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Old 01-18-2017, 03:11 PM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - January 20

Each day ask and listen for God’s guidance.

Sometimes God is waiting for the right moment to bless us until we are fully ready to accept and appreciate the gift prepared for us. God’s gifts are worth waiting for.

When we are afraid, we too might look for a hiding place. But if we listen — in silence — we will hear God calling us out of our fear into new paths of service.

Silence allows us to hear God’s voice.

When we show up, God is already there.

Today, help me God, to let go of my resistance to change. Help me to be open to the process. Help me believe that the place I will be dropped off will be better than the place I was picked up. Help me to surrender, trust and accepts even if I don't understand. --Melody Beattie

Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.

God is as near as our breath.

When your words fail, pray the Lord's Prayer.

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OBSTACLES By Timothy G. Satryan
Have you ever seen the sea flee? Have you ever seen the mountains skip like rams or the hills run like lambs? That's the vivid description the psalmist gives of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. "The sea saw it and fled; Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, the little hills like lambs.... Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of waters" (Psalm 114:1-8)
The psalmist mentions the time God opened the Red Sea and the Israelites walked across on dry land. He talks about when the nation entered the Promised Land over the dry bed of the Jordan River. Then he refers to their experience in the wilderness, when they were thirsty and God turned the rock into a pool of water.
What are we to learn from all of these experiences? God helps us in the obstacles of life. When you turn your obstacles over to the Lord, He acts!
What will He do? Sometimes He overcomes the obstacles. God is with us in the hopeless places. How hopeless the Israelites were at the Red Sea! The enemy soldiers were behind them; the wilderness was around them; the sea was in front of them. But God opened a way to escape. Sometimes God removes the obstacles - the "hills" and the "mountains." He just makes them skip and run away like animals. Sometimes He makes the mountains a way for us to escape. In Isaiah 49:11, the Lord says "I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highways shall be elevated". Sometimes He also can turn the obstacles into blessings. He "turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of waters" (Isaiah 49:8).
If God doesn't overcome or remove your obstacle, let Him turn it into a blessing. Trust God with your obstacles. He can help you in the hopeless places, the high places and the hard places!

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The Shepherd's Voice by Joel Jongkind
Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. (NKJV)
During the time when I lived in the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, I saw many flocks of sheep in the desert area where we were building a 175-mile pipeline. On several occasions, I had to fly to our field office in the interior of the Omani desert in the small Cessna airplane that we had. One time, as we were coming into to land, there was a young shepherdess girl with about 25 or 30 sheep just at the end of the landing strip. The noise of the airplane and the sudden appearance of it from the sky scared the sheep, and they scattered in every direction. Later, we saw that she had called them, and they were all back together again. They had recognized her calming voice, and obviously they had listened to it. More than likely, she was the only human being with whom the sheep were familiar, and quite possibly, she was the only person who could bring them back together again. A shepherd cares for his or her sheep.
It is a known fact that the raising of sheep was and still is a very important business in the Middle East. It was so in Bible times, and the Bible is full of stories about sheep, with literally hundreds of references to sheep and the keeping of sheep. As a matter of fact, according to Sheep101:
Sheep are mentioned in the Bible more than 500 times, more than any other animal. The prominence of sheep in the Bible grows out of two realities. Sheep were important to the nomads and agricultural life of the Hebrews and similar peoples. Secondly, sheep are used throughout the Bible to symbolically refer to God's people.
Many sheep are still being raised in the Middle East. We were in Jordan some years ago, and along the way from Petra to Amman, we saw many flocks of sheep looking for food in the desert, all accompanied by a shepherd.
In John chapter 10, Jesus makes several references to Himself being the Good Shepherd. The people could understand and relate to these sayings of Jesus, because keeping sheep was big business at that time. But these were the verses which really caught my eye:
John 10:27-28 – My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (NKJV)
These words of Scripture tell us that Jesus is — or can be — our Shepherd, if only we let Him. When people have wandered away, when we are scattered by the events around us, when we are distraught about one thing or another, let us just relax and listen to the Shepherd's voice.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray for all people who have wandered away from the faith, and who are seeking for peace in their hearts. We pray that they will listen to the Shepherd's voice. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Roots by Rod Marshall
Hosea 12:6 – So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God. (ESV)
I have moved house recently to a chalet bungalow on the very edge of town here in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. The house is rather run-down and in need of major TLC.
There was a holly tree that was planted some twenty years ago to decorate the patio with its leaves and red berries — very pretty it was, too. However pretty it was, it was too large and too close to the house. Its branches overshadowed the roof guttering, and its roots were in danger of getting into the foundations. It had to go.
In addition, over many years, the tree roots had grown underneath and lifted some of the patio slabs well proud of their neighbours, making trip hazards and see-saws of the slabs. So I had to dig up and re-lay a large section of our sizable patio to the rear of the house.
To get this into shape again involved using various tools: pickaxe, shovel, crowbar, spade, etc. The slabs were heavy, and I am a lot fitter now! As Friedrich Nietzsche said, "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." It certainly got the heart pumping.
As I removed the holly tree, I also found tree roots from the cherry tree —even bigger, but further away. Now that I have removed the roots, trimmed the cherry tree, and put it all back again, I realized that these beautiful trees had nearly compromised the safety of the rear of the house. The roots went right up to the back wall. So just in the nick of time, the hazard has been removed before it had done any permanent damage.
I wonder what roots are growing under the surface of our lives, endangering our faith? It could be ungodly attitudes undermining God's love in us, and through us to others. They could be sinful and of the world, sneakily breaking up God's straight path or blinding us to the truth. The only inkling that we may have that something is awry is that we find ourselves not as calm and level-headed as we know we should be, or once were. Are we emotional see-saws or spiritual trip hazards to others? How are our quiet times? How often do we really listen or give time to God in our lives?
Not to worry! As we hold fast to God, He will dig out the overgrown roots from our past, make our paths straight, and pull out the weeds, if we ask Him in Jesus' name.
Prayer: Lord, we are saddened to find that we have allowed ourselves to let the roots of sin grow under our spiritual feet, and we are surprised at how close to Your foundation that we have allowed them to come. Please open our eyes to the truth; dig up the unhelpful roots that have grown in us over the years; and show us the way forward. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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The Master Carpenter (Author Unknown)
Mother's father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to some orphanage in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone.
When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!
The Great Depression was at its height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair.
"It's not fair," he told God as he drove home in frustration. "I've been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this."
Several months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather's small church in Chicago.
The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. "But most of all," he said, "I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses. Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top."
The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: "Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom-made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that."
The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas.
But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.

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A priest passing through his church in the middle of the day. Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray. Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle. The priest frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in a while. His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed, the man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away. In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap, each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap. Well, the priest's suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear. He decided to stop the man and ask him, "What are you doing here?" The old man said, he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour. Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power. "I stay only moments, see, because the factory is so far away; as I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say:
The priest feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine. He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime. Time to go, Jim smiled, said "Thanks." He hurried to the door. The priest knelt at the altar, he'd never done it before. His cold heart melted, warmed with love, and met with Jesus there. As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim's prayer:
Past noon one day, the priest noticed that old Jim hadn't come. As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some. At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill. The hospital staff was worried, but he'd given them a thrill. The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward. His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, were his reward. The head nurse couldn't understand when no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had. The priest stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse's concern: No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn. Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile; the nurse is wrong, she couldn't know, that in here all the while everyday at noon He's here, a dear friend of mine, you see, He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:
May God hold you in the palm of His hand and Angels watch over you. --Author Unknown

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It Depends On Whose Hands It's In
A basketball in my hands is worth about $19. A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands is worth about $33 million. It depends whose hands it's in.
A baseball in my hands is worth about $6. A baseball in Mark McGuire's hands is worth $19 million. It depends whose hands it's in.
A tennis racket is useless in my hands. A tennis racket in Pete Sampras' hands is a Wimbledon Championship. It depends whose hands it's in.
A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal. A rod in Moses' hands will part the mighty sea. It depends whose hands it's in.
A sling shot in my hands is a kid's toy. A sling shot in David's hand is a mighty weapon. It depends whose hands it's in.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches. Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God's hands will feed thousands. It depends whose hands it's in.
Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse. Nails in Jesus Christ's hands will produce salvation for the entire world. It depends whose hands it's in.
As you see now it depends whose hands it's in. So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families and your relationships in God's hands
because - It depends whose hands it's in. --Author Unknownstory

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As Near As Breath
MOST of the time we don't think much about breathing. Day after day we automatically breathe in and breathe out with little thought or effort. Usually we can't even see our breath. However, on cold winter days, the contrast between the cold air and our warm breath when we exhale creates little short-lived clouds that are plainly visible.
Just as we are usually unmindful of breathing, we can pass our time oblivious to God. In Heb. 13:5, God promises, "I will never leave you or forsake you" (NRSV). But since we cannot physically see God, we often sail through our days barely aware of God's presence.
We may utter a prayer in passing or spend a few minutes reading from a devotional booklet. But after that, we sometimes give God little thought until we get into a crisis. Then we realize we need strength beyond ourselves. This contrast between our weakness and God's power and comfort makes God visible. Our hard times have enabled us to see God. But in reality, God is always as near as our breath. As Genesis 2:7 tells us, our very life began with God's breath. So every breath we breathe can remind us of God's constant presence with us. --Pamela D. Williams

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
Don't give up! You are on the verge, the absolute cusp, of breakthrough. It has not been easy, but you have done your best to persevere. Continue to trust Me to show you the way and to take you through. I am with you every step of the way, says the Lord. Only believe! Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Do you need help? Ask Me. I will give you the wisdom necessary to accomplish whatever has been set before you. Let me lead you in the right direction. There is nothing too hard or impossible for Me, says the Lord. Exercise your faith and trust Me. Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

You are still in the days of transition, and it is important that you keep your destination in mind. It is easy to lose track of what you have been called to in these times. Set your heart to know and walk in truth as you maintain your faith in My promises, says the Lord. Your divine purpose will unfold as you continue to move forward. Psalms 84:5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.

Please listen carefully and guard in your heart what I will say to you. You are in a time of extreme importance when I will impart wisdom that will establish your path and direction. I speak to many who feel aimless and lost. You must let go of everything that has caused you to falter, and get ready to move on with new perspective. Let Me lead you out of this valley of weeping into a place of great joy, says the Lord. Psalm 84:5-7 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.

I speak to many who have become discouraged and disheartened. You have begun to lose hope, but I tell you that your hope cannot be in human endeavor or worldly expectation. Your hope is only fulfilled through your faith as you strive to maintain eternal perspective. Your heart will be revived in your connection to Me in Spirit, says the Lord. Psalms 31:24 Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

It is imperative that you walk in the light. As you exercise honesty and integrity, you will be able to see through schemes and treachery. Be alert and sensitive to unusual intrusions into your life and circumstances. I will give you the wisdom and ability to deal with whatever comes your way, says the Lord. Do not be afraid. Matthew 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."

Truth and justice--I would have you embrace the truth of My word and to live by justice so that your life exemplifies righteousness. Your example will either accuse you or excuse you. Be blameless. If you are truly a citizen of My kingdom, says the Lord, you will exhibit your loyalty by your actions. Be true to yourself and to Me. Psalms 19:13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
Get ready, My people, for the flood of My blessings are about to open, and you will be able to see with your own eyes, hear with your own ears, that which I am doing. For those of you who are having trouble, rise up into a position of faith to believe that which I have spoken. You will hear of what I have done across the board in the lives of those who have believed, and you shall be able to know for a fact that you also can get in on whatever I am doing in this season. Do not let the moment pass you by. Walk with Me and I will fulfill My word. Do what I have asked you to do and everything that I have promised to do on your behalf will take place, says the Lord.

I challenge you to believe more than you ever have before. I challenge you to depend upon Me more than you ever have before. Test Me and see if I will not be the God who provides that which you need. Come now, My children, and believe. Come now and walk with Me. For, the way before you has been prepared. Find your way into My habitation and abide in it, for surely I will meet with you there. It is a place of security, safety, great joy and revelation--a place of knowing Me intimately. I love you and care for you. So, come. Come with faith. Cast aside your unbelief and your doubt and bring yourself fully into this habitation of joy. Enjoy your inheritance and the blessings of the kingdom, says the Lord.

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A WOMAN OF THE WORD by Gail Burton Purath
The Bible wore her imprint
it’s cover soft from use
The pages rubbed and wrinkled
the binding coming loose
And even if this Christian
and her Bible were apart
She still would have it with her
Hidden in her heart
Oh make me such a woman, Lord
Who hungers to be fed
Who cherishes a line from You
More than her daily bread
And when my days are over
May this be my epitaph
“She longed to spend more
time with Him
And now is doing that.”

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Poem of Devotion Auhtor Unknown
As down in the sunless retreats of the ocean
Sweet flowers are springing no mortal can see,
So deep in my soul the still prayer of devotion,
Unheard by the world, rises silent to Thee.
As still to the star of its worship, though clouded,
The needle points faithfully over the dim sea,
So dark when I roam in this wintry world shrouded,
The hope of my spirit turns trembling to Thee.

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The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. God is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:2-3

Philippians 4:13 – I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Psalm 56:4 – In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:14

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. - Galatians 3:26

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. - John 14:2

Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” - Matthew 18:20

Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. “ - John 13:34

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When I received a letter from Betty, I knew it would uplift me. Betty is in a nursing home. Because of a painful knee operation, she walks with a walker. Her husband has been childlike for years because of a stroke. But Betty has learned the secret of extravagant praise. Her letter began, "Praises be unto our God forever! He is worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows." God has delivered her, not out of the situation, but in it!
When we don't feel like praising the Lord, we can do what one young man did during a difficult time. Throughout his day he would keep a yellow note pad close by and record anything he thought of for which he could praise the Lord.
The next morning during his devotions, he would set his timer for five minutes and begin thanking God for the things he had written down the day before. He said, "Within three minutes, I was 'in the gate' and by the end of the five minutes, His presence would just wash over me."
When Praying Hyde's prayers weren't answered, He invariably discovered a lack of praise in his life. He would then pray for a spirit of praise. If we don't feel like praising the Lord, we can ask the Lord to give us grace to offer sincere praise. This is a prayer He would be pleased to answer.
Thank You, Jesus, that through praise I draw near You.
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name" (Psalm 100:4).
"Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him" (Psalm 33:1).
"A psalm of David, regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away. I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises" (Psalm 34:1 NLT).

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Good Morning God
Good Morning God!
You are ushering in another day,
untouched and freshly new.
So here I am to ask you, God,
if You’ll renew me too.
Forgive the many errors that I made yesterday
and let me try again dear God
to walk closer in Your way.
But Lord, I am well aware,
I can’t make it on my own.
So take my hand and hold it tight,
for I cannot walk alone.

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 50
1 The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. 3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. 4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. 6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah. 7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. 8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. 9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. 16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? 17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee. 18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. 19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. 20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. 21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. 22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. 23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

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Bright Dawn of Your Word
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make us a people of this light. Make us faithful to your Word, that we may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord. 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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