Daily devotions

Sunday

Rations - spiritual fuel for every day

- armybarmy -
We want to stay close to Jesus. For some of us, that requires GETTING close, first. For all of us, it demands a daily dedication to God, time alone with Him in prayer and with the Scriptures.

In The Salvation Army we call this essential discipline RATIONS. Just as a military soldier gets daily nutritional intake of food and drink to fuel his/her military efforts for king and country, a salvation soldier needs daily spiritual intake of PRAYER and the WORD to fuel his/her spiritual efforts for the Lord.

Read the book RATIONS HERE.

Saturday

The King's Gifts and Emperor's Clothes

-  From JAC Issue #11 by Captain Stephen Court quoted by FSAOF blog - 

"Eagerly desire the greater gifts" (1 Corinthians 12:31). This culminated his discussion of apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, helps, administration, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (14:27-30). These are some of the King's gifts.

The Salvation Army is a holiness movement. Holiness is essential to our success. Holiness presumes implicit obedience to God. If, at any point, we are disobedient, then we are no longer holy.
Inasmuch as we do not eagerly desire these gifts, to that extent we are disobedient and have ruptured fellowship with God. Insofar as we deny the King's gifts, to that degree we are wearing the emperor's clothes, we're naked and we're fooling ourselves that we're clothed in the righteousness that characterizes The Salvation Army."

Read more HERE.

Should Christians Prepare for a 'Dark Age' in the Church?

-  John Stonestreet in Breakpoint - 

"For many Christians, it’s as if American culture has changed in the blink of an eye. And for most, it’s for the “worse.” Each month, it seems, America becomes more secular, less morally literate, and noticeably more hostile to Christianity.

In the space of just two years, we've seen marriage laws that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support during the Clinton Administration wither beneath activist outrage. What President Obama professed to believe just three years ago—that marriage is the union of one man and one woman—has today become the definition of bigotry—so despicable it's compared with Jim Crow-era racism.

What happened? According to columnist and author Rod Dreher, this overnight revolution in Americans' opinions on marriage and religious freedom is no mere moral slide. It’s actually nothing short of a “cosmological shift.” In other words, the assumptions that have made gay marriage culturally inevitable—the idea that people are the sum of their desires and that marriage has no intrinsic purpose or definition—amount to a total shift in the way our culture looks at human persons."

Read more HERE.

Thursday

Adultery, Wife-Swapping, Cheating & Divorce (September 1977)

-Pulpet Series by David Wilkerson -

"There is a media blitz aimed at the destruction of the Christian home. Satan is out to wreck every marriage, to break up every Christian couple and destroy the God-ordained concept of "faithful...till death do us part."

TV and magazine writers have begun a relentless attack on the old-fashioned idea of "being true to one another." They suggest that every marriage needs an "outside affair" and that marriage can be more healthy with a little cheating on the side. They would have us believe that everybody is cheating a little, that it is normal to be torn between two lovers. Adultery, wife-swapping and cheating is now so prevalent, we don't even raise an eyebrow about it. The pressure to cheat is getting stronger among Christians, too.

How in the world can God wink at the way so many Christians now discard their mates through separation and divorce? Christians by the thousands, including a host of ministers, are running off to divorce courts and forsaking their vows so they can pick up with someone else. Divorce is no more sinful today than spitting on the street.

Those who call it quits talk about being incompatible, that the marriage cannot be healed, that all love is gone, that it would be worse on them and the kids if they stuck it out. They don't want to stifle their personalities. Often, that is the case. On a few occasions, divorce is inevitable. But, in my observations, nine out of ten divorced people are dating someone else shortly after, and even during the divorce. The divorce is a way to discard an old lover for a new one. And so often the second marriage is no better. I have counseled many who confessed their second and third marriages were even worse than the first. People headed for divorce ought to look around and ask a few questions of others who have taken that route. Only a few are really happy the second time around. Usually, it's like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Divorce is a dead end street - and life with another partner hardly ever provides lasting joy and peace. When two divorced people marry each other, it is usually a union between two losers. They bring to their second marriage a bundle of unsolved problems....."

Read more HERE.

It´s Thursday (23)



'So Rachel died  and was buried on the way to Ephrah (that is, Bethlehem).' Genesis 35:19. Rachel was the love of Jacob's life, but as Jacob returned home to settle and live out the rest of his days with her, she was taken from him. How often has what we anticipated and naturally expected turned out so differently without explanation? Rachel had known much sadness in her life. She was tricked by her father and saw her sister Leah being married off to Jacob instead of her. When she did become Jacob's second wife she endured years of misery due to her barrenness and the fact that both Leah and two maidservants bore him many children..

Like the sunrise after a long dark night, Rachel had the eventual joy of giving birth to Joseph. It must have seemed as though a new day had indeed dawned for her when she found that she was expecting a second child, something for which she had dearly hoped and prayed, (30:22-24). But she had great difficulty in giving birth and, having been told that it was a boy, named him with her dying breath, ''Son of my Trouble,” (Ben-Oni). Jacob, however, gave the boy the far less depressing name, Benjamin, “Son of the Right Hand.”

There are those who have a smooth and pleasant life, whilst others are plagued with sorrows of one sort or another, ever hoping for something better. How tragic it is when  at last joy comes, only for it to be snatched away. There is such pathos in Rachel's story. She became a symbol of sorrow to the nation of Israel, (see Jeremiah 31:15). There is much that we do not understand about God and his purposes, things that do not seem to make sense, things that seem so unfair. But when we belong to him we become part of a far bigger plan, most of which we might never witness. Joseph, Rachel's first born, would save the family from hunger, ensuring their survival. A descendant of Benjamin, King Saul, would play a pivotal role in Israel's history. Another would be a far greater Saul, Saul of Tarsus, who would become the apostle Paul and be responsible for sharing the Good News of Jesus throughout so much of the Roman Empire and encouraging countless Christians up unto the present day.

'Whatever it might mean to me personally Father, I am yours. Help me to be so surrendered that I will allow you to do whatsoever you choose to achieve your purposes. Amen.' God Bless you all.

Tuesday

Nato Ally To Muslims: Reconquer Jerusalem

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on his countrymen to refocus on the Ottoman goal of re-conquering Jerusalem for Islam and uniting Shia and Sunni tribes for that same mission.

In a speech that got almost no coverage in the Western media, Erdogan talked about invading and reconquering Jerusalem, according to an article in the Anadolu Agency of Turkey.

“We Muslims lost our way toward Jerusalem,” he told throngs of adoring Turks while in the state of Erzincan in central Turkey. “The water of our eyes froze making us blind, and our hearts that was destined to beat for Jerusalem is now instead conditioned for rivalry being in a state of war with each other.”

Erdogan was in the city to promote numerous service projects, but the speech focused on Jerusalem.

“When you mention the worse ascension, the first thing that comes to mind is Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said, referring to the mosque that sits on the Temple Mount.

The Mount is controlled by Arab Muslim Waqf officials, who do not allow Jews to pray except at the Western Wall. But apparently Erdogan is not satisfied with this arrangement. He told his countrymen to “ask Allah to restore the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the infallibility of the Muslims.”

Erdogan has ruled Turkey for 13 years, but the increasingly vitriolic nature of his anti-Israel rhetoric proves he has consolidated his power over the less strident Islamist views of Fethullah Gulen, a Turk who operates 120 publicly funded charter schools across the United States, says Joel Richardson, a Christian filmmaker and author of the New York Times-best-seller, “The Islamic Antichrist.”

With Erdogan’s rhetoric coming unhinged, Richardson says the Turkish government led by him and Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto─člu has essentially become the Turkish wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The old form of moderate Turkish Islam has been defeated,” he said.

Read more HERE.

Monday

Consider the Bait and Switch of 'Hooking Up'

- Kenny Luck in Charisma Magazine -

 "One hundred and fifty college students on the campus of the University of Southern California have poured into a lecture hall to hear me. To make matters worse, they have no idea what's coming.

All they know is that they have come to a "Relationships Forum" and that some older guy is going to be talking on sex, love and dating. What they do not know is that I am about to gently but firmly pass along what I know about a coming apocalypse of consequences related to their favorite pastime—hooking up.

The forecast for tonight's meeting is increasing clouds, a 100 percent chance of thundershowers and golf-ball sized hail. We are going to have an adult conversation about adult things because they are swimming in the deep end of very adult behaviors that have big consequences their young adult minds can't quite comprehend yet."

Read more HERE.

Sunday

Why Boko Haram and ISIS Target Women

- Katelyn Beaty in Christianity today
- "The oldest way to spread a religion is not to evangelize people; it’s to create new ones.

In all the battles waged by men, one of the most effective ways to destroy the enemy is to destroy its women. Rape and sexual abuse are wartime “strategies” as old as war itself.

Yesterday The New York Times ran a devastating report that hundreds of girls as young as 11 have been raped and impregnated by members of Boko Haram. Based in Nigeria, the radical Islamist sect has long proven its cowardice by targeting girls, including the 300 mostly Christian schoolgirls they kidnapped last year, inciting the BringBackOurGirls campaign. For the young victims now carrying their abusers’ unborn children, returning to anything like normal life is impossible to imagine."

Read more HERE.

Saturday

March Down the Mall Promo

The Mall March is happening on 5 July 2015!
Also, you should come to Late Night Alive every night of Congress at 9.30 pm. It's free!

Friday

The Coming Purge (October 1977)


- David Wilkerson (October 1977) -
"The mission of Jesus Christ was not only to redeem and baptize believers with the Holy Ghost, but to also separate, purge, and winnow the wheat from the chaff. What a terrible aspect of His mission - to separate and destroy the corrupt seed and prepare it for burning.

The church has experienced a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There has been a great ingathering of people from all religions and walks of life. God's holy floor is full and overflowing with a copious harvest. In fact, those whitened fields have been yielding a record harvest.

Now, the church of Jesus Christ is about to experience the second half of the Pentecostal promise. Jesus Himself is about to purge His people. If you believe in the promise of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, you must also believe the rest of that promise. Right after the promised outpouring comes a cleansing of all impurities "on His floor." Jesus is going to separate the wheat from the chaff."

Read more HERE.

Thursday

Change Can Be Hard ... for everyone.

- Go forward by Jim Knaggs - "I wonder what it was like when the first bicycle was invented and became popular. I imagine many thought they were useless and unnecessary. How about the car? Now there’s a change that must have been difficult.
How about the first steamboat or the first radio, or TV, or telephone? Change can be so hard.
How do you know when something new is important or not?...
This much is true…no change, no life. Basically only inanimate things have the potential not to change. Actually, you and I have changed from yesterday. Was it for the good? It could be. Resisting the change can be unhealthy.
Of course, not every change is for the good, but if you think resisting change in life is the best, be prepared for a shock. A change is just around the corner. You might as well get ready for it."

Read more HERE.

Wednesday

It´s Thursday (22) - Gen 35



'Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there....” Genesis 35:1. When Jacob returned to Canaan, he purchased a piece of land within sight of the city of Shechem for one hundred pieces of silver, and settled there. (33:19) Though he set up an altar there and dedicated it to God, (v20), it was not in accordance with the promise he had made to God when fleeing from his brother Esau two decades earlier. We can do our religious duties to the letter, even to the admiration of our peers, yet still not be fulfilling our promises or living in obedience to God. As we saw last time, the results of settling near to Shechem turned out to be devastating for the family.

Sometimes we make promises to God when we are desperate and then forget those promises the moment the threat has passed. This was the case here. When Jacob met with God in a dream in which he saw a staircase stretching between heaven and earth and angels ascending and descending, (28:12), God made incredible promises to Jacob,  promising to care for him, give him the land he was in, give him uncountable offspring, telling him how he would be a blessing to the whole world through his offspring, (28:13-15). In return, Jacob promised that if he returned safely he would come back to that place, to the stone he had set up and dedicated as God's house – Bethel, and give to God a tenth of all he possessed.

It seems that by the time Jacob returned to the land of Canaan he had forgotten his vow and settled at a place of his own choosing which resulted in horrendous consequences. Yet, as we all know, God never gives up on any of us. Following that harrowing experience, Jacob was no doubt more open to what God had to say. Sometimes it takes a bad experience for us to review where we are and to listen more intently to God. Like Jacob, we all need to return, from time to time, to that place of first dedication.

'Am I what once I was?
Have I that ground maintained
Wherein I walked in power with thee,
And thou my soul sustained?'                SASB 409:2

Tuesday

Life Becomes Unbearable for Jews, Swedish Edition -Part 2 of 2-

From FSAOF blog:
 

The State Department official said he knew me as the girl who applied for asylum in my own country, and to him it may have seemed like a joke. But to me, this was anything but. I used this desperate measure in order to make my government live up to its responsibility to protect my right to live a religious life, to preserve my cultural identity, and to allow my children and I to be who we are without fear of persecution. Kosher slaughter has been outlawed in my country since 1937, and a bill is now pending in parliament that would ban even the import and serving of kosher meat in spaces partially or fully funded by the government. Circumcision is also under threat; it is one of few issues in Swedish politics where the Left and Right find common ground. In Sweden today, home to 15,000 Jews amidst a national population of roughly nine million, publicly displaying Jewish identity through symbols or dress means putting yourself at risk of verbal or physical harassment. 
Synagogues are heavily guarded and Jewish children play behind bars and heavy metal gates. My government has failed the Jewish minority, as they failed my family for generations, so I turned to the world out of anger and sheer desperation.

Read more HERE.



Monday

Life Becomes Unbearable for Jews, Swedish Edition PART 1 OF 2

From FSAOF blog:
Photo: Annika Hernroth-Rothstein
Targeted for humiliation, prohibited from observing her religion in freedom, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein tried to draw attention to the plight of Sweden’s small Orthodox Jewish community—and that’s when the trouble really began.

A few months after I had entered high school, the boys with the boots showed up. I called them that because they had paired their historically accurate Hitler Jugend uniforms with shiny 10-hole Dr. Martens, white laces dramatically contrasting their perfect oxblood shade.

I could always hear them approaching, the boys with the boots. The sound of rubber soles against linoleum would cut through the noises of my high school hallway and as soon as I turned around, there they were.

Read more HERE.

Sunday

The God Who Cannot Suffer Suffered

- Wesley Hill in Christianity Today
- "I still vividly remember the first time I went to speak with an older, wiser Christian about some significant personal pain. I remember sitting down in his office, tongue-tied. I remember my halting effort to find the words to express my questions. I remember, afterward, feeling the joy of a burden lifted.
But as much as I remember anything about that day, I remember why I went to see that particular mentor rather than someone else.
First, I knew that this friend had suffered. He had already described for me his own dark times in which he had cried and prayed to God for relief.
Second, I knew my friend had somehow journeyed on beyond where I was. Not only was he several decades my senior, those years of faith had also deepened and seasoned him, like a rich-hued oak table grown darker and smoother with repeated polishing. It was the combination—suffering and godly maturity—that made me want to confide in my friend...."

Red more Here.