Never Too Late

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July 21 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 29-30; Acts 23:1-15

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Mark 5:36

READ MARK 5:35–43

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During the anxious moments that followed my mother-in-law’s heart attack, she was fortunate to receive immediate medical care. Later, her doctor told me that treatment within fifteen minutes of a heart attack results in a survival rate of 33 percent for critical patients. But just 5 percent survive if treated beyond that time frame.

On the way to heal Jairus’s desperately ill daughter (someone definitely needing immediate medical care), Jesus did the unthinkable: He paused (Mark 5:30). He stopped to identify who touched Him, and then spoke gently with the woman. You can imagine what Jairus was thinking: There’s no time for this, my daughter is dying! And then, his worst fears came true—Jesus appeared to have delayed too long and his daughter passed away (v. 35).

But Jesus turned to Jairus and offered a word of encouragement: “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (v. 36). Then, calmly ignoring the mockery of onlookers, Christ spoke to Jairus’s daughter and she came back to life! He revealed that He can never be too late. Time can’t limit what He’s able to do and when He chooses to do it.

How often do we feel like Jairus, thinking that God was simply too late to accomplish what we had hoped for. But with God, there’s no such thing. He’s never too late in fulfilling His good and merciful work in our lives.

By Peter Chin

REFLECT & PRAY

Jesus, help me to remember that You’re sovereign even over time itself, and that You’re never too late to accomplish Your perfect plans.

How have you recently experienced the reality of God’s timing? Why is it vital for you to rest in God’s sovereignty—acknowledging that His plans are the best?

 

 

 

 

10 Countries With the Longest Coastline

Coastlines are interesting parts of the world’s geography because they are always changing. The water creeps in and washes parts of them away, only to come back later and deposit sand, shells and dirt. Here is a look at the 10 countries with the most coastline, according to World Atlas.

Antarctica

Antarctica

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With an impressive 11,165 miles of coastline, Antarctica comes in at 10 on this list. Three oceans come together to form a border here — the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Collectively they go by the “Southern Ocean.”

The United States

The United States

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While America is home to fantastic beaches, it is surprisingly far down on the list of longest coastlines. Still, the U.S. can boast 12,380 miles of coastline, which includes those of Hawaii and America’s territories. Of the 50 states that make up this country, a whopping 23 of them have at least a bit of coastline, with some states bordering the Atlantic Ocean and others bordering the Pacific. Alaska touches the Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico creates a coastline in the south.

Australia

Australia

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Australia has close to 4,000 more miles of coastline than the U.S., with 16,006 miles. This coastline is extremely diverse, with some shores featuring swamps, others cliffs and rock formations, and others nice, sandy beaches. Much of Australia’s population lives on the coast, with many people working in the fishing and/or tourism industries, and the coves, caves and other interesting landscape features bring people from all over the world to visit these areas.

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Daily trivia question

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What is the world’s smallest ocean?

Japan

Japan

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Japan is next up, with 18,486 miles of coastline. It is east of the Sea of Japan and wedged between the East China Sea in the south and the Sea of Okhotsk in the north. Many people live along the coast and rely on whaling and fishing for their livelihood.

Philippines

Philippines

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The Philippines take the nest spot with 22,549 miles of coastline. This takes into account the measurements from all of its 7,641 islands. This country is full of bays, gulfs and islets, and 60% of the population lives near or on the shore and engages in commercial fishing as a career.

Russia

Russia

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With the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific to the east, the Arctic to the north and four different seas to the southwest, Russia has an amazing 23,396 miles of coastline. Many of the country’s most popular and most well-known cities are located on the coast, including Kaliningrad, Yalta, Magadan and St. Petersburg.

Greenland

Greenland

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Jumping up to more than 27,392 miles of coastline, the next country on our list is Greenland. This chilly country has the Arctic Ocean on one side and the Atlantic on the other, and it is home to some of the largest and most important glaciers in the world. It is also home to whales, hares, foxes, lemmings and polar bears, who all live among the picturesque icebergs, fjords and rocky cliffs.

Indonesia

Indonesia

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Indonesia may not be one of the largest countries, but it wins the bronze medal for coastline length with 34,0001 miles of coast. Some of the country’s coast features forests while you’ll find sandy beaches in other spots.

Norway

Norway

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Another chilly country with a surprising amount of shoreline is Norway. It has just over 36,122 miles of coastline thanks to peninsulas, archipelagos and borders that touch both the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, as well as the Barents Sea. Thousands of visitors come every year to see Norway’s coastal landscape and the northern lights.

Canada

Canada

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With a mind-boggling 125,567 miles of coastline, Canada blows all of the other countries out of the water. While the chilly temps keep many spots from becoming relaxing hotspot, visitors still can’t help but be impressed with the beautiful coastal landscapes here.

3 Most Popular Cruises of 2019

In 2009, an impressive 18 million people chose to take a cruise for their vacation. In 2019, however, that number is predicted to hit 30 million. So which cruises are people taking and where are they headed? Here are the three most popular cruises, according to Cruise Critic.

Celebrity Eclipse

Celebrity Eclipse

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Celebrity Cruises is a big name in the cruise ship game, which is why two of their ships occupy spots in the top three. The third-most popular cruise is the Celebrity Eclipse. This ship’s big draw is that it is the perfect vessel for a first-time cruise passenger. Some of the other ships on this list are so packed with experiences and activities, it can make a novice cruiser want to hide in her cabin.

Which is not to say that the Celebrity Eclipse doesn’t have plenty of great things for guests to do. There are 11 restaurants on board, three pools, and you can see both Broadway shows and comedy performances on board. The Celebrity Eclipse is the only line in the top three that is based in the Pacific Ocean. As such, the Celebrity Eclipse offers cruises to destinations in South America, trips to Hawaii, and even sails through Glacier Bay, Alaska, which was voted the most popular cruise destination of 2018.

Allure of the Seas

Allure of the Seas

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The Allure of the Seas was the largest cruise ship in the world until its sister ship, the Harmony of the Seas, surpassed it in 2016. This cruise is all about action and is divided into seven activity-based neighborhoods. One neighborhood is called the Boardwalk and has a theme park vibe, while the Sports Zone features more athletic activities, such as onboard surfing and zip lining. You can finish up your day at the Entertainment Place where you can watch musicals and other live shows.

The Allure of the Seas generally sails in the Caribbean but sometimes makes transatlantic trips that visit Barcelona, Marseille and Rome.

Celebrity Equinox

Celebrity Equinox

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The Celebrity Equinox is Celebrity Cruise’s main Caribbean vessel, which helps put it at the top of the list as the most popular cruise of 2019. While the Celebrity Equinox does not lack for entertainment, while underway, the cruise is geared more toward a sort of casual sophistication. There are multiple high-end restaurants specializing in cuisines such as Italian, Asian and French.

Likewise, a variety of different bars cater to different tastes. A craft beer bar serves microbrews, a martini bar lets passengers enjoy a cocktail in seclusion, and the Sunset Bar on the stern lets guests take in the magnificent views over the ocean while they enjoy their beverage.

The Celebrity Equinox’s home port of Fort Lauderdale puts it in easy reach of the Caribbean cruises it specializes in, but the ship is sometimes scheduled for special voyages to the Mediterranean. The ship received an extensive overhaul to the interior in May 2019, meaning there’s no better time than now to sail on the world’s most popular cruise.

With a little research, these cruises can be a great way to visit the places you’ve always wanted to go and truly enjoy the journey. They also don’t need to be expensive as a little bargain hunting can go a long way. The cruise ship companies want their ships to be as full as possible and often offer steep discounts to fill them up!

Spiritual Warfare: Behind Enemy Lines

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Before you fight a war, it’s always a good thing to know something about your enemy. — David Jeremiah
 
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. — 1 Peter 5:8

Why is it important to understand the enemy?

Before you fight a war, it’s always a good thing to know something about your enemy. Nowhere is this statement truer than in the spiritual realm.

Many Christians do not take the enemy seriously because they don’t know enough about him to take him seriously.

In fact, Satan’s cleverest strategy is to make us believe that he does not exist or that he’s not a real threat.

Some Christians do not even believe in a literal devil. Instead, they believe he is a biblical symbol for evil. But that is not the position of the Bible. The devil is every bit as real as God is. It’s hard for a symbol to do the things attributed to Satan in Scripture: deceiving, murdering, tempting, destroying, lying, accusing, and controlling.

In the famous exchange between God and Satan in Job 1, God asked Satan from where he had come. The devil answered,
 

From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it. — Job 1:7

Satan is active on the earth today, involved in human affairs. In fact, the whole world is under his control (1 John 5:19). God has given Satan authority on the earth for a while, and God will one day take back that control. In the meantime, anyone living on planet Earth is subject to the devil’s actions. And we must keep our guard up against him.

In the book The Art of War, written twenty-six hundred years ago, author Sun Tzu observed:

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
 

What do we know about Satan’s origin?

Satan’s original name was Lucifer, which means “shining one,” “morning star,” or “son of the morning.” And strange as it may sound, he came from Heaven. Lucifer was the chief of the cherubim — the highest order of angels. And before the fall, he was in Eden, the garden of God, and he had access to the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:13-14).

We also know that Lucifer was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). In fact, Ezekiel 28:13 describes the beauty of Lucifer with gems that reflected the glory of God: “sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.” No creature had been so fully prepared to reflect the glory of God.

This same passage in Ezekiel also gives us a musical description:
 

The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. — Ezekiel 28:13
God had given Satan the very special commission to minister unto Him and cover His glory with music through worship and praise. Of Lucifer’s musical abilities, Terry Law has written: “Pipes apparently were built into his very body… He was a master musician.”2 He was a walking orchestra. And that was the distinctive purpose that God gave him:

Lucifer was one of God’s best works, created to praise God in Heaven.

From the pomp and beauty of heaven, this glorious creation will be “brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isaiah 14:15). All his beauty will be gone. In the epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton, we see this illustrated. There is a battle in heaven as Satan and his followers fight against God for supremacy. After being defeated and chained in a lake of fire, Satan is still not willing to accept defeat.

Satan would rather be a king in hell than a servant in heaven.

In fact, so great is Satan’s arrogance that, even after being cast out of heaven, he has continued to work to subvert the plans of God by corrupting His most prized creation: mankind. Satan also attempts to make evil seem good as he enchants human beings with false gods. From the glories of heaven where he was created, Satan has fallen, and his ultimate destination for all eternity will be a pit.
 

How does Satan attempt to deceive the world?

Spiritual deception may be Satan’s most insidious weapon in his guerrilla warfare against us. Jesus and the apostles speak of it nearly thirty times in the New Testament. John 8:44 records Jesus’ reply to a group of Jews who were resisting His message. Jesus boldly told them that they were children of their father the devil and that they were not hearing the truth because their father’s native language was lies. A person’s native language is what he or she converses in most easily. And Satan speaks the language of deception quite fluently.

In fact, Revelation 12:9 refers to Satan as the one “who deceives the whole world,” and he does so by imitating the work of God through counterfeit and camouflage. Satan’s last and greatest deception will be to bring the Antichrist to the world at the end of the age. Initially, the Antichrist will be a peacemaker who uses persuasive speech and manifests supernatural powers much as Jesus Himself did. But once people fall for this counterfeit, the Antichrist will lead them not to God but away from Him.

Pastor and theologian R. Kent Hughes explains one of the reasons for Satan’s effectiveness as a deceiver and manipulator:

I am no genius at mathematics, but even with my limited capabilities, I could be terrific at math if I worked at it for 100 years (maybe!). If I labored hard at it for 1,000 years and read all the learned theories, I would be a Newton or an Einstein. Or what if I had 10,000 years? Given that time, any of us could become the world’s greatest philosopher or psychologist or theologian or linguist… Satan has had multiple millennia to study and master the human disciplines, and when it comes to human subversion, he is the ultimate manipulator.

The devil’s disguises are very clever, and he hides in the most unbelievable places. One of his favorite hideouts is religion. He also hides behind intellectualism. He hides in poetry and art and oftentimes in music. He hides in psychology and human understanding. Satan can even use the subtle method of Scripture taken out of context to deceive. When people take verses out of context and use them to prove something they were not intended to prove, those people are falling right into Satan’s trap.

Satan never tempts us to believe blatant error: that would be too easily discerned.

Satan is subtle, and that is why we as the people of God must stay alert.

Excerpted with permission from The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book by David Jeremiah, copyright Dr. David Jeremiah. Published by Thomas Nelson.
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Your Turn

How often do you consider Satan and actively guard against and pray against him? Today, let’s pause and remind ourselves to be aware that we have an active enemy who “prowls about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8) not in fear, but in preparation. Father, help us to stay alert and to keep our focus on You. Help us to root out pride in every form in our lives and to remain humble. Come share with us on our blog! We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily 

 

 

 

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The enemy will find you. Be ready for battle.

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Do you have questions about spiritual warfare?

Trusted pastor and bestselling author Dr. David Jeremiah brings clarity to the complex topic of spiritual warfare. From his years of teaching on this subject, Pastor Jeremiah has selected answers to your pertinent questions concerning victory in the spiritual realm.

The Bible says God will ultimately be victorious and win the spiritual war. But it also says He has given every Christian promises and power to win our daily spiritual battles. The book includes 86 questions with answers, such as:

  • How does Satan imitate God?
  • Are demons real?
  • What protection does the shield of faith provide?
  • How can I defend myself against a hostile world?
  • How do I “put on” Christ?
  • And more than 80 additional questions are addressed with Biblical answers presented in Q&A format!

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