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

 

 

God is True and Faithful

In these last days, there are many deceiving spirits, which are traversing the world and weaving their deception in the hearts of men and women who are not grounded in the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:13).

The devil keeps his demons busy looking for gullible people whom he can deceive with his lies and vain philosophies (Colossians 2:8). He is the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9).

Satan sends false prophets who convince people that they are the Christ or that they come from Christ, but who are actually lawless and have grown cold in their love for the things of God (Matthew 24:4-12).

Although God’s invisible attributes are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness, these with their false doctrine, suppress the truth and keep people from believing what God reveals in our conscience and in nature (Romans 1:18-22).

Those of us who are deceived have no valid excuse not to believe in God, because He reveals His glory to everyone who ever lives; and we condemn our self to hell by our choice not to believe in Jesus (John 3:16-18; Obadiah 1:3; Proverbs 28:26).

This occurs because of our stubborn pride, lustful desires and our trust in what our foolish heart tells us is true. We allow these deceivers to draw us away from the simplicity of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Yet, those of us who forsakes evil company and withstand this temptation will receive the crown of life and every good and perfect gift, which the Lord promises to those who love Him (James 1:12-17; 1 Corinthians 15:33).

Prayer:
Father God we know that You will not be mocked. If we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption (1 Corinthians 6:9-10); but if we sow to the Spirit, we will enjoy the fruit of Your righteousness and reap everlasting life (Galatians 6:7-8).

Those of us who sell our soul to the flesh, the world and the devil will inherit our part in the brimstone lake of fire and the second death (Revelation 21:8). Even those of us who trust in our own goodness to get to heaven will end up deceived and disappointed (Matthew 7:21-23). It is only as we trust in Your Son, Jesus, that we find the ultimate way, truth and life (John 14:6).

Thought for the Day:
God is true and faithful and His promises remain forever.
– Romans 3:4

The Greatest Measure of God’s Presence

We can never go anywhere that the love of God cannot find us (Psalm 139:7-12). He wants nothing more than to spend time fellowshipping with us, and filling us with the greatest measure of His presence (Ephesians 3:16-19).

In our busiest or calmest day, He is always within us, desiring to lead us by His Spirit and to direct us to do His will. Yet, in the hustle and bustle of life we often forget He is there.

We proceed through our day relying on our self-effort and human reasoning, making our own plans without consulting Him first and carrying them out with varying degrees of success.

We continue through life like this, enjoying the simple pleasures and the fruit of our labor, forgetting that God has specific work for us to accomplish for His purpose (Ephesians 2:10).

Then, we hit a brick wall and get the wind knocked right out of us. We make accusations against God, calling Him unfair, unjust and unloving.

We may even walk away from God with anger in our heart. We do not realize that we are either reaping the result of our own choices or we are experiencing the effects of Satan’s lordship and sin’s power in the earth.

When we walk away from God, we compound our problems. We abandon our best friend, our most faithful ally and our loving Father who loves to bless His children.

God is still waiting for us right where we left Him. He is calling us to Himself and wanting to cherish us and direct us in His will and purpose for our life.

Prayer:
Father God, when will we ever learn? Since you created us, mankind continually walks away from You. Even with Your Spirit abiding within us, we ignore You and do our own thing, making trouble for our self and living as a poor example of Your child.

You are our loving Creator, Father, Provider and Protector. Surround us with Your love and fill us with Your peace and joy. Submitting our life to You as our sovereign Lord, we appreciate that You are just and righteous in all of Your ways. Teach us to dedicate every moment of our day to loving You in ceaseless praise.

Thought for the Day:
Our walk with the Lord starts at the cross and continues by living in the center of God’s will, which is the happiest place on earth.

Created for God

Did you ever wonder why the earth’s axis holds its exact degree of slant and stays in its exact obit? If it did not do this, we would all be frozen or burned up.

It is only due to God’s great love and compassion that we are not consumed. His care for us never fails. It is new every single morning because God is faithful. This fact gives us unending hope.

The Lord is our provider as we wait upon Him. He is good to those who quietly hope in Him and concentrate the largest portion of our energy on seeking Him and the fullness of His salvation (Lamentations 3:21-26).

At times, we feel like the Lord does not really care about us. That is only because we have unrealistic expectations of Him that are not part of His will for our life.

We treat Him like a genie in a bottle created to grant our wishes, rather than as our Lord and King who created us to do His will with our life.

If we align our will with His, we are never disappointed in the answers to our prayers, because we pray in the Spirit rather than in our flesh.

We are taught by false prophets to claim Biblical promises, as if this puts God under obligation to us to do our will. He provides His promises to encourage us, not to give us some weapon to use against Him; which by the way, does not work and just leaves us frustrated.

God never changes. His mercy never fails us. His goodness is everlasting. His love is eternal. He is under no obligation to grant our wishes or to do our bidding. Instead, He requires that we lay down our life every day, take up His cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24; Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17).

Prayer:
Father God we often weave a tangled web with the circumstances of our life and then expect You to get us out of the mess we made. When we live in the center of Your will, Christ strengthens us to accomplish everything which You call us to do. You make us more than conquerors over the issues of life which You allow us to encounter, not over the jumble we create by our self-centered pursuit of this world.

In You we find peace, joy and boldness to walk in Your ways, which are so superior to our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Remind us that at the moment of salvation You move into our life, abiding there and desiring for us to get out of the way and to allow You to use us to accomplish all that You created us to do.

Thought for the Day:
As we live fully in each present moment, with no expectations or goals of our own, we can more easily follow the leading of God’s Spirit and walk in the center of His will; we hope in God alone, instead of hoping that He meets what we think are our needs.

God’s Unfailing Love

 

From the pit of depression, we call on the Lord to hear our prayers. We trust Him and know that without Him, we would surely die. We ask Him to reveal His lovingkindness with each new morning and to show us what to do and how to live through this latest trial that we are experiencing.

 

The key to survival in this world is to give our self completely to the Lord. We run to Him and hide our self in Him. When we do, He rescues us from our enemies. We trust Him with each moment of our life.

 

We know that we are not guaranteed a future. We only have this one moment of time in which to live. Do we really want to waste it in remorse over the past or fear of the future?

 

Do we really want to spend this one moment of time in any mindset other than singing the high praises of God? We may not live one more moment. We may be in heaven with our very next breath. O glorious day!

 

God teaches us to do His will and His gracious Spirit leads us on solid ground as we trust in Him. He preserves our life for His glory and for His name’s sake.

 

Through His faithfulness, He brings us through the darkest trial into His glorious light. He silences all of our enemies and destroys everyone who comes against us because we love Him with our whole heart and soul (Psalm 143:7-12).

 

We serve Him with our life and make Him our only priority. We work in the vocation to which He calls us and serve Him in the church to which He leads us. God’s unfailing love delivers, encourages and nurtures us.

 

As we totally surrender to His will for our life, He empowers us to overcome our depression, addictions and shortcomings and to accomplish all that He planned for us to do before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your restoration and healing, which allows us to break down the walls we erect in our life. We forge better relationships with people and enter a more intimate union with You than we ever thought possible.

 

Life’s trials are not challenges; they are great adventures with You at the helm of our life. Even if we experience future wounds, loneliness and dark valleys, we are assured that You are traversing them with us and working them all our for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

 

Thought for the Day:
When we choose to give God the obedience, preference, attention, love and praise to which He is due, He makes victories possible for us and triumphs and successes the normal order for our life.rture,

A Reasoned Response

Most of my answers are soft (Proverbs 15:1); however, my life was filled with people who took me for granted and ignored me unless I YELLED and unleashed the full fury of my Italian wrath every once in a while.

I always wanted to have a sweet response when someone stepped on my last nerve, or yanked my chain one too many times, but people tended not to take me seriously unless I yelled.

Therefore, when the people in my life changed, I had to practice giving soft answers, to practice choosing to give a reasoned response, rather than letting my emotions build within me until I simply exploded (Psalm 116:7).

In the ensuing years, God allowed my children to grow up into responsible adults who live in their own homes. He also gave me a husband who nurtures and cherishes me.

God helped me to understand that I do not need wrath to get my point across. All I need to do is to quietly say, “I really want you to take me seriously, and listen to what I am saying.”

Our authority is in Christ, not in our self or the intensity of our words. In Christ, quietness is our confidence and strength (Isaiah 30:15, 32:17). When two people disagree, they can always find a compromise.

When we speak with God’s authority instead of our own, people listen. We get the person’s attention, share our needs and then relax in quietness and confidence that the Lord will fight for us, as we wait on Him (Exodus 14:14).

We can trust that God already placed the seed for a miracle in every trial, which we will ever encounter. If we water this seed with faith, patience and confidence in God’s faithfulness, a beautiful plant of blessing will grow.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that Satan battles for our soul through our mind, choices and emotions. He knows he already lost our spirit to You, but he wants to destroy our soul, and our witness for You (Proverbs 34:13). Help us to choose to step out of our self-effort and into Your authority by the guidance of Your Spirit (Proverbs 16:23; Isaiah 45:22).

Wounds from our past and ever-occurring wounds in our present life – being belittled, discounted, deprived emotionally or physically, abandoned, insecure and frightened in our heart – will manifest in our words.

Yet, as we trust You, You help us to heal from our wounds. We will dwell in security and rest (Isaiah 32:18). May our thoughts and words be pleasing to You as we rely on You as our rock and Redeemer (Psalm 20:14).

Thought for the Day:
As God heals the wounds in our soul, as we relinquish our pet peeves and idols to Him, as we surrender control of our life to Him and realize that nothing can happen to us that is not already part of His plan for us (Isaiah 7:4), then we can think and speak quiet, confident thoughts rather than broiling negative emotions.

Abiding Fruit – Part 2

As God’s Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ, we abide in His abundant love forever. We keep His commandments and love our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors with the love of the Lord (Matthew 22:37-39; John 15:10).

The Vine existed long before the branches ever grew, and He sacrificially shares His love and life with us (1 John 4:19). We choose to fully commit to our relationship with the Vine (John 15:16).

Separated from the Vine, we can do nothing (John 15:5). We display the fruit of the flesh, which is envy, strife, hatred, self-centeredness, criticism, worry, depression, pride, bitterness, complaining, quitting, backbiting, loving our self more than others, loving money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to our parents, ungrateful, unholy, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; inventing ways of doing evil; disobeying our parents; and as adults, we put work and fun ahead of God (2 Timothy 3:2; Romans 1:30).

Abiding in the Vine gradually renews our heart and replaces these negative issues with the fruit of God’s Spirit, which we bear through our obedience to Him. This is the evidence of our union with the Vine (John 15:13).

We rest in His grace and renew our strength as we wait on Him (Isaiah 40:31). His Spirit directs us each moment of the day (John 16:13). We increase God’s Kingdom by our obedience to Him and His Word (Mark 4:26).

God’s fruit in our life is proof of our faith in God (James 2:14-26). We abide in Him, but He also abides in us, completing the sanctifying work of holiness, which He started in us at salvation (Philippians 1:6, 2:12-13).

Prayer:
Father God, let us never break our connection with Your Vine. The life we receive through Your presence in our spirit is not paralleled by anything this world has to offer.

Help us to exhibit affection for others, an exuberance about life, serenity through the storms, determination and patience, a compassionate heart, and kindness that pervades our entire being (Galatians 5:22-23).

We trust that You have this world in Your control and have a perfect timetable for its culmination and the renewal of all things. Remind us to live humbly in service to You and others, and continually guide us by Your Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
Our God, who called us, is faithful to us and will fulfill us and care for us until we abide with Him in eternity. – 1 Thessalonians 5:24

When Faith Fails

We all have faith in something or someone. It is a natural human tendency to believe, even if we just believe in our self. Humans are usually optimistic and hopeful.

We believe that the sun will come up tomorrow, our job and bank account are secure, our car will start, the chair will hold us when we sit down, our children will grow up to be successful and happy, and a myriad of other concepts using faith.

Yet, when we let our self down, or the object of our faith fails us, what happens to us? Our hope is shredded, we get discouraged and we vow never to trust again.

At best, it takes weeks and sometimes years to have the courage to believe in anything once again. We may start to believe and then give up, feeling the pain of our former disappointment.

There is only one secure object of our faith and devotion: Jesus Christ. He is exceptionally dependable and perpetually faithful (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19).

We see His hand in His creation (Romans 1:20), in a kind word, a child’s delight, a friend’s smile, a flower growing in the crack of the sidewalk and in normal, everyday life.

Jesus gives us His joy and peace in exchange for our misery and defeat. He provides all of our needs according to His glorious riches. He deeply cares about us individually.

Yet, to believe in Christ for salvation takes humility. We humble our pride, surrender to God’s hand on our life and pledge to have faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:

Father God, until we experience Your sovereignty and blessings in our life, we find it impossible to have faith in Your faithfulness. We cannot see or hear You; yet we feel your presence, order and power all around us.

Increase our faith in You and help us to cling to You when everything else in our life fails us. Bring peace to our soul even in the midst of the worst trials and tribulation, so that we can live as an example of your faithfulness to Your children.

Thought for the Day:

We can trust in God’s faithfulness, even when we do not see a solution to our problems.

Unreached People Groups

In this modern world, it seems impossible that there are still people who have never heard the gospel of Christ (Acts 4:12). They have had little to no opportunity for outreach and evangelism (Revelation 15:4).

An unreached people group is one that has less than 2% of Believers in their country and has no church planting capabilities or Bibles in a language, which they can understand.

Jesus told His disciples to go out into all the world and to preach the gospel to every nation (Matthew 24:14, 28:18-20). Christians in every succeeding century have followed suit.

Of course, America and England sent out the most missionaries so far. However, in today’s spiritual climate, other countries are now sending missionaries to England and America, due to our lack of faithful, committed Believers. Churches are continually closing here.

We are afraid to speak to our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors about the difference that Christ makes in our life, and how God’s unconditional love provides us with so many benefits both now and in eternity (Romans 15:21; Psalm 67:1-3).

The Apostle Paul is a great example to us, since he took several missionary journeys covering large land areas and started over 50 churches to carry on the ministry of spreading God’s Word to the masses (Romans 1:5).

God calls all Believers, even today, to reach as many people in our area of influence and to plant as many churches as there is a need, in order to take as many people to Heaven with us as we possibly can (Revelation 5:9, 7:9-10; Mark 13:10; Acts 13:45-47).

Prayer:
Father God, as we go about our day, remind us to preach, saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and then to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and cleanse the lepers (Luke 24:45-47; Matthew 10:8).

Help us to be strong and courageous, because wherever we go, You are there with us and in us (Joshua 1:9). Move by Your Holy Spirit in the lives of people we know and those unreached people groups all over the world, so that the soil of their lives will be ready to receive the seeds of the gospel, which we commit to spread as sowers of Your Word (Matthew 13:18-23).

Thought for the Day:
All the ends of the earth shall remember what Jesus did and turn to Him, and all the families of the nations of the world shall worship before Him. – Psalm 2:8, 22:27, 67:5-7, 98:2-3

Hope in God – Part 1

During trials and setbacks, Satan discourages us and makes us doubt God’s love. We lose our hope, until we totally surrender our human confidence, dreams and goals to God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

No matter how long or dreadful we suffer in this world, we never lose our hope in God (Psalm 39:7). His Saints love Him, because the Lord faithfully preserves those who are faithful to Him.

We can strengthen our heart and have strong courage, because our hope is in God, not in our self or what we want out of life (Psalm 31:23-24). God never abandons our soul or brings us to ruin.

He leads us in His path of life. We find fullness of joy in His presence; and as we serve Him, we are delighted all the days of our life (Psalm 16:10-11).

Even when we suffer with negative emotions like discouragement and stress, we can still hope in God. As we praise Him, He puts a smile on our lips, a twinkle in our eyes and a jaunt in our steps (Psalm 42:5-6).

He encourages us and our soul rejoices as we remember His goodness and provision (Psalm 42:11). As we hope in God we hear His voice and recognize Him as our Lord and Savior (Psalm 38:15).

As we remember all that God does for us and the words He speaks to us, we set our hope in Him. He comforts us in our trials and His Son and His Word give us life (Psalm 78:7, 119:49-50).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our hiding place in times of insecurity and our shield when life frightens us (Psalm 119:114). Our soul waits for You, more than the night watchmen eagerly wait for the morning, and we put all of our hope in Your Word (Psalm 130:5-6).

Those who do not have a personal relationship with You are sick at heart, but our desire is for You. You bless us with Your life within us (Proverbs 13:12; John 14:6). As we walk in Your righteous ways, we have peace and joy (Proverbs 10:28).

Thought for the Day:
We continually hope in God and praise Him more and more every day. – Psalm 71:14