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.

Living Sanctuary

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Do you not know that you are the temple of God
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16 HCSB

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Ouch!  This verse steps all over my toes.  Especially right now.  We just made a rush trip to Texas this weekend to visit an old friend who is in the end stages of liver failure.  It was emotional and stressful.  We also spent time with other friends that we haven’t seen in ages.  Not to mention all the yummy foods available in Texas that we can’t get here in Colorado.  (Can you say Tex-Mex heaven?)  I overindulged repeatedly…justifying my actions because it would be a loooong time before I could have such goodies again. The NLT version asks, “Do you not realize…”? The AMP version questions, “Do you not discern and understand…”?  Did I even think about being a living sanctuary—God’s temple?  Not really.

For we are the sanctuary of the living God…
2 Corinthians 6:16

And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple.
What’s more, you are His holy priests.
1 Peter 2:5 NLT

As I read this verse, I thought about what a temple or sanctuary actually is….

Wikipedia defines a temple as “a temple (from the Latin word templum) is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur.”
Dictionary.com defines a temple as “any place or object in which God dwells.”
Dictionary.com and Wikipedia both state a sanctuary is “a sacred or holy place.”

So, I am a ‘sacred precinct’, a ‘holy place’ where God dwells.  Am I taking care of it properly?

Rick Warren puts it like this: “When you don’t take care of your body, you are vandalizing God’s temple.”  That is a very scary thought because I sure haven’t been treating my body as I would something sacred and holy!

And I “know” all this.  Why do I find it so hard to put this knowledge into action?  God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in me!  But there are times you would never know it by my behavior.  James 4:4 HCSB asks

“Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.”

Yet I still can’t seem to do what I know is right!

Romans 7:21 NLT describes this perfectly: “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”  The struggle is constant and real.  It is a battle I cannot win alone.  It would be very easy to feel hopeless and give up.  Thankfully, Psalm 73:26 NASB whispers to me: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

These verses remind me I do not have to do it alone:

The Lord hears His people <me> when they <I> call to Him for help.
He rescues them <me> from all their <my> troubles.
Psalm 34:17 NLT

God is our <my> Refuge and Strength; always ready to help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1 NLT

For You have rescued me from my troubles
and helped me to triumph over my enemies.
Psalm 54:7 NLT

God will give me victory over my fleshly desires if I call out to Him. He is always there…waiting to help…if I am willing to give control to Him.

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Father, gently remind me that Your Spirit dwells permanently in me.  Let my actions reflect that I am a sacred and holy place.  Taking care of Your temple, Your sanctuary is in itself an act of worship and gratitude.  Thank You for being there…a proven help when I struggle.  I am so thankful Your mercies are new each day and that I do not have to do this on my own.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen – It is so!

God and the Broken Spirit

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Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare Your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart, You, God, will not despise.
Psalms 51:15-17

It is hard to believe that thirteen years have passed since our nation was attacked and brought almost to its knees by people who did not agree with our religious, political, or social values and culture.  Those same people, now members of different groups, are striving to bring us down once again.  It may or may not happen.  We must be aware and prayerful every day.  Our world changed thirteen years ago, and it is never going to be the way it was before.

I remember where I was on that fateful day. I was away at college, and I called my mother to tell her about the first tower. We were both thinking it was an accident. Then I saw the second plane hit. I knew things were going to be different. Later that evening, pictures of people helping others began to emerge. People were rushing to volunteer at all three sites of the attack. It was amazing to see people helping others. It was also amazing that so many people also returned to church for a while afterward.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1

Thirteen years ago, we were in trouble. The nation was grieving the loss of thousands of people. The unimaginable had happened. The people of this nation started to turn to the one thing that has always been solid in this country—God. Many people turned to Him because they were in shock and disbelief, and were hurting. He was with us. He never left us. Many saw the attacks as a wake-up call from God that anything could happen at any time and anywhere.

Job dealt with pain and hurt as the devil tried to tempt him to turn from God. He lost everything. He lost his wealth and his family in just an instant. Yet his faith never wavered. He relied on God to pull him through the bad times. In Job 1:20-22, Job still worshipped the Lord. He acknowledged that God can give and God can take away. Job did not question God about what had happened. He continued to worship God and maintain his righteousness.

Once the events of 9/11 ended that day, the grief and questions did not end. They are forever ingrained in the memories of those who lived it or witnessed it from far away. As a nation we sought solace in God. Many people still do—in good and bad times. God holds us up. Our spirits may have been broken…but God was there to comfort and heal our nation.

 

Dear Heavenly Father: We thank You for healing our nation back on 9/11/01. Now we ask that You heal our nation again as people begin to turn from You again. We pray that those who have turned away would return to You with swiftness before Your return. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The Comfort of God

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We have now entered the season of Lent.  For many Christians, Lent is taken as a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter where God miraculously redeemed mankind by resurrecting His Son from the dead. It is also a time to consider what Jesus said and did; and how we should be living in light of His Words.  ✞ ♥

During this season, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have chosen to focus our devotionals on Jesus’ instructions and admonition communicated in Matthew chapter 5—the Beatitudes.  Jesus said, “Blessed are…” and He went on to give instruction as to how to be “blessed.”  To be ‘blessed’ is to ‘be happy, or to be envied.’   Truly for the Christian, we ARE blessed—oh, how very blessed we are!  Those who observe our lives should clearly be able to tell that we ARE blessed—and that we KNOW it! ✞ ♥

Please consider Jesus’ instructions along with us.  We pray that our words will encourage you and spur you on to be prepare your hearts for the joyous celebration of His Resurrection!  ✞ ♥

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

We have all lost loved ones and friends.  It is part of life.  It is our payment for sin.  We hurt when someone we know dies.  It is part of human nature to mourn and miss those who have passed onto God’s Presence.  We wish that we could hold them here, but God knows when it is time for them to come home.

I remember when my grandmother died.  There were many people at her funeral—more than I expected.  It was a comfort to know that people cared about our family. As per Southern tradition, many friends provided our family with food. It in its own way, this was comforting, but I still mourned the death of my grandmother.

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalms 46:1

God blesses us by bringing people around us when we need them.  We know that we can turn to God when we are at our lowest.  We know that God will comfort us with His abundance of love.  There is enough for all to take joy in.  God is our Refuge in our sorrow.  He may not be here physically, but He helps our spirit rebound from the pain it feels for any loss.  He sends people into our lives to be the physical comforters.  They do His work by being there for us when we need them most.

God blesses us in our mourning by providing those people who can help us grieve and help us move on. When we, ourselves, pass into His presence, we will not have a reason to mourn because it will be a moment of great joy.  We will not have any pain.  We will be in God’s Presence and be worshipping Him.  He will comfort us Himself once we cross into His Presence.

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Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the comfort You bring us.  You bless us most when need it.  You are our Refuge, and we are grateful for Your love and comfort.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

CHRISTLife — TwentyEight: Empowered

cl empoweredMost times it’s through weakness that we experience God’s strength. He uses our weaknesses and the areas that we feel less strong to open a divine door. Without weakness we would rarely experience His strength. My mind goes back to Gideon and his army of 300, yet he was equipped to do exactly as God intended and defeat an army that worshipped idols.  He started out with 3000 men, and God reduced the army to 300.  Another example of less is more is the feeding of the masses with just loaves and fishes.  Doesn’t our God just have a way?  When we trust Him with our life, can’t He equip us and empower us for exactly what He has for us to do?   You already have access to the strength the Spirit gives, simply because He lives in you!

He has called you for supernatural acts, my friend, which require supernatural equipping.  We must be charged up in order to do the will of God.  Like your cell phone, it will do you no good if it is not charged.  Same with us as believers, if we do not stay connected to His Word, and in tune with His Spirit, how will we know what  God has in mind for us?  He speaks to us through His Words in the Bible. And at the end of this chapter, there are a few verses that were recommended for deeper study and I thought we could go through them together…

Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power; Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.
Exodus 15:6

God saved the Israelites by parting the Red Sea.  It is an almighty symbol of God’s saving work on behalf of His people.  This event is a reminder of the salvation of our God.  How do you remind yourself of His great saving work in your life? What “red sea” do you need Him to part in your life today?

I love You Lord, You are my strength.
Psalm 46:1

This was written toward the end of David’s life when there was peace.  God is praised for His works and blessings thoughout the years.  What blessings has He done in your life, and have you praised Him for it?  What if are you struggling with right now?  Even if… He is worthy to be praised.  What is your “if?”  Even if the world around you is crumbling, we don’t need to fear.  In the face of utter destruction, the writer expressed a quiet confidence in God’s ability to save him. No matter what, God is our refuge.  Even if there’s turmoil and trials, He’s not just a retreat—He is our Eternal Refuge and strength in every circumstance.  He is always providing, always there to help.  His power is complete and He gives us victory over all!  He will never fail you, He will always rescue you.

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord Himself is my Strength and my Defense; He has become my Salvation.
Isaiah 12:2

God is never too tired or too busy to help and listen to His children.  His strength is ours and—if we stay close and engaged in His Word—we will always have His strength at our disposal. All you have to do is say His name and seas calm, problems fade, and you are restored.  Even if a whisper is all you can muster, Yahweh is listening and ready to intervene.

Friends, you may feel like you don’t have what it takes to do battle for God, but He sees it differently.  He sees you as equipped, empowered, full of strength and ready for any task laid before you.  1 Corinthians 1:27 says,”But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”  If this is you, you are exactly where God wants you. You are in a position to listen and accept what He has for your life and you are humble enough to know that you cannot do anything on your own.  For He has promised that when we are weakest,  He is strongest.  And when we are at our lowest, His strength carries us.  It is such a precious time of communion that we don’t ever want to forget and we will always cherish such times.  I encourage you to journal and keep a list of when you and God are more in union and you couldn’t make it another minute without His strength.  Then you have a battle plan to share with others and a faith that can move mountains!

Let us pray: Dearest Lord, thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit in me.  Help me to never get in the way of Your perfect plan.  I pray for a fresh filling every morning, oh God.  I thank You for Your power in me, for Your patience in my weakness and for Your strength when I need it most.  Lord, keep me humble. Keep me teachable and positioned to hear You only.  Silence the voices of the world that can be so loud and can drown You out sometimes.  Help me to remember that the only way to hear You is to be still and listen and to read Your word and pray. Thank You for parting our “Red Seas” and for taking care of our “if’s.”  Forgive us when we forget that You are enough.  We love You and praise You and sit at Your feet.  Precious Lord, thank You for hearing us. It’s in Jesus name we pray, amen.

 

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 12 / Day 1 – Give Honor to God

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In order to give someone honor, don’t you think you have to know that person or at least know what they have done in order to receive honor?  God is more than just a “someone” He is the Creator of the world we live in.  Without God there would be nothing.  If there were ever a time to give honor, God should be at the top of the list, don’t ya think?

Do you know who God is personally? 

  • God created YOU for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.)
  • God loves YOU so much that He sent His only Son to die on a cross for our nasty sins that we continually commit (John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)
  • God is our help in times of trouble.  He did not just create us to watch us suffer through this cruel world alone.  He promises to be with us and to hold our hands and hearts and to help us in every struggle we face in this world.  (Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.)

I honestly would love to just go on and on about how amazing God’s love for us is.  I would love to share with you every single thing that I possibly can to showcase God for who and what HE really is!  There are no words this side of Heaven to be able to do this for you though.  It is not enough to say He is good, He is amazing, and my words do not even come close to just how perfect God is.  So, I am turning to the Bible for help!  This scripture is one of my favorites; I can just close my eyes and picture God as my safe place, the Rock I run to when this world tries to bring me down.  Psalms 62:7-8 My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. {8} Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.  Instead of me going on and on, why don’t you think of some ways to describe who God is to you!  Write them in your journal and thank Him for being who He is to us!

Let’s read Revelation 4:9-11

Whenever the living creatures (that’s us!) give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever (that’s God), the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever.  They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

YOU ARE WORTHY OUR LORD AND GOD

TO RECEIVE GLORY AND HONOR AND POWER

FOR YOU CREATED ALL THINGS

AND BY YOUR WILL THEY WERE CREATED

AND HAVE THEIR BEING

The first time I read that I cried.  Really think about this for a moment.  Every single time we thank God for our many blessings HE gives us, or give Him the glory for something amazing that happened in our lives, or honor His name in everything we do: 24 elders fall to their knees in worship to God!  How utterly amazing is that?  Close your eyes….picture this!  I don’t know about you, but I want this to happen all day long for God.  I never want there to be a time when those elders are not on their knees singing praises to God!

Let our hearts desires be the same as those elders in Heaven.  Let us strive to not go ONE moment without remembering our GOD in praises, worship, prayers of thanksgiving, and HONOR.  For when we do this we will be reminded that God is getting all of those praises in Heaven!

Let’s Pray:  Lord, I thank You so much that Your love and Your very being are indescribable.  I pray that we all are able to find out who You are personally for us.  I pray that each girl set their heart’s desire to give You honor and understand just why we are to give YOU honor.  Today and always Lord, I give You honor because You are my Savior.  You have blessed me and saved me from a life of misery and You have given me hope!  Much love to YOU!  I picture the praises in Heaven and they motivate me to keep on giving You all of my honor and glory that You so perfectly deserve!  I love You so much!  Amen.

Let’s all think of ways we can HONOR our KING in HEAVEN today and always,

Diane



If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, we invite you today to ask Him into your heart.  Please pray with us:

Lord Jesus, I come to You today and ask You to be my Lord and Savior.  I have learned who You are through this bible study Lord, and I want to know You personally.  So today, Lord, I confess the sins that I have in my heart, and I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness.  I ask You now to come into my life, as my personal Lord and Savior.  AMEN!

If you prayed this prayer today with us, would you send us an email?  We’d like to pray with you.  You can reach us at GCH_decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.