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Showing posts from March 15, 2012

Prayer, Thought for Today

Father, I pray for those that ask, "What is a prayer life?" Prayer is the catalyst in growing toward spiritual maturity. Through prayer, the believer draws on the riches of God’s blessing and power. Yet God is not a spiritual Santa Claus. While He listens to the prayers of His children, He does not always answer us in the way that we might want. His highest purpose for prayer is to usher us into His presence. For this reason a rich prayer life should include all of these elements: worship, confession, adoration, praise, thanksgiving, intercession, and requests. A preoccupation with prayer merely as a means to get what we want is a sign more of carnality than spirituality. Spiritual maturity is evidenced by both an intimate prayer life and a humble submission to the sovereign will of God. Gary C. Newton, Growing Toward Spiritual Maturity, Biblical essentials series (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2004). 58-59.

Fresh Start Devotionals

Good from Evil “And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Genesis 50:20 NASB It was nine years after Joseph ascended to his position of power, ten of Joseph’s brothers-the brothers that threw him into the pit and sold him into slavery-showed up to ask for grain. Joseph recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him. Joseph immediately accused them of spying and threw them in prison for three days. Was he getting even? Not exactly. Three days later, he released all but one of them, gave them the grain they requested, and even returned their money to them. He kept one of the brothers in jail to insure they would return with Benjamin, the brother they told Joseph was still at home with their aged father. When they returned home, Israel refused to let Benjamin go to Egypt to secure the release of his other son. But when they ran out of food-and options—Israel agreed to send Benjamin. …

Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

March 15 MORE SECURE IS NO ONE EVER Lina Sandell Berg, 1832–1903 My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. (Psalm 62:7) A sincere love for God and a heart filled with gratitude following a miraculous healing experience prompted the tender lines of this hymn, set to a child-like Swedish folk melody. Lina Sandell was the daughter of a Lutheran pastor in Smöland, Sweden. Since early childhood she had been confined to bed with a paralysis that doctors considered hopeless. One Sunday morning, while her parents were at church, Lina began reading her Bible and praying. She was suddenly healed. With a thankful heart, Lina began writing verses that expressed her feelings for God. As a result, at the age of 16 she published her first book of meditations and poems. One of her earliest hymn texts during this time was “Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara” or “More Secure Is No One Ever.” In the following years Lina had experiences that must have tested her faith, as express…