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).
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
Faith in Jesus’ name will strengthen us; and the faith which comes through Him, often gives us perfect health through Him; so that Jesus may be magnified (Acts 3:16, 4:10, 4:30, 19:17 James 5:14).
God justly remembers the work and love we show in His name as we minister to one another (Hebrews 6:10). We give thanks and praise to His name, and exalt His name as He delivers us (1 Chronicles 16:35; Nehemiah 9:5).
We praise His name as we assemble, and to the ends of the earth, and as we pay our vows forever and ever (Psalm 22:22, 30:4, 38:10; 61:8). Even the oppressed and needy praise and give thanks to His great, lovely, and awesome name (Psalm 74:21, 99:3, 106:47, 135:3).
His is the only name, which we exalt and worship (Psalm 148:13). We praise His name with dancing and with instruments because of all the good things He does for us (Ps 149:3; Jeremiah 33:9; Joel 2:26). The fruit of our lips continually gives thanks to and boasts in His name (Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 44:8).
God releases our soul from its prison here on earth, so that we may give thanks to His name (Psalm 142:7). Therefore, we exalt His name forever for His wonderful works, and His perfect plans, which He faithfully fulfills (Isaiah 12:4, 25:1).
Even in trials and persecution, we praise the name of the Lord (Ephesians 5:20; Psalm 74:21). Whatever we do in word and deed, we do it all in His name and for the glory of His name (Colossians 3:17).
Father God, all the earth will one day worship You with the glory, which is due to Your name (Psalm 66:4). There is no god like You, and we eagerly await the revelation of Your appearing, because You are the desire of our soul (Exodus 34:14; Isaiah 26:8). We love and take refuge in Your name and sing for joy because of Your shelter throughout our life (Psalm 5:11).
We cling to You and hold fast to Your promises and ways as we enjoy Your deliverance (Deuteronomy 10:20; Psalm 5:11, 9:10). Thank You for securely setting us high upon the Rock of Christ, because we experience the magnitude of Your name (Psalm 91:14).
Thought for the Day:
Due to God’s marvelous works, let us continually offer words of praise, even if it is a sacrifice for our soul to use our last ounce of strength to do it. – Hebrews 13:15
Getting old is difficult. Energy, bodily organ functions, and attention span all diminish; while aches and pains, pill intake and doctor bills all increase. We get discouraged, lose self-esteem and feel useless in so many areas.
Eventually, we even have to cut back on our energy outgo; limiting our activities to one major event a day. Many are required to give up the keys to the car, join a geriatrics exercise program and get more sleep with less productivity.
God knew, before we were born, that we would grow old (Ephesians 2:10). He has plans for us, which includes this time in our life (Jeremiah 29:11). We do not need to confine our self to the rocking chair on the front porch – although that is fun sometimes too.
We just change our focus and keep a positive attitude. We keep walking in the Spirit and continue to fulfill the will of God for each moment of our life. We exchange youthful ministries for the equally as important ministry of prayer and mentoring (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Titus 2:4).
Sitting at Jesus’ feet, we worship Him by singing and praying the scripture. We lift up the needs of our fellow Saints and family members, the church’s pastor and staff and the ministry leaders and volunteers, the world and its leaders, the persecuted church and the unreached people groups.
Another way to minister is by writing a blog, emailing, fellowshipping on social media and private messages and texts. This way, we can communicate and minister all over the country and the world.
God teaches us to set boundaries around our time; to take a day off; to enjoy time in nature, at the pool or walking on trails each day; to play with our pets; to write letters and books and to make cards to brighten someone’s day; to bake a pie or a dozen cookies to share with the neighborhood kids after school – all in His name and all for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Father God, when we are drained, worn and weary from life, we are still Yours with a unique calling on our life. Remind us that until our dying breath, You call us to seek You and to walk in Your perfect plan for us by Your Spirit. We surrender all to You and worship You with all of our thoughts, words and deeds.
Remind us that the girl checking us out at the grocery, the waitress, the retail clerk, the person next to us on the bus or airplane, the librarian, etc. all need us to recognize them as a person too, and to tell them that You and we really care about them. Let Your light shine in us so brightly that everyone will see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16).
Thought for the Day:
God uses us in so many ways, regardless of our age, energy level, health issues and physical limitations, to share His wisdom, ways and wonders with those He brings into our life.
The End-time Church
Many in the last days Church are hardworking and never grow weary of serving the Lord in every way we can (Revelation 2:2-3). We have a passion for working for Christ, but we often forsake our quiet times with God, in order to fill our time with religious activities. We work in ministry for our own fulfillment, rather than for the love of God in obedience to His direction (Ephesians 2:10).
Like the Church of Ephesus, the modern church has forsaken our first love (Revelation 2:4). Like the Church of Laodicea, the Spirit left and we function in our human energy and effort. We do not even recognize that we are spiritually poor, lame, wretched, naked and pitiful (Revelation 3:17). We look at numbers to gauge our success rather than changed lives.
Others of us are hearers of the Word, but not doers. We do not serve in any ministry. We attend conventions, buy books and sermons, and follow the most popular preachers, but we fail to obey the Lord (James 1:22; John 14:15, 23). We are ever learning, but never walking in the Truth (2 Timothy 3:7). We have a personal relationship with Christ, but not a heart full of love for Him (John 14:21, 23; 1 Corinthians 16:22).
God warns us of judgment for our disobedience and immorality, and He calls us to repentance (Revelation 2:5). Jesus promises that if we heed His Word, we will overcome the deception and lusts of this life. He is preparing a place for authentic Believers to eat from the tree of life and to dwell for eternity in the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7, Revelation 21-22).
Father God, the blessed assurance that we enjoy as Believers is that Christ lives within us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). Remind us not to fall under Satan’s deception to crave the world or to minister through our own abilities. Make us defenders of Your Word, so that we do not compromise our love of Your truth. Help us to persevere in persecution and not to grow weary of following Your Spirit’s guidance every moment of every day (Revelation 2:2-3).
Thought for the Day:
The light of our modern church went out, and we do not know it.
– John 8:12; Matthew 5:14
God tarries His coming, not because He is slow to keep His promises to us, but because of His patience to allow everyone the chance to repent and believe (2 Peter 3:9, 13). As we draw close to God, His glory fills our life. We allow His glory within us to reflect to the world around us, as His Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).
God’s glory appeared in the pillar of fire and the cloud, which protected the Israelites in their desert wanderings, as well as the consuming fire on the mountain and on Moses’ face when he descended from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 16:10; 24:17; 33:22). God’s glory within us also allows us to face trials with victory and faith.
God’s glory within us is more precious that the finest gold, and is the result of a life spent reading His Word, obeying His Spirit and giving Him all praise, glory and honor until we see Him face to face (1 Peter 1:6-7). God’s glory fills the life, which has faith in His faithfulness, rather than bitterness over the past and fear of the unknown future (Isaiah 6:3, 40:5).
When we finally see Jesus, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him in His glory (1 John 3:2). In our Heavenly residence, we will live in our immortal body and enjoy the benefits, which Adam and Eve had in the garden, and which Jesus had after His resurrection. The rewards God has in store for us are everlasting and glorious, and we will finally attain to the fullness of Christ.
Father God, we pray that we will decrease, so that You can increase within our mortal body even now. We want to reflect Your glory as it increases within us. Remind us to surrender all of our cares to You, because You care about us, as well as everything, which pertains to us on this earth (1 Peter 5:7). Even in the face of persecution, strengthen us from within and keep us in the palm of Your hand (John 10:28). Thank You for giving us Your glorious new life through Your Son’s sacrificial death and resurrection.
Thought for the Day:
At the coming of Christ, the whole earth will be filled with His glory.
– Psalm 72:19
As human beings, we are programmed to preserve our life. It is a foreign concept to allow any harm to come to our body or soul – our mind, will and emotions. We fight to the death to preserve our autonomy and the control over our own life. We spend our lifetime combating people and forces, which attempt to harm us in any way. Dying daily is not something we readily embrace (Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 15:31).
However, once we yield to the power of the God’s Spirit within us, we do not struggle with the world, the flesh or the devil. We realize that God is going to protect us and care for us through any issue in life. God may lead us into a catastrophe, such as Paul’s shipwreck, or into temptation like Jesus in the wilderness, or into torment like Paul in prison. Yet, we can rejoice in our tribulation, because His Spirit is leading us (Romans 5:3, 8:14).
We humbly follow God’s Spirit, even if we know persecution awaits us. We have the confidence that God always opens a way for us (Romans 8:28). Even through the raging rivers, which attempt to thwart our spiritual progress, we eventually cross on dry ground (Nahum 1:3; Isaiah 43:6). Jesus puts all of His enemies under our feet, including Satan and His minions (Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25).
We no longer fear Satan or march to the beat of his drum, because we are free indeed (John 8:36). We view our afflictions as new adventures in growing in Christ. Jesus did nothing on this earth without following our Father’s direction. We are also children of God and co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:17). We only succeed in this life as we truly follow His example, and live and move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28).
Father God, we have a problem with loving our flesh more than we love You (Ephesians 5:29). Teach us to nourish and cherish our relationship with You more than we cater to our own desires. Remind us of Your faithfulness and allow us walk in Your ways regardless of the trials or the temptations, which we face in our life. Help us to yield these issues to You, our Savior and our King, who lives within us with all power and might.
Thought for the Day:
We triumph over Satan and our flesh by the blood of the Lamb and our evidence that Christ reigns in us, because we do not love this life, even when faced with death. – Revelation 12:11
Praying together for a common cause evokes spiritual power, which puts thousands to flight (Deuteronomy 32:30). We do not have to band together in one room at any certain time, but if we will all commit to pray without ceasing as the Spirit leads us, we will see God move in a mighty way (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). It pleases God to allow His Spirit to move within and through His Saints.
God teaches our soul to pray for the persecution, nominal faith and lack of spiritual power of the church worldwide. He burdens our soul for the situation in world governments. He grieves our soul with sorrow over the condition of the poor and needy (Mark 14:7). When we pray a unified prayer, directed by God’s Holy Spirit, Jesus prays right along with us and God grants our requests (Matthew 18:20).
Knowing the mind of the Spirit and searching our heart, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us (Romans 8:27, 34). The steadfast love of our Almighty God never ceases (Lamentations 3:22). He waits upon us to make our requests known to Him in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). He grants us anything we need by His glorious heavenly riches, as long as it is according to His will (Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:19).
Father God, Your mercies are new every single morning. Great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23). We know that You listen to the cries of the destitute and You will not ignore our needs (Psalm 102:17). Remind us to pray with a discerning mind and a grateful heart (Colossians 4:2). We know that there are certain spiritual strongholds of darkness that we will not be delivered from except through prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). Teach us how to pray, unified by Your Spirit (Matthew 6:9-13).
Thought for the Day:
The early church constantly joined together in unified prayer.
– Acts 1:14
Have you surrendered all of your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Is there any part of your spirit, soul or body that you reserved for yourself and that you refuse to surrender to God? What areas of your life are you unwilling for God to see or to deal with? We have the King of the Universe dwelling within us; yet, we think we know how to run our life better than He does.
We want to reserve part of our life exclusively for our self. However, in refusing to surrender all, we forfeit perfect peace, indwelling joy and the spiritual power and authority of Christ in us. However, when we do surrender to God, we learn that He has only our best interest in His heart. This makes it easier for us to surrender more and more of our self to Him.
Yet, we often continue to hold back some areas, which we hold most dear. Until we give God all of us, we cannot have all of Him. God will not trust Himself fully to one who does not fully trust in Him. He wants our heart’s affections, our deepest fears, our crudest sins and our most private hopes and dreams. When we surrender everything to God, He gives back to us in greater measure than we could ever imagine.
Jesus is not our Aladdin’s Lamp to grant our wishes. He is our Master and Redeemer; and He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). Once we consider the fact that Jesus gave up His glory in heaven to live on this sin-cursed earth for 33 years, that He suffered persecution and died a horrendous death solely to redeem us, then it is easier for us to trust Him with our whole life.
Prayer: Father God, we can cast all of our cares on Your broad shoulders, because You care about us (1 Peter 5:7). We can give You our whole life and worship You with our whole heart. You are our all in all, and You are more precious to us than any person, place or thing in this entire world. Thank You for giving us Your redemption, as well as a treasured place in Your family.
Thought for the Day:
There is no one alive who can enjoy more success in their life than the person who is totally surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
God became to the earth as Immanuel and redeemed everyone humble enough to trust in His name. We live by faith in Jesus and according to His living Word. Tribulation, trials and persecution occur in everyone’s life. The difference between a Believer and unbeliever is that God is on our side! He wants to reconcile and bless everyone who calls on His name (Revelation 22:17).
If we are persecuted for Christ’s sake, He rewards us both now and in eternity (Hebrews 11:26). Those who persecute us are probably under conviction. They hate us because we remind them of their need to surrender to God. Our stance on Biblical Truth judges their actions and they blame us rather than repent. They turn against us, but they are actually rejecting Jesus, not us.
Satan uses our negative emotions, such as anxiety, grief and lust, to draw us away from God’s chosen path for our life (2 Timothy 3:12). We get so wrapped up in our circumstances that we neglect God. We lose our focus and our peace at the same time (Isaiah 26:3). In case you had not noticed, God did not die and leave you in charge.
You cannot possibly fulfill every perfectionist goal you create nor can you save the world single-handedly. Living as a martyr does not impress God or anyone else. You can never twist God’s arm in order to force Him to do your will. God holds all the cards, has all the world’s resources at His disposal. He does not need us at all.
Our only hope for a fulfilled life is to return to our first love (Revelation 2:4). Tribulation helps us to straighten out our priorities and to put Jesus first in our life. Rather than resist the trials God brings your way, look for God in the midst of them. He may have a message for you in them, a miracle for you at the end of them, or time to spend alone with Him through them. He loves us and has a perfect plan for our life.
Father God, help us to resist Satan’s temptation to pull us away from full devotion to You. Reveal to us the lies Satan uses to keep us under his bondage. Obliterate his deception with Your truth. Forgive us for putting other people, places and things ahead of You in our life. We know that You do not need us, but we thank You for caring about us so much.
Thought for the Day:
The question is not if God is on our side, but if we are on His side. Repent and believe in the name of Jesus Christ and be saved. – Acts 16:31