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Your Source of Daily Encouragement and Inspiration From God's Word

Everyone Faces Eternity

Psalm 37: 10  For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yes, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

Remember how long we said this life is?  It is a mist, a vapor, here one moment, gone the next.  Sometimes we feel like life is passing so slowly.  We can’t wait to get out of the season of life we’re in.  However, in light of eternity, we really don’t live that long.  Think about it.  Eternity has no boundary of time.  There is no 24 hour period.  It simply goes on and on and on with no ceasing.  Therefore, even if we should live 150 years, which is unlikely, our time would still be very short.

The wicked man; the evil doer, he has to face eternity just as we do.  But for him, eternity will be taking up permanent residence in Hell.  No presence of God.  No people to engage.  Only loneliness, suffering and pain.  Yes, in a little while, the wicked will not be in a place of prominence and glory.  We will no longer see them.  They will not reside in the world we will live in.  We’ll “go up”, and they will go down.  The fame, the fortune, the “successes” will mean nothing because no one will see them any longer.

So, put on your eternity glasses.  See the world through those lens because that is what we live for.  Praise God for he will make the days shorter as wickedness increases, but praise him just because you have a promise.  And while you’re at it, lift up a prayer for the unsaved people in your life.

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Lean on Him

Psalm 37:7a  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him:

Who here loves bedtime?  I absolutely adore bedtime…I think that may be a sign of aging, but I can’t help it.  The thought of getting all cozy and warm underneath the covers and just resting….ahh…rest.  I found two definitions for ‘rest’. The first, from wikipedia, is to cease movement or work in order to be refreshed or recover strength and the second is, be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position.  I think when we think of rest our minds usually jump towards the first definition.  However, when I think of resting in the Lord, my mind jumps towards the second.  Wikipedia uses the example of ‘her elbow was resting on the chair arm’.  In other words, the chair arm was holding her elbow in place.  It was supporting the weight of her elbow.  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him…He will hold you in place.  Put your weight, your burden on God and He will support the weight of it.  The first definition of rest is also applicable though because when we stop attempting to work for our peace and instead rest in God’s peace, He will refresh our spirit and give us renewed strength to carry on living for Him.  I think that’s absolutely beautiful.  Our rest in the LORD not only recovers our strength, but it also supports our weakness.  But to rest in Him, we must be willing to wait patiently for him.  He won’t always do things just as we would or when we would.  He may not clear up the storm immediately.  He may not bring physical healing right now.  We may have to face some stuff, some hard stuff, maybe for a long time.  God has not left us in those times.  He will never leave his children unaided.  He is there to bear the weight of our suffering and give us strength to persevere as we wait patiently for him.  So silence your anxiety and speak not of your worry, just trust He is faithful.

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I Am is Everything

JOHN 8 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

I am. There’s something very powerful about that small, simple statement. I am. In Exodus God used this same statement. It was who Moses was to tell the people sent him. Our God is so huge he doesn’t need descriptives. Truth be told one billion words could not fully describe him. But two small, simple words sum him up completely, I am.
Really think about that and you’ll discover how awesome he is.

Who are you, but the Great I Am. Majestic and authoritative. Beginning and the end. You are I Am. God I can say a lot about who I am, but even my existence would cease if you were not. The fact is I Am is the fullness of all you are. It’s all that’s needed to be said about you because anyone who has faith and their spiritual eyes are open can see and will know those very words mean everything. I am is the creator. I am is love. I am is time. I am is goodness. I am is faithfulness. I am is the righteous judge. I am, I am is all things made and unmade. I am is all that is good. I am is our God, our strong God who never fails. Thank you for all that you are to us dear God.

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His Own Denied Him

3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing.
4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”
5 For not even his brothers believed in him.

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His Story

John 4, They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

I love that these people started to believe off the basis of someone’s testimony. There’s such power in that because that is exactly why we have testimonies. They aren’t mere stories of conversion to have as a keepsake. They are stories of lives acknowledging that they have been touched by the hand of God. They share the excitement and the glory of God’s work. They’re His stories to draw men to himself.
It’s sad that we all too often think they belong to us. Our lives are not our own you know. We were bought at a price. Besides, we’ve been created by our creator so even if we won’t accept and admit it, fact is we belong to him.
Even more awesome in these peoples new belief is that at some point they came to know the truth themselves. Their faith was not an inheritance. They couldn’t just continue based on someone else’s experience. They themselves had an encounter with God. Isn’t it awesome how He does that? If only you will open your eyes to Him, he will reveal himself to you personally. A new testimony will be written.
It’s time to start sharing our stories, His stories of grace and redemption. No shame, no guilt, no condemnation. Instead with grateful hearts speaking of profound glory, acknowledging his mighty works, tell your story. It’s always the right time to do so, just use wisdom and discernment as to which parts to share with whom. If you lack wisdom, ask, it will be given to you. But don’t hog the story, don’t just save it in your memoirs. Use it to draw others and let God do the rest.

Sovereign Father,
In your book is written every single day of my life past, present and yet to come. You wrote my story, a love story, before time began. Thank you for casting me a small part of your large narrative. Thank you for treating me with the grace of a superstar and promising the award of eternal life. I’m so blessed Lord. Help me have the courage, the wisdom, the boldness to share all you’ve done for me. Use my story, your story of my life to bless others and draw them to you. I pray in Jesus name

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Just Thinking

John 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Ever notice how Jesus always answered questions with questions? It’s interesting because he never just gave a direct answer. Jesus wanted people to think about what they were asking, and rather than spoon feed them, he left it to them to answer their own question. This is actually excellent teaching. When we teach the objective should be giving the tools to aid the learner in drawing the correct conclusion on their own.
I think a lot of people today would have been frustrated by this. We want what we want when we want it, no questions asked. But things truly worth having, almost never come easy. It’s important that we exercise our minds and expand our thoughts beyond basic equations. There’s so much more to life. Beyond our vision is a spiritual realm and beyond this life is eternity. We can easily neglect these truths and just keep on keeping on, but at the end of the day when one lives that way, what is the purpose of life? That’s the important question, why are we even here?

All knowing King, thank you for helping me find the answer to my purpose. Once, when living for myself, I had no real motivation, no sense of purpose. My direction always led me to dead ends. In you alone I have been blessed with life. There’s still a lot of unanswered questions, but none that I need to know. The secret things belong to you, but you have not hidden anything that can keep me from eternal purpose. Thank you for being my reason.

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Create in me a clean heart

JOHN 2: 23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.
24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people
25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

This is a testimony to the deceitfulness of the heart. Our hearts are incurably wicked. Jesus knew this. Though the people believed in his signs and wonders, they did not truly believe in who he was. Their minds would quickly and easily be turned against him. He was aware that soon enough, many of these same people would be in the crowd that would shout passionately “Crucify Him, Crucify Him”.
I believe in Jesus Christ without a doubt, but sometimes when I reflect on my own actions and attitudes I have to wonder if I could have been part of that crowd. I’m not condemning myself, I’m examining my heart. It has many impurities. I know God is working to clean me up more and more, but I have to recognize and acknowledge my shortcomings if indeed I will repent of them.
I want to want Jesus more than all else. I want to want him, not his stuff. I want him to be sufficient for my contentment. Worldly treasures look to be enticing, but serve only momentary pleasure. Jesus satisfies for all eternity. My heart’s not perfect yet, but praise God he’s working on it.

Merciful Lord, I deserve nothing but your wrath, yet you pour your love upon me like rushing waters. I’m engulfed with your grace and compassion. You see my heart and you know me better than I know myself, and still you have redeemed me. How great it is to a saviour who willingly laid down his life. Will you teach me to lay down my life for you. May the sacrifice of trading in my desires for yours fulfill any emptiness I feel. You are really all I need. You are really enough. I thank you for you Lord, in Christ’s holy name, Amen

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Will I Follow?

JOHN 1:50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”
51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

I can’t imagine what it would have been like to live when Jesus was on the earth. In John 1, there are accounts of his first interactions with some of his disciples. It appears that it was easy for them to chose to follow him. Perhaps because they had always heard of this coming Messiah. However, so had all those people who didn’t believe. I can’t imagine what I would have done. Would I believe immediately and drop everything to follow him? Would I question his authenticity and investigate him like the Pharisees, drawing a conclusion he was not who he said? I really don’t know because I’ve witnessed things in my current life that clearly point to God’s glory, yet believing was a journey for me. And although I do believe in Christ now, my faith is often shaky at best. Yes, I believe in all Christ did, but that it has power to save me, to change me… I struggle daily just to accept that my acceptance from God is enough. I still try to please man and walk in pride rather than in humility.
Jesus told Nathanael that he would see much greater things, he would see the heavens open.  I wonder, if I saw the heavens open wide, would my faith be solidified. What will it take?!! The disciples laid down everything instantly and began to follow. At my first love of Christ I was willing to do the same, but that first love has become my seventh love or perhaps my thirtieth love. I live placing value in so many things before him that I’m not sure what place he holds. What is it going to take to get me back to that initial experience, that time when I lived in awe of him. It’s time to revisit the life of my Savior. It’s time for revival. Journey with me as I learn who my Lord is once again.

Blessed saviour of the world, you took on flesh and dwelt among your own without being recognized. You fellowshipped with the created beings you made. How awesome a thing for you to do. Though your light shone brightly many failed to see it. Father I know your light, but it’s currently dim and flickering, or perhaps it’s more likely not that your light is flickering, but that my eyes are failing me. Lord give me eyes wide open to see you in fullness of grace and of truth. Walk before me, clearing a way in the darkness and shining upon the path I will journey. You never give up on me Lord. Christ died for me, a wretched person, he gave me life. I thank you Lord and I will follow because you alone are the one true living God of whom I’ll worship. Through Jesus’ saving grace I pray. Amen

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Blessings…in disguise

Ever notice how the best of blessings often come in the worst of circumstances.  Notice how we rarely see it in the moment, but that it is in retrospect that we’re like, “oh wow, God was really in that”.  Now, am I the only one who gets frustrated by this.  I mean, honestly? And yet, as frustrated as I am, I know that it’s because what He said is true, ALL things work out for the good of those who love HIm.

So why disguise the blessing?  Why not just give it to us straight, wrapped all pretty in some colored foil paper with a big bow and curly ribbon?  I mean, now that’s how I’d like to receive my blessings.  You know, like a kid at her birthday party.  She knows all those pretty boxes are for her and that they likely contain all the things she wished for.  Her anxious anticipation is a joyful excitement.  Oh, if blessings came that way!  Not to say they never do, but hey even the sweet anticipation of a new born baby must endure 9 loooong months of an unpredictable pregnancy, followed by a grueling labor.  Yet there aren’t many mothers who would say, “that absolutely was not worth it”.  

Disclaimer, not sure how theologically sound this answer is, but I think the disguise is used to test and strengthen our faith.  And at times we may even fail the test, but our faith is still strengthened when we come to the realisation of what God did.  I think of Job, a righteous man.  God allowed for everything to be taken from him.  From his livestock and children to his very health.  His wife was quick to say, “curse God and die”.  His friends were quick to point fingers, blaming Job’s sinfulness.  However, God was testing Job’s faith.  When you read that story do you catch that Satan asked God to sift Job because he thought Job’s righteousness and faithfulness were founded on Job’s blessings.  God knew that was not true.  

We have to come to a realisation that God is bigger and wiser than we can ever imagine.  He’s God.  We’re his creation.  We won’t always understand his actions perfectly.  But our faith should not be based on human understanding.  Our human wisdom is folly put next to God’s.  Our wisdom rooted in God boils down to faith.  Trust that God has the best interest of HIs children at mind and that His promises to us are true.  He promised us spiritual blessings in abundance…if we believe.

What are you going through in your life today that feels or looks like a big, yucky mess?  Look at it again. What can you learn from it?  How can it build up your character? Your spiritual muscle? Is it just a big mess, or is it perhaps a blessing in disguise?

My Sovereign, supreme over all things.  Master of the universe.  There is nothing oh God that slips by you.  Not a single thing can happen without your knowledge.  And while sin and evil corrupt our nature and break your heart, you are always aware of all that happens.  You bear a heavy heart for my sin and want nothing more than that we’d all turn to you.  But God, you are merciful, you give us freedom to choose whom we will serve.  You draw man to you and you love us, but so often we reject you, at times dispise you, usually because of selfishness and pride.  Yet still each day we wake, your mercy remains and offers us the hope of salvation should we chose to love and obey, having faith in your Word.  i can not begin to say how much I love you Lord.  I can not begin to say how much I need you and how I rejoice over the forgiveness of my sin. Me, Lord?  You forgive me 7 times 77 times, you forgive me.  And I know tomorrow I’ll fail you again, but you call me your own.  You’ve promised me an inheritance in your kingdom along the Son who laid down his life that I may live.  You call me a saint, restored, redeemed, blessed.  I know that every good thing comes from you and for that I praise you.  But God, all the more I praise that through every trial and hardshiip I endure, I never walk alone.  And when the fire is hot and I’m engulfed by the bitter anguish of it’s flames, you pull me through it.  You refine me and stretnghen me offering me every spiritual blessing and plans to prosper me.  Hallejuah, what a savior, what a friend, what a Father.  I can’t measure the vastness of your love.  How deep?  How wide? I can’t understand it. But Lord God I receive it in faith that you are who you say you are and I worship your holy name.  There is none like you Jehovah, provider of all I need.  There is none like you.  Blessed be your mighty name.  Amen 

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Optimal

Reach beyond any measure the human mind can wrap it’s self around

Is the God we were created to serve

Adoration can reach no limitation for the greatest words of praise can not exchange

an honor that’s high enough

Surpassing the reign of any royal figure He sits up high upon His throne unshakable, not breakable 

His love, justice and mercy impossible to duplicate, his glory revealed to the undeserving

Many of whom ignore, or may even explore, yet reject in pride and arrogance can not accept His power, wisdom and truth

Image bearers we may be, but never can we ever nearly mirror his magnitude of grace and forgiveness

My words are muttled, don’t make perfect sense, but sense makes them perfect when seen thorugh His eyes

I must fall to the ground bowing humbly down when I think of it because He is more than perfection and I am far, far less than perfection, yet to him I am optimal

Yes in all his splendor, wonder and awe, to Him I am optimal

Thank you Jesus

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