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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 26 Dec 2013 - 17:18

Today's Daily Encounter

The Glory of Christmas Part II  

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."3

In yesterday's Daily Encounter we told the story about
a man named Angus McGillivray, whose example
transformed a hellhole of a World War II Japanese
prison camp into a place of caring and concern. This
transformation meant survival for many of the other
prisoners and happened because one man, Angus
McGillivray, gave his own life to save his mucker
(prison buddy/mate).

What a powerful illustration of the fact that one
person can make a difference and what can happen when
one gives his life for another. As the Bible teaches
us, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends."4 And what a powerful
reminder of the One who laid down his life for you and
me--the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God--who stepped
out of the ivory palaces of heaven, laid aside his
external robes of deity, clothed himself in a garment
of human flesh, and became a man to identify himself
with us when he came to earth at that first Christmas
2,000 years ago, so he could become our Savior to die
for our sins, and as a result save us from the curse of
hell and a lost eternity.

Some people argue, if God is a God of love how could he
ever send anyone to hell? The reality is that God
doesn't send anyone to hell except Satan and his horde
of evil demons for whom hell was created. If we go to
hell it is because it is the natural consequences of
our sinfulness. We send ourselves there.

Let me illustrate. If I jump from a very high tower the
natural consequence will be that I will kill myself. It
will be the result of my trying to defy the law of
gravity, the law that holds the universe together. I
cannot break this law. If I try to, it breaks
me--physically. 

There is also a moral and spiritual law that governs
the universe just as real as the law of gravity.
Neither can this law be broken without natural
consequences. If I try to break it, it breaks
me--spiritually. According to God's Word, the Bible,
the consequences of breaking the moral/spiritual law is
death; that is, spiritual death which, following
physical death, will be eternal separation from God,
the author of all love and life--and that will be hell
in hell.5

Because we have all sinned, we are spiritually dead
and, consequently, separated from God who is a God of
holiness in whose presence no sin can ever exist or
sinner survive. However, because God is also a God of
love, he has made a way of escape for all who put their
trust in him. The answer is in tomorrow's Daily
Encounter. 

To be concluded... 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you are God
and not a god made with human hands or the figment of
man's imagination. Thank you, too, that you are God of
infinite holiness and perfect justice; otherwise you
would never be God. And thank you that you are also God
of infinite love in that you have made a way of escape
from the eternal punishment that your holiness and
justice demands. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: See footnotes at end of Part III.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 

  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

The Glory of Christmas Part III  

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and
only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life."6

In telling the story about a man named Angus
McGillivray, whose example transformed a hellhole of a
World War II Japanese prison camp into a place of
caring and concern, we stated that because we have all
sinned, we are spiritually dead and, consequently,
separated from God who is also a God of holiness in
whose presence no sin can ever exist or sinner survive.

That was the bad news.

The good news is that, as there is a higher law than
the law of gravity--the law of aerodynamics, there is
also a higher law than the law of sin and death (which
is the result of breaking the moral law). It is the law
of the Spirit of life that God provided through his
love by giving his own Son, Jesus Christ, to come to
earth as a baby born in Bethlehem at Christmas some
2000 years ago and then, as a grown man, to die in our
place to pay the consequences of our sin and our
breaking God's moral/spiritual law.

As God's Word says, "But God demonstrates his own love
for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ
died for us."7 Also, "For God so loved the world that
he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in
him shall not perish but have eternal life."8 

Because Jesus Christ gave his life and died to pay the
just penalty for all our sins, God now offers each of
us a free pardon for all our sin and, in accepting this
pardon, we are freed from the law of sin and death. As
the Bible says, "Therefore, there is now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because
through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life sets
me free from the law of sin and death."9

And that's the glory of Christmas. It provides the
greatest Christmas gift anyone could ever give or ever
receive. All you need to do is to believe that Jesus is
the Son of God and that he died on the cross in your
place to pay the penalty for all your sins ... and pray
and confess your sinfulness to God, thank him for
giving his Son to die in your place, ask for his
forgiveness, and invite Jesus Christ to come into your
heart and life as personal Lord and Savior. Doing this
is your "passport into heaven," without which you can
never enter God’s Heaven of untold beauty, joy, and
love. Whatever you do, don't leave earth without it! 

For a prayer to help you, click on "God's Invitation"
at http://tinyurl.com/6k49w.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the glory of
Christmas in that you gave your Son, Jesus Christ, to
come to earth to die on the cross in my place to save
me from eternal destruction in hell so that, as long as
my trust is in you, I am freely forgiven of all my
sins, and given your gift of eternal life so that I can
live in Heaven forever with you. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen." 

1. John 15:13 (NIV).
2. Taken from Holy Sweat by Tim Hansel, Word
Publication, 1987, p. 146-147.
3. Romans 5:8 (NIV).
4. John 15:13 (NIV).
5. See Romans 6:23.
6. John 3:16 (NIV).
7. Romans 5:8 (NIV).
8. John 3:16 (NIV).
9. Romans 8:1-2 (NIV).

<Smile)))>
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 

  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48817
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Age : 72
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Dec 2013 - 13:17

Today's Daily Encounter

The Glory of Christmas Part I  

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down
his life for his friends."1

In his book, Through the Valley of the Kwai, Ernest
Gordon gives a true account of life in a World War II
Japanese prison camp. The story is about a man named
Angus McGillivray, whose example transformed a hellhole
of a prison camp into a place of caring and concern.

In one camp filled with Americans, Australians, and
Britons, men who had helped build the infamous bridge
over the River Kwai, McGillivray was a Scottish
prisoner. The attitude in this camp had apparently
turned into an ugly, selfish, dog-eat-dog situation.
Fellow prisoners cheated on each other. Men had their
packs stolen right from under their heads while they
were sleeping on them. It was every man for himself.
Survival was the name of the game. As Gordon put it,
"The law of the jungle prevailed." All this took place
until the news of Angus McGillivray's death was heard
throughout the camp.

The men were astounded. McGillivray was a big, strong
man and everyone presumed he would be the last one to
die. But it wasn't his death that shocked the
prisoners, but the reason for it.

The Scottish soldiers were called Argylls and had a
buddy system that they took very seriously. Their buddy
or mate was called their "mucker" and each was
committed to the other to ensure the other's survival.
Angus's mucker became very ill and wasn't expected to
live. However, when someone stole his mucker's blanket,
Angus gave him his, saying he had found an extra one.
At mealtime Angus would take his rations and force his
mucker to eat, again saying that he had found extra.
Angus did everything he could to keep his mucker alive.


In time the mucker fully recovered. And then to
everyone's surprise Angus suddenly collapsed and died.
The doctors found that he had died from exhaustion and
starvation. 

The cause of McGillivray's death is what brought about
the transformation of the prison camp. They all knew
the reason behind his death. Because of Angus's
example, the men began to be concerned for their mates
and became less self-centered and more caring and
sharing. They decided to get together and use their
talents to help each other. "One was a violin maker,
another an orchestra leader, another a cabinet maker,
another a professor. Soon the camp had an orchestra
full of homemade instruments and a church called the
'Church Without Walls' that was so powerful, so
compelling, that even the Japanese guards attended. The
men began a university, a hospital and a library
system."2

To be continued... 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the power of
love in that it can change lives like nothing else ever
can, and thank you that love is a gift from you. Please
use my life as a channel of your love so that my life
and the life of others will be changed. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

Note: See footnotes at end of Part III. 

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
 
   Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
 When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.


  Today's Daily Encounter

The Glory of Christmas Part II  

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."3

In yesterday's Daily Encounter we told the story about
a man named Angus McGillivray, whose example
transformed a hellhole of a World War II Japanese
prison camp into a place of caring and concern. This
transformation meant survival for many of the other
prisoners and happened because one man, Angus
McGillivray, gave his own life to save his mucker
(prison buddy/mate).

What a powerful illustration of the fact that one
person can make a difference and what can happen when
one gives his life for another. As the Bible teaches
us, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends."4 And what a powerful
reminder of the One who laid down his life for you and
me--the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God--who stepped
out of the ivory palaces of heaven, laid aside his
external robes of deity, clothed himself in a garment
of human flesh, and became a man to identify himself
with us when he came to earth at that first Christmas
2,000 years ago, so he could become our Savior to die
for our sins, and as a result save us from the curse of
hell and a lost eternity.

Some people argue, if God is a God of love how could he
ever send anyone to hell? The reality is that God
doesn't send anyone to hell except Satan and his horde
of evil demons for whom hell was created. If we go to
hell it is because it is the natural consequences of
our sinfulness. We send ourselves there.

Let me illustrate. If I jump from a very high tower the
natural consequence will be that I will kill myself. It
will be the result of my trying to defy the law of
gravity, the law that holds the universe together. I
cannot break this law. If I try to, it breaks
me--physically. 

There is also a moral and spiritual law that governs
the universe just as real as the law of gravity.
Neither can this law be broken without natural
consequences. If I try to break it, it breaks
me--spiritually. According to God's Word, the Bible,
the consequences of breaking the moral/spiritual law is
death; that is, spiritual death which, following
physical death, will be eternal separation from God,
the author of all love and life--and that will be hell
in hell.5

Because we have all sinned, we are spiritually dead
and, consequently, separated from God who is a God of
holiness in whose presence no sin can ever exist or
sinner survive. However, because God is also a God of
love, he has made a way of escape for all who put their
trust in him. The answer is in tomorrow's Daily
Encounter. 

To be concluded... 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you are God
and not a god made with human hands or the figment of
man's imagination. Thank you, too, that you are God of
infinite holiness and perfect justice; otherwise you
would never be God. And thank you that you are also God
of infinite love in that you have made a way of escape
from the eternal punishment that your holiness and
justice demands. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

Note: See footnotes at end of Part III.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
 
Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48817
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 20 Dec 2013 - 22:30

Today's Daily Encounter

Heartprints

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's
glory, are being transformed into his likeness with
ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who
is the Spirit."1

"Whatever our hands touch... we leave fingerprints. On
walls, on furniture, on door knobs, dishes and books.
As we touch we leave our identity.

"Oh [God] please wherever I go today... help me leave
heartprints--heartprints of compassion, understanding
and love. Heartprints of kindness and genuine concern.

"May my heart touch a lonely neighbor, or a runaway
daughter, or an anxious mother, or perhaps a dear
friend!

"I shall go out today to leave heartprints, and if some
one should say, 'I felt your touch,' may that sense be
your loving touch through me!"2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me today and
every day so that my life will reflect your likeness so
that the people I rub shoulders with will see your love
shining through me so that I will leave heartprints
from you on them. Thank you for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 3:18.
2. Author Unknown.

<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

* * * * * * *
Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48817
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 19 Dec 2013 - 21:28

Today's Daily Encounter

Resolving Relational Conflict

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who
call on him in truth."1

According to twenty years of research from the
University of Colorado, the number one cause of
marriage breakdown is the inability to manage conflict
creatively.

For example, Jim's first marriage failed and he is now
on his second marriage. Almost immediately after the
honeymoon was over, problems began to surface. By the
end of the second year Jim and Sharon were in major
conflict.

Their problem isn't their fighting. That's just a
symptom of their unresolved personal issues.
Unfortunately, while Sharon knows she has a problem,
Jim doesn't think he has any. In his mind the conflict
is all Sharon's fault.

True, Sharon had an abandoning father and feels very
threatened whenever Jim even goes to lunch with a male
friend. Her fear of abandonment gets triggered, which
causes her to cling to Jim. However, she admits she is
overreacting and is going to counseling to help resolve
her problem.

On the other hand, Jim had a smother-mother and,
whenever he feels Sharon is clinging to him, he
overreacts too, gets angry and blames Sharon for his
overreaction. The impasse or deadlock is that Jim won't
admit that he, too, has a problem. Consequently, he
won’t go for help.

So what hope do they have? Almost none unless both are
willing to take ownership of what they are contributing
to their conflict.

However, if both are willing to be honest with
themselves before God, get down on their knees together
and ask God to show them what they are each
contributing to the conflict they are in, take full
responsibility for their part, and ask God to help them
find the help they need, then there is great hope for
both personal growth and resolution.

As God's Word says, "The Lord is near to all who call
on him, to all who call on him in truth."

Suggested Prayer: "Dear God, whenever I am in a
conflict situation, please help me to see my character
weaknesses so that I can bring these to you for your
healing, and lead me to the help I need to overcome
these issues. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 145:18 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

* * * * * * *
Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48817
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Dec 2013 - 17:00

Today's Daily Encounter
The Counterfeit Love of Codependency

"A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue
him, you will have to do it again."1

Codependency comes in many forms. One aspect is doing
for others what they should and need to do for
themselves. It may make the other person feel good for
the moment, and us important, but it keeps them
over-dependent on us. This kind of a relationship is
extremely unhealthy.

Another aspect of codependency is rescuing people from
the logical consequences of their negative behavior.
This, too, keeps them immature and over-dependent on
us. Furthermore, as long as we're covering for them,
why do they need to take care of themselves, resolve
their problems and recover? They don't. As Solomon
indicated, if we keep rescuing someone from their
problems, we'll have to keep doing it.

For every alcoholic (or other addict), who is already
over-dependent on his alcohol, they say there are four
codependent enablers supporting him and his addiction.
As long as they keep doing this, he never sees his need
to get better.

If he refuses to acknowledge his problem, get into a
recovery program, and resolve his problem, there comes
a time when those who are enabling him need to say
enough is enough! They need to exercise tough love,
quit protecting him or her, get out of the way and let
him crash! This is the most loving thing they can do
after they have tried every other avenue of tough love
and found that none of it has worked.

The bottom line of codependency is that need is
mistaken for love. The codependent needs to feel needed
in order to feel loved. But it's not love. It's need.
It may look like love and it may look very Christian,
but it's neither. Furthermore, the codependent person
wants to fix others to avoid facing his own issues. He
is addicted to the addict and is doing what he is doing
for himself. Always! His motive is awry.

Besides, when we allow people to stay over-dependent on
us, they never learn to become self-reliant, mature, or
dependent on God.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to know what my
motives are when I am helping others and not be a
people-fixer in order to avoid facing my own unresolved
issues, nor to confuse need with love. Help me to
accept full responsibility for my issues and quit
trying to rescue others who need to face their issues.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 19:19 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

* * * * * * *
Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

When You're Feeling Down

"My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according
to Your word."1 -- King David

It can be hard to believe that King David, the greatest
king in Israel's long history, with all his power,
riches and fame, at times felt downcast and depressed.
Many, if not most of us, at one time or another go
through times of depression. The causes can be varied
and many, all the way from the loss of one's job, the
loss of a loved one, the loss of one's home, the loss
of health, by a debilitating accident, or any of a
number of losses or negative circumstances. For most of
these situations the depression will give way to
sunshine as long as one learns how to deal creatively
with his or her emotions at these times, and not bury
or deny them. Repressed negative emotions can and do
cause havoc with one's life, feelings, physical health
and relationships. As John Powell reminds, when we
repress our emotions, our stomach keeps score.

However if the depression is long-term, it can be
caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Such
depression is nature's way of telling us that something
is wrong and needs help to overcome and resolve. For
instance, if we have stomach pains we need to see a
good doctor; if toothache, we need to see a dentist.
It's the same with long-term depression, we need to see
a highly qualified counselor. We don't feel it's wrong
or unchristian to see a medical doctor or a dentist
when such is called for, so it's important that we
learn to realize that it is also acceptable when there
is a need to see a counselor. It can be very unkind of
an insensitive Christian to tell a depressed person
that all he or she needs is to trust God more, or have
more faith, or even worse, to blame it on a demon (and
I've seen all of these done).

If you, or a loved one, is struggling with depression,
pray first that God will help you find the help you
need--preferable from a professional Christian
counselor, if any are available in your local area
(talk to your family doctor or to your pastor or priest
for the name of a qualified Christian counselor in your
area). Or if you live in North America, you could call
the Narramore Christian Foundation at 1-800-477-5893
and press "1" for Dianne and she can quite possibly
give you the name of a skilled Christian counselor or
two in your area. The important thing is to do
something about your need today. Putting it off rarely,
if ever, resolves such depression.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whenever I have a problem,
be it physical, relational, emotional, or spiritual,
please give me the courage to share my problem with a
safe and trusted friend who will pray for and with me
for the help I need to overcome my problem. And if it
is a loved one or friend who suffers from depression,
please help me to be 'as Jesus' to him or her and
lovingly share with them their need to seek
professional and qualified help. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Psalm 119:28 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

* * * * * * *

Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48817
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Dec 2013 - 21:13

Today's Daily Encounter

Life Can Be Beautiful

"And we know that all things work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are the called
according to His purpose."1

A friend wrote about holding her breath when she saw a
lady come sailing out of a local shopping center in a
wheelchair. "She was as happy and joyful as any mother
I had ever seen," my friend said.

In this handicapped mother's lap sat her little boy. He
laughed out loud as his mother did a fancy spin in her
wheelchair. Round and round they went, laughing with
delight as they disappeared into the crowd.

I realize that there are many tragic situations in this
life, as we live in a world that has been broken by
mankind's fall into sin, and all of life's "curses"
will not be put away until Jesus Christ returns for all
those who have put their faith and trust in him, and
accepted him as their Savior and Lord.

In the meantime, however, in thinking about the
handicapped women in the wheelchair, in so many of
life's situations, life can become beautiful for many
who have major setbacks in their life when they daily
commit and trust their life to Jesus Christ, and in
their mind and thinking choose to make the very best
with what they have, in spite of what they don't have.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the promise
in your Word that assures me that 'all things' do work
together for good for those who love you and who are
called according to your purpose. Please take my life
and make something beautiful out of it all for the
glory of your name, and please help me to love you with
all my heart, mind and strength. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Romans 8:28 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

* * * * * * *

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sat 14 Dec 2013 - 0:53

Today's Daily Encounter

More on Anger

"If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge.
Don't let the sun go down with you still angry--get
over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a
mighty foothold to the devil."1

What do you do when you get mad? Do you explode and
"blow your top"--or try to hide how you are truly
feeling? Do you deny being angry altogether, or just
say you are upset, or do you go quiet and withdraw, or
act in a phony saccharine sweet manner? Or do you
handle your anger in a healthy and creative way?

Anger, for many of us, isn't easy to handle, but when
we deny it, try to hide it, or repress it, it comes out
in many self-destructive ways such as a negative and
critical attitude, nagging, sarcasm, personal or
marriage conflicts, or many physical symptoms such as
ulcers, asthma, arthritis, heart ailments or any of a
score of others.

There is nothing of itself wrong with anger. It is a
God-given legitimate and needed emotion. For instance,
we ought to get angry at evil and at actions that
destroy people. Recall how Jesus dealt with the money
changers who misused God's temple. He drove them out
with a whip.2 It's what we do with our anger and how we
handle it that counts. It isn't helpful or right to
lash out and hurt others. Neither is it helpful or
right to nurse our anger (grudges). As today's
Scripture reminds us, it is important that we resolve
anger (and all negative emotions) as quickly as
possible.

To handle anger creatively--that's the key. For help be
sure to read the article, "Taming Your Anger" at:
www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=61&d=1&c=5&p=1.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have
created me with many emotions all of which are needed
for healthy and creative living. Whenever I am hurt or
angry, deliver me from the sin of denial, and please
help me to be honest about my feelings, admit what I am
truly feeling, and learn how to handle them in a
creative, loving and healthy manner all for your glory.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:26 (TLB) (NIV).
2. John 2:15.

<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

* * * * * * *


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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Dec 2013 - 21:05

Today's Daily Encounter
How's Your Self-Concept?

"From everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is
with those who fear [reverence] him, and his
righteousness with their children's children."1

If I were to give you nine compliments and one
criticism, chances are that that one criticism would
affect you much more than the nine compliments I gave
you. This is because most of us don't have a perfect
self-image. If we did, criticisms would rarely bother
or upset us.

Psychologist Dorothy Briggs wisely pointed out that the
way we feel about ourselves affects our entire life:
our happiness, marriage, work, personal relationships,
creativity and stability.

In other words one's self-concept is the mainspring
that steers every child and every person to success or
failure as a human being. A healthy self-concept and
self-image is therefore one of the greatest gifts we
can find for ourselves and pass on to our children.

The self-concept is basically comprised of three parts:
(1) The self-image; that is, how we picture or see
ourselves; (2) Self-esteem which is how we feel about
ourselves; and (3) Self-worth, that is, how much we
value ourselves. All of these add up to one's level of
self-acceptance, which is how well we love and accept
ourselves in a healthy way. Unfortunately, as long as
we don't love and accept ourselves, it is very
difficult to believe and feel that anyone else loves
and accepts us.

God's design for each of us was to learn self-love and
acceptance when growing up through unconditional love
from our parents. However, if we didn't receive this
then, it is essential that we receive it now. And how
do we do this? First, realize that we can only ever
feel fully loved and accepted to the degree that we are
known. Second, we thus need a loving, safe, and trusted
person, group, or counselor with whom we can be totally
open and honest confessing all of our weaknesses,
failures and sins--as well as our strengths--and be
known, loved and accepted for whom we truly are. Third,
through such supportive friends and their unconditional
love and acceptance, little by little, we learn to love
and accept ourselves in a healthy and non-conceited
way.

Finally, we also need to learn to love and accept
ourselves in the same way that God loves us. He knows
us fully and, no matter what we have ever done or
failed to do, He loves us unconditionally as we are. At
the same time, however, he loves us too much to leave
us as we are, because His plan for each of us is that
we grow to become whole and mature in every area of
life.

To know and experience God's love, we first need to
accept His forgiveness and be sure that we are a true
Christian. For help to do this, see the article, "How
to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to know and
experience your unconditional love, and through your
love and that of supportive and trusted friends, learn
to love and accept myself in a healthy way. And please
use me to be a safe and trusted supportive friend to
others who also need to experience your love and
develop a healthy self-concept … all for your glory.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 103:17 (NIV).

Note: For further help see the article, "Developing a
Healthy Self-Image" at:
http://www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=123&d=1&c=5&p=1.

<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

* * * * * * *
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Dec 2013 - 20:26

Today's Daily Encounter
Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about
everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for
all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace
will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ
Jesus."1

Imagine yourself in a wide-open field being chased by a
tiger. Your brain gets the message and your adrenal
gland starts pumping furiously, preparing you for
instant flight. You run for your life. While you are
breaking the world record for five hundred meters, you
burn up all that excess adrenalin.

But what happens if you're living all the time in a
state of fear, worry, or anxiety? You become stressed
out. This upsets the chemical balance in your body
which, in turn, eventually causes you to pay for it
through some kind of sickness or a physical breakdown.
Stress is a killer. We need to learn how to keep it
under control. To do this the following five "positive
don'ts" will help:

1. Don't ignore your well-being. Discipline yourself to
live a well-balanced life. Be sure to see the "Balanced
Life" wheel and article at:
http://www.actsweb.org/balanced.php.

2. Don't bottle up (repress) your feelings. Learn how
to share them with a trusted friend. And remember when
it comes to negative emotions, what we fail to talk out
creatively, we end up acting out destructively in one
way or another.

3. Don't ignore your physical health. Follow a healthy
and well-balanced diet, and be sure to get plenty of
vigorous physical exercise which, among many other
benefits, helps burn up excess adrenalin.

4. Don't ignore your social needs. We were created to
be in relationships with others. Remember, too, when
Jesus was on earth, almost all of his ministry was in
relationship with the twelve disciples. And with three
of these, Peter, James and John, he had a close
relationship, as he did with his friends, Mary and
Martha.

5. Don't ignore your spiritual life. Learn to trust God
with every area of your life, and live in harmony with
God's will and follow Christ's example: "And Jesus
increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God
and man."2 That is, when on earth Jesus developed
intellectually, physically, spiritually, and
emotionally. A very healthy example and model to
follow.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to trust my
life and way to you every day, and be sure to get all
of my legitimate needs met in healthy ways, so that I
will always resolve every problem in my life, and
experience your peace no matter in what circumstances I
find myself. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT).
2. Luke 2:52 (NIV).

<Smile)))><

NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

* * * * * * *

Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 10 Dec 2013 - 23:47

Today's Daily Encounter

Family Communications

"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in
every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of
his body, the church."1

A friend shared with me saying, "My husband is a good
man in many ways. He's given me everything a woman
would want: a lovely home, a good car, everything to
make my life comfortable, plus freedom to do my own
thing."

"You must be really happy then," I said.

"You'd think so," she replied, "but I'm not. I feel
that Bill has given me everything but himself. I know
that he loves me, but when I try to share my feelings
with him, he clams up or changes the subject. So how
can I tell him how I feel without making him feel
threatened? I just wish that we could really talk."

We men need to realize that closeness and intimacy come
from being open and honest, not just with our thoughts,
but primarily with our inner self; that is, our
emotions/feelings, and open in communicating at this
level. So how do we learn to do this?

First, we need to learn how to get in touch with and be
connected to our feelings--our inner self--and stop
hiding our real self behind defenses such as being a
workaholic, a talk-aholic, an intellectual-aholic, or
even a religious-aholic, or a perfectionist, and so on.
To be close, not only to people, but also to God, it is
imperative that we are connected to our inner self. As
God's Word states, "Behold, You [God] desire truth in
the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make
me to know wisdom."2

Second, we need to bring back the wonder that we had as
a small child--one of life's richest emotions. To do
this, take time to smell the roses. Plant a tree. Pick
a flower. Take it to your loved one. Write a poem.
Listen to music that touches your heart. Draw or paint
a picture with your non-dominant hand (it doesn't even
have to be good). Climb a mountain. Let your hair down.
Do something a little crazy. Get out of your comfort
zone. Have fun. Go see a funny movie. Laugh. Go see a
sad movie. Cry. The tragedy is that if we are out of
touch with our wonder, we are most likely, instead of
loving people and using things, to end up unhappily
loving things and using people.

Third, take time to be with your spouse and children or
close friends. Hug them often. Tell them that you love
them. Take time to talk and even more time to listen to
them. Encourage them to tell you what they are feeling.
Listen with your heart. Give them your presence; that
is, your full attention. And please, as another has
said, don't be cursed with the affliction to give
advice when your spouse (or anyone else) is sharing
her/his feelings with you! Giving advice where it is
neither asked for nor wanted is being what Webster's
Dictionary calls "officious." It's also being
obnoxious!

Fourth, join a good therapy, support, or twelve-step
recovery group where it is safe to share your struggles
and express your feelings without being criticized or
put down, or given unsolicited advice. This is an
excellent way to learn by others' example and by
practicing it yourself.

Fifth, if you feel closed down, you may need to get
into counseling. Sharing feelings is something that is
learned. If it weren't learned in childhood, it needs
to be learned now. We all need teachers for this.

Finally, pray a prayer such as the following: "Dear
God, please help me to see and accept the inner-truth
about--and be connected to--my true inner self. And
please help me to learn how to communicate openly and
honestly with my loved ones and to close friends, and
always 'speak the truth in love' so that I will become
more and more like Christ in every way. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:15 (NLT).
2. Psalm 51:6 (NKJV).

<Smile)))><

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 9 Dec 2013 - 20:10

Today's Daily Encounter
Healing of Damaged Emotions  

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for
each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a
righteous person is powerful and effective."1

Dr. S. McMillen told of a patient of his who had an
asthma attack whenever he heard a church bell ring. Why
was this?

"Several years before, while waiting for his bride to
arrive at the church, just as the church bell was
ringing, he heard that his fiancée had changed her
mind. The emotional shock brought on a severe attack of
asthma.

"In the years that followed, every time he heard a
church bell, he was seized with an asthma attack."

This is just one of endless ways in which painful
memories can cause sickness, emotional problems,
negative reactions, or broken relationships for which
inner healing of damaged emotions is needed.

Speaking personally, when I was only five years old, my
little sister took sick suddenly and died. I'm sure
people meant well and tried to comfort me in my loss by
telling me that Jesus took her to be with him in
Heaven. Unfortunately that didn't comfort me because
for many, many years every time I said the name of
Jesus my stomach would cringe. I could say Jesus
Christ, or just Christ, but I couldn't say Jesus
without over-reacting. And, as a small child, this also
left me with a deep fear of getting into close
relationships because I feared if I loved someone, they
would leave me.

So how did I overcome? I wish I could give you a
quick-fix-simple answer, but I can't. 

First, I needed to acknowledge my problem and learn why
I couldn't say the name of Jesus without cringing, and
also why I was so afraid to love. The biggest challenge
was breaking through my defenses, because my fear and
damaged emotions were deeply buried. Second, I prayed
earnestly that God would face me with the truth of what
was the root cause/s of my fear. Third, I also prayed
that God would lead me to the therapy help I needed
because I knew that if I didn't resolve my fear, I
would keep running from love for the rest of my life.
Consequently, I did need a considerable amount of
in-depth therapy to resolve and overcome my damaged
emotions. However, while breaking through my defenses
was very painful, it was well worth it and very
freeing. 

Finally, and most important of all, I had to genuinely
want to be healed and be willing to do everything I
needed to do in order to be healed. As Jesus said to
the sick man, "Do you want to be made well?"2 The fact
is, the half-hearted are never willing to pay the price
for healing and never make it. We have to want healing
with all of our heart. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in all of life's struggles
please confront me with the truth of what I am in any
way contributing to the situations I am in, knowing
that facing the truth is the beginning point of being
healed and set free.3 Thank you, too, for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 5:16  (NIV).
2. John 5:6 (NIV).
3. John 8:32.

For additional help, read the article, "Overcoming
Damaged Emotions" at:
www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=72&d=1&c=4&p=1,
also "Forgiveness, the Power That Heals," online at:
www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=1&d=1&c=4&p=1. 

I also encourage you to listen to the CD message,
"Healing, Wholeness and Happiness," by yours truly.
This can be purchased online at:
http://actscom.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16.
Also read the book, "You Can't Fly With a Broken Wing"
at:
http://actscom.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=14.

For counseling resources see:
www.actsweb.org/counseling_resources.php.

<Smile)))><    
  
  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.

  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sat 7 Dec 2013 - 0:25

Today's Daily Encounter
Godspell: God’s Good News, Part 2  

Yesterday we noted that the gospel, God’s good news, is
not a message about religion but, first of all, it is a
message about God. Second, it is a message about
mankind’s weakness; that is, his sin. 

Third, the gospel is a message about Jesus Christ. God
is not only a God of absolute holiness, but also a God
of perfect justice. Because of this, all sin has to be
judged, and as God’s Word says, “The wages [penalty] of
sin is death,"5 which, as already noted, is not the
cessation of one's existence, but eternal separation
from a holy God, the creator and author of all love and
life, in the place the Bible calls “hell." The reality
is that if God didn’t judge sin--all sin--he wouldn’t
be just, and he wouldn’t be a holy God.

Mercifully for us, the gospel is not only about God
being a God of absolute holiness and perfect justice,
but also about God being a God of infinite love.
Because of God's infinite love for us, he gave his own
Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty (wages of sin),
which is death, and he did this for every one of us. 

To do this, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
temporarily laid aside his “external garments" as it
were, and came to earth in the form of a man, and
willingly died in our place on the cross of Calvary to
pay the penalty for all our sins. Furthermore, because
Jesus was without sin, he was the only one qualified to
die to pay the penalty for mankind’s sins. Had there
been any other way to save mankind, Jesus would not
have had to die for us. 

Fourth (and finally), the gospel is a summons to faith
and repentance. The really good news is that God's gift
of forgiveness and eternal life is available to all who
will accept it. Here's how to do this:We need to
believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he
died in our place to pay the penalty for all our sins.
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved"6
declares the Word of God. 

We need to confess our sins to God and ask for his
forgiveness. God's Word also says, "If we confess our
sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."7

We need to repent. That is, we need to turn from sinful
and selfish ways to follow God and his ways. Jesus
said, "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe
the good news."8 That is, we need to turn from sinful
and selfish ways and make a commitment of the will,
with God's help, to follow God and his ways.

We need to receive Jesus as our Savior. God's Word
says, "To all who received him [Christ], to those who
believed in his name, he gave the right to become
children of God."9 God's Word also said, "That if you
confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe
in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you
will be saved. For it is with your heart that you
believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth
that you confess and are saved."1

Admitting and confessing your sins, believing that
Jesus died to pay the just penalty for all your sins,
inviting Jesus Christ into your life to be your Lord
and Savior, accepting God's forgiveness, and turning
from sinful ways to live God's way is what makes you a
real Christian. This is what Godspell--God's good news
is all about! 

Jesus said, "Here I am! I stand at the door [of your
heart and life] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and
opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he
with me."11

If you have never invited Jesus into your heart and
life, asked for God's forgiveness, and made a
commitment of your life to him, I would like to give
you that opportunity today. The following prayer will
help you to do this: 

"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry
for all the sins and wrongs that I have done. I believe
that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay
the penalty for my sins. Please forgive me for all my
sins. I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and
life to be my Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my
life and will to you. Please give me the desire to be
what you want me to be, and to do what you want me to
do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your free
pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name,
Amen."

If you prayed this prayer and truly meant it, please
let us know by filling in the form at:
http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php. (Be assured that
we have a strict privacy policy and will never give any
of your information to anyone.) Or for further help
read "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. Romans 1:16 (NIV).  2. John 3:16 (NIV).  3. John
10:10 (TLB).  4. Romans 3:23.  5. Romans 6:23.  6. Acts
16:31 (NIV).  7. 1 John 1:9 (NIV).  8. Mark 1:15 (NIV).
 9. John 1:12 (NIV).   10. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV). 11.
Revelation 3:20 (NIV).

<Smile)))><    

  Copyright (c) 2013 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
  ACTS International.
  
Today's Daily Encounter
Winning over Temptation  

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into
temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is
weak."1

Temptation! A very common problem for all mankind and
is something we all struggle with at one time or
another--and perhaps will always struggle with it in
this life. As God's Word reminds us, "No temptation has
overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God
is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what
you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also
provide a way out so that you can endure it."2
Furthermore, "But each person is tempted when they are
dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to
sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to
death."3

So the question we ask today is, "How can we win over
temptation?"

First, at the beginning of every day pray this prayer
with sincerity: "Dear God, again today I commit and
trust my life and way to you, please help me to become
the person you want me to be, and help me live today to
glorify you in everything I do." 

Second, avoid going to places where you know very well
you will most likely face temptation.

Third, temptation gets ahold of us in our thoughts.
Realize that what the mind dwells on the body acts on,
so guard your thinking. My number one defense for
changing my thinking, when facing temptation, is to
keep repeating the following statement: "Jesus Christ
is Lord. Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and
is Lord of my life." As long as I concentrate my
thoughts on Jesus Christ as being Lord of my life,
shortly my thinking changes and the temptation
dissipates.

Furthermore, Satan and his demons hate hearing the
statement that Jesus Christ is Lord and that he is the
Son of the Living God. 
As God's Word advises, "Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
admirable--if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy--think about such things."4

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I confess that my flesh is
weak so please help me to remember when I face
temptation, that no matter what the temptation is, you
always provide a way of escape so that I won't be
overcome. Help me to remember at such times to confirm
in my thoughts and words that 'Jesus Christ is Lord and
is Lord of my life," and in so doing, with your help,
overcome any and all temptations. Thank you for
providing this way of escape and for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Matthew 26:41 (NIV).
2. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV).
3. James 1:13-15 (NIV).
4. Philippians 4:8 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 5 Dec 2013 - 0:56

Today's Daily Encounter

Godspell: God's Good News, Part 1  

In the first century AD in a time of severe persecution
of the early church and Christians by the rulers of the
Roman Empire, the Apostle Paul, being anything but
politically correct, stated unequivocally, "I am not
ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God
for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for
the Jew, then for the Gentile."1

But what is the gospel that Paul was not ashamed of and
was so convinced of its reality that he was prepared to
face persecution and death? As Webster's Dictionary
explains, the meaning of "gospel" is "Godspell, God
story, or good news." Thus, the gospel is the good news
about God's plan of salvation for mankind. 

First, the Gospel is a message about God. The gospel is
not a message about religion. It's about having a right
relationship with God. Religion, or "religiosity" tends
to want to fix us from the outside in. God wants to fix
us from the inside out. The first can become an
impossible burden. The latter is what brings freedom.
Neither is the gospel a set of rules and regulations.
It is experiencing God's love, acceptance, and
forgiveness--and learning to communicate these to every
life we touch.

It helps to realize that God isn't out to zap us for
the wrongs we have done. In fact, no matter what we
have ever done or have failed to do, God loves us with
an everlasting love and has a wonderful purpose for our
lives--for this life as well as the next! As Jesus
said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one
and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not
perish but have eternal life."2 And again, "My purpose
is to give life in all its fullness."3

Second, the Gospel is a message about sin. Many people
understandably ask, "If there is a God and if he is a
God of love, why does he allow so much suffering,
sickness and sorrow in today's world?" Without sounding
too simplistic, this is because we have all sinned and
separated ourselves from an infinitely holy God.4 It's
not that God left us, but rather, that we left God and
separated ourselves from him. In so doing, we separated
ourselves from his protection. 

Another misconception about God is that he is out to
punish us for our sins when, in fact, we bring sin's
punishment on ourselves because sin has its own natural
consequences. If we try to break the universal law of
gravity, for instance, we can't. It will break us.
Neither can we break God's universal moral law. When we
do, it breaks us and, besides its painful effects in
this life--suffering, sorrow, sickness and physical
death--its ultimate and tragic consequence is spiritual
death, which is not the cessation of life, but a life
after death that is eternally separated from God in the
place God's Word calls "hell," 

To be continued….

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your "good
news" message that you have for me in that, no matter
what I have ever done of have failed to do, you love me
unconditionally and totally. Please help me to grasp
this truth in the very depth of my being. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name amen."

1. Romans 1:16 (NIV).
2. John 3:16 (NIV).
3. John 10:10 (TLB) (NLT).
4. Romans 3:23.

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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 3 Dec 2013 - 23:49

Today's Daily Encounter

Creative Imagination  

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you
know that the testing of your faith produces
perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that
you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."1

Mary looked through her kitchen window then frowned.
"Those workmen," she fumed, "have dumped a load of
trash right outside the back door."

Then the children came and shouted with delight! They
saw, not a load of trash, but a glorious heap of play
material.

Watching and listening, mother soon saw the children
change the trash dump into a gleaming spaceship
complete with excited astronauts--all done through the
power of imagination.

Does life for you seem dull and ugly right now? Do you
have a "trash dump" staring you in the face? With God's
help and the power of imagination you, too, can create
a new image of what your life can be.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in all the challenges of
life, please help me see beyond the immediate situation
and imagine, with your help, what my life can become;
one that is perfect [mature] and complete. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 1:2-4 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 3 Dec 2013 - 0:02

Today's Daily Encounter
The Choices We Make Make Us  

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a
man sows, that he will also reap."1

Recently Joy and I caught up with an old friend we
hadn't seen for about three years and were shocked when
we saw her. A few years ago she made a very bad moral
choice which ultimately backfired on her. As a result
she became very depressed and let herself run down
emotionally, physically, and also spiritually. It was
very sad to see her condition. I couldn't help but
think how the choices we make make us what we become.

In my youth I recall how I was challenged to serve God
with my life and am extremely thankful to God that I
made that choice. That one choice totally changed my
life--both for this life and the next. I don't know
where I would be today had I not made that major
life-changing choice. I can't say that every choice I
have made since then has been a good or a wise one.
However, for every choice I have made, I have always
reaped the consequences.

As another has wisely said, "It's choice--not
chance--that determines our destiny." This is true for
every individual--unless one is mentally impaired.

The reality is that we all make many choices every day.
Most of these are simple choices, but from time to time
we are called to make major choices which, in turn,
always have major consequences for good or bad
depending on the choices we make.

However, there is one choice that is, by far, the most
critical of all of life's choices for it affects not
only this life, but also one's life after death. It is
the choice to follow and serve God, and to receive His
forgiveness for all our sins, without which there is no
entry whatsoever into God's Heaven. As God said to the
ancient Israelites, "Choose you this day whom you will
serve."2 We, too, are called to make this same choice.

To help you make this choice, be sure to read the
article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/christian.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have
made it possible so that I can choose to accept and
serve you. Please help me to make that choice, not only
for today, but for all eternity. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Galatians 6:7 (NKJV).
2. Joshua 24:15 (KJV).

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
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  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Nov 2013 - 17:07

Today's Daily Encounter
Thanksgiving  

First, on this Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. Joy and I
wish you and your family a most gratifying and
memorable day. There is so much we have to be thankful
for, not only for God's unending blessings, but also
for the affirmation and encouragement we have received
from so many of our Daily Encounter readers.

Thank you for reading and for thinking about our
writings. We also want to thank those of you who have
taken the time to send in your comments and
suggestions; and finally, a very special thank you to
all our prayer and financial support partners as you
are the ones who make Daily Encounter available without
charge to our well over a third-of-a-million worldwide
subscribers.

May God richly bless you in his own abundant way,

Dick and Joy Innes

* * * * * * *

"It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing
praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your
lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness
every night."1

"Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden
hair; I envied her--she seemed so happy, and how I
wished I were so fair; When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle; she had one foot and
wore a crutch, but as she passed, a smile. Oh God,
forgive me when I whine, I have two feet--the world is
mine. 

"And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who
served me had such charm; he seemed to radiate good
cheer, his manner was so kind and warm; I said, 'It's
nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find'; he
turned and said, 'Oh, thank you sir.' And then I saw
that he was blind. Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I
have two eyes, the world is mine. 

"Then, when walking down the street, I saw a child with
eyes of blue; he stood and watched the others play, it
seemed he knew not what to do; I stopped a moment, then
I said, 'Why don't you join the others, dear?' He
looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could
not hear. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two
ears, the world is mine. 

"With feet to take me where I'd go; with eyes to see
the sunsets glow, with ears to hear what I would know.
I am blessed indeed. The world is mine; oh, God,
forgive me when I whine."2

As many readers will realize, today in the USA is
Thanksgiving Day…a day when friends and family all
across this land will join together in a great day of
feasting, but I cannot help but wonder how many of us
will be truly thankful--I mean truly thankful to God
for the abundant blessings he has given to those of us
who live in free countries. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give to me a
thankful heart--a heart to remember your lovingkindness
every morning and your faithfulness every night--and
that your blessings are new every morning and your
faithfulness is unto all generations. And above all
else beside I thank you with all my heart and soul that
your 'so great salvation' and gift of eternal life is
available to 'whosoever will may come.' Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Psalm 92:1-2 (NKJV).
2. Source Unknown.

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Today's Daily Encounter
Letting Go to Receive  

"Whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find
it."1

"True love is like quick-silver," said Ann Landers, "if
you hold it in the palm of your hand, it will remain.
If you try to grasp it, it will slip through your
fingers." Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he
said, "Whoever will save his life will lose it: and
whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

In other words, when we cling to life to live only for
ourselves or cling to another person out of our
over-dependent need, we lose what we need the most:
Love. This is because we have mistaken need for love.
Only as we let go of unhealthy need, are we free to
love.

In other words, do I love you because I need you or do
I need you because I love you? The first is unhealthy
and immature; the second is healthy and mature.

Only as we learn to love without strings attached do we
find genuine love and the fullness of life.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to resolve all of
my unresolved issues so I don't cling to others or do
things out of unhealthy immature need, so I am free to
let go and learn to fully live and fully love. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen." 

1. Matthew 16:25.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 28 Nov 2013 - 0:16

Today's Daily Encounter
Show Me--Don’t Tell Me  
"If you love me keep my commandments."1

"A ruthless businessman once said to author Mark Twain,
"Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy 
Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the Ten
Commandments aloud from the top."

"I have a better idea," Twain remarked, "You could stay
home here and keep them."

Talk is cheap. It's what we do that counts--not what we
say--and when our words don't match our actions, we
are, as the Apostle Paul put it, as empty vessels and
clanging cymbals.

One of the best lessons I learned from one of my many
teachers was the written comment he seemed to relish
writing in bold red letters in the column of several of
my written assignments. It simply read, "Show me. Don't
tell me." I got the message!

I've never forgotten that lesson. It really applies to
all of life's lessons we want to impart to
others--especially to our children! Whatever we want to
teach others we need to model ourselves before we can
make any lasting impact on anybody else; otherwise what
we say is unbelievable and the only person we deceive
in the long run will be ourselves.

As a general rule, we teach best that which we
ourselves most need to learn. And the place to begin
modeling what we want to teach is at home!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to model the kind
of person you want me to be … a better
father/mother/child … friend … partner … business
person … and Christian so that people seeing what you
have done in my life will want the same for themselves.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. John 14:15.
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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
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Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
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  and made possible through the donations of 
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Today's Daily Encounter
You, too, Can Get Bigger  
"Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises
again."1

As M. Dunham wrote, "Sir Edmund Hilary was the first
person to conquer Mt.  Everest. The first time he
tried, he failed. He was knighted by the Queen of
England, and at the gala occasion, on the wall behind
the head table, was a huge picture of Mt. Everest. The
people gave him a standing ovation for even daring to
attempt the climb. When they ceased applauding, Hilary
turned his back to the audience, faced that picture and
said, "Mt.  Everest, you have defeated me once and you
might defeat me again. But I'm coming back again and
again, and I'm going to win because you can't get any
bigger, Mt. Everest, and I can."*

Great attitude! What a difference it would make if we
felt the same when we face the mountains in our lives.
The reality of life is that we often learn more through
our failures than we do through our successes.
Successes are satisfying and they are important to keep
us encouraged. However, failure is our greatest
teacher. This is because in every failure there is the
opportunity to learn, to grow, and to become stronger,
better persons. And this is what God wants for each of
us--not to beat ourselves up when we fail, but to grow
stronger!

Whatever mountain you are facing at this time of your
life--large or small--remember God is right there with
you. If anything is his will for you, you know that
with his help you, too, can say to your mountain, "You
have defeated me once and you might defeat me again.
But I'm coming back again and again, and I'm going to
win because you can't get any bigger and I can. Plus
God is on my side to help me."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, grant me the courage to
face every mountain in my life and, with your help,
never give up until I conquer each one and learn what
you are seeking to teach me. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

*NOTE: Actually I believe Mt. Everest is growing a tiny
fraction each year, but the illustration is valid re
the point Sir Edmund Hilary was making. 

1. Proverbs 24:16.

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
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  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
 
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  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2012
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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Nov 2013 - 23:20

Today's Daily Encounter
Why Worry?  

"Casting all your care on God because he cares for
you."1

"Worry, like a rocking chair," said Vance Havner, "will
give you something to do, but it won't get you
anywhere." Or as somebody else has said, "Worry is the
advance interest you pay on troubles that seldom come."

According to Ken Anderson, nine times out of ten, the
worrying about something does more damage to the one
who worries than the thing he or she is worrying about.

Anderson continues, "Modern medical research has proved
that worry breaks down resistance to disease. More than
that, it diseases the nervous system--particularly that
of the digestive organs and of the heart." Concern is
needed to keep us on track with our responsibilities,
but worry, like stress, is a killer.

An examination of 500 patients in a British clinic
showed that more than one-third of their visual
problems were caused by emotional tension. And a survey
of some 5,000 university students showed that worriers
get the lowest grades.

The word "worry" comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word
meaning to strangle or to choke. While we need to be
attentive to life's concerns, worrying about them
"chokes" the joy out of life. "Worrying is like driving
a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other
foot on the brake."

One antidote for worry is trust and trust is a choice.
When things aren't going well and I am prone to worry,
I keep praying until the storm passes: "Dear God, I
choose to trust you in this situation no matter how I
feel." In time my feelings catch up with my choice and
the worry gives way to calm. Meaningful worship,
supportive relationships, sharing my feelings with a
trusted friend, physical exercise, proper diet, deep
breathing relaxation exercises and sufficient rest all
help--plus learning to pray about the causes of my
worry and not just the symptoms is a major key in
learning to win over worry.

   All the water in the world
   However hard it tried,
   Could never, never sink a ship
   Unless it got inside.
   All the hardships of this world,
   Might wear you pretty thin,
   But they won't hurt you, one least bit
   Unless you let them in.2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I choose to trust you no
matter what. Please help me to always act responsibly,
face and resolve any causes in my life that are at the
root of my worrying, and leave the outcome to you of
the many things in my life over which I have little or
no control. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. 1 Peter 5:7.
2. Anonymous.

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  NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
  for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
  Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
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