Hang On!

“And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people.” 

Leviticus 26:12

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How many times in life are we told to “hang on”? I mean literally!?! We need to hang on when on a ride at an amusement park; when riding a horse; when caught in a storm; or when riding on the back of a golf cart. What may happen if you do not? If you allow yourself to swing and sway? I know you know—you will certainly fall off!

The same is true for our spiritual lives as for our physical ones. Our God is faithful. He will keep all of His promises He has made to those that believe. No matter how hard the Enemy works to disgrace Him and those who are faithful to Him, it isn’t going to happen! He has said since the beginning of time “I will.” There is no greater truth in all creation than God’s Word.

It is evident that the spiritual war is cranking up. The lies have seeped into the government of the United States and other nations. But, if those whom the people have elected to represent them, think that they can erase the Spirit of God by removing His name from all their oaths and speech, they have another think coming. In the end “I will” will be victorious! And those who have advocated for the removal of His name, have just signed their own death warrant!

We need to “hang on!” The “we” being those of us who have signed on to become a member of God’s army. Even as I write this, I know that my declaration will put me under attack. But, remember you are not under attack–the attack is under you! O also know that if we are one among the people of God nothing can separate us from the love of God. “Not hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 35, 39)

It is time, O people of God, to stand up, stand firm for “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) Put on the whole armor of God so that you will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. 6: 10, 11) For, you see, our fight is not against our government or nation or committee, it is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. But this is a battle that they—the evil—cannot win—God has already won the victory. So hang on, don’t let go, God will come and save you. His word is true for He has said, “I will!”

 

Dear Father, have mercy upon what You have created. Let the hands of justice fall and those who believe to be saved. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

2 Cor 3:17   1 Cor 6:16   Romans 14: 7   I Peter 2:5   Jeremiah 31:33   Ezekiel 37:26, 27   Zechariah 8:8

 

Just Passing Through

Just Passing Through

“…live peaceably with all” Romans 12: 8 b

woman reading a book

At one time I had a friend who always said, “It is okay, I’m just passing through.” This friend has passed through and is now at home with the Lord. She was a humble soul, not much to look at, but a beautiful spirit. She would go around town and clean up all the trash that thoughtless people threw on the sidewalks and streets. At the beginning of each day you would find her at the post office greeting everyone who came in saying, “Good morning. Have a beautiful day.” This was Helen, a true child of God.

Those of us who have become believers, are also just passing though. We are on our way to the Promised Land. You remember, however, that not all those who were led out of slavery to the Egyptians, made it into the Promised Land. They fell short of their promised blessing because of their disobedience. They were impatient and full of complaints. Therefore, the same fate is in store for believers who have not followed the commandments, they may see the Promised Land, but not be allowed to enter.

Then there are those who think they have a lot of time. They want to “enjoy themselves” as they say. “The Lord will be there tomorrow, I can come to him then.” The problem with that is tomorrow may never come. “Today is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) It is true these people are just passing through, as well, but to where? Not to the Promised Land of eternity with the Lord, but into the pit of fire.

God sacrificed his own Son so that you and I might be saved from this world. Jesus took all our sins—past, present, future—upon himself that we might be cleansed with his blood and become citizens of heaven. You see, believers are not citizens of this world, but of heaven.

If you are not, get in a Bible believing and preaching church. Speak to a Pastor, Christian friend, or counselor—attend a Christian group or class, learn about the new life that awaits you as a believer. Your troubles will not fade away, but you will be able to tap into the source of strength that will get you through unscathed. Passing through is not always easy, but it is always rewarding for with each trial and tribulation you will emerge stronger on the other side.

One day when the Lord calls me home, I look forward to seeing Helen again. Maybe I will even sleep on her couch for a while like she used to mine. For I am in the world today, but I am not of this world—I am just passing through.

Dear Lord, as I pass through this world and all its eccentricities I want to always remain faithful to you—with Your help, Father, I will. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 

Romans 12:14   Matthew 8:15-17   I Peter 4:8

 

What Do You Have?

What Do You Have?

woman in grey crew neck shirt holding a white ceramic plate with pancakes

“What can I do to help you? 2 Kings 4:2 NLT

In the Old Testament books of 1 & 2 Kings, we read about two women who both have similar problems. Elijah in 1 Kings 17 and Elisha in 2 Kings 4, were confronted by widows who were overwhelmed in their poverty. They came to Elijah and Elisha seeking help. Both of them couldn’t see beyond their meager resources. They were consumed by their complaints and could not see what they had.

Elijah spoke to the widow at Zarephath. He asked her for some bread, but the widow replied, “I do not have a single piece of bread in the house.” (1 Kings 17:12) She was preparing a meal which she thought would be her last meal. But, Elijah wanted his piece first. This sounds strange, does it not? Taking the bread out of the widows’ mouth!

There is a lesson connected to this story for all of us. And that is, when you give out of your poverty you will be blessed and receive far more than you ever expected.

Now, Elisha in 2 Kings 4:2, was confronted by a widow also. This widow’s husband died while he was serving Elisha and she thought because of that, she deserved his help. Elisha listened to her complaints and then with one sentence turned her in a new direction. He asked, “What do you have in the house?” (2 Kings 4:2) She told him she had nothing except a flask of olive oil. Elisha helped her to see she had all she needed. He sent her out to gather jars from her neighbors and then to fill them with the oil she had. The very little she had turned out to be sufficient to meet her needs. She filled the jars and sold them. Now she had money to pay her creditors and to live on.

Both of these widows had eyes only on what they didn’t have. Elijah and Elisha asked a simple question which helped them out of their distress. This question pertains to us, as well. We need to ask ourselves, “What do I have?” When we concentrate on what we do have rather than what we do not have we then look at our lives positively instead of negatively. It opens up our heart and allows God to speak to us. For you see, “With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) Yes, things may be tough, but it is only for a season. God will lift you up out of the mire and set your feet upon the rock. (Psalm 40:2) ”…he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.” (Psalm 91:3)

So maybe you need to answer the question also, “What do you have?” What has God already provided? Make a list and refer to it from time to time. Spend some time with the Lord each day, reading His Word; in prayer; and listening. God is as near as your next breath.

 

Dear Lord thank you for the richness of your blessings. Let me focus on what I do have, rather than what I do not have. To You be all glory and honor. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

2 Kings 4:2   I Kings 17:12   Matthew 14:20

Mistakes

Mistakes

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“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your hearts desires.”

Psalm 37:4 NLT

Dear Reader, have you ever made a mistake? I know I have made many during my lifetime—and probably will make many more. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes we make mistakes without realizing; sometimes we know but shrug it off; and sometimes we know immediately, but it is too late to take it back. When you come right down to it, a mistake is a mistake. Mistakes are inevitable, but there is hope.

There is only One who is perfect, that is, Jesus Christ. He is the one to come to when you realize your mistake. He is the one who can erase it and give you strength to move past it. He will set you on solid ground once again and steady you as you continue your journey. (Psalm 40:2)

When you understand a mistake has been made acknowledge it, turn away from it, and ask forgiveness. This happened to me just today. I told something that was not true. Before I knew it the words were out of my mouth and there was nothing I could do to hold them back. I counseled myself saying, “You were just trying to protect someone.” However, at that moment I forgot that God is faithful and would’ve protected me. It is always better to tell the truth, because the truth will set you free.

You see, I have been a little lax in my conversations with the Lord. I told myself that I needed to do this or that and didn’t have time to devote to reading, meditation, and prayer. W R O N G!!! And you know what happened? This little white lie made a crack in my armor and allowed the Enemy to creep in—I do mean “creep in” because he is a venomous snake.

But, this too shall pass. Because you see God has spoken through His Word. He says, “[My] delight is in those who fear [Me] those who put their hope in [My] unfading love.” (Psalm 147:11)

You, too, can get past your mistakes. Come to the Lord asking forgiveness, repenting of your sin, and then, stay in communication with the One who can lift you out of the pit of despair and set your feet on solid ground. (Psalm 40:2)

Believe—have faith—trust in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Put on the whole armor of God and do not allow any cracks to form. (Ephesians 6:10-20) Begin again and be renewed by the Holy Spirit of God. This is the first day of the rest of your life, live it in the freedom of the truth.

Dear Lord forgive me for forgetting to put you first in every aspect of my life. Erase my mistakes and let me start anew. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

The rest of the story…

As always God has a plan. After I had confessed my sin to God and received forgiveness from Him, I received another phone call from the person I told the little white lie to. I told him that I had not told the truth and asked his forgiveness—he forgave me. Case Closed.

 

Psalm 37:23   Deuteronomy 30:3   I Corinthians 1:19   I Samuel 2:9

 Psalm 40:2   Psalm 147:11

Joy Comes In The Morning

Joy Comes In the Morning

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“Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time on and forevermore.” Psalm 113:2

Something horrible, something unimaginable has just happened! All the signs had been there, but somehow you refused to acknowledge them. But, here you are walking and talking about it in the aftermath. How could this have happened?

There are many situations in life that take place like this:-you know that unless you change, you will one day self-destruct. Yet, somehow you are powerless to do anything about it. Perhaps it is because you are having too much fun or making too much money, or so-n-so expects it of you.

But, then something happens and you think you have lost it all. The day is black and filled with clouds that erupt into a violent storm. You think all is lost, this is the end for you. Then the next day you awake and find that the sun is shining and the air is clear. All at once there is a glimmer of hope and a chance at a new beginning. Without the storm you would have never found it.

That, too, is the story of Jesus. The people humiliated him, spat on him, and tortured him. His friends, his disciples, who watched in great horror and for fear of their own lives, did nothing. Their friend, Jesus, the one whom they loved was being treated like a criminal. The mob cried,” CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM.” (Luke 23:21) And the weak leader, even though he couldn’t find any good reason to sentence him to death, did so. It was the beginning of the end.

The day that Jesus died, the sky turned black. The light of the sun was blocked out and the darkness ruled—but only for a time. His mother watched him die and his beloved disciple, John, stood beside her. Grief and sorrow covered them like a heavy blanket as they watched the soldiers bring him down from the cross and lay him in the tomb—it was the end. Was it?

The Psalmist wrote a thousand or more years before, words of encouragement for times like these. He said, “…Weeping may linger for the night; but joy comes in the morning.” (30:5)

The morning came and the grave was empty. The evil could not hold the Lord Jesus. It could not keep Him in the darkness; the sun was shining. They were soon to discover “HE IS ALIVE!” A new day is dawning—only believe.

Just as the disciples discovered after they invited Him into their house, Jesus is walking with you, also, as you venture into a new beginning inviting Him to come along. A new beginning that wouldn’t have been possible without an ending—as violent as it was, this new beginning will be new, exciting, and blessed. As Leo Tolstoy once wrote: “You cannot have a beginning unless you have an ending.” (The Beginning of the End, 1896)

Travel on trusting in the Lord, for He is beside you all the way. He has said, “I will be with you until the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20) and the writer of Hebrews pens His words, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) This is the message of the cross.

Dear Father, thank you for showing me the way; for never giving up on me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

Read Luke 24:13-35

 

Recruitment

Recruitment

black and white donkey head on a grey wooden fence nearby green grass field

“Go on home! The Lord will not let me go with you.” Numbers 22:13

Balaam, a prophet of God, was recruited by those who wanted to rid the land of the Israelites. He was offered money and power if he would just curse them. Balaam was told by God that he couldn’t go. But, with the offer of power and recognition he could not resist, so he tested the Lord God until he was finally given permission to go, but with the understanding that he was only to do what God told him to do. It was almost as if God said, “All right if you want to go so bad—go! But, you are not to curse the people, because they are blessed by Me.”

Balaam’s eyes were clouded with the promise of power. He could not see the angel of the Lord blocking his way. He was intent upon going with the enemy and performing a curse upon the people of God in exchange for money and power. He had transgressed; God rebuked him for his transgression. Even so, God put words into the donkey’s mouth and made them audible so that Balaam could hear them. Then his eyes were opened to the presence of God and His commands. Balaam fell down on his knees before the angel of the Lord.

There are times in our lives in which we are recruited to do what we know as wrong. At first you may stand firm, but with repeated offers, you give in. Even so, God does not give up on you. He sends his messenger to intervene and turn your face back to Him. He will use any means to wake you up.

Donkeys cannot talk. Yet, Balaam heard the voice of the one he was riding. Drastic situations call for drastic actions. Balaam could not see the far-reaching effect of what he was to do, but God could. This drastic situation called for the drastic act of Balaam’s donkey speaking to him.

Are you being recruited by the Evil One to do something that is against Gods will? Is it something that does not fit in the scenario of all things good, perfect, and loving? Then listen for God’s voice coming from unexpected places. He, and only He, will lead you along the path of righteousness.

Dear Lord, lead me in Your righteousness along the path you have ordained even before I was born. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 2 Peter 2:15, 16

Read the account of Balaam in Numbers chapter 22

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

“Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. I John 4:4

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I am sure that I am not the only one who has mouthed or thought these words—“Who am I?” In this thought, we may begin to doubt our purpose for being. And, if we do not catch hold of it, fear will begin to seep in. Our nerves will become jangled and the ruler of this world will begin to taste what he thinks as victory. But, the truth is, Christ has overcome the world. And I am reminded that I am a child of God, and as such, nothing can harm me because I have made the Lord my refuge…no evil shall befall me, no scourge can come near my tent. (Psalm 91:9, 10) You see, I, and all who have been forgiven and have made the Lord a place in their heart, are children of God, and as such are under the protection of His wings.

Some of us have had our identity stolen by those who are agents of the evil one. But, we must remember, as horrifying as that is, it is only the identity that the world gives us. And, it does not define who we are. Our real identity can never be stolen, as long as we remember, who we are in Christ. When we profess Jesus as Lord of our lives nothing can be taken away that identifies us likewise.

Isaiah says it like this: “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper, and you shall refute every tongue that arises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication is from me, says the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17

If this is where you are today—feeling persecuted, encroached upon, or are crying, “Isn’t there anyone to help me?” be assured there is!  Remember our struggles are not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the authorities, against the cosmic powers…against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…therefore take up the whole armor of God…stand firm” (Ephesians 6:12, 13) You see, everything may be taken away from you—everything that is, but the steadfast love of God. Do not fear. He will come and save you.

Easter, the day we remember and celebrate the great sacrifice our Heavenly Father made for us when Jesus allowed himself to be put to death, taking upon himself our transgressions that they be removed once and for all, is coming near. This is when Satan works the hardest to get his foot in the door of our heart. So I encourage you all the more to put on the whole armor of God and stand firm because God has promised that He will defeat and conquer the enemy. In fact, God has already won the battle, He will destroy His creation, the Devil, and all who follow him.

I am rejoicing through my struggles, because it tells me, that I am a true child of God. I am thanking God for His affirmation, may you, also! Who am I?—“the aroma of Christ to God.” (2 Corinthians 2:15)

 

Dear Father, thank you for making me Your own. I will stand firm in Your love and be courageous. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 

2 Corinthians 5:17   Isaiah 54:14, 17   John 12:31   Isaiah 50:7, 8

John 1:12, 13