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Old 09-02-2015, 11:55 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - September 4

I cling to Jesus with every fiber of my being because He is unfailing, He is absolute, He is steadfast and His grace is deeper and wider than my imagination can even fathom. In Him and Him alone is where I’ve discovered a hope more bright and beautiful than words can possibly describe. —Adam Young

I was on a red eye flight with a little girl overwhelmed with the experience of her first flight. She asked her mom, “Why are we just sitting in the air?” Of course, we were not. It seemed that way to the girl. But there was someone in the cockpit speeding us to our destination. Prayer is the same way. It may seem nothing is happening. But God is at work. Don’t stop praying! --H. B. Charles

God pursues us in many ways. The Lord is patient with us. God gives us every opportunity to respond to the call of faith.

God's love is made known to us in a variety of ways.

God wants to teach and counsel us.

God walks with us and strengthens us.

God has promised never to leave us or forsake us.

When our soul is parched, God can sustain us

God has loved us from before the beginning of time and will continue to love us for all eternity.

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When We are One, The Battle is Won by Katherine Walden
Exodus 17 8-13 – Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.
Once during a time of extended prayer at a gathering of worshipers, intercessors, and artists, I felt God ask me to walk to the front of the room, using a stick as a staff. I was not to use it as a cane. I was already exhausted that afternoon, as the conference I was attending was intense. I find it difficult to walk without a cane at the best of times. It was one of those “Is That Really You, God?” moments that Loren Cunningham of Youth With A Mission speaks of. I knew God was leading me and out of obedience, I found a stick and began walking.
My legs were shaking, I was sweating bullets, and every muscle in my body screamed, “Stop, it’s not worth it, you aren’t making any difference!” I am a rather private person and so displaying my weakness in such a public forum only added to my discomfort. I knew I had to keep walking, and I knew I couldn’t do it by myself. And so, I reached out for help.
I spotted a friend, a fellow intercessor, and headed her way. When I quickly explained what I felt led to do, she was startled. She doesn’t like being in the spotlight either, and she looked around for someone else to help me. No one else was there. And so, she took a deep breath, then stepped out, and walked beside me. Our arms were linked together. With her help, and with the staff in my hand, I kept walking.
When I returned to my seat, I immediately asked God, “What was that all about?” His reply was simple. My wobbly, determined stroll across the front of our gymnasium was a picture of the Church. Often, when we feel we are at our weakest, God calls us to walk in obedience, past the point of our natural strengths and talents. In that place of vulnerability, He urges us to keep walking, keep moving and to keep reaching out when we need help.
When things get dark, and there seems to be no light on the horizon, hold on. When you think your grasp is about to slip, hold on. When your insides are raw and blistered from holding on, hold on. He hears your shout for help, He hears your whimper of despair, and He is on His way, hold on!
As you read this devotion, and you feel a sudden urge to call a friend or a loved one to check in on them, take a step of obedience and do so. Perhaps everything appears to be going well in their world, but that urge won’t go away. Trust God and take the risk. He calls us to walk along those in need, even if we think we are of little consequence to others. We are all called to be carriers of His hope.

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True and lasting hope, real and healthy optimism, doesn't come from confidence in ourselves or other people. How could it? We, and they, often fail or fall short.
True and lasting hope doesn't come from confidence in the future, in the possibilities of tomorrow. How could it? History clearly teaches that not every change is progress.
True and lasting hope, real and healthy optimism, comes from an abiding confidence in our Father. Our Heavenly Father does not fail; He does not fall short. His plans for our future are perfect. Those who put their hope in Him are not disappointed.
Jesus showed us this true and lasting hope like no one else ever has. No matter how far we've strayed from our Father's love and care, Jesus said He had good news. No matter how dire the circumstances, Jesus said we could be of good cheer.
No matter what, Jesus said we could trust in our Father.
If anyone had reason to lose hope, Jesus did. But He didn't lose hope, because His hope wasn't in people or progress. His hope was where ours must be: in the infinite love of the Father. —Michael Himick

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WHERE ANGELS WALK by Joan Wester Anderson
Marti Stafford is a Licensed Practical nurse, and has five young children. Life has been a struggle primarily against poverty, but Marti has kept her faith and recently things had begun to change. Then last January, Marti became ill with a mystery disease, not too many symptoms, but enough that she missed two days of work, almost unheard of for Marti. "By the time I went to the doctors, my blood pressure was 58/40," says Marti. "I didn't know it, but I was very near death."
Marti was diagnosed with multi-lobular acute pneumonia, and was so sick that a few days later, her local hospital transferred her to a more advanced facility. But eight hours after the transfer, she had fallen into a coma, was on life support and her family was told that she would probably not survive. Marti's devastated husband started a prayer vigil throughout their community, and was at her side continuously. But nothing changed.
After eight or nine days in a coma the doctors became concerned that Marti may have become brain dead. On January 19, 2005 a neurologist was called to do an EEG to check her brain waves.
Before the neurologist began his test, however, Marti became aware of two gentlemen who entered her room without hesitation. "Remember me, Marti?" The first man asked.
"Yes," Marti nodded. "I remember you." She was having trouble seeing the second visitor's face, but both of them came around and stood on the right side of her bed next to her head, not interfering as the neurologist arrived and started to set up for the test. Marti felt comforted that the visitors were there, and after about twenty minutes, when they started to leave, she sat up in the hospital bed and swung her legs over the side. "I'm going with you," she announced to the men.
The first man turned to her. "Baby girl, you can't go with us. You have to stay and take care of the kids," he told her. It seemed the most natural request; Marti thought nothing of it, and obediently laid back in the bed.
The neurological test was never done because within a few seconds of the visit, Marti started responding to the nurses, and to painful stimuli. Within three days she was alert and active, and was removed from life support. It was then that she questioned the nurses. "Remember those two men that visited me on Wednesday?" she asked.
"The only two men who visited you that day were your brother and your husband," the nurses assured her. Intensive Care was closely monitored.
But Marti knew those men were not her husband and brother. "There is no one else on this earth who has ever called me 'Baby Girl' except for my father," she says. "He passed away on June 2, 2002. But I believe he came to me at the point of death and saved my life." Had he not told Marti to stay and take care of her children, she believes she would have gotten off the bed and followed him, thus walking into eternity. Instead, although she still has some respiratory distress, she received an amazing healing.
"I am a living miracle of God," Marti says today. "I know that there really is someone more powerful than we are. If I could somehow show the people who doubt, what I saw that day in my hospital room, I think it would make believers out of us all."
"I've been wondering about the other gentleman, the one who accompanied Marti's father on his errand of mercy. Who do you think he was?

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What growing older really means for you by Senior Living
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. - 2 Corinthians 4:16
A new member of the bridge club showed up one afternoon wearing a beautiful gold locket. Another player approached her and said, “That’s such a lovely piece. Do you keep a memento in it?”
“Yes,” the woman answered. “It’s a piece of my husband’s hair I keep to help me remember.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” the player replied. “How long ago did he pass away?”
The newcomer quipped, “Pass away? Oh, he’s still alive. It’s his hair that’s gone!”
Someone once said, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” And with so much focus today on doing whatever it takes to stay young, many people completely miss out on a biblical understanding of what it means to age. They miss the fact that their gray hairs, baldness, wrinkles, and aches all have a purpose in the plan of God.
So what is the right biblical understanding of aging? Well, as we see in today’s passage, aging is a lifelong tradeoff of the physical for the spiritual. Young people may have more physical vitality, but are usually less mature spiritually. As we get older, however, we may lose our physical strength, but we grow spiritually and become more equipped to invest in others’ lives.
Be willing to make that tradeoff. Don’t despise growing older. Instead, embrace your aging as a sign that while you may lose physical vigor, you’re growing each day in your spiritual strength!
Prayer Challenge: Pray and ask God to give you a right understanding of aging as a lifelong tradeoff for something much better than physical strength.
Questions for Thought: What is the one thing that gives you the most anxiety about aging? How might this proper understanding of growing older as a tradeoff change your attitude toward aging, as well as impact your relationship with God and others?

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SILENCE IS GOLDEN by Messages from the Heart
If you are a "Baby boomer," or just like music from the 60's (like me), you might remember Frankie Valli belting out in mournful tones the words to the song by the name, "Silence is Golden". In the song he proclaimed the sorrow in the heart of a young man who saw the girl he loved mistreated by another.
My wife was commenting last night on the changes we go though in our lives. When we are young, there is rarely a time when we think that silence (quiet time) is something to be desired, much less valued as much as gold. As we get older though, we learn to appreciate more and more the times of quiet in our lives. We have discovered the most important button on the Television remote control is the "mute" button, followed closely by the "off" button. Why those buttons? We like those buttons, because we have learned to appreciate silence more at this time in our lives.
It's was interesting to me to learn that the first recorded use of the phrase was in 1848. Actually the entire phrase was, "Speech is silver, Silence is golden". We might say, "just stop speaking and listen".
I would suggest that in this day and age that we need to think about those words. Our world is filled with chaos, the daily news reports seem to carry nothing but reports of unrest, danger and tragedy. When do you find time to escape the turmoil and pressure of this world?
"Be still, and know that I am God!I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world."
Yes, sometimes silence truly is golden (of great value), because unless we can shut out the world we can never hear the voice of God. The storms of life rage, the mountains shift and crumble, fires burn, houses fall, accidents come, death takes loved ones, but God's voice is a constant source of strength and promise for us.
Can you stand a little silence in your life? Maybe it's time to spend time listening to God!

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Others First
Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. - Philippians 2:4 (NRSV)
Recently while strolling home from work, I encountered one of my friends. As I saw her coming, I felt compelled to offer her a business suit of mine that I had been meaning to give away. When I told her about it, she replied that she had been jobless for a while, that the next day she was scheduled for the last in a series of job interviews, and that she needed a suit for the interview.
I could brush this off as a coincidence. But I strongly believe that God used me in that moment as an answer to this sister’s immediate need. God relies on us to touch the lives of others and be a blessing to them.
When we are sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us and are willing to be used by God, we can respond positively and with love to those around us. Our help need not be a big gesture or gift of something material. A warm smile, a comforting touch, a hug, or an encouraging word can meet a person’s immediate need by strengthening his or her will to persevere. Veronica Kamidi
Thought for the Day: Today I will be willing and ready to be used by God to help others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to be aware of opportunities to be an answer to other people’s prayers. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
You have endured plenty of resistance and opposition to what I have asked you to do, but your perseverance is paying off. Now you must move forward into the purposes for which I have called you, and you will have new hope and freedom to do so. The past is behind you, so reach beyond your grasp to achieve what may seem to be impossible. I am your help, 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.

Simplify and fortify. The days ahead will require that you focus your attention and stay protected. If you are too scattered, you will miss the importance of the season and make mistakes that could be hard to fix. I will direct your steps, but you must be clear enough to hear and obey My leading, says the Lord. Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Look to Me for answers. Ask and receive; only believe. I am with you to give you wisdom and to direct your steps. I will establish you and strengthen you to proceed on the path that is before you, says the Lord. Do not be afraid. 1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

The enemy will do what he can to create confusion and to complicate matters even when they are relatively simple. You must stand on the solid ground of peace and stay calm enough to see situations clearly instead of through the eyes of stress. Be found in My presence where I can give you wisdom and the ability to overcome all adversity, says the Lord. Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, do not despair. Let Me put you in the perfect flow of My Spirit and establish you in peace where you have no stress or anxiety. You can trust that I will move you through this turbulent time with grace, says the Lord. There is no need to worry. 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.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
I say to you, these are dangerous times. Therefore, I am calling you to a higher level of understanding. A higher level and ability of being able to see and hear and to know the direction that you are to walk in so that you can be one with Me. Stay under the shelter of My outspread wings so that I can protect you, lead you, and guide you. The travesty of this world need not touch you. Even though you will see it all around you, you will find yourself in a secure and very safe habitation in Me, says the Lord.

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THE ONION Author Unknown
I was an onion before Christ set me free.
Layers upon layers of iniquity.
An ugly old onion whose fragrance was strong;
That my Jesus bought and loved all along.
Unknown to me what He was going to do.
Of what He was planning, I had not a clue.
Pulling each layer off one by one.
In order to make me more like Jesus the Son.
The first layer wasn't so bad.
I saw all the sins that I knew I had.
They were easy to fix, just change the way I talk.
And learn more of how He wanted me to walk.
Reading His Word, and learning again;
How to put aside my life of sin.
But the next layer was pulled which hurt more.
He was getting closer to the core.
Unknown what He would find there.
I simply gave it to Him in prayer.
As another layer was removed, He started to cry;
Pulling this layer brought pain to my Father on High.
And I was crying over the sadness I felt;
The brokenness and all of the guilt.
Past memories that I thought were gone;
They were buried under layers disguised in a fragrance so strong.
As onions peel more and more;
And they put tears in our eyes as we get close to the core;
So my Father wept over my pain;
Giving me a balm of comfort and strength to sustain.
"No More Layers." I would scream.
As He continued to peel them off of me.
"I'll have nothing left my Lord, what will I do?
I'll be nothing but a worthless core to you. "
But He just said "Trust me," and continued to peel
I was sure He was blinded to my pain that was so real.
Year after year I shrunk more and more;
Until all that was left of this onion was a core.
It was then that I began to understand;
As the Lord embraced me in His loving hand.
He said, now and only now can you be;
The creation that will minister before me.
Clothed with the righteousness only from above;
Gone are your layers of self so you can be filled with my love.
He took my layers of sin, hurt and pain;
And clothed me with love, truth and mercy in His name.
Yes, we are all onions, learning with each day;
How to overcome as each layer is taken away.
Some layers tear and pull at our heart;
While others grieve us to our innermost part.
But we are nothing but an ugly onion without Christ.
Layers upon layers of pride, sin and strife.
Only God can take those layers away.
And clothe us with His righteousness in that final day.

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Let the day lead me to do all that is right,
And then let it continue into the dark of night.
Let me lend a helping hand to someone who's in need,
Let me do His work in whatever field He leads.
I'll always give Him credit for the good that has come my way,
My family, friends "How very blessed," I shall always say.
Thank you, Lord, how gracious You have been,
Let the day lead me after the rain and to the rainbow's end.
My pot of gold awaits me, a true treasure I have found,
But it's not the material things that matter,
What counts are the stars in my crown.
Author Unknown

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"Have mercy on me, O God. . . . Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me." (Psalm 51:1-3)

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. (NKJV)

Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (NKJV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. — 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. — John 14:26

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. — Psalm 34:18

The psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” - Psalm 119:105.

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In Me You Have Everything by Sarah Young, from Jesus Calling
In Me you have everything. In Me you are complete. Your capacity to experience Me is increasing, through My removal of debris and clutter from your heart. As your yearning for Me increases, other desires are gradually lessening. Since I am infinite and abundantly accessible to you, desiring Me above all else is the best way to live. It is impossible for you to have a need that I cannot meet. After all, I created you and everything that is. The world is still at My beck and call, though it often appears otherwise. Do not be fooled by appearances.
Things that are visible are brief and fleeting while things that are invisible are everlasting.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us... — Ephesians 3:20
Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting. 2 Corinthians 4:18

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Heavenly Father, so often we don't take the time to stop and consider what You do for us: things that we take for granted and so often don't recognize in our hurried world. So often You show Your love and benevolence toward us in simple ways with pleasant surprises. Help us to have eyes to recognize and appreciate the variety of ways that You demonstrate Your love and care for us in all things, both big and small. May we show our gratitude to You by being faithful to Your will, and love others as ourselves, always being willing to pass on the same care for others as You have shown to us. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Job 20
1 Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, 2 Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste. 3 I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer. 4 Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, 5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? 6 Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds; 7 Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he? 8 He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night. 9 The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him. 10 His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods. 11 His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust. 12 Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; 13 Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: 14 Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him. 15 He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly. 16 He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him. 17 He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter. 18 That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein. 19 Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not; 20 Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired. 21 There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods. 22 In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand of the wicked shall come upon him. 23 When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating. 24 He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through. 25 It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him. 26 All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle. 27 The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him. 28 The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. 29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.

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Faithful God, Thank You for knowing us, loving us, and pursuing us long before we recognize our need for You. Thank You for always being with us, even in the darkest of times. Help us to trust You and wait patiently for Your blessings. 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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