Monday, July 31, 2023
Sunday, July 30, 2023
The word of Jehovah is tried;
He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in him.
For who is God, save Jehovah?
And who is a rock, save our God?
God is my strong fortress;
And he guideth the perfect in his way.
He maketh his feet like hinds’ feet,
And setteth me upon my high places.
He teacheth my hands to war,
So that mine arms do bend a bow of brass.
Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation;
And thy gentleness hath made me great.
Thou hast enlarged my steps under me;
And my feet have not slipped.
The author of 1 Thessalonians is none other than the renowned Apostle Paul, whose life underwent a remarkable transformation. Once a zealous persecutor of Christians, Paul encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. This encounter turned his life around, leading him to become a devoted follower and a key figure in the early Christian church. Paul's writings and missionary journeys played a vital role in spreading the Gospel to diverse regions.
Saturday, July 29, 2023
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
That with an iron pen and lead
They were graven in the rock for ever!
But as for me I know that my Redeemer liveth,
And at last he will stand up upon the earth:
And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed,
Then without my flesh shall I see God;
Whom I, even I, shall see, on my side,
And mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger.
My heart is consumed within me.
Friday, July 28, 2023
Thursday, July 27, 2023
When he heard their cry:
And he remembered for them his covenant,
And repented according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
One day in 2012, as I was stepping out of the car, I noticed my left leg was shaking as I straightened it. There was no pain so I continued doing everything I needed to do. I didn't experience the same thing again so I forgot about it. Then, a couple of days later, my lower leg began hurting when I was on it. The pain came and went so, again, I really didn't worry about it. As the days went by, the pain worsened until finally it was taking me over an hour to make it from my sofa to my bathroom and I was having to lean on a bar stool most of the way. Finally, I called my doctor who recommended that I go to an urgent care clinic and have it x-rayed. The x-ray was aimed at my knee and the physician concluded that my pain was from complications of my arthritis. He gave me a prescription for pain medication and told me to go home and use a walker.
Two days later, when I attempted to stand, the pain was so severe that I couldn't bear to put my foot on the floor. Because there was no way for me to get in my car, we called an ambulance. That day I spent twelve hours in the emergency room. My husband had brought with us the copies of the x-rays from two days before so the presiding doctor did not do any tests of his own and after twelve hours sent me home with another prescription for pain medication and told me to use a walker.
It was a struggle to get into the house but my husband finally got me situated for the night. The next morning, he left to conduct worship services for the retirement community where we were ministering. When I stood, the pain was indescribable and I couldn't take a step at all. I called for my daughter for quite some time but she couldn't hear me. Eventually, I passed out and woke up on my bathroom floor. After some time, my daughter came to check on me and my husband came home, at which time I called for an ambulance again. This time, a different physician ordered x-rays of my entire leg and found that my tibia was completely severed. They figured that it had been broken for one and a half to two weeks.
I apologize for the long story, but we all have them, don't we? We all have times in our lives where the pain we experience is beyond what we think we can bear. Whether it be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual, pain is a warning signal that something is wrong and needs to be tended to. It serves another purpose as well, it drives us to the Great Physician and we cry out to Him for help.
I chose today's verse because Paul went through more in his lifetime that I can even imagine withstanding. He was ship-wrecked, beaten and imprisoned. His very life hung in the balance as there were many who wanted to see him dead. Yet, in all of his suffering, he continued to serve the Lord. He never let his pain get in the way of his purpose, rather, he used his pain to teach those around him, and ultimately everyone who would ever pick up a Bible, that the grace of God is greater than anything this world might dish out and that when we rely on Christ during our times of weakness, His strength will carry us through.
I have no way of knowing what you are going through at this moment. Perhaps this is a painful time and you are wondering how you are going to make it through. I know two things. One is that everything passes in time. But the other is that your Father in Heaven loves you beyond measure. He will supply you with the strength you need and by relying on Him and continuing to praise Him no matter what, He will be glorified and your joy will increase. We were never meant to carry our burdens alone. Look up and reach out. He has a plan and you will be able to look back on this time and see how He was with you. In all things, His grace is sufficient. God bless.
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Monday, July 24, 2023
Sunday, July 23, 2023
Saturday, July 22, 2023
And wine unto the bitter in soul:
Let him drink, and forget his poverty,
And remember his misery no more.
Friday, July 21, 2023
And shed innocent blood,
Even the blood of their sons and of their daughters,
Whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with blood.
Thursday, July 20, 2023
As Jehovah commanded them,
But mingled themselves with the nations,
And learned their works,
And served their idols,
Which became a snare unto them.
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
So that it went ill with Moses for their sakes;
Because they were rebellious against his spirit,
And he spake unadvisedly with his lips.
When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, we are born anew. The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and we begin to grow closer to Him and become more like Him. There are times though that we revert back to our old ways. Our old speech patterns come back. Old habits such as worry and defeatism return. We forget that those around us who do not know Him are watching us to see how we rely on Him to help us through troubled times. In so doing, we lose the sweet aroma and emit a sour smell of hopelessness. An unsaved person that witnesses this may conclude that since we say we are Christians yet do not have confidence in Jesus, that there is no reason for them to either. If we turn to Him, praise Him and openly trust Him, then we present the opposite. The fragrance will be one that draws others in and creates a desire to know more about our Lord. It is one that will speak life and joy.
We have an enemy whose main purpose is to snatch us away from Jesus. He doesn't want us to reach others with the Truth. He hates anything that points the way to the Almighty. So he is quite pleased when we fall back into our old ways. He revels at the stench of death. Let's not give him that satisfaction. We belong to Christ. That needs to be our identity, our purpose and our very breath.
As we go through this next week, let's be on guard so that the fragrance we project is Christ-like. It will mean being alert and conscious of our words and actions at all times. That's okay though. The Holy Spirit will help us. Love and blessings to all.
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Monday, July 17, 2023
Yea, four which are stately in going:
The lion, which is mightiest among beasts,
And turneth not away for any;
The greyhound; the he-goat also;
And the king against whom there is no rising up.
If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself,
Or if thou hast thought evil,
Lay thy hand upon thy mouth.
For the churning of milk bringeth forth butter,
And the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood;
So the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
Sunday, July 16, 2023
But they are exceeding wise:
The ants are a people not strong,
Yet they provide their food in the summer;
The conies are but a feeble folk,
Yet make they their houses in the rocks;
The locusts have no king,
Yet go they forth all of them by bands;
The lizard taketh hold with her hands,
Yet is she in kings’ palaces.
Saturday, July 15, 2023
And for four, which it cannot bear:
For a servant when he is king;
And a fool when he is filled with food;
For an odious woman when she is married;
And a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.