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Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 14 May 2009, 10:08 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Keeping the Faith

The Apostle Paul said, "I have fought a good fight, I
have finished my course, I have kept the faith"1

One of my favorite quotes is from Theodore Roosevelt
who said, "In the battle of life it is not the critic
who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have
done better. The credit belongs to the man who is
actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs
and comes short again and again; who knows the great
enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in
a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end the
triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if
he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that
his place shall never be with those cold and timid
souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

And as another has said: "It is better to have tried
and failed than never to have tried at all."

However, when we seek and discover God's plan and
purpose for our life and give our all to that noble
and worthy cause, we may never get our name emblazoned
on the billboards with the rich and famous, and though
we fumble and fall a thousand times, as long as we
keep getting up and going on, we cannot fail and the
results will last for all eternity.

As martyred missionary, Jim Elliot said, "He is no
fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he
cannot lose."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to see your plan
and purpose for my life, give me the courage to pursue
it with all my heart, and never to give up knowing that
you will be with me to the end. And then, at the end of
life’s journey, may I hear your welcome words, 'Well
done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of
the Lord.' Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Timothy 4:7 (KJV).

<Smile)))><<
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Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
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and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 12 May 2009, 3:22 pm

Today's Daily Encounter
Fear Not

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they
follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they
shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them
out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me,
is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them
out of My Father's hand."1

"The great Scottish preacher John McNeill told how,
during his childhood, he had to walk a long distance
home every evening, and his route led through a forest
with a large ravine. Reports said that wild animals and
gangs of robbers were often seen in that area. Great
fear would seize his heart as he made his way past the
spooky looking trees. He recalled, 'One night it was
especially dark, but I was aware that something or
someone was moving slowly and quietly toward me. I was
sure it was a robber. When a voice called out, its
eerie tone struck my heart with fear. I thought I was
finished. Then came a second call. This time I could
hear the voice saying, 'John, is that you?' It was my
father. He had known of my fear and had come out to
meet me.'"2

Being a child of God--one of his sheep--doesn't
deliver us from the storms of life, but our faith in
him gives us a sure and steadfast anchor--a safe and
secure rock to hold on to knowing that God knows
exactly where we are even in life's darkest and most
scary places. As one of my poems puts it:

Sometimes it seems that life
makes little or no sense
as we wander blind
searching for a ray of light
to lead us to the truth
or to a God who isn't there.
But if we will stand still and
listen with our heart, we will
hear a rustling in the leaves,
feel the brush of angel's wings,
and sense the presence of a loving
Father playing hide-and-seek,
waiting patiently--
wanting us to find him.3

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you are
always with me no matter what and that you will never
leave me nor forsake me. In the quiet of my heart help
me to know and hear your voice assuring me of your
presence and that my life and times are in your hands.
Always. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 10:27-29 (NKJV).
2. Alan Carr, Sermon: "Fear Not."
3. Poem by Dick Innes, ©️ Copyright 1996, beautifully
produced ready to frame. See and order from
www.actscom.com/store.

<Smile)))><
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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


Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 11 May 2009, 10:39 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Authenticity

"When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him,
'Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing
false.'"1

"There's a story about a woman finding herself alone
in an elevator with the famous and very handsome
Robert Redford. As the elevator moved up the floors,
the woman, like many of us might, found herself
uncontrollably staring at the movie star. Finally, in
her excitement and nervousness, she blurted out: 'Are
you the real Robert Redford?' To which Redford
responded, 'Only when I'm alone.'"

I think that if I were an actor--especially one as
successful as Robert Redford--I might find it very
difficult to be the real me when I am not acting a
part and may all too readily forget who the real me
is.

Even without being an actor, I find that one of the
most difficult things in life is to be honest with
myself. It's hard enough to know and admit what my
true feelings are, let alone my motives! And it's all
too easy to act out any part to avoid facing the real
me. I may act the part of a super-nice (saccharine
sweet) fellow to avoid facing my unresolved anger…or
super-brave to hide my hidden fears…or gruff and macho
to hide my insecurity and so on.

However, it's only as I get real and courageously
honest with myself and God that he can help me to grow
and become the person he wants me to be. The same goes
for getting close to people. Only to the degree that I
am open, honest, and real can I relate intimately with
those I love. And, unfortunately, the more I hide my
true self the more I will live with others together
alone apart--a very lonely and unfulfilling existence.


Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
real--one in whom there is nothing false--so that I
can become all that you planned for me to be and have
loving, wholesome relationships with you and all of my
loved ones. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. John 1:47 (NIV).

<Smile)))><
* * * * * * *

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

Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 08 May 2009, 9:05 am

Ready to Give a Defense

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always
be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you
to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do
this with gentleness and respect."1

Alan Smith tells the story about a carpenter who was
giving evidence about an accident he had witnessed.
The judge asked him how far away he was from the
accident.

The carpenter replied, "Twenty-seven feet,
six-and-one-half inches."

"How can you be so sure of that distance?" asked the
judge.

"Well, I knew some idiot would ask me. So I measured
it!" replied the carpenter.

Oops ... not a good way to answer a judge!

As Christians we need to be prepared to give a
reasonable answer to everyone who asks about our
Christian faith--and to do this in a spirit of
"gentleness and respect."

Remember too, that our life speaks much louder than
any words we ever say. Furthermore, people who know we
are Christians will be constantly reading and hearing
the messages our life broadcasts. May we, like the
early Christians, be known by our love for one another
and for our gentle spirit and respectful, courteous
manner.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me always to be
prepared to give an answer to all who ask about my
Christian faith--and help me always to answer in a
gentle and respectful manner. And help me to so live
that my life will always be communicating your love to
every life I touch. Thank you for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV).

<Smile)))><
* * * * * * *

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

Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48448
Join date : 2008-10-25
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Unheeded Warning Signs

Post  Admin on Fri 08 May 2009, 9:01 am

Unheeded Warning Signs

"But understand this: If the owner of the house had
known at what time of night the thief was coming, he
would have kept watch and would not have let his house
be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the
Son of Man [Jesus Christ] will come at an hour when
you do not expect him."1

"National Geographic magazine (May 1984 issue) showed
through a series of color photos and drawings the
swift and terrible destruction that wiped out the
Roman Cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79.
The explosion of Mount Vesuvius was so sudden, the
residents were killed while in their routine: men and
women were at the market, the rich in their luxurious
baths, slaves at toil. They died amid volcanic ash and
superheated gasses. Even family pets suffered the same
quick and final fate. It takes little imagination to
picture the panic of that terrible day.

"The saddest part is that these people did not have to
die. Scientists confirm what ancient Roman writers
record--weeks of rumblings and shakings preceded the
actual explosion. Even an ominous plume of smoke was
clearly visible from the mountain days before the
eruption. If only they had been able to read and
respond to Vesuvius's warning!"2

With tireless regularity--every year--Christmas and
Easter remind us of the first coming of Jesus Christ,
the Son of God, who came to earth as a babe and then,
as a man, died on the cruel Roman cross for the sins
of lost mankind. This also reminds and warns us that
Jesus promised he would come to earth a second time,
but this time it would be as King of kings and Lord of
lords to put down all reign of terror and to take his
true followers to be with him forever in heaven. As
every prophecy in God’s Word about Christ’s first
coming was fulfilled in minutest detail, we can be
just as certain that the prophecies promising his
second coming will also be fulfilled in detail.

When Jesus' disciples asked him what would be the
signs of his coming again, he said that there would be
many "rumblings" (warning signs); that is, wars and
rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilences, "Men
[people] will faint from terror, apprehensive of what
is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will
be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When
these things BEGIN to take place, stand up and lift up
your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."3

Could all the wars, violence, deathly disease,
disasters, and increased terrorism in today's world be
part of the warning signs Jesus said would occur
preceding his second coming--just as there were
warnings preceding the explosion of Mount Vesuvius?
Jesus is coming again. The exact day and hour we don't
know, but the signs of the times may be an indication
that his coming is getting nearer every day.

When he comes, it will be sudden and swift. The
important thing is that we are ready NOW. For he will
come when the vast majority of people least expect it.
Let's not be like the people in the Roman cities of
Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79 who failed to heed
the warnings of Mount Vesuvius and suffered a dreadful
quick and final fate. Whatever you do, don't put off
any longer making sure that you are ready for Christ's
return. For help see No. 4 below.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that we have
your promise that Jesus is coming again for this is
the blessed hope of every Christian everywhere. And
thank you that you told us the ‘rumblings’ (signs)
that would precede and warn us of your soon coming.
Please awaken us to the fact that it could be today.
And help us to spread your salvation message to as
many people as possible all around the world while the
door is still open. Thank you for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Jesus in Matthew 24:43-44 (NIV).
2. Michael Bogart, Lemoore, California. Leadership,
Vol. 6, no. 4.
3. Luke 21:26-28 (NIV).
4. For help see "How to Be Sure You’re a Real
Christian" at: /www.actsweb.org/articles

<Smile)))><
* * * * * * *

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
Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48448
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 04 May 2009, 11:08 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Service

"Then the man who had received the one talent came.
'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man,
harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where
you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went
out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is
what belongs to you.'"1

"Sir Michael Costa, the celebrated conductor, was
holding a rehearsal. As the mighty chorus rang out,
accompanied by scores of instruments, the piccolo
player--a tiny pint-sized flute--thinking perhaps that
his contribution would not be missed amid so much
music, stopped playing. Suddenly, the great leader
stopped and cried out, 'Where's the piccolo?'

"The sound of that one small instrument was necessary
to the harmony, and the Master Conductor missed it
when it dropped out. The point? To the Conductor there
are no insignificant instruments in an orchestra.
Sometimes the smallest and seemingly least important
one can make the greatest contribution and even if it
doesn't seem to make that big a difference to the
audience at large, the conductor knows it right away!

"In the church, in life and in God's work on earth the
players and the instruments are diverse--different
sizes, different shapes, different notes, different
roles to play. But like the piccolo player in Sir
Michael's orchestra, we often in our own sovereignty
decide that our contribution is not significant. Our
contribution couldn't possibly make a difference. And
so we quit playing. Stop doing that which we've been
given to do. We drop out. But the Conductor
immediately notices."2

From our perspective your and my contribution may be
small, but from God's viewpoint it is critical. So,
whatever you do, don't bury your piccolo (talent) but
put it to use in service for the Lord remembering that
we serve God by serving people and doing it in Jesus'
name.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the gift/s
you have given to me and for the part you have given
me to play as you orchestrate your plan for the world
in which I live. Help me to play my part diligently,
faithfully, and to the best of my ability always for
your glory and the benefit of others. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’
name, amen."

1. Matthew 25:24-25 (NIV).
2. Adapted from Richard Love, Sermon: "Blowing Your
Horn," Memphis: Sermon Illustrations, 1999. Cited on
www.eSermons.com.

<Smile)))><
* * * * * * *

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
Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48448
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 04 May 2009, 12:32 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Cognitive Dissonance

"Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in
keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so
that by following them you may fight the good fight,
holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have
rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith."1

Beliefs are remarkably powerful in that they are to
our lives what a rudder is to a ship. That is, they
control the direction and destiny of our lives.
Furthermore, while we don't always live the life we
profess, we always live the life we believe. Simply
put, if I believe I am a failure, I will set myself up
to fail. If I believe I am a successful person, I will
succeed, and so on.

Another critical point to remember about beliefs is
that while we may begin with healthy beliefs but if we
fail to live up to them, we will experience cognitive
dissonance; that is, mental disharmony that is caused
by guilt. Because of this discomfort, the danger is
that we may change our beliefs to match our lifestyle.
And then, instead of living the life we believe, we end
up unhappily believing the life we live--a dangerous
and self-destructive path to follow.

The good news about beliefs is that we get to choose
them. In so doing we choose the direction and destiny
of our life. Thus we need to choose our beliefs
carefully and base them on reality and not on that
which is convenient, or on false teaching or faulty
perceptions from the past. We need to base them on
God's Word and his principles for successful daily
living.

For some in difficult circumstances it may be
difficult to believe in God and that he has a specific
purpose for your life. Nevertheless, we still believe
in God by choice as exemplified by a World War II
prisoner of war who wrote on a cellar wall in Cologne,
Germany: "I believe in the sun, even when it is not
shining; I believe in love, even when I feel it not; I
believe in God even when he is silent."

Another powerful thing about beliefs is that they
determine not only the destiny of our present life,
but also our relationship to God and our destiny for
the life to come. God's Word, the Bible, says, "For
God so loved the world that he gave his one and only
Son [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in him shall
not perish but have eternal life."2 Also, "Believe in
the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved [for the life to
come]."3 And again, "To all who received him [Christ],
to those who believed in his name, he gave the right
to become children of God."4

Remember, too, that beliefs are only wishes until we
act on them!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the wisdom
to choose my beliefs carefully--beliefs that are in
harmony with your Word, the Bible. And give me the
courage to always live in accordance with these
beliefs and never change them to match a less than
wholesome lifestyle. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen."

1. Timothy 1:18-19 (NIV).
2. John 3:16 (NIV).
3. Acts 16:31 (NIV).
4. John 1:12 (NIV).

NOTE: Today's Daily Encounter is also adapted from
"The Power of Belief" by Dick Innes at
http://tinyurl.com/79peh.

<Smile)))><
* * * * * * *

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

Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48448
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 01 May 2009, 2:35 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

The Power of Belief

Paul the Apostle wrote, "For…the time has come for my
departure. I have fought the good fight, I have
finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is
in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the
Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that
day--and not only to me, but also to all who have
longed for his appearing."1

"Down the streets of Portsmouth more than two hundred
years ago," said Lt. General Ira C. Eaker in a speech
given some time ago, "walked a sailor with one arm,
one eye, and a persistent state of nerves and unable
to tread a ship's deck without being seasick. Indeed
he would probably have been in a home for incurables
were his name not Admiral Lord Nelson. The man's
spirit drove the flesh."

Born in 1758, Horatio Nelson, the son of a pastor, was
a small, frail child who loved sailing. As a young
teenager he joined the British navy and, while
journeying to the East Indies, caught a fever that
seriously damaged his health. But he never allowed
this to hold him back. At age 18 he was appointed a
lieutenant in the Royal Navy and by the year 1802 was
made commander-in-chief of the British fleet.

Two years later, at the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson
defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets. This
was the greatest naval victory in British history and
left the British in control of the seas for the rest
of the 1800s. Unfortunately, Nelson was mortally
wounded during Trafalgar but lived long enough to know
that his fleet had won the battle. His last words were,
"Thank God I have done my duty."

Nelson was a man of fearless courage and devotion. He
believed in his country, in his cause, and in himself.
He proved this with his words and more so with his
life. He once said, "I am of the opinion that the
boldest measures are the safest." Nelson was a man
greatly admired by others who said about him, "His
frail body housed a great spirit."

John Stuart Mill would agree. He said, "One person
with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who
only have interest."2

No matter what your limitations or your handicaps are,
God has a plan and purpose for your life. Believe it
and you will receive it. Act on it and you will
achieve it and like the Apostle Paul you, too, will be
able to say, "I have fought the good fight, I have
finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to so believe and
live that when I come to the end of life's journey, I
too will be able to say, 'Thank God that I have done
my duty.' Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV).
2. Adapted from "The Power of Belief" by Dick Innes at
http://tinyurl.com/79peh.

<:((((><
* * * * * * *

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


Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2009
ACTS International.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48448
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

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

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 28 Apr 2009, 10:21 am

Today's Daily Encounter

True Greatness

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven."1

"Shortly after Booker T. Washington, the renowned
black educator, took over the presidency of Tuskegee
Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive
section of town, when he was stopped by wealthy white
woman.

"Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she
asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by
chopping wood for her. Because he had no pressing
business at the moment, Professor Washington smiled,
rolled up his sleeves, and proceeded to do the humble
chore she had requested.

"When he was finished, he carried the logs into the
house and stacked them by the fireplace. A little girl
recognized him and later revealed his identity to the
lady. The next morning the embarrassed woman went to
see Mr. Washington in his office at the Institute and
apologized profusely. "It's perfectly all right,
Madam," he replied. "Occasionally I enjoy a little
manual labor. Besides, it's always a delight to do
something for a friend."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help to remember
that I, too, am a fellow struggler and always be ready
to lend a helping hand to that person in need whom you
bring across my path. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Matthew 5:3 (NKJV).


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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Apr 2009, 10:55 am

Today's Daily Encounter

An Irreversible Spin

"Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to
sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth
death."1

Following the crash of an Aeroflot jet in Siberia,
which killed all 75 people aboard in March of 1994,
the voices heard on the recording were ones of terror!
They came from a chilling scene. Apparently the pilot
was giving his children a flying lesson at the time of
the crash.

The transcript from the cockpit tapes reveals the
desperate situation. "Daddy, can I turn this?" cried
the child who was sitting in the captain's seat.

Then came the voice of the captain shouting, "Get out!
Get out! More than a dozen times he yelled out to his
son who had "accidentally pushed the right pedal,
sending the aircraft into an irreversible spin."

Sometimes the choices we make seem insignificant at
the time, but when we stop living the life we believe,
we end up unhappily believing the life we live. In so
doing we can put our life into "an irreversible spin"
and unless we face the reality of our actions and call
to God for help, in the long run there's no way out.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to so live that I
will never ignore your Word with its moral principles
for daily living or forget you and thereby place my
life in an irreversible spin. And thank you that when
I am in trouble and call out to you for help, you
always hear and answer my prayers. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. James 1:15 (NKJV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 24 Apr 2009, 9:48 pm

Cheap Advice

Jesus said, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust
in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the
plank in your own eye? How can you say to your
brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when
all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You
hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from
your brother's eye."1

In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy is playing her role as
psychiatrist. She sits in her booth with the sign that
reads: "Psychiatric Help--5 cents." The sign below
says, "The Doctor Is In." Lucy says to Charlie Brown,
"Your life is like a house."

In the next frame, she says reflectively, "You want
your house to have a solid foundation, don't you?"
Charlie Brown has a kind of blank look on his face.
Lucy says, "Of course you do."

Charlie Brown is still silent--saying nothing. Then in
the fourth frame, psychiatrist Lucy says, "So don't
build your house on the sand, Charlie Brown." About
that time, a huge wind comes up and blows the booth
down. Lucy, sitting in the rubble says, "Or use cheap
nails."2

Sad to say, too many of us are too quick to give cheap
advice to others and forget, as the old saying goes,
that when we point a finger at others, there are four
fingers pointing back at us. People who are quick to
give unsolicited advice are, generally speaking, very
insecure and gain a sense of false security by having
a ready answer for everyone else's problems--except
their own.

So "my advice" is: "Don't be an unsolicited advice
giver!"

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me not to be
a judgmental person, nor be quick to find fault with
others, or be an unsolicited advice giver, but rather,
help me to see my own character flaws and lead me to
the help I need to overcome these. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)
2. Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 23 Apr 2009, 8:35 pm

Destruction Invited

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."1

Vernon Eaton, commenting on the book, Ways of the Ant,
by John Crompton, writes: "A pleasure-mad society needs
to take a lesson from the Sanguine ants and their
affair with the Golden-Haired beetle."

"The ants' normal diet is plain, often to the point of
austerity, but they love unusual and exotic tidbits and
will go to any lengths to satisfy this craving. For
example, the Golden-Haired beetle exudes from the base
of its golden hairs some secretion which ants find
irresistible. So it is allowed to do anything it
likes, even lay its own eggs, which soon turn to
grubs. So besotted and obsessed do the worker ants
become that they feed the beetle with food intended
for their own infants, and even with food reserved for
the queen."

"Worse, much worse, they allow the beetle to kill
their infants and eat them. They even kill their own
infants themselves and feed them to this stranger. The
beetle repays them with a generous allowance of the
secretion they crave…. The end is not immediate. The
colony may last two years more, but the end is
certain."

"How like Satan is this picture. Promising the
'pleasures of sin' and then enslaving us with our own
cravings. The 'dead-end' may not be obvious at first,
but it is inevitable."

The good news is that while the end result of sin is
eternal death, which is eternal separation from God
the author of all love and life, the gift of God is
both forgiveness and eternal life. Both are available
for all who believe and ask. For help be sure to read
"How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/aricles.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me always to
remember that sin always has its consequences and that
I will reap what I sow. And I thank you that you have
provided an escape from sin's ultimate
consequences--eternal death and separation from
you--by giving Jesus to die in my place on the cross.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Romans 6:23 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 22 Apr 2009, 1:59 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Choices

"'King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know
you do.' Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'Do you think that
in such a short time you can persuade me to be a
Christian?' Paul replied, 'Short time or long--I pray
God that not only you but all who are listening to me
today may become what I am, except for these
chains.'"1

Phil Parrino, a Daily Encounter reader, tells the
story how in "World War I there was a young American
ambulance driver who personally witnessed all kinds of
death and suffering. After the war he wrote dark
brooding novels and finally committed suicide. His
name was Earnest Hemmingway.

"But there was another American Ambulance driver even
younger than the first. The dead and dying he
witnessed were mostly from the great influenza
epidemic that swept Europe at the end of World War I.
After the war he drew cartoons and made people laugh.
When he died he was loved by millions. His name was
Walt Disney.

"As you have said, it's not only what happens to us,
but how we react to it. Our personality predisposes us
to a certain extent, but in the end we make the
choice."

Life is a series of choices. I am today where I am
because of choices I made years ago. I will be where I
am tomorrow based on choices I make today. And I will
spend eternity based on the choice I make about
accepting or rejecting God's great gift of salvation.

As Paul challenged King Agrippa to become a Christian,
he challenges you and me today to make that choice and
not to be an almost-persuaded. For help be sure to
read, "How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/articles.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to see that my
life has been shaped in so many ways because of
choices I made in the past. Help me to make choices
today for where I want to be tomorrow. And above all,
help me to make the right choice about eternity by
making sure I have accepted Jesus as my Savior and am
a true follower of him. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Acts 26:27-29 (NIV).

<:((((><
Today's Daily Encounter

Passports

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"1

Not so long ago I had an urgent phone call from a good
friend in Australia--one of my closest friends when I
was growing up. Two of his granddaughters on their way
to a Bible College in Florida were stranded at the Los
Angeles International Airport. My friend wanted to
know if there was any way I could help them as their
passport and entry papers were not in order. We
offered to have them stay over with us until this got
sorted out. No chance. They were not allowed out of
the airport and we were not allowed to see them--not
that we could have done anything but it would have
been nice to at least give them a sympathetic ear.

They were put on the next plane and sent back to
Australia

How terribly disappointing it was for them. They were
just kids and didn't know any better as their travel
agent hadn't given them the correct instructions. The
good news is that all is corrected and they have
returned to the U.S. and are now in college in Florida

This is a good reminder about making sure that we have
our passport for heaven. All religions, as many would
have us believe, do not lead to heaven. Good works, as
many others claim, will not get us into God's heaven
either. There's only one way and that is through the
Lord Jesus Christ who has paid the ransom price for
all our sins and wrongdoings through his death on the
cross. There is no other way.

Accepting Jesus as your Savior is providing your
passport for entry into heaven. Whatever you do, don't
leave earth without it. Unlike our friends from
Australia, there will not be a second chance to come
back to get it right.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you gave
your Son, Jesus, to pay the ultimate sacrifice in
giving his life as a ransom price to pay for the
penalty of all my sins, and that in accepting him as
my Savior gives me my 'passport' to heaven. Please
help me to be sure that I have my passport to heaven.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

For your "passport to heaven" be sure to read "How to
Be Sure You’re a Real Christian" at:
www.actsweb.org/articles.

1. John 14: 6 (NIV).

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 17 Apr 2009, 9:14 am

Believing a Lie

"’I will scatter you like chaff driven by the desert
wind. This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for
you,’ declares the LORD, ‘because you have forgotten me
and trusted in false gods.’"1

Ravi Zacharias in "A Slice of Infinity" shares how he
was invited to participate in a discussion with six
Russian generals (all of whom but one were atheists)
at the Lenin Military Academy in Moscow.

Zacharias reported, "As the conversation unfolded from
early unease through robust argumentation all the way
to our warm conclusion, something incredible happened.
One by one, each of these generals conceded that Russia
was now in a pathetic state, not just economically but
morally. As the men stood to bid us good-bye, the
senior-ranking general grasped my hand and said, 'Dr.
Zacharias, I believe what you have brought us is the
truth. But it is so hard to change after seventy years
of believing a lie.'"2

Again I recall the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,
the Russian-born Nobel Prize winner for
literature(1970), who said, "Over half a century ago
while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number
of older people offer the following explanation for
the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 'Men
have forgotten God, that's why all this has
happened.'"

How tragic when nations forget God and exchange the
truth for a lie. Over and over again history records
the results of those nations who forgot the one true
God and believed a lie. And it's happening today in
the world in which you and I live.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a
messenger of grace and truth in all that I am, do, and
say--and help me to live it first so that others seeing
your love flowing through me will want your Truth and
love for themselves. And please save our nation from
believing a lie about you and the devastation that
believing a lie causes. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Jeremiah 13:24-25 (NIV).
2. Ravi Zacharias, "Believing A Lie, Believing The
Truth" Copyright (c) 2001 Ravi Zacharias International
Ministries (RZIM) in "A Slice of Infinity"
http://www.sliceofinfinity.org.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 14 Apr 2009, 1:41 pm

Where Is God?

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD ... From
heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind …
[and] considers everything they do. No king is saved
by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his
great strength…But the eyes of the LORD are on those
who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing
love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive
in famine."1

I recall having read in a college newspaper about a
student who painted in big white letters right across
the side of a garbage truck, "Where is God?" Perhaps
he was thinking at some level, why does God allow
garbage to happen?

It's an age-old question, as old as Job and as fresh
as today: "Where is God when tragedy strikes … when a
loved one dies and the heart is torn with grief … when
innocent children are kidnapped, sexually abused, and
murdered? And where was he on September 11, 2001? And
again, when terrorist bombs blasted a resort hotel in
Bali? Or when a sniper in the Washington, D.C. area
was shooting and killing innocent people at random?"

I don't want to sound callous by any means but we are
asking the wrong question because God is where he
always was and always is. The Apostle Paul said it
best, in that God "is not far from each one of us.
'For in him we live and move and have our being.'"2

So the question needs to be, "Where is man?"

Our problem lies in the fact that we as nations have
left God--or are fast leaving him. As God's Word, the
Bible, says, "Blessed is that nation whose God is the
Lord."3 And what of those nations whose God is not the
Lord? Perhaps history can best answer that question.

But the great tragedy is, as Friedrich Hegel said,
"The only thing we learn from history is that we learn
nothing from history."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open our eyes and
help us to see that when we leave you, forsake your
Word and throw out your commandments, we open the door
to evil. Grant that we will see in today's senseless
acts of terror a wakeup call to turn back to you.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 33:12-19 (NIV).
2. See Acts 17:24, 26-28.
3. Psalm 33:12.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Mon 13 Apr 2009, 10:52 am

Today's Daily Encounter

Diverted by Lesser Things

"Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 'The
kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a
wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to
those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them
to come, but they refused to come.'"1

Julian Aldridge, Jr., tells how "Some years ago,
Hollywood produced an exciting film titled, The Bridge
on the River Kwai. The setting was during the Second
World War in a Japanese Concentration Camp for
prisoners of war. One of the prisoners, the Senior
British Officer, talked the Japanese into letting the
prisoners build a bridge over the River Kwai. The
officer realized that it would boost morale, give life
some purpose, and engender hope if the men had
something to which they were committed each day.

"The work proceeded to the point of conclusion with a
bridge that was a substantial piece of engineering
skill; in fact, it was such a logistical benefit to
the Japanese that the Allies had to send in an
expedition force to blow it up. In the movie, there is
a dramatic scene when the Senior British Officer,
himself a prisoner of the Japanese, suddenly confronts
with stark realism the fact that the other prisoners
and he had spent all their time and energies building
a bridge for the enemy!"2

As Aldridge pointed out, "There is, in the story, a
lesson for all time. We, too, often spend our time and
energies in pursuit of, or to perfect, the wrong
things. This was the situation with those invited to
the wedding banquet in the story Jesus told. They had
an invitation to the party of a lifetime, and yet,
they were diverted by lesser things."2

May God help you and me not to be diverted by lesser
things and thereby dissipate our energies and
resources in non-essentials. Keeping eternal values in
mind, let us make the most important things the most
important things--both in the church and in our
personal lives. And above all, whatever you do, don't
miss Christ's invitation to you--his invitation to
attend his "banquet in heaven" to be with him forever.
For help see the article, "How to Be Sure You’re a Real
Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/aricles

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me always to
live with eternal values in mind--not in a legalist
manner--but with a sense of freedom doing what I do
because I love you. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. Matthew 22:1-3 (NIV).
2. Rev. Dr. Julian M. Aldridge, Jr., Sermon: "Amazing
Grace."

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Apr 2009, 9:10 pm

Was Jesus Ever Politically Correct?

"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will
judge the living and the dead, and in view of his
appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of
season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great
patience and careful instruction. For the time will
come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather
around them a great number of teachers to say what
their itching ears want to hear."1

It’s amazing how, in our day and age, so many are
afraid to stand up and be counted when it comes to
taking a public stand for that which is morally
correct, based on biblical principles and the
Judeo-Christian ethic, for fear of not being
politically correct. To bash Christianity, the Ten
Commandments, the Word of God and even Jesus’ "Sermon
on the Mount" has become acceptable (and even popular)
among certain circles, but try condemning gay marriage
or other religions such as Islam and it becomes a
different story.

But did Jesus Christ ever allow himself to be so
controlled? Hardly.

Jesus was a man of passion. He hated the abuse of
God’s house so he drove out the money changers with a
whip. He hated evil and sin, not simply because these
were opposed to his Word but because they were, and
are, damaging to those whom God loves--us. But he
always loved sinners and was against anything that
hurt them, kept them in bondage, or hindered their
growth. And he was hated for his stand.

"In Jesus’ case, we have the story of the holiest man
who ever lived, and yet it was the prostitutes and
lepers and thieves who adored him, and the religious
who hated his guts."2 Why? Because he loved people and
was opposed to religious dogma and programs that kept
people in bondage and used them for their own ends
rather than helping them to grow.

"People were offended with Jesus because he violated
their understanding of religion and piety. The
religious of his day were particularly incensed that
he deliberately healed on the Sabbath.... They accused
him of being a drunkard, a glutton and having tacky
taste in friends. As Gene Thomas is fond of saying,
‘Jesus was simply not your ideal Rotarian.’ It is a
profound irony that the Son of God visited this planet
and one of the chief complaints against him was that he
was not religious enough."3

In other words, Jesus was totally committed to
people’s spiritual and personal growth and was
strongly opposed to anything that stopped or hindered
that growth. Political correctness was never ever a
part of his agenda.

As an English Bishop once said, "Wherever Jesus went
there was either a revival or a revolution. Wherever I
go, they serve tea."

Question: Do we, the members of our church, want to
start a revival or a revolution? Or do we just prefer
to serve tea?

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the
courage to stand up and be counted as a true follower
of Jesus Christ and never be afraid to state clearly,
in love, what your Word, the Bible, teaches--and help
me to live it first. And help me never to allow myself
to be controlled by today’s politically correct
nonsense. Thank you for hearing and answering my
prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen."

1. 2 Timothy 4:1-3 (NIV).
2. Rebecca Manley Pippert, Out of the Saltshaker and
Into the World (Downer’s Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity
Press, 1979), p. 39.
3. Ibid, p. 40.

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Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
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San Clemente, California 92673-0119
U.S.A.
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Apr 2009, 1:51 pm

Struggling to Believe

"Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present
world."1

"Robert Robinson came from a poor family; his father
died when Robert was a child and his mother sent him
to London to learn barbering when he was a teenager.
Instead he fell in with a gang and was involved in
vandalism, looting and petty theft. They went to
heckle a traveling evangelist, George Whitefield, who
was preaching in the town square but Robert
encountered the Lord Jesus and eventually accepted him
as his Savior. He went on to become a renowned preacher
and pastor, as well as a writer of extraordinary hymns
and was well known throughout Europe. But late in his
life he left the faith. We don’t know the reason why,
we don’t know the circumstances, but the story is told
that there came a day late in his life when he was
traveling by stage coach, seated next to a woman who
was humming the hymn, ‘Come Thou Fount of Every
Blessing.’

"If nothing else, maybe simply to make conversation,
she asked him, ‘Sir, do you know this song?’

"Robinson replied, ‘Know it? Madam, I am the miserable
man who wrote it and I would give a thousand lives to
know the joy and peace that I knew then but I’ve lost
it.’

"Mr. Robinson died shortly thereafter.

"’Come thou Fount’ is one of my favorite hymns and
that story is one of the saddest--and I am afraid,
all-too-familiar--ones that I know."2

This hymn also happens to be one of my favorites. The
words of the last stanza say: "O to grace how great a
debtor / Daily I’m constrained to be / Let that grace,
Lord, like a fetter / Bind my wand’ring heart to Thee /
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it / Prone to leave the
God I love / Take my heart, O take and seal It / Seal
it from Thy courts above."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please keep me from
straying from you for I, too, know that my heart is
prone to wander and that I could very easily leave the
God I love. Please take my heart and seal it from and
for your courts above. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name, amen."

1. 2 Timothy 4:10 (NKJV).
2. By Tod Bolsinger, Sermon, "The God Who Does the
Impossible … A story for those who struggle to
believe."

<:((((><
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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

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San Clemente, California 92673-0119
U.S.A.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 07 Apr 2009, 2:15 pm

On Specks and Logs

"And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when
you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying
to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck
in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your
own eye?"1

Mike Atkinson in his Mickey’s Funnies shares the
following humorous story:

A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The next
morning while they are eating breakfast, the young
woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

"That laundry is not very clean," she said. "She
doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs
better laundry soap." Her husband looked on, but
remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,
the young woman would make the same comments.

About a month later, the woman was surprised to see a
nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:
"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder
who taught her this."

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and
cleaned our windows."2

Need I say more?

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from
the sin of playing the blame-game and projecting my
blind spots onto others--and judging them accordingly.
Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen."

1. Matthew 7:3-4 (NLT).
2. Mickey’s Funnies ©️ 2008 Mike Atkinson.
http://www.mikeysFunnies.com.

<:((((><
* * * * * * *

Hurry, Hurry, Fast, Fast

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted
among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."1

"I'm not a sociolinguist," writes Karen Carr,
missionary psychologist, "but I find languages
fascinating. The other day in Ghana I was walking past
a Ghanaian man talking on his cell phone in Twi (a
local language here). Suddenly, in the midst of a sea
of words I could not understand, I heard, ‘Hurry,
hurry. Fast, fast.’

"Why did he need to switch to English to use those
words? In a culture where relationships are valued
more than task, where listening to someone is more
important than crossing off my ‘to do’ list, where
greeting someone before you get to the point of your
conversation is a very high value--hurry, hurry, fast,
fast is apparently a value grafted in from the West. I
chuckled as I walked away and slowed my pace down just
a fraction--reminding myself that I can enjoy the
journey just as much as the destination."2

Back in college days I used to have a small placard on
my desk that said, "Beware of the barrenness of a busy
life." Some years ago there was a popular song that
said: "Slow down you move to fast, got to make the
morning last…looking for fun and feeling groovy."

I don’t know about you but I still struggle with being
too busy most of the time and need to remind myself
that I need to take time to have fun and to smell the
roses as life is short. At the same time I also
realize that my life is an investment in eternity so I
need to make sure my days are balanced and wisely
spent. As William Penn said, "I expect to pass through
this world but once. Any good, 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."3

And as another has wisely said, "Only one life ‘twill
soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to live a
balanced life, to invest my life wisely with eternal
values in mind, and never be too busy to ‘be still and
know that you are God.’ Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name, amen."

1. Psalm 46:10 (NIV).
2. Karen Carr of Mobile Member Care Team, Ghana, West
Africa, http://www.mmct.org/
3. Steven Grellet.

<:((((><


Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
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and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
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San Clemente, California 92673-0119
U.S.A.

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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Apr 2009, 3:06 pm

The "Demon" of Lust?

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

A Daily Encounter reader writes, "I have been fighting
with a lust demon for years. I have asked GOD to
relieve me of this demon but I keep slipping back and
doing the same thing all over again. I have just
rededicated my life to God and am on my church's
outreach team. I want this demon of Satan out of my
body never to return. Will you pray for me?"

Hello, Jim (name changed), Thank you for being honest
and sharing your struggle with lust. To resolve any
problem it is imperative to understand the root cause
of the problem. Let me assure you that lust, as with
anger, is NOT a demon. If I am wrongfully angry, that
is my problem and when I fail to resolve it, I give
the foothold to the enemy.

It’s the same with lust. Lust is a struggle most
red-blooded men struggle with at one time or another.
Severe lust, however, is usually a symptom of
repressed love or unmet love needs. As long as you
blame the problem on anything outside of yourself, you
will never overcome it because lust is a problem
within. I don't know who told you it was a demon but I
challenge this person to find anywhere in the Bible
where it says there is "a demon of lust."

Sure, Satan is the originator of all sin and does
tempt us, but most of us don't need the devil or a
demon to make, or even cause, us to lust. We can do it
all by ourselves because we are all sinners.

So how do you overcome? First and foremost, you need
not only confess your lust to God, but also ask him to
confront you with the real cause of your lust ... to
show you the root cause of the problem … and then to
lead you to the help you need to overcome. Only by
facing the truth will you be set free.

Remember too, as David wrote in the Psalms, "The Lord
is near to all who call on him; to all who call on him
in truth."2

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, whenever I have any
problem that I can’t resolve, please help me to see
the root cause of it and help me to find the support I
need to overcome. Thank you for hearing and answering
my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen."

1. Ephesians 4:26-27 (TLB).
2. Psalm 145:18 (NIV).

<:((((><
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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


Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 01 Apr 2009, 11:06 am

An Attitude Of Gratitude

"Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His
mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of
gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks
to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever."1

A legend tells the story of a fisherman called Aaron
who lived on the banks of a river. Walking home with
his eyes half-closed one evening after a hard day's
work, he was dreaming of what he could do if he were
rich. As he walked his foot struck a leather pouch
filled with what seemed to him to be small stones.
Absentmindedly he picked up the pouch and began
throwing the pebbles into the water.

"When I am a rich man," he said to himself, "I'll have
a large house". And he threw another pebble into the
river. He threw another one and thought, "My wife and
I will have servants and rich food, and many fine
things." And this went on until just one stone was
left. As Aaron held it in his hand, a ray of light
caught it and made it sparkle. He was not throwing
ordinary stones but valuable gems, throwing away the
real riches in his hand, while he dreamed of unreal
riches in the future."2

Don't wait until tomorrow because "what-ifs" rarely,
if ever, come. Be thankful for the blessings you have
today for today is the only day we ever have. Live in
the present for yesterdays are gone forever and
tomorrows are only a hope and always a day away!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open my eyes that
I may see the countless blessings you have already
provided for and given to me. Help me to feel the
wonder of it all and give me a thankful heart for all
you have done and are doing for me. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

1. Psalm 136:1-3 (NKJV).
2. Brett Blair www.eSermons.com. Adapted from a sermon
by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild: "The Man Without Wedding
Clothes."

<:((((><
* * * * * * *

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

http://www.actsweb.org

Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 31 Mar 2009, 8:56 pm

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

"When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching, he said of him,
"Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing
false [an honest man]."1

For several years I used to facilitate support groups.
I remember one woman who repeatedly told us what a good
husband she had while all the while we knew he was
mistreating her something terribly. Over and over she
would also tell us how honest she was.

Finally, I said to her as kindly as I could, "Florence
(not her real name), if I have to tell you what a
gentleman I am, you can be pretty sure I'm not. If I
have to tell you how humble I am, you know I've
already lost it. And if I have to keep telling you how
honest I am …."

Wow, she got really mad at me and stormed out of the
room--which proved my point. Actually, she came back
and we remained friends.

It's amazing the lies we tell ourselves and the amount
of denial we are in--in order to avoid facing the
painful reality of the truth.

Jeffrey Gitomer agrees. He said, "My experience has
shown me that if you have to say what you are, you
probably aren't. Think about that for a moment. 'I'm
honest,' 'I'm ethical,' even 'I'm the boss,' or 'I'm
in charge,' usually indicates just the opposite."

What freedom and release we find when we have the
courage to admit our faults, sins, and problems--not
as a means to put ourselves down--but as a means to
quit the merry-go-round trap of denial, and grow in
love and maturity. It's amazing what being honest and
becoming real will do for improving our
relationships--both with God and others! Denial is a
mask to hide behind but masks can't relate. Only real
people can. Furthermore, only God can help us to the
degree that we are honest with ourselves and with him.
It's the only way to live life to the full!

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be
open-faced, honest and real--with myself, others, and
above all with you. Thank you for hearing and
answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name,
amen."

1. John 1:47 (NIV).

<:((((><
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When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Tue 31 Mar 2009, 5:57 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Faith Vs. Sincerity

"Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of
Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth …
this man stands here before you whole … Nor is there
salvation in any other, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be
saved."1

One of my favorite illustrations about "misguided
faith" comes from an advertising piece put out by a
business firm. On it was glued a small seed with the
claim that if you have as much faith in our business
as you do in this mustard seed, you will be guaranteed
great results.

Some months later a customer wrote back to the company
saying, "You will be interested to know that I planted
your mustard seed and it is now grown into a healthy
plant bearing great tomatoes!"

I wonder how many times I've been hoodwinked by a less
than honest sales person or manipulated by false
advertising. Guess most of us have been at one time or
another.

Of much greater significance is how many of us are
deceived by the promoters of false religions.

Too many believe if they live a good life that will
get them into heaven. Others, like I used to believe,
believe that if they do enough good things to
outnumber the bad things they've done, that will get
them into God's heaven. Others believe that as all
roads lead to Rome so all religions lead to God. Not
so. Such beliefs, no matter how sincere, couldn't be
farther from the truth.

The religious Pharisees of Christ's day were zealots
in their sincerity but were wrong--totally wrong--in
that they missed the very Messiah (Savior) for whom
they were looking because he didn't come in the way or
did what they expected him to do.

There are many religions today, too, that have very
sincere zealots and religious people who are equally
as wrong even though they sincerely believe that they
have THE truth!

Jesus made it clear--very clear--that he was the only
way to God. "I am the way, the truth, and the life,"
Jesus stated emphatically. "No one comes to the Father
except through Me."2

And God's Word, the Bible, affirms: "Nor is there
salvation in any other, for there is no other name
under heaven given among men by which we must be
saved."

And that name is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.
Only in him can forgiveness of sins, salvation, and
the gift of eternal life be found. Furthermore, had
there been other ways to God, why on earth would Jesus
have come to earth to suffer an incredibly excruciating
death on the cross to pay the penalty of all your sins
and mine?

The question we all need to ask ourselves, "Have I
trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior? To help you do
this read the article, "How to Be Sure You’re a Real
Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for Jesus and
that my trust is only in him for my eternal salvation
and a home in heaven to be with you forever. Thank you
for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in
Jesus' name, amen."

1. Acts 4:10, 12 (NKJV).
2. John 14:6 (NKJV).

<:((((><
* * * * * * *

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.

http://www.actsweb.org

Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Fri 27 Mar 2009, 10:22 am

Today's Daily Encounter
Is God Punishing Me?

"Confess to one another therefore your faults (your
slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and
pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and
restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The
earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous
man makes tremendous power available…."1

A Daily Encounter reader asks, "Can you explain why I
feel so miserable, guilty, and unhappy for not keeping
my promise to God to quit smoking? I feel he is
punishing me for failing and for breaking my promise."

No, no, no, no, no!
God is not like that. He is not a "punishing" father
like some earthly fathers--perhaps even like your
father was when you were little. God is much bigger
than that. It's we ourselves who punish ourselves.

Quitting smoking, or any addiction--small or large--is
not likely to happen by giving a promise to anyone, God
included. The root cause of the addiction is the
symptom of a deeper problem--also used as a means of
avoiding the real issue. As the saying goes, symptoms
are the fruit of a deeper root. Also, as another has
said, "God is merciful, when we have unresolved
problems, he gives us (or allows us to have)
symptoms!"

Sure, it's important not to neglect dealing with the
symptom but God wants to heal us at the deeper lever,
at the root cause of our problem. Symptoms need to be
a wakeup call for us to get the help we need.

So, first of all, pray the right prayer. If you are
struggling with an addiction or a bad habit, ask God
to give you the insight and courage to see the cause/s
behind the habit … why you started it in the first
place. Also, is it an escape from facing some
unresolved issue in your life? Ask God to confront you
with the truth behind your problem--the root cause--no
matter how painful this may be.

Second, ask God to lead you to the help you need to
overcome, which may be both medical and
psychological-counseling help, and to help you find a
support, twelve-step, or an overcomers anonymous
group--whatever it takes to help you overcome your
problem so it will no longer overcome you.

And remember, if you confess your failure to God and
ask for his forgiveness, he will always forgive,
forgive, and forgive. Remember that Jesus said we were
to forgive seventy-times-seven which mean forgiving
without end. That's the way God forgives us. This is
not an excuse to behave as we like but an expression
of God’s love when we genuinely want his help and
deliverance.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that symptoms
are often a sign of unresolved personal problems.
About my bad habit of ________ (name it), if this is
the fruit of a deeper root, please give me the insight
to see the cause/s, the courage to confront it and
admit it to you and at least one other trusting
person, and the good sense to get the help I need to
overcome it. And please lead me to the help I need so
to do. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 5:16 (AMP).
<:((((><
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Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
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and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
http://www.actscom.com

Copyright (c) 2009 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
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Re: Daily Encounter with: ACTS International

Post  Admin on Wed 25 Mar 2009, 4:00 pm

Today's Daily Encounter

Strike Three and You’re In

"Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often
shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up
to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to
you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times
seven.’"1

When I was a kid growing up I loved to play football
(rugby, I might add), but was never into baseball.
However, I did know what the saying "strike three and
you're out" meant. It meant if you missed hitting the
third ball that was in, you were out!

Life can be like that too. If you keep missing the
mark--of other's expectations of you--pretty soon you
discover that you are out--at least on the outside and
no longer with the in-group. You end up feeling and
believing that you are a loser.

And then you consistently set yourself up to lose
because that’s what you believe you are--a loser.

The opposite is also true. If you believe that you are
a winner, you will act in a winning manner. Even when
you fail at something, you will use it as a lesson to
improve what you do and move on to another success and
thereby reinforce your belief that you are a winner.

In other words, if you believe you're a loser, you
will lose. Or if you believe you're a winner, you will
win!

However, if we feel we are a loser, little by little
we can change our belief about ourselves by building
on our successes--no matter how small they are--and
not on our failures. Every one of us can do something
well if we choose to--even if we start by doing a good
job sweeping the kitchen floor and taking pride in the
fact that we did a good job…and then keep repeating
this practice with other chores.

Unfortunately, too many people have the belief that
they are either too bad or not good enough for God to
accept them and they feel that, to him, they are
losers. Not so. With God you can strike out "seven
times seventy" (ad infinitum) and you're still not
out--unless you allow yourself to be.

With God no matter what we have ever done or have
failed to do or how many times we have failed, we
never strike out with him. He loves us
unconditionally. All we need to do is acknowledge the
fact that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins,
confess our sins and failures to God and ask for his
forgiveness--and of course accept it with
thanksgiving-- and then little by little learn to
forgive ourselves. That's what you call hitting the
greatest home run of all.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that I never
strike out with you. Thank you, too, that you forgive
all my sins and failures when I confess them to you.
Help me always to remember that when I accept Jesus as
my Savior, I am a child of the King and help me to
truly believe this and live accordingly. Thank you for
hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus'
name, amen."

Note: If you have never confessed your sins/sinfulness
to God and accepted his forgiveness, read, "How to Be
Sure You’re a Real Christian at:
http://tinyurl.com/8glq9

1. Matthew 18:21-22 (NASB).

<:((((><
* * * * * * *

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) 2009 by ACTS International.

When copying or forwarding include the following:
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