Let’s say you land in a foreign country, having no knowledge of the city or its language. But there waiting for you is the leading dignitary. He welcomes you and then informs you that he personally will be escorting you around the city. All the pent-up fear and anxiety within would melt away as he guided you to his official car…for you would feel safe and secure with this help. The world is a scary place to live today, and we all feel like foreigners in a strange land. But God is like that dignitary…offering His hand in support and encouragement. Calming and assuring us that He is there to help. For anything can be faced with trust in the Lord…anything.
Month: September 2018
Psalm 51:10 ” Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
I listened to a song the other day…its title a declaration that a lot of us might not say with any conviction…”I am ready for the Storm.” Now I realize that it’s not if but when trials will come into my life…but to proclaim that I’m ready for them gives me pause. So how can I prepare? The Psalmist here shows us that it’s the daily renewing of our heart and mind that will enable us to do this. Our faith is renewed and given new life daily…ever-deepening, ever-increasing, as we put more and more of our trust in the Lord. This divine restoration is spoken of in Isaiah 40:31, ” But those who put their hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” So I may not like it, but I can now say with certainty… Yes Lord, with Your help, I’m ready for the storm.
Matthew 8:20 “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.’ “
Jesus was implying that He was a sojourner here on earth. A stranger in a strange place only temporarily. That’s what it means to be in the world but not of it. (John 17:14) And as Believers, we too are sojourners in this foreign land…aliens and strangers just passing through…as we head to our heavenly home.
Jonah 2:1-2 ” From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and You listened to my cry.’ “
When life’s going along smoothly…we tend to ignore God. We smugly think it’s us that’s making it all happen. So when disease, death or tragedy hits – we’re thrown for a loop. ” How can this possibly be happening to me…what am I going to do…how can I fix this?” It’s at that point of distress, we finally cry out to the Lord. But how do we know God’s listening to us…how do we know we have His attention? We can start by reading His Word. The Bible is full of times when God miraculously answered His people’s cries for help. And each time He answered, their faith was built up a little more. The Psalmist showed this confidence when he wrote, “Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me.” (Psalm 86:6-7) It’s that assurance from past answered prayers that enable us to have confidence every time we cry out to God anew.
Proverbs 13:18 ” He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.”
Accepting or rejecting counsel depends on our mind-set. If we respect and trust the person, we listen…for we know the wise words coming from them may sting, but they are sincerely wanting to only mold us into a better person. But what if that rebuke comes from someone we barely know, will we be as eager to listen? This is why it’s so important to build bridges of trust with someone before you attempt to correct or chasten them. When we know that person has only our best interests at heart…we’ll be more prone to listen and change.
Mark 5:41 ” Little girl, I say to you, get up!”
The Greek word for “get up” has several definitions…all that could apply to young ladies around the world today. Wake up girl, and realize the potentially dangerous position you have placed yourself in all for the sake of popularity. Get up girl, and walk away from the relationships that are wrong…that fill you with fear and shame, or make you feel powerless. Rise up girl, and refuse to believe the lie that you’ll never amount to anything…that it was your fault…that there’s no way out…that you’re not needed or loved. Be mindful, that no one but Jesus will ever love you as much as He does. No one but Jesus will save your soul and give you eternal life. No one but Jesus will always be there for you, no matter what.
Wake up girl, and take a hard look at where you’re at…are you truly happy with your situation, or do you need to make a change? Jesus is waiting.
Proverbs 22:9 ” A generous man will himself be blessed…”
We see a need…the Holy Spirit nudges us to give, whether that be our money, time, or talents…but we resist, make excuses, or just plain say, “No way!” The very greatest thing we can learn from this Proverb is to not repress a generous impulse. For when we silence that compulsion to be unselfish…we are denying others and ourselves a blessing. We are stopping God from using us to further His Kingdom work…and we are depriving ourselves of His favor. So don’t suppress a generous impulse when it happens…for the Lord is depending on you to fill that specific need.
Mark 7:24 ” Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet He could not keep His presence secret.”
Initially, no one may have known Jesus was in town. But people sensed something different happening…there was an awareness and feeling of hope and anticipation in the air…and they came searching for the source. For the presence of Jesus could not be hidden. Just as the indwelling Holy Spirit can not be hidden in us…it must be allowed to shine forth. As it tells us in Matthew 5:14-16, ” You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Allow that light from within you to shine like a beacon for the lost and searching world.
I Corinthians 10:13 ” No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
“If it’s not broke, why fix it.” Why should Satan have to change his tactics when it’s so easy to entice humans through their senses. Nowadays, we are constantly bombarded by a sensory overload that attempts to seduce us through what we see, hear, and feel emotionally. Temptation is so prevalent on TV, in movies, the Internet, and Social Media, that we can become apathetic and almost indifferent to that still small voice that whispers, “This is wrong.” For temptation will remain only a temptation…as long as you don’t act on it.
II Samuel 7:18-19 ” Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: ‘Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that You have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in Your sight, O Sovereign Lord, You have also spoken about the future of the house of Your servant.’ “
The Lord calls you to do His work and instead, you balk. You feel incapable, inept, and unfit for the job. Wonderful! You’re in great company! Here King David, a man after God’s own heart, lamented…”Who am I Lord to be used by You?” When God called Moses, all he could do was make excuses and ask, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11) Isaiah, when called, could only fixate on his own sinfulness and unclean lips, not on what God was commissioning him to do.(Isaiah 6:5) Jeremiah tried to justify not obeying the Lord by claiming he was too young to preach. (Jeremiah 1:6) And Ezekiel when called, just got angry. (Ezekiel 3:14) Realize that you are not alone when you feel unworthy and unqualified for the plan God has laid out before you. He would not have called you if He wasn’t absolutely certain you were the best one for the job. Please understand that the Lord isn’t asking you to do it alone…He’ll be with you every step of the way…He’s only asking for your obedience.