Wednesday, November 07, 2012
John 14:1-3 AMP DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me. In My Father's house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when (if) I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.
When Jesus was crucified on that cross many who had believed in Him and trusted in what He had taught them were disappointed, there hopes were dashed and they felt that they had nothing left to hope in. But Jesus told them before hand that He would be crucified and that He would rise again on the third day so that they would know that everything would be all right. They still panicked when that day came.
In this portion of Scripture He tells us that He is going away to prepare a place for us so that when He comes again to get us that we will have a home ready for us in heaven with Him. He instructs us to NOT LET our hearts be troubled, distressed or agitated.
The “not letting” is our responsibility. Many are distressed and disappointed over the way our election turned out. There is always a winner and a loser in every election. The winning team is exuberant because their man won! And the losing team is disappointed that their man, their hope for the future, their thoughts of what will bring our nation back into a right state of affairs is now dashed and all hope for good is lost. But God knows what the future holds and He instructs us to “not let your hearts be troubled”.
II Thessalonians 2:1-3 AMP BUT RELATIVE to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and our gathering together to [meet] Him, we beg you, brethren, Not to allow your minds to be quickly unsettled or disturbed or kept excited or alarmed, whether it be by some [pretended] revelation of [the] Spirit or by word or by letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] arrived and is here. Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition),
Again, we see in this Scripture where Paul instructs the Thessalonian believers to not allow their minds to be unsettled, disturbed, excited or alarmed at what they see or hear going on around them. There are certain things that must happen before Jesus returns. God will send Him at just the right time, and our part is to not let our minds be unsettled about what is happening around us. He is faithful to do His part, but will we be faithful to do ours?
In 2 Peter 3:10-14 Peter speaks to believers about the coming of the Lord and he says this in verse 14 (AMP):
So, beloved, since you are expecting these things, be eager to be found by Him [at His coming] without spot or blemish and at peace [in serene confidence, free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].
In all these portions of Scripture I see one common concern and that is that we wait for His return in peace, free from fears and confident that He will do what He has said. It is important that as His return grows more imminently near that we heed the word of the Lord and stand our ground in peace, living our lives in moral excellence.
Father, I come before You this morning and I thank You for being in control of our futures. I know that You are taking care of us, Your children, and that You will see us through any disturbance that tries to unsettle us. Thank You for watching over Your children. Father, I lift up to You this morning those who may be distressed over the outcome of our election. I ask You, Father, to assure their hearts that You are unfolding world events in preparation for Jesus' return. I pray that their hearts will not fail for fear as described in Your word as a sign of the last days, but that they will trust and rest in You for their salvation. I pray that each of us, Father, will pray for our leadership as Your word instructs, keeping in mind that when we pray for them, You have said that we will live a peaceable life and that our praying is good and right and pleasing in Your sight. Thank You, Father, for holding our future in Your hands. I know that when we look to You and not to the things happening around us that we will experience peace for You are the God of all peace! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
1 Samuel 8:6-9 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. “According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. “Now therefore, heed their voice. However,you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”
When Samuel was getting old he set his sons over Israel to judge them in his place. But his sons were not like him, they were dishonest and didn't judge fairly. The people didn't trust God's ways of dealing with dishonest leadership. They decided to take things into their own hands and change from depending on God for all their needs to trusting in a king to lead them just like all the other nations around them. God told Samuel that the people hadn't rejected him, but they had rejected God.
Today our nation will make a choice in a leader, to keep the one we have or to put another one in his place. As I've watched and listened to all the campaigning, the mud-slinging and the way God has been pushed out of our governmental processes, I can't help but feel that God feels rejected and my heart is saddened over all that has taken place throughout this election process. I pray that America might continue to be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. But I see and hear things to the contrary. I hear proclamations of our nation no longer being a “Christian nation”. I hear the boos of the people when God's name is mentioned; I have watched as we've held no regard for the sanctity of life and how we've become insensitive to the cries of our Israeli friends and even our own citizens who have been in harm's way. We've embraced ungodly lifestyles and disregarded what God has said is an abomination to Him. I feel the pain of the murders of the unborn and how God's heart must hurt for them. If I were to stand back and look into our nation at a time like this I would have to shake my head and wonder how a nation as great as ours could continue to lead the world in evangelism and power. My heart is sad over the sins of America!
And yet, God says in His word that He is the One who promotes one and brings another down.
Psalm 75:4-7 “ I said to the boastful, 'Do not deal boastfully,' And to the wicked, Do not lift up the horn. Do not lift up your horn on high; Do not speak with a stiff neck.'” For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge; He puts down one And exalts another.
The Living Bible says verse 6, 7 this way:
“For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. He promotes one and deposes another.”
The horn in this portion of scripture speaks of strength and power. There has been a lot of division in our country over this election. But God cautions us not to become prideful or boastful in our own strength because He is the one who is in control. He is the One who ultimately makes the decision of who will be our leader. He puts one down and lifts another up; promotion and power come from nowhere but Him.
To be the judge is one who hands down decisions that will maintain or bring about a right state of affairs. God knows exactly where we are as a nation. He is the judge, the one who hands down the decision that we need to bring our nation into a right state of affairs. We can't see into the future, but God can. He knows what lies ahead for the American people. He is the only one who can bring our nation into a right state of affairs!
We must not lose hope in God! He is our refuge in the time of trouble, our stronghold and high tower! He will do what is best for us. Every time that the Israelites did evil in God's sight when they repented He would send a deliverer and they would experience peace in their land. We can look back through all the trouble that the Hebrews had and see that God never left them alone. He would always deal with their sin, bring them to repentance and then continue to lead and guide them in peace. God hears the cries of His people. He does not turn a deaf ear to His people. Our God is all-powerful! We can trust Him.
Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
We might like to think that our President has the final say so, but that is not true. God is the One who holds the king's heart in his hand. He can turn it whichever way He wants it to go. Our God is in control.
But God has given His people, believers in Christ Jesus, the responsibility to pray for our elected officials! He has chosen to let us help Him in establishing and maintaining His kingdom priorities in our world. We are co-laborers with Him in setting up His kingdom in our lives and the lives of our countrymen. Will we do our part so He can do His?
1 Timothy 2:1-6 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between god and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
God has given us the responsibility of establishing and maintaining peace in our land through prayer! We are to pray and He does the work! Salvation comes to our land through praying people! There is ONE God and ONE Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus and we have a direct line to them through prayer to effect change in our land! If we do our part He will be faithful to us to do His part!
Father, I lift our nation up to You today. I pray, Father, that You will turn the hearts of the people back to You. I pray that Your will be done in our presidential election today. Father, I ask You to forgive us for rejecting Your leadership over us. I ask You to forgive us for the sins that we have committed as a nation against You. Oh Father, I ask You to forgive us and heal our land. I pray that we might continue to be “One nation under God”, that we might continue to live according to the godly principles that our nation was founded upon. Father, I ask that You would turn us back to You and cause our nation to once again be a Christian nation; a nation who trusts in the Lord as the One and only true God! May we be a people of integrity, holding biblical values close to our hearts and obeying the commands and principles that You have set before us. May we be a nation that shows the world that You are our God! Father, bring us back to You, forgive us and heal our land!
Father, I pray for the elected official that will come into office through this election process. I pray, Father, that He will be a man like David who seeks You with His whole heart and follows closely after You. I pray that You will place godly leaders around him to advise Him in the right way to go; the way that would lead our nation to be the strong and powerful world leader that we have been in the past. Father, I pray that our leadership will see the glorious light of the gospel of Jesus Christ and turn their hearts to Him for salvation! Father, save us from our own sinful ways and once again be exalted in our nation! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Is this the way you start your week?
Sometimes we get off on a sour note on Monday because of our thoughts about the day. Oh, it's the day we go back to the dreaded workplace. Or we look at what lies ahead of us as the mound of paperwork that the kitty is lying on and feel we'll never be able to make it through all that we have to do in the upcoming week. How can we ever succeed in conquering what lies before us?
Have you ever felt that way? Does the week ahead of you seem to be overwhelming?
Well, God said this in His word in Psalm 37:23, 24:
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
Your steps are ordered, or established, by the Lord. He delights in you. Even though you may not get everything done that you need to do in the upcoming days He will not let you fail. He will uphold you, or strengthen you with His hand. Do not think that you can't do all the things that you need to do.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
God will give you the strength that you need to do the things that you need to do. But you must turn to Him and ask Him to strengthen you and then you must act on that strength! That's faith! Hearing and doing what God says and trusting Him for the results.
These are the times when we must accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. Our attitude has a lot to do with determining our success. If we start off a project thinking that it's not going to work then most likely it won't. But if we have a winning attitude then we will most likely succeed in whatever we try to do. Our attitude often determines how we attack that mound of paper work or that project that we need to complete. If we think we can't do it then we can't, but if we attack it with the determination that we will succeed then success is in our future!
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
If you've invited Jesus into your heart to be your Savior and Lord, then the Greater One lives within you. He is greater than anything the world could possibly throw at you. He will strengthen you for the task ahead and enable you to stand strong in your fight to win. You are more than a conqueror when the Holy Spirit resides within you. There is nothing too difficult for God and all things are possible to him who believes. (Luke 1:37; Mark 9:23)
Father, I thank You for living within me and equipping me to win the battles that lie ahead of me. I know that through Your strength I can do all things. I believe, this morning, that with You in me and me applying myself to accomplish the tasks ahead of me that I will be able to get everything done in it's proper time and with success. I pray for my friends, this morning, who may be dreading what lies ahead of them. I ask You to remind them of who they are in You. That they might realize that the Creator of the Universe lives on the inside of them and if He spoke the world into existence then He can speak a word into their lives that will forever change the outcome of what they have undertaken to do. Father, I thank You for causing us to rise above our challenges and to exhibit the faith that moves mountains through Your strength and guidance. Thank You for causing us to win in the battles of life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 95:6, 7 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.
Father, this is Your day, the LORD'S day, and I will worship You with my whole heart. I thank You for being my Maker, My Master, and My LORD. May You be exalted in and through my life today and may all who come into contact with me be refreshed by Your presence within me. Father, I pray for those who may not know You this morning, that today might be their day of salvation. Father, I pray that You will knock on their hearts door and that they will open their hearts to You and receive You, Lord Jesus, as their Savior and Lord. These things I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Father, I also pray for those today who have invited You into their hearts but they have grown apart from You, they grown cold in their walk with You. I ask that You would draw them back by Your Spirit within them. Don't allow them to continue to be cold and distanced from You. Father, revive them and give them a fresh revelation of Who You are to them and what You want to do in their lives. Speak to them and show them that You want a living and vital relationship with them, not a religious dutiful one day a week encounter! Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. I believe that I receive when I pray! Amen.
Saturday, November 03, 2012
2 Kings 6:14-17 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
The enemy had set up an attack for Elisha because he had told the king of Israel where the Syrian army was waiting to attack them. The king of Syria wanted to take Elisha out so he couldn't reveal any more of his secrets to the king of Israel. Elisha was a big threat to the enemy because the Lord revealed things to him that he would pass on to his countrymen.
The enemy often lays in wait for the people of God to attack them. But as Elisha prayed for his servant's eyes to be opened to see into the spirit realm he was able to see that God had already provided the needed help to cause them to win the attack. God has provided for us as well. We have an army of angels at our disposal. The book of Hebrews chapter 1 tells us that God's angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.
Hebrews 1:13, 14 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
The ministry of angels is vast, but they all do God's word. They follow His directions in ministering unto the heirs of salvation.
Psalm 103:20, 21 Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
God sends His angels out to help us, to do what He tells them to do. Most of the time we can't see them or if we can we often don't recognize them as angels, but they are here, all around us.
Psalm 91:9-12 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
God gives His angels charge over us to protect us. Dr. Billy Graham, after observing the plural in this text, concluded that each believer must have at least two angels whose assigned duty it is to protect them. This scripture has always been very comforting to me and I often pray and thank God for giving His angels charge over me to guard and keep me in all my ways. God's word assures us that He has given us the help that we need in whatever battle we are fighting.
Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
Have you ever had God open your eyes to see into the spirit realm where your angels were waiting to help you? I have never had that privilege, but by faith I understand that the word of God is true and I place my trust in Him for the protection of His angels.
Father, I thank You for the ministry of Your angels in our lives. Father, I know that You have provided the help that we need in whatever difficulty we find ourselves. We are never alone. Your Spirit lives within us and your angels are around us. Thank You for protecting us from the evil one. I pray for my friends, this morning, who may be needing the assurance that You have provided angelic help for them in their time of need. I pray, Father, that you will open their eyes to see the angels around them that You've sent to guard them and keep them in all their ways. Thank You, Father, for giving us the assurance that Your angels have been sent to minister to those of us who inherit Your salvation! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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