Exodus 23:25 ” Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be your food and water.”

Our life can be full of running after temporary satisfaction that may fill us for a while, but then when it doesn’t… off we go looking for the next pleasure to gratify us. Isaiah 55:2 asks, “Why do you spend your money for which is not bread, and your labor for that which doesn’t satisfy?” This vicious circle of searching for temporary satisfaction will continue until we realize that true, and full satisfaction can only be found in a right relationship with God. Deep contentment and satisfaction with the Lord is of itself is a blessing we can hardly contain…filling our souls with only good things (Psalm 107:9) So stop running after that which only satisfies for a moment, and instead look to God to fill you fully and forever.

Psalm 16:11 “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your Presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:14, “That small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life”…and that starts with submission to God’s correction and direction. For if you think about it, Jesus was the perfect balance of gentleness and sternness…righteousness and toughness among the wicked. He pulled toddlers up on His lap to bless but yet pulled tables over in the Temple for what the people had allowed it to become. Yes, Jesus was perfectly balanced…magnanimous in spirit to forgive any sinner seeking pardon, while calling out with no uncertain terms those who indulged in evil.

Daniel 3:18 ” But even if God doesn’t…”

God’s answer to our prayers often is contrary to what we’ve been beseeching Him for. The loved one in ICU succumbs to their injuries, the eviction does go through & we find ourselves homeless, the biopsy report doesn’t come back benign. That’s when we need “even if He doesn’t” kind of faith. Isaiah 43:1-2 tells us that God is always with us, but we may still have to walk through adversity and affliction…(with here in these verses water and fire representing opposite dangers and so then encompassing every danger in between.) As a Believer, we know God can heal, deliver, and perform miracles…but what we pray for may not be within God’s Divine Will and we need to have that same kind of “even if He doesn’t” kind of faith that when our prayers aren’t answered like we would like our confidence in God doesn’t falter. For no matter what happens to us, in the end, we will be ultimately delivered. (Daniel 12:1-2)

James 1:19 ” Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

This Scripture can be boiled down to this simple phrase…One should listen well before speaking. That means to listen intently to what the other person is saying, not formulating your answer while you wait for them to take a breath. The Proverbs are full of why we should pay attention when someone is speaking to us. “He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame.” (Proverbs 18:13) “Let the wise listen…” (Proverbs 1:5) and “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” (Proverbs 17:27) When we blurt out opinions on matters that we’ve not taken the trouble to hear carefully first, we show ourselves as prideful and arrogant, and that what we believe is the only correct answer. Listening well takes discernment, discretion, and prudence on our part…but what will follow is sound judgment in making right decisions with full understanding.

II Thessalonians 3:3 ” But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

Why did Jesus spend 33 years here on earth, when what He wanted to do could of been done in a week or less? He could of popped down to earth from heaven, preached at the Temple, got arrested, crucified, died and rose again in the span of a few days. Instead Jesus spent years doing and experiencing very mundane and human activities. For even though Jesus was fully God…He was also fully man, and with that came every human emotion, sensation, bodily function and condition. Isaiah 53:3 points out that, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” Jesus spent 33 years on earth going through exactly the same things you do…sickness, weakness, humiliation, hunger, thirst, grief, and sorrow. But why? He did it in order that you would trust Him…not as some high & lofty Deity that has no idea of what you’re going through, but as a fellow human being whose been where you’re at today. The steadfast faithfulness of Jesus can be trusted in whatever you’re going through today…or as David wrote, “I am in pain and distress; may Your salvation, O God, protect me.” (Psalm 69:29)

John 4:14 “The water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Rivers run from the source, and even when it meets an obstacle blocking its path, a river will soon find a path around it. The river of God is the same way…overcoming all obstacles, flowing onto the barren desert of our life, transforming it into something new. And when we are securely planted by the river of God, we will flourish and yield fruit, we will not wither, and whatever we do will prosper. (Psalm 1:3) But we must always pay attention to the Source when obstacles and difficulties block our path. For the power comes from the Source…and as we fasten our eyes on God, abundant blessings and endurance will flow into our lives.

Acts 2:23 ” This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the Cross. But God raised Him from the dead…”

The angry crowd might of thought they were putting Jesus to death of their own will, but actually, their every action was within the sovereign determination of the Will of God. We only have to look back to Isaiah 53:10 and read, “Yet it was the Lord’s Will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer.” This amazing statement true because Jesus was delivered up, according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. In other words, the eternal plan and purpose of God…His divine decree and the basis for the story of redemption was decided before the beginning of time…and no thing or one can or ever will change the plans of God.

Psalm 29:11 ” The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.”

God not only gives us strength during those times of turmoil, but He is our strength.(Psalm 28:8) And when our world is everything but calm and serene, God becomes our peace…coming from His gracious Presence in our lives. (Numbers 6:26) And so we can rest safely and securely knowing that we don’t have to operate under our own waning might and power. For God is in control and we can find quiet refuge in Him.

I Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Have you ever thought about what your purpose on earth is? Maybe when you were much younger you had big dreams, plans and aspirations of some wonderful career…and maybe you accomplished those goals. But as we get older our ambitions change, and hopefully with the help of the Lord we can then look at our purpose here on earth in a completely different light. In Isaiah 43 our purpose here on earth is spelled out. First we are told that our God is our Creator, Redeemer, Deliverer, & Savior…and everyone who is called by His Name He created for His glory. So everything we do needs to be governed and determined by what would promote the manifested excellence of God…every action and word glorifying Him and drawing others to Christ…this is our ultimate purpose here on earth.

I Peter 4:10 ” Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administrating God’s grace in its various forms.”

By God’s grace and through Christ and the Gospel we’ve all been given Spiritual gifts. But they are not for us, but to serve and help others. And as those who have been given a trust, we must prove ourselves faithful to manage and exercise these gifts properly. (I Corinthians 4:2) There is a wide variety and practicality for each Believer’s gift mix, and you will soon discover that they beautifully intertwine with your natural endowments of talents and passions. But they have not been granted to you to hide away…but rather to serve the local Church Body. So I would challenge you today…if you are not serving in your Church in some capacity on a regular basis…you need to be.

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