Mark 6: 30-31 ” The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, ‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ “

I bet that if you ask someone who you admire for their strong Christian walk,  you’ll find out that a quiet time with the Lord is a vital part of their day.  I discovered it as a young Christian over 36 years ago and it still remains a necessary part of my routine.  When the Lord said, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  He was speaking to all of us.  In this noisy, chaotic world we live in today we need those moments of peace and quiet to be renewed, refreshed and revived as we read God’s Word, pray, and listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance.  If you’re not already doing this, I’d urge you to start the practice of daily coming away with the Lord…it will change your life for the better.

We’ve got to live: Securely in His love

For those of us who have been betrayed by someone who said they loved us,  but did the opposite.  Who said they would protect and esteem us, yet carried out appalling acts against us.  We feel hesitant that the Lord is really trustworthy…we are anxious and uneasy to put our total faith in someone who could, for all we know,  suddenly turn and  threaten or deceive us.  But by immersing ourself in His Word, and reading promises such as Psalm 13:5, which says, “But I trust in Your unfailing love.”…we can grasp with certainty the unending, unchangeable love of the Lord.

I Thessalonians 2:4 ” On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, Who tests our hearts.”

There will come a time when you’ll come to a crossroads and you’ll have to make a hard decision…do you please man, or  God.  Sure, pleasing man is easy, painless and non-confrontational…for the moment.  But it usually comes with compromise and difficulties in the end.  When we intentionally and deliberately focus our conduct on what the Lord would want us to do…people will  see that our walk matches our talk.

Psalm 112: 4 ” Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.”

When a fellow Believer is going through suffering and misery, we sometimes look heavenward and ask God, “Why?”  We see examples in the Bible of powerful, Godly people who went through very dark times…and again we ask, “Why?”   But if you talk to a Believer  who’s  gone through a traumatic event, in hindsight they will speak of God’s grace and mercy…of how He carried them when they were exhausted  and weak…and of how His peace   undergirded   them to be able to move ahead day by day.  Yes, just like Daniel, we will all spend a night in the lions’ den…but take hope, for  God is right there beside you in the darkness until the sunrise.

Psalm 89:1 ” I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make Your faithfulness known through all generations.”

Just praising the Lord is a very effective way of taking our eyes off our own problems and focusing on Him.  Our pity party will end when we start thanking Him for His many blessings, known and unknown.  Elsewhere in Psalms it says,  ” I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love, for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.”

Jeremiah 2:5 ” This is what the Lord says: ‘ What fault did your fathers find in Me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.’ “

We become what’s important to us, ever influenced by what we devote  our time and money to. If it’s empty, futile, and meaningless things of the world…we’ll be left wanting  and ever searching for more.  But if it’s God…our search is over.

John 15: 1-2 ” I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will bear even more fruit.”

The Lord cuts off all the barren branches.  But He also prunes the fruit-bearing branches as to insure greater productivity in the future.  Being cut back and shaped may be uncomfortable at the time…but totally beneficial for what the Lord has in mind for you in the future.

Psalm 24: 7-10 ” Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in. Who is He, this King of Glory? The Lord Almighty – He is the King of Glory.”

He is the mightiest of all Warriors…the all-powerful King…the Ruler over the entire universe, Who stands at the ready to intervene for His people at a moments notice.  He is the King of Glory.

Exodus 14:14 ” The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”

Sitting still in silence, for many of us is quite a feat in and of itself to achieve.  We think we need to be constantly “doing something”.  But  God simply wants us to quietly watch as He does the battling on our behalf…because if you think about it, He really doesn’t need our help at all!

Joshua 24: 15 “…then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

A simple statement, but with  very profound and eternal consequences within it.  Has your family made such a commitment to serve God?  Have you consciously made a covenant with the Lord to worship Him, and Him only?  Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.

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