26 January 2012

I'll Just Worship You ...

'I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.' Psalm 34:1

'For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.' Psalm 100:5

Have a Blessed Day!

24 January 2012

Jesus is praying ....

'But I have pleaded in prayer for you ... that your faith should not fail.' Luke 22:32 NLT

What a comfort to know that Jesus pleads in prayer on our behalf. He has prayed that our faith would not fail and we know that the words of the LORD are effective, for He Himself has said:
'For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
     So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.' Isaiah 55:10-11

Even if we feel like our prayers may not be as effective as we might hope, we have a blessed confidence that His prayers are perfect. There is no enemy that we need have fear of:
'Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?' Romans 8:34

What a tremendous blessing!

Have a great day, knowing that Jesus is praying for you ... and so am I.

20 January 2012

Never Alone ...

I heard this song on the way to work this morning … and it resonated with me. I believe there are many who can relate. So, to all the hurting, who have ever asked, ‘LORD, Where are You?’ this post is for you …

Be Blessed!

‘He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.’ Isaiah 53:5-7

To His accusers and attackers, He uttered not a word …

‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Matthew 27:46

Now …

Since we have a great high priest, Jesus the Son of God, who has gone into heaven, let us hold on to the faith we have. For our High Priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but He did not sin. Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God's throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.' Hebrews 4:14-16

‘…For He hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”’ Hebrews 13:5

‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ II Corinthians 4:8-10

Therefore …

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 

'"... And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.' Matthew 28:20

19 January 2012

a blessing for you ...

My prayer and blessing for you …

Psalm 20

MAY THE Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob set you up on high [and defend you];
    Send you help from the sanctuary and support, refresh, and strengthen you from Zion;
    Remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice.
Selah [pause, and think of that]!
May He grant you according to your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans.
    We will [shout in] triumph at your salvation and victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
    Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
Some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God.
    They are bowed down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright.
O Lord, give victory; let the King answer us when we call.

Read God ...

'When you can't hear God, read God.'  

I heard a preacher say that one time. I was reminded of it yesterday morning as I prayed. I was asking the LORD what I should read when I was drawn to the one journal of mine which did not make it into any of the moving boxes. It is a journal from 2006 and the page I opened up to had this entry:
II Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of GOD may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I was praying and asking GOD what I should read. The answer - just read.
All of GOD's Word is profitable. From Genesis to Revelation, every bit is useful for aiding us in Christian living, in equipping us to be victorious, in shaping us into the form and nature of Christ.

When you can't hear GOD, read GOD!  

04 January 2012

the hero of my world ...

Isaiah 53

 1 Who has believed our message?
      To whom has the Lord revealed His powerful arm?
2 My Servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
      like a root in dry ground.
   There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
      nothing to attract us to him.
3 He was despised and rejected—
      a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
   We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way.
      He was despised, and we did not care.
 4 Yet it was our weaknesses He carried;
      it was our sorrows
 that weighed Him down.
   And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God,
      a punishment for His own sins!
5 But He was pierced for our rebellion,
      crushed for our sins.
   He was beaten so we could be whole.
      He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
      We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
   Yet the Lord laid on Him
      the sins of us all.
 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
      yet He never said a word.
   He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
      And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
       He did not open his mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned,
       He was led away.

   No one cared that He died without descendants,
      that His life was cut short in midstream.

   But He was struck down
      for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong
      and had never deceived anyone.
   But He was buried like a criminal;
       He was put in a rich man’s grave.
 10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush Him
      and cause Him grief.
   Yet when His life is made an offering for sin,
       He will have many descendants.
   He will enjoy a long life,
      and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in His hands.
11 When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish,
       He will be satisfied.
   And because of His experience,
      My righteous Servant will make it possible
   for many to be counted righteous,
      for He will bear all their sins.
 I will give Him the honors of a victorious soldier,
      because He exposed Himself to death.
   He was counted among the rebels.
      He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

02 January 2012

Textbook Example

Winter break is coming to an end and my youngest will be returning to high school tomorrow and my two eldest to college next week. The food in the house will go a little further and they’ll be cracking open those textbooks to gain wisdom and knowledge on their specific areas of study. In those pages, they will find examples and exercises that will enable them to learn and excel. Spiritually, it is no different.
  • If you want to learn about patience and how to endure suffering – where do you go? Whose life do you study? Job, of course!
  • If you have a deep desire to understand the miracle-working power of God, you would naturally read about the exploits of Abraham and Moses.
  • Do you want to gain some insight on overcoming fear to do what is right? Esther is your girl – um, I mean woman.
  • Are you struggling to reject intimidation and embrace courage? Then reading about Joshua would be the best place to look.
  • Do you want to learn about holding onto a dream? Read up on Joseph and his lengthy stay in Egypt.
  • Have you pondered how to be content, truly content in all circumstances? Well, you would turn the pages of the New Testament to read about Paul.
  • Do you long to go to deeper levels of intimacy with God? David is your man.
  • Are you trying to figure out how to recover from failure and become all that God has called you to be? Peter is a great friend to connect with.
Why talk about all these Bible greats? Because these are some of the people that came to mind as I walked to church yesterday morning, singing and praying in the brisk morning air. During that forty-five minute walk, this was the verse that came to mind:
     ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.’ Hebrews12:1 NLT

Hebrews 12:1 begins, ‘Therefore ….’ And what is that ‘therefore’ there for? It is there because it points back to Hebrews 11 which is also known as the hallmark of faith and the faithful. It refers to an entire chapter devoted to detailing the faithful actions of believers, the evidence of their practical application of faith.

Then this thought came: If God wanted to instruct someone, if He had someone that wanted to learn about faith, perseverance, worship, joy in tribulation or walking in humility, would He instruct them to examine my life? Would He use my life, your life, as His textbook example of what walking in faith looks like practically. 

Am I living my life in such a way that I could say, like Paul, 'Follow me as I follow Christ (I Cor. 11:1)’? In reflection of all the faithful who have gone before me, with the believers who walk beside me every day and under the inspection of the unsaved who are seeking truth and wondering if the Christian walk has an ounce of validity – do I conduct myself in such a way that I am a witness of the power of Christ and have I become His letter of love and hope to a confused, fearful and perishing generation. I believe that is what my aim should be … and not just me but every believer.

My prayer, not only for this year, but for the remainder of my life is that the LORD would be able to point to my life and use it as an example - of what joy, patience, faith, love, trust and perseverance look like in practical application. What about you?         

I pray that you will have an abundantly blessed day!

01 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Jeremiah 29:11   "For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  

’Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ 
2 Corinthians 5:17  

No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be,
but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize
for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.’ Philippians 3:13-14

‘My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’  Galatians 2:20

‘Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.’
Psalm 37:7
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.Philippians 4:6

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’ Matthew 6:33-34

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

In all your ways submit to Him,
and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:6

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:9

Ecclesiastes 3:11 'He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.' 

'Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.’ Isaiah 40:31  

‘Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.' Isaiah 43:19

'The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! 
By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. 
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each day.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; 
therefore, I will hope in Him!"  
Lamentations 3:22-24

Happy New Year!