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Monday, June 17, 2013

Isaiah 43:2 WEB
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned,
and flame will not scorch you.

Promise #168: When you walk through the fires of adversity, you will not be burned.

I took this photo when my wife and I were in New Zealand a few years back. These volcanic geysers continually release boiling hot water onto the earth's surface and it is a truly amazing sight to see. In the natural, no one could walk through these gushing waters without getting burned.

Yet in this Bible verse, God says that even if we walk through fire, we will not be burned. When I think of this promise, I do not think of passing through literal waters or fires, but the raging waters and fires of adversity that we all face in life. The NLT Bible calls it 'the fire of oppression' that we sometimes experience. I find great comfort in knowing that God promises that He will be with us as we go through our trials and that ultimately these trials will not overcome us.

One day when Jesus comes back or we go home to be with Him, we will be in a place where there is no more pain or suffering. But in this life, we will continue to experience hardships simply because we live in a fallen world. The next time you go through a difficult experience, remember God's promise to be with you in the midst of the trial.

My prayer is that the flames of adversity will not consume you as you pass through them. May you be kept safe in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91) no matter what life throws at you!

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Jeremiah 33:3 WEB
Call to me, and I will answer you, and will show you great things,
and difficult, which you donít know.

Promise #165: Call out to Me and I will show you wonderful things you do not know.

Little children are the most inquisitive people on the planet. They are filled with awe about their surroundings and continually asking their parents questions about what, where, when, why, how, etc. I love to see the interaction between these little ones and their loving parents. Daddy, why is the sky blue? Mommy, how come I have five toes?

It is wonderful to see the patience that loving parents have for all of these questions. Though most of the time their children cannot comprehend even the most simple of answers, it isn't the answers that are what's important. It is the fact that parents have made themselves available to their wee ones and have all the time in the world to answer their questions.

When I think of this promise and how God has invited us to ask Him all the questions we want, I am reminded of the loving interaction between a parent and a small child. To think that the God of the universe has all the time in the world to answer my questions is amazing! If you have had parents that weren't available to answer your questions when you were younger, you might think that God will respond the same way to you.

The truth is that God is the perfect Father and He invites us to ask Him questions and His promise to us is that He will answer us and show us wonderful things that we do not know!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

James 1:17 WEB
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow.
Promise #163: Every good gift that you receive comes directly from My hand.

Just think of this promise for a moment. God is saying that anything good that you receive in your life comes directly from Him. That beautiful sunrise, the twinkle in a loved one's eye, even that raise at work. All good gifts come from the one true Father.

The Bible says that the sun shines on the just and the unjust. So that means His gifts are not just reserved for those who have received the free gift of eternal life. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights. In James 1:17, it also says that God does not change like shifting shadows. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! Hallelujah for such a gracious, loving heavenly Father who is a giver at the very center of His heart!

In Matthew 7:7-11, Jesus encourages us to keep on asking, seeking and knocking because God is a good Father and delights to give good gifts to His children. Like any healthy father/child relationship, it breaks the Father's heart if we only seek Him for the things He gives us. The gifts He gives are really only the icing on the cake.

The most amazing thing that we can ever receive from God is the gift of Himself! It humbles me to think of this promise. To think how kind and loving, and generous our heavenly Father is. It just makes me want to run to Him again and again and thank Him for being so good to me!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Hebrews 10:10 WEB
by which will we have been sanctified
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Promise #159: I made you holy by the once for all sacrifice of My Son, Jesus Christ.

I love the finality of this promise. We are made holy by the once and for all sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross. The price He paid two thousand years ago covers our past sins, our present sins and our future sins. There is nothing else that needs to be paid or could be paid. As Jesus cried out on the cross, "It is finished!"

Hallelujah for such a promise! Our sanctification is secure for all eternity because of the finished work of our elder brother, Jesus Christ! As Paul says in Romans 8:1, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus! What a glorious promise.

Sometimes it is easy for us to vacillate between living in the forgiveness that God has already given us and feeling guilt and shame. The blood of Jesus has settled this issue once and for all! All we need to do is simply accept this free gift and walk in the assuredness that we could never add anything to the amazing, extravagant gift that God the Father has already given us.

When I think of the permanence of Jesus' sacrifice, and how my redemption and sanctification has been secured for eternity, it brings me into a reassuring peace and rest knowing that when God looks at me, He doesn't see all my sin and my shortcomings. ...He sees me through the once and for all finished sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of God. What good news!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Psalm 63:3 WEB
Because your loving kindness is better than life,
my lips shall praise you.

Promise #158: My lovingkindness is more precious than life.

In this promise, the psalmist is making a declaration of God's amazing lovingkindness and how His love is better than life itself. The writer goes on to say that the only appropriate response to such a wonderful love is to live a life of loving God back in the form of presenting our bodies as living sacrifices.

I really believe that every person on the planet was created to respond to love. In 1 John 4:19, it says that we love because He first loved us. God is the ultimate initiator and we are His ultimate responders. When we truly begin to receive His lovingkindness in every area of our lives, the only appropriate response is to love Him back with every fiber of our being and praise His wonderful name!

Our God and Father's desire is that we live in His love all the days of our lives, and be a vessel in which His love can flow to us and then through us. The more that I experience Papa's amazing, unconditional love for me, the more that I join with this verse and declare that God's lovingkindness is better than life!


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