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#241 lilacday

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 04:21 PM

TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY
Dad, Start a Tradition
‘Fathers … bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.’

Ephesians 6:4
The UCB Word for Today 19th June 2016

Dad, your children deserve a father who will model the Christian life before them, teach them the truth of God’s Word, and show them how to receive the gift of eternal life. And it could be that in your family this beautiful tradition will begin when you commit your life to Jesus Christ. Author and Bible teacher Gordon MacDonald tells the story of three mediaeval stonemasons who were working on a building project, when a passer-by asked them what they were doing. ‘The first replied that he was laying bricks. The second described his work as that of building a wall. But it was the third stonemason who demonstrated genuine esteem for his work when he said, “I’m raising a great Cathedral.” Pose that same question to any two fathers concerning their role in the family and you are liable to get the same kind of contrast. The first may say, “I’m supporting a family.” But the second may see things differently and say, “I’m raising children.” The former looks at his job as putting bread on the table. But the latter sees things from God’s perspective: he’s participating in the shaping of lives.’ R.A. Torrey, the great Bible teacher, once said, ‘A man’s success as a Christian leader cannot be determined until one sees his grandchildren.’ Dad, think about that - you’re not just raising sons and daughters, you’re raising future fathers and mothers. You’re shaping lives today that tomorrow will be shaping the lives of generations to come. And in order to succeed you must take God with one hand and your children with the other.
Luke 11:29-54, Ps 66-67
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#242 lilacday

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 02:45 PM

27 June 2016

Building Real Relationships

‘He loved them to the end.’
John 13:1 NIV

Many people spend hours every day on social networks. There’s nothing wrong with interacting with others this way. In fact, social media offers one of the greatest tools the Church has ever had for reaching the world with the gospel. But while social media is a fun and effective way to connect with people, it can also make it easier to neglect the value of face-to-face relationships. One author says: ‘Life is so much richer when we have friends with whom we can share our joys and troubles … Unfortunately loneliness remains a major problem and source of pain for many. But none of us need become resigned to loneliness; [it’s]…“treatable,” if not actually avoidable.’ Real relationships aren’t built just by posting updates, or sharing the most thought-provoking quotes. They also involve meeting someone’s needs in a way that never would’ve happened without a one-on-one connection. That’s what Jesus did. Most of His public ministry was spent pouring Himself into twelve men who, in turn, went out in His name and poured themselves into others. The Bible says, ‘Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.’ The psalmist spelled out how many people today feel deep down: ‘No one is concerned for me … no one cares’ (Psalm 142:4 NIV). If you want to meet people’s needs you have to get ‘up close and personal’. That’s what Jesus did, and He’s your example.

What Now?

How can you support a friend's dream or cause?

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#243 lilacday

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 12:31 PM

5 July 2016

The Power of Praise

‘All the prison doors flew open.’ 
Acts 16:26 NIV

The Bible says: ‘About midnight Paul and Silas were … singing hymns to God … Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken … all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose’ (vv. 25-26 NIV). Praise opens doors. Praise breaks chains. Any time you praise God in spite of the circumstances, the forces of heaven come to your aid. You say, ‘But sometimes I don’t feel like praising God.’ The psalmist wrote, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’ (Psalm 34:1 NKJV). Sometimes praise is an emotional response to God’s goodness; other times it’s an act of your will. Anybody can praise God in the good times. But when you have to rise above your feelings and your circumstances, that’s when it really counts. The battle of Jericho teaches us that sometimes you have to shout God’s praise when: 1) You are up against a brick wall. 2) It feels like you’re going in circles. 3) Your circumstances seem to mock you. 4) Your rational mind thinks, ‘This plan doesn’t make any sense.’ 5) It’s the last thing you feel like doing. But when you praise God anyway, you discover the truth of Nehemiah’s words: ‘The joy of the Lord [the joy that comes from knowing He is present with you and has gone before you to work things out in your favor is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10 AMP). When you’re ruled by circumstances and emotions you live on a rollercoaster. But if you look to the Lord of your circumstances and praise Him, you move from weakness to strength.

What Now?

Practise worshipping God in different ways this week. Alone in your room, in groups, when you're out walking with earphones in. See how it changes your days.

 

 

5 July 2016

The Power of Praise

‘All the prison doors flew open.’ 
Acts 16:26 NIV

The Bible says: ‘About midnight Paul and Silas were … singing hymns to God … Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken … all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose’ (vv. 25-26 NIV). Praise opens doors. Praise breaks chains. Any time you praise God in spite of the circumstances, the forces of heaven come to your aid. You say, ‘But sometimes I don’t feel like praising God.’ The psalmist wrote, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’ (Psalm 34:1 NKJV). Sometimes praise is an emotional response to God’s goodness; other times it’s an act of your will. Anybody can praise God in the good times. But when you have to rise above your feelings and your circumstances, that’s when it really counts. The battle of Jericho teaches us that sometimes you have to shout God’s praise when: 1) You are up against a brick wall. 2) It feels like you’re going in circles. 3) Your circumstances seem to mock you. 4) Your rational mind thinks, ‘This plan doesn’t make any sense.’ 5) It’s the last thing you feel like doing. But when you praise God anyway, you discover the truth of Nehemiah’s words: ‘The joy of the Lord [the joy that comes from knowing He is present with you and has gone before you to work things out in your favor is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10 AMP). When you’re ruled by circumstances and emotions you live on a rollercoaster. But if you look to the Lord of your circumstances and praise Him, you move from weakness to strength.

What Now?

Practise worshipping God in different ways this week. Alone in your room, in groups, when you're out walking with earphones in. See how it changes your days.

5 July 2016

The Power of Praise

‘All the prison doors flew open.’ 
Acts 16:26 NIV

The Bible says: ‘About midnight Paul and Silas were … singing hymns to God … Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken … all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose’ (vv. 25-26 NIV). Praise opens doors. Praise breaks chains. Any time you praise God in spite of the circumstances, the forces of heaven come to your aid. You say, ‘But sometimes I don’t feel like praising God.’ The psalmist wrote, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’ (Psalm 34:1 NKJV). Sometimes praise is an emotional response to God’s goodness; other times it’s an act of your will. Anybody can praise God in the good times. But when you have to rise above your feelings and your circumstances, that’s when it really counts. The battle of Jericho teaches us that sometimes you have to shout God’s praise when: 1) You are up against a brick wall. 2) It feels like you’re going in circles. 3) Your circumstances seem to mock you. 4) Your rational mind thinks, ‘This plan doesn’t make any sense.’ 5) It’s the last thing you feel like doing. But when you praise God anyway, you discover the truth of Nehemiah’s words: ‘The joy of the Lord [the joy that comes from knowing He is present with you and has gone before you to work things out in your favor is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10 AMP). When you’re ruled by circumstances and emotions you live on a rollercoaster. But if you look to the Lord of your circumstances and praise Him, you move from weakness to strength.

What Now?

Practise worshipping God in different ways this week. Alone in your room, in groups, when you're out walking with earphones in. See how it changes your days.
 
 
 

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#244 lilacday

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 05:04 AM

DAY

Has God Given You a Vision?

‘Write the vision and make it plain … that he may run who reads it.’

Habakkuk 2:2
 
The UCB Word for today 2nd August
 
When God gives you a vision for your life, write it down, keep it before you at all times and run with it. You say, ‘But I see no way for it to come to pass.’ The Bible says, ‘The vision is yet for an appointed time … wait for it; because it will surely come’ (v. 3 NKJV). You may not know how to get from where you are right now to where the vision will ultimately take you - but God does. So ask Him to reveal the next step to you. Whether you’re in prison like Joseph, in a soup kitchen in the inner city, or at home taking care of small children, God will fulfil the vision He placed in your heart. The more you see yourself leading in the boardroom, launching your own business, serving in ministry, writing your first book, or helping others through your gifts, the sooner it’ll become a reality. Before a vision becomes clear, God gives us glimpses of it - like a picture developing from a soft hue into sharp resolution. So take your vision and run with it. Let it motivate you to perform to the best of your ability in your present position, while staying in communication with the One who knows and loves you best. Today pray: ‘Lord, I know that where I am right now, isn’t where You’re taking me. Give me glimpses of Your vision for my future, so that my understanding may grow in accordance with Your timing. Give me patience along the way and faith to trust that You’re always working for my good. Amen.’
Luke 14:25-35Ps 79-80

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#245 lilacday

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:13 PM

When it comes to building good relationships, you must be proactive. This calls for knowing who you are as a person, and what you want from the relationship. While it seems counterintuitive to focus on who you are individually versus who the two of you are as a couple, the whole is only as strong as the parts. Great relationships are based on each party being truthful and up-front about their real needs, desires, feelings, and values. While as a couple you must make decisions together, decisions about who you are as a person and what you want your life to be are yours alone to make. Allowing someone else to make those decisions for you is a mistake. When you let someone else decide who you are and what you want, you give away the power that God gave you. Understand this: 1) Doing nothing is not making a decision. 2) Sitting back and pretending not to see a situation for what it is, is not a decision. 3) Procrastinating about what to do until something happens where you’ve no choice but to go one way or the other is not a decision. It’s passivity, and in the end it won’t serve you well. Sometimes you have to accept unchangeable circumstances, but you always have the choice to decide what you want to be within them. This principle is taught clearly by what God told His people on the threshold of the Promised Land: ‘How long will you neglect to go in and possess the land which the LORD…has given you?’ So, be proactive.

Ruth 1-4John 8:28-59


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#246 lilacday

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 02:11 PM

28 June 2017

When Jesus prayed (3)

‘He departed to the mountain to pray.’ 
Mark 6:46 NKJV

Another time when Jesus prayed was when the pressures and expectations of others threatened to wreck God’s plan for His life. The Bible says, ‘While it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so that I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So He travelled throughout Galilee, preaching’ (Mark 1:35-39 NIVUK). Time spent in prayer aligned Jesus’ thoughts to God’s. He realised, once again, what His purpose was. Other people may have their own ideas about what we should do, they may even try and plan our lives for us, but time spent in prayer with God will help us to keep God’s plan for our lives as the priority. When we’re feeling under pressure from others, we can make decisions that lead us away from God’s plan. We can end up walking in a completely different direction to where God wanted us to go, all because we let the voices and expectations of other people drown out the voice of God. Taking time out with God, just like Jesus did, is a way to keep God’s voice as the loudest in our lives. Jesus realised He only had enough time to do what His Father wanted Him to do, and that gave Him the ability to say no to other things. We need to regularly spend time praying so we can keep God’s purpose as our focus and then make decisions that enable that purpose to be fulfilled.

What Now?

Sit in silence until you begin to hear God’s voice over the noise of your thoughts.

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#247 lilacday

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:46 AM

Here are two ‘superglue’ qualities that can permanently cement any friendship: honesty and loyalty. The Bible says, ‘You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies.’ A real friend may upset you by telling you the truth, but he or she will tell you the truth nonetheless. They may not always tell you what you want to hear, but if they truly love you, they’ll tell you what you need to hear. In the short run it may hurt, but in the long run it will help you. When you want to measure a relationship to determine whether it qualifies as a genuine friendship, here are two questions you should ask the other person: 1) Can I trust you enough to be totally honest with me? 2) Can I trust you enough to be totally honest with you? Only a true friendship expects and can survive such mutual honesty. The other quality involved in keeping a friend is loyalty. ‘There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV). The word stick refers to how skin sticks to the bone. It’s a poignant picture of just how closely knit one friend should be to another. Loyalty is the one thing a person should never have to question about his or her friend. A true friend will always be your defence lawyer before he or she becomes your judge. There’s no such thing as ‘a fair-weather friend’. You don’t need friends in fair weather; you need them when the weather gets nasty. A fair-weather friend is no friend at all.

Jer 12-142 Thess 3


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#248 Debp

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:35 AM

Enjoyed the devotional, Lilacday. Thanks!
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