While sitting on the beach today, I pulled out my bible to do some reading. I didn’t even get to opening to where I left off before a man walked by and said, “that is a good book”. I was caught off guard and responded with a thank you. (In hindsight I should have said thanks be to God!) But he was right, the bible is good, and so is our God.
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 ESV)
How incredible is it that we can experience the living, God-breathed word by simply opening the bible! By the word of God, we were created. And by the word of a God, we are given life.
Thank you Father for your word.
While sitting on the porch reading, a large storm suddenly rolled in. It was full of lighting, thunder, and heavy rain. It was a pretty intense storm, which made me go inside to find shelter. This reminded me of when Jesus and his disciples were on a boat and a great storm arose.
And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:25-26 ESV)
In life, we experience many storms, some more terrifying than the other. They can arise fear in us, and make us doubt if we can survive. But we are not alone in these storms.
When you put your trust in Jesus, you will be protected by an all powerful savior. So in these storms of life, continually pray to God. He is listening, and will never let you fall.
In today’s worship service, we talked about envy and the story of Asaph
For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psalm 73:3 ESV)
When we look around in this world, we can be discouraged when we see good people being hurt, and wicked people prospering. And we begin to question why.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 ESV)
This should be a wake up call to what we treasure. For where are treasure is, that is where our heart will be. Our treasure rests with our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)
So no matter what you see happening around you in this world, no matter what may be happening in your life, give thanks and praise to our God. For He has blessed us with the most precious gift, and that is eternity with Him.
Last night as it was getting close to bed time, I reached for my bible to read some of His word. For the most part, I have been sticking with a schedule on my daily reading. But sometimes I like to flip through different book and see where it takes me. As I was turning pages, I landed on Psalm 136. When I see repetition in His word, it really catches my eye and makes me think.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
– Psalm 136:1
In this Psalm, “for his steadfast love endures forever” is repeated for every single verse. How wonderful is it that we have a God with everlasting and abundant love. How wonderful is it that in our imperfections, our sins, our struggles, our heartbreaks, our times of uncertainty, that we have a God that loves us for exactly who we are, and no matter the circumstance. Give thanks and praise to the Lord every day!
We talk a lot about the joy in our walk with Christ, but there is one thing that is constantly surrounding us and trying to beat us down, and that is evil. Evil wants you to fall, and try to pull you away from God. It will target your weaknesses and try to use them against you. When you surrender your life to our Lord and Savior, it should be no surprise that you will be targeted, possibly more than you were before.
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
– John 15:18
The world, which is full of evil, hated Him before we existed. When you abide in Christ, you are no longer a part of the world. And if they persecuted Jesus, they will persecute you. Yet, there is no power greater than our God.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:18
When you start to feel the attack of this world, know that you are protected by a God that is sovereign over all things, including evil. Bring all of your anxieties, worries, hurts, temptations, stumbling blocks, whatever it may be, bring it to Him. Respond to all of these things with prayer. He will not let you fall.
Sometimes life can take a turn, or go down a path that we never saw coming. Something can be taken from our lives that we never expected to lose. This can be quite the shock factor, leaving us scratching our heads, and can send our minds racing trying to understand.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
– Proverbs 3:5-6
We can spend all day for the rest of our lives trying to understand why things happen, but we would be setting ourselves up for discouragement. There are things in life that happen which surpasses all our understanding (Philippians 4:7).
In those times, we must trust in God with our whole heart, not just part of it. We can be comforted knowing that He will make our paths straight, will use all things for good (Romans 8:28), and He will never forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
I was sitting in my cool basement, stretching after a nice hot run, when thoughts from my past suddenly popped into my mind. Sin can open up thoughts and desires that we were never made to have. Thoughts of jealousy, thoughts of lust, thoughts of pride, thoughts of immorality, thoughts of greed, and thoughts of guilt.
One of my favorite and encouraging verses comes from Paul, in Philippians 4:6-9
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
– Philippians 4:6
Our God does not want us to worry or be anxious, especially about things that no longer define who we are. We are made new in Christ.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:7
We can be assured that God will protect our hearts and our minds.
Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.
– Philippians 4:8
We are encouraged to fill our mind with things that are good and worthy of praise. By the power of His Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7) we can accomplish this through self discipline, filling our minds with pure thoughts, and coming to God daily with our needs.