CHOCOLATE FOR YOUR SOUL WITH SHERI ROSE SHEPHERD – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

In Light of Our Imperfections
by Sheri Rose ShepherdYou are the light of the world– like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. – Matthew 5:14-15

The first time I was invited to speak came from a woman who had totally humiliated me at the dinner table in front of my husband’s Bible professors. There I was, already intimidated by the educated people at the table, when one of the woman at our table said loudly, “I heard you were fat, Jewish, and on drugs. How did you ever become a Christian?” Of course all eyes were suddenly on me as I felt forced to share my life story in front of a table of strangers. I am not proud of my life before Christ and every word felt like a fight as I struggled to explain my sin and salvation experience. When they finally stopped asking questions, I excused myself to the bathroom and begged God to never let that happen again.

That night as I crawled into bed, I played back my personal battles of regret, past pain, and guilt. I did not want to share my faith; I wanted to hide my past and pretend it never happened. I know I am not alone in my inward battle of wanting to do something great for God while fighting the feeling of being unworthy to be used by God to further His kingdom on earth.

I didn’t realize that my brokenness is actually a blessing that has kept me desperate for God in my 22 years of ministry.

Our amazing God in His grace knows how to transform our messes into a message of hope!

His Love Letter to YouMy Child,

I stepped into your darkness so you would shine for Me. Did you know that I have empowered you to light up the lives of everyone around you? You are My light to the world. So walk with me and let Me illuminate your life today with My love and My power. Look to Me, and I will make you the bright spot in someones darkness today.

Don’t hide your light beneath your uncertainties and insecurities. Spend more time with me and I will make you glow with a godliness that’s irresistible. If you will let Me, I’ll make you shine in such a way that you will be My star that points to heaven and brings hope to the hurting.

Love,
Your King and True Light of the world

MARK AS INCOMPLETE

C. S. LEWIS DAILY – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Screwtape clarifies the Enemy’s intent:

Of course I know that the Enemy also wants to detach men from themselves, but in a different way. Remember always, that He really likes the little vermin, and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them. When He talks of their losing their selves, He only means abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever. Hence, while He is delighted to see them sacrificing even their innocent wills to His, He hates to see them drifting away from their own nature for any other reason. And we should always encourage them to do so.

From The Screwtape Letters
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters. Copyright © 1942, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

HIS PRINCESS EVERY DAY – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

ManipulationMy Precious Girl,

I want to talk with you about manipulation. This is a serious trick of the enemy to trap you into doing something you know in your heart is wrong. Hold on to this truth when you feel yourself falling into the trap of manipulation. No one can control you without your permission, I have given you the strength to walk away from any and all things that will cause you to fall away from me. I never want my girl to feel manipulated. I want you to refuse to let anyone take you away from your true calling. You are free, my beloved daughter; now walk in the freedom I give you–starting today.

Love,
Your trustworthy King

T.G.I.F. – TODAY GOD IS FIRST – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

A Joseph Calling

“And he sent a man before them – Joseph, sold as a slave.” – Psalm 105:17

God is doing a unique work around the world today. He is rising up Josephs throughout the world. Some are still in the “pit” stage of their pilgrimage, while others are heading toward fruitfulness. What does it take for a man to become a true Joseph? It takes years of preparation and testing to be a true Joseph. It takes what the psalmist says in Psalm 105:17. “He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food; and he sent a man before them – Joseph, sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true. The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free” (Psalm 105:16-20).

A true Joseph is one who is a provider both spiritually and materially for those in the Body of Christ. It is a person who understands that he is simply a manager of all that God has entrusted to him. It is a person who has humility and a broken and contrite heart before God. But how does God prepare modern-day Josephs?

Modern-day Josephs are prepared through their own versions of bruised feet, with shackles and necks put in irons. It is often through the adversity of failed finances, failed marriages, failed relationships, and broken dreams. These are the things that try men the most. These are the things God uses to allow the Josephs of our day to be proven by the Word of the Lord. Once proven, God brings them out of their prisons and uses them mightily for His purposes. Joseph went through his own trials – not because of any failure, but because of an incredible calling: to save and provide for an entire nation. God had to prepare this man with 13 years of broken dreams and humble circumstances in order to break every ounce of pride and self-will. God could not afford to have a 30-year-old steeped in arrogance and pride running an entire nation.

When I attended a world conference on global evangelization in South Africa, I was privileged to sit among 45 other men from different parts of the world who had a Joseph calling on their lives. These men of means had humility of heart and a spirit unlike any others I have met in my country. Each one had his own Joseph story. It was an incredible scene that changed my life and my own view of business. This allowed me to see firsthand this phenomenon that is going on throughout the world. Many believe God is rising up these servants to prepare for a worldwide economic earthquake and to fund a global harvest of souls. Even since this conference, one nation is being dramatically affected because of a Joseph who has stepped forward to fulfill his calling for that nation. It is an awesome demonstration of God’s power working today.

Are you willing to allow God to do whatever it takes for you to become a true Joseph? Ask the Lord today to do whatever is necessary to fully use your gifts and talents for His eternal Kingdom.

TGIF, Today God Is First. Copyright © 2016 by Os Hillman. All rights reserved. www.MarketplaceLeaders.org

WORDS OF CHEER FOR DAILY LIFE – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

“Sons of Jacob”

By “the sons of Jacob” are meant persons who enjoy peculiar rights and titles. Jacob had no rights by birth; but he soon acquired them. He changed a mess of pottage with his brother Esau, and thus gained the birthright. I do not justify the means; but he did also obtain the blessing, and so acquired peculiar rights. By the “sons of Jacob” are meant persons who have peculiar rights and titles. Unto them that believe, He hath given the right and power to become sons of God. They have an interest in the blood of Christ; they have a right to “enter in through the gates Into the city”; they have a title to eternal honours; they have a promise to everlasting glory; they have a right to call themselves sons of God. Oh! there are peculiar rights and privileges belonging to the “sons of Jacob.”

But these “sons of Jacob” were men of peculiar manifestations. Jacob had had peculiar manifestations from his God, and thus he was highly honoured. Once, at night-time, he lay down and slept; he had the hedges for his curtains, the sky for his canopy, a stone for his pillow, and the earth for his bed. Oh! then he had a peculiar manifestation. There was a ladder, and he saw the angels of God ascending and descending. He thus had a manifestation of Christ Jesus, as the ladder which reaches from earth to heaven, up and down which angels came to bring us mercies. Then what a manifestation there was at Mahanaim, when the angels of God met him; and again at Peniel, when he wrestled with God, and saw Him face to face. Those were peculiar manifestations; and this passage refers to those who, like Jacob, have had peculiar manifestations.

The sons of Jacob have had peculiar manifestations. They have talked with God as a man talketh with his friend; they have whispered in the ear of Jehovah; Christ hath been with them to sup with them, and they with Christ; and the Holy Spirit hath shone into their souls with such a mighty radiance, that they could not doubt about special manifestations. The “sons of Jacob” are the men who enjoy these manifestations.

Then, they are men of peculiar trials. Ah! poor Jacob! I should not choose Jacob’s lot if I had not the prospect of Jacob’s blessing; for a hard lot his was. He had to run away from his father’s house to Laban’s; and then that surly old Laban cheated him all the years he was there—cheated him of his wife, cheated him in his wages, cheated him in his flocks, and cheated him all through the story. By-and-bye he had to run away from Laban, who pursued him and overtook him. Next came Esau with four hundred men to cut him up root and branch. Then there was a season of prayer, and afterwards he wrestled, and had to go all his life with his thigh out of joint. But a little further on, Rachel, his dear beloved, died. Then his daughter Dinah is led astray, and the sons murder the Shechemites. Anon there is dear Joseph sold into Egypt, and a famine comes. Then Reuben goes up to his couch and pollutes it; Judah commits incest with his own daughter-in-law; and all his sons become a plague to him. At last Benjamin is taken away; and the old man, almost broken-hearted, cries, “Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away.” Never was man more tried than Jacob, all through the one sin of cheating his brother. All through his life God chastised him. But I believe there are many who can sympathize with dear old Jacob. They have had to pass through trials very much like his. Well, cross-bearers! God says, “I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Poor tried souls! ye are not consumed because of the unchanging nature of your God. Now do not get fretting, and say, with the self-conceit of misery, “I am the man who hath seen affliction.” Why, “the Man of Sorrows” was afflicted more than you; Jesus was indeed a mourner. You only see the skirts of the garments of affliction. You never have trials like His. You do not understand what troubles mean; you have hardly sipped the cup of trouble; you have only had a drop or two, but Jesus drank the dregs. “Fear not,” saith God, “I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob,” men of peculiar trials, “are not consumed.”

Then, “sons of Jacob” are men of peculiar character; for though there were some things about Jacob’s character which we cannot commend, there are one or two things which God commends. There was Jacob’s faith, by which Jacob had his name written amongst the mighty worthies who obtained not the promises on earth, but shall obtain them in heaven. Are you men of faith, beloved? Do you know what it is to walk by faith, to live by faith, to get your temporary food by faith, to live on spiritual manna—all by faith? Is faith the rule of your life? if so, you are the “sons of Jacob.”

Then Jacob was a man of prayer—a man who wrestled, and groaned, and prayed. “Ah! you poor heathen, don’t you pray?” “No!” you say, “I never thought of such a thing; for years I have not prayed.” Well, I hope you may before you die. Live and die without prayer, and you will pray long enough when you get to hell. There is a woman: she was so busy sending her children to the Sunday-school, she had no time to pray. No time to pray? Had you time to dress? There is a time for every purpose under heaven, and if you had purposed to pray, you would have prayed. Sons of God cannot live without prayer. They are wrestling Jacobs. They are men in whom the Holy Ghost so works, that they can no more live without prayer than I can live without breathing. They must pray. Mark you, if you are living without prayer, you are living without Christ; and dying like that, your portion will be in the lake which burneth with fire. God redeem you, God rescue you from such a lot! But you who are “the sons of Jacob” take comfort, for God is immutable.

Database Copyright 2007 WORDsearch Corp.

MARK AS INCOMPLETE

Institute For Creation Research

February 15, 2019
The Incarnate Wisdom
“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” (Proverbs 8:22-23)

The book of Proverbs repeatedly extols the virtues of true wisdom, founded on the fear of the Lord. In the eighth chapter, however, beginning at verse 22, the theme changes, retreating far back in time to creation itself, and even before. The statements in the next ten verses, especially, must be of an actual divine Person. From the New Testament perspective, especially with John 1:1-14 as the definitive exposition, it becomes clear that the divine wisdom of Proverbs 8:22-31 is none other than the incarnate Word of John’s prologue.

The Lord Jesus Christ, indeed, fits perfectly all the statements in this particular section of Proverbs, which then gives marvelous new insight into the events of creation and the divine fellowship in the Godhead before the creation. Note that in these first two verses, the Lord’s “ways” were prior to His “works” and that He “possessed” His Son “from everlasting.” This is the profound doctrine of “eternal generations,” whereby the Son is “brought forth” continually from the Father, forever manifesting Him in His creation.

The New Testament makes it plain that Jesus Christ is, indeed, the incarnate wisdom of God. He is the “Word” by whom all things were made (John 1:1-3). He is “the truth” (John 14:6) and “the light” (John 8:12) by whom alone men can come to God and follow Him. He is called “the power of God, and the wisdom of God” in 1 Corinthians 1:24, and He called Himself “the wisdom of God” in Luke 11:49.

All of the vaunted knowledge of the world’s thinkers and scientists is empty and futile apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, for in Him alone are found “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). HMM