Our only light in the darkness . . .
Call on Him today . . . He will give you peace and comfort in the midst of worry and fear!
. . . instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus ~ Philippians 4:6-7
It’s very difficult to know what to say about the current crisis. I don’t want to come across holy-moly or like a bible-basher. But I do know what God has done for me, and how He keeps me grounded in His love.
This year I am making my way through a devotional on Joy. About week 3 I almost gave up, because I’m not a usually joyful person, and was really struggling. In fact, until I started this journey, I had never really experienced Joy in my life. I am so glad I have persevered because I am learning that Joy is not a feeling of satisfaction in something I have done, or a happy feeling, or anything I thought it was. Joy is found in Jesus, and the sacrifice He made for me at Calvary. With Easter on the horizon, this is an opportunity for us to hone in on what is real in our lives and on where each of us is going with our life.
Somewhere in the new testament (not good at remembering references) it says that God has put eternity into the human heart. No wonder we keep trying to find ways to live forever. AH! But this is exactly the question for our times. Jesus is the only way to God and eternal life. He is the Way and the Truth and the Life, and no-one can come to God the Father except through Him ~ John 14:6
In these troubling times, what with bush fires, volcanoes erupting, wars, many other world events, and now this virus, I urge you to turn your eyes toward Jesus. I urge you to look to God. I want to encourage you to ask Jesus to come into your heart and help you. He will give you peace. He will guard your heart and mind and fill you with Joy.
Joy in the knowledge of Him, regardless of what is going on around you.
If you would like to learn more please click on the link at the top of this page Prayer For Salvation
I live in Sale in the Gippsland area of Victoria, Australia. The local Baptist church is my church home. We had church for the first time last Sunday via live streaming. If you have ever wanted to come to church, or even return to church, and have been too shy to actually walk into one, then why not consider joining us via the internet this Sunday at sbc.org.au/online at 10am.
PSALM 27:1 NLT ~ The Lord is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
The RSV translation says, Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
The AMP Bible says, Whom shall I dread?
Halley’s Bible says, Fearless trust in God as the strength of my life ~ sing, pray and wait on the Lord.
Matthew Henry ~ It is possible that I can be God’s light in the world around me. He is my salvation, in whom I am safe, and by whom I shall be saved. He is the strength of my life. Not only the protector of my exposed life, but the strength of my frail, weak, life.
Praise and Worship are the weapons of warfare!
Matthew 5:44 NLT ~ “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”
Proverbs 25:21-22 AMP ~ “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.”
I always thought that this verse was heaping judgement upon those who wronged me.
But this is not to be understood as a revengeful act, but quite the opposite. The High Priest, on the day of Atonement, took his censer and filled it with coals of fire from off the Altar of burnt offerings, and then put incense on the coals, to create a pleasing sweet-smelling fragrance. The cloud or smoke of the incense covered the Mercy Seat and was acceptable to God for atonement. (Leviticus 16:12)
Samuel Wesley wrote ~ “So artists melt the sullen ore of lead, By heaping coals of fire upon its head, In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And pure from dross the silver runs below.”
Dross is dirt, refuse, waste.
The writer of Proverbs 25:21-22 above, understood the process of creating something beautiful from refuse or waste.
Matthew Henry wrote ~ “We shall mollify (soften) them (our enemy) as the refiner melts the metal in the crucible, not only by putting it over the fire, but by heaping coals of fire upon it. The way to turn an enemy into a friend, is to act towards him in a friendly manner.”
This sheds a whole new light for me on this scripture. The coals heaped over the dross being refined (or in this case our enemy) by loving them, softens the piece being shaped and in relation to a person softens the heart to prepare them for shaping and moulding to what the creator wants to make. Out of waste comes hope and a precious new creation!
How cool is that!
We, as Christians, will not have a full hunger for God while we’re satisfied with other things.
We need to stop being distracted from the things that God has called each one of us to do for His Kingdom.
It is time for us to seek the Lord and discover (if we don’t already know) what it is that God had always intended for each of us to do.
The more we can understand what God is calling each of us to do, the more effective we will be.
We need to pursue our walk with Christ like never before. Get our eyes off our troubles, and focus on the Spirit of God.
Never lose hope, it is the anchor for the soul.
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:16-17
. . . to the altar of God ~ to God,
The source of all my joy!
Your Joy is my Strength! Nehemiah 8:10
We can thank the Lord our God, Yahweh Shammah, the Lord Who is There, for each day. Each and every day is an opportunity to get it right, to increase in knowledge, understanding and wisdom ~ to improve any areas in our lives that need it, to gain new confidence in what God is leading us to do, to be better, to do good, and to serve the Lord in humility and love. Each new day is God’s gift of second and third chances and even more, to come to Him, walk and talk with Him, and gain new strength. Without Yahweh Shammah, the Lord God Who is always there for us, tomorrow will not dawn. He is every day and every minute and every second in our lives. Without Him life is meaningless. His love far outweighs any problem we may carry, for He tells us to cast all our worries upon Him, because He cares for us.
He is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE, and no-one can come to the Father except through Him.
1 Peter 5:7 ~ John 14:6
He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him ~ 1 John 3:14,15.
This is the sixth commandment : You shall not murder.
There was a time in my teens and young adulthood that my hatred of my grandmother went so far as to want to get rid of her. She was a nasty and bitter old woman who lived with us and drove me crazy. It was very sad. But when I got born again, I began to pray for her. By this stage I was married. I heard a preacher talking about his experience of bringing a senile aged relative to the Lord. I was encouraged and inspired. I continued to pray for my grandmother and I sent her a letter to apologise for my part in our differences and I told her Jesus loved her. My mum read it to her but didn’t know if she even understood.
It was coming up to Christmas, so I decided that when we arrived at mum and dad’s place on Christmas day, the first thing I was going to do was go and pray with my grandmother. I had been praying that God would open up a moment of clarity so that her spirit would understand and receive Him.
At this point in time she was not going well and was bed-ridden. I read the prayer for salvation line by line and waited for her to repeat each one and as she did I went on to the next line until we had said the whole prayer. I left her to rest, believing by faith that she had received something.
A little while after Christmas my sister was sitting singing praise songs to her and she responded by singing with her!
I was so thankful to God for His mercy and grace, poured out over a bitter old woman who had not been raised knowing Him, but who had now been saved by grace.
And by faith and a choice to not hate and resent any longer, but to love.
Some scriptures pertaining to this article ~ Exodus 20:13 ~ Matthew 5:43-47 ~ Luke 6:27-38 ~ Romans 12:10-21 ~ Galatians 5:14-16 ~ 1 John 3:14,15 ~ All 1 John ~ 2 John 5,6
You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse His name ~ Exodus 20:7 (NLT)
Of all the things I have struggled to change in my life, this has been the most difficult! Giving up smoking and losing weight were a breeze compared to changing my bad mouthed habits. It becomes so habitual to exclaim words one shouldn’t be saying whenever frustrated or angry, although I have never blasphemed. Over the years I have hurt people, my family especially by shouting some expletive at them. Even when I love the Lord and so want to change my ways, sometimes it is like fighting a losing battle.
There are many bible verses I have known for years that talk about what comes out of my mouth, but trying, just in my own strength, to change what I say has been almost futile.
In the gospel of Matthew 12:34-35, Jesus says that “…the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good…”
This week I want to focus on the third Commandment, which is, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Matthew Henry says that we take the Lord’s Name in vain by ~
The third Commandment basically, concerns insulting God with what comes out of my heart, because if I have confessed Him as my Lord and Saviour, then He lives in my heart and I should be making every effort to dispense with my fleshly desires and be working toward having The Mind of Christ.
I change what is in my heart by ~
If there’s one thing I have learnt over the years, it’s that I cannot make these changes by myself, just trying, trying every day. I need to lean on the Lord, give it all to Him, and let Him change me. Knowing WHO I AM in Christ by observing the above four daily habits.
Some Scriptures pertaining to this article ~ Psalm 19:14/Proverbs 23:15-16/Matthew 12:34-37/Romans 12:12/Ephesians 4:29/Ephesians 5:4/James 3:7-10