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Daily Devotional – December 21

A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR FAMILY IN THE LORD!

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December 21, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 5 Comments

Daily Devotional – December 20

MERRY CHRISTMAS (Part 3)

My name is Francis Toliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.

‘Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground,
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I, “Now listen up, me boys!” each soldier strained to hear,
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

“He’s singing bloody well, you know!” my partner says to me.
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony.
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more,
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent,
“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was “Stille Nacht,” “‘Tis ‘Silent Night,'” says I,
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.

“There’s someone coming towards us!” the front line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright,
As he, bravely, strode unarmed into the night.

Soon one by one on either side walked into No Man’s Land,
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well,
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave ’em hell.

We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home.
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin,
This curious and unlikely band of men.

Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each prepared to settle back to war.
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night:
“Whose family have I fixed within my sights?”

‘Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost, so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they’d kept between us to exact the work of war,
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore.

My name is Francis Toliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
Each Christmas come since World War I, I’ve learned its lessons well,
That the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame,
And on each end of the rifle we’re the same.

SOURCE

PRAY FOR OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

December 20, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 1 Comment

Daily Devotional – December 19

MERRY CHRISTMAS (Part 2)

I am flat broke from overspending at Christmas time. But I need to go shopping again soon because I am completely out of self-respect. I’ve said things I wish I could take back and I am not feeling too good about myself.

I also want to exchange a carton of self righteousness for an equal amount of humility. I hear that it is less expensive and wears well, and while I’m at it I’m going to check on tolerance and see if there is any available in my size.

I must remember to try to match my patience with the little I have left. My neighbor is loaded with it and it looks awfully good on her. I was told the same department has a repair shop for mending integrity. Mine has become frayed around the edges from too much compromising. If I don’t get it refurbished soon, there won’t be any left.

I almost forgot the most important thing of all — compassion. If I see some-no matter what the color, size or shape — I’m going to stock up heavily regardless of the price. I have run out of it so many times and I always feel ashamed when it happens.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get around to shopping for these items. They don’t cost nearly as much as some of the frivolous things I bought at Christmas time. And I’ll get a lot more satisfaction from them.

Yes, I’m going shopping today and I can leave my checkbook and credit cards at home! The things I’m looking for have no price-tags. What a joy!

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Author Unknown.

December 19, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 3 Comments

Daily Devotional – December 18

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

We always like to get something back from our investments. Money we put in the stock market is done so with the hope of gain. A gift sent to a client is given with the hope of gaining more business. Even a favor for a friend might be done with an eye on a future time when the favor will be returned. The unspoken mantra is, “What’s in it for me?”

Luke 14:12-14 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor [thy] rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

In the margin of my Bible next to verse 14 is written, “disinterested goodness.” This verse exhorts US to invest with no hope of return, to do good without an eye on the immediate future. Jesus tells us to show hospitality to those who cannot return the favor, an act of goodness but a disinterested one. It is “disinterested” in the sense that it is not a good deed deposited with hopes of gaining something in return.

Is it really hospitality when we invite someone to our home who we enjoy having? Perhaps as we define hospitality it is, but it will not meet the standard of what Jesus set before us. He instructs us to reach out to the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind (v. 13).

Moving into this final week of Christmas, what are your plans?

(A Bereans Classic)

December 18, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 2 Comments

Daily Devotional – December 15

Isaiah 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

December 15, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 2 Comments

Note

For a great post on our latest series (Partial Armor), visit Maria’s December 14 post here!

December 14, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | Leave a comment

Daily Devotional – December 14

PARTIAL ARMOR (Part 8 of 8 )

Ephesians 6:13-17 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

There is so much in this passage that volumes could be written.  Instead of volumes, we will summarize with the point to be made as indicated by the title of the series: “Partial Armor”.

As Christians we often put on the pieces of armor that we feel suit us, but leave off the ones that don’t.  When we do that, we leave ourselves exposed and ineffective in battle. 

Consider the following:

  • Without truth(belt)  how can we know what is the right (breastplate) thing to do or go about spreading the gospel (shoes)?
  • Without salvation (helmet) where do we find faith (shield)?
  • Without the word (sword) where would we find truth (belt)?

There are so many examples and correlations to make with this verse, that the interdependent nature of our armor is evident. 

Put on the WHOLE armor.

Next week:  Practical tips on acquiring your armor. 

December 14, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 2 Comments

Daily Devotional – December 13

PARTIAL ARMOR (Part 7 of 8 )

Ephesians 6:13-17 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Battles are rarely won defensively.  In our battle against the spirit world one needs training and understanding in the use of one’s sword.  How many Christians draw their sword only to have it easily removed from their grasp or smartly paried.   

December 13, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 6 Comments

Daily Devotional – December 12

PARTIAL ARMOR (Part 6 of 8 )

Ephesians 6:13-17 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Do you like ice cream? Bet that you weren’t thinking of ice cream two seconds ago (unless you are a slow reader). The picture of ice cream you have floating in your head right now was put there by the “power of suggestion”, the same deadly and efficient weapon at Satan’s disposal. The battle for your soul is at first a battle for your mind, and unprotected by the helmet of salvation, we are easily influenced and controlled by Satan.
Without your helmet:

  • Lest Satan should get an advantage of us (I Corinthians 2:11a)

WITH your helmet:

  • I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)
  • which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27a)
  • for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9b)

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/3875083/view]

December 12, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 2 Comments

Daily Devotional – December 7

PARTIAL ARMOR (Part 5 of 8 ) 

Ephesians 6:13-17 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Our faith is the first defense put between us and danger.   Without this sheild the rest of our armor must absorb the complete onslaught, taxing it to ineffectiveness.

The shield of faith:

  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
  • I Thess 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

December 11, 2006 Posted by | Daily Devotional | 4 Comments