December 14, 2017

Take Heed

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As for God, His way is perfect:
The Lord’s Word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30 NIV

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Here we have David, in the midst of singing praises to God for delivering him from his enemies.  I believe David stated the most important reason for that victory—!

God’s way, as the following Scriptures state, is His very own method and style.  God’s way of doing something has no comparison.

LORD, there is no one like You!
For You are great, and Your name is full of power.
Jeremiah 10:6 NLT

Among the gods there is none like You, Lord;
no deeds can compare with Yours.
Psalm 86:8

He is the Rock, His works are perfect,
and all His ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is He.
Deuteronomy 32:4

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways
and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s Word is flawless, unbroken, unimpaired, and whole.  It is beneficial to us.  This is in sharp contrast to the lies of the enemy.

God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man,
that He should change His mind.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?
Numbers 23:19

All Scripture is breathed out by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

God is our Shield.  Just as a king is trusted as the protector of his people, so we who put our faith in God are to trust Him as our Protector.

But You, Lord, are a Shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Psalm 3:3

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You.
Psalm 84:12

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.
Psalm 5:11

Because God’s way is perfect, and His word is flawless, and He has promised to protect His children, we need to take heed.  Yes, like David, we have enemies—whether in the physical or in the spiritual—who try to “entangle us with cords of death” (Psalms 18:4-5).  But if we take heed of God and His Word, He will ”avenge us, and save us from our enemies” (Psalms 18:47-48).  When we are faithfully in God’s Word, then we will know God and experience His deliverance.

It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.
You have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully.
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!
Psalms 119:1-4

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Dear God, our Father and Protector, we come before You with humble and grateful hearts.  There is no way that is more perfect than Your Ways.  There is no word that is more flawless than Your Words.  We are Your children, and You desire nothing more than for us to trust You wholeheartedly so that You can be our Protector.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to “take heed” of Your Word for us, so that we will know You better and follow You more closely.  We want to be joyful daughters of integrity “…who obey Your laws, and search for You with all our hearts.”  Thank You for Your Word and Your Holy Spirit, so that we can know You better.  In Jesus’ Precious Name, we pray, Amen.

The Word is Life

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Recorded in the Gospel of John, our Lord made seven statements referring to Himself as I AM

I AM The Light of the World
I AM The Bread of Life
I AM The Door

I AM The Good Shepherd
I AM The True Vine

I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life
I AM The Resurrection and The Life

Each week during this season of Lent, here on the Seeking Him blog, we will be focusing our devotionals on a different aspect of Jesus’ revelation of Himself as I AM.  The aim of Lent should be to prepare our hearts for the remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice—His trial and torture, the Crucifixion and His death…and above all, the celebration of His Resurrection from the dead.  We pray that this will be a great encouragement to each of you who read them.  And that all of us will consider the significance of Jesus’ words and, through them, be helped as we remember and are thankful for all Jesus went through during the last few weeks of His life on this earth.

Then Jesus declared, “I AM the Bread of Life.
Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry,
and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.
John 6:35

(context)

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I AM the Bread of Life‘ is the first of the seven I AM statements recorded in John’s gospel.  Each of the I AMs emphasizes an important aspect of the personal ministry of Jesus.  This first statement tells us that Christ is the sustenance that nourishes spiritual life.

Jesus said… “I tell you the truth
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink His blood you have no life.”
John 6:53

We receive spiritual life by believing in Christ and sharing in the redemptive benefits of His death on the Cross (Romans 3:24-25, 1 John 1:7).  We continue to have spiritual life as we remain in fellowship with Christ and His Word. (Compare John 6:53 and 63).

“…the words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”
Verse 63

Thus we partake of Christ as we continue to have faith in Him and prayerfully receive His Word.

Jesus is the Living Word and the Bible is the written Word.  Jesus call Himself the Bread of Life and elsewhere He relates this bread to the Word of God:

Man does not live by bread alone
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4

Therefore we eat His flesh by remaining in Him and by receiving and obeying the Word of God.

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Father, we thank You for Your goodness and mercy that follows us all the days of our lives.  We thank You because You are not man that You can lie nor son of man that You can change Your mind…what You say You will do, surely You will do it.  We thank You for the grace to reunite us with Christ.  Give us the grace, Lord, to obey and absorb what is truth in our hearts.  May Your name be glorified.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Hide Them In Your Heart

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Jesus answered,”It is written: ‘Man does not live by bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Matthew 4:4

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been (or soon will be) in a confrontation with the enemy.  At times it can seem like the confrontation will never end.  Because you are His—the Lord’s—there is a target on your back and the only way to go into  combat against the enemy is with the Word of God.

In Ephesians 6:17, the Bible is called the “sword of the spirit.”  And since we don’t live in medieval times, we are highly unlikely to have a sword at our disposal.  And though His Word IS our sword, sometimes we don’t have a Bible with us either.  However, if we memorize it…no one can take it from us.

Remember Jesus in the desert alone for forty days and nights…?  He was tired and hungry and vulnerable.  The enemy came at Him on all sides.  Jesus didn’t have a Bible with Him, did He?  Psalms 119:11 says,”I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

After you have memorized Scripture, you must learn how to apply it.  Jesus answered the enemy with specific Scripture—actually He quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3 the verse that we started off with today.  The enemy was tempting Jesus while HE was fasting and praying.  He tried to tempt Him with bread.  Jesus had an answer.  You, too, will have to respond to the enemy. He is the father of lies and he will have many for you.  You will need Scriptures that pertain to whatever he is throwing your way, and you must stand boldly on God’s  Word.  Don’t just let it collect dust on your coffee table or sit your nightstand by your bed.  Open it and read it!  It is one way that He speaks to us.

And if the enemy isn’t backing off, don’t give up!  If he wasn’t afraid of Jesus the first time, he won’t be afraid of you at first.  But if you’re persistent, and you draw your sword, then you can rebuke him in Jesus’ name.  He will flee, I am certain. Remember, there are seasons of spiritual warfare and there is always victory in Jesus.

I remember the story of Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian who hid Jews during the Holocaust.  While she was growing up, she, her sister and her father would learn Scriptures.  When she and her family were taken to the concentration camp, she had His words to lean on and remember.  She would say them out loud some days, just to make it through. She would pray Scripture to God and wait on Him to deliver her, and He did.

You have a story, too!  A story of hope and redemption and grace.  What does it look like?  I encourage you to journal today.  Write about the things you have gone through…and what or Who got you through.  And find some verses that you can rely on the next time you feel the attack of the enemy!

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
Psalm 62:5

Let us pray: Dear Lord, You are all-powerful and all-knowing. Your love is unshakable and Your patience is never ending. You know our every thought and You know what we are going to do next. You save us from ourselves. We thank You for all that You do in our lives. You go before us and make our paths straight. Thank You for giving us Your Word. It is sharper than a two-edged sword and it never comes back void.  Lord, help us to desire to learn Scripture and to read it daily so that we know what You have said to us. We are so blessed by Your words.  And for the times that You speak to us alone. And when the time may come that we don’t have the luxury of having the Bible with us, we will have Your Word memorized and hidden in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, amen.