January 22, 2018

Steadfast

seekingHimthanksgivinggraphic

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
Psalms 136:1-3 ESV

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One thing remains Your love never fails
It never gives up, it never runs out on me
Because on and on and on it goes…”
One Thing Remains – Jesus Culture

Thank God! He deserves your thanks.
His love never quits.
Psalm 136:1 MSG

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines steadfast like this:

  • firmly fixed in place : immovable
  • not subject to change

Google’s definition states:

  • resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing in my life, outside of God’s love, that is immovable…not subject to change…resolutely firm and unwavering.  Life seems to be constant change. How wonderful it is to know God’s love remains firm. It is enduring. How thankful I am that it is NOT based on what I do or don’t do. Look at what Deuteronomy 7:9 AMP promises:

Therefore know [without any doubt] and understand
that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God,
who is keeping His covenant and His [steadfast] lovingkindness
to a thousand generations with those who love Him
and keep His commandments;

Isn’t it reassuring to know without a doubt that our God is faithful and His steadfast love and covenant extends to a thousand generations? God’s love never fails. He never gives up on us. The Lord will never turn His back on us no matter how many times we turn away from Him. We are always able to run back into His loving arms.

So I will thank God. He deserves it for His love never quits. It is unchanging, immovable, and eternal.

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Lord, thank You for loving me. Your faithful, steadfast love is the rock, the firm foundation on which I stand. Your loving arms are my Refuge and my Strength. That is more than enough reason to give thanks to You each and every day.  Amen- it is so!

Reassurance

SeekingHimLogo

Forever, O Lord,
Your Word is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations;
You established the earth, and it stands.
Psalms 119:89-90 NASB

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Nothing is more permanent than the Word of God.  The Word of God is constant and unchanging.  1 Peter 1:25a HCSB tells us “But the Word of the Lord endures forever.” God’s Word is firmly settled in Heaven forever! It is not an opinion. 2 Timothy 3:16a ESV says “All Scripture is breathed out by God”—our God who reigns from Heaven above.

Psalm 89:2b makes the faithfulness of God’s Word very clear.

You establish Your faithfulness in the heavens (HCSB)
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the Heavens (NLT)

God’s Word is settled in Heaven and His faithfulness is as enduring as the Heavens.  That constant stability reassures me.

God’s Word doesn’t vary by culture.  It is applied the same way to all societies.  The settled Word of God was, and still is today, a demonstration of His faithfulness that extends across ALL generations.  Not some, not a few, not most – ALL generations. puts it like this: ”

Therefore know [without any doubt] and understand
that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God,
Who is keeping His covenant and His [steadfast] lovingkindness
to a thousand generations.
Deuteronomy 7:9 AMP

The truth of God is absolute.  Isn’t that the most reassuring thing you have heard?  It is unchanging in nature, applies equally to all, and cannot be challenged.  I love this quote from Chuck Smith:

If you find yourself arguing with the Word, you’re wrong.”
(click here to read the entire article)

Look at the world today…everything is being challenged.  Nothing is constant.  We live in an unstable world.  But these two verses point our minds heavenward so that we use Heaven as our Anchor to hold us steady.  Matthew Henry paraphrased Isaiah 40:6 like this: “All flesh is grass but the Word of the Lord endures forever.”  Forever—that is our Anchor.  And that, my friends, is what I call reassurance.

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Father, thank You so much for the reassurance Your faithfulness and unchanging nature give us.  Thank You for the hope we find in knowing Your Word is settled in Heaven and continues through all generations. Thank You for providing us with a steady anchor in the midst of the storms of this world. In Your Holy name we pray -Amen, it is so!

I Never Lost My Praise

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I lost some good friends along life’s way
Some loved ones departed in heaven to stay but
Thank God I didn’t lose everything
I’ve lost faith in people who said they care
The time of my crisis they were never there
But in my disappointment, in my season of pain
One thing never wavered, one thing never changed

I never lost my hope, I never lost my joy
I never lost my faith but, most of all, I never lost my praise

I’ve let some blessings slip away, and I lost my focus
And went astray, but thank God I didn’t lose everything
I’ve lost possessions that were so dear
And I’ve lost some battles by walking in fear
But in the midst of my struggle, in my season of pain
One thing never wavered, one thing never changed

I never lost my hope, I never lost my joy
I never lost my faith but, most of all, I never lost my praise
Praise, praise, praise, praise…most of all, I never lost my praise

My praise, still here, my praise still here
Hallelujah! My praise is still here

Charlotte Central Church of God Choir
Songwriter – Kurt Carr

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Oh, can you picture Job singing this song?  He lost loved ones and lost possessions.  He  lost faith in people who said they care and in his time of crisis they were never there.   But one thing never wavered…one thing never changed—he never lost his hope…he never lost his faith…he never lost his praise.

There aren’t too many records throughout the Scriptures which depict someone more deeply grieved and in mourning than the story of Job.  Here is how God described Job:

…a blameless and upright man, fears God and turns away from evil.
Job 1:8

Right off in chapter one, we read of the horrific loss that Job experienced. He was a man blessed by his God with “seven sons and three daughters; 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very great body of servants.” The Scriptures tell us that “this man was the greatest of all the men of the East.” But, as we know, Satan purposed to take all that Job had in order to tempt him  to turn away from and curse his God (verse 11).  In one day, within a very short period of time, Job learned that all his flocks, practically every one of his servants, and each of his children has been taken from him.  However, Satan’s purpose was foiled because, “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (verse 22).  Job kept his heart of worship and praise; his response to all this?

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.
Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Job 1:20-22

He never lost his praise.

As the woman who sings this song shared with us, in her time of sadness and loss, God taught her about the ‘sacrifice of praise.’   (Go back, if you would, and listen to her heart starting at :18 to 1:19.)

She never lost her praise.

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God
a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips
that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.
Hebrews 13:15

Probably each of us has offered a ‘sacrifice of praise’ at least once or twice in our lives…yes?  However, I am confronted by the higher standard that Hebrews 13:15 states: “let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise….”  Other versions of this verse use the terms, ‘continually’ and ‘always.’  That doesn’t leave much room for wiggling out of obedience, now does it?

We are to constantly {always, continually, at all times} give to God our praise as a sacrifice—whether our circumstances are happy and joy-filled or not.  Even in those times where it looks like there is nothing left, we are to acknowledge all He has done, is doing, and will do to take care of us.

And when we struggle to maintain our joy and peace we can still praise God for Who He is…

  • He never changes (Malachi 3:6)
  • He never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  • He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3
  • He is faithful to all of His promises (Deuteronomy 7:9)

We should always praise Him for those things…and much, much, much more!  I believe that then we, too, will sing…

I never lost my praise.

This Week…Deuteronomy 7:9

SeekingHimLogo

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God.
He is the faithful God,
keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations
of those who love Him and keep His commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9

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This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we  have been so encouraged as we meditated on this wonderful verse!   Our devotional writers have shared the Truth given us in this week’s passage reminding us that our God ‘is the faithful God…keeping His covenant of love…’  Here are a few of their thoughts….

In Faithful God, Ann wrote about the incredible love and relationship that God had with the children of Israel….

It shows God’s gracious gift based on His love and mercy for rewarding the Israelites with faithfulness.   Moses warned the Israelites that continued possession of the land would be contingent on their perseverance in faith and in obedience to God.  If the Israelites became wicked like the Canaanites they, too, would be dispossessed of the land.  In other words, His love and mercy in His giving of the land was not unconditional.  If the people turned away from the Lord and forgot His word they, too, would surely perish.

In Don’t Complain…Instead Know That I Am God, Ahmee reminded us of the complaining attitude of the Israelites ….

God decides when we are ready for something. But often how we choose to look at our circumstances effects how long something takes.  The Israelites complained and complained and complained.  {They loved to do them some complaining!}

  • Numbers 11:1a says, “Now the people complained about their hardships…”
  • Exodus 15:24a says, “So the people grumbled…”
  • Exodus 16:2a says, “In the desert the whole community grumbled…”
  • Exodus 17:2a says, “So they quarreled…”

From all the complaining they did, one would have never guessed that God would free them from captivity.  I mean, that’s kind of big! …Yet, and still, they complained.  Here’s the deal: God doesn’t forget His promises.  Solomon said it this way,

…O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven or on earth –
You who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants
who continue wholeheartedly in Your way.
2 Chronicles 6:14

We don’t need to complain…God has done so many things for us, why not focus on those things rather than the things that are wrong.

Faithful, Merciful God

SeekingHimLogo

Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God,
the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy
for a thousand generations with those
who love Him and keep His commandments.
Deuteronomy 7:9

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You are a faithful, merciful God…and that my soul knows full well!  Thank You, dear Lord, for the complete and utter confidence we have knowing that You do not change…You are our Faithful God!  Thank You for the comfort of knowing, no matter what, You always keep Your Word.  You are a trustWORTHY God who is always there.  You  always love and care for us.  You provide new mercies every morning.  You never leave us nor forsake us!  May we be counted among those who love You and show their love through obedience.  Abba Father, may we have opportunity today to share with someone else these awesome truths…and may they be drawn to You in peace and comfort.  We pray and ask these things in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

Faithful God

SeekingHimLogo

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God.
He is the faithful God,
keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations
of those who love Him and keep His commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9

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We see God’s choice of Israel was motivated by His love for them. Moreover God promised to faithfully keep His covenant and show mercy to generation after generation of those who would love Him and obey Him.  Not only was God’s love contingent on their response of love and obedience but also they would receive prosperity, good health, and military success (verses 13-16).

It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity
that you are going in to take possession of their land,
but on the account of wickedness of these nations,
the Lord your God will drive them out before you to accomplish
what He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 9:5

It shows God’s gracious gift based on His love and mercy for rewarding the Israelites with faithfulness.  Moses warned the Israelites that continued possession of the land would be contingent on their perseverance in faith and in obedience to God.  If the Israelites became wicked like the Canaanites they, too, would be dispossessed of the land.  In other words, His love and mercy in His giving of the land was not unconditional.  If the people turned away from the Lord and forgot His word they, too, would surely perish.

Therefore, brethren, inasmuch as God shows us His faithfulness, let us seek to obey Him the more. For we will get a reward at the end of the race.

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God
failing to observe His commands, His laws, and His decrees
that I am giving you this day.
Deuteronomy 8:11

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Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for Your faithfulness and Your lovingkindness.  Thank You for Your mercy that is unconditional.  We pray for grace, Lord, to obey Your commands at all times.  Help us to do what You want us to do at the right time and in the right ways.  Direct our paths, Lord; in Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen!!

Don’t Complain…Instead Know That I Am God

SeekingHimLogo

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God;
He is the faithful God,
keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations
of those who love Him and keep His commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9

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The context surrounding this verse is speaking to the Israelites about the Promised Land—the Promised Land that took the Israelites five books in the Bible to get to.  It isn’t until Joshua that we finally see these travelers enter into the promise of God. Many are familiar with the story of the Israelites.  I’ve heard it said that the journey they took should have only taken 11 days.  However, their journey took them 40 years.

How does one take an 11 day journey and turn it into a 40 year journey?  Simple.  With God it’s all about timing…His timing. Deuteronomy 7:9 starts off, “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God…”.  God decides when we are ready for something. But often how we choose to look at our circumstances effects how long something takes.  The Israelites complained and complained and complained.  {They loved to do them some complaining!}

  • Numbers 11:1a says, “Now the people complained about their hardships…”
  • Exodus 15:24a says, “So the people grumbled…”
  • Exodus 16:2a says, “In the desert the whole community grumbled…”
  • Exodus 17:2a says, “So they quarreled…”

From all the complaining they did, one would have never guessed that God would free them from captivity.  I mean, that’s kind of big!  I myself have never been physically enslaved, but I would imagine it’s a horrible predicament to be in. Yet, and still, they complained.

Here’s the deal: God doesn’t forget His promises.  Solomon said it this way,

…O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven or on earth –
You who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants
who continue wholeheartedly in Your way.
2 Chronicles 6:14

We don’t need to complain.  We do it because it is an easy habit to start.  However, complaining focuses on the negative while praise focuses on the positive.  Anytime we choose to complain, we just as easily could have chosen to praise.  Praising isn’t overlooking the bad or just ignoring it.  It’s simply focusing on the better things in life.  Just like complaining is simply focusing on the ‘worser’ things in life.  God has done so many things for us, why not focus on those things rather than the things that are wrong.  And pray.  Philippians 4:6 says,

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.

Instead of the Israelites complaining about the fact that they had no water, they should have done as Moses did and prayed. Out of all of those people (a whole community), one person prayed.  One.  The nation had a negative focus.  God is faithful and follows through with His promises.

Trust Him.  
Do not complain, but pray.  
Then… wait.
And that doesn’t mean complain while you are waiting.
It means wait.

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Lord, help us to keep our eyes focused on You.  Let us not forget all the good that You have done for us.  I know that it is so easy to complain about the things that we don’t like in our lives or the things that are “wrong”, but this does not glorify You.  Why should we draw attention to the negative in our lives when drawing attention to You should be our number one goal? People aren’t going to be drawn to You by hearing about all we do not have…but rather hearing about all that You have done for us.  Thank You, Lord.

Forever

SeekingHimLogo

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God.
He is the faithful God Who keeps His covenant
for a thousand generations
and lavishes His unfailing love
on those who love Him and obey His commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT

Give thanks to the Lord
Our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise

With a mighty hand
and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that’s been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us
Forever, forever

Harvest Church
written by Chris Tomlin

Joy

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

You’ve turned it all around
Where I was hurting, now I’m rejoicing
In Your love I’m found and I have joy

You took away my pain
You turned my mourning into dancing
I can smile again ‘cause I have joy

Let the celebration begin
Make a joyful noise unto Him
Come on everybody
Let’s give Him praise for He is good

You have given me a joy that won’t stop
And will never leave
So I will praise You with gladness
For You are good

You’ve turned my sadness into gladness
You’ve turned my sorrow into joy
Now I’m singing and I’m dancing
And I will shout for joy

Songwriter: Joth Hunt  ~ Performed by PlanetShakers

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Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!  Come into His Presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, He is God!  It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!
Give thanks to Him; bless His name!
For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever,
and His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100

‘Make a joyful noise!’  Oh, you don’t have to tell me twice!  (And sometimes it is just that—a joyful noise.)  Do we not just love to sing our praises to the Lord God?!?  We have so many, many reasons to praise Him, to thank Him, to bless His Holy Name.

Here in Psalm 100, verse 5 offers three extremely compelling reasons to praise Him:

He is good

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for  those who trust in Him.
Nahum 1:7

This we know…in fact, isn’t there a praise chorus that we love to sing: ‘God is good ALL the time!  And ALL the time, God is good!’

His love endures forever

Give thanks to the God of Heaven for His steadfast love endures forever.
Psalms 136:26

Twenty-six (yes, 26!) times in Psalm 136, this praise is exclaimed!  (Here’s a link to read the whole psalm.)  Throughout the entire history of mankind—from Adam & Eve and all the way along through the Scriptures—we read of the myriad of ways that our Great God has manifested His steadfast love.  AND He has made promise after promise to His children (us! you and me!) that His love will endure for eternity!

He is faithful to all generations

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.
Deuteronomy 7:9

What a promise of hope He has made—His covenant of love to those who love Him and obey!  Our God always brings His promises to pass!  What a faithful God!

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Dear Lord,
We love to make a joyful noise, Lord, singing Your praises!  You are the Almighty God Who deserves all the praise there is to give!  Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your goodness, and Your love!  HalleluJAH!  Amen.

Rooftops

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Here I am before You, falling in love and seeking Your truth
Knowing that Your perfect grace has brought me to this place
Because of You I freely live, my life to You, oh God, I give
So I stand before You, God
I lift my voice cause You set me free

So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours

All the good You’ve done for me, I lift my hands for all to see
You’re the only one who brings me to my knees
To share this love across the earth, the beauty of Your holy worth
So I kneel before You, God
I lift my hands cause You set me free

So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours

All that I am, I place into Your loving hands
And I am Yours, I am Yours
Here I am, I stand, with arms wide open
To the One, the Son, the Everlasting God, the Everlasting God

~ Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today. ~

Performed by Kim Walker and Jesus Culture

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What if, instead of focusing on our trials and circumstances, we put our focus on the One Who is faithful???  What if we focused on ALL that God has done in our lives??? What a difference that would make!!!

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way,
consider it an opportunity for great joy.
James 1:2 NLT

Trials are opportunities for growth and to experience God in a powerful way!!!

I love this powerful statement about circumstances by Graham Cooke (from The Way of the Warrior – live version):

“Everything you are passing through right now is a learning opportunity. We need to stop treating life’s difficulties as though they shouldn’t be happening to us. They are training. They are a really important part of who you are. God allows in His wisdom what He could easily prevent by His power. The darker the situation, and the more problematic the circumstances, and the more difficult the things we have to go through, the reward on those things is substantially greater.”

Instead, let us choose to enter His gates with thanksgiving and praise for all that He has done and continues to do….

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God.
He is the faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations
and lavishes His unfailing love on those who love Him and obey His commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT

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Heavenly Father, here I stand…arms wide open…heart wide open. All that I am, I place into Your loving hands. So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim that I am Yours, I am Yours…in Jesus’ name!! Amen!!