Showing posts from 2019

Something New!

“Don’t remember the former things, and don’t consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing. It springs out now. Don’t you know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  The animals of the field, the jackals and the ostriches, shall honour me, because I give water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen,  the people which I formed for myself, that they might declare my praise. Isaiah 43:18‭-‬21 WEBBE -

Don't Be Afraid

But now thus says the Lord , he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." --Isaiah 43:1‭-‬2 ESV God made you, God knows you, God loves you, God is with you. -

Meditation For Fear and Worry

The affects of fear, worry and anxiety can be crippling. But you can find God's comfort and God's peace through God's Word. Meditate on Scripture and let God remind you of His constant presence, His perspective, and His promises for you . When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. —Psalm 56:3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we won’t be afraid, though the earth changes, though the mountains are shaken into the heart of the seas; though its waters roar and are troubled, though the mountains tremble with their swelling. —Psalm 46:1-3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. —Psalm 56:3 Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. —Isaiah 41:10 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. —Psalm 56:3 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t lean o

2 Samuel 7:18 - Sitting Before the Lord

Then David the king went in, and sat before the LORD; and he said, “Who am I, Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me this far?” ––2 Samuel 7:18 In the above verse, the word sat comes from the Hebrew verb transliterated as yashab . In most of the Old Testament, the word means to dwell, settle, inhabit, live, and other variations. In other places, it means to stay, abide, remain, wait, spend. And in still other places, it means to sit. In our busy world, we find it hard to sit still for any length of time. Some suggest we have lost the art of solitude and contemplation. King David was busy. Yet he still made time to regularly sit in God's presence. You can see it in the psalms he wrote. They are of worship and prayer. They are rich and weighty and have the touch of the eternal. They are the product of wonder and musing. In the seventh chapter of the Second Book of Samuel, we read that David wanted to build God a house—a temple. But God had other plans. I

1 Peter 2:21-22 - Priorities

For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps, who didn’t sin, “neither was deceit found in his mouth.” — 1 Peter 2:21-22 The hurricanes of 2017 in my home state of Florida caused me to think about priorities. Many of the things we have and do seem to fade away when placed in the proper perspective, and rightly so. As German writer and statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” But what are the priorities for the Christians? The answer might be found in the example left for us by Jesus Christ. Jesus sought the Father Jesus demonstrated intimacy with God by seeking him continually in prayer. Forty-five times the gospels tell us that Jesus went alone to pray. Every aspect of his life and ministry was saturated with prayer. Jesus embraced the outcasts Jesus demonstrated the love of God by accepting the castaways o

Jeremiah 17:7-8 - Dry Spells

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose confidence is in the LORD. For he will be as a tree planted by the waters, who spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes, but its leaf will be green, and will not be concerned in the year of drought. It won’t cease from yielding fruit.” ––Jeremiah 17:7-8 The Bible reminds us that God is present in times of drought and in times of plenty (2 Kings 3:17; Psalms 107:35; Isaiah 45:8; Jeremiah 17:7-8; John 7:37-38). But are you currently sensing God’s presence? Do you feel God’s voice is silent during a difficult time? You could be experiencing what is sometimes described as a “spiritual dry spell.” Here are some practical tips to help end your dry spell and allow God’s living springs to flow. Confess your sins (1 John 1:9) . Make sure you are doing nothing to block God’s voice. You may have allowed “little” daily sins (like gossip, envy, lack of charity, or pride) to creep into your life. Make a serio

Psalm 1:1-2 - Memorize

Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand on the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the LORD’s law. On his law he meditates day and night.  —Psalm 1:1-2 Scripture meditation is a living, growing relationship with your Heavenly Father through the transforming power of His Word, the Holy Bible. Scripture meditation is not an intellectual study, but rather a spiritual exercise. How can you meditate on Scripture? Here are some suggestions. Read the Bible. Reading a passage of Scripture can have a cleansing effect on your mind, will, and emotions. As Jesus told His disciples… “You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”  —John 15:3 Reading Scripture can build personal faith. So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  —Romans 10:17 Reading Scripture fulfills God’s instruction to believers. As the Apostle Paul admonished Timothy… Until I come, pay at

Slow Down and Fast

“Moreover when you fast, don’t be like the hypocrites, with sad faces. For they disfigure their faces that they may be seen by men to be fasting. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you are not seen by men to be fasting, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.” ––Matthew 6:16-18 Technical definitions aside, religious fasting is, at its heart, the act of denying something your body enjoys in order to concentrate on something your spirit needs, like a deeper relationship with God. What could you do during a fast? You might read your Bible. You could pray. You might even spend time with your family. Of course, you might be doing all these already, and that's great. But if you are having difficulty finding the time, or if you want to do more than you are now, you might consider a fast. What would you fast? Well, that depends on what y

Wandering Minds

How I love your law! It is my meditation all day.  —Psalm 119:97 In 2008, the UK financial firm Lloyds TSB released the results of a study on attention spans. The results showed that the average attention span had reduced over the previous decade. Around 1998, the average attention span was twelve minutes in length. The 2008 study indicated it had been reduced to just five minutes. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 25% said they regularly forgot the names of close friends or relatives, and 7% even admitted to momentarily forgetting their own birthdays. Pots and pans were forgotten on the stove. An estimated £1.6 billion (approximately $2.67 billion) of damage was caused by lack of concentration. But those over age 50 were able to concentrate for longer periods than younger people. This suggested that busy lifestyles and modern technology, rather than old age, were to blame for mental decline. The fact that this study is over ten years old (as of this writing) suggests that those

Intercessory Prayer

He said to them, “Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,’ and he from within will answer and say, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give it to you’? I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs. “I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.” —Luke 11:5-10 What is intercessory prayer? Simply put, to intercede is to stand between. That is the core of intercessory prayer. Those who intercede put themselves between God and the person or thing for which they are praying. Why do w

ACTS Prayer

This model of prayer incorporates the four components seen in the prayer that Jesus taught to His disciples (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4). To aid in remembering the model, it was given the acronym ACTS, the letters representing the components: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Adoration Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, and bless his name.  —Psalm 100:4 We should praise God for several reasons. First, God is worthy of our praise. Second, praise sets the proper tone for our prayer. Third, praise reminds us of who God is and His inclination toward us. And fourth, praise purges us of other concerns and softens our hearts for prayer. Many Scripture passages in the Bible remind us of the importance of praise. For example, we are called to praise God, in recognition of what God has done for us (1 John 3:1; 1 Peter 2:9-10; 1 John 5:14). Through our praise we show our respect and fear—reverential awe—f

Model Prayer

Whether you call it the Lord's Prayer, the Disciples' Prayer, the Pater Noster, or the Our Father, it is a prayer given by Jesus to His followers. Jesus gave an example, which was recorded in two gospels. “Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.’ ”  —Matthew 6:9-13 He said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ ”  —Luke 11:2-4 But how are we to use the prayer?

Rise with the Occasion

On December 1, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln sent to the Congress of the United States the president's annual message. At that point, the War between the States had waged for 19 months. Lincoln's message was largely routine. But it also proposed controversial measures regarding slave emancipation. And while it was not known at the time, Lincoln was one month away from signing the Emancipation Proclamation. Below are the concluding remarks to that message. The passage includes some of Lincoln's most famous statements. If you are familiar with the expressions "rise with the occasion," "rise to the occasion," or "last best hope," this inspiring passage may be their origin. Washington, D.C. December 1, 1862 I do not forget the gravity which should characterize a paper addressed to the Congress of the nation by the Chief Magistrate of the nation. Nor do I forget that some of you are my seniors, nor that many of you have more experience

On Love

If you haven't read anything by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), I encourage you to try some of his writings. Here is some from his 1923 book,  The Prophet . Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love. And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:  When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself He threshes you to make your nak

Jesus on Prayer

Jesus taught about prayer in three ways: indirectly, directly and through a model prayer. Jesus’ indirect teaching came through the example of His daily living. Jesus’ direct teaching came through His statements to His disciples and followers. And Jesus’ model prayer gave His disciples a foundation on which to build their relationship with God. While these observations on Jesus are not exhaustive, they do provide great insight into the prayer life that we should emulate. Indirect Teaching – Through His indirect teaching, Jesus demonstrated the importance of prayer. Jesus valued prayer , even above sleep (Matthew 26:40-41; Mark 14:37-38; Luke 9:32; Luke 22:44-46). Jesus prayed at the beginning of His day (Mark 1:35). Jesus often slipped away to pray , even when He was very busy (Matthew 14:22-23; Luke 5:15-16). Jesus prayed over critical decisions , sometimes praying all night (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 6:12-13; Luke 22:39-46; John 17). Jesus prayed with oth

Scripture Meditation: Repent

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptised by him. But John would have hindered him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and you come to me?” But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. Jesus, when he was baptised, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” —Matthew 3:13-17 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the

Make a Fresh Start

Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do: forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on towards the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 3:13-14 Now, brothers, I entrust you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance amongst all those who are sanctified. —Acts 20:32 Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” —John 8:31-32 “I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, that he may be with you forever: the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him and doesn’t know him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.” —John 14:16-17 Regardless of your past, today can be a new beginning for