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Old 09-16-2015, 11:30 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - September 18

Men and women will let you down, but Jesus will never fail you.

Jesus is a friend who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

What God does in us while we wait is as important as what it is we are waiting for. Ben Patterson

Anything that causes us to focus on ourselves instead of on God can prevent us from being effective servants. When we regularly ask God to show us this debris and allow God to help us clean it out, we can become channels of Godís grace.

Today we will enjoy our work as a gift from God.

Anything we do today for others blesses Jesus.

In Godís arms is the best place to be.

Sometimes we feel like one of those superfluous, broken branches, thrown away in this materially oriented world. But for our Lord none of us is superfluous or unnecessary. Each person is precious and valuable in Godís eyes. Each of us is a unique flower in the fragrant bouquet of the Lord.

What I am is God's gift to me. What I make of myself is my gift to Him.

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Focus by Sally I. Kennedy
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:1
One summer my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to the emerald isle. The camera was attached to my wrist, where it was handy, since there was one great shot after another. On this particular day there was a family behind us, also sightseeing. The adults and the grandparents seemed captured and caught up by the natural splendor. The youngest seemed oblivious to the grandeur surrounding us; his focus was fixed on a handheld computer game.
Sometimes I am just like that child. I can get so caught up in what I have in my hands that I miss what God has in His.
God is all around us in nature, sharing His majesty and revelation (see Psalm 104). Not just in the mountains and hidden waterfalls, but also in a daisy, a perfectly veined leaf, the flash of a lightning bolt, or in glistening drops of rain.
Open my eyes, Lord, and thank you for helping me shift my focus to what You have for me to see this day.

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Friends And Brothers by Bob Jones
My brother is five years my elder. Later in life, five years doesn't seem like much of an age difference, but when one is young, it's quite a difference. When I was young and going through the changes and growing that take place in a young man's life, I had some difficult times. I travelled on wrong roads and took wrong side roads, with seasons of rebellion and wickedness. I will never forget how my faithful brother and friend was there during those times when I needed a place to stay. He has helped me through times of need on many occasions.
Although my brother is my "best friend", I have an even closer friend!
Proverbs 18:24 Ė A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (NKJV)
This One Who sticks closer than a brother is Jesus Christ.
Just as my brother was always there for me, so Hebrews 13:5 says that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. My brother's sticking with me through my seasons of rebellion and wickedness makes me realize more than ever that God's love is not based on any goodness of our own but on grace alone.
Ephesians 2:8-9 Ė For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)
In times of bitterness, brought on by myself, expressing words from anger in my heart, my brother never criticized me or put me down, never retaliated or held it against me. In the same way, God forgives and forgets our sin, not holding it against us.
Colossians 2:13-14 Ė And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (NKJV)
God has blessed me richly in giving me a brother who is such a great model for my life! I learned far more by his example than he will ever know. I love my brother dearly! The righteousness of Christ is an even better example for us to live by.
2 Peter 1:1b Ė To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. (NKJV)
Romans 8:16-17 tells us, as Christians, "that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs ó heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ" (NKJV). Seeing as this is so, may we all live in the righteousness of Christ and seek always to be a credit to the holy name that we bear.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for family. We thank You for brothers and sisters who are faithful friends, in both our families of origin and our adopted Christian families. We thank You for our Lord Jesus Christ, the One Who is closer than our earthly siblings, because Your Spirit indwells us and Your Word lives in our hearts, with the promises that Your Word reveals to us regarding our standing in our heavenly inheritance through Christ. Help us to be living examples of brotherly love to all we meet in our journey through life. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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JIVING IN YOUR CAR - Messages From The Heart
I was driving to work about 7 in the morning the other day and stopped at a traffic light. In front of me was a young woman who was obviously enjoying her morning more that I was. By observation I would say she was listening to her radio and "jiving" to the music. She was twisting and turning, bobbing her head and moving back and forth.
I thought about that and wondered why she should be having a better morning than I was. Was it just that I was having an off day? Perhaps it was, but I know I don't rejoice as much as I should. It's not that I dislike mornings, in fact I love to see the sunrise. The Psalmist said of God in Psalm 65:8 "Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy."
Of course you're familiar with Paul's encouragement to "rejoice in the Lord always," (Philippians 4:4), so the idea is not new. However, we, being human, we need to be reminded and reminded often. You see I do rejoice, but not enough and possibly not exuberantly enough. In fact it seems that lately I have been too busy dealing with the everyday concerns of life to remember to rejoice.
Satan does a really good job of distracting me. He works his way into my world and my life, not necessarily to drag me into some terrible or sinful behavior, but to distract me from what is really important. It's who he is, the father of lies. Revelation 12:9 describes him this way: "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world."
How can we overcome Satan's power? First, if you haven't already done so, become a Christian or if you have left your first love, return to God. Second, spend time in God's Word; it reminds you of what is really important. Third, spend time talking to God about those things that trouble you; it helps to unload your problems on someone who truly cares. Fourth, spend time with God's people in worship and if fellowship. You can't be part of the army fighting to protect one another and fight Satan if you don't show up at boot camp or for training. You can't fight and protect yourself and others if you arenít watching out for others and participating in the battles.
I may not "jive in my car," but I can still rejoice in my Lord and all he does for me and gives to me. I don't know that I will try a little "seat dancing" this morning on my way to work, but what I do know is that "I can do all things through him that gives me strength," (Romans 8:28). I know I need to count my blessings and rejoice more. Maybe you should try it!

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I Am The Door Author Unknown
Traveling one day in Israel, a visitor to the holy land came across a shepherd and his sheep. He started a conversation with the shepherd and the shepherd showed him the fold into which the sheep were led at night. It consisted of four walls, and only one way in. He asked him, "This is where they go at night?"
"Yes," said the shepherd, "and when they are in there, they are perfectly safe."
"But there is no door," he said.
"I am the door," said the shepherd. (He was not a Christian and wasn't speaking in the language of the New Testament. He was speaking from an shepherd's viewpoint.)
The visitor looked and him and asked, "What do you mean you are the door?"
"When the light has gone," he said, "and all the sheep are inside, I lie in that open space, and no sheep ever goes out but across my body, and no wolf comes in unless he crosses my body; I am the door."
"Therefore Jesus said unto them again, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door; whoever enters by me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy: I have come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.'" (John 10:7-11)

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What Does the Bible Say I Should Do and Not Do? by Lysa TerKeurst
God's Word addresses the approach I take with my activities
Whenever there is a conflict between what we feel weíre expected to do and what we feel we should do, itís time to step back from the decision. And seek clarity from the only source free of the entanglements of misguided opinions and unrealistic expectations.
Maybe it feels a tad silly to bother God with a [small] decision. But itís not. Itís right in line with what God calls us to do over and over and over. He whispers,
This, this, this is what it means to have a relationship with Me. That you talk to Me. That you come to Me. Remember, all who are weary and burdened, I will give them rest. I will take the burden of your questions, decisions, and fretting and bring rest from all the confusion. I may give you an immediate answer. Or, I may point you on a path of discovery. Just stay with Me. My Word. My ways. My wonder. And you will know. ó Matthew 11:28, authorís paraphrase
Godís Word addresses the approach I take with my activities: Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28
Godís ways address the attitude I have with my activities: Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. - Matthew 11:29
Godís wonder is the assurance that not every activity is my activity: For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. - Matthew 11:30
His Word. His ways. His wonder. His path of discovery. Yes, I need to go there.
What does the Bible say I should do or not do? Does that question nag you in your daily life? What do you need to say no to in order to offer your Best Yes to the best that God has for you to do and be?

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What Does YOUR Conversation Say? Author Unknown
Did you read about the little boy who returned home after his first Sunday school class? His mother asked, "Who was your teacher?' and the little boy answered, "I don't remember her name, but she must have been Jesus' grandmother because she didn't talk about anyone else."
Does our conversation reflect our love of Jesus? Would our words give away our relationship with him?
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." (Proverbs 18:21a NASB)

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Many of us did not have the childhood as portrayed on "Leave It To Beaver". Simply because that is a TV show based on the perfect idea of what a normal family should be like. There are some who are fortunate enough to have a childhood that closely resembles that TV show. I have heard and read from many who suffered child abuse - (physically, verbally, sexually), those who lost a parent or both parents, those whose parents were alcoholics, drug addicts or both, those whose parents sent them away to school, those whose parents who were so caught up in their own life they had no time for their children and so forth. We, the children are left feeling unloved, uncared for, guilty, afraid, angry, resentful, lonely, unable to have a relationship with others and just unable to function at all because of our childhoods. In order to cope some of us have turned to many different things - alcohol, drugs, sex, work, God. I put God last in that list because it seems we always try all the other avenues first before finally saying "Okay God, I have had enough, I am turning my life over to you now." We find those other things only bring us temporary relief for a brief time and leave us feeling empty every time. But once we seek God, that emptiness begins to disappears. We have found someone who will love us unconditionally and be there for us always forever. We have found that God is the one constant that we can count on in life. Everything else is uncertain but God is constant and forever. We begin to heal, to grow, to mature in God's loving embrace. Our sufferings and our experiences we use to help others who are seeking their way out of the darkness. We tell them what God has done for us giving them HOPE that this can happen for them too. They only have to let go and let God. Though we cannot change the past, today holds promise of new beginnings, a new life if only we seek it and choose to live it. We don't have to live in our past anymore, we don't have to be the person we were anymore, we can be different from our parents - we can make a change. With God there is HOPE and PROMISE for a better life. What have we got to lose but our misery - we have everything to gain.
Today God, I give myself to You to do with me as You will. I trust that my life with you God will be wonderful. I know God that any trials or test I must face along the way, You will always be with me to see me through. I thank You, God, for loving me and lifting me up, filling me with new life, hope and promise. God, as I go out into the world today, I will share the many blessings and gifts you have given me with others. I will rejoice in Your name and Your love. With Your guidance, I will reach out to others and help to bring them into the light. In Jesus' name. Amen --Tammy Boyle

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
My desire is for you, My people, to do justice. That is to discern right from wrong and make a decision to do what is right in every case. The world abounds with injustice, and you must fight the perversion that comes to seduce you into compromising the truth. You must stand for what is right and good without wavering, says the Lord. Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Prepare yourself to step up to the plate and be all that I have called you to be. No more excuses; no more letting yourself off the hook. Take responsibility for where you are and what you have done. Take this opportunity to make good choices that will affect you and those around you in the best ways possible, says the Lord. Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.

There is a widening chasm of separation between light and darkness, good and evil, strength and weakness. Beloved, I have called you to the place of light, good and strength. Refuse to allow anyone or anything to keep you from your rightful position, says the Lord. Choose wisely in every situation and be resolute. Proverbs 3:31 Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

Assimilate all of the changes that have taken place in the past three months. Some of what I have directed you to do has seemed radical. However, these adjustments have been necessary before you can move forward with clarity and purpose. As you become accustomed to how things in your life look now, you will see that you have simplified and fortified, having greater strength and protection than ever, says the Lord. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Pay attention to My still, small voice and the gentle moving of My Spirit, says the Lord. Be sensitive to subtle things because understanding small things will open your eyes to the grand scheme of things. I will lead you into places of safety where you can remain quiet and calm in the midst of turmoil and chaos. Do not be afraid, but put your trust in Me. Psalm 23:1-3 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His nameís sake.

Let go of everything that keeps you bound and unable to move on. Be free. Let your spirit soar with Me. I have revelation to impart as well as greater knowledge of My kingdom and understanding of My ways, but you must position yourself to receive without restraint. Walk with Me. I will reveal the wonders of things unknown, says the Lord. Jeremiah 33:3 Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
Tell My people that they have great opportunity ahead of them. Do not allow the enemy to dissuade you. Donít let the enemy remove this great and enormous opportunity that is before you. And, I say to you, keep your eye on the wheel house, for the times and seasons are changing. The direction will change and I will take you in a new way that you have not ventured into. And, the glory of it shall overshadow you as you go, strengthen you as you go, and bring divine favor into your life in a fresh way that you have not yet experienced. Get ready for you are in the right season to go into the fullness of My purposes, says the Lord.

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Being forgiving is a part of being loving
Forgiving ourselves
Forgiving others from our past
Forgiving others today
In forgiving we make room for love
We forgive as God forgives us
Wiping the slate clean
Loving others as God loves us
What freedom, peace and joy we have
When we seek to grow in God's image
When we seek God's loving grace
and in return share God's loving grace with others
Oh what a beautiful feeling
that fills us up
When we love and forgive
We allow the Holy Spirit to enter us
To work in us, through us, dwell in us
Oh thank You. God
For Your loving grace
Glory Hallelujah!
Written by: Tammy Boyle 9/17/02

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My first thought in the morning
Is to thank God for the day,
And for the many blessings
He will send along my way.
If the faith that rests within me
Remains steadfast, firm and strong,
Then I know that peace and joy
Will be mine the whole day long.
Petty troubles will not vex me
Cause me anger or distress,
For God's loving presence guides me
To a gentle peacefulness.
Nor will I fear the future
Or what's in store for me,
For God's love will be forever
Through all eternity.
Author Unknown

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Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you." Hence we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?" -- Hebrews 13:5,6

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:21

Jesus said, ďI no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his masterís business. Instead, I have called you friends.Ē - John 15:15

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. - Colossians 3:23

Letís throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus. - Hebrews 12:1-2

Paul wrote, ďI press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.Ē - Philippians 3:14

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. - Nahum 1:7

Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. - 2 Corinthians 2:14

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If God took you to it, He'll get you through it.
Exodus 14 records the story of how the Hebrews escaped from bondage and slavery in Egypt. On their way out of Egypt, they camped in the desert near the Red Sea. They thought God was leading them out of Egypt. However, Pharaoh led the Egyptian army to where the Israelites were, and he trapped them against the sea. The Israelites must have felt betrayed by God, for it looked as though he didn't follow through on his plan to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. But God was faithful to his word -- he didn't let his people down. He led them through the Red Sea and delivered on his promises.
You have probably faced times when you thought that you could never do something, never complete a particular task, or never make it to the finish. However, if God has promised you something, then you can be confident that God will get you through the difficult times in order to bring about his promise.
This is true in Joseph's life. God took him through years of pain and suffering for an ultimate benefit; Joseph realizes this and, in Genesis 50:20, says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." God had a bigger plan for Joseph's life, and God didn't let him down. God led Joseph through his struggles.
This principle is also true in your life. Even though you may be going through extremely painful times, do not fear for God will get you through the hard times you face (see Psalm 23:4). If God took you to it, He'll get you through it. Weekly Wisdom

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Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for the amazing promise that we can be one with You, one with the Father, and one with each other. Help us to know ourselves as your beloved children. Help us to understand that we are wonderfully made by You and that we have everything we need for life and holiness. Help us to remove from our lives anything that is keeping us from seeing You and the needs of those around us. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Job 22
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, 2 Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? 4 Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment? 5 Is not thy wickedness great? and thine iniquities infinite? 6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing. 7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink, and thou hast withholden bread from the hungry. 8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth; and the honourable man dwelt in it. 9 Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken. 10 Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee; 11 Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee. 12 Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are! 13 And thou sayest, How doth God know? can he judge through the dark cloud? 14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven. 15 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? 16 Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood: 17 Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them? 18 Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me. 19 The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn. 20 Whereas our substance is not cut down, but the remnant of them the fire consumeth. 21 Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. 22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. 23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. 24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. 25 Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. 26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. 27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. 28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. 29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person. 30 He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.

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Lord, May everything we do this day begin with Your blessing and continue with Your help. May everything we say this day begin with Your love and continue with Your grace. May everything we plan this day begin with Your inspiration and continue with Your Peace. Amen

Wherever you are in life, whatever you've done, you can begin again. If you do not have Jesus in your life and wish to ask Jesus into your life please go to this link now to do so: .
Jesus is calling you to live a life that matters.
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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