Followed by Goodness and Mercy

God has a satisfying plan for each of us. He reveals His plan for one moment at a time as we continually enjoy the fullness of His presence (Psalm 16:11, 17:15). Then, He delivers us from an eternal death in hell and preserves our life as we trust in Him (2 Timothy 4:18).

 

Our benevolent Father God remembers the days of our youth through the eyes of His love; not holding against us our sins and indiscretions (Psalm 25:7, 36:7-10). All of His ways are loving and trustworthy, especially as we faithfully abide in covenant with Him (Psalm 25:10).

 

We often want to prolong our days on this clay ball, because we desire to remain with family and to accomplish things for God and to fulfill our goals (Philippian 1:23; Psalm 21:4). We have our mind centered on material pursuits.

 

Yet, we can always remember that God guides us with His wise counsel during our lifetime and receives us up into His glorious Kingdom at the end of our days on earth (Psalm 73:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:1). He rejoices in the death of His Saints, because He looks forward to us joining Him in Heaven (Psalm 116:15).

 

There are trouble and trials on this earth. We lose loved ones too soon, and often suffer physically, emotionally, materially, mentally and financially. There is no way to escape earth’s trials.

 

We are so wise when we give our soul – our thoughts, feelings and choices – time to grieve and to catch up to the events which life hands us (Psalm 30:11-12; 103:17; 2 Corinthians 1:10). Grief is with us all of our life. Triggers repeatedly drag us back into the depths of this anguish.

 

As we give our self permission to feel the grief each time it appears, we allow our tears the time they need to do their cleansing work. God meets us with His mercy each moment of every day now and throughout eternity, and He turns our times of mourning into dancing (Lamentations 3:22-23; Psalm 30:11-12).

 

Goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life on this earth; and then, we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6). God’s got us covered now and forever.

 

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for delivering us from the evil in this current world, or walking through it with us. Allow us the opportunity to share Your love with our family, friends and even strangers by our response to life’s challenges. Grow us spiritually into ever increasing images of Your Son and give us opportunities to share your love with everyone we meet.

 

We lift Jesus higher still and ask You to draw all men unto Him for healing for their spirit, soul and body as we live in Your service for our life now and throughout eternity. We give You all the praise, glory and honor now and forever and ever. Amen.

 

Thought for the Day:

Once our intimacy with God increases, we want and seek nothing more than to dwell in His courts, gaze on His beauty and abide under the shelter of His wings all the days of our life. – Psalm 27:4, 61:4

 

 

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Loved and Forgiven

When we actually come face to face with God’s glory, we realize just how sinful we are. This encounter changes our very countenance, attitude, behavior, focus and prayer life (Exodus 34:35; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 4:31-32).

We trust our life on earth to God’s perfect plan for us (Ephesians 2:10). We find fulfillment, peace and joy through His love and forgiveness (Romans 14:17). We keep our eyes on Jesus, regardless of our circumstances (Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 3:9).

We never pay back evil with more evil, and we do things in such a way that everyone can see we are filled with the honor, grace and love of God (Romans 12:17). We no longer condemn others, because we realize that we are sinners too.

We think and act with mercy, grace and compassion. We also realize the magnitude of God’s love for us, and we express His glory by allowing His love to flow through us to others.

The love of God is multi-dimensional with width, length, depth and height (Ephesians 3:17-19). It completely surrounds us in every way. There is no escaping the love of God.

We collapse into God’s waiting arms with the confidence that He will catch us and never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5). He abides in our spirit and makes a huge difference in our life both now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:11).

God does miraculous works for and through those who love Him and obey His Word (Deuteronomy 28:1-13; Hebrews 11:6). Our inheritance in His Kingdom is full of His glory (Acts 20:32).

When we flee from temptation and please God, we increase in the grace and knowledge of all that the Lord means to us (2 Timothy 2:22-24; 2 Peter 3:18). He is miraculous, amazing, magnificent and incomprehensible in human terms. He is the great I AM (John 4:26; 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our peace and Christ is our very life (Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 3:4). Thank You for Your eternal covenant with Your Saints through the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. You are the great Shepherd and we feel so secure as Your people and the sheep of Your pasture (Psalm 100:3).

You equip us with every good thing, which we need to walk in Your perfect, pre-planned will for our life (Ephesians 2:10, 13:21; Philippians 1:6). You work out of us anything which displeases You, until we are holy in Your sight through our Lord, Jesus Christ. We will glorify You forever and ever (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Thought for the Day:
God never disciplines from anger or vindictiveness, but with the purpose of drawing us back to His love and forgiveness.

The Impotence of God

Many who do not know the Lord, will say that God is impotent and that there is no help in Him; that He causes bad things to happen to us and our loved ones without compassion or concern over the devastation caused by these trials and afflictions (Psalm 3:2).

God created Paradise and wanted us to live there. He only gave Adam and Eve one directive or restriction. They chose to listen to Satan and we all now bear the curse from their choice.

Satan delights in ensnaring the lives of every human ever born on earth. He offers them delights of the flesh; and makes sure they reap its destruction (Romans 1: 32, 6:23; Proverbs 11:19).

The devil’s plants his lies in our mind, and encourages us to falsely accuse God, to turn His glory into shame, to turn away from Him and to seek the false gods of pleasure, money, fame, success and power instead (Psalm 4:2).

God knew this would happen and provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. He became a man, Emmanuel, and paid our sin debt for us. Yet, many still refuse to put their trust in Him and they continue to reap sin’s curse (John 3:18).

Authentic Believers realize that there is no reason to fear anything in life (Psalm 3:6). If we are walking in His Spirit, nothing will ever happen to us, which is not already part of His plan for us.

Evil, hardship and loss come from the god of this world, the devil. God will save anyone who surrenders their life to Him. When we are surrounded by evil all around us, with no way of escape; God is right there waiting for us (Psalm 3:6).

We can enjoy a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We know without a doubt that God’s shield protects us. When we are drowning in life’s circumstances, He lifts our head high above the waves of adversity (Psalm 3:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You call us to live a holy life and to trust in You. When people around us scoff at us for trusting in You, let us stand strong in our faith in Your faithfulness. Let them see Your goodness in Your provision and care for us.

Let Your light shine on us and let everything prosper, which we do according to Your will. Fill our hearts with Your peace and joy and allow us to enjoy deep and restful sleep. Keep us safe for the glory of Your name (Psalm 4:5-8).

Thought for the Day:
God calls us not to sin (Psalm 4:4), to trust in His goodness and love, and to stand still and see the salvation of our God. – Exodus 14:13

Our Strong Tower

As an infant, most of us are properly cared for by our parents; although, more often in these days in which we live, children are no longer cherished and nurtured.

Regardless of our upbringing, however, life rarely pulls its punches. It deals out a lifetime of hard knocks, abuse, neglect and disappointments.

We learn to keep more to our self, in order to give people and circumstances fewer chances to hurt us. We want to stay safe from a world, which often frightens us.

We continue to reach out to other people, and to help them in any way we can; but suspicion taints the way we view people and opportunities, which come our way.

We are programmed to believe that the good times will never last, because they never did in the past. We stop looking forward to things; and we never believe promises, because they rarely if ever happen.

We miss opportunities, which we would enjoy, because we are afraid to trust the leading of God’s Spirit. We stay home rather than to take risks to meet new people and to share God’s love with them.

We learn to build walls to hide behind in an attempt to protect our self. However, these very walls only serve to keep us restrained in the confinement of our own making.

We try to escape these walls through addictions, the wrong friends and mate, busyness, hobbies, projects and over-achieving in areas, which do not really matter.

We imprison our true self behind those walls, which were meant to keep us safe. We can never live a full life as long as we continue to hinder our whole body, soul and spirit from living free in Christ (Galatians 5:1).

Prayer:
Father God, we wall up our heart, because vulnerability makes us susceptible to victimization and neglect. You advise us to guard our heart from sin, but not from other people. You actually expose us to disappointment in this life to show us the magnitude of Your continual love and nurture for us.

Remind us that when we are the weakest and the most vulnerable, then You are the strongest and closest to us in order to fight on our behalf (2 Corinthians 12:9-11; Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 3:22).

Therefore, we can entrust our body, soul and spirit to You and Your protection and care (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7). We can run into the safety of Your everlasting arms (Isaiah 41:10).

Thought for the Day:
We fear vulnerability; therefore, we hide our true self behind walls of our own making; but God protects us from our enemies and is a strong tower into which we can run and be safe. – Psalm 18:2, 10

God’s Inclusive Love

Authentic Believers have no desire to sin; however, the world, the devil and the flesh cause temptations for our body and soul, which are often hard to resist.

The good news here is that God gives us a way to escape any temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptations also sharpens our faith and work patience into our character (James 1:2-4).

Satan may bombard us with doubt and anxiety, but if we look to Christ His perfect love will cast out all of our fear (1 John 4:18).

Some people refuse to admit they are sinners; however, they are living in deception, and calling God a liar (1 John 1:8-10). Anyone willing to repent is quickly forgiven by God and cleansed from all iniquity.

Jesus is our advocate with our Father when we do sin, because He paid the penalty of our sin (1 John 2:1-2). This proves that God has nothing but love for us.

God is love, and when we abide in God, we abide in His love (1 John 4:16). In God’s love we have no fear. His love for us gives us confidence in His faithfulness.

Prayer:
Father God, You are with us, and that is all we need. We rejoice in our weakness, because then You can show Yourself strong through us. People see Christ’s power within us rather than our own abilities and adequacy (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We actually exult in our insufficiency, because we realize that we need to depend on You in every moment of our day to make us strong. Our attitude in our weakness is actually a testimony of Your love for us.

Thought for the Day:
When we succumb to temptation, we fail to avail our self of the escape, which God always supplies; and we ultimately disappoint our Father God. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Fight, Flight or Faith

To “fight or flight” is the normal human reaction to trauma. We want to defend our self or to run from confrontation on any level. We either use our human ingenuity to escape from trials or else we just sit and complain about them.

James recommends that we find joy in our trials, knowing that they are building up our faith in God’s faithfulness, as well as increasing our endurance to face other trials in the future (James 1:2-4).

James assures us that endurance will help us to walk in complete perfection and to have no lack in any area of our life. We eventually know without a doubt that God will see us through any negative circumstance.

God allows trials to teach us that nothing else matters in our life except Jesus (Colossians 3:3-4). As we endure suffering, we wait on God in every aspect of our life, and He always provides.

Our beliefs about God affect our thoughts, words and deeds. If we believe by faith, we will also think, speak and act in faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). This allows the light of Christ to shine forth from our life.

We do not have to experience trials to trust God or to walk in the faith of God’s Son (Galatians 2:20). God also blesses us in the good times of life; and He loves it when we acknowledge His gifts and give Him thanks.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to praise You in good times and in bad. Remind us that You are working out Your purpose in our life through every circumstance, which we face; and that You will make sure that everything works out to our advantage (Ephesians 2:10; Romans 8:28). We praise You for who You are, what You do for us and for Your Word, which encourages, guides and gives us a rich life of unending hope.

Thought for the Day:
It is impossible to please God, unless we have faith in His faithfulness.
– Hebrews 11:6