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Scripture

[ecko_quote source=" Romans 8:28 NIV"]And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

You’ve heard this phrase over and over: “Forgive and forget.” There’s only one problem with it: You can’t do it. It’s impossible! You really can’t forget a hurt in your life. In fact, you can’t even try to forget it. Because when you’re trying to forget, you are actually focusing on the very thing you want to forget.

Forgetting is not what God wants you to do. Instead, he wants you to trust him and see how he can bring good out of it. That’s more important than forgetting because then you can thank God for the good that he brought out of it. You can’t thank God for things you forget.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (NIV).

God is so powerful that He makes ALL THINGS work together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose - that is, for those who have no ambition on earth outside of His will for their lives (Romans 8:28). One who has selfish ambitions cannot claim this promise. But if we accept the will of God totally, we can claim this promise every minute of our life on earth. Nothing can harm us.

Everything that others do to us - good or evil, accidental or deliberate - will go through the filter of Romans 8:28 and will come through working for our very best - conforming us each time a little more to the likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29) - which is the good that God has planned for us. This filter works perfectly every single time for those who fulfil the conditions listed in this verse.

It doesn’t say that all things are good because all things are not good. Cancer is not good. A disease is not good. Death is not good. Divorce is not good. War is not good. Rape and abuse are not good. There are a lot of things in life that are evil. Not everything that happens in this world is God’s will.

But God says he will work good out of the bad things in life if you will trust him. When you come to him and say, “God, I give you all the pieces of my life,” he will return peace for your pieces. He gives you peace in your heart that comes from knowing that even if you don’t understand the hurt in your life, you can still forgive, knowing that God will use that pain for good.

You don’t have to forget the wrong thing that someone did to you. You can’t do it even if you tried! But God says you don’t have to forget it. You just have to forgive and then see how he will bring good out of it.

Talk It Over

Image Source: 
[http://jonah.uec.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/God-working-it-out-for-our-good.png]

Source: Rick Warner

Scripture

[ecko_quote source=" Philippians 4:8 GNT"]Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you, which is why the Bible teaches that we should “run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts . . . but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right” (2 Timothy 2:22a TLB).

Temptation begins by capturing your attention. What gets your attention arouses your emotions. Then your emotions activate your behaviour, and you act on what you feel. The more you focus on “I don’t want to do this,” the stronger it draws you in.

Ignoring a temptation is far more effective than fighting it. Once your mind is on something else, the temptation loses its power. So when temptation calls you on the phone, don’t argue with it — just hang up!

Sometimes this means physically leaving a tempting situation. This is one time it is okay to run away. Get up and turn off the television set. Walk away from a group that is gossiping. Leave the theatre in the middle of the movie. To avoid being stung, stay away from the bees.

Spiritually, your mind is your most vulnerable organ. To reduce temptation, keep your mind occupied with God’s Word and other good thoughts. You defeat bad thoughts by thinking of something better. This is the principle of replacement. You overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

What's next?

Talk It Over

Image Source: 
[http://jonah.uec.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/temptation.jpg]

Source: Rick Warner

Scripture

[ecko_quote source=" Mathew 16:26"]For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

Jesus in His Ministry spoke to the people using parables, examples and illustrations. In the above verse, He used the words such as profit, gain, loss and exchange which are related to the business and commerce field. Being a Chartered Accountant by profession; I know what He was saying, and I can fully appreciate His business acumen. Jesus was discussing a serious business issue. It was not related to the valuable commodities such as Platinum, Gold and Diamonds but more precious than these. In fact, incomparable! It's our “soul”. It costed God everything in order to gain our souls ....only because He loved us so dearly. To be precise, it costed God His only dear son Jesus. He could not redeem our souls with any of the created things, but He Himself had to shed blood to satisfy His Justice.

In the above verse, Jesus is asking us to do some simple calculations and do the real business. These are some very serious questions that need our full attention. We can’t mess with it. Otherwise, it would cost us our eternity. There is no second chance to alter our choices and once we made our choice there would be no turning back.We consciously or unconsciously trade our souls not knowing the eternal value of it. To gain the world and its possessions, we tend to put our souls as a capital. What a terrible trade and foolish exchange we are ready to do in our everyday life. Our soul which costed Jesus’s life can’t be exchanged for such perishables. So many of us are loving the world and its passions despite repeated warning from the Lord.

One of the disciples of Jesus named Judas Iscariot who was a treasurer made a deal with the temple priests to sell our Lord for thirty silver pieces.  In the fullest manner, Judas acknowledged to the chief priests that he had sinned, and betrayed an innocent person. This was the full testimony to the character of Christ, but the rulers were hardened. Casting down the money, Judas departed, and went and hanged himself, not being able to bear the terror of divine wrath, and the anguish of despair. It costed him so dearly of his eternity.  Wicked men see little of the consequences of their crimes when they commit them, but they must answer for them all. 

Thousands lose their souls for a small gain, or the most worthless indulgence, nay, often from mere sloth and negligence. Whatever is the object for which men forsake Christ, that is the price at which Satan buys their souls. One soul is worth more than all the world. This is Christ's judgment upon the matter; He knew the price of souls, for He redeemed them; nor would He underrate the world, for He made it. The dying transgressor cannot even purchase one-hour respite to seek mercy for his perishing soul. Let us then learn rightly to value our souls, and Christ as the only Saviour of them.

My dear friends, I can promise you that there is only one thing that will leave with you from this world when you die, and that’s your soul; nothing else. Everything else will remain. Therefore, I believe we need to get our priorities right this very day. We should put God first then our families and followed our Ministry for the Lord.

What's next?

There is nothing wrong in making money, being prosperous and successful. As 3 John 2 says “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers”. God wants us to have these blessings, but we need to understand the importance of having our priorities in order so that the Lord can bless us.

Image Source: 
[http://www.biztechreport.com/images/AP-ISSUE2-FINAL[1]_Page_25_Image_0001.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source=" 1 Peter 5:7"] Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

One day after a service, a woman came up to me and said, "Brother, I want you to pray for me." I said, "What for?" She looked surprised and said, "Do I have to tell you?" I said, "Well, I can not pray unless you do because I would not know what we are praying about otherwise. I cannot believe for something I do not know about, and I cannot agree on something unless I know what I am agreeing on. What is your request?" She began to cry. She said, "Brother, the burdens of life—the cares, the worries of life—are just so heavy I cannot bear them. I wanted you to pray that the Lord would do one of two things: He'd either take about half of them away because I can carry half of them—I just can't carry all of them—or else He would give me the grace to carry them."

My heart went out for her. I did my best to help her. I said, "Sister, I cannot pray either way. That would be unscriptural. You see, the prayer of faith will not work in that case. In fact, there is only one kind of prayer that will work in this case: the prayer of commitment. Isn't it wonderful, Sister, that you and I already have the answer?" She looked startled. I said, "We already have information on the subject." (i.e. inside-the-Bible) I said, "You see, the Word of God tells us exactly what to do with our worries, our concerns, our anxieties." I quoted to her from the King James Version first. I said, “In First Peter 5:7, the Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Peter, 'Casting all your care upon him; for He cares for you.' And The Amplified Bible says, 'Casting the whole of your care—all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all— on Him; for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully.'” I told her, "You do not have to do it every day. You do it once and for all. From then on, you are free from all burdens."

She looked up at me and said, "You are hard-hearted. You are just hard-hearted!" I put all the kindness in my voice I could, and I said, "Dear Sister, I am not hard-hearted. I did not write the Bible! I was not the One who said that. That's God's Word, and God loves you." "Yeah," she replied, "but you do not know what I have got to worry about!" I said, "Dear Sister, I'm sure do not know what you are worrying about, but God knows—He knows everything—and it's God's Word that says, 'Cast the whole of your care—all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all— onto Him.'" She said, "I just can't do it." I said, "Yes you can. God is just and kind and good, and He did not ask you to do something you cannot do." It seemed to me that anybody would be glad to find that verse in the Bible and would be thrilled to act upon it. But she turned, walked away, and said, "I could not give up worrying.

What's next?

When you turn it over to Him, you do not have it anymore. He is got it. Then you can say, "I am care-free," even when it is still there from the natural standpoint. Because you are not carrying that load; He is. We used to sing a song that went, "Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there." The trouble with most people is that they come to the altar, or wherever they pray, take their burdens to the Lord all right, tell Him about them—and then when they get up from that place of prayer; they pick their burdens up again! It helps to imagine your burdens as a 100-pound sack. People put it on their backs and carry it home with them from their place of prayer. No! Leave it there! Leave it there! "Casting the whole of your care ... ONCE AND FOR ALL on Him," that verse says. So I refuse to worry.

Sources: Pastor Jonah Ravinder -devotion- Stress Management; Pastor Kenneth Hagin

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Scripture

[ecko_quote source=" wheel chairsActs 3:6"] Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

This story was narrated by Pastor Kenneth E Hagin in his book titled “What Faith Is”. He said in this way; I remember a few years ago a friend of mine telling me of a lady evangelist (I think probably Kathryn Kuhlman) in the earlier days of Pentecost who was ministering to four people in wheelchairs. To all four she said in a very quiet tone “Arise and walk in Jesus name” And they all got up and walked except the fourth one. I can’t walk, the fourth one said. The others could not walk either, the evangelist said, but they did. To which the fourth one replied, I know they did, but I cannot walk.  I have not walked in years; I cannot walk. And the evangelist had to walk away and leave the fourth one sitting there.

You see, when the first three began to ACT on what was spoken to them the results were forthcoming. When you ACT upon what God’s Word says, or ACT upon what the Holy Spirit may speak to your heart, then results are forthcoming. That is faith!

Further Pastor Hagin also shared the following incident on faith and about Acting upon the Word of God. A lady in one of the churches he pastored was in a wheelchair. She had arthritis. The doctor had told her some years before that her body would eventually become rigid, and that she would not be able to move, she would become confined to a wheelchair. Since then she was in that state. However, she and her husband never missed a service whether the services were on weekdays or weekends. Now he could pray for this woman, and she would receive instant healing for anything such as the flu, or a cold.

But it bothered Pastor Hagin she never once asked to be prayed to receive healing from arthritis although there were many others in the church who had been healed of very serious ailments. And he was bothered because he knew it was God’s will to heal her.

Some people would say, “well, it may not be God’s will” But I know it is God’s will to heal people! That does not mean that those Christians who do not get healed are not going to heaven. It just means they are robbed of a blessing while living on this earth.

To continue above story, one afternoon Pastor Hagin gathered a small group from the Church and went to this lady’s house to pray with her. And as they prayed, Pastor Hagin saw exactly what God would have him to do. He said, to everyone, “Get back away from her”. He got across the room from her, and since they were in a large room, he asked “everybody watch, but not touch her. Stay away from her, he said”. Then he pointed his finger at her and said, “now my sister, arise and walk in the name of Jesus Christ”.

He was a witness to the fact, the prayer group is a witness to the fact and his wife is a witness to the fact that an unseen power lifted her out of the chair. And she just sat up in mid-air away from the wheelchair! She could move her arms, and immediately she reached down for the wheelchair. The moment she did, she just fell back down into it. The instant she did that, he said, “Sister, you do not have a bit of faith, do you? You do not believe you’ll ever be healed of this arthritis, do you? Immediately she spoke out, “No”, Pastor Hagin, I do not. I will die and go to my grave with it”... And she did.

You cannot receive from God beyond actual faith. Do you know what would have happened if she had cooperated with God and with that power which was upon her? She would have begun to walk. She’d have been healed right then.

What's next?

Too many people think that God’s power- healing power. Holy Spirit power- is just going to move in on them and make them do something whether they want to do it or not. No! Because then that would be the evil spirit, not the Holy Spirit. Evil spirits force, drive and make do. Holy Spirit urges, prompts, or gives a gentle push, and then it is up to us to respond. It is up to you to obey. Moreover, when an individual will act and cooperate with the Holy Spirit, in that very moment impossible will become possible.

[http://www.themindfulword.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/healthy-cure-healing.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Jeremiah 17:7"]Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

The Bible is primarily not a book which can be explained; it is first and foremost a book which needs to be believed in and obeyed. Whether you understand it or not, God says it! You simply obey it. Just consider when taking a medicine or flying in an aircraft or driving a car, do we have to understand the entire technology and formulas before we use those services and products. Absolutely not! we take medicine as prescribed, board the plane and drive the car having full faith in those created matters. However, we often struggle to put our trust and believe in our Lord who created everything.

Moreover, don't substitute human reasoning for obedience. So many times we like to tell God how He ought to do things. I can imagine those early disciples when Saul was making havoc of the church and carrying Christians off to prison and death. I imagine there were many praying, “Oh, God, do something about Saul. Strike him dead.” However, God did not want to strike him dead. God struck him alive! And aren't you glad He did?

Obedience to God’s commands comes from within your heart. When you are begining to struggle in obeying God, that is clear indication that your heart has shifted away from Him. Some claim “I love God, but I am having difficulty obeying Him in certain areas of my life. That is a spiritual impossibility. For example, if you told your spouse that you loved her at certain times but that you struggled to love her other times, your relationship would be in jeopardy. Yet we assume that God is satisfied with occasional love or partial obedience. He is not. Obedience without love is legalism, and there are many pagan religions that fall into this category.

Our Lord never insists upon obedience because he gave free will to choose or not to choose. He tells us very emphatically, what we ought to do, but He never takes means to make us do it. We have to obey Him out of our discipleship. He prefaced it with an IF- we do not need to unless we want to. The Lord does not give me rules. He makes His standard very clear, if my relationship with Him is that of love, I will do what He says without any hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone else in the competition. Jesus Christ will not help me to obey Him; I must obey Him; and when I do obey Him, I fulfil my spiritual destiny.

As Christians, we can waste our lives standing on faith’s shoreline, never venturing beyond ankle-deep water. There we have little need for God; after all, we are safe on the beach, far from the danger of high waves and storms. However, believers who release themselves into deeper waters of obedience need the Lord desperately. The Christian life becomes exciting when we wade into the water so deep that our feet no longer touch the bottom. Then we must stand on God’s promises.

What's next?

Isn't it strange how God works? You see, our ways and God's ways are very different. It is why we have to say, “I will trust You and obey. “Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus- But to trust and obey

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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="3 John verse 2"]“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers ” [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

We have examined the man’s three-fold nature (spirit, soul and body) in our previous devotion series. Our spirit has been born again when we received Lord Jesus into our hearts. In relation to our soul, the Scripture states it must prosper and be renewed with the Word of God.  Our soul has four faculties, mind, will, intellect and emotions. God’s desire is to prospers us in all of these parts. This would enable our soul to flourish so that we may have good health and prosperity in every area of our life. Soul prosperity is the greatest blessing on this side heaven. The health of the soul came first in the Apostle’s mind and when there is that; he can wish for bodily health to support it.

It is God’s will to prosper, and the prosperity does not mean money alone. But prosperity in the Christian lifestyle includes character, attitudes, personality and other physical and monetary areas. Prosperity without health is irrelevant. If you are terminally ill then what good does prosperity do to you? Further, what good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Matthew 16:26). Therefore, my dear one our soul must prosper in all faculties of a soul (mind, will, intellect and emotions). The Scriptures says in Proverbs 17:22” A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. There is a direct connection between our soul prosperity to our health and wellbeing. Let us examine each of the soul's faculties briefly and how they would contribute to the holistic prosperity of our soul.

Mind: Webster defines mind as "the intellectual or rational faculty in man, consciousness, intelligence, memory, soul." This is not exactly true. In the Greek language, for mind, we have the noun "dianoia" and the verb "dia-nooumai." Both are composite words from the preposition "dia," which means through, by way of, by means of, and "nous," which is the thinking agent, or that which thinks in man, the human soul. Therefore, "dianoia" for mind in the Greek language means the substance or the instrument through which the soul of man functions in thinking. Mind is a thinking agent and whatever it thinks it acts accordingly. The Scripture says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve; what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will (Roman 12:2). Therefore, we must renew our mind through the Word of God. Read the Word, meditate and apply, this will enable our soul to prosper.

Will: The Will, generally, is that faculty of the mind which selects, at the moment of decision, the strongest desire from among the various desires present. Will does not refer to any particular desire, but rather to the capacity to act decisively on one's desires. Our will must align with God’s will. Remember of our Lord’s agony in Garden of Gethsemane, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42). We must submit our will to God’s Will obediently. Further, we have to do it willingly and obediently as the Scripture says, God loves who are willing and obedient, and they will eat the good things of the land (Isaiah 1:19).

Intellect: Intellect is a term used in studies of the human mind, and refers to the ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions about what is true or real, and about how to solve problems. The Scriptures says “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children (Hosea 4:6). But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. We should not be ignorant but read the Word, understand it and apply to our lives. Ignorance is no excuse (Roman 1:18). God is not questioning your knowledge of the stock market, economy or engineering but about Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (proverb 1:7). Our intellect-faculty will prosper when we depend on God’s intellect that is the Word of God.

Emotions:  Emotion, in everyday speech, is any relatively brief conscious experience characterised by intense mental activity and a high degree of pleasure or displeasure. Jesus felt compassion; he was angry, indignant, and consumed with zeal; he was troubled, greatly distressed, very sorrowful, depressed, deeply moved, and grieved; he sighed; he wept and sobbed; he groaned; he was in agony; he was surprised and amazed; he rejoiced very greatly and was full of joy; he greatly desired, and he loved.

As Christians, our emotions should be balanced. We should not be carried away by our emotions but stand firm on the Word of God.

What's next?

The Scriptures says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). There is a wedding and a funeral every day at the same time all over the world. And if you are in a large church, you will always know somebody weeping, and you will always know that there is also someone on tiptoe happiness, which means that 2 Corinthians 6:10 is true. We are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”. The fruit of the Holy Spirit shows us to have self-control. Christians must be self-controlled, who has to control? We have to control our emotions. As our emotions prosper with the Word of God, our soul would also prosper accordingly.

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Scripture

[ecko_quote source=" Mathew 16:26"]For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? [/ecko_quote]

Devotion

Jesus in His Ministry spoke to the people using parables, examples and illustrations. In the above verse, He used the words such as profit, gain, loss and exchange which are related to the business and commerce field. Being a Chartered Accountant by profession; I know what He was saying, and I can fully appreciate His business acumen. Jesus was discussing a serious business issue. It was not related to the valuable commodities such as Platinum, Gold and Diamonds but more precious than these. In fact, incomparable! It's our “soul”. It costed God everything in order to gain our souls ....only because He loved us so dearly. To be precise, it costed God His only dear son Jesus. He could not redeem our souls with any of the created things, but He Himself had to shed blood to satisfy His Justice.

In the above verse, Jesus is asking us to do some simple calculations and do the real business. These are some very serious questions that need our full attention. We can’t mess with it. Otherwise, it would cost us our eternity. There is no second chance to alter our choices and once we made our choice there would be no turning back.We consciously or unconsciously trade our souls not knowing the eternal value of it. To gain the world and its possessions, we tend to put our souls as a capital. What a terrible trade and foolish exchange we are ready to do in our everyday life. Our soul which costed Jesus’s life can’t be exchanged for such perishables. So many of us are loving the world and its passions despite repeated warning from the Lord.

One of the disciples of Jesus named Judas Iscariot who was a treasurer made a deal with the temple priests to sell our Lord for thirty silver pieces.  In the fullest manner, Judas acknowledged to the chief priests that he had sinned, and betrayed an innocent person. This was the full testimony to the character of Christ, but the rulers were hardened. Casting down the money, Judas departed, and went and hanged himself, not being able to bear the terror of divine wrath, and the anguish of despair. It costed him so dearly of his eternity.  Wicked men see little of the consequences of their crimes when they commit them, but they must answer for them all. 

Thousands lose their souls for a small gain, or the most worthless indulgence, nay, often from mere sloth and negligence. Whatever is the object for which men forsake Christ, that is the price at which Satan buys their souls. One soul is worth more than all the world. This is Christ's judgment upon the matter; He knew the price of souls, for He redeemed them; nor would He underrate the world, for He made it. The dying transgressor cannot even purchase one-hour respite to seek mercy for his perishing soul. Let us then learn rightly to value our souls, and Christ as the only Saviour of them.

My dear friends, I can promise you that there is only one thing that will leave with you from this world when you die, and that’s your soul; nothing else. Everything else will remain. Therefore, I believe we need to get our priorities right this very day. We should put God first then our families and followed our Ministry for the Lord.

 

What's next?

There is nothing wrong in making money, being prosperous and successful. As 3 John 2 says “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers”. God wants us to have these blessings, but we need to understand the importance of having our priorities in order so that the Lord can bless us.

Image Source: 
[http://www.biztechreport.com/images/AP-ISSUE2-FINAL[1]_Page_25_Image_0001.jpg]

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