Saturday, April 24, 2021

Lord Jesus, I want to delight in You!

When I saw this beautiful artwork by Krista Hamrick, I felt led to share this devotional based on one of my favorite Scriptures--Psalm 37:4 . . . “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I discovered a great acrostic memory tool for the word, “delight,” which describes how I have come to apply this verse to my life:
Daily
Everything
Laid
Into
God’s
Hands
Totally

I recently heard this true story about Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous pilot and hero in World War II. Every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean, Eddie came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his hand was a bucket of shrimp. Eddie walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now. Everybody is gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Eddie is alone with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp. Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier. Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Eddie stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you. Thank you.' In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Eddie doesn't leave. He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and another place. When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. Eddie quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home. Eddie Rickenbacker was a famous pilot and hero in World War I, and then he was in WWII. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft. Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger and thirst. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were or even if they were alive. Every day across America millions wondered and prayed that Eddie Rickenbacker might somehow be found alive. The men adrift needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged on. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft...suddenly Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull! Eddie would later describe how they captured the bird and he and his starving crew made a meal of it - a very slight meal for eight men. Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait...and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea. Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull . . . And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.


I have found over the years that many times my prayers center on what I want the Lord to do: I intercede for people who are critically ill battling disease. There’s a great need in a missionary family in Burkina Faso, West Africa, so I petition daily for God’s help on their behalf. On the home front, I may pray for my children to do better in school, a friend’s job situation or marriage to improve, relief from stress, or many other desires. All of these are valid requests, which if answered in the way we hope, would delight us. But I have learned that this verse calls us to a different prayer focus: to stop and center our heart on the Lord and make him our delight.


According to Psalm 37:4, if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts. To delight means to take great pleasure or to find joy and satisfaction in something. If it’s hard for us to find our greatest pleasure and delight in God, take heart. Though it’s impossible for us to find our greatest pleasure and delight in God through our own strength, our Heavenly Father has provided a way: His Spirit graciously reveals Jesus to us and causes us to fall more and more in love with Him. Then we find great delight in Him and in His presence.

Lord Jesus, I want to delight in You! Center my heart in knowing You more and loving You more day by day. Help me to discover that there is fullness of joy in your presence and to take great delight in my relationship with You. May my heart desire You above everything else. Give me a heart which yearns for Your Presence, a yearning for You that draws me over and over into Your Presence, a yearning that makes only a few days without time in prayer and Your Word seem like an eternity. Give me a heart which is motivated first and foremost by a desire for You, not for what You can do for me, but a yearning for Your Presence. Give me a heart that wants You more than anything else You could give, to love You and know You more than anything in life. Give me a heart that takes what You have made known to me and makes You re-known to everyone else, a heart that makes Your name and renown the desire of my heart. Give me a heart to feel Your Holy Spirit woo me once again to the place where I meet You. In the simplicity of my prayer time, give me a heart to be suddenly confronted by the majesty of my Redeemer—the One Who is responsible for any good in me. Lord, each morning, give me a heart that seeks Your forgiveness for past sins, and welcomes Your fresh mercies which fall like manna from Heaven, and once again move my heart. I surrender all. Morning after morning. In Your Precious Name Above All Names we pray, amen.


Look Up—meditate on Psalm 37:4 …pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.


Look In—as you meditate on Psalm 37:4 …pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."


Look Out—as you meditate on Psalm 37:4 ...pray to see how you might apply it to your relationship with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this bookName Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

Saturday, April 10, 2021

a calm assurance...because He lives!


This year, 2021, is the 50th Anniversary of the song, “Because He Lives,” by Bill and Gloria Gaither. So many memories come flooding back to me, as I listen to the anointed lyrics of this beautiful song. I was a senior at Sebring High School in 1971 when this song was written, and we began to sing it at our church, First Baptist Church of Sebring. I also remember how meaningful these lyrics were to me as I held our first-born child, Tracy, in 1979…

How sweet to hold a newborn baby, And feel the pride and joy he gives; But greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!
.
These are uncertain days in which we now live, but just as the lyrics of this song proclaim, “Greater still the calm assurance; this child can face uncertain days because He lives!”
.
God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive; He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!
.
How sweet to hold a newborn baby, And feel the pride and joy he gives; But greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!
.
And then one day, I'll cross the river, I'll fight life's final war with pain; And then, as death gives way to victory, I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!
.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!
(Because He Lives by William J. Gaither, 1971)
.
Jesus slept on a pillow in the midst of a raging storm. How could He? Because He slept in the calm assurance that His Father was in control. (Mark 4:37-39)
.
Jesus Christ wins, He conquers death, He walks out of the empty tomb.
.
He knows the end from the beginning.
.
He began with the end in mind.
.
"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:26-27)
.
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me...Because I live, you also will live." (John 14:6, 19)
.
Nothing satisfies my mind, my heart, and the deepest longings of my soul like Jesus does. He is not only the way, the truth, and the life; He is personal to me. He is my way, and my truth, and my life--just as he can be for anyone who reaches out to him..."He is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:27)
.
Peace is the calm assurance that Jesus knows what He’s doing. It is not related to our environment or circumstances. Peace is a gift, something Jesus gives. Through thankful, fervent prayer—articulating our burdens to Jesus—we exchange anxiety for peace.
.
We seize His promises and assurances. The peace of God is powerfully vigilant, for it literally guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We can imagine this peace as a fortress encircling us. It protects our mental, emotional, and spiritual health; our stability; our steadfastness; our confidence in God.
.
As we pray, we experience His peace, the walls grow taller and stronger, protecting us more and more. Peace guards our hearts, we live behind the safe protection of our fortress of peace. No matter what, ruling our hearts is the calm assurance that Jesus knows what He’s doing.
.
Heavenly Father, God of peace, teach me the path of peace. Teach me to pray with thanksgiving, to submit my requests and needs to You—and to leave them there. Forgive me for trying to carry my burdens on my own. You don’t want me to live in the clutches of anxiety; You want me to live freely, guarded by Your peace. Please flood and guard my heart with peace. Remind me, Father, that peace is not the absence of problems in my life but the calm assurance that You know what You’re doing. You have never failed me, and You will never leave me or forsake me—my confidence is in You. In the name of Your Son, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, amen.
.
Look Up—meditate on Acts 17:26-27… pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
.
Look In—as you meditate on Acts 17:26-27… pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
.
Look Out—as you meditate on Acts 17:26-27…pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
.
* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Book Review: Biblical Minimalism: Following Jesus from a Life of Abundance to a More Abundant Life





What a wonderful, thought-provoking book! Author Cheryl E. Smith shares her own life-altering downsizing story, including the practicalities and rewards, all grounded in Scripture. This is a wonderful guide to contentment, a calmer lifestyle, and a peace-filled family life. This book would also make a great small group Bible study.
.
Cheryl E. Smith is the author of the book, Biblical Minimalism, the story of her family's journey from a life of abundance to a more abundant life. She is the author of the blogs: Biblical Minimalism, where she writes about minimalism from a Biblical perspective; and Homespun Devotions, where she writes devotionals and conducts 'Inner Views.'  She loves to spend time with her husband and son in the mountains, sing and play Bluegrass music, and write. To purchase the book, click HERE.
.
One very blessed, random commenter on this post will receive a FREE copy of Biblical Minimalism. Be sure that your comment has a link where I can reach you if you're the winner!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

I trace the rainbow through the rain


One year my Daddy, Eston Willis, who was a wonderful Bible teacher, led a small Bible study in our home. Each week, we would gather, open in prayer, open our Bibles, and he would begin by quoting the same Scripture, Romans 8:1, at least seven times before we began...”There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Something about the repetition of those God-breathed words moved God’s Truth from my head to my heart. 

Pastor Harry Ironside is quoted as saying, “as Paul began this chapter with "no condemnation," he ended with "no separation." Blessed, wondrous consummation of the most marvelous theme ever given to man! May our souls enter more deeply into it, and find increasing joy and spiritual strength as we contemplate this blessed assurance.” 

.

 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord—Romans 8:38-39”

.

The verdict is final. The case is never going to be re-tried—irrevocable. On that we can rest—we are accepted on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

.

Pastor George Matheson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1842. As a child he had only partial vision, and his sight became progressively worse, until it resulted in blindness by the time he was eighteen. Despite his handicap, he was a brilliant student and graduated from the University of Glasgow and later from seminary. He became pastor of several churches in Scotland, including a large church in Edinburgh, where he was greatly respected and loved. After he had been engaged to a young woman for a short while, she broke the engagement, having decided she could not be content married to a blind man. This pain led Matheson to write this beautiful hymn…

.

O Love that will not let me go

I rest my weary soul in Thee

I give Thee back the life I owe

That in Thine ocean depths its flow

May richer, fuller be

O Love, that will not let me go.

.

O Joy, that seekest me through pain

I cannot close my heart to Thee

.

I trace the rainbow through the rain

.

And feel the promise is not vain

That morn shall tearless be

O Love, that will not let me go.

.

O Cross, that liftest up my head

I dare not ask to fly from Thee

I lay in dust life's glory dead

And from the ground there blossoms red

Life that shall endless be

O Love, that will not let me go

.

Word Study of Romans 8:37-39

.

NASB: But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

.

Amplified: Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

.

NLT: No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

.

Phillips: No, in all these things we win an overwhelming victory through him who has proved his love for us. I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!

.

Wuest: But in these things, all of them, we are coming off constantly with more than the victory through the One who loved us. For I have come through a process of persuasion to the settled conclusion that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things about to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

.

Young’s Literal: But in all these we more than conquer, through him who loved us; for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor messengers, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things about to be, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, that [is] in Christ Jesus our Lord.

.

A word study of the word, love, agape, reveals that it is an unconditional, sacrificial love and Biblically refers to a love that God is, that God shows, and that God enables in His children through the fruit of the Spirit. Biblical agape love is the love of choice, the love of serving with humility, the highest kind of love, the noblest kind of devotion, the love of the will (intentional, a conscious choice) and not motivated by superficial appearance, emotional attraction, or sentimental relationship. Agape is not based on pleasant emotions or good feelings that might result from a physical attraction or a familial bond. Agape chooses as an act of self-sacrifice to serve the recipient. From all of the descriptions of agape love, it is clear that true agape love is a sure mark of salvation. Agape love does not depend on the world’s criteria for love, such as attractiveness, emotions, or sentimentality. 

.

Agape in the Greek classics spoke of a love called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the object loved. This is the idea inherent in the Father's proclamation, "This is My Beloved Son." Agape is the love that was shown at Calvary. Thus agape is God’s love, and is the love that God is. It is not human affection but is a divine love, commanded by God, produced as fruit in the heart of a surrendered saint by the Holy Spirit, self-sacrificial in nature seeking the benefit of the one who is loved, a love which means death to self and defeat for sin since the essence of sin is self-will and self-gratification, a love activated by personal choice of our will, not based on our feelings toward the object of our love and manifested by specific actions not just to fellow believers but to all men everywhere.

.

Kenneth S. Wuest describes agape love as follows..."Agape is a love that impels one to sacrifice one’s self for the benefit of the object loved...(it) speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in the object loved, an apprehension of its preciousness. 

.

Agape is the love which the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in the heart of the yielded believer. The saint is to order his behavior or manner of life within the sphere of this divine, supernatural agape love produced in his heart by the Holy Spirit. 

.

Agape love speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in an object which causes one to prize it. It springs from an apprehension of the preciousness of an object. The quality of this love is determined by the character of the one who loves, and that of the object loved. God’s love for a sinful and lost race springs from His heart in response to the high value He places upon each human soul. Every sinner is exceedingly precious in His sight. The love in John 3:16 is a love whose essence is that of self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one loved, this love based upon an evaluation of the preciousness of the one loved."

.

Pastor Charles R. Swindoll writes: "The power of Paul's words here in Romans 8 when we are experiencing fiery trials in the furnace of affliction...God’s Word is like a log sitting on top of the ice on a frozen lake. When the ice thaws and melts, the log penetrates into the water and becomes a part of the lake. The trials that come along in life are like that thawing process. They melt the heart and allow God’s Word to penetrate and become a part of us."

.

Corrie Ten Boom was at the Nazi death camp Ravensbruck where roll call came at 4:30 every morning. Most mornings were cold, and sometimes the women would be forced to stand without moving for hours in the bone-chilling pre-dawn darkness. Nearby were the punishment barracks where all day and far into the night would come the sounds of cruelty: blows landing in regular rhythm and screams keeping pace. But Corrie and her sister Betsie had a Bible, and at every opportunity they would gather the women together like orphans around a blazing fire, and read Romans 8: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Corrie later said: I would look about us as Betsie read, watching the light leap from face to face. More than conquerors. It was not a wish. It was a fact. We knew it, we experienced it minute by minute in an ever widening circle of help and hope. Life at Ravensbruck took place on two separate levels. One, the observable, external life, grew every day more horrible. The other, the life we lived with God, grew daily better, truth upon truth, glory upon glory.

.

Pastor Donald Grey Barnhouse told a personal story that beautifully illustrates death’s powerlessness over Christians. When his wife died, his children were still quite young, and Dr. Barnhouse wondered how he could explain their mother’s death in a way their childish minds could understand. As they drove home from the funeral, a large truck passed them and briefly cast a dark shadow over the car. Immediately the father had the illustration he was looking for, and he asked the children, “Would you rather be run over by a truck or by the shadow of a truck?” “That’s easy, Daddy,” they replied. “We would rather get run over by the shadow, because that wouldn’t hurt.” Their father then said, “Well, children, your mother just went through the valley of the shadow of death, and there’s no pain there, either.”

.

Heavenly Father, thank you for Your agape love so great, so awesome, so amazing, that You sent Your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to take all my sin, my sickness, my condemnation on that cruel cross. Because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Christ, it is by His stripes I am healed, and there is nothing that can separate me from Your love, O Love that will not let me go . . . blessed assurance, I am loved by Your everlasting love and underneath are Your everlasting arms . . . all is grace—amazing grace—from the moment You knit me together in my mother’s womb until the moment I see You face-to-face, in Jesus' precious name I pray, amen.

.

Look Up—meditate on Romans 8:37-39 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

.

Look In—as you meditate on Romans 8:37-39 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

.

Look Out—as you meditate on Romans 8:37-39 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Thus far the Lord has helped me

artwork by Krista Hamrick

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful artwork so inspired me that I felt led to do a word study of I Samuel 7:12

NIV: Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

AMP: Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he named it Ebenezer (stone of help), saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

CEB: Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer, explaining, “The Lord helped us to this very point.”

NOG: Then Samuel took a rock and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer [Rock of Help] and said, “Until now Yahweh has helped us.”

RSV: Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jesha′nah, and called its name Ebene′zer; for he said, “Hitherto the Lord has helped us.”

What does Ebenezer mean? “Stone of help” or “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (I Samuel 7:12) One of the most catastrophic military losses in Israel’s history occurs when the Philistines capture the ark of the covenant at Ebenezer (I Samuel 4:1-11). About twenty years later (and after retrieving the ark), the Israelites engage the Philistines in another significant battle, only this time it is they who prevail (I Samuel 7:7-11). Unlike the first battle, in which the nation acts without consulting God (I Samuel 4:3), they choose to rely on divine intervention (I Samuel 7:8) and are rewarded with an improbable if not miraculous victory (I Samuel 7:10-11). This is a significant triumph as it marks the first time in the nation’s history that they defeat the Philistines. Samuel, Israel’s last judge, first prophet and de facto leader, commemorates the occasion by erecting a monument which he names: “Ebenezer” (I Samuel 7:12). Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (I Samuel 7:12) Israel now has a new religious symbol, a boundary with both geographic and spiritual meaning. Samuel sought to keep the memory of God’s deliverance current in Israel’s mind. He wanted Israel to remember the past and be thankful for God’s help. Remembering God’s help in the past also encourages hope for the future, and hope sustains faith.

As a part of Beth Moore’s Believing God Bible Study, which I completed several years ago, we were asked to complete a timeline of our life in ten-year segments, asking God to reveal to us all the spiritual mile-markers in our lives: broken places, hurts, disappointments, accomplishments, and joyful times--to help us see that God had been there all along and that His grace is sufficient. God has used this timeline process to heal me in so many ways. I learned the Hebrew concept of time is like a person rowing a boat. We see where we have been, we back into the future. I can clearly see that God has been there with me all along. I am not stuck in the past, I am rowing into the future, moving forward, proactive, with my focus, my mindset, on God, who is sovereign. He sees the past, the present, and the future all-at-once.

In the Believing God Bible Study, Beth Moore writes: “Ebenezer means “stone of help.” As we walk out the remainder of our timeline of faith, let’s keep memorializing God’s obvious interventions and spiritual markers through stones of remembrance. In the meantime, by faith, let’s walk with a (figurative) stone in our hand as an “Ebenezer” until we see the next astonishing evidence or spiritual marker and lay it on our timeline. You see, the “Ebenezer” stone constantly reminds us, “Thus far the LORD helped us.” In other words, with God’s help we’re making it so far, and we’ll make it some more.” Christ has taught me to live one day at a time, depending on Him alone to “give me this day my daily bread.” I can remember in the early days of getting through the withdrawal of addictive sin that I’d seek Him in the morning, then live on His sufficiency until noon. Then until dinner. Then until bedtime. Then the worst time of all: the black of the long night. Sometimes I’d sleep with my Bible open on my chest. Other times I literally slept with it open on my forehead because I knew that my biggest problem was my broken mind. I begged God to help me make it without turning back. How I pray I will never again look at life from the bottom of a pit, but all I know for sure is this: “Thus far the LORD has helped me.” With the writer of the familiar hymn, I too can sing:
 Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by Thy great help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood; O to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.
"I want you to picture picking up a stone from the ground presently beneath your feet, raising it high, and proclaiming, “Thus far the LORD has helped me.” And He’ll help you again tomorrow, the next day, and the next. If you tumble into unbelief, cry out to God, reach around you for another Ebenezer stone, stand back to your feet, and start walking again. Never forget that long-term victory happens one day at a time.”

My daily prayer using the Believing God Bible Study Five Statement Pledge of Faith:
1.               God is who He says He is.
2.               God can do what He says He can do.
3.               I am who God says I am.
4.               I can do all things through Christ
5.               God's Word is alive and active in me.
I'm Believing God.

God is Who He says He is.
You are Jehovah Ra’ah, You are my Shepherd, I lack nothing. You make me lie down in green pastures, You lead me beside the still waters. You restore my soul. You lead me in the path of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Even when I walk THROUGH the valley of the SHADOW of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your Staff, your Holy Spirit and Your Word, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  

SEVEN NAMES OF GOD
PAIRED WITH PSALM 23:1-6
JEHOVAH-RA’AH
The Lord, my shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
The LORD is my shepherd;
 
JEHOVAH-JIREH
The Lord, my provider (Genesis 22:14)
I shall not want.
JEHOVAH-SHALOM
The Lord, our peace (Judges 6:24)
He makes me to lie down in green pastures:
he leads me beside the still waters.
JEHOVAH-RAPHA
The Lord, my healer (Exodus 15:26)
He restores my soul:
JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU
The Lord, our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
JEHOVAH-SHAMAH
The Lord, ever-present (Ezekiel 48:35)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
JEHOVAH-NISSI
The Lord, our banner (Exodus 17:15)
Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
JEHOVAH-RAPHA
The Lord, my healer (Exodus 15:26)
Thou anoints my head with oil; my cup runs over.
JEHOVAH-JIREH
The Lord, my provider (Genesis 22:14)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


God can do what He says He can do. Nothing is impossible for You, Lord Jesus, Absolutely Nothing!  I am casting all my cares upon You because You care for me. Supply the needs I have today to know You and believe You, to glorify You, to find my satisfaction in You, to experience Your peace, and enjoy Your presence...

Five Key Benefits
God Intends for His Children
Obstacles which stand in the way of the
Five Key Benefits God Intends for His Children
To Know God and Believe Him
Unbelief—I pray to roll away the obstacle of unbelief which is revealed in my doubt, fear, worry, and discouragement.
To Glorify God
Pride—I pray to roll away the obstacle of pride which is self-absorption, whether I am absorbed with how wonderful I am or how miserable I am. Forgive my self-focus. Worship is focus, help me focus on Jesus Christ alone.
To Find Satisfaction in God
Idolatry—I pray to roll away the obstacle of idolatry which is putting anything ahead of or instead of Jesus Christ.
To Experience God’s Peace
Prayerlessness—I pray to roll away the obstacle of praylessness. Prayerless lives are powerless lives; prayerful lives are powerful lives. Peace is the fruit of authority—let the peace of Christ rule. Christ brings His peace where He is Prince—the Prince of Peace.
To Enjoy God’s Presence
Legalism—I pray to roll away the obstacle of legalism with a heart which desires an intimate, personal relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ, not rules, regulations, and religion.

I am who God says I am. In Christ, I am blessed with every spiritual blessing, accepted in the Beloved Son of God, adopted as a child of the King, chosen before the foundation of the world, redeemed by the blood of Christ, forgiven by His grace, loved with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting Arms, a love that will not let me go. 

I can do ALL things through Christ Who gives me strength. Lord Jesus, I cannot do this, but You can!  Won’t You give me Your smile?

God’s Word is alive and active in me...I’m Believing God.

During my study of scripture, I came to a place in my life where I wanted, more than anything else, to love God more. I began to pray, Lord, I want to delight in you! God is so inconceivably good. He’s not looking for perfection. He already saw it in Christ. He’s looking for affection. That’s why every lasting change will invariably be a change of heart. He’ll even supply the heart, if we’ll ask Him.

Lord Jesus, give me a heart which longs to be a planting of the Lord for the display of Your splendor. Give me a heart which yearns for Your Presence, a yearning for You that draws me over and over into Your Presence, a yearning that makes only a few days without time in prayer and Your Word seem like an eternity. Give me a heart which is motivated first and foremost by a desire for You, not for what You can do for me, but a yearning for Your Presence. Give me a heart that wants You more than anything else You could give, to love You and know You more than anything in life. Give me a heart that takes what You have made known to me and makes You re-known to everyone else, a heart that makes Your name and renown the desire of my heart. Give me a heart to feel Your Holy Spirit woo me once again to the place where I meet You. In the simplicity of my prayer time, give me a heart to be suddenly confronted by the majesty of my Redeemer—the One Who is responsible for any good in me. Lord, each morning, give me a heart that seeks Your forgiveness for past sins, and welcomes Your fresh mercies which fall like manna from Heaven, and once again move my heart. I surrender all. Morning after morning.

The verdict is final. The case is never going to be re-tried—irrevocable. On that we can rest—we are justified on the basis of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is a blessing to know that I am, right now, under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, I am redeemed by His precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God’s love for me and approval of me will never be determined by my performance is the most encouraging promise to which I cling.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the free gift of salvation, that we are justified on the basis of Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that, right now, we are under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because we have placed our trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, we are redeemed by Your precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God’s love for us and approval of us will never be determined by our performance is the most encouraging promise to which we cling. We love You, Lord. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Look up – Meditate on I Samuel 7:12. Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – Meditate on I Samuel 7:12. Pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is ______________, I will ______________.”

Look out – Meditate on I Samuel 7:12. Pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

Blog Archive