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Friday, February 29, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #82.


A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.

Friday has come and brings to an end another working week. What better way to get into a good frame of mind than to end it with a good laugh…

HOW THE FIGHT STARTED…
I rear-ended a car this morning. So there we are alongside the road and slowly the driver gets out of the car. . . and you know how you just-get-sooo-stressed and life-stuff seems to get funny? Yeah, well, I could NOT believe it . . . he was a DWARF!

He storms over to my car, looks up at me and says, 'I AM NOT HAPPY!'

So, I look down at him and say, 'Well, then which one are you?' . . . and that's when the fight started .
----------------

Hemingway Hall…
A visitor to a college campus paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall. "It's a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway."

"Actually," said the guide, "it's named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation."

"Oh? Was Joshua Hemingway a writer also?"

"Yes, indeed. He wrote a check."
-----------------
Lost Navigator…
The pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver. He placed it on top of the instrument panel, then asked the navigator, "Do you know what I use this for?"


The navigator replied timidly, "No, what's it for?"

The pilot responded, "I use this on navigators who get me lost!"

The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and placed it on his chart table.

The pilot asked, "What's that for?"

"To be honest sir," the navigator replied, "I'll know we're lost before you will."
------------------

Bee Gas…
While driving down the road a man ran out of gas. Just at that moment, a Bee flew in his window.

The Bee said, "What seems to be the problem"?

"I'm out of gas," replied the man.

The Bee told the man to wait right there and flew away. Minutes later, the man watched as an entire swarm of bees flew into his gas tank. After a few minutes, the bees flew out.

"Try it now," exclaimed the Bee!

The man turned the ignition key and the car started right up.

"Wow!" the man exclaimed. "What did you do???"

"Ahhh, it was easy," said the Bee. We just filled it up with "BP".
---------------
The Interview…
An office exec was interviewing a blonde for an assistant position, and wanted to find out a little about her personality.

"If you could have a conversation with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?"

"I'd have to say the living one."
----------------

Blonde Truckers…
While driving along the back roads of a small town, two blonde truckers came to an overpass with a sign that read CLEARANCE 11' 3".

They got out and measured their rig, which was 12' 4".

"What do you think?" one asked the other.

The driver looked around carefully, then shifted into first. "Not a cop in sight. Let's take a chance!"
---------------

FAITH SPOT…
Three elements of personality are involved in making a decision to become a Christian, or in making any significant decision for that matter. They are the emotions, the intellect, and the will.

For example, a young man meets a young woman. They are immediately attracted to one another. They both say to themselves, "Now there is someone I'd like to marry." At that point, if the emotions had their way, there would be a wedding. But the intellect intervenes, questioning the impulsive emotional response. Would we be compatible? What is she really like? Can I afford to support her? Both conclude it would be better to take some more time and answer a few questions before they proceed. So the two begin spending more time with each other. He eventually concludes that she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Now his intellect has sided with the emotions on the idea of marriage.
But the final and heaviest vote remains to be cast -- that of the will. It stops the march toward the altar with the questions, "Am I willing to give up this lifestyle for another? What about my freedom -- is it worth the trade? Am I willing to assume the added responsibility?" The marriage will occur only when the will finally agrees with the emotions and the intellect. And so it is in coming to Christ. - Jim Peterson.
------------
WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #46… MARANATHA

The word "maranatha" is a Syriac expression that means: "our Lord comes." It was used as a greeting in the early church. When believers gathered or parted, they didn't say "hello" or "goodbye" but "Maranatha!" If we had the same upward look today, it would revolutionize the church. O that God's people had a deepening awareness of the imminent return of the Savior!

While on a South Pole expedition, British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton left a few men on Elephant Island, promising that he would return. Later, when he tried to go back, huge icebergs blocked the way. But suddenly, as if by a miracle, an avenue opened in the ice and Shackleton was able to get through. His men, ready and waiting, quickly scrambled aboard. No sooner had the ship cleared the island than the ice crashed together behind them. Contemplating their narrow escape, the explorer said to his men, "It was fortunate you were all packed and ready to go!" They replied, "We never gave up hope. Whenever the sea was clear of ice, we rolled up our sleeping bags and reminded each other, The boss may come today."

The hymn writer Horatius Bonar exhorted us "to be ready for the last moment by being ready at every moment...so attending to every duty that, let Him come when He may, He finds the house in perfect order, awaiting His return." The trump may sound anytime. How important for us as Christians to be "packed and ready to go!" As you leave home today, don't say goodbye -- say "Maranatha!" - Our Daily Bread.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, "packed and ready to go!" For your glory Lord, and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #45. The Cross is a Radical Thing!

The cross of Christ is the most revolutionary thing ever to appear among men. The cross of the Roman times knew no compromise; it never made concessions. It won all its arguments by killing its opponent and silencing him for good. It spared not Christ, by slew Him the same as the rest. He was alive when they hung Him on that cross and completely dead when they took him down six hours later. That was the cross the first time it appeared in Christian history.


After Christ was risen from the dead the apostles went out to preach His message, and what they preached was the cross. And wherever they went into the wide world they carried the cross, and the same revolutionary power went with them. The radical message of the cross transformed Saul of Tarsus and changed him from a persecutor of Christians to a tender believer and an apostle of the faith. Its power changed bad men into good ones. It shook off the long bondage of paganism and altered completely the whole moral and mental outlook of the Western world.

All this it did and continued to do as long as it was permitted to remain what it had been originally, a cross. Its power departed when it was changed from a thing of death to a thing of beauty. When men made of it a symbol, hung it around their necks as an ornament or made its outline before their faces as a magic sign to ward off evil, then it became at best a weak emblem, at worst a positive fetish. As such it is revered today by millions who know absolutely nothing about its power.

The cross effects its ends by destroying one established pattern, the victim's, and creating another pattern, its own. Thus it always has its way. It wins by defeating its opponent and imposing its will upon him. It always dominates. It never compromises, never dickers nor confers, never surrenders a point for the sake of peace. It cares not for peace; it cares only to end its opposition as fast as possible.

With perfect knowledge of all this Christ said: Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me”

So the cross not only brings Christ's life to an end, it ends also the first life, the old life, of every one of His true followers. It destroys the old pattern, the Adam pattern, in the believer's life, and brings it to an end. Then the God who raised Christ from the dead raises the believer and a new life begins.

This, and nothing less, is true Christianity, though we cannot but recognize the sharp divergence of this conception from that held by the rank and file of evangelicals today. But we dare not qualify our position. The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment. A shallow and worldly leadership would modify the cross to please the entertainment-mad saintlings who will have their fun even within the very sanctuary; but to do so is to court spiritual disaster and risk the anger of the Lamb turned Lion.

We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only we can do--flee it or die upon it. And if we should be so foolhardy as to flee we shall by that act put away the faith of our fathers and make of Christianity something other than it is. Then we shall have left only the empty language of salvation; the power will depart with our departure from the true cross.

If we are wise we will do what Jesus did: endure the cross and despise its shame for the joy that is set before us. To do this is to submit the whole pattern of our lives to be destroyed and built again in the power of an endless life. And we shall find that it is more than poetry, more than sweet hymnody and elevated feeling. The cross will cut into where it hurts worst, sparing neither us nor our carefully cultivated reputations. It will defeat us and bring our selfish lives to an end. Only then can we rise in fullness of life to establish a pattern of living wholly new and free and full of good works.

The changed attitude toward the cross that we see in modern orthodoxy proves not that God has changed, nor that Christ has eased up on His demand that we carry the cross; it means rather that current Christianity has moved away from the standards of the New Testament. So far have we moved indeed that it may take nothing short of a new reformation to restore the cross to its right place in the theology and life of the Church. – A.W. Tozer.

Loving Father, I thank you for the Cross of Christs. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better disciple for you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… CHRISTMAS EVANS

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

Christmas Evans lived in terror of death from the time he was nine years old until he discovered he could have peace in Christ Jesus. Born into a poor Welsh family, he'd been sent to live with a uncle when his father died. The alcoholic uncle was cruel to the boy, worked him hard and completely neglected his education. In his heart, the boy knew there had to be something better and trembled for his soul. Eventually, he fled from his uncle's farm and found a job with a pastor.

Although the pastor denied Christ's divinity, he taught enough truth that Evans learned to trust in Jesus for salvation of his soul. Immediately the young man wanted to read the Bible for himself. A few friends bought Bibles and they read together by candlelight. Within a month Evans had mastered reading. He then studied Latin for six months in his pastor's school. That was his entire formal education but he went on to teach himself Greek and Hebrew.

Soon after he became a Christian, Evans stopped drinking with his buddies. The fact that he distanced himself from their ways made them angry. Six of them jumped him one night and beat him. He lost the sight of one eye in that attack. A dream about judgment day awakened in him a fervent desire to tell other people about the freedom a heart-change brings. The Holy Spirit gave him power to preach and he preached his way across Wales. Sometimes whole towns followed him from village to village, listening to ten or fifteen messages. Revival broke out in Wales.


After many years of success, Evans became bogged down in teachings that treated Christianity as a gaggle of rules. The power evaporated from his preaching. The churches he had built began to fail. He felt wretched inside.

On April 10, 1802, Evans had had enough.
"...l was climbing up towards Cader Idris, l considered it to be incumbent upon me to pray, however hard I felt in my heart and however worldly the frame of my spirit was. Having begun in the name of Jesus, I soon felt as it were, the fetters loosening and the old hardness of heart softening, and, as I thought, mountains of frost and snow dissolving and melting within me. This engendered confidence in my soul in the promise of the Holy Ghost. I felt my whole mind relieved from some great bondage. Tears flowed copiously and I was constrained to cry out for the gracious visits of God...This struggle lasted for three hours. It rose again and again, like one wave after another, or a high, flowing tide driven by a strong wind, till my nature became faint by weeping and crying..."

Evan's last years were troubled. Although hundreds were converted wherever he went, disagreements also broke out. This was partly owing to his inability to share power, partly owing to his easy interpretation of Calvinism. He became nearly blind. He kept at the work anyhow. Preaching a sermon on Pentecost, he told the congregation that it would be his last. That night he took sick and died shortly afterward

Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give your all, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Christmas Evans, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of Christmas Evans, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by his testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used Christmas. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, February 25, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #65.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our ‘Heart Starter’ today is,
CHALLENGE.

THE WORLD NEEDS MEN...
who cannot be bought;

whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who do not hesitate to take chances;
who will not lose their individuality in a crowd;
who will be as honest in small things as in great things;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;
who will not say they do it" because everybody else does it";
who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;
who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning, and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success;
who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular;
who can say "no" with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says "yes."
- Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.107-8.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Mat 28:19-20.

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to take up the challenge of Jesus.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by taking on board, some of the advice and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Friday, February 22, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #81.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.

Friday has come and brings to an end another working week. What better way to get into a good frame of mind than to end it with a good laugh…



WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged
!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #45… FASHION.

I'm reminded of E.B. White's comment: "People have re-cut their clothes to follow the fashion...People have remodeled their ideas too -- taken in their convictions a little at the waist, shortened the sleeves of their resolve, and fitted themselves out in a new intellectual ensemble copied from a smart design out of the very latest page of history."

When slavery to fashion invades the church, our latest ideas are yesterday's fads. We adopt the world's agenda -- just a few years too late. Many churchmen sport theological bell-bottoms. - Charles Colson.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, focus on you and you only, that I may be relevant to non believers. For your glory Lord, and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #44. Blessed Assurance!

Blessed assurance Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, Purchase of God;
Born of His Spirit, washed in His Blood!

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. - Heb 10:22.

Sometime when you're in an airport, observe the difference between passengers who hold confirmed tickets and those who are on standby. The ones with confirmed tickets read newspapers, chat with their friends or sleep. The ones on standby hang around the ticket counter, pace and smoke, smoke and pace. The difference is caused by the confidence factor. If you knew that in fifteen minutes you would have to stand in judgment before the Holy God and learn your eternal destiny, what would your reaction be? Would you smoke and pace? Would you say to yourself, "I don't know what God's going to say, will it be 'Welcome home, child,' or will it be 'Depart from me; I never knew you'? - Bill Hybels.

Whenever we come before our almighty God, we must have the confident assurance of our faith in Christ. Our hearts need to be pure and Holy. Whether it is prayer, praise, or worship, we need to washed and cleansed in the precious blood of Jesus!

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." - John 4:23-24.

We need to be fully persuaded, that God will receive us and accept us for the sake of His Son, and that the sacrificial death of Christ, gives us full authority to expect every blessing we need. We need to be cleansed from our evil conscience. Having that deep sense of guilt which our conscience felt, eradicated, and our hearts filled with the peace, and love of God, given us by the Holy Spirit.

An elderly man said to H.A. Ironside, "I will not go on unless I know I'm saved, or else know it's hopeless to seek to be sure of it. I want a definite witness, something I can't be mistaken about!" Ironside replied, "Suppose you had a vision of an angel who told you your sins were forgiven. Would that be enough to rest on?" "

Yes, I think it would. An angel should be right." Ironside continued, "But suppose on your deathbed Satan came and said, 'I was that angel, transformed to deceive you.' What would you say?" The man was speechless. Ironside then told him that God has given us something more dependable than the voice of an angel. He has given His Son, who died for our sins, and He has testified in His own Word that if we trust Him all our sins are gone.

Ironside read I John 5:13, "You may know that you have eternal life." Then he said, "Is that not enough to rest on? It is a letter from heaven expressly to you." God's Spirit used that to bring assurance to the man's heart. - H. A. Ironside.

What a joy it is when we have the assurance of our faith and we can come boldly and confidently into the Father presence for our needs, because of Jesus! Hallelujah!

Blessed assurance Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, Purchase of God;
Born of His Spirit, washed in His Blood!
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour, all the day long!

What a Saviour, what a Lord, what a God! Praise His wonderful name today, with the assurance of our Salvation!

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you that I have the assurance of my faith! I give you the honour and the glory, and praise the wonderful name of Jesus! My heart is so full of joy, because I have been washed and cleansed in the precious blood of Jesus, my heart and my conscience is clear and holy! I thank you again in the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen!

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… Dr. Helen Roseveare.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

On August 7, 1964 Congo rebels captured Stanleyville (now known as Kisangani). In the four years since Congo's independence from Belgium, most white people had fled from the nation or been captured or killed. Because Helen Roseveare was a doctor, her life was spared, although not without many serious incidents. For example, someone tried to poison her, but her dog ate the food intended for her and died instead.

Helen was well aware of her danger. Many mission women had been raped by the marauding rebel armies. She stayed on, believing that "If Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him." That was her mission's motto. She reasoned that if an earlier generation of missionaries to Africa had died of malaria and other jungle diseases for the sake of God and his glory, then God might well demand a different kind of sacrifice of her as he already had of other women missionaries.

Part of the sacrifice that God asked was her struggle with pride as Africans took over and sometimes mismanaged mission affairs. She also lost sleep many nights when terror overtook her. Peace was even harder to attain after her house was looted of every worthwhile item. She continued to learn to see God in the details of her life, to trust him more fully. She had been coming toward total trust in God all of her life, between bouts of depression, often brought on by overwork and by Satan's insinuation that she was not really a Christian because she was capable of spells of anger and bitterness and other sins.

"I was unable to reach the standard I myself had set, let alone God's. Try as I would, I met only frustration in this longing to achieve, to be worthy." She came to recognize that hatred of sin is a gift of the Holy Spirit and she prayed that God would make her "willing to be made willing to hate what he hated."

On Saturday, August 15, 1964, a truck-load of soldiers took over the hospital compound at Nobobongo. They occupied it for five months. "They were brutal and coarse, rough and domineering. Their language was threatening and obscene. All of us were cowed. We did exactly what they demanded, mostly without argument." Tension was terrific.
"We heard that the local chief had been caught, bound and beaten; then he was taken to the people's tribunal at Wamba, found guilty, flayed alive and eaten. No wonder we did not sleep well. No wonder we were not hungry."

Then Helen and others were taken away. "...We were put off at a house in the jungle--nineteen defenseless women and children surrounded by some seventy-five men, soldiers and others, all filled with hatred and evil intentions toward us...And in my heart was an amazing peace, a realization that I was being highly privileged to be identified with [Christ] in a new way, in the way of Calvary."

Although raped and humiliated by the rebels, Helen found that God gave her an even deeper love for the Congo people. In 1965 she returned to pick up her medical mission work. She had learned through her painful experience that participation in Christ's suffering is necessary to each of us if we are to fulfill his will in this world.


Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give your all, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give your all, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Helen Roseveare, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of Helen Roseveare, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by her testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used Helen. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, February 18, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #64. Looking to Jesus - Reuben Archer Torrey

If we are to run with patience the race that is set before us, we must always keep looking to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3). One of the simplest and yet one of the mightiest secrets of abiding joy and victory is to never lose sight of Jesus.

1. First of all, we must keep looking at Jesus as the ground of our acceptance before God. Over and over again, Satan will make an attempt to discourage us by bringing up our sins and failures and thus try to convince us that we are not children of God, or not saved. If he succeeds in getting us to keep looking at and brooding sins, he will soon get us discouraged, and discouragement means failure. But if we will keep looking at what God looks at, the death of Jesus Christ in our place that completely atones for every sin that we ever committed, we will never be discouraged because of the greatest of our sins. We shall see that while our sins are great, very great, indeed they have all been atoned for.

Every time Satan brings up one of our sins, we shall see that Jesus Christ has redeemed us from its curse by being made a curse in our place (Galatians 3:13). We shall see that while in ourselves we are full of unrighteousness, nevertheless in Christ we are made the righteousness of God, because Christ was made to be sin in our place (2 Corinthians 5:21). We will see that every sin that Satan taunts us about has been borne and settled forever (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:6).


We shall always be able to sing...


Jesus paid my debt,

All the debt I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.


If you are this moment troubled about any sin that you have ever committed, either in the past or in the present, just look at Jesus on the cross; believe what God tells you about Him, that this sin which troubles you was laid upon Him (Isaiah 53:6). Thank God that the sin is all settled, be full of gratitude to Jesus, who bore it in your place, and worry about it no more. It is an act of base ingratitude to God to brood over sins that He in His infinite love has canceled. Keep looking at Christ on the cross and walk always in the sunlight of God's favor. This favor of God has been purchased for you at great cost. Gratitude demands that you should always believe in it and walk in the light of it.


2. In the second place, we must keep looking at Jesus as our risen Savior, who has all power in heaven and on earth and is able to keep us every day and every hour. Are you tempted to do some wrong at this moment? If you are, remember that Jesus rose from the dead, remember that at this moment He is living at the right hand of God in the glory; remember that He has all power in heaven and on earth, and that, therefore, He can give you victory right now.


Believe what God tells you in His Word, that Jesus has power to save you this moment "completely" (Hebrews 7:25). Believe that He has power to give you victory over that sin that now besets you. Ask Him to give you victory; expect Him to do it. In this way, by looking unto the risen Christ for victory, you may have victory over sin every day, every hour, every moment. "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead" (2 Timothy 2:8).


God has called every one of us to a victorious life, and the secret of this victorious life is always looking to the risen Christ for victory. Through looking to Christ crucified we obtain pardon and enjoy peace. Through looking to the risen Christ we obtain present victory over the power of sin. If you have lost sight of the risen Christ and have yielded to temptation, confess your sin and know that it is forgiven because God says so (1 John 1:9), and look to Jesus, the risen One, again to give you victory now, and keep looking to Him.


3. In the third place, we must keep looking to Jesus as the One whom we should follow in our daily conduct. Our Lord Jesus says to us, His disciples today, as He said to His early disciples, "Follow me." The whole secret of true Christian conduct can be summed up in these two words "Follow me." "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did" (1 John 2:6). One of the commonest causes of failure in Christian life is found in the attempt to follow some good man whom we greatly admire. No man and no woman, no matter how good, can be safely followed. If we follow any man or woman, we are bound to go astray. There has been but one absolutely perfect Man on this earth--the Man Christ Jesus. If we try to follow any other man we are surer to imitate his faults than his excellencies. Look to Jesus and Jesus only as your Guide.


If at any time you are in any perplexity as to what to do, simply ask the question, What would Jesus do? Ask God by His Holy Spirit to show you what Jesus would do. Study your Bible to find out what Jesus did do, and follow Him. Even though no one else seems to be following Jesus, be sure that you follow Him. Do not spend your time or thought in criticizing others because they do not follow Jesus. See that you follow Him yourself. When you are wasting your time criticizing others for not following Jesus, Jesus is always saying to you, "What is that to you? You must follow me" (John 21:22). The question for you is not what following Jesus may involve for other people. The question is, What does following Jesus mean for you?


This is the really simple life, the life of simply following Jesus. Many perplexing questions will come to you, but the most perplexing question will soon become as clear as day if you determine with all your heart to follow Jesus in everything. Satan will always be ready to whisper to you, "Such and such a good man does it," but all you need to do is to answer, "It matters not to me what this or that man may do or not do. The only question to me is, What would Jesus do?" There is wonderful freedom in this life of simply following Jesus. This path is straight and plain. But the path of him who tries to shape his conduct by observing the conduct of others is full of twists and turns and pitfalls. Keep looking at Jesus. Follow on trustingly where He leads. This is the path of the righteous, shining ever brighter till the full light of day (Proverbs 4:18). He is the Light of the world; anyone who follows Him shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life all along the way (John 8:12).

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to look only to Jesus.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by taking on board, some of the advice and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Friday, February 15, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #80.


A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.

Friday has come and brings to an end another working week. What better way to get into a good frame of mind than to end it with a good laugh…

Blonde Deputy…
The local sheriff was looking for a deputy, so a blonde went in to try out for the job."Okay, honey," the sheriff drawled, "What is 1 and 1?"

"Eleven," she replied.

The sheriff thought to himself, "That's not what I meant, but she's right."

Then the sheriff asked, "What two days of the week start with the letter 'T'?".

"Today and Tomorrow," she replied.

He was again surprised that the blonde supplied a correct answer that he had never thought of himself.

"Now, listen carefully, who killed Abraham Lincoln?", asked the sheriff.

The blonde looked a little surprised herself, then thought really hard for a minute and finally admitted, "I don't know."

The sheriff replied, "Well, why don't you go on and work on that one for a while?"

So, the blonde wandered over to the beauty parlor, where her buds were waiting to hear the results of the interview.

The blonde was overjoyed. "It went great! First day on the job and I'm already working on a murder case!"
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Hail Damage…
A blonde was driving home one night when she suddenly found herself in the middle of a bad hail storm. The hailstones were the size of golf balls. Her car was dented beyond description.

The next day, she took it to a repair shop. Noticing that she was blonde, the technician decided to have some fun.

He told her to take the car home and blow real hard into the tailpipe and the dents would pop out.

When she got home, she started blowing into the tailpipe as she was instructed. At that moment, her blonde girlfriend drove by and saw her puffing on the tailpipe.

Thinking the worst, the friend was startled and said, "What are you doing?"

She said that the man at the body shop told her to blow into the tail pipe real hard and the dents would pop out.

Her girlfriend said, "Well, duhhhhhh! You need to roll up the windows first!"
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Sven and Ole…
Sven was out shopping in the mall when he met his friend Ole outside the Jewellery Store. Ole noticed that Sven had a small gift-wrapped box in his hand.

Vhat have you just purchased Sven?" Ole asks.

Vell, now that you've asked," replies Sven, "It's my Lena's birthday tomorrow And vhen I asked her this morning vhat she vanted for her birthday, Lena said, “Oh, I dun know, dear, yust give me something with vots of diamonds.

"So vhat did you get her?" Ole asks.Sven smirks and says, "I bought her a deck of cards."
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Double Decker Bus…
Two bowling teams, one of all blondes and one of all brunettes, charter a double-decker bus for a weekend bowling tournament in Sydney.

The brunette team rides on the bottom of the bus. The blonde team rides on the top level.

The brunette team down below is partying having a great time, when one of them realizes she doesn't hear anything from the blondes upstairs.

She decides to get up and investigate. When the brunette reaches the top, she finds all the blondes frozen in fear, staring straight ahead at the road, and clutching the seats in front of them with white knuckles.

The brunette asks, "What the heck's going on up here? We're having a great time downstairs!"

One of the blondes looks up at her, swallows hard and says, "YEAH, BUT YOU'VE GOT A DRIVER!"
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Special Find…
A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them.Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages.

"Momma, look what I found," the boy called out.

"What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: "I think it's Adam's suit!"
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Puzzle Pieces…
A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me, I have a jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get it started.

Her boyfriend asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?

"The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger."

Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle.

She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger."

He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then....." he sighed, ...let's put all these Frosted Flakes back in the box."
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WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #44… NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT.

Margaret Storm Jameson, the English author, once expressed the view that we all spend too much time living in the past, feeling regret for lost joys or shame for things badly done. Even when our minds turn to the future, she said, we spend an inordinate amount of time longing for it or dreading it. "The only way to live," she said, "is to accept each minute as an unrepeatable miracle . . . Work at your work. Play at your play. Shed your tears. Enjoy your laughter. Now is the time of your life."

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be thankful every day, for the beautiful life that Jesus won for me. For your glory Lord, and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #43. Another Gospel… A.W. Pink. Part 2.

In 2 Corinthians 4:3 we have a scripture which sheds much light upon our present theme. There we are told, "if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them." He blinds the minds of unbelievers through hiding the light of the Gospel of Christ, and he does this by substituting his own gospel.

Appropriately is he designated "The Devil and Satan which deceiveth the whole world" (Rev. 12:9). In merely appealing to "the best that is within man," and in simply exhorting him to "lead a nobler life" there is afforded a general platform upon which those of every shade of opinion can unite and proclaim this common message.
Again we quote Proverbs 14:12—"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." It has been said with considerable truth that the way to Hell is paved with good intentions. There will be many in the Lake of Fire who commended life with good intentions, honest resolutions and exalted ideals—those who were just in their dealings, fair in their transactions and charitable in all their ways; men who prided themselves in their integrity but who sought to justify themselves before God by their own righteousness; men who were moral, merciful and magnanimous, but who never saw themselves as guilty, lost, hell-deserving sinners needing a Saviour.
Such is the way which "seemeth right." Such is the way that commends itself to the carnal mind and recommends itself to multitudes of deluded ones today. The Devil’s Delusion is that we can be saved by our own works, and justified by our own deeds; whereas, God tells us in His Word: "By grace are ye saved through faith. ..not of works lest any man should boast." And again, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us."

A few years ago the writer became acquainted with one who was a lay preacher and an enthusiastic "Christian worker." For over seven years this friend had been engaged in public preaching and religious activities, but from certain expressions and phrases he used, the writer doubted whether this friend was a "born again" man. When we began to question him, it was found that he was very imperfectly acquainted with the Scriptures and had only the vaguest conception of Christ’s Work for sinners. For a time we sought to present the way of salvation in a simple and impersonal manner and to encourage our friend to study the Word for himself, in the hope that if he were still unsaved God would be pleased to reveal the Saviour he needed.

One night to our joy, the one who had been preaching the Gospel (?) for several years, confessed that he had found Christ only the previous night. He acknowledged (to use his own words) that he had been presenting "the Christ ideal" but not the Christ of the Cross. The writer believes there are thousands like this preacher who, perhaps, have been brought up in Sunday School, taught about the birth, life, and teachings of Jesus Christ, who believe in the historicity of His person, who spasmodically endeavor to practice His precepts, and who think that that is all that is necessary for their salvation.

Frequently, this class when they reach manhood go out into the world, encounter the attacks of atheists and infidels and are told that such a person as Jesus of Nazareth never lived. But the impressions of early days cannot be easily erased, and they remain steadfast in their declaration that they "believe in Jesus Christ." Yet, when their faith is examined, only too often it is found that though they believe many things about Jesus Christ they do not really believe in him. They believe with the head that such a person lived (and, because they believe this imagine that therefore they are saved), but they have never thrown down the weapons of their warfare against Him, yielded themselves to Him, nor truly believed with their heart in Him.


The bare acceptance of an orthodox doctrine about the person of Christ without the heart being won by Him and the life devoted to Him, is another phase of that way "which seemeth right unto a man" but the end thereof are "the ways of death." A mere intellectual assent to the reality of Christ’s person, and which goes no further, is another phase of the way which "seemeth right unto a man" but of which the end thereof "are the ways of death," or, in other words, is another aspect of the gospel of Satan.

And now, where do you stand? Are you in the way which "seemeth right," but which ends in death; or, are you in the Narrow Way which leadeth unto life? Have you truly forsaken the Broad Road which leadeth to death? Has the love of Christ created in your heart a hatred and horror of all that is displeasing to Him? Are you desirous that he should "reign over" you? (Luke 19:14). Are you relying wholly on His righteousness and blood for your acceptance with God?

Those who are trusting to an outward form of godliness, such as baptism or "confirmation!" those who are religious because it is considered a mark of respectability; those who attend some Church or Chapel because it is the fashion to do so; and, those who unite with some Denomination because they suppose that such a step will enable them to become Christians, are in the way which "ends in death"—death spiritual and eternal. However pure our motives, however noble our intentions, however well-meaning our purposes, however sincere our endeavors, God will not acknowledge us as His sons, until we accept His Son.

A yet more specious form of Satan’s gospel is to move preachers to present the atoning sacrifice of Christ and then tell their hearers that all God requires from them is to "believe" in His Son. Thereby thousands of impenitent souls are deluded into thinking they have been saved. But Christ said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). To "repent" is to hate sin, to sorrow over it, to turn from it. It is the result of the Spirits making the heart contrite before God. None except a broken heart can savingly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, thousands are deceived into supposing that they have "accepted Christ" as their "personal Saviour," who have not first received Him as their LORD. The Son of God did not come here to save His people in their sin, but "from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). To be saved from sins, is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God, it is to abandon the course of self-will and self-pleasing, it is to "forsake our way" (Isa. 55:7). It is to surrender to God’s authority, to yield to His dominion, to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him. The one who has never taken Christ’s "yoke" upon him, who is not truly and diligently seeking to please Him in all the details of life, and yet supposes that he is "resting on the Finished Work of Christ" is deluded by the Devil.

In the seventh chapter of Matthew there are two scriptures which give us approximate results of Christ’s Gospel and Satan s counterfeit. First, in verses 13-14, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Second; in verses 22-23, "Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied [preached] in Thy name? and in Thy name cast out demons, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."

Yes, my reader, it is possible to work in the name of Christ, and even to preach in his name, and though the world knows us, the Church knows us, yet to be unknown to the Lord! How necessary is it then to find out where we really are; to examine ourselves and see whether we be in the faith; to measure ourselves by the Word of God and see if we are being deceived by our subtle Enemy; to find out whether we are building our house upon the sand, or whether it is erected on the Rock which is Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit search our hearts, break our wills, slay our enmity against God, work in us a deep and true repentance, and direct our gaze to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.

Loving Father, I thank you for the true gospel of Jesus. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better child or you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… Ann Hasseltine Judson.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

Many of her friends and neighbours thought Ann was wild and romantic when she went off to India in 1812. It was unthinkable then that a young woman would travel to some little known spot on the globe to work among the heathen in primitive surroundings. It meant leaving behind her family with little hope of seeing them again in this world. But Ann Hasseltine Judson insisted on going; she knew this was the work God had called her to do.

Ann Hasseltine was born in Bradford, Massachusetts the same year the young United States began its government under the Constitution 1789. When she was a teenager Ann accepted Christ as her Savior and began to spend time in Bible study and prayer. She wanted to be used by God and prayed,
Direct me in Thy service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work, or place of labor. Only let me know Thy will, and I will readily comply.

What A Honeymoon!
By 1810, when she was 21,
Ann wanted to become a missionary to foreign lands. So did the Congregational minister named Adoniram Judson that she married on February 5, 1812; the next day, the newlyweds sailed from Salem, Massachusetts for Calcutta, India! Six other missionaries were also sent to Calcutta. At that time the government in India and the East India Company were opposed to missions, and they were soon ordered to leave the country.

So the Judson’s began their missionary work in Burma, located between India and China. The gospel had never reached that land of over 15 million people, and Ann prayed, O thou Light of the world, dissipate the thick darkness which covers Burma, and let thy light arise and shine. O display thy grace and power among the Burmese. Subdue them to thyself, and make them thy chosen people.

The Judson’s settled in Rangoon, the principle seaport of Burma, and began learning the language. There were no rapid conversions, but Ann and Adoniram were "sensible that the hearts of the heathen, as well as those of Christians, are in the hands of God, and in his own time he will turn them unto him." The Burmans frequently told the Judson’s, "Your religion is good for you, ours for us." The missionaries hoped the lives they lived would convince the Burmese people that Christianity was good for them as well. Even so, there were only eighteen converts after nine years in Rangoon.

Ann and Adoniram learned the Burmese language and translated the Scriptures. The Burmans had no idea of a God who was eternal, without beginning or end, and it was difficult to find words to accurately describe the Christian truths. Nevertheless, within three years the Judson’s had prepared a Burmese grammar, printed two tracts, and translated the gospel of Matthew. Ann had formed a society of native women who met together on Sundays to pray and read the Scriptures.

Home to Recoup and Recruit
In spite of difficult living conditions,
Ann came to love Burma as a place where she had learned much of the Lord' s mercy and grace. It was difficult for her to leave her adopted land in 1822, when a severe liver problem forced her to return to America. While in America, Ann wrote a history of the Burmese mission that was widely read in America and encouraged many to become missionaries. Ann awakened many to the conditions of the Burmese women and the importance of female missionaries working among them.

When Ann returned to her home in Rangoon in 1823, war between Britain and Burma was threatening. When war did break out, the Burmese thought the Americans to be associates of the British, and Adoniram was thrown into death prison. Ann, then two months pregnant, became a prisoner in the inner room of her own house. She valiantly pled with government officials for her husband' s life and was secretly able to bring supplies and food to Adoniram and his fellow prisoners.

Stand By Your Man
Shortly after their daughter was born,
Adoniram caught a tropical fever. Ann devotedly cared for him from a small hut near the prison gate. One night, however, Adoniram was moved secretly to another prison. He was forced to walk barefoot eight miles over sand and gravel. The soles of his feet were raw flesh, and he was near death when he finally arrived at Oung-pen-le. Ann took her three-month-old daughter and followed after her husband. She was able to share a room with the jailer and his family, but became seriously ill herself from both smallpox and spotted fever. Ann later wrote her brother: The acme of my distress, consisted in the awful uncertainty of our final fate. My prevailing opinion was, that my husband would suffer violent death; and that I should, of course, become a slave. But the consolation of religion, in these trying circumstances, were neither ' few nor small!' It taught me to look beyond this world, to that rest, where Jesus reigns and oppression never enters.

When Burma and the British made peace, Adoniram was released and united with his wife and infant daughter. Ann, however, was still weak. She died of a fever on October 24, 1826. Her daughter died within six months. Ann Hasseltine Judson was the first woman missionary to leave America; her story of constant love for Christ encouraged many other women to serve Christ on the mission field.

Staying on
In spite of his suffering at the hands of the Burmans,
Adoniram stayed in Burma to bring the gospel of Christ to the people. After twenty-four years he completed a translation of the entire Bible into Burmese. By the time of his death in 1850, Burma had sixty-three churches with 163 missionaries and native church leaders.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give your all, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, the Judson’s, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the lives of the Judson’s, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by their testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used the Judson’s. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, February 11, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #63. Our Responsibility. – G. Campbell Morgan.

Our Responsibility: G. Campbell Morgan observes, "When once the Lord has been seen and crowned there is a progressive operation of the Spirit in the life of the believer. The Spirit reveals the Christ to you in some new aspect as you read His Word, as you meditate upon Him, and the moment you see Christ in some new glory, that vision makes a demand upon you. What are you going to do with it? Answer it, obey it, and the Spirit realizes in you the thing you have seen in Christ.

The Spirit is always unveiling Christ. Your responsibility and mine if we would cooperate with Him in witness is that we obey when He speaks. When Christ is seen in a new light, the light is calling you to obey its claim. Answer it and you will become the thing you have seen. Deny it and you will sink to lower levels. This is His method, line upon line, here a little and there a little, grace for grace, beauty for beauty.

Man, you have never seen Christ, nor have I. I have seen something of Him, like a blind man walking to his first vision I have seen men as trees walking. I have seen more and more of the beauty of my Lord as the Spirit has unveiled Him, but I have never seen all the glory. I could not bear it yet. So little by little the Spirit patiently leads us on. Our responsibility is that when light comes we walk in it. When the trumpet call of truth sounds in our souls we must answer it. The Spirit's office--and He never fails--is to reveal Christ.

Our duty is to answer the revelation, and when we do so, the Spirit becomes more than illumination, He becomes dynamic and makes us that which we obey. Soul of mine, answer the light. Obey the Spirit. Do not resist, do not grieve, do not quench the Spirit, and thou . . . shall be made like Him. The Spirit witnessing in me, I become the instrument through which the Spirit witnesses to the world. Where? Anywhere. When? Everywhen.

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to realise my responsibility as a child of God.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by taking on board, some of the advice and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Friday, February 08, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #79.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.

Friday has come and brings to an end another working week. What better way to get into a good frame of mind than to end it with a good laugh…

Blondes change a light bulb…
Three blondes are attempting to change a light bulb. One of them decides to call 911:Blonde: We need help. We're three blondes changing a light bulb.
Operator: Hmmmmm. You put in a fresh bulb?
Blonde: Yes.
Operator: The power in the house in on?
Blonde: Of course.
Operator: And the switch is on?
Blonde: Yes, yes.
Operator: And the bulb still won't light up?
Blonde: No, it's working fine.
Operator: Then what's the problem?
Blonde: We got dizzy spinning the ladder around, and we all fell and hurt ourselves.
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One wish to each…
Three blondes were walking through the desert when they found a magic genie's lamp.

After rubbing the lamp to make the genie appear, he said, "I will grant three wishes, one for each of you."

The first said, "I wish I were smarter."So, she became a redhead.

The second blonde said, "I wish I were smarter than she is."She became a brunette.

The third blond ordered, "I wish I were smarter than both of them!"

So, she became a man.
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Let's take a trip to Disney…
Two blondes had driven across the country to see Disney World in Florida.

As they approached it and got onto the final stretch of highway, they saw a sign saying "Disney World Left!"

After thinking for a minute, the driver blonde said "Oh well!" and started driving back home.
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First experience horse riding…
A blonde decides to learn and try horse back riding unassisted without prior experience or lessons. She mounts the horse with great effort, and the tall, shiny horse springs into motion. It gallops along at a steady and rhythmic pace, but the blonde begins to slip from the saddle. Out of shear terror, she grabs for the horse's mane but cannot seem to get a firm grip. She tries to throw her arms around the horse's neck, but she slides down the side of the horse anyway. The horse gallops along, seemingly oblivious to its slipping rider.

Finally, giving up her frail grip, she leaps away from the horse to try and throw herself to safety. Unfortunately, her foot has become entangled in the stirrup. She is now at the mercy of the horse's pounding hooves as her head is struck against the ground again and again. As her head is battered against the ground, she is mere moments away from unconsciousness or even death when Frank, the Wal-Mart manager runs out to shut the horse off.
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SMILE...
Holiday Inn, when looking for 500 people to fill positions for a new facility, interviewed 5,000 candidates. The hotel managers interviewing these people excluded all candidates who smiled fewer than four times during the interview. This applied to people competing for jobs in all categories.
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Eating the piece of fruit...
Two Polish guys were taking their first train trip to Warsaw on the train. A vendor came down the corridor selling bananas which they'd never seen before. Each bought one.

The first one eagerly peeled the banana and bit into it just as the train went into a tunnel.

When the train emerged from the tunnel, he looked across to his friend and said, "I wouldn't eat that if I were you."

"Why not?"

"I took one bite and went blind for half a minute."
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WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #43… VICTORY!

Walking through a park, I passed a massive oak tree. A vine had grown up along its trunk. The vine started small--nothing to bother about. But over the years the vine had gotten taller and taller. By the time I passed, the entire lower half of the tree was covered by the vine's creepers. The mass of tiny feelers was so thick that the tree looked as though it had innumerable birds' nests in it.

Now the tree was in danger. This huge, solid oak was quite literally being taken over; the life was being squeezed from it. But the gardeners in that park had seen the danger. They had taken a saw and severed the trunk of the vine--one neat cut across the middle. The tangled mass of the vine's branches still clung to the oak, but the vine was now dead. That would gradually become plain as weeks passed and the creepers began to die and fall away from the tree.

How easy it is for sin, which begins so small and seemingly insignificant, to grow until it has a strangling grip on our lives. And yet, Christ's death has cut the power of sin. Yes, the "creepers" of sin still cling and have some effect. But sin's power is severed by Christ, and gradually, sin's grip dries up and falls away. - J. Alistair Brown.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be thankful every day, for the beautiful life that Jesus won for me. For your glory Lord, and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #42. Another Gospel… A.W. Pink. Part 1.

Satan is not an initiator but an imitator. God has an only begotten Son-the Lord Jesus, so has Satan-"the son of Perdition" (2 Thess.2:3). There is a Holy Trinity, and there is likewise a Trinity of Evil (Rev. 20:10). Is Christ seated upon a throne, so is Satan (Greek-Rev. 2:13). Has Christ a Church, then Satan has his "synagogue" (Rev 2:9). Is Christ the Light of the world, then so is Satan himself "transformed into an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14). Did Christ appoint "apostles," then Satan has his apostles, too (2 Cor. 11:13). And this leads us to consider: "The Gospel of Satan."

Satan is the arch-counterfeiter. The Devil is now busy at work in the same field in which the Lord sowed the good seed. He is seeking to prevent the growth of the wheat by another plant, the tares, which closely resembles the wheat in appearance. In a word, by a process of imitation he is aiming to neutralize the Work of Christ. Therefore, as Christ has a Gospel, Satan has a gospel too; the latter being a clever counterfeit of the former. So closely does the gospel of Satan resemble that which it parodies, multitudes of the unsaved are deceived by it.

It is to this gospel of Satan the apostle refers when he says to the Galatians, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:6,7). This false gospel was being heralded even in the days of the apostle, and a most awful curse was called down upon those who preached it. The apostle continues, "But though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." By the help of God we shall now endeavor to expound, or rather, expose this false gospel.

The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great "brotherhood." It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to "the best that is within - It aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to occupy man so much with this world that he has no time or inclination to think of the world to come. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, charity and benevolence, and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts that by nature man is a fallen creature, alienated from the life of God, and dead in trespasses and sins, and that his only hope lies in being born again.

In contradistinction to the Gospel of Christ, the gospel of Satan teaches salvation by works. It inculcates justification before God on the ground of human merits. Its sacramental phrase is "Be good and do good"; but it fails to recognize that in the flesh there dwelleth no good thing. It announces salvation by character, which reverses the order of God’s Word—character by, as the fruit of, salvation. Its various ramifications and organizations are manifold. Temperance, Reform Movements, "Christian Socialist Leagues," Ethical Culture Societies, "Peace Congresses" are all employed (perhaps unconsciously) in proclaiming this gospel of Satan—salvation by works. The pledge card is substituted for Christ; social purity for individual regeneration, and politics and philosophy, for doctrine and godliness. The cultivation of the old man is considered more practical than the creation of a new man in Christ Jesus; whilst universal peace is looked for apart from the interposition and return of the Prince of Peace.

The apostles of Satan are not saloon-keepers and white-slave traffickers, but are for the most part ordained ministers. Thousands of those who occupy our modern pulpits are no longer engaged in presenting the fundamentals of the Christian Faith, but have turned aside from the Truth and have given heed unto fables. Instead of magnifying the enormity of sin and setting forth its eternal consequences, they minimize it by declaring that sin is merely ignorance or the absence of good. Instead of warning their hearers to "flee from the wrath to come" they make God a liar by declaring that He is too loving and merciful to send any of His own creatures to eternal torment. Instead of declaring that "without shedding of blood is no remission," they merely hold up Christ as the great Exemplar and exhort their hearers to "follow in His steps." Of them it must be said, "For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Rom. 10:3). Their message may sound very plausible and their aim appear very praiseworthy, yet we read of them—"for such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves (imitating) into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing [not to be wondered at] if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works" (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

In addition to the fact that today hundreds of churches are without a leader who faithfully declares the whole counsel of God and presents His way of salvation, we also have to face the additional fact that the majority of people in these churches are very unlikely to learn the Truth themselves. The family altar, where a portion of God’s Word was wont to be read daily is now, even in the homes of nominal Christians, largely a thing of the past. The Bible is not expounded in the pulpit and it is not read in the pew. The demands of this rushing age are so numerous, that multitudes have little time and still less inclination to make preparation for the meeting with God. Hence the majority who are too indolent to search for themselves, are left at the mercy of those whom they pay to search for them; many of whom betray their trust by studying and expounding economic and social problems rather than the Oracles of God.

In Proverbs 14:12 we read, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death." This "way" which ends in" death" is the Devil’s Delusion—the gospel of Satan—a way of salvation by human attainment. It is a way which "seemeth right," that is to say, it is presented in such a plausible way that it appeals to the natural man: it is set forth in such a subtle and attractive manner, that it commends itself to the intelligence of its hearers. By virtue of the fact that it appropriates to itself religious terminology, sometimes appeals to the Bible for its support (whenever this suits its purpose), holds up before men lofty ideals, and is proclaimed by those who have graduated from our theological institutions, countless multitudes are decoyed and deceived by it.

The success of an illegitimate coiner depends largely upon how closely the counterfeit resembles the genuine article. Heresy is not so much the total denial of the truth as a perversion of it. That is why half a lie is always more dangerous than a complete repudiation. Hence when the Father of Lies enters the pulpit it is not his custom to flatly deny the fundamental truths of Christianity, rather does he tacitly acknowledge them, and then proceed to give an erroneous interpretation and a false application. For example: he would not be so foolish as to boldly announce his disbelief in a personal God; he takes His existence for granted and then gives a false description of His character. He announces that God is the spiritual Father of all men, when the Scriptures plainly tell us that we are "the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26), and that "as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12).

Further, he declares that God is far too merciful to ever send any member of the human race to Hell, when God Himself has said, "Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the Lake of Fire" (Rev. 20:15). Again; Satan would not be so foolish as to ignore the central figure of human history—the Lord Jesus Christ; on the contrary, his gospel acknowledges Him to be the best man that ever lived. Attention is drawn to His deeds of compassion and works of mercy, the beauty of His character and the sublimity of His teaching. His life is eulogized, but His vicarious Death is ignored, the all-important atoning work of the cross is never mentioned, whilst His triumphant and bodily resurrection from the grave is regarded as one of the credulities of a superstitious age. It is a bloodless gospel, and presents a crossless Christ, who is received not as God manifest in the flesh, but merely as the Ideal Man.

Loving Father, I thank you for the true gospel of Jesus. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better child or you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In Jesus wonderful name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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