The Lord is Our Refuge

 

As we enter adulthood, we attempt to provide security and stability for our self and our family through our vocation, savings account, two jobs, marrying someone who is already rich, etc.

 

Yet, we often find that our choices oppress our life and cause us more trouble than they help (Psalm 9:9, 52:7). In this world of sorrows and trials, we need an anchor for our soul, a stronghold where we can take refuge (Psalm 18:2).

 

Once we realize that the Lord is our light in the darkness, and our only real salvation, we release our fear of the unknown and humbly go to Him as our defense (Psalm 27:1).

 

He gives us His strength to traverse any trouble we encounter (Psalm 37:39). Even when we allow the stress of our trouble to disconnect us from Him, He is still there waiting for us to turn back in Him (Psalm 43:2; Hebrews 13:5).

 

The Lord is strong enough to tremble the whole earth with His voice; yet He is a gentle refuge for those who trust in Him (Joel 3:16; Psalm 62:2). The Lord lives forever and is the Rock of our salvation (2 Samuel 22:47; Psalm 18:46).

 

He desires that we meditate on Him and His goodness day and night, and that our thoughts, words and actions line up with His Word (Psalm 19:14). This proves our love for Him.

 

To those who stand against Him, He is a stumbling stone, a snare and trap for their wayward feet; but to His Saints, He is our sanctuary who offers us safety and shelter from any trouble we experience in life (Isaiah 8:14).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we cry out to You in our adversity, knowing that You are our only Rock and our Refuge (Psalm 89:26). We cling to Christ as our cornerstone, who gives us stability and order in our life (Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 28:16). The world rejects You, but we stand firmly on the solid footing You provide for our life in every circumstance (Matthew 21:42).

 

You are our precious Savior and we put our faith and trust in You (1 Peter 2:6-7). You are a great mountain and You fill the whole earth with Your power and majesty (Daniel 2:35). You spoke through age-old prophets and then confirmed their words as they came to pass, even over centuries of time (Daniel 2:44-45). This builds our faith in Your faithfulness and we know that we can trust in You.

 

Thought for the Day:

We humbly pursue our Living Stone by faith and do not attempt to earn His love or salvation by our works; so He rewards us with inner peace and joy, which transcend our earthly existence.

– Romans 9:32-33; 1 Peter 2:4-8

 

Advertisements

He’s Gotcha Covered

God’s got us covered…He’s got our back. His eyes and ears are always in tune with all of His children all over this globe (Psalm 34:15). His love for us is everlasting and provides us with true fulfillment and contentment.

 

God brought together sun bleached skeletons in the desert and erected a great army – the perfect picture of Him restoring Israel as a nation (Ezekiel 37:1-14). His love and provision for Israel are a constant testimony to us of His faithfulness to His Saints.

 

When the pain of life overwhelms us, we find encouragement, peace and joy in the fact that God is always watching, and never forsaking us or leaving us on our own (Hebrews 13:5).

 

He dwells within us and is experiencing our pain right along with us. His peace guards us (Philippians 4:7). He knows our needs before we do, and He already provided for them before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10; Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 4:19).

 

When Satan sends his emissaries of discouragement to beat us down, we have a choice to believe their lies or to trust God. Regardless of the trouble we face, God is always there in us to help us through the experience (Psalm 46:1).

 

We simply place our faith in His faithfulness and He lifts us out of the pit of depression and hopelessness and plants our feet firmly on the Rock of Christ (Psalm 18:31, 40:2).

 

His work is perfect and He is just in all of His ways. He is our faithful God without injustice, righteous and upright in all of His ways (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 92:15).

 

There is no one like our God, holy and stable (1 Samuel 2:2). We have no need to fear when He is our Rock of refuge (Isaiah 44:8; Deuteronomy 32:31, 32:37). He is our salvation and rest, our strength and sanctuary (Psalm 62:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we call to You and You are not deaf to our pleas (Psalm 28:1). You never allow us to be ashamed of our relationship with You. You rescue us quickly as a stronghold and fortress. You lead and guide us for Your name’s sake (Psalm 31:1-3). We continually come to You as our hiding place and You save us (Psalm 71:3).

 

We trust in You forever as our God, our Lord and our everlasting Rock (Isaiah 26:4; Psalm 91:2). You are the Lord of a host of angels and our stronghold (Psalm 46:7). You are our deliver, our shield, the horn of our salvation and full of loving kindness (Psalm 144:2). Thank You for delivering us from violence (2 Samuel 22:3).

 

Thought for the Day:
No matter where we are on the face of the earth, when our heart is discouraged and we call to God, He leads us to His Rock that lifts us above the storms. – Psalm 61:2

 

The Divine Life

The divine nature of Christ was not changed when the Word became flesh (John 1:14). He was fully human and still fully divine.

 

All the fullness of the triune God resides within Christ, and Christ dwells within the spirit of every Born Again Believer (Colossians 2:9). We are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit, which resides within each of us (1 Corinthians 3:16).

 

Therefore, all the fullness of the triune God dwells within each authentic Christian. We often struggle with our human and spiritual natures, which war against one another.

 

However, we learn obedience through the things that we suffer, just as Jesus did (Hebrews 5:8). Even though we dwell in a mortal body, we are buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

 

We are transformed by God’s Holy Spirit who renews our mind until we have the mind of Christ, and who enables us to absorb the truth of the Word of God (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5, 4:8).

 

Through regeneration we come to identify, understand and seek after the things of God. We live a fulfilled life of faith, love and complete holiness, absorbed in the presence of God.

 

We have the divine nature of Christ within us (Colossians 3:3). As our life decreases, His divine nature in us increases (John 3:30; Acts 17:28). This makes a huge difference in how we face life and what we accomplish in it.

 

We have more faith, because of God’s faithfulness to us. We have more power because we cease living in our own efforts. We enjoy God’s divine presence within us, because we know that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, never let us feel superior or prideful because You dwell within us. Humble us in Christ’s humility and remind us that it is only through Christ that we can accomplish anything good (Romans 7:18). You are the Vine and we are the branches, and You cut off any branch that does not bear the fruit of Your Spirit (John 15:2-5).

 

We cling to You with our whole being, knowing that this world holds nothing for us without You. You are our motivation, our success and our whole life (Colossians 3:4). We meditate on Your Word day and night, and we find our only source of life within the verses on each page.

 

Thought for the Day:

As Believers we grow to enjoy the divine nature of Christ, free from the passion of sin and loving only what He loves. – Romans 6:6; 1 John 4:4; Galatians 5:22

 

 

A Brand New Creation

We are not children of God until we actually receive Christ’s saving work in our life (John 1:12). Regeneration is the lovely word, which describes what happens to us.

Jesus plugs us into His power supply and charges our battery. What we were blind to before we received His to salvation is now more than obvious to us (John 3:3).

He makes us a new creature and everything about us changes for the better (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to God instead (John 16:8).

Through regeneration, we turn from unrighteous decisions and live and walk in God’s truth and righteousness (Roman 6:1-2, 15; 2 Corinthians 7:10). Everything we think, say and do is motivated from our desire to bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Living in continual sin proves that we do not know God’s Truth and that He does not live in us (1 John 2:4-6; Romans 3:23). However, Salvation is just a prayer away (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9).

It is a free gift from God, which we cannot earn for our self, but was earned for us by Christ’s willing suffering of the horrendous death on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).

God plainly sees all that we do in secret. He rewards our righteous deeds and disciplines us for our transgressions; because He loves us and does not want us to reap the degradation of sin any longer.

His desire is for us to walk in step with His Spirit every moment of our day. He has a perfect plan, which will unfold for us as we patiently obey His Word (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, You intended for us to enjoy Paradise from the beginning of time. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, we lost the benefits of living in Your presence. Bereft, we comb the earth looking for the fulfillment, which only You can supply.

Once we come to Christ, You restore our link to You and You will also restore to us the blessings of Paradise in eternity. In the meantime, You bless us with Your presence, make all things new and lead us by Your Spirit as You give us the desire and the power to walk in Your Salvation and Sanctification (Philippians 2:12-13).

Thought for the Day:
Once God convicts us of our sin, our lost condition and our need for a Savior, we accept His free gift of restoration through Christ’s grace and by faith in His faithfulness.

Exacting Revenge

Revenge is sweet, or so they say. We plot and plan our next encounter and how we will get the jump on our enemy’s rude and spiteful behavior.

We set up a cycle of events in order to position our self to put our enemies in their place and to hurt them before they can hurt us. We despise them more with each breath we take.

Yet, revenge leaves us feeling empty. As Believers we even regret our display of ungodly behavior. Our vindictive and vengeful thoughts and actions take a toll on our spirit, and grieve the Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 4:30).

It seems impossible to love our enemies. They taunt us, thwart us and stab us in the back every chance they get. We are willing to struggle with the concept of not hating them; but loving them is going a bit too far.

There is good news. We do not need to feel emotional affection to love our enemies, just a heart, which is surrendered to Christ.

When we love Christ more than we love our self, we can love our enemies with His Agape love. We grow to desire that our enemies will prosper and to experience the love of God, which we enjoy.

We can minister to our enemy’s physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and mental needs when God prompts us. He shows us opportunities to share His love with them.

God’s Word, which richly fills our soul, helps us to have meekness in order to walk away from the temptation to inflict revenge on our enemies (James 1:21).

God walks with us and in us through the dark night of our soul (Psalm 139:17-18). He rewards our faithfulness to walk in His truth. He roots us in His love and builds us up in His presence.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that vengeance is Yours and You will repay our enemies for their treatment of us. Help us to kill our enemies with kindness, pricking their conscience with our loving behavior toward them (Romans 12:20).

Soften their heart toward us. Show us the root of their feelings, which cause them to despise us. Use us to help them to heal from their wounds which cause them to bully us and others.

Cause their reasons for attacking us to diminish; and if nothing else, make them just walk away and leave us alone. In all things, help us to prosper even as our soul prosper when we follow Your will for our life (3 John 1:2).

Thoughts for the Day:
God establishes our faith in His faithfulness; and we abound in our gratitude to Him. – Colossians 2:6-7

Our Firm Foundation

Our spiritual maturity is validated by our ability to rest in God, even when negative emotions overwhelm us. God is never absent or distant.

He simply lets go of our hand occasionally, so that we can take some faltering steps on our own. God is always right there with us; in fact, He never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

When we experience anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, unforgiveness and trials, it does not mean God went somewhere.

We simply stopped dwelling in our spirit and focused instead on our soul – our mind, will and emotions. Considering the needs of our soul is vital to a fulfilled life; but we cannot dwell there.

The tyranny of life keeps us tied up in knots, running in two directions at one time and burning the candle from both ends at once. This is a recipe for destruction.

If we focus instead on the finished work of Christ on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection from the dead, we have a solid foundation on which to build our life.

Prayer:
Father God, You meet with us in our spirit and You are with us always, but You help us to grow up into a mature person who lives with faith in Your faithfulness. You occasionally let go of our hand to teach us to walk in Your Spirit.

If we build our life on the instability of this world, storms will demolish all of our best laid plans and foundation. If we wisely choose Christ as our foundation, our life will stand firm regardless of the most torrential circumstance (Matthew 7:24-27).

Thought for the Day:
This world is not our true home; we are simply doing God’s will for our life now, as we progress toward our eternal Home in glory.

The Name of the Lord – His Chosen Nation

God loves Israel, regardless of their behavior toward Him, because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He continually calls Israel to return to Him, to exalt His name and to keep His Word (Psalm 69:35-36).

He never abandoned Israel, even when she was not a nation, because it pleases Him to make them a nation for His great name’s sake (Isaiah 12:22). This increases our faith in God’s faithfulness.

God redeemed Israel continually through the generations to make a name for Himself, as He did great and mighty things for them. He even divided the waters before them (2 Samuel 7:23, 26).

He restored part of the Promised Land to Israel over and over through their history; and again in 1948, after the great persecution and judgement He sent on them because of their unbelief (2 Kings 21:4, 23:27).

He formerly scattered them among the nations of the earth, as He prophesied that He would; but now He calls them back to Himself for His own name’s sake (Nehemiah 1:9; Jeremiah 3:17).

People wonder how God can turn to the Gentiles and shut up His Kingdom to Israel for 2000 years; but He gave Israel 4,000 years to turn their hearts to Him.

Even now, many Jews return to God and find completion through Jesus Christ. For His name’s sake, He will use the Great Tribulation to give them yet another chance to take refuge in His name (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:9, 50:34; Micah 5:4; Zephaniah 3:9,12; 13:9).

Some people are blinded to God’s true character and provision by Satan’s lies and they curse Him, because they see only the trials, which come on us on this earth (Revelation 16:9).

Yet, people from every tribe, tongue and nation of the earth come before Him to worship His name and glorify Him, because of the blessings God pours out on His people (Revelations 15:4).

Prayer:
Father God, you are jealous over your people who glory in Your holy name (Exodus 34:14). Our heart is glad continually over Your provision for us in our life on this earth (1 Chronicles 16:10). We boast in You so that the humble will hear about Your provision in our life and come to You (Psalm 34:2).

There is salvation in no other name or means than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). As the perfect Lamb, He is the only way, truth and life (John 14:6). Whatever we ask in Your name, in order to perform the works You created us to do for Your glory, You will supply (John 14:13). There is no God like You, and we exalt Your name, which is great in power and might (Jeremiah 10:6).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus, the true King of Israel, is most highly exalted; and God bestowed on Him the name, which is above every other name; so that at His name, everyone who is in Heaven, on the earth and even under the earth will bow their knee to Him. – Philippians 2:9-11

4:2