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A Devotional for such a time as this:

 In Grief

Isaiah 7:1–8:22; Luke 2:22–52; Job 2:11–13

It’s difficult to know how to respond to people suffering grief. Those brave enough to speak often attempt to rationalize another’s grief with ill-timed theological truths. Those who feel inadequate or awkward about reaching out to grieving people sometimes avoid them altogether.
Job’s friends are well known for misinterpreting Job’s suffering. But they aren’t often recognized for the moments when they responded to Job’s anguish with wisdom. When Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar first heard of the tragedy, they immediately came to comfort Job:
“Thus they lifted up their eyes from afar, but they did not recognize him, so they raised their voice, and they wept, and each man tore his outer garment and threw dust on their heads toward the sky. Then they sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, but no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very great” (Job 2:12–13).
Often we try to diminish grief with clichés that seem helpful and fill the awkward silence, like “God is in control.” Job’s friends realized that such spoken attempts—even spoken truths—would only interrupt and add to the grieving that was necessary and appropriate. Instead, they shared his grief, offered their presence, and didn’t speak a word.
Job’s friends didn’t keep silent for long, though, and when they did speak, Job wished they would be silent: “O that you would keep completely silent and that it would become wisdom for you” (Job 13:5). Our response to grief should be measured and prayerful. Attempts to explain events that we don’t ultimately understand can bring even more pain. However, shared grief and empathy can bring comfort to someone who knows truth but is struggling to come to grips with a new reality.

How can you empathize rather than rationalize grief?

~ REBECCA VAN NOORD

- from: Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- via Logos 6

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A Devotional for such a time as this:

The brave comradeship of God

Then He took unto Him the twelve.
~ Luke 18:31.

The bravery of God in trusting us! You say—‘But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing in me; I am not of any value.’ That is why He chose you. As long as you think there is something in you, God cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfilment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.
We are apt to say that because a man has natural ability, therefore he will make a good Christian. It is not a question of our equipment but of our poverty; not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a question of natural virtues, of strength of character, knowledge, and experience—all that is of no avail in this matter. The only thing that avails is that we are taken up into the big compelling of God and made His comrades (cf. 1 Cor. 1:26–30 ). The comradeship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty. He can do nothing with the man who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not out for our own cause at all, we are out for the cause of God, which can never be our cause. We do not know what God is after, but we have to maintain our relationship with Him whatever happens. We must never allow anything to injure our relationship with God; if it does get injured, we must take time and get it put right. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed.


- from: Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.
- via Logos 6

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A Devotional for such a time as this:

In His love and in His pity He redeemed them.
—Isaiah 63:9.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.
—Psalm 103:13.

God only knows the love of God:
Oh, that it now were shed abroad
In this poor stony heart;
For love I sigh, for love I pine,
This only portion, Lord, be mine,
Be mine this better part.
~ Charles Wesley.

Don't measure God's mind by your own, It would be a poor love that depended not on itself, but on the feelings of the person loved. A crying baby turns away from its mother's breast, but she does not put it away till it stops crying. She holds it closer. For my part, in the worst mood I am ever in, when I don't feel I love God at all, I just look up to His love. I say to Him, "Look at me. See what state I am in. Help me!" Ah! you would wonder how that makes peace. And the love comes of itself; sometimes so strong, it nearly breaks my heart.
~ George MacDonald.

He does not love us because we are so lovely, but because He always loves what He pities.
~ Elizabeth Prentiss.

- from: Joy and Strength for the Pilgrim's Day
- via QuickVerse 10

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A Devotional for such a time as this:

It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
~ John 19:30

Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

— I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

— We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering an offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 — Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.

— Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Hebrews 12:2. John 17:4. Hebrews 10:10-14. Colossians 2:14. John 10:17,18. John. 15:13.

- from: Daily Light on the Daily Path
- via QuickVerse 10

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A Devotional for such a time as this:

Enjoying God Forever

My sheep hear my voice... and they shall never perish.
~ John 10:27-28

It should be illuminating to us that the difference between unbelief and faith, between man's point of view and God's, often comes to light as the believer faces death.
We are told that when John Wesley was dying, he tried to sing but his voice was nearly gone. Although his own theology was Armenian, he was trying to sing the words of an old Calvinist hymn:


I will praise my Maker while I've breath,
And when my soul is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers.


That is at least one reason why I cannot get all heated up about contending for one theological position over another.
If Isaac Watts, a Calvinist, could write such praise to God and John Wesley, an Armenian, could sing it with yearning in his last moments, why should I allow anyone to force me to confess, "I don't know which I am!"
I was created and redeemed that I should worship Him and enjoy Him forever. That is the primary issue in our Christian walk!
 
Lord, when it's time for me to pass from this life to the next, I pray that it will be a glorious transition from praising You in this life to that of worshiping You face to face in Your holy presence.

- from: Mornings with Tozer
- via QuickVerse 10

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A Devotional for such a time as this:

         “The people that do know their God shall be strong.” 
         — Daniel 11:32

Every believer understands that to know God is the highest and best form of knowledge; and this spiritual knowledge is a source of strength to the Christian. It strengthens his faith. Believers are constantly spoken of in the Scriptures as being persons who are enlightened and taught of the Lord; they are said to “have an unction from the Holy One,” and it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead them into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of their faith. Knowledge strengthens love, as well as faith. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Saviour. Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait then we love him, we cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree. If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus, what he has done for us, and what he is doing now, we cannot love him much; but the more we know him, the more we shall love him. Knowledge also strengthens hope. How can we hope for a thing if we do not know of its existence? Hope may be the telescope, but till we receive instruction, our ignorance stands in the front of the glass, and we can see nothing whatever; knowledge removes the interposing object, and when we look through the bright optic glass we discern the glory to be revealed, and anticipate it with joyous confidence. Knowledge supplies us reasons for patience. How shall we have patience unless we know something of the sympathy of Christ, and understand the good which is to come out of the correction which our heavenly Father sends us? Nor is there one single grace of the Christian which, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge. How important, then, is it that we should grow not only in grace, but in the “knowledge” of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 


- from: Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
- via Logos 6

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Have them in circles
512 people
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Sharing the love of JESUS with those in need, a hand up, not a hand out!!!
Introduction
Praise the LORD!!!, this alone should tell you that you've reached the right Vine of CHRIST Ministries :))) For those that know me, know that I'm always praising the LORD, no matter what is happening.
   Vine of CHRIST Ministries, is a multi-branched ministry, seeking to share the love of JESUS with those in need, not a handout, but a hand up !!! Though the ministry has been the works of my hands alone for over twelve years, it will someday grow to be far more. Encompassing numerous branches of Christian ministry,, along with many of the secular helps groups. The LORD revealed to me, when I was anointed for this, that much of that which secular helps groups preform, is really that which Christians are called to do. Yet, for many years, we've forsaken this calling. Well folks, no longer, for this is what this ministry is about and it will reach to the ends of the earth to fulfill this calling !!!!!!!
   The only means to contact me(the ministry(Rev. M. Barth)) at this time, besides online sites, is snail mail. The address is: Vine of CHRIST Ministries, 330 W. Alice Ave., # 7, Kingsville, Texas, 78363
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Vine of CHRIST Ministries, 330 W. Alice Ave., #7, Kingsville, Texas, 78363