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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 1:52 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Being Nice or Being Christian?  

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a
spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."1 

In training for Christian ministry I recall one of my
professors stating that every church had a church boss;
that is, someone or a small group who, often behind the
scenes, control the happenings of the church. This
isn't usually the pastor or priest. Today we call these
people control freaks. They have a neurotic need to
control others in order to feel okay about themselves,
when in reality they do this because deep down they
don't feel okay about themselves. They are very
insecure.

William Easum calls them bullies. After years of
consulting with churches he said, "I have seen a
disturbing pattern: Most established churches are held
hostage by bullies. Some individual or small group of
individuals usually opposes the church's making any
radical change, even if it means the change would give
the church a chance to thrive again. Courageous pastors
often ask, 'What do I do when one or two persons
intimidate the church so much that it is not willing to
try something new?'"2

Easum's response was either to convert them, neutralize
them, or kick them out. To which some cry, "That's not
very Christian." 

The point is that sometimes (not always, by any means)
we Christians are just too nice. That's more because we
are too afraid to stand up to bullies and call their
bluff--not because we're Christian. We'd rather keep
the peace than rock the boat. 

True, we are to be loving, but that doesn't mean we
always have to be nice. I recall hearing an employer
share how he was accused of not being Christian by an
inept employee he was firing. So he said to the
employee in question, "Well I'm going to lovingly fire
you." If, after being given several warnings and help
to improve, an employee is not pulling his or her
weight, it isn't loving to let him off the hook. In
fact, it is reinforcing his irresponsibility, which is
anything but loving. Neither is it loving to allow
bullies to control a church. 

So let's not confuse loving with being nice. Jesus was
always loving and compassionate as this was his nature,
but he wasn't always nice. Think how he turned over the
tables of the money changers--merchants who were
ripping off the poor in the house of God, no less--and
drove them out of the temple with a whip, and how he
scathingly scorned the religious bigots who loved their
doctrines more than they loved people, and used their
teachings to control people for their own ends. 

Jesus knew the value of tough love. Not that it's easy.
In fact, it can be very difficult, but we need to
exercise it too when such is called for. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I confess that I am often
afraid to exercise tough love for fear I won't be
liked. Please help me to overcome my fear and give me
the courage to exercise tough love when tough love is
what is required. And give me the insight and grace to
know how to do this in a firm but loving manner. Thank
you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV). 
2. William Easum, "On Not Being Nice 'For the Sake of
the Gospel,'" Net Results, April 1997. 

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 08 Jun 2017, 10:13 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Giving God Flowers  

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever
you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me.'"1 

On one occasion when, Joy, my wife, had been away for a
few days visiting family. I wanted to welcome her home
by buying her flowers as an expression of my love and
to show how pleased I was to have her home. 

That same morning when I was having my devotions I knew
I was going to be buying flowers for Joy so I prayed,
"God, I'd like to give you some flowers today, too, as
an expression of my love and to let you know how
grateful I am to you for all you have done and do for
me." 

And how do you give God flowers? 

Well? it was a Saturday morning so I was out early to
do some shopping at our local hardware store as I had
chores around the home to fix. As I was walking to my
car, I heard a voice behind me, looked around, and
there was a clean-cut young man (about
early-twenty-something) sitting on the curb. He wanted
to know how he could get a taxi back to Camp Pendleton.
He'd been waiting for about an hour and none had turned
up. He was a marine and needed to get back to camp--so
I said, "Jump in my car. I'll take you."

It was about a 50 mile round trip--but I think that was
my opportunity to give God flowers. The soldier's name
was Jason. I gave him one of my business cards, which
has a link to our online gospel message, and invited
him to visit our website. Please pray for Jason. 

Have you given God any flowers lately? And husbands,
have you given your wife any flowers lately? As Jesus
said, as often as you show a kindness to anyone, you do
this as unto me. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me today in some
way--no matter how small--to give you flowers by
showing a kindness to a fellow sojourner in his or her
moment of need. And grant that they will get a glimpse
of Jesus in me, and will want Jesus for themselves.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." 

1. Matthew 25:40 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
avatar
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 9:34 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Servant Authority  

Jesus said, "The greatest among you will be your
servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."1

Brett Blair shares how "Robert Fulghum, who wrote 'All
I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,' says
that he placed alongside the mirror in his bathroom a
picture of a woman who is not his wife. Every morning
as he stood there shaving, he looked at the picture of
that woman. 

"The picture? The picture is of a small humped-over
woman wearing sandals and a blue eastern robe and
headdress (sari). She is surrounded by
important-looking people in tuxedos, evening gowns, and
the regalia of royalty. It is the picture of Mother
Teresa, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize! 

"Fulghum said he keeps that picture there to remind him
that, more than a president of any nation, more than
any pope, more than any chief executive officer of a
major corporation, that woman has authority because she
is a servant!"2

According to Jesus' words, Mother Teresa, at the time
of her receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, was quite
likely the greatest among all those surrounding her.
Fortunately, there are multiplied thousands of others
around the world serving God in humble ways with
limited means, who, without earthly recognition or
fame, are great in the eyes of the Lord. God doesn't
call many of us to fame and fortune, but he calls us
all to be faithful in serving him with the gifts he has
given to us. And if perchance, what we do gains us
recognition, fame and/or fortune, let that be used to
glorify God in the serving of others. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whatever my calling,
whatever my lot, whatever my circumstances, and
whatever my gifting, help me to use all to serve others
and glorify you. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Matthew 23:11-12 (NIV).
2. "Giving," Brett Blair at www.eSermons.com 

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
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Posts : 48477
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 06 Jun 2017, 9:11 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Purpose of Life  

"Then he [Jesus] said to them, "Watch out! Be on your
guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not
consist in the abundance of his possessions."1

It's an age-old question that mankind has been asking
since time immemorial: "Where did I come from? Why am I
here? And where am I going?" In other words, "What is
the purpose of life?" 

In Western society, for vast multitudes the purpose of
life is materialism, the accumulation of riches and
material possessions that, without a deep spirituality,
will ultimately lead to soul hunger and spiritual
emptiness. Even Christians are not exempt from this
hunger for material possessions. Results from a survey
of 3,450 lay people and pastors by the National Council
of Churches of Christ, conclude: "As people see it, the
main thing blocking church support simply is a
surpassing urge for more affluent living. Rival
attractions seem to be gaining more of the religious
dollar."2

For hedonists the purpose of life is finding happiness
and yet, more often than not, searching for happiness
as an end in itself is like looking for the proverbial
pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 

Sadly, for multiplied millions in some third-world
countries their purpose in life is simply struggling
for survival, and that is understandable. 

Perhaps the highest purpose of man is found in the
Westminster Catechism which says: "The chief end of man
is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." 

Referring to our souls, in Living a Life that Matters,
Harold Kushner writes, "Our souls are not hungry for
fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry
for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how
to live so that our lives matter, so that the world
will be at least a little bit different for our having
passed through it."3

If our chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him
forever, we will achieve this by "feeding our souls on
spiritual food" and serving others that will, in turn,
make our life matter. We will not have lived in vain.
And eternity waits to welcome us home with our Savior's
words, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter
into the joy of your Lord." 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me love you with all
my heart, mind and strength, and so live that my life
will matter and make a difference in the life of many
others for all eternity. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Luke 12:15 (NIV). 
2. Adapted from Dean R. Hoge and David A. Roozen, "Some
Sociological Conclusions about Church Trends," in
Understanding Church Growth and Decline. Cited on
www.eSermons.com.
3. Cited by Michael Josephson in Character Counts
www.charactercounts.org.

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 31 May 2017, 1:55 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Shipwreck From Within  

Today in the US wecelebrate Memorial Day. A special
"Thank You" to all the men and womenwho serve in our
Armed Forces who make it possible to live in a
countrywherethere is peace and freedom.


"Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep
your conscience clear. For some peoplehave deliberately
violated their consciences; as a result, their faithhas
been shipwrecked."1

"Victor Hugo, who is famous for his novel the Hunchback
of Notre Dame,also wrote a story called "Ninety-Three."
It tells of a ship caught ina dangerous storm on the
high seas. At the height of the storm, thefrightened
sailors heard a terrible crashing noise below the deck.
They knew at once that this new noise came from a
cannon, part of the ship's cargo, that had broken
loose. It was moving back and forth with theswaying of
the ship, crashing into the side of the ship with
terrible impact. Knowing that it could cause the ship
to sink, two brave sailors volunteered to make the
dangerous attempt to retie the loose cannon.They knew
the danger of a shipwreck from the [loose] cannon was
greater than the fury of the storm."2

Life's certainly like that. Not always, but more often
than not, it isn't the storms without that cause us the
most problems, but the storms that rage within us--such
as a spirit of bitterness, jealousy, pride, greed and
soon. Other "loose cannons" are unresolved hurt, anger,
a lack of  forgiveness, guilt, lust, and so on. These,
if not confronted and resolved, can readily cause
shipwreck of our relations, our faith, oreven our life.
Some "loose cannon people" in organizations also need
tobe brought under control before they destroy "the
ship."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your Word,
the Bible, that reminds me to live with a clear
conscience. Please confront me with any issue in my
life that could, if unresolved, lead to shipwreck of my
faith, relationships, and even of my life. Thank You
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Timothy 1:19 (NLT).
2. Brett Blair, Cited on www.eSermons.com 

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
  

Today's Daily Encounter
Listen to Your Heart  

"When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be
silent."1

Melody Beattie in her book, The Language of Letting Go,
emphasizes the importance of contemplating what is on
your mind first thing when you wake up in the morning?
What is it in that half-asleep, half-awake place? Are
you troubled about something? Is there some
responsibility you have neglected and is bothering you?
Is it a project you've wanted to start but have kept
putting it off? Is it an unhealthy relationship you are
in and you know that you need to either resolve or end
it? Is it a destructive habit or sin that you feel
convicted about?

Whatever is on your mind at this time is coming from
your inner self, your unconscious mind, or it may be
from God's Spirit. It may be revealing an issue you
need to deal with, or a project you've been thinking
about starting for months. Listen to that voice and do
what you know you need to do about it. Don't put it
off. Take care of it each day.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You have
given me a heart (an inner self) for insight and
intuition as well as a head for thinking and knowing.
Please help me use both in harmony with the leading of
Your Holy Spirit. And help me to search my heart and
hear what Your Holy Spirit might be saying to me. Give
me discernment to know what is valid, and the courage
to act on that which is. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 4:4 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48477
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 25 May 2017, 10:48 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Cognitive Dissonance  

"Temptation is the pull of man's own evil thoughts and
wishes ... [that will] lead to evil actions."1

Did you ever stop to think that what the mind dwells on
the body acts on! 

Consider, for example, how temptation works. A thought
comes to mind from seemingly nowhere--maybe from
ourselves or from the tempter. We choose (mostly
unconsciously) to harbor and dwell on that thought and,
as we do, it hooks into our emotions, and the more we
think about it, the stronger we feel about it. Then we
begin to visualize in our mind what we want to do and
then, unless we make a conscious choice to stop
thinking about it, we give in to the temptation.

The battle is won or lost in the mind before we ever
act out the temptation.

One of many dangers in continually giving in to
temptation is, as another has pointed out: "If we don't
live the life we believe, we will end up unhappily
believing the life we live." 

We do this because as long as we don't consistently
live the life we believe, our mind experiences what is
called "cognitive dissonance"; that is, mental
disharmony. Because we can't tolerate this mental
conflict, we can end up changing our beliefs to match
our behavior and rationalize everything we do--a
dangerous path to follow. The Bible calls the
consequence having a dead conscience.2 

In other words, "If we don't live the life we believe,
we will end up unhappily believing the life we live"--a
dangerous and self-destructive way to live.

No wonder the Bible teaches us to "take captive every
thought to make it obedient to Christ."3 And,
"...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

When I am battling a temptation, I like to pray, "Jesus
help" or "Holy Spirit help." When I am consistent with
this prayer and truly mean it, soon the tempting
thoughts leave my mind. This is a simple way to "take
captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to guard against
harboring negative thoughts that could lead me into
temptation and sin. Help me to remember to look to You
for Your help, and to dwell on positive and wholesome
thoughts that will lead to positive and wholesome
living. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 1:14-15 (TLB)(NLT).   
2. James 1:15.    
3. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV).   
4. Philippians 4:8 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48477
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 24 May 2017, 10:56 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Baffling Call of God  

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall
I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am
I. Send me!'"1 

While it doesn't have to do with age, another thing I
struggled with in earlier days was how would I know if
God was calling me to some kind of Christian ministry?
I went to my pastor for counsel. His advice was: "If
God is calling you to Christian ministry, then you'd
better do it. If he isn't, you'd better not!" Good
advice but it didn't answer my question. I came away as
confused as when I went in. 

Perhaps the most helpful counsel I received came from
Oswald Chambers who described God's call as being like
"the call of the sea to the sailor. Only he who has the
nature of the see within can hear that call."

In other words, a man who is "called" to be a sailor
has, metaphorically speaking, salt water in his veins
and he cannot rest until he launches out to sea. So it
is with the call of God, one cannot rest until he or
she steps out from the safety of the shore and launches
out into the deep of what he believes God is calling
him or her to do. 

Another test is the same as it would be for a musician.
Are you gifted for what you believe you are being
called to do? For instance, I don't think God calls
people who can’t sing on key to be soloists or choir
members. As a general rule, although not always,
friends can help you face this test realistically; that
is, they can see if you are gifted for what you think
you are being called to do. 

Another excellent test is to try doing what you feel
called to do. For example, when I feel God is leading
or calling me to do something, I try doing it in a
small way to see if it is from God or from myself. I
would rather put it to the test and be wrong than,
through fear of failure, never step out and try it to
see if it is of God. You may need to test what you feel
called to do several times because anything worthwhile
rarely comes easily. I suggest others do the same. Only
you can test what you feel and believe is your call.

Be assured, however, if God has called or led you to do
something, he will help you. But we have to do our part
too--and get the training necessary to do well what we
are gifted for and called of God to do. As a general
rule, answering God's call and doing his will is
something we will delight in doing--even if it takes a
while! As the psalmist wrote about Jesus saying, "I
delight to do Your will, Oh my God."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a receptive
heart and a listening ear to hear what You might be
calling me to do--no matter what that might be. Give me
the courage to step out and test it and, if it be of
You, get the training I need to do my job as well as
possible for Your glory and the benefit of others.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Isaiah 6:8 (NIV).
2. Psalm 4:8 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 23 May 2017, 6:18 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Test the Spirits  

"Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to
see whether they are from God."1 

How can we be sure when and if God is speaking to us?

When I was a young Christian I wanted to serve God and
sometimes felt He was telling me to do something.
However, this "still small voice" within sometimes had
me very confused and in bondage. In time I came to see
that this "voice in my head" was not from God at all
because, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
freedom,"2 and I had no freedom. 

One's inner "voice" may come from God's Spirit, or it
can come from ourselves (our own compulsions), or from
the tempter. If the tempter knows he can't pull us down
into acting out in destructive sinful behaviors, he may
try to "push us over the top" where we become "so
heavenly minded we are no earthly use."

To know where one’s "inner voice" is from, we need to
learn how to discern between a conviction and a
compulsion, or recognize if the "voice" is from the
tempter. With a conviction from God I am drawn and
always have the freedom to say no. With a compulsion I
am driven and feel that "I have to" do what the "inner
voice" is demanding of me. If from the tempter, we know
that it is a voice wanting us to do what we know is
wrong and sinful.

Some people try to justify what they want to do by
claiming God told or led them to do it. Or they don't
do what they don't want to do because God didn't tell
them to do it--even though it is a clear directive of
God's Word. No wonder that the Apostle John advised in
the Bible, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits to see whether they are from God."


First and foremost, God speaks to us through his Word,
the Bible, and never in any way contrary to it. He also
speaks or leads through various circumstances, as well
as through inner convictions. If it is from God, it
will be in harmony with his Word and there will be a
sense of freedom. If it is contrary to God's Word or
any type of compulsion we can know it isn't God
speaking to us and we need to reject it. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me a spirit of
discernment so that I will always recognize when You
are leading me, or if I am being driven by a compulsion
from within myself or from without by the tempter.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 John 4:1 (NIV).
2. 2 Corinthians 3:17 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 22 May 2017, 5:41 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Success vs. Significance  

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of
Christ."1

Michael Josephson of Character Counts talks about the
difference between success and significance. He says,
"The irony is that living a life focused on the pursuit
of significance is so much more gratifying than one
devoted to the treadmill of success. Whatever
sacrifices are involved tend to enlarge rather than
diminish personal satisfaction.... Quite simply, it
feels good--really, really good--to be valued and
valuable.

"So, people who pursue significance are concerned with
making the most out of their lives. They help others
not only for the sake of those they help but for their
own sake. When we use our mental and material resources
to make a positive difference in the lives of others,
we are rewarded with a sense of satisfaction that's
hard to get any other way. Success can produce
pleasure, but only significance can generate
fulfillment."2

Sounds like good advice to me--as does the timely
advice attributed to Stephen Grellet, the
Franco-American Quaker (1773-1885)--who said: "I expect
to pass through this world but once. Any good thing
therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can
show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now; let me
not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way
again." 

We don't have to be famous to be significant. Every
kind deed, kind word, thoughtful action, is
significant. Added up over a lifetime, in God's eyes
they make a life both significant and truly successful.


Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from
wanting to be successful only in human terms, but
rather significant and successful in Your eyes by being
'as Christ' in some way to every life I touch. So help
me God. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Galatians 6:2 (RSV)(NIV).
2. Michael Josephson, "A Road Map to Significance,"
Character Counts (324-2), www.charactercounts.org.

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 18 May 2017, 9:37 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Is the Bible the Word of God? Part II  

Regarding the Coming Messiah: "But you, Bethlehem
Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of
Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to
be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting."11 

Yesterday we mentioned a number of fulfilled biblical
prophecies, all of which help verify the validity of
God's Word, the Bible. Today we want to mention several
more relating to major events that were still to come
at the time they were predicted.

Hundreds of years before Christ came to planet Earth,
both David and Isaiah predicted in specific detail the
sufferings of Christ and the manner of his death.
David, referring to and "speaking for" Jesus Christ,
wrote in the Psalms, "They pierced my hands and my
feet."12 This is precisely what happened when Jesus was
crucified on a Roman cross. 

Isaiah also predicted the fall of the then mighty
Babylonian Empire, saying it would be conquered by the
nation of Media. He predicted permanent extinction for
Babylon. The site has been deserted since the fourth
century B.C.13 (However, Saddam Hussein began the
rebuilding of the city of Babylon, which Revelation
18:21 said will once again be "thrown down, never to be
found again.") 

Evidence from Israel. The nation of Israel is one of
the clearest evidences for the validity of God's Word,
the Bible. Its history is a continual story of biblical
prophecy being fulfilled. 

Some fifteen hundred years B.C., God said through Moses
that Israel would turn from him [God] and be driven by
enemies from their homeland. God said, "I will bring
the land into desolation ... I will scatter you among
the nations ... your land shall be desolate, and your
cities waste."14

The result? In 721 B.C., the ten northern tribes of
Israel were taken into captivity by Assyria, and in 586
B.C. the two southern tribes by Babylon. Seventy years
later a small remnant of 40,000 Jews returned to Israel
while the rest were scattered throughout the world. In
A.D. 70 Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, and the
remnant of Israelites was dispersed among the nations.
Israel then became desolate as predicted 1,600 years
before. 

God's word also stated that the nation of Israel would
be restored, saying, "Neither will I destroy them
utterly."15 "For I will take you from among the
nations, and gather you out of all countries and will
bring you into your own land."16 "I will restore the
fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild
the ruined cities and live in them again,"17 and the
nation "will blossom as the rose."18

The people of Israel have survived heinous atrocities
committed against them by the Assyrians, the
Babylonians, the Greeks, the Romans, Hitler and others.
Their repeated survival against overwhelming odds and
the rebuilding of their nation--which is still taking
place at this time--twenty-five hundred years after God
said that it would happen--is irrefutable evidence of
the validity of the Bible. 

To be continued ....

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for the numerous
prophecies in the Old Testament section of the Bible,
all of which have been fulfilled, which in turn verify
the validity of Your Word, the Bible. Thank You, too,
that this gives us the assurance that all future
prophecies regarding the return of Jesus to earth --
and the promised home of Heaven -- will also all be
fulfilled as stated in Your Word, the Bible.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

11. Micah 5:2 (NKJV).  12. Psalm 22:16 and Isaiah 53.
 13. Isaiah 13:5-22.  14. Leviticus 26:32-33.  15.
Leviticus 26:44.  16. Ezekiel 36:24.  17. Amos 9:14
(TLB)(NLT).  18. Isaiah 35:1.

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 13 Jan 2017, 12:29 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Make the New Year Count The Apostle Paul wrote, "One thing I do: Forgetting
what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I
press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God
has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."1

Wishing all our Daily Encounter readers a very Happy
and Prosperous New Year. Obviously, the past is behind
us. We can't undo it even if we wanted to, but we can
start the New Year with hope and purpose, keeping in
mind the words of Minnie Haskins who said, "And I said
to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me
a light that I may tread safely into the Unknown.' And
he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand
into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than
light and safer than a known way.'"

I couldn't think of a better way to start the New Year
and, with God's help, "Let this coming year be better
than all the others. Vow to do some of the things
you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time.
Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and
replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make
a promise you don't think you can keep. Walk tall, and
smile more. You'll look ten years younger. Don't be
afraid to say, 'I love you.' Say it again. They are the
sweetest words in the world."2

As each year rapidly passes I'm becoming more aware of
the fact that life is short for all of us. So be sure
to make 2017 an investment in eternal values knowing
that, in the words of the poet, we have "Only one life
'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will
last."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for another New
Year in which to serve You. Please help me to invest it
wisely in eternal values so that when I stand before
You face to face, I will hear Your welcome words: 'Well
done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of
your Lord.' Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV).
2. Ann Landers.

<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.

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545
San Clemente, California 92673-0119
U.S.A.

Phone: 949-940-9050
http://www.actsweb.org
Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
ACTS International.


Today's Daily Encounter

A Voice in the Night "Sit up!" the voice in the night said, "and take a deep
breath." It was a stormy night, a personal friend
shared, and we were awakened by an extremely loud clap
of thunder. After the initial fright, checking the kids
and the house, we went back to bed and to sleep. Then
came the voice. I was certain I heard someone speaking.
"Sit up and take in a deep breath," it said. I only
half-awoke and thought I must have been dreaming, so
rolled over and went back to sleep. The voice spoke
again with more insistence, "Sit up and take in a deep
breath." "This is weird," I thought so again rolled
over and went back to sleep. "SIT UP! Take in a deep
breath!" the voice spoke again with great urgency. So I
sat up and took in a deep breath ... and smelled smoke!
I was fully awake in an instant ... awakened my husband
... rushed to wake the children ... we had the oldest
one phone 911 (for emergency) ... my husband took over
the phone ... the operator asked if the lights were
working ... my husband said they were going out one
room at a time. "Get OUT of the house immediately,"
declared the operator. "Your house has been struck by
lightning." As quick as a flash the family rushed
outside ... immediately the house exploded and burst
into flames. It took firemen six hours to put the fire
out. The house was totally destroyed ... but the entire
family was saved. Talk about a wake-up call! Surely
this was a God thing. Fortunately the members of this
family were committed followers of Jesus Christ and
even though they lost their house, their lives were
saved. God doesn't usually speak to most of us with an
audible voice. He doesn't have to because his wake-up
call is spoken to us repeatedly in his Word, the Bible.
"Wake up!" God says to every one of us, "Flee from the
wrath to come" (God's judgment of sin and evil for the
world that has turned from God will be judged and
purified by fire). Wake up, "It is appointed unto man
once to die and after this the judgment." Wake up, "I
will come again," Jesus promised "to take all who
believe in me to be with me in heaven forever." "Wake
up," Jesus is coming again ... it may be today. Are you
ready? Again Jesus said, "I stand at the door and
knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I
will come in...." Whatever you do don't miss God's
wake-up call. Have you opened the door of life and
invited Jesus, the Son of God, to come into your heart
and life as your God and your Savior? If not, may I
urge you to do that today ... right now ... by praying
a simple prayer such as the following: Suggested
prayer: "Dear God, I hear Your wake up call as faint as
it may be. I confess that I am a sinner and ask for
Your forgiveness. Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the
cross to pay the penalty for all my sins. I invite You
to come into my heart and life as my God and my Savior.
With your help I repent of and turn from my sinful
ways. Thank You for hearing my prayer, for forgiving me
of my sins, and for coming into my heart and life as my
Savior. Help me to live for You always in all ways.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: If you prayed this prayer, please let us know by
clicking on http://tinyurl.com/pgntm and we will send
you articles (without charge) to help you in your
Christian life. (Be assured that we will never give any
information about you to any other person,
organization, or business.)

For more help Click ON: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9 for
the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real
Christian--without having to be religious." <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.

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545
San Clemente, California 92673-0119
U.S.A.

Phone: 949-940-9050
http://www.actsweb.org

Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

Thorns That Don't Prickle

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these
surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a
thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment
me."1

"Around the turn of the century a young man named Ole
took his girlfriend on a summer outing. They took a
picnic lunch out to a picturesque island in the middle
of a small lake. She wore a long dress with about a
dozen petticoats. He was dressed in a suit with a high
collar. Ole rowed them out to the island, dragged the
boat on to the shore, and spread their picnic supplies
beneath a shady tree. So hypnotized was he by her
beauty that he hardly noticed the hot sun and
perspiration on his brow. Softly she whispered to him,
'Ole, you forgot the ice cream.'

"Ole pulled the boat back to the water and rowed to
shore. He found a grocery store nearby, bought the ice
cream, and rowed back to the island. She batted long
eyelashes over deep blue eyes and purred, 'Ole, you
forgot the chocolate syrup.'

"Ole got back into the boat and returned to the store
for syrup. As he rowed back toward the island, suddenly
he stopped. He sat there in the boat the rest of the
afternoon, fascinated by an idea. By the end of that
afternoon, Ole Evinrude had [in his mind] invented the
outboard motor. And by the way, Ole later married the
girl who waited so long on the island."2

As the old saying goes, when life presents you with a
lemon, turn it into lemonade! For the Apostle Paul his
"thorn in the flesh" (whatever it was) was used by God
to keep him humble and effective in his work for the
Lord. For me personally (as I've shared before), it was
when I felt God put me on the shelf that I turned to
writing for something to do--I'm still writing some
fifty years later. In every challenge, setback,
failure, discouragement, there is an opportunity. When
you face a daunting challenge or a major setback in
your life, with strong desire, commitment to God's
purpose for your life, and seeking His direction, you,
too, will discover what your opportunity is.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, when I'm faced with a
challenge, setback, or discouragement, please help me
to discern what opportunity You have for me in it, and
then pursue it with all my heart. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 12:7 (NVI).
2. From http://www.esermons.com/.

<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.

* * * * * * *

Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545
San Clemente, California 92673-0119
U.S.A.

Phone: 949-940-9050
http://www.actsweb.org

Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 03 Nov 2016, 7:37 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Feeling Close to God  

"God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps
reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far
from each one of us. 'For in Him we live and move and
have our being.'"1

A Daily Encounter reader writes: "I wonder if you could
give me some advice. Sometimes I feel as though God
doesn't like me and seemingly does everything to make
my life a living nightmare. I have done all that I can
to change my life and repent for all the things that I
have done in my past, and yet I still don't feel the
warmth of God's love. Is it possible that it has
anything to do with my not being christened or
baptized?" 

"Of one thing you can be certain, God loves you totally
and unconditionally no matter how you feel, what you
have ever done or have failed to do. Be assured, too,
that it isn't God who causes our problems. We happen to
live in a broken, sinful world where we all face trials
and go through tough times. We won't be delivered from
tribulations until we get to heaven. 

"In the meantime, God wants us to keep growing towards
wholeness so we can overcome many of our personal
struggles. 

"Also, when God feels far away, it isn't God who has
moved. The barrier is in us. Neither does it have
anything to do with whether or not we were christened
or baptized. While Jesus picked little children up and
blessed them, He didn't christen them, and (though some
will disagree with me) as far as I know there is
nothing about being christened as such in the Bible,
and while baptism is important, not being baptized
doesn't cause God to distance Himself from us. 

"When God feels far away, it can be caused by
un-confessed sin and/or by persisting in doing things
we know that are out of harmony with God's will. More
often than not, however, that barrier has more to do
with our impaired relationship with others, and
especially so if it was with our parents in our
developmental years. For those who had a close, loving,
warm relationship--especially with their father--it is
very easy to feel that God, the Heavenly Father, is
also close, loving, and warm. But for those of us who
felt that our father was distant, cold, and/or
punitive, we tend to project that onto God the Heavenly
Father and feel that He, too, is cold, distant, and
punitive. I've had to wrestle with this problem, too,
so I can understand how you feel. 

"To overcome, you not only need to confess your sins to
God, but you also need to have an open, honest, and
trusting relationship with other men--or at least with
one soul brother with whom you can share all your inner
thoughts, feelings, victories and failures--one who
will not judge, criticize, put you down, or tell you
what you should or shouldn't feel or do, but one who
will love and accept you just as you are. Ask God to
give you such a soul brother. As we grow closer to
others, we will be able to feel closer to God. (If you
are a woman, you need a soul sister for this type of
supportive relationship.)

"Also, be sure to commit and trust your life to God
every day no matter how you feel. Remember that God is
close to you whether you feel it or not. Learn to thank
God and accept this by faith regardless of how you
feel." 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You are not
far from me and please help me to find the help I need
so that I will be able to face and resolve any and all
barriers in my life that cause me to feel that You are
far from me--so that I will not only know in my head
that You are close, but feel your closeness in my
heart. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
 
 1. Acts 17:27-28 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 02 Nov 2016, 10:26 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Horse Sense  

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom
you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of
all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice. Be kind and
compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you."1

"On his radio broadcast Steve Brown explained that when
a group of thoroughbred horses face attack from an
outside enemy, they stand in a circle facing each other
and with their back legs, kick out at the enemy.
Donkeys, on the other hand, do just the opposite. They
circle up, facing the enemy, and use their hind legs to
kick each other! How often does the church [or
families] do the identical thing--ignore the real enemy
while attacking fellow believers?"2

An old cliché, but worth repeating, says, "The church
is the only army that shoots its wounded." This can be
especially applicable to some divorced people in some
church circles--even when the divorcee had absolutely
no choice in the matter. Some churches have fought and
split over their church music. Some denominations have
split over insignificant doctrinal issues. I've seen
bickering and backbiting destroy one church I know, and
I know one pastor who was "crucified" through idle
gossip started by a jealous, critical person. Most of
those church members would never have dreamt of
stealing this pastor’s transportation, which they would
have considered to be a terrible sin, but thought
nothing about stealing his reputation; and which did
the greater harm? 

Furthermore, when the name of someone we don't like
comes up, all we have to do is to say, "Oh him," in a
put-down-tone-of-voice, to sow doubt in someone's mind
about that person. And when we label people negatively,
we negate them. 

When we do these things, we are not acting like
thoroughbred horses! 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, deliver me from the sin of
gossip, slander, backbiting, and divisive behavior.
Help me to become a 'thoroughbred' Christian and not
like the other kind. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Ephesians 4:30-32 (NIV).
2. E. Glenn Wagner, Ph.D, The Awesome Power of Shared
Beliefs (Word Publishing, 1995).

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
 
Today's Daily Encounter

A Lawyer's Question  

"Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to
see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you
remember?"1

A lawyer whom I believe was sincere wrote, "As my
profession is a lawyer, when someone cites the Bible, I
always tend to think about different ways of
interpretation of the Word--such as during the times of
the inquisition." 

Good point. I think many people genuinely struggle with
the same question as there are so many different
interpretations of God's Word … and so many different
applications of the same passages. 

Answering a lawyer is out of my league; however,
suffice it to say that legalists (out of their own
insecurities and authoritarian stance) will use God's
Word to control people to get them to conform to their
(the legalist's) views and wants. 

Others claim that onlywhat "leaps off the page" of the
Bible, as it were, is relevant to themwhile the rest of
the Bible they basically and conveniently ignore.

One major problem is that we all interpret situations,
etc., on the basis of who we are and often on what we
want to see... and on how honest or dishonest we are
with our own selves. 

In other words, we all look at truth--including God's
Truth, the Bible--through our own warped lenses. The
more dishonest we are with ourselves, the more warped
our lenses will be, and the more warped our lenses, the
more we will distort all truth (including God's Truth)
to make it match our perception of reality--and thereby
interpret it to say what we want it to say.
Alternatively, the more honest we are with ourselves
(less defensive, etc.) the less warped will be our
lenses, and the clearer we will see all truth,
including God's Truth. I believe it is  impossible to
be intellectually honest without being personally
honest. 

If we want to interpret God's Word correctly and see
and hear what God is really saying, we need to start by
becoming courageously honest with ourselves. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be real,
authentic, and courageously honest with myself so that
I can see Your Word more clearly, and follow Your
directives more closely. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Mark 8:17-18 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 31 Oct 2016, 11:31 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

I Hate Baloney  

"For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:
'If a man will not work, he shall not eat.'"1

You may have read about the man, a construction worker
who took a sandwich out of his lunch bag, looked at it
and threw it on the ground, yelling, "Baloney again! I
hate baloney." A coworker said, "If you hate baloney so
much, just ask your wife to make you something else."
The man replied, "That's the problem. My wife didn't
make the sandwich. I did." 

Whether this story is true or not, doesn't really
matter. It's a great parable. 

As Michael Josephson in Character Counts said, "Lots of
people continually make their own baloney sandwiches
and then act as victims when it's time to eat them.
It's like the man who killed his parents and had the
audacity to demand mercy because he was an orphan." 

Or like the overweight man who kept eating hamburgers
and blamed and wanted to sue MacDonald's, and three
other hamburger chains for contributing to his obesity.
And like the lady who sued a store because she fell
over an unruly child and hurt herself--and the unruly
kid in question was her own child! The tragedy was she
won the case and was awarded something like $700,000!
We've gone sue crazy in this part of the world where I
live and much, if not most, of it is because of gross
irresponsibility and pure greed--wanting the rewards of
hard work at someone else's expense. 

I realize it can be extremely difficult (and sometimes
impossible) in tough economical times to get work, but
if work--any kind of work--is available and I don’t
want to work, nobody, including the government, is
responsible for paying me or feeding me … neither are
my parents…nor is society. As Paul implied, if I CAN
get any kind of a job but don't want to work or do
so-called menial work, then I don't deserve to eat. Let
me add, I've done some pretty menial work in my
time--working as many as three jobs at once in the
summer break and part-time through the school year to
put myself through college. Years later for several
years, I was working a second part-time job to
supplement my ministry income. 
 
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, if in any way I'm acting
irresponsibly and trying to get others to do for me
what I can and need to do for myself, help me to
confess up and accept personal responsibility. And if
I'm supporting an irresponsible child or person, help
me to wake up and motivate him/her to grow up. Thank
You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus's name, amen."

1. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 28 Oct 2016, 5:20 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Positive Side of No  

"But let each one examine his own work, and then he
will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in
another. For each one shall bear his own load."1 

Yesterday the Apostle Paul was telling us that we need
to "carry each other's burdens," and today, a few
verses later, he's telling us that each person needs to
carry his own load. Sure sounds contradictory … at
least on the surface. 

Actually, in yesterday's instruction, the word for
burden in the original language applied to a load or
burden that was too heavy for one person to carry
alone. The word for "load" in today's Scripture verse
means a load that one is quite capable of carrying
himself. 

Yes, we do need to help one another in times of need
when one’s burden is too heavy to carry alone, but
there are times when helping to carry another person's
load when he or she should be carrying it alone is not
helpful. 

These are the times when we need to say no, and it
applies to a very positive action. For instance, there
are some people who are takers. They take all they can
get and give little if anything in return. They are
self-centered and selfish. To do for them what they can
and need to do for themselves is not loving or helping,
but hurting them. It keeps us weak and reinforces their
laziness and selfishness. 

These people are so used to getting (manipulating to
get) their own way that they don't like taking no for
an answer. Chances are they will try to make you feel
guilty when you say no. If they do, a good answer is a
line from the country-western song that says rather
eloquently, "What part of no don't you understand? …
I'll be glad to explain!" 

Remember, too, we don't need to justify ourselves when
we say no. We just need to take a page out of Jesus'
book: "Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I
won't.' Your word is enough."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the wisdom
to know if and when I am being used and the courage to
say no when needed. And when another person tries to
pressure me to do something wrong, again give me the
courage to say, 'No, I won't.' Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

Note: For further help read, “Overcoming Codependency,"
at:  http://tinyurl.com/8p4t6

1. Galatians 6:4-5 (NKJV).
2. Matthew 5:37 (NLT).

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 10:21 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Soar with the Eagles  

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their
strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they
will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be
faint."1

Did you know that an eagle knows when the storm is
approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly
to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. 

When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind
will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the
storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The
eagle doesn't escape the storm; it simply uses the
storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that
bring the storm. 

When the storms of life come upon us--and all of us
will experience them--it may not be easy but we can
rise above them by setting our minds and our belief in
Jesus, our God--and daily committing and trusting our
life and way to Him. The storms do not have to overcome
us. We can allow God's power to lift us above them. God
enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring
sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our
lives. Remember, it is not the burdens of life that
weigh us down, but rather, how we handle them.2

As God’s Word says, “And we know that in all things God
works for the good of those who love Him, who have been
called according to His purpose."3 Admittedly, this can
take time. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to always hope and
trust in You so that, when the storms of life rage
around me, I will be able to soar like the eagle above
the turbulence and become a better, stronger and calmer
Christian as a result. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name. Amen."


Note: For additional help read “Lessons from Suffering"
at:  http://tinyurl.com/exuyw

1. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV).
2. Today's Daily Encounter was submitted by Dick Nichol
who has since lost his wife through cancer. Author of
the Eagle story unknown. 
3. Romans 8:28 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.

Today's Daily Encounter

He's Not Heavy--He's My Brother  

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will
fulfill the law of Christ."1 

You may have read about the time "when Sadhu Sundar
Singh and a companion were traveling through a pass
high in the Himalayan  Mountains. At one point they
came across a body lying in the snow. Sundar Singh
wished to stop and help the unfortunate man, but his
companion refused, saying, 'We shall lose our lives if
we burden ourselves with him.'

"But Sundar Singh would not think of leaving the man to
die in the ice and snow. As his companion made his
farewell, Sundar Singh lifted the poor traveler onto
his back. With great exertion on his part, he bore the
man onward, but gradually the heat from Singh's body
began to warm up the beleaguered frozen fellow, and he
revived. Soon both were walking together side by side.
Catching up with his former companion, they found him
dead--frozen by the cold. 

"In the case of Sundar Singh, he was willing to lose
his life on behalf of another, and in the process,
found it; but in the case of his companion who sought
only his own well-being, he only lost it."2

As the caption of the painting (housed at Girls and
Boys Town National Headquarters in Nebraska) of the
"Two Brothers" commissioned by Father Flanagan back in
1943, and copied from the original statue done in
sandstone, says, "He ain't heavy, Father … he's m'
brother."

When we treat a needy person who crosses our path as
our brother (or sister), the rewards of carrying them
until they can get on their own two feet will far
outweigh the burden of the load. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to treat
each person You bring into my life as a brother and/or
sister and be willing to help them when they need a
helping hand, to help lift their spirit when they need
an encouraging word, and to help carry their load when
it is too heavy for them to bear alone--as You have so
wonderfully done for me. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Galatians 6:2 (NIV).
2. Source 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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 12:04 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Resolution or Repetition  

"When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had
been in this condition for a long time, he asked him,
'Do you want to get well [made whole]?'"1

A Daily Encounter reader whom I will call Janice wrote,
"I am at my wit’s end, please I need your help. I was
sexually abused by a family member from the age of 6
years to 13 years old and then he died. I was always
the child who was either fighting with the neighbors,
my brother or sisters, and this led to getting a
thrashing with a belt on many a night. I fell pregnant
at the age of 18, a year out of school, and got married
…." 

Janice's marriage was a disaster--with abuse,
rejection, affairs. She was divorced … remarried …
another disaster … divorced again … married again …
another disaster … another divorce … 'same man' only
with different names. 

While Janice's story is extreme, she is not alone. I
have taught in divorce and grief recovery workshops for
a number of years and have seen too many singles repeat
the same mistake over and over. 

As I said to Janice (and have written many times), what
we don't resolve we are destined to repeat. We have two
choices--either resolution or repetition. 

We need to realize that we are basically attracted to
other people (especially romantically) on the basis of
who we are. The one I am attracted to is a match of me
in that "the bumps on my head match the holes in her
head." All too soon I begin to see the holes in her
head, but fail to see the bumps on mine! 

Because Janice was abused as a child and a teenager,
she is drawn to abusive men--in an unconscious attempt
to "make things right this time." It never works. 

As painful as it is to admit, we are as sick (or as
healthy) as the people we are attracted to. Until we
admit this and look at the bumps/holes on/in our head
and quit blaming our partner for our relational
difficulties, and get into a healthy recovery program,
chances are that we will continue to keep repeating the
same mistakes. 

The important thing to realize is not to look for the
right partner but to become the right partner, for only
happy, healthy people find happy, healthy partners.
Furthermore, only to the degree that we are made whole
will our lifestyle, actions, attitudes, and
relationships become wholesome. Realize too, that while
God wants us to be made whole, He usually works through
others to do this. We were damaged in damaging
relationships and find healing in healing
relationships. 

If you (or someone you know) can identify in some way
with Janice, I urge you to seek wise counseling to help
you face and resolve the issues in your life that are
causing you to have failed or unsatisfying
relationships. Life is too short to live in the
constant pain of impaired and hurtful relationships.
Such can not only destroy the quality of your life, but
also take years off your life. 

If you live in North America and need the name of a
Christian counselor in your area, call the Narramore
Christian Foundation for a counselor near you. The
number is 1-800-477-5893 Ex 227. Tell the receptionist
that Dick Innes suggested you call. Don't delay. Make
that call today. Or if you live overseas, you can
receive free lay counseling with New Hope Counseling
online at: http://www.newhopenow.org/.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to grow and
become whole in every area of life so that my life and
relationships will be truly wholesome. May I settle for
nothing less. And please lead me to the counseling I
need to help me so that my life will become a living
testimony of Your saving power and help. Thank You for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen."

1. John 5:6 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 7:18 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Getting Rid of the Gunk  

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom
you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of
all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice."1

Ron Ledford reports how "each year thousands of
tourists journey to Mount Rushmore National Memorial
that is carved above the town of Keystone in
southwestern South Dakota. It is there that the images
of four of the great presidents of the United States
are carved in granite.

"What the average tourist does not realize is the
constant work that goes on to keep this giant sculpture
from deteriorating. For one week in September workers
go over this magnificent piece of art removing bird
nests, pulling shrubs that have grown in the crevices
in the rock. But the most important task of all is
filling the hundreds of natural rock fissures that
crisscross the executive figures. Workmen carefully
fill these cracks with a special mixture of white
granite dust, linseed oil, and white lead. If these
fissures were left unattended, the autumn rains and
melting snow could creep into the rock and freeze, thus
shattering a president's image."2

Our life is like that too. We need to constantly be on
guard against all things that in time, if not put away
or cleaned up, could destroy our Christian walk and
testimony, and eventually lead us far from God. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to be aware of
anything in my life that is not pleasing to You and is
harmful to me and my testimony for You. Let Your Spirit
convict me of these things and lead me to confession
and 'cleaning up my life.' Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Ephesians 4:30-31 (NIV).
2. Ron Ledford. Cited by King Duncan www.sermons.com. 

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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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 8:30 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Little Things--Big Consequences  

"And then He [Jesus] told them, 'Go into all the world
and preach [communicate] the Good News to everyone,
everywhere.'"1

Ron Clarke of Tasmania, Australia, asks, "Have you ever
been to the south coast of England? If not, you may
have seen pictures of it or can remember the wartime
song 'There'll Be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of
Dover.' These white cliffs are composed of chalk. Chalk
is formed by the shells of very tiny animals called
'Foraminifera', meaning 'hole-bearers'. They are so
called because their small shells are pierced with
little holes. Thousands of years ago there were
trillions of these little creatures in the sea. As they
died, their shells fell to the sea floor and formed a
layer that gradually became thicker and thicker. Then
followed an earthquake and pushed the layer upwards to
form chalk cliffs. 

"These cliffs are being destroyed by another small
shellfish called a 'Piddock'. This creature can twist
its shell rather like an awl or drill bit to make holes
in the chalk. They attack the cliffs just above high
water, and as the seas pound against the cliffs, they
are weakened and eventually collapse in a landslide. A
naturalist, writing about Piddocks, said that Britain
is an island because of the work of Piddocks. Britain
was once joined to the continent of Europe, and over
thousands of years Piddocks have destroyed the chalk
cliffs to form the English  Channel. 

"This piece of trivia highlights what great things [or
destructive things] can be achieved by very tiny
creatures, and how much can result from very little. It
would have cost billions to excavate the English 
Channel, but the humble Piddock did it alone."2

As we noted in yesterday's Daily Encounter, we all have
a part to play in God's service--no matter how small
that may be. Your and my contribution is all a part of
God's greater plan and a part of what He is doing in
the world today. We can't improve on God's plan. The
smartest thing to do is to get in on it. And a vital
part of His plan, as Jesus commissioned each of us, is
to "go into all the world and preach [communicate] the
Good News to everyone, everywhere." 

And that starts right where we are by being 'as Jesus'
to every life we touch … and by joining hands and
hearts with those who are reaching the lost with the
lifesaving gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I'm available. Please make
me usable and use me to be 'as Jesus' in some way to
every life I touch, and be ready and prepared to share
Your plan of salvation as opportunities arise. And
please help me to be sensitive to these opportunities.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

NOTE: Please join with us as a People Power for Jesus
partner … there is no charge. For more information go
to: www.actsweb.org/people_power. “When many people
each do a little, together we can accomplish great
things for God." Also, be sure the check out ACTS
business witness cards ... a simple way to share the
gospel ... at: https://actscom.com/wcards_store.php. 

1. Mark 16:15 (NASB).
2. Ron Clarke, www.pastornet.net.au/word4week.  

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 20 Oct 2016, 3:15 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

How to Please God  

"He also who had received two talents came and said,
'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have
gained two more talents besides them.' His lord said to
him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have
been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler
over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'"1 

In God's economy there is a place of service for every
single member of His family; that is, for every
individual Christian in the church, or what the Apostle
Paul called "the body of Christ." Every one of us is
equally important. As Paul said, "The eye cannot say to
the hand, 'I don't need you!' And the head cannot say
to the feet, 'I don't need you!'"2

And every one of us has at least one gift with which to
serve God. The important thing is to know what your
gifting is and put it to good use serving God … first
at home … then in the church and Lord's work … and in
some way everywhere you go. For example, if you have
the gift of encouragement, you can use that anywhere. 

You are probably familiar with the words of Henry Van
Dyke who said so simply yet so eloquently: "Use what
talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if
no birds sang except those that sang best." 

If you aren't sure what your gifts are, ask yourself
what is it that you like doing best and are good at
doing? Or ask those who know you best, as they will see
or sense what you are good at doing. Or you can take a
spiritual gifts inventory such as is found at:
http://www.fbchsv.org/biblestudy/gifts/gifts_inventory.html


Remember, too, that people are the "instruments" God
uses to get His work done on earth and, like a doctor's
scalpel, the sharper the instrument, the more effective
work God can do with the instrument. For example, if
you have a desire to write, sing, teach, preach, or be
a "butcher, baker or candlestick maker" then get the
training necessary to be the best at what you like
doing best. Then seek ways to use your gifts even if in
seemingly humble ways to begin with. My job for several
years as a young teenager was to collect and put away
the hymn books in our small countrified church after
every service. 

When we are faithful in the little things, God will
lead us to bigger things if we so desire and are so
gifted. Regardless, every responsibility is of equal
importance in God's service, and we will be rewarded,
when Jesus comes, not according to our gifting but
according to our faithfulness.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to know what my
gifts are, get the training I need to sharpen them, and
find a place where I can put these to best use in
serving You--and thereby help make my world a better
place in which to live. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. Matthew 25:22-23 (NKJV).
2. 1 Corinthians 12:21 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 8:52 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Planned Abandonment  

"He [Jesus] was in the world, and the world was made
through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to
His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many
as received Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God, to those who believe in His name."1

Michael Josephson tells how "management guru Peter
Drucker advocates a practice he calls planned
abandonment. He stresses how important it is that
managers develop the wisdom and courage to regularly
review what the organization is doing and determine
whether it's worth doing. He urges executives to note
and resist the systemic and emotional forces that make
it difficult to abandon activities that drain
resources, detract from central goals, or otherwise
impede progress." 

This same principle needs to be applied, not only in
the business world, but also to many areas of life.
Some of us, for example, who are codependent need to
come to our senses and abandon our neurotic need to
rescue an addict from the natural consequences of
his/her self-destructive behavior.

Sadly, some so-called Christian churches that teach a
toxic type of religiosity that controls people and
keeps them in the bondage of legalism also need to be
abandoned. 

Remember the religious people of Jesus's day? They were
expecting and waiting for their long-promised Messiah
(Savior), but, because Jesus didn't come the way they
expected Him to come and do what they expected Him to
do, they failed to recognize their Messiah when He
came, rejected Him, and had Him crucified. They were
blinded by their own man-made religious traditions and,
instead of abandoning them, they clung to them
tenaciously. How tragic. 

Unfortunately, some are still doing this today. 

If our religious beliefs and/or traditions are man-made
and are not in harmony with God's Word, we need to
summon our courage to abandon them and come to Jesus,
the Savior of the world, and follow Him. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see any
self-destructive behaviors I may have and give me the
good sense and courage to abandon these ways. And if
any of my beliefs and faith are not in harmony with
Your Word, please help me to see the truth, abandon my
long-held misleading religious beliefs, and come to
Jesus and follow Him. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

Note: For god’s way of salvation see “How to Be Sure
You’re a Real Christian" at:
http://tinyurl.com/real-christian.

1. John 1:10-12 (NKJV).

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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
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 8:10 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

If You Loved Me ... Yeah ... Right!  

"It is God's will that you should be sanctified [set
apart unto God]: that you should avoid sexual
immorality; that each of you should learn to control
his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not
in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know
God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his
brother [or sister] or take advantage of him [her]. The
Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have
already told you and warned you."1

A Daily Encounter reader writes, "I have a male friend
who doesn't accept the restrictions in the Bible
regarding celibacy before marriage. He says that if he
loves, cherishes, and respects the woman, it should be
okay to have sexual intimacy. I told him that there are
Bible verses regarding this, but have only found some
and have trouble explaining further. Can you please
help me and will you please consider writing on this
topic." 

Sounds like a familiar line. Men--Christian or
otherwise--who claim that sex outside of marriage is
perfectly acceptable on the basis of their love for a
woman, is pure manipulation. The Scriptures make it
very clear that fornication (sex outside of marriage)
is sinful. It's not sinful because God says it is sin.
God says it is sinful because it, like all sin, is
harmful to those whom He loves--us! 

Apart from health reasons (which of itself is
sufficient to remain celibate outside of marriage) and
the risk of an unwanted child, and then for some,
abortion, sex outside of marriage can blind a couple to
what kind of person their partner really is.
Furthermore, becoming physically bonded too soon can
and does stop couples from becoming emotionally and
spiritually bonded, which is an essential foundation
for building a healthy marriage and home. Furthermore,
sex outside of marriage for those who rationalize that
you've "got to try before you buy," doesn't prove a
thing. Many couples who have been active sexually prior
to marriage sadly discovered that once they were
married, the sacredness of sex was over. Unfortunately
some men give "love" to get sex while some women give
sex to get "love"--a blind fallacy this turns out to
be. 

We may not always like God's ways and they may not
always be easy to follow, but God's ways are always for
our benefit. We defy them to our peril. We simply
cannot improve on God's plans. It's much smarter,
wiser, and healthier to get in on them. And in the end,
investing in God's ways and following His rules always
produces great dividends. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the desire
to know and study Your Word so I will always know Your
directives. Give me the good sense to know that Your
directives are always for my good, and please give me
the strength to abide by them and never compromise them
because of my own fleshly lusts and desires. Help me to
always live in harmony with Your Word and Your will.
Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

1. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 (NIV).

NOTE: For additional Scriptures on this topic see
Romans 1:28-30; 1 Corinthians 5:1-2; 6:12-14, 17-19;
7:1-3; 10:7-9; 2 Corinthians 12:20-22; Galatians
5:18-20; Ephesians 5:2-4; Colossians 3:4-6. 

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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
  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sat 15 Oct 2016, 8:38 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Pruning for Productivity  

Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father [God] is
the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears
no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He
prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."1

In preparation for his sermon about Jesus being the
vine, and we the branches, Brett Blair shared the
following: "I must admit that I know very little about
the particulars of the wine industry. So I did some
reading in this area and found it to be quite
fascinating. Grape vines are very rugged in one way,
but in another sense their fruit is very delicate and
requires being treated with kid gloves. A young vine is
not permitted to bear fruit for the first three years.
It is therefore drastically pruned in December and
January to preserve its energy. The particular branches
that do not bear fruit are cut out to further conserve
the energy of the plant. If this constant cutting back
was not done, the result would be a crop that was not
up to its full potential."2

Sometimes we wonder why God allows us, His children, to
go through so many trials and tribulations; and yet,
when we look back over the past, we can see how God was
with us guiding our every step and pruning us so our
lives would become more fruitful and productive. As the
writer to the early Hebrew Christians wrote, "No
discipline [or pruning] seems pleasant at the time, but
painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of
righteousness and peace for those who have been trained
by it."3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, while I can't say that I
have ever enjoyed Your 'pruning' in my life, I thank
You for all the trials You have used in my life to do
this. Help me to realize when trials come that You are
using these to help me become more and more like Jesus
in every way and accept them with an attitude of
gratitude. Thank You for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."

Note: For further help see “Lessons from Suffering" at:
http://tinyurl.com/exuyw.

1. John 15:1-2 (NIV).
2. Rev. Brett Blair. www.eSermons.com.
3. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV).

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  if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ, 
  please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
 
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
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  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 13 Oct 2016, 11:07 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

No Hiding Place  

"Don't just pretend to be good…put away all deception,
envy and fraud. Long to grow up into the fullness of
your salvation."1

I read the other day about a little boy who loved to
play Superman. 

Each morning three-year-old Ray would ask his mother to
pin a bath towel to the back shoulders of his size 2
T-shirt. Immediately in his young imaginative mind the
towel became a brilliant magic blue and red cape. And
he (in his fantasy) became Superman. 

Outfitted each day in his "cape," Ray's days were
packed with adventure and daring escapades. In his
mind, he not only played Superman, he WAS Superman.
This fact was clearly pointed out when his mother
enrolled him in kindergarten class. During the course
of the interview, the teacher asked Ray his name. 

"Superman," he answered politely and without pause. 

The teacher smiled, cast an appreciative glance at his
mother, and asked again, "Your real name, please." 

Again, Ray answered, "Superman." 

Realizing the situation demanded more authority, or
maybe to hide her amusement, the teacher closed her
eyes for a moment, and then in a voice quite stern,
said, "I will have to have your real name for the
records." 

Sensing he'd have to play straight with the teacher,
Ray slid his eyes around the room, hunched closer to
her, and patting a corner of the frayed towel at his
shoulder, answered in a voice hushed with conspiracy,
"Clark Kent."2

We laugh at this child's imagination and childish
self-deception. Sadly, too many of us as adults put on
a public face (our "Super-whatever" mask) and pretend
to be outwardly what we're not on the inside so that we
will be liked and accepted--and as a means of avoiding
facing our own reality. And when we live with this
deception for so long, we end up believing our mask is
the real us. People may "like" my public mask but as
long as I hide my true self, I will never feel loved
and will end up living among people alone apart. The
reality is that I can only be loved to the degree that
I am known. 

Furthermore, unless I admit to myself and to God who
and what I really am, I will never be able to feel
truly forgiven nor fully loved. We try, like Adam did
when he sinned, to hide from God, which is totally
unrealistic, since we can never hide from God no matter
how we try. As David wrote, "Where can I go from Your
Spirit [Oh God]? Or where can I flee from Your
presence?"3 Much wiser and much healthier to come to
God and admit who we truly are, ask for and find His
forgiveness, and be freed to grow and become all that
God envisioned for us to be and do. 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You know me
as I truly am and love me regardless. However, please
help me to stop hiding behind any false front, to be
honest with myself and with You so that I can
experience Your forgiveness and become all that You
want for me to be, and be an open channel through whom
Your love can flow to others. Thank You for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
amen."

1. 1 Peter 2:1,3 (TLB/NLT).
2. Source Unknown.
3. Psalm 139:1-7 (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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
  Phone: 949-940-9050  
  http://www.actsweb.org 
  
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 12 Oct 2016, 11:20 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Blessings of Unanswered Prayer  

Jesus said, "If you, then, though you are evil, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how much more
will your Father [God] in heaven give good gifts to
those who ask Him!."1

Terry Fitzgerald Sieck shared how she "was in the habit
of praying very specifically for what she wanted. She
told God in great detail about the kind of job, the
kind of husband, the kind of life that she envisioned
for herself. And Terry was frequently frustrated. One
day, a friend suggested that she try a different tack.
Give God a blank sheet of paper, the friend suggested,
and let God give you his list for your life. 

"Not long afterwards, Terry went back to
school--something she hadn't anticipated doing. And she
met a wonderful new man whom she eventually married. He
didn't fit the criteria of her earlier list, but he was
everything she wanted in a husband. When Terry turned
her life over to God's will, God provided for her needs
in ways she couldn't have imagined."2

There's nothing wrong with asking God for what we would
like, but to get prayers answered, they need to be in
harmony with God's will. And while "some of God's
greatest gifts are unanswered prayers" (as the country
song puts it), He often does give us the desires of our
heart when we pray in harmony with His will. 

I think God has a great sense of humor too. For
instance, my last car had just under 200,000 miles on
it. It was old but still okay for running around town,
but I didn't feel safe in driving it long distances
anymore. For months I had been looking for a good
bargain on a mid-size SUV (not a gas guzzling one) as I
carry lots of stuff for our work. I prayed, "God, I
don't really need an SUV but it sure would be nice to
have one." Within two weeks I found a fabulous bargain
on a year-old, low-mileage vehicle. I now own an SUV
and have found it a great help in our work. 

I think one of my son's "prayers" was answered too. His
vehicle was giving him all sorts of problems so I sold
him my old car for $1.00--which he borrowed from us to
pay for it! 

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You hear
and answer my prayers. Thank You, too, for the times
You haven't answered my prayers according to my wishes
which, if You had, it may have done me more harm than
good. Help me to live and pray in harmony with Your
will so that I can be sure that You will answer my
prayers one way or another. Gratefully, in Jesus's
name, amen."

Note: See article, “How to Pray Effectively" at:
http://tinyurl.com/kb62w.

1. Matthew 7:11 (NIV).
2. Terry Fitzgerald Sieck, found in Stories of God's
Abundance for a More Joyful Life (Lancaster, PA:
Starburst Publishers, 1999), pp. 196-198.

<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.
  
  * * * * * * * 
  
  Daily Encounter is published at no charge by 
  ACTS International, a non-profit organization, 
  and made possible through the donations of 
  interested friends. Donations can be sent at: 
  http://www.actscom.com
  
  ACTS International
  P.O. Box 73545
  San Clemente, California 92673-0119
  U.S.A.
  
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  http://www.actsweb.org 
  Copyright (c) 2016 by ACTS International. 
  When copying or forwarding include the following: 
  "Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2016
  ACTS International.
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