devos from the hill


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Prayers of Faith and Cries of the Heart

This Week’s Staff Devotional
from Fred Carpenter

“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. (18) Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.” James 5:14-18 NASB

 

In James 5:15&16, we read about the effectiveness of a “prayer offered in faith.” And in verses 17&18, the prayers of Elijah are cited as an example of such a prayer. These examples are recorded in 1 Kings 17:1 and 1 Kings 18:1 & 18:42-46.

Elijah’s prayer In 1 Kings 17:1 reads more like a confident prophetic proclamation than a request, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” Because Elijah was a righteous man (Jas 5:16) and a prophet of God, we must conclude that these words did not originate from Elijah’s self-initiative, but from God’s revelation to Elijah. Elijah was praying in accordance with God’s will.

In chapter 18, we find it explicitly stated that God told Elijah exactly what to do and say, (18:1) “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.” Then Elijah went up Mt. Carmel, got on his knees, and again, prayed in accordance with God’s revealed will. This account is given to us in James 5:17&18 so that we might know how to pray today. Continue reading


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From Mars Hill to Times Square

Mars Hill Staff Devotional

The Sermon given was rooted in Acts 17.

In 1957 Rev. Billy Graham preached to a crowd of some 125,000 in the middle of Times Square, New York! Using the passage from Acts 17 where Paul delivered the gospel to the learned men of Athens gathered on Mars Hill, Rev Graham also spoke a simple and powerful message of Christ to those gathered. Do you think this kind of event could happen today? Why or why not? Click on the link below to watch an incredible vintage video!

http://espace.wheaton.edu/bgc/NYC57/cn54f149.html

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Does God Love Everyone?

Mars Hill Staff Devotional

“Does God love everyone or just Christians?”
God is love. God does love. But does God love everyone or just those who follow Him?

Join us in spending some time reading scripture and thinking through this tough question posed in the devotional below.

http://www.gotquestions.org/does-God-love-everyone.html


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Someone Worth Losing Everything For

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
from David Platt

Bigger is better, right?

How many disciples did Jesus have? How many followers? This morning we looked at an excerpt from David Platt’s book, Radical, Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.

Check it out right here: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/someone-worth-losing-everything-for-11632224.html


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Christ Our Model

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
from D.L. Moody

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… Hebrews 12:2a

Is it really possible to be like Christ? The trouble with most people is that their lives are not formed according to any plan. They are not striving to resemble any model. They have no definite aim and purpose.

Check out this brief message from evangelist, D.L. Moody for more insight… http://www.wholesomewords.org/etexts/moody/ourmodel.html


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7 Realities of Experiencing God

Mars Hill Staff Devotional

We took an abbreviated look at the 7 Realities of Experiencing God from the “Experiencing God” study by Blackaby and King. Our relationship and fellowship with God grows by His initiation in our lives, and by our response to His initiation. How deep do you want your fellowship in Jesus to be? It is as deep as your response level to Him.

1. God is always at work around you.
2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real
and personal.
3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer,
circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes,
and His ways.
5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a
crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in
what He is doing.
7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He
accomplishes His work through you.

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To learn more about this great study, click here:  http://www.blackaby.net/expgod/


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Look Again and Think

Mars Hill Staff Devotional

Do not worry about your life . . . —Matthew 6:25

Are the cares of this world choking out the life of God in you? This morning our staff used an Oswald Chambers message to consider reasons not to worry. Very freeing!!!

A warning which needs to be repeated is that “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches,” and the lust for other things, will choke out the life of God in us (Matthew 13:22). We are never free from the recurring waves of this invasion. If the frontline of attack is not about clothes and food, it may be about money or the lack of money; or friends or lack of friends; or the line may be drawn over difficult circumstances. It is one steady invasion, and these things will come in like a flood, unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the banner against it.

Read more about it here:  http://utmost.org/look-again-and-think/


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Boils at Christmas

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Part 2

“Tis the season to be jolly?” With mass shootings, war in the middle east, an economic cliff, etc,. where’s the joy? For our staff devo yesterday, we also looked at a Christmas message in the middle of the book of Job 19:13-27   (via Ray Stedman… Follow the link below to read the full lesson).

The old Christmas carol tells us to “Deck the halls with boughs of holly … ’tis the season to be jolly,” but I have noted, as I am sure you have, a very strange and somber mood this Christmas. The energy crunch has kept all the decorations from the streets, and not many houses are showing bright lights either. It is a rather dull and gloomy Christmas in comparison with those of the past. Most of us feel the somberness of this occasion, especially as we read in the newspapers the chilling stories of cruel and ruthless murders occurring in many places today. We know that famine is spreading in the Sahara, war clouds hang over the Mideast, and corruption in politics still occupies the front pages of our newspapers.

Many people today are asking, very honestly, “What is there to celebrate about Christmas?” Perhaps many of you are facing personal sorrow in your own lives, feeling pain and tragedy. And despite the joy of family reunions there is an inner pain and darkness.

I had lunch this week with a man who told me he had all the outward marks of success. He was eminent in his profession, had a beautiful home and a lovely family — all these things that people count as important. And yet inwardly he was filled with a constant agony and a sense of self-doubt. Many are feeling this way. “Where is the joy of Christmas?” they say.

Read more…http://www.raystedman.org/thematic-studies/christmas-and-easter/boils-at-christmas


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Light in the Darkness

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Part 1

We studied this Rembrandt painting, “The Adoration of the Shepherds”. Notice the ladder forming a cross above Jesus, the rooster (a sign of betrayal) over him, and the source of light in the painting . . . Jesus Himself. He is the light in our darkness. Check back tomorrow for Part 2. (click on photo to enlarge)

Rembrandt


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Test of Faithfulness

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
The Test of Faithfulness
from Oswald Chambers

 

As Christians do we really see Christ as our Lord and our life…or do we see him as just another worker? An equal co-laborer?

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . . —Romans 8:28

Key Take-away: The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that we will be free to let Him do His work through us.

from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest: http://utmost.org/test-of-faithfulness/