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Old 03-22-2017, 12:16 PM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - March 24

No matter what hardships we face, no matter what obstacles life throws at us, God, through Christ, has given us the strength to overcome them.

From time to time, we all face events that knock us down. They seem too powerful for us to conquer until we remember that we are in Godís hands at all times.We face nothing alone because through Christ, we fight no battle without Godís help. God will strengthen us and lift us up.

The best parts of our lives can be when we practice or create a habit of celebrating and giving thanks even before God acts. In this way we live in expectation of our lifeís future spiritual victories. Today let's celebrate Godís power!

Today let's search for opportunities to use our gifts in Godís service.

God yearns for us to seek strength through prayer as we encounter difficulties as well as joys. God loves each of us, no matter how our situation turns out. We, in turn, can express our gratitude for Godís strength and presence with us.

God has compassion on us and satisfies us with unfailing love. Godís favor rests upon us.

A S A P = Always Say A Prayer.

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REAL WEALTH by Mary Beth Pruet
By some menís standards, I am poor. I count life's worth in a different way. Not for me gold, or priceless jewels or paintings rare; nor mansions, nor furs, nor vintage cars. Yet I am rich.
I have walked in the mystery of a foggy morning when the familiar seems unknown; and in the October woods when the trees are painted with red and gold.
I have felt the caress of the first snowflake in the silence of winter and enjoyed the warmth of a crackling fire and a mug of cocoa shared with a friend.
I have lain beneath a star-spangled sky while Orion the hunter stalked the heavens; and sat beside a woodland stream watching the water sweep and swirl over its bed of stones.
I have seen a sea of daffodils wind-tossed into a golden frenzy, smelled the heavy scent of honeysuckle in a sunlit meadow and marveled at the dainty perfection of a lady's slipper deep in a hidden forest.
I have seen a newborn colt take its first wobbly steps across a dew-soaked meadow, felt the wet kisses of a puppy and heard the rumble of a kitten's contented purr.
I have known the love of family and friends, the trusting smile of a child, the pride in a parent's eyes and the concerned touch of a friend.
I have seen a rainbow arch across a rain-swept sky, and breathed the heady scent of an April shower.
I have stood on a silent mountain path and heard the still, small voice of God.
And that is real wealth.

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Cliff Hanging By Deborah MacQuarrie
"I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. The Lord's right hand has done mighty things!" Psalm 118:13-14,15b (NIV)
When you're out on the edge of the cliff, what do you grab hold of? Or who do you grab hold of?
Some of us grab for those closest to us, expecting them to somehow have the power (and the desire) to change our circumstances. Some of us dig in deeper, drawing upon our own strength to keep from falling over the edge. Some of us grab hold of anything that relieves our feelings of being out of control...some reach for the bottle or the pills or the wallet or physical activity...anything to get our minds off the situation.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving: O Lord how many times have I been on the cliff-edge? It seems like I specialize on cliff-edges. But, You always (never fail!) grab me and hold me. For You truly are the strength of my life. You are the song in my heart, the joy of my life. And You are my salvation. You have imparted Your grace which will sustain me for the rest of my life. Your hand, Your strong right hand, has turned the tide in my life! Father, thank You for all that You are! Amen

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God Has Need of Your Donkey by Os Hillman
"Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them" (Matt 21:2-3).
In Bible times, donkeys were a primary means for distributing goods and services. They represented commerce in the scriptures. Jesus told the disciples He had need of someone's donkey to ride into Jerusalem, the religious and spiritual center of their society. It would become known as Jesus' triumphal entry.
A friend and I were attending a Christian business conference in Singapore. It was the night before I was to speak a second time when I was prompted to add a teaching segment on the above passage of scripture.
I am sure the disciples must have been uneasy with their master's request to untie a perfect stranger's donkey and take it. After all, He was asking them to take what was the equivalent to a man's "truck." And men love their trucks! Jesus was illustrating that He wanted to use that man's donkey, or that which represented their work, to bring glory to the Father.
The next morning my friend and I went to breakfast. While we were eating, a lady named Maggie joined us. Maggie was from Malaysia and was an intercessor for the conference. She fasted 40 days in preparation for the event. "So, Maggie, has the Lord spoken to you about this conference?" I said. "Oh yes," she said, very excitedly. On September 17 the Lord said that the Singapore business people needed to give their donkeys to the Lord." My friend and I looked at one another in amazement. God was confirming His Word to me from the night before.
That day the focus of our conference became the need for the Singapore business people to "give their donkeys" to the Lord.
Friend, have you ever dedicated your work life to the Lord? Today, why not commit your donkey to the Lord. He will use it to bring glory to Himself and fulfill your life more than you could ever imagine.

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No More Cracks By Chris Long
So the other night I'm out driving in my car.
I can hear your thoughts already: "Good for you, Chris. What's so special about THAT?"
More than you might think.
You see, for the first time in a long time I could truly see with no impediments. Let me explain...
I've had my car for over 10 years and I liked it then and I still like it now (that in and of itself is pretty rare to find in our culture that emphasizes having the latest "everything"). But it had a problem. Shortly after I bought it, some nice person's car on the freeway flung a rock to my windshield which produced about a 5-inch curved crack on the lower-left driver's side.
My car insurance at the time would completely pay for a repair, but not a replacement of the window. I made the decision to go ahead and repair it, which basically meant they sealed up the crack. Unfortunately, while it improved the look of the crack some, for the last 9-10 years I've been driving around with this still quite visible crack in my windshield. And every time I looked at it, it really bothered me, but not quite enough I guess to really do anything about it. I just "put up" with it. I came to grips with the fact that this crack was in my life. I settled for the crack.
Well, several days ago, I got in my car to go somewhere and discovered that this crack now extended all the way up my windshield. I'm not positive, but it looked like either a rock or something else hit my windshield actually directly on the old crack (what are the chances?) which then caused the old crack to "break open" again so to speak, and it split most all the way up the windshield. Realizing that this was going to be a serious impediment to my driving ability, I called a windshield replacement service and 4 hours later I had a new windshield on my car for far less than I always thought that it would cost to get a new windshield (one of the reasons I never had looked into it before).
When I next drove my car, what completely took me by surprise is just what a clear view I had. I was majorly thrown off by the now gone old crack. I had gotten used to that old crack and didn't really even realize it. For 9 or 10 years, I saw that old crack every time I looked out my windshield. I had learned to "compensate" for it and just "deal with it". But here, with my new windshield, that crack was gone. And I couldn't believe what I had been missing out on for the last 9-10 years. :) Life with no crack - it sure is nice. :)
For the first time in a long time, I had a nice clear view. And all I could think of was: "Why didn't I replace my windshield sooner?" "Why did I put up with this crack for so many years?"
And that got me to thinking. How many times do we "put up" with cracks in areas of our lives? Some deep hurt over here, some unforgiveness over there, repetitive sin here, grief there, bitterness here, rejection there. Cracks of all shapes and sizes.
Oh, we may think we see just fine. "I can still see the road." Perhaps. But the vision is still obstructed - it's not as clear as it could be. There's still always an awareness of the cracks off to the sides. And one day those cracks on the sides might just open up and split directly in front of your eyes, where they can no longer be ignored and you can no longer go forward.
How much better to deal with those cracks before that happens.
As human beings, we are always learning to compensate for things. We get a jolt here, a jolt there, and we adjust and move on. But God doesn't want us to just "adjust" and "put up" with stuff. He doesn't want us to "stuff our stuff". He wants us to bring everything to Him and allow Him to bring healing into our lives. Each time we get a crack - perhaps the result of some harsh words somebody spoke to us or some hurtful action we did or was done to us - He wants us to come to Him. As we do - as we give him those hurts, as we repent of our sin, as we receive forgiveness or extend forgiveness to others, etc. - we can be "cleaned" and those cracks can actually be removed (not just "repaired").
So, may I ask, what cracks are in your windshield?
Is there a person that you are angry with? Bitter at? Jealous of?
Is there sin that you've committed that you've never really repented of?
Is there hurt that was done to you that still haunts you and defines you?
Is there grief that has stunted your progress and continues to be a major part of your life?
What are YOUR cracks that you've been "putting up" with?
Let's decide that we're no longer going to let stuff that happened to us years ago impact our lives in negative ways now! Let's not put up with those cracks any more!
In Christ Jesus, we can be set free from all bondages of the soul, all hurt, all fear, all anger, etc. John 8:36 tells us that when Jesus sets us free, we are truly free ("So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.") We are set free when we come to Jesus and abide in Him and His words - as we come to know the truth, the truth sets us free (John 8:31-32). And Jesus IS the Truth in the greatest sense (John 14:6).
Jesus came for the sick and broken. He came for people with cracks. He isn't afraid of those with checkered pasts - he hung out with them when He was here on this earth! (Mark 9:10-13, Luke 19:7) He said that he desires mercy and that he "came not to call the righteous but sinners." (Matthew 9:13).
His hand is extended to you. Will you take it? Will you come to Jesus in faith and allow Him to bring healing to your life? Jesus will not turn you away and will declare to you, just as He declared to so many while here on this earth, "your faith has made you well." Jesus is big on freedom - being loosed from your bonds, and healing. If there's any bitterness, anger, unforgiveness towards someone else, Jesus tells us to forgive "so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you..." (Mark 11:25). Maybe that seems too hard, but we are told to do it - at the very least, a place to start is just to be honest with Jesus about it seeming too hard and asking Him for help for you to be able to forgive.
To really move forward with Jesus in the way He wants us to, we must deal with our "cracks". Would you right now bring the Lord your "cracks"? Talk to Him. His arms are open, His heart is full of love, and He is listening to you now

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You Are Loved by Diane Stortz
See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! ó 1 John 3:1 NLT
God, your Creator, loves you so much that He never stops thinking about you. In fact, He was thinking about you even before you were born!
King David wrote, You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my motherís body. When I was put together there, You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old. ó Psalm 139:15-16 ICH
But thereís more. God was thinking about you even before He made the world! Even before Creation began, God planned to send Jesus to save you! God planned to send Jesus at just the right time to take the punishment for everyoneís sin (the ways we disobey God) so we can live with God forever. Everyone who believes Jesus is Godís Son becomes part of Godís family, one of His forever kids.
Sometimes when things donít go right, you might feel small ó like you are just a kid and donít matter. But you always matter to God. You always have, and you always will.
God is your Creator. He made you, He cares about you, and He sent Jesus to save you. Thatís how much you matter. Thatís how much you are loved!
Dear God, Iím so glad to know You love me and I matter to you! Thank you for planning to send Jesus to be my Savior even before the world began! I love you, God. Amen.
How does it feel to know that God loves you and how much you matter to Him?
Your Turn: Do you know how loved you are by God, our Creator? Heís thinking about you right this very minute! Why not stop and talk to the God who loves you so much?

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New Version Of Footprints Author Unknown
Imagine you and the Lord Jesus are walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently,rarely varying the pace. But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, urnarounds,circles, departures, and returns.
For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends! This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: Your footprints that once etched the sand next to Jesus' are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His larger footprints are your smaller ones, you and Jesus are becoming one.
This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change.The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger.Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints they have become one.
This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back. This time it seems even worse! Zigzags all over the place. Stops. Starts. Gashes in the sand. A variable mess of prints. You are amazed and shocked. Your dream ends.
Now you pray: "Lord, I understand the first scene with zigzags and fits. I was a new Christian; I was just learning. But you walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with you." "That is correct." "..And when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps; followed you very closely." "Very good. You have understood everything so far." "...When the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like you in every way." "Precisely." "So, Lord, was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time it was worse than at first."
There is a pause as the Lord answers with a smile in his voice. "You didn't know? That was when we danced. " To Everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to weep, a time to laugh, A time to mourn, and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1,4.

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
You will begin to see small but significant breakthroughs in various areas of your life, which will lead to complete freedom, says the Lord. Do not discount your progress. Your forward momentum will consist of a series of small steps that will ultimately lead to success. I will show you the path to victory. Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

Beloved, I want you to know that I will give you wisdom in every situation. Refuse to dwell on things that cause you to be fearful or anxious, and look to My promises that will bolster faith in My ability to keep you safe, says the Lord. Faith is your most precious possession. Psalms 4:8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

I have encouraged you to leave the past behind so that you can move into the next phase of your life. Now, I tell you that those things that you needed to let go of and yet still cling to will become an anchor to your soul. You must deliberately choose to release that which no longer serves your best interests. Be free from all that could become bondage, says the Lord. Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Beloved, I am doing an internal work in you to show you the way of walking in the Spirit. There is a place of certainty already established in you where you can express spiritual reality in power. But, you must do it internally before you can manifest it externally, says the Lord. Luke 6:45 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."

When nothing around you seems stable, come to Me. Remember that your stability originates spiritually and filters down to your sense of well-being naturally. You must press into the place of peace that only comes from My presence, says the Lord. Refuse to allow your feelings of instability to dictate your responses. Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Evaluate your priorities and deliberately and carefully consider and weigh your options for moving forward. Choose according to the path that will allow for a clear conscience, moral excellence, and spiritual growth. Allow My Spirit to be your guide and to establish you on higher ground in righteousness, says the Lord. Come out of every sort of darkness into the light of life. Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
I know that you understand the season and that I want to elevate your position of discernment at this time so that you can know what is taking place and so that you can know who is for you and against you. I want you to know these things, but you must apply yourself. You must position yourself to receive the anointing of this hour and time, so you can walk in the freedom of the truth and revelation of not only Who I am, but what I will do for you. In this specific time there is a special anointing being distributed to My servants for these days and for these hours. So, get ready to receive it and apply your faith to that which you are hearing right now, says the Lord.

Rise up now, My people, come and walk with Me. Come with renewed hope. For, faith is the substance of the things that you hope for. Walk with Me into reality and truth--a present truth that will guide you; truth that cries out from your inner most being. If you will do these things you do well. And, you will find that the kingdom of your God will become a reality to you in a more specific way, in a more personal way and in a more present way, says the Lord.

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When I Linger in His Presence by Marilyn Ferguson
Sometimes when shadows linger
And darkness veils the night
When pain obscures my vision
And things arenít going right.
When the world around me crumbles
And a friend cannot be found
When tomorrow holds no promise
And life has got me down.
When I am at my lowest
And I can bear no more
I cry to Him in anguish
He greets me at the door.
He gently whispers to me
My soul has found release
My troubles start to perish
My worries seem to cease.
The hardships I have known
Seem to vanish with the wind
When I seek His loving Spirit
And I humbly let Him in.
All the turmoil that surrounds me
Seems to fade like shifting sand
When I linger in His presence
And He gently takes my hand.

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An Inspiring Alphabet Author Unknown
Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in happy giving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without God's love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking God for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of Self Complaining
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Pray can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To thank is a command
Until we get blessings
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xpect from God most high
Yes, there will be good times and will be bad, but...
Zzzz peacefully at night... when you're blessed in dream!

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Psalm 37:23-24 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him. 2 Chronicles 30:9b

Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. - Isaiah 26:4

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. - Philippians 4:13

God said, ďWhenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.Ē - Genesis 9:16

It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. - Philippians 2:13

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us. - Psalm 90:17

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Cheeky Sparrows by John Stuart
Matthew 10:29,31 Ė Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (NIV 2011)
One of the simplest delights that I had during my childhood days in Scotland was the feeding of sparrows in my backyard. It didn't matter what time of year it was or what kind of stale bread I threw to the birds, flocks of cheeky little sparrows would descend upon the morsels. I loved to watch them hop and bounce around the bread, as well as seeing them play tug-of-war with a large crust. In the saddest of times and gloomiest of days, they always cheered my heart.
I like what Jesus had to say about sparrows. I think that He must have enjoyed watching them, too. Those playful little birds were observed by God, Who knew if even one of them fell to the ground. This reveals to me both the compassion and the pleasure that God has for His creation and the creatures within it. And, as Jesus stated long ago, if God cares so much about common sparrows, how much more does He care about us?
Perhaps you are going through a bad time, feeling really stressed out, or are deeply disappointed. Maybe you're anxious about the future, worried about someone else, or concerned about present difficulties. Please know this: God is watching over you and cares so much for you. Be assured of His presence; know that He has your best interests in His heart.
Point to ponder: What burdens am I carrying today? Am I willing to let God carry me with them?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You said that we are worth so much more than sparrows. You constantly told Your people of God's real and amazing love. In the midst of our setbacks and problems, enable us to be embraced, supported, and upheld by God. In Your holy name, we gladly pray. Amen.

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Dear God, you created us and know every part of us. Alone, we are not strong; but with you we can endure the challenges of life. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 59
1 Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. 2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. 3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord. 4 They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. 5 Thou therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. 6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? 8 But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. 9 Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence. 10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies. 11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield. 12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak. 13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah. 14 And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. 15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied. 16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. 17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

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Dear God, Please: Teach me. Keep me. Hold me. Help me. I want to be better than I was yesterday. 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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