The Holy Spirit is there as an intermediary when the words won’t come. It might be devastating news from a friend, or maybe it’s a bad report from the Doctor we’ve just received …either way, we sit numb and silent before God. It’s during those times of infirmity of the body and soul that the Holy Spirit intervenes, imparting the knowledge of divine truth on our behalf. For we may not have the words to pray…but He does.
May this Priestly Blessing found in the Old Testament give you comfort today…whatever your situation. For it tells us here that God is guarding and protecting your very life at this moment…that He lifts up His head and His face brightens as He looks straight into your eyes with love and concern. Psalm 25:17 says, “The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.” Sometimes all we long for is peace…and God wants to plant or establish that peace into your life today…replacing strife and turmoil with a sense of well-being, security, wholeness, and comfort.
So many times as Jesus was teaching He would bring into His parables common everyday observations…things that everyone could relate to, such as birds. In fact, birds were probably flying around as He spoke here. But the point He was making was not that God fed the birds, (though He does) but that in God’s eyes we are so much more valuable than any old bird. So contemplate this today. If the God of the universe lovingly takes care of all the birds…how much more a precious personal possession you are to Him?
King Hezekiah had his priories where they needed to be from the very start. One of his very first acts as king was to open up the Temple, which his father Ahaz had earlier boarded up. Instead of keeping the Temple of the Lord open for worship, Ahaz had placed altars to foreign gods at every street corner for the people. (II Chronicles 28:24-25) Hezekiah’s superstitious dabbler in idolatrous cults father had even scorned the Prophet Isaiah’s promise of a coming Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14) to instead run after foreign gods. The new King Hezekiah, with God’s help, was finally able to launch the long-needed moral and religious reform within the nation of Judah.
It’s difficult to grasp…but God loved us first. He loved us when we were unlovable, unrepentant, and rebellious. He loved us first by sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to die in our place for our sins. I know many of you can recite John 3:16 from memory, ” For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”…but in I John 3:16 it says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.” God loved us first. He saw through the messiness of our lives to what we could be in Him. He loved us first, regardless and despite of our shortcomings…for like the proverbial caterpillar changing into a beautiful butterfly, He knew what we could become in Him.
What does hope look like to you? In the simplest of terms it means a promise for the future. For without hope, life is just a bleak and discouraging journey as we wait for the end. So where can we find this hope? The Psalms are full of hope so to speak…for we’re told that hope can be found in God. (Psalm 42:5) It’s also found in God’s Word. (Psalm 130:5) Psalm 9:18 reminds us this hope from God will never perish, and that we have this precious hope as an anchor for our lives in times of trouble. (Hebrews 6:19) Do you need some hope today? May the God of hope fill you with hopeful expectation as you look to Him.
Have you ever taken a walk with someone that either walks much faster than you…or lags way behind? Suddenly, the once enjoyable stroll becomes exasperating because you’re out of step with each other. This verse tells us we should walk with God… not running ahead with impatience, nor falling behind in disobedience…but side by side. For when we walk beside the Lord, we are walking in His perfect Will…and in His ultimate plan and purpose for our life.
It’s perfectly level at the foot of the Cross. It is even and equal in every respect, for there is no favoritism with God. (Ephesians 6:9) He doesn’t play the partiality card with us…for there’s no different sections around the Cross depending on how “good” we are… no First Class, Second Class, and cargo sections laid out that we must adhere to. It is totally level and totally impartial…for you see, we are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
Here in Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian Elders, he is urging them to fulfill the ministry laid out before them…to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel Message, and continue to give to the needs of the less fortunate. And Paul’s words still ring true today. As Believers, the Lord demands that we support and serve the widow, orphan, and poor among us. Jesus reminds us in John 12:8 that we will always have the poor among us, and assisting them will always be an urgent, unavoidable necessity. But we’ll also soon discover, by doing this helpful service, we receive something in return… a intangible blessing of God that words cannot express.