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Archive for March, 2012

Isaiah 53:12
He was numbered with the transgressors.
 
Why did Jesus suffer Himself to be enrolled amongst sinners? This wonderful condescension was justified by many powerful reasons. In such a character He could the better become their advocate. In some trials there is an identification of the counsellor with the client, nor can they be looked upon in the eye of the law as apart from one another. Now, when the sinner is brought to the bar, Jesus appears there Himself. He stands to answer the accusation. He points to His side, His hands, His feet, and challenges Justice to bring anything against the sinners whom He represents; He pleads His blood, and pleads so triumphantly, being numbered with them and having a part with them, that the Judge proclaims, “Let them go their way; deliver them from going down into the pit, for He hath found a ransom.” Our Lord Jesus was numbered with the transgressors in order that they might feel their hearts drawn towards Him. Who can be afraid of one who is written in the same list with us? Surely we may come boldly to Him, and confess our guilt. He who is numbered with us cannot condemn us. Was He not put down in the transgressor’s list that we might be written in the red roll of the saints? He was holy, and written among the holy; we were guilty, and numbered among the guilty; He transfers His name from yonder list to this black indictment, and our names are taken from the indictment and written in the roll of acceptance, for there is a complete transfer made between Jesus and His people. All our estate of misery and sin Jesus has taken; and all that Jesus has comes to us. His righteousness, His blood, and everything that He hath He gives us as our dowry. Rejoice, believer, in your union to Him who was numbered among the transgressors; and prove that you are truly saved by being manifestly numbered with those who are new creatures in Him.

http://www.christianity.com/devotionals/morning-and-evening-charles-spurgeon/

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Kelly Langston

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Broken.

It was now broken, with an asymmetrical flutter to its wings that moments before lifted the butterfly in a dance around the church lawn.

The butterfly wasn’t what first caught my eye though as I stood in line to pick up my son, Alec, from a day camp for special needs children. It was the boy with autism that first captured my attention. He was tugging on the arm of his caregiver with a brawny strength, roughly pulling her this way and that.

As I watched the two in their strange dance, my heart ached for the boy just as it does whenever I see a child with autism. A familiar feeling rose in the pit of my stomach. It was the same one I felt when I didn’t know how to reach my autistic son in his younger years. I’ll never forget how hard and long the days could be.

Lost in my memories, I was more than happy when the butterfly caught my eye. As I watched it, in one quick swoop-and before his caregiver could stop him-the boy’s hand captured the butterfly in a clenched fist. She pulled it free from his grasp and I watched fragile wings fall to the sidewalk. The butterfly fluttered for a few moments before dying.

Isn’t it strange how something so simple can hit you so hard? Grief rose in the back of my throat, but I wasn’t sure what hurt me most. Was it the brokenness of a boy who longed to touch something beautiful and carefree, only to crush the life from it? Or was it the thought of how quickly something so lovely can die? The vivid scene stuck with me all night, broken wings falling to the ground.

The next morning, I walked with Alec up to the church for another day at camp. I stepped onto the sidewalk behind a little girl with Down Syndrome. Without a care in the world she sang, and when I heard the words, I stopped in my tracks:

“I am a beautiful butterfly! I am a beautiful butterfly”

With each light step, she twirled and sang this little song. I realized then what God was showing me.

Yes, Lord, I get it! These children are like that butterfly. They are full of beauty! Full of grace and wonder, and even so, they are broken. But oh, how lovely and special they are to You, Lord. And how precious to behold one single moment of the beauty that lives within them!

As a parent to one of these broken, beautiful butterflies, it is a privilege to see God carry him through painful days. And I know I’m graced to be touched by the beauty that exists in brokenness. To feel the loss of what might have been, the crush of overwhelming need, and the Divine Light that runs through it all and makes it worth our efforts.

Alec’s teenage camp buddy leaned down to greet my son with a high five and a smile. It was then I noticed the counselor’s shirts with the words “I am a New Creation” on the front and on the back was the week’s Bible verse:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Like the butterfly, we’re all broken. But, praise God, there is great beauty within our brokenness when we allow God to carry us through the pain. Better yet, we are new creatures with a future and a hope of eternity—unbroken—in Christ. One day each broken body will be resurrected to a new beauty unimaginable in this life.

Dear Lord, thank You for choosing me to love a child with a special need. Help me to see the beauty in my child through Your eyes, as a marvelous creation, beautiful and full of potential. You’ve promised a purpose and a plan for my child. Your Word tells me that You use broken individuals to do amazing things for Your glory. Help me then, Lord, to be all that my child needs me to be, as I rely on Your strength to carry us through difficult days. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Reflect and Respond:
Scripture is filled with stories when God chose people who were overlooked by others to do great things for Him. Never underestimate God’s power to use your child to bring Him glory. God has a marvelous purpose for your child!

What is one weight of life you can trust God with today? Lean completely into His care. He did not spare His own Son to demonstrate the extent of His love. Knowing this, you can be certain He will honor every one of His scriptural promises for you! Take heart, your God is for you.

Power Verse:
Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (NIV 1984)

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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Prayer, Thanksgiving, Praise
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”   (Philippians 4:6-7).

No care but all prayer. No anxiety but much joyful communion with God. Carry your desires to the LORD of your life, the guardian of your soul. Go to Him with two portions of prayer and one of fragrant praise. Do not pray doubtfully but thankfully. Consider that you have your petitions, and therefore thank God for His grace. He is giving you grace; give Him thanks, Hide nothing. Allow no want to lie rankling in your bosom; “make known your requests.” Run not to man. Go only to your God, the Father of Jesus, who loves you in Him.

This shall bring you God’s own peace. You shall not be able to understand the peace which you shall enjoy. It will enfold you in its infinite embrace. Heart and mind through Christ Jesus shall be steeped in a sea of rest. Come life or death, poverty, pain, slander, you shall dwell in Jesus above every rolling wind or darkening cloud. Will you not obey this dear command?

Yes, LORD, I do believe thee; but, I beseech thee, help mine unbelief.

http://www.christianity.com/devotionals/faiths-checkbook-ch-spurgeon/

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Matthew 24

Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree and signs of His second coming.

INSIGHT

Matthew 24 and 25 offer some of the most comforting — and terrifying — verses in the Bible. They detail some of the judgments to fall on mankind at the end of history. Yet God will not be caught by surprise. He is able to protect His spiritual children.

If someone comes along and says, “I am Christ,” we do not have to be confused. We know he is a false teacher, for Jesus will come in the twinkling of an eye — there will be no time for such statements. The God of power is also the God of the future, and we can rest in His sovereign care as we trust in Him.

PRAYER

· As you rest in God’s sovereignty, offer Him this psalm of trust:

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations
(Psalm 100:4-5).

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory (Psalm 72:18-19).

· Pause for personal praise and thanksgiving. As you seek to keep your life free from sin, pray this confession to the Lord:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).

· Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. Now pause to pray this affirmation to the Lord:

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever. Amen (Revelation 7:12).

· As you make your requests known to the Lord, pray for:

· blessing in your life roles: family, work, ministry,
· the Lord to send out laborers into His harvest,
· your activities for the day.

· Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:14). 

 daily devotions

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He must become greater; I must become less.

 

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

For John the Baptist, this ultimate formula for greatness did not take many words. What’s your formula? Paul told the Galatians that a similar formula was needed for them (Galatians 4:19). He told the Colossians that this is what he expended every ounce of his energy to have happen in the lives of Christians (Colossians 1:28-29). Paul told the Corinthians that this was what the Spirit was doing in their lives (2 Corinthians 3:18). So, don’t you think that maybe this is the real formula for your life?

My Prayer…

Dear Father in heaven, in my heart and in my life may Jesus become greater and I become less. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.

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Matthew 5:32, “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, save for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

MATTHEW 5:31-32

God’s commandments are not intended to make us miserable–they’re meant for our own happiness. Satan‘s lie in the Garden of Eden caused Eve to question God’s motives behind His command (Genesis 3:5).

Malachi 2:15 says God hates divorce. God doesn’t hate the people who divorce. He hates the act of divorce because of the damage it does to people. God loves people.

Today, people see divorce as an easy way out of marital problems. But this is based on the misconception that the mate is the problem–which is rarely the case.

People who blame their mate for their problems give in easily to divorce, thinking that a new partner will solve the situation. Yet second marriages have over twice the failure rate of first marriages. That’s because we take ourselves and all our unresolved problems into the next marriage.

You can’t control other people–not even your mate. But through obeying the Lord, you can control yourself and have fullness of joy. God’s commands tell us what will produce true happiness for us.

BUMMYLA    http://wp.me/p1DKIN-YM

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Mark 13

Jesus responds to His disciples’ questions regarding His future coming.

INSIGHT

To the world, the idea of Jesus returning in history to judge His enemies and reward His friends is a joke.

“Come down out of the clouds,” people say, “and spend your time thinking about what you can do right here and now.”

Though the world doesn’t take the doctrine of the Second Coming seriously, the Bible places great emphasis on the teaching. Christians, then, need to take it seriously as well. Twice in Mark 13 Jesus warns, “Be on the alert!” Properly understood, awaiting Christ’s return should help us live righteously as we do God’s work in this world.

PRAYER

· Express your gratitude to the Lord for His promises by offering Him praise:

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things; . . .
Shout joyfully to the Lord all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises
(Psalm 98:1, 4).

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand
(Psalm 95:6-7).

· As you seek to keep your life free from sin, pray this confession to the Lord:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).

· Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. As you agree with God, pause to pray this affirmation to the Lord:

This is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment (1 John 3:23).

· As you make your requests known to the Lord, pray for:

· greater discipline in your personal Bible study,
· national and world affairs,
· your activities for the day.

· Finally, offer this closing prayer to the Lord:

He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen (1 Timothy 6:15-16).

 daily devotions

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