Saturday, July 2, 2011

God Goes Ahead of You

"The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 31:8

Tonight I read an email from a missionary friend. She shared this verse with me and told how it had encouraged her to know that the Lord always goes before her, to prepare the way. That she need not worry about where her financial support will come from, because God always provides. If you are in a place of uncertainty, remember who goes ahead of you. Trust in the One who has it all under control. He will not fail you or forsake you. You are never alone.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pray for the Persecutors

"and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”"
Acts 9:4

On the road to Damascus, Paul (then Saul) the persecutor of Christians is blinded by a bright heavenly light. The voice of Jesus calls out to Saul, repeating his name twice (whenever God repeats a name it denotes strong emotion), "Why are you persecuting Me?"  Saul's actual crime is against God, not man. Whenever someone persecutes a Christian, it's really the Lord they're persecuting. Pray for the persecutors, that God would change their hearts as he did Saul's. And pray for persecuted Christians, that God would protect them.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The God Who Hears

"My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will hear me."
Psalm 77:1

When it's been a hard day and I long for comfort, my God is there. My heart rejoices that I can cry out to Him and He always hears me. My voice rises to God and He comes and strengthens me. Praise be to the God who hears!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No Matter What

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Daniel 3:16-18

The account of Shadrack, Meshach and Abed-nego in the Bible is one of the my favorites. Of course, the fact that the Lord walked with them in the furnace and saved them is beyond remarkable. And for years that was really all I thought about. Then one day while reading the passage, I focused on the reply the three Jews gave to King Nebuchadnezzar when he demanded they worship the Babylonian gods and golden image instead of God. First, they said they didn't need to give him an answer regarding being thrown into a fire and burned alive for disobedience to the king. Second, they testified that God was able to deliver them from the blazing furnace. Pretty impressive so far, right? But then, look at what they tell Nebuchadnezzar. "But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." Wow! That is incredible faith!  That's the kind of faith I want to possess. No matter what happens to me, Lord, I'm going to follow you. Even if it means dying for my faith. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Fullness of God

"And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:19

To know the love of Christ in the context of this verse is to know it through experience. A knowing beyond simple intelligent understanding. It is a recognition of the unconditional love He has for us.  Those who have received Him as Savior know they are cleansed from sin. They comprehend that they have been made new and that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in their heart. This comprehension compels the Christian to joyfully submit to the Spirit. For he knows that through giving over control to the Spirit, he will be filled with the "fullness of God." The Greek word for this fullness is Pleroo, meaning "to fill to the brim, abounding, liberally supplied. Wanting nothing." If you are a Christ follower, you are spiritually rich. Take hold of this truth today and experience the fullness of God.

Monday, June 27, 2011

God's Footsteps

"They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day,"
Genesis 3:8 

There was a time when the Lord walked in the Garden He had created for man and woman.  Since Adam and Eve recognized the sound of his footsteps, we know they were intimately familiar with Him. Imagine what it must have been like to meet the Creator face-to-face in a perfect, natural setting. The temperature would have been ideal every day. No weeds or pests with which to bother. No lack of moisture. Absolute beauty everywhere you look. And to top it all off, sweet fellowship with God Almighty. What a shame that sin had to enter in and spoil it all. Some day this imperfect earth will pass away, and God will create a new earth and sky (2 Peter 3:12-13). It is a wonderful promise from the Lord that we look forward to. But it would be unfortunate to be so focused on what is to come that we neglect what we now have. God is with us. He walks with us in our garden and in the grocery store. He sits with us on the deck and at the cafe, on the mountainside and at our desk. Everywhere we go, God goes with us. Do you hear His footsteps?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Trustworthy Statement

"It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all."
1 Timothy 1:15

The Apostle Paul described himself as a former "blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor" (1 Timothy 1:13). He calls himself foremost among sinners, but there is no one who can say they don't need salvation. All have sinned.  All fall short of the glory of God. Every person is foremost among sinners. But the good news is that when we admit we need a Savior there is a statement we can trust.  Jesus Christ came into the world to save us.  That is deserving of our full acceptance.
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