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Alabaster Box by Tammy Lang Jensen
As I met Jesus in the garden this morning, he showed me the woman with the alabaster box. He said, “Would you pour out all you had for me, even if you had nothing?” 

Would you give from your lack, rather than from your abundance. While he was eating a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head (Matthew 26:7).

Have you emptied your self before Jesus, have you poured out all you have. The Father then reminded me how I wrestle with him for my time. Very quickly I felt the need to repent of my selfish ways. The Lord‘s love for us is so extravagant, his correction always comes in the most gentle of ways. What the enemy means for harm, the Lord will turn around for our good. He has our days planned out for good and not for evil, to give us hope and a future.

I assure you from experience, if you open your hand and give the Lord what he is asking for; he will always give you something better in return. Will you put Isaac on the altar, so it does not become an Ishmael. Will you give up what you thought your life would look like, for the vision of the Lord? Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18). When things are done God’s way, there is freedom! Come out of the slavery and chains of Egypt. Quit selling your birthright, for momentary satisfaction.

Do not be like Cain, who belongs to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his own deeds were evil, while those of his brother were righteous (1 John 3:12). The battle between good and evil is nothing new. War with your flesh, so that your spirit can win. Fast, pray, meditate on the word. Whatever you nurture grows and whatever you starve will die. The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.

They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green (Psalm 92:12-14). Come, pour all you have out, empty yourself before the Lord. Then he will refill you with his glory and you will be fruitful and multiply and flourish all the days of your life. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so....

Tammy Lang Jensen

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My Own by Deborah Waldron Fry
Beloved. I know many of My Own are feeling exhausted and hopeless, like you are on your "last leg". 

The devil has been trying to wear out the saints. But know this, My Child. You are not alone. I am come to help you. I am your Helper and your Strength.

No longer do this in your own power, but like a Rider and Horse, My Spirit shall undergird you and lift you up. It is time to let go and "Let God". This is the "last leg" of the race of Time. It is the very last of the last days. You were chosen for such a time as this, My Warrior. You were made to RUN with the Horses! You are like a warhorse made ready for battle. You are going to fly like the Wind. The last leg of this race is called FREEDOM! On the Wind of the Spirit, the enemy shall not be able to see where you are going or where you came from. You are now racing in MY Power, and not your own. You will leave the enemy of your soul in the dust behind you.

Where you are going, he cannot follow. Rejoice, Dear One. You are nearing the Finish Line. You are on the LAST LEG of the Race. Hang on Beloved and rejoice! Hear the sound of My Voice like a Trumpet and laugh at fear! Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit shall you finish in VICTORY!!

What we say: I am on my "last leg"; exhausted to the point of giving up
What GOD says: "Last Leg": Last stage of a RACE, you are almost HOME! :D

UNDERGIRD: "to strengthen and secure; to encircle or bind with a flexible CORD; to make secure underneath."

I also just heard this!! :D Give the Horse his head" meaning: not use the bit to limit its speed: allowing it to run full out. When you give a horse it's head, it runs full speed HOME!! woohoo!!

...Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your dwelling place, and UNDERNEATH are the Everlasting Arms. He drives out the enemy before you, giving the command, ‘Destroy him!’
...Psalm 18:32 God! who is girding me with strength, And He makes perfect my way.
...Proverbs 21:32 A horse is prepared for a day of battle, And the deliverance is of Yahweh!
...Job 39:22 (The Horse) He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; he does not turn back from the sword. 23Upon him rattle the quiver, the flashing spear, and the javelin.24With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.25When the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’ He smells the battle from afar, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (in first comment)
amazing painting by Ricardo Colon;used with permission

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Learn To Forgive Yourself by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).

Reading the scripture above without some in-depth study, one might conclude that what we have in Christ is “forgiveness,” because of the way the King James renders it. But in reality, what we have in Christ completely transcends that.

Forgiveness is a pardon; the remission of judgment. When you’re “forgiven,” it means you’re not going to be punished for the offence, but you’re still a recorded offender. But in Christ, our sins aren’t merely forgiven, but remitted. The Greek word is “aphesis”; the complete blotting away or removal of sins according to the riches of His grace.

In Christ, the error itself is removed; you’ll not be judged, not because you’ve been pardoned, but because the sin doesn’t exist! So, if a Christian does something wrong, and says, “I can’t just forgive myself,” that means he doesn’t really believe in Jesus and His vicarious death. He died on account of our sins. He’s not just asking you to forgive yourself, He’s telling you that He’s greater than you and He’s the Judge, and that your sins are remitted.

If you believe that He’s the ultimate Judge, and that He’s not holding your sins against you, why should you feel so frustrated because of your errors? Don’t be like those who are saddened by their past mistakes whenever they want to pray. They remember something wrong they had done and allow it to dissipate their faith. Some, as a result of the errors they made, have gone into severe depression. Some others have succumbed to suicidal thoughts, unable to face the shame and possible humiliation. But that’s so wrong!

Yes, you did something wrong; you messed things up, but don’t let it dominate you. Jesus took responsibility for your wrongs; He paid the price already. Refuse to allow the failures and mistakes of yesterday keep you in bondage.

The power of sin to ruin you has been removed, because the Bible says sin shall not have dominion over you (Romans 6:14). When Satan reminds you of your sin, you ought to remind him of the death of Jesus on the Cross, through which you have remission—complete blotting away of sin. Hallelujah!

Prayer:
Dear Father, thank you for your love, your grace, your kindness, and your presence in my life. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who lives in me, who unveils your Word to me, and causes me to live according to your perfect will, and walk in righteousness. I exercise my authority over sin and its consequences, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

FURTHER STUDY:
Colossians 1:13-14; Romans 6:14; 1 John 3:20

1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Revelation 9 & Jonah 1-4

2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Revelation 14:11-20 & Habakkuk 1-2  

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Open Heavens: You Must Grow! by Pastor E.A Adeboye
Monday December 17th 2018
Memorise: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 1 Peter 2:2

Read: Ephesians 4:11-16 (KJV)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;


15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.


Bible in one year: 
Joel 1-3,
John 12:27-50,

Hymnal: 
Sing Hymn 15

Message:
Spiritual growth is not an option for all children of God who want to end well and strong. For this reason, the Holy Spirit in 1 Peter 2:2 admonishes us to desire the necessary spiritual nutrients that will help us grow.

This verse of scripture points to some critical elements that are involved in the journey of spiritual growth. Firstly, spiritual newborn babies must desire the milk of God’s word. Secondly, the midwives that God uses as vessels to birth babies in His kingdom must make the milk of God’s word available to those who are eager to drink it. Thirdly, the milk of God's word given to spiritual babies must be the sincere type. In other words, it must contain a balanced diet for growth.

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all Long suffering and doctrine.”
2nd Timothy 4: 2

From the above scripture, we understand that the milk of God’s word that will cause a believer to grow must include reproving of wrongdoing, rebuking the wrongdoer, patiently exhorting young believers to embrace righteousness even in the face of persecution that will definitely come, and teaching sound doctrines. A believer who is not ready to be established in the sound doctrines of the kingdom will soon fall into error and thus make shipwreck of his or her faith. Such are the seeds that fell on stony ground in the Lord's parable of the sower (Matthew 13:20-21).

Although every Christian needs to have a personal relationship with God, there is a place for every one of us to be impacted by the gifts that the Lord has set in His Church. In today's Bible reading we are told that one of the reasons why Jesus bestowed ministry gifts upon certain individuals in His Church is for us to grow to the measure of the stature of His fullness (Ephesians 4:13). There is therefore a place for pastors, evangelists, teachers and all other ministry gifts in the spiritual development of all Christians.

Today’s devotional should not be seen as a mere admonition; it should rather be taken as a command from God to grow. To ministers of God: it is obligatory for us to see our spiritual children grow. To babies in the Faith: you must desire the sincere milk of God’s word and not the diluted motivational talks of these days which do not guarantee spiritual growth.

Prayer Point: Father, please help me grow in grace to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Your son, Jesus Christ.

Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical Churches in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.

Dare to Take Your Place by Kenneth Copeland
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared...which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs.

Titus 3:4,6-7

A covenant of grace. That's what you and I have with Almighty God. If you could truly grasp the significance of that, you'd never be the same again.

What exactly is a covenant of grace? It's a relationship of favor that gives you access to someone else's power.

An illustration of a covenant of grace is the covenant the old Sicilian "family" members have with the "godfather" of the "family."

In that group, a weak person might come in and ask the Don for a favor. The Don would say, "I will grant this favor and I will ask a favor of you, and when that time comes, I will collect it."

Once that was said, the weak person would become excited. Suddenly he knew he would no longer have this problem because anyone who tried to rough him up would now have to face the godfather, the one with all the power. Suddenly, that little guy's attitude would change. He would leave the presence of the head of the family in the full assurance that he didn't have a thing to worry about. He was no longer small and powerless in his own mind. He had gained favor (grace) with the powerful.

He'd walk out thinking, Everything is handled. All I have to do now is whatever the Don asks me to do—and the Don knows I don't have anything, so whatever he asks me to do, he'll provide the wherewithal to do it.

That's grace. God's willingness to enter in to blood covenant with you and give you everything He has in exchange for everything you have.

He took your sin to give you His righteousness. He took your sickness to give you His health. He took your poverty in order to meet all your needs according to His riches in glory. Whenever He asks you to do something, He provides everything you need to carry it out.

The great Jehovah, God of heaven and earth, is your Father God. Can you understand that? If you're under the blood of Jesus, you've been made a covenant child of the most powerful being in the universe.

Dare to take your place in the family!

Scripture Reading:
Luke 4:14-21

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The Prince of Peace By Billy Graham
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
—Proverbs 10:12

To hate, to discriminate against those who look different, who talk different, who have different national backgrounds, or who act differently from the dominant group, is a universal trait of human nature. I say that there is only one possible solution and that is a vital experience with Christ on the part of all races.

In Christ the middle wall of partition is broken down, the Bible says. There is no Jew or Gentile, or black or white or yellow or red. We could be one great brotherhood in Christ. However, until we come to recognize Him as the Prince of Peace, and receive His love in our hearts, the racial tensions will increase.

Read Billy Graham’s timeless message on peace.

Prayer for the day
I pray for Your love, Lord Jesus, to conquer hate or prejudice—whenever these ugly transgressions seep into my heart.

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Love Turns Work into Ministry by Rick Warren
“Our people must learn to spend their time doing good, in order to provide for real needs; they should not live useless lives” (Titus 3:14 GNT).

If you’re a follower of Jesus, the way you approach your work should be totally different from the way others approach work.

The Bible says in Titus 3:14, “Our people must learn to spend their time doing good, in order to provide for real needs; they should not live useless lives” (GNT).

For a Christian, there are two purposes of work: to do good (that’s called ministry) and to provide for real needs (that’s called productivity). God wants you to be productive in your work, and he wants you to minister through your work.

Years ago, one of the best-selling books in America was The Dilbert Principle, a business book built around a collection of Dilbert cartoons. It’s about a guy who works in an office but is basically useless. The book contains wisdom on topics such as “Disparaging Your Co-workers,” “Taking Credit for the Work of Others,” “Exaggerating Your Talents,” and “Using the Computer to Look Busy.”

What makes Dilbert cartoons so funny (or not so funny, when you think about it) is that they really reflect the truth about a lot of workplaces. Many people are basically just marking time at work. They’re watching the clock, waiting for the day to be over so they can go home. They don’t enjoy their work, and they certainly don’t produce anything.

On the other hand, there’s a book called the Bible. The Bible says that in your work, God doesn’t want you to mark time. He wants you to mark lives. He wants you to make an impact with your life. He wants you to influence people for good.

“It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others” (Ephesians 2:10 TLB).

We are saved to serve. We are made for ministry! No matter what kind of work you do, God wants you to use your work to help other people. We serve God by serving others.

So, how can your work be a ministry? The Bible says, “Do all your work in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 GNT). The key to turning your work into a ministry is not what you do. It’s how you do it. When you do your work with an attitude of love, it turns normal, menial work—regardless of what it is—into ministry.

PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick
Talk It Over

Do you think God gave you your work as a gift and an opportunity to serve him? How is this reflected in your attitude about your job?
Why does a ministry-focused attitude toward work garner attention? How does it make you stand out at your job?
What are some practical ways that you can show love at your workplace today?

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Do You Recognize It? by Joel Osteen
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3, NIV

TODAY'S WORD:

When something good happens, do you recognize that it’s God at work? Right away, that’s when you need to thank Him for it. Make sure you give Him the credit.

Some people don’t think that God is doing anything in their lives. But I’m convinced that God is constantly showing us His goodness. My question is: Are you recognizing it? Are you thanking Him for His goodness?

This week, look around. Be more aware of His goodness. Scripture says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” If you’re going to taste God’s goodness, you have to realize that every good break, every time you were protected, every door that opened, every advantage that you’ve had is God working in your life. Don’t take it for granted. Recognize Him and thank Him for His goodness and faithfulness all the days of your life!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father, today I am on the lookout for Your goodness. I honor and thank You for Your love. I praise You because You are faithful and glorify You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.



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Why the Storms? by Joyce Meyer
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation

— Psalm 42:5

As I think about the storms we all face in life, I can understand why people sometimes ask, “Why the storms? Why do we have so many problems and struggles in life? Why do God’s people have to deal with so much suffering?”

As I considered these questions, I began to see that Satan plants these questions in our minds. It is his attempt to keep us focused on our problems instead of focusing on the goodness of God. If we persist in asking these questions, we’re implying that God may be to blame. I don’t think it’s wrong to ask God why things happen. The writers of the psalms certainly didn’t hesitate to ask.

I think of the story of Jesus when He visited the home of Mary and Martha after their brother, Lazarus, died. Jesus waited until Lazarus had been dead for four days before He visited. When He arrived, Martha said to Jesus, Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died (John 11:21 AMPC). She went on to say, And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You (John 11:22 AMPC).

Did she really believe those words? I wonder, because Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. Martha replied, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day (John 11:23-24 AMPC). She didn’t get what Jesus was saying.

I don’t want to be unkind to Martha, but she missed it. When Jesus came, she didn’t ask, “Why didn’t You do something?” Instead she said, “If You had been here—if You had been on the job—he’d be alive.”

When Jesus assured her that Lazarus would rise again, she didn’t understand that it was going to happen right then. She could focus only on the resurrection. By looking at an event that was still in the future, she missed the real meaning of Jesus’ words for the present.

But aren’t many of us like Martha? We want our lives to run smoothly, and when they don’t, we ask why? But we really mean, “God, if You truly loved and cared for me, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Let’s think a little more about the “why” question. For example, when someone dies in an accident, one of the first questions family members ask is why? “Why her? Why now? Why this accident?”

For one moment, let’s say God explained the reason. Would that change anything? Probably not. The loved one is still gone, and the pain is just as severe as it was before. What, then, did you learn from the explanation?

In recent years, I’ve begun to think that “why” isn’t what Christians are really asking God. Is it possible that we’re asking, “God, do You love me? Will You take care of me in my sorrow and pain? You won’t leave me alone in my pain, will You?”

Is it possible that, because we’re afraid that God doesn’t truly care about us, we ask for explanations?

Instead, we must learn to say, “Lord God, I believe. I don’t understand, and I could probably never grasp all the reasons why bad things happen, but I can know for certain that You love me and You are with me—always.”

Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, instead of asking for answers to the “why” questions, help me to focus on Your great love for me. When Satan tries to fill my mind with troublesome questions, help me to feel the protection of Your loving, caring arms around me. Help me always to show my gratitude and devotion for all that You do for me. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.

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God-Pleasing Generosity by Dr. Charles Stanley

SUNDAY
16
2 Corinthians 8:1-7

Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church praises the Macedonian believers for their generosity. Despite deep poverty and great troubles, they desired to bless others materially. From their example, we know that our Father is pleased when we give ...

According to divine instruction. The Lord has revealed in Scripture how we are to live. He wants us to base our decisions on biblical principles rather than on our own natural, self-centered thinking. Looking solely at a paycheck or bank balance to determine the size of a donation is not trusting God.

Despite our own need. The Macedonians were poor, but they didn’t let that keep them from contributing. They gave out of the little they had. The book of Mark tells of a widow who gave her last two copper coins and was praised for her offering to the Lord (Mark 12:42-44). We don’t need to have extra money in order to give; we can trust that God is faithful to provide.

To those who spiritually nourish us. The Bible tells us to bring our gifts to the local church, where they can be used to further God’s work. The apostle Paul and others were able to evangelize because of the support provided by the church in Jerusalem. Recognizing that they owed those believers a debt, the Macedonian Christians desired to give something back.

Human reasoning tells us that we cannot part with our funds when debt seems too large or income too small. But the Bible tells us to trust the Lord to provide for our needs (Phil. 4:19) and to give generously. Are you living according to these principles?

Bible in One Year: Titus 1-3, Philemon 1



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Spiritual Powers by John Hagee
Ephesians 6:12-13
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

What are powers and principalities? These are spiritual powers in the heavens.

The Word of God says this: all you need to do is ask in Jesus’ name and have faith the size of a mustard seed to watch the mountains of impossibility move in your life. If you don’t think this will work, I challenge you to give God a chance. Our God is an on-time God, and He is faithful to the last jot and tittle.

Put on the whole armor of God and plan to defeat any enemy. There has never been a servant of God in the history of the world who was disappointed at calling upon the Lord in his or her hour of need. You will not be the first.

Have you prayed once and nothing happened? Pray again! Pray until your hunger is satisfied, until your need is met. Fight to win! Don’t give up until God gives you His answer.

Source: Daily Truth Devotional

Today's Bible Reading

Old Testament

Micah 5:1-7:20

New Testament

Revelation 7:1-17

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalms 135:1-21

Proverbs 30:5-6



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Bring Glory To God by Jerry Savelle
December 16, 2018
Are you under pressure? You you feeling overwhelmed and challenged? If you are, you need to understand that it was brought on by Satan. He brings heaviness – heaviness of spirit, heaviness of mind, and even heaviness physically. Whatever you do, don’t blame God for the trial. He is not the author of trials.

Jesus said that once the Word is sown in a man’s heart, Satan comes immediately to steal it and to take it away. He also told us that there are five major avenues that Satan uses: afflictions, persecutions, the cares of this world, the lust of other things, and the deceitfulness of riches (Mark 4:14-20). Satan is the tempter; he is the one who brings condemnation to you. He is the one that brings heaviness, not God (1 Peter 1:3-7).

The Apostle Peter describes it this way in verse 7: though it be tried by fire. Many times the trials that you are involved in feel like a fiery furnace.

God wants you to know that you can endure anything Satan brings against you. And if you will follow the instructions in His Word, you will come out on the other side of that trial like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did (Daniel 3): untouched, unharmed and totally protected!

God knows Satan is a spiritual outlaw and that he is out to kill, to steal, and to destroy. BUT God gave us weapons that are not carnal to use to fight Satan (Ephesians 6:10-18). God has put in our hands the means whereby, regardless of what Satan brings, there is a way of escape. God is glorified when we use these weapons and defeat Satan. God doesn’t receive glory when we are beat down. Jesus tells us just exactly how we can glorify our Father: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; So shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:7, 8). Notice, Jesus doesn’t say anything about God receiving glory when we are beat down and defeated. He said God is glorified when we are full of His Word and that Word makes us fruitful or productive.

I have good news for you today, you have been provided a way of escape! Remember Isaiah 54:17 says: “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.” Even though Satan will bring situations to you and try to steal the Word out of your heart, you can bring glory to God when you take His Word and resist the devil until he flees. You are a testimony that God’s Word works. You are more than a conqueror through Him.

Confession: , “I am a conqueror! It may feel like I am in a furnace now, BUT, I will resist the Devil, and he will flee! God has provided my way of escape. I will bear much fruit and bring glory to my God!”

Author: Jerry Savelle

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Arinola O. Yinka

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