January 23, 2018

Truth We Can Depend On

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Every word of God proves true.
    He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.
Proverbs 30:5  NLT

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 And The Message version reads,

Every promise of God proves true;
He protects everyone who runs to Him for help.

Does it boggle your mind to try to understand that every (all possible) word of God proves (shows beyond doubt) that it is true (accurate, faithful)?  In our human experience, with ourselves and with those around us, we know that kind of perfection and faithfulness doesn’t exist 100% of the time.

Thankfully, it is true for God’s Word.  In the Amplified, it says His words are “…tested and refined like silver.”  And Psalm 12:6 states, “The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.”  That leaves absolutely no imperfections.

Your promises have been thoroughly tested;
that is why I love them so much.
Psalm 119:140

Because of this purity, God’s Word is sure and we can trust it.  God is one with His Word.  God promises to protect all who come to Him, and we can be sure He will.

God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1 AMP

In the midst of life’s conflicts and disappointments, God is our Shield. Shields come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are tall to cover the warrior from head to toe. Some other shapes are made to protect the most vital organs, and to deflect the enemy’s weapons from harming the warrior. Spiritually speaking, God does exactly that.  When we come (run) to Him, He is there to protect us from the “fiery darts” of the enemy.  In Ephesians 6:16, God says, “…in all circumstances take up the shield of faith.”  God is there for us, but in faith we must come to Him and accept (take up) His protection.

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we will know God’s Word:

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we have seen His glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:1, 14

  •  The more we know Jesus, the more we know the Father:

I and the Father are one.
John 10:30

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we know the Father’s Truth:

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6

 

  • The more we know Jesus, the more we will be sanctified and protected by God’s Truth.

Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth.
John 17:17

If we will study Jesus—His life, His words, His relationships with others, and His relationship with God the Father—we will know that God’s Word is truth and we can trust it.  We will have the assurance that we can run to God and find the protection we need.  We will walk in faith, and be shielded by Him.

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Dear God, we are so grateful that we have Your Word to turn to.  Life is not easy, and, we need Your protection even when we don’t realize it.  Help us, Lord, not to just “pick up” Your shield in times of imminent danger…but to live our lives getting to know Jesus, Your Word, so we can be in Your protection at all times.  Thank You for the promise that “Every word of God proves true.”  In Jesus’ Precious Name we pray, Amen.

16 Day Love Challenge: Chapter 12 – Love Always Protects

16daylovechallengealwaysprotectsOn its face, it seems rather simple – we all want our loved ones protected, right?  I can definitely say that I am protective of my friends and family – physically and spiritually. But I have tried to take the “Love Challenge” outside of just my immediate relationships and think bigger each time, so it begs the question: if I am to be loving to everyone, how do I protect someone I don’t even know?

To make sure I understood what it meant to protect, I once again sought the definition of the word.  As I looked into its meaning, and tried to focus on how I could embody this characteristic in my life, I began to get emotional. To protect means “to keep safe from harm or injury” (Google Dictionary); however, another source says further “to keep someone from being harmed or lost” (Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary).  Synonyms of protect include: save, shield, hedge, shelter, guard.  Any of those words look familiar?  Perhaps because in many passages in Scripture, Jesus is described as being any and all of those things for us.  So, to get this straight – if we are showing love to others, we are to save them from being harmed or lost.  Sounds a lot like what is at the heart of the Great Commission, if you think about it. Love always protects.  To get to the meat of this one was actually a little challenging for me, sisters.

It still seems a bit hard to grasp…how can I protect the person that cuts me off in traffic? The person who is in front of me in line at the grocery store?  How can I protect the person at work who is intent on undermining me?

Here are a few things that I was shown:

  • Guard your tongue.  Proverbs 18:21 tells us that “the power of life and death are in the tongue.”  There are many more Scriptures about guarding our tongue and watching what we speak, but let me try to be more specific.  What comes out of your mouth when that person cuts you off in traffic? Be honest, sisters.  Are you speaking life or death over that person? I’ve started trying to pray in those situations that God will watch over the reckless driver and keep him from bringing harm to him and others on the road. What we say holds spiritual power, sisters!  Guard your tongue and choose to speak life over a situation or a person.
  • Intercede. Prayer seems to be a natural partner with guarding our tongues.  However, I am asking you to take prayer a step further.  I am suggesting that if you want to protect someone that you not just pray for them, you intercede for them.  To intercede means that you plead someone’s case – almost like a lawyer.  In Exodus 32 we see that Moses has been in the Presence of God for so long that the Israelites decided to worship a golden calf. God is so angry that He told Moses He was about to destroy everyone and start over!  However, the Bible says that Moses sought favor from God and pleaded with Him to spare their lives—and God relented. Live on a street with crazy neighbors?  Pray that God reveals Himself in such a way that they come to know God. Pray for our nation.  Have a friend or acquaintance that refuses to acknowledge God and ridicules you on top of that? Don’t be angry or offended – pray that they come to know the truth – you may be the only person praying on their behalf!
  • Be merciful.  There is a particularly sobering passage (at least it is to me) in Jude – in verse 23.  Jude says “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them…” (NIV). Sisters, let me plead with you – show mercy to all. As believers, we have no right to be self-righteous – the only reason we are saved is because Jesus showed mercy to us – extend it to everyone. How can you practically show mercy? Can you donate to a food bank? Give a homeless person a blanket? Can you hold your tongue when you’d really like to give someone a piece of your mind? Can you forgive? Can you reserve judgment? Donate your time? Can you step out of your comfort zone and ask God to show you what it really looks like to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus – and then act that way?? Would you allow God to open your heart to love someone (anyone!) in such a selfless, potentially heartbreaking way that you “snatch them from the fire??”

Will YOU be protection from harm?

 

Let’s pray:

Dear God, I have been challenged so much and in so many ways.  Help me, God, to dig deeper. Help me to love more fully. Help me to see all people as You would see them. Thank You, God, for being my Protection, my Shield, my Rock and my Fortress. Thank You for sending Your Son to die for me to protect me from evil and your angels to stand guard around me. I want to live my life in such a way that I protect and guard not only those that I love, but those You put in my path. Help me to decrease so that You may increase in my life. Help me to walk in love all of my days!  I love You, Lord!  Help me show it. In your Son’s name we pray, Amen.