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Old 05-15-2014, 03:13 PM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - 5/16

Appreciating God's present work in us can help us let go of impatience and regret.

The beauty of creation is reason to praise God the creator each day.

Talk to God -- He always listens.

Our God is so wonderfully good, and lovely, and blessed in every way, that the mere fact of belonging to Him is enough for an untellable fullness of joy! --Hannah Whitall Smith

God Loves Us Always.

God loves us passionately, persistently, and tenderly.

"As you call out, you get stronger inside, and you lift up until you grab God's hand. You say, 'God.' God may say, "Yes, I'm right here, and I've always been here." --John-Roger

"God has three answers to everything: Yes, no and not now." --Anonymous Sage

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Better Together by Sally I. Kennedy
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do. Hebrews 10:24,25
We were in the midst of a glorious sight. Surrounding us were massive boulders and giant flat top granite rocks sparkling in the sunlight. Elegant aspens swayed and fluttered in the pale breeze. Massive evergreens and pines towered around us.
By a waterfall, I noticed a baby aspen tree standing all alone. Close-by was a taller aspen, yet still young. A pine tree behind it had boughs that came around the sides of the younger tree, as if to steady and support it.
I thought of how important it is to have something standing by us as we grow. We don't turn babies loose while they are learning to walk. We don't usually let toddlers run unless we are with them. We stand by them, sometimes from behind the scenes, sometimes holding their hands, until they can fully stand on their own.
Jesus discipled the people who followed Him. We have a responsibility to disciple others in our family of believers. We can help, teach, encourage, and listen to one another. I believe it is the way the body of believers is to operate. Ask yourself today, whom have I received 'mentoring from', and whom do I 'mentor'.
We are better together; that's good news.
Two are better than one.... If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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Lessons From The Flowers by The Vine
Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don't toil, neither do they spin, yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. - Matthew 6:28-29
Without any toiling or spinning on their own part, God clothes the flowers in loveliness far surpassing any adornment which the most skilful human arts can provide. Flowers bloom but a day and fade. We are better than flowers. If our Father lavishes so much beauty on perishing plants, is there any danger that He will not provide raiment for His own?
Of course it is not implied that like the lilies we need neither toil nor spin. It is all right for lilies just to stand still and grow. That is their mission; that is the way God made them to grow. But He gave us hands, feet, brains, tongue, energy, and will; and if we would be cared for as are the flowers, we must put forth our energies to produce the results of comfort. Yet Jesus tells us to consider the lilies, how they grow. We ought to study the beautiful things in nature and learn lessons from them. Here it is a lesson of contentment we are to learn. Who ever heard a lily complaining about its circumstances? It accepts the conditions in which it finds itself, and makes the best of them. It drinks in heaven's sweet light, air, dew, and rain, and unfolds its own loveliness in quietness and peace.
The lily grows from within. So ought we to grow, having within us the divine life, to be developed in our character and spirit. The lily is an emblem of beauty; our spiritual life should unfold likewise in all lovely ways. It is a picture of perfect peace. Who ever saw wrinkles of anxiety in a lily's face? God wants us to grow into peace. The lily is fragrant; so should our lives be. The lily sometimes grows in the black bog, but it remains unspotted. Thus should we live in this world, keeping ourselves unspotted amid its evil. These are a few of the lessons from the lily.

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Home by Sandy McMath
Years ago we lived in Miami, Florida. While my husband, John, explored job opportunities out of state, I learned we would be expecting our third son. So we decided to move to a larger home more suitable for our growing family. Soon we had a contract on our house and bought another. But the deal on the first house fell through, leaving us with two house payments for six long months!
After finally selling the house, we decided to vacation with our families. Then John got a call. A rapid transit operation offered him a job he had not applied for! So much for rest. John accepted. Soon we would move again, this time to Atlanta, Georgia.
We listed the house with the same realtor, who knew us well by then. We prayed that God would help us, and He showed up BIG! We listed, sold, and closed in 30 days...for our asking price...paid in cash!
Now fast-forward 12 years. I believed the time had come to move again. But John was adamant---We will not own two houses at the same time! Everything must be conditioned on us first selling our current home. In my normal bossy self, I fully intended to change his mind. But I couldn't.
Months passed. No one agreed to our condition. So I prayed, "Lord, change his mind! I want to move before my son's senior year. No one is ever going to agree to this. Lord, pleeeease change his mind!" It was my best "sell" job and pleading for His favor. But I didn't expect God's response.
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord (Colossians 3:18). What? Really? In my spirit I heard, "Honor John's wishes," but declined to obey. We'll never get a house! Yet the more I prayed, the more certain I was that submitting was the answer to my prayer.
Begrudgingly I told John I would stop trying to convince him to follow me. We would wait for the right place according to his wishes. And if nothing happened by our son's senior year, we would not move.
Nothing happened all summer. So we headed out for vacation. (See a trend?) Mid-week, my girlfriend called, "I've found the perfect house!" Yeah, sure. I called the sellers, Ernie and Laura, told them we were interested, and on our return, we drove by. Not bad. The next day we went for a walk through. Oh, Lord, what have you done? It's perfect!!!
Before leaving, I told Laura we would pray about the house. I casually mentioned that my Ladies Bible Study (a group of 600 women) was studying Genesis 24 on how to know you are doing God's will. When I mentioned where we met, she exclaimed, "I'm in that class, too!" Seriously, Lord?
While my mouth was hanging open, Ernie mentioned to John that they were moving to downsize and wanted a neighborhood with younger children. John casually remarked, "You should look in our neighborhood, that's who is moving into it." Really, Father?
The next day, the four of us held hands in our den and prayed for God's blessings...on our HOUSE SWAP. You heard me, we swapped houses! No conditions. No owning two houses. The perfect house for me. And all in 5 days before my son began his senior year!
God honors our obedience to his Word. I still shake my head in awe as I remember His faithfulness to me and my heart's desires. "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this." Psalm 37:4-5
All in God's timing... it's the perfect, peaceful place to be!

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Resist Flight by Sally Garber
"I said, 'Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest - I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.'" (Psalm 55:6-8)
David was a man after God's own heart and a great, anointed king. But in many ways, he was just like us. Psalm 55 is an example. When the pressure was on, David just wanted to run away.
All of us have had similar urges. When life gets intense and troubles seem to offer no way out, we just want to get out of the situation. Every Christian who has been prepared by God and stretched to his or her limits can relate: There are times when we would do anything if God would just remove us from our trial. We'll pray for ways of escape, but God often leaves us surrounded until His time is right.
God has no scorn for such feelings. He made us and He knows our frailties. He understands our impulse to flee from whatever difficulties we face. But He also insists on our endurance, because it has spiritual results that nothing else can accomplish. And there is no way to learn endurance other than simply to endure. We can't learn it in principle or in theory; only trials can teach it to us.
The good news for those who go through intense trials and suffering is that once the impulse to flee is broken, God delivers. When endurance is complete, God removes the tribulation we endured. Every fear is followed by blessing (Psalm 55:16-18). Our God does not leave us in our troubles. He has allowed us to be there to discover His provision; He will not withhold it indefinitely. There will be a day of deliverance.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4)

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Encourage One Another by Russ Lawson
What have you done to encourage someone lately? That may seem like a strange question, but it is an important and valid question for us today. Encouragement is one of the basic building blocks of the church.
During quail season in Georgia, an Atlanta journalist met an old farmer hunting with an old pointer at his side. Twice the dog ran ahead and pointed. Twice his master fired into the open air. When the journalist saw no birds rise, he asked the farmer for an explanation.
"Shucks," grinned the old man, "I knew there weren't no birds in that grass. Spot's nose ain't what it used to be. But him and me have had some wonderful times together. He's still doing the best he can and it'd be mighty mean of me to call him a liar at this stage of the game!"
In God's word we are told to build up, lift up and encourage one another! One of my favorite passages of scripture is Hebrews 3:13 where the writer tells us, "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."
You see the point is that each of us needs some encouragement in our lives and sometimes more than others. There are folks in our churches just like that old dog. They may be doing the best they can, but still not doing what some folks think they should be doing. God's word indicates it is our job to encourage Christian brothers and sisters. Hebrews 12:12-13 gives us another thought on this subject. The writer tells us, "Therefore, strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed."
May our God give you eyes with which to see those who are doing the best they can, but need to be strengthened and lifted up! Who have your encouraged today?

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Take it With You by Sally I. Kennedy
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. Ephesians 6:10
Most days when I get ready to leave the house, it is unlikely I will forget to take it with me. Usually the cell phone is practically glued on. Should I ever forget to take it with me, I'd turn around and go back right away! For a lot of years I got along fine without a mobile phone. "What's so important about having it now", I asked myself just this week, "especially all the time?!"
There is something more important to take with me when I leave home - or even at home. My armor, my spiritual armor.
When Paul wrote a letter to the people at a church in Ephesus, he closed it with an important wrap-up, instructions on putting it on and what it's for:
A final word... put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared..hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:10-17
You never know what a day will bring. It is a more-than-good idea to remember to put on your armor... and take it with you.

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
So much has changed that you wonder where you stand, and the enemy will try to exploit this position with an identity crisis and lies. You must find your identity in Me by drawing closer. You are entering a new season in which I will use you and establish you in ways you have not considered. Let Me bring your true, eternal identity to the forefront. Find your security in your unshakable relationship with Me, says the Lord. Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

You can do nothing about the past whether good or bad. It is time to move forward and release all that is behind you. There is nothing you can do to change what was. Some of your decisions resulted in spiritual seeds sown that produced regret. But, you can make better choices now that will reap a healthier and more robust harvest. Choose wisely, says the Lord, for you stand on the threshold of a new beginning and new opportunities. Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Set a watch for an attack that will bring your honor and integrity into question. Don't be surprised if the enemy uses someone you have been able to trust in the past to disparage your character. You can do preventative warfare and break the assignment before it actually causes any harm, but you will have to exercise your discernment and spiritual authority, says the Lord. Nahum 2:1 He who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily.

Guard your heart and mind so that you can establish yourself in a place of peace. You need to be at peace before you can properly discern your spiritual environment. And, you need to know the condition of that environment before you can do effective warfare against the enemy of your soul, says the Lord. Use your authority to establish and maintain purity. Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

The changes that have seemed long in coming will now take place in rapid succession. Be flexible. I will carry you through the things that are beyond your ability to control. Go with the flow, says the Lord. There is no need to worry or to be afraid because I am with you to speak to your heart and to give you direction. Yours is only to surrender in obedience. Job 36:11 If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.

There is a delicate balance between maintaining your independence--being free from the control of others--and at the same time submitting to legitimate authority. Finding that balance will require an understanding of the security you find in Me, says the Lord, and your subsequent faith and trust. I am your place of safety and freedom. Psalms 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
I hear the Lord saying, regarding this great struggle that you have been involved in, consider the life of the butterfly for he must struggle and continue to struggle until he comes out and breaks himself out of the bondage that has been placed to hold him in a position of birthing. This has not been a bad place because you will come forth, and you will walk out. You will bring God into the situation more profoundly than you ever have before. And, your struggles with regard to that situation that you are thinking of in this moment will be resolved as you break out and gain flight even as the butterfly does. It is the season to come forth.

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There are times when I think of all the heartache & pain
I've endured while living this life.
There were mountains to climb...valleys to crawl through
and dark clouds of sorrow and strife.
But my heart quickly causes me to give thanks
that only God knows what will happen to me.
For I couldn't have borne the knowledge of the future
beyond what my eyes came to see.
And I'm so grateful God allows me to know Him personally
through the mercy and grace of the cross.
For no matter the struggle, I knew my salvation
was secure, because He paid the cost.
My eyes fill with tears as I look at the years
and all the things He's allowed me to go through.
And I cry because I see the beauty of His presence
always with me through all I would do.
By faith, He truly taught me to live a day at a time
and by faith, I held the might of His hand.
While He poured out wisdom, and His promises were solid
for every moment I would not understand.
He cradled me in kindness...He spoke as my Father
and I saw the richness of knowing His grace.
He holds the future and He holds my hand
so I'll trust Him while running this race.
Sheila Gosney 2005

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Fix Me Jesus Author Unknown
Oh yes, fix me, Jesus, fix me.
Fix me so that I can walk on
a little while longer.
Fix me so that I can pray on
just a little bit harder.
Fix me so that I can sing on
just a little bit louder.
Fix me so that I can go on despite the pain,
the fear, the doubt, and yes, the anger,
I ask not that you take this cross from me,
only that you give me the strength to continue carrying it onward
'til my dying day.
Oh, fix me, Jesus, fix me.

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Truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you (Matthew 17:20).

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you (James 4:10).

Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Matthew 22:37-39

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity"(Colossians 3:13-14).

Truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you. Matthew 17:20

Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

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One Day At A Time by The Vine
Therefore don't be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day's own evil is sufficient. - Matthew 6:34
This last reason our Lord gives against anxiety for the future is that we have nothing to do with the future. God gives us life by days, little single days. Each day has its own duties, its own needs, its own trials and temptations, its own griefs and sorrows. God always gives us strength enough for the day as He gives it, with all that He puts into it. But if we insist on dragging back tomorrow's cares and piling them on top of today's, the strength will not be enough for the load.
So the lesson is that we should keep each day distinct and attend strictly to what it brings us. Charles Kingsley says: “Do today's duty, fight today's temptation, and do not weaken and distract yourself by looking forward to things which you cannot see, and could not understand if you saw them.” We really have nothing at all to do with the future, save to prepare for it by doing with fidelity the duties of today.
One day at a time. A burden too great
To be borne for two can be borne for one;
Who knows what will enter tomorrow's gate?
While yet we are speaking all may be done.
One day at a time, but a single day,
Whatever its load, whatever its length;
And there's a bit of precious Scripture to say
That according to each shall be our strength.

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Reach out and take God's hands. Close your eyes and let him walk you through every change of plans. Let him hold you, comfort you, guide you, heal you and see you through. Each change of plans is a new beginning, a new healing, a new blessing and a new reckoning! You don't have to be afraid. You are not alone. It is just another route to get to where you need to be. --Melinda Clements

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O God, teach us to share your mercy and generosity with those around us. May we taste the extravagant grace you lavish on us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
2 Chronicles 22
Ahaziah Reigns in Judah
1 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his place, for the raiders who came with the Arabians into the camp had killed all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, reigned. 2 Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri. 3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly. 4 Therefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction. 5 He also followed their advice, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. 6 Then he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which he had received at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick. 7 His going to Joram was God’s occasion for Ahaziah’s downfall; for when he arrived, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. 8 And it happened, when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers who served Ahaziah, that he killed them. 9 Then he searched for Ahaziah; and they caught him (he was hiding in Samaria), and brought him to Jehu. When they had killed him, they buried him, “because,” they said, “he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart.” So the house of Ahaziah had no one to assume power over the kingdom.
Athaliah Reigns in Judah
10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered, and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she did not kill him. 12 And he was hidden with them in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

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Dear Lord, when we lie down to rest for the night and our thoughts and worries will not let us sleep, help us to reach out to you to receive your wonderful 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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