struggle more, for satan would rather knock out one general than 100 foot soldiers. When you fail you can go to your pastor, but who can he go to? Fourth, ‘No man takes this honour to himself, but he who is called by God…’ (Hebrews 5:4 NKJV). Your pastor didn’t call himself, God called him. So before you criticise him ask yourself, ‘Have I prayed for him?’ Before you pronounce judgment ask yourself, ‘Is God dealing with him in ways I don’t know?’ Someday you and your children may need your pastor’s prayers and counsel. So don’t tear down today what you need to be strong for you tomorrow.

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Have You Been ‘Burned’? Май 12, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»…Watch out that no [bitter] root… grows up [among] you…» Hebrews 12:15

Have you been ‘burned’ by people? You’re not alone, we all have. But instead of being consumed by it, God tells you to forgive it and let it go. When you deny your feelings and stew under the surface, you give the devil the advantage over you (2 Corinthians 2:11). But by dealing scripturally with the situation your painful experiences can make you better, not bitter. If you’re struggling with bitterness today do these three things. First, forgive. Forgiveness isn’t based on an emotion. Don’t wait until you ‘feel’ like it, decide today to let the offence go. When you do, God’s Spirit will calm your emotions and help you overcome the urge to retaliate. Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy’ (Matthew 5:7 NIV). Since you yourself will always need to make withdrawals, God calls you to keep making ‘mercy deposits’. Second, pray about it. The moment you sense resentment, turn to God and He will give you the strength to act in love rather than react in anger. When you commit to living this way He promises to give you ‘…power to keep [yourself] calm in the days of adversity…’ (Psalm 94:13 AMP). Third, think scripturally. Look up every verse you can find on showing forgiveness and meditate on them. Remember, each time you choose to do the right thing, a little more of the old you dies and the new you develops. That’s how God prepares you for greater blessing. But you must be in position to receive it. So decide now that although you’ve been ‘burned’, you won’t become bitter.

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Walking on Water (3) Апрель 29, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»…He walked on the water… to Jesus.» Matthew 14:29

Peter discovered what we all discover in our walk with God: just because you sink doesn’t mean you’re sunk. Here are two reasons why. First, failing doesn’t make you a failure, quitting does. Failure is just a part of learning. Sir Edmund Hillary made several attempts to scale Mount Everest before succeeding. After one such attempt he supposedly stood at the base of the mountain, shook his fist in defiance and shouted, ‘I’ll defeat you yet. You’re as big as you’re going to get, but I’m still growing!’ He learned something from every unsuccessful attempt until one day he succeeded. Winston Churchill said, ‘I’ve never failed at anything in my life. I was simply given another opportunity to get it right.’ That’s the winning spirit! Second, the real failures were the ones who stayed in the boat. They failed quietly and privately; their failure went unnoticed and uncriticised. Although Peter crashed and burned publicly, he experienced the euphoria of walking on the water. He alone knew how it felt to be empowered by God to do what he could never have done by himself. Once you’ve walked on water you are never the same. Peter would take this moment to his grave! He also experienced the joy of being lifted by Jesus in a moment of despair. Peter knew, in a way the others couldn’t, that if he sank Jesus would be there to save him. He shared a moment, a connection, a trust the others didn’t. How could they, when they never left the boat! Failure doesn’t come from sinking — it comes from letting your fears stop you.

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Walking on Water (2) Апрель 28, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»…He walked on the water… to Jesus.» Matthew 14:29

When Peter was certain it was Jesus who was calling him, he left the security of the boat and entrusted himself to the power of God. So far, so good. ‘But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. «Save me, Lord!» he shouted’ (Matthew 14:30 NLT). So you must focus on the Lord, not the storm. We all know what it’s like to ‘see the waves’. You begin a new venture — a job, a relationship, an area of spiritual growth — full of hope. Then you encounter storms and setbacks. Jesus said, ‘Here on earth you will have many trials…’ (John 16:33 NLT). Expect it; it’s part of the journey of faith! (You must feel the fear and do it regardless. Growth requires taking on new challenges. Each time you do you’ll experience fear, because growth and fear go together. But each time you risk leaving the boat it means you’re more likely to do it again. And each time you step out on the water without drowning, you realise that fear no longer has the power over you. On the other hand, each time you resist God’s voice and choose to stay in the boat His voice becomes a little quieter until eventually you don’t hear it at all. Wouldn’t it be worth any risk to avoid that? Furthermore, staying in the boat doesn’t guarantee your safety; it only guarantees you’ll eventually die from something else. The answer to fear is to get out of the boat a little more each day, until fear loses its hold on you.

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Walking on Water (1) Апрель 27, 2011

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.
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»…He walked on the water… to Jesus.» Matthew 14:29

The disciples were out fishing one night when a huge storm struck. About 3am they were terrified by a figure approaching them on the water. ‘…Immediately Jesus spoke… «Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid»…Peter answered… «Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You»…So He said, «Come.» And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water… to Jesus’ (vv. 27-29 NKJV). This story teaches us, first, that if the Lord doesn’t call us to do it, don’t! There’s a story about a man standing at the gates of heaven. Peter says, ‘Name one great deed you’ve done.’ The man replies, ‘Well, a gang of bikers was threatening a woman so I smacked them, kicked over their bikes and ripped out their nose rings.’ Impressed, Peter asks, ‘When did this happen?’ The man answers, ‘About 30 seconds ago!’ To walk on water you must learn to discern between God’s voice and your own impulses. Second, it teaches us that to experience miracles, we must get out of our comfort zone. Exchange places with Peter. The storm is raging and he’s afraid. The boat’s secure and comfortable. Wouldn’t you want to stay there? But you can’t. God designed you to do more than simply avoid failure; He’s calling you to step out in faith and accomplish things. You say, ‘What’s my boat?’ It’s anything you put your faith in when life gets stormy, like a job or a relationship. Your boat is anything that stops you from getting out of your comfort zone. Leaving it is the scariest, but most rewarding step you’ll ever take!

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