Psalm 59:16 NKJV – God is our defense and refuge

But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.

I cannot even count how many times I have shouted the essence of this verse at the top of my lungs to the Lord. I may not have said the exact words, but I have thanked the Lord time and time again for being my defense and rescue when I’ve gotten myself into something I shouldn’t have. And each and every time, the Lord has accepted me into His fortress and protected me from further injury or damage (both physically and spiritually).

I have learned that God is my absolute protection. He is my Rock on which I stand. His Word is the truth and my sword against the enemy. God is worthy to be praised. But above all, I speak about numerous times I’ve shouted praise to God for again defending me against the enemy. Some of those times, I’ve found myself ensnared in a trap left by the enemy that I didn’t see. And God lifted me out of that trap and covered me with His hand of protection. Those are the kind of situations where we are “blind-sided” and we don’t see it coming. But I have to admit there were times that I chose to step off of the path that the Lord placed me on and got stuck in the miry clay and began to sink. It was my choice. I made the error or mistake in trusting in my own devices and not on the faithfulness of God. I’ve cried out to the Lord and repented and found that His mercy and grace was made available to me. Praise the Lord!!!

God the Rock is our security. “The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.” (2 Samuel 22:3 NKJV) Although we know this, how often do we find ourselves walking in our own ways and our own security? For me, I find myself making the wrong choices more than I would ever want to. Please don’t judge. I’m human and so are you. Sanctification is a process and I am a work in process. All of us are being molded by the Master Potter. It takes time for the piece of clay to be made perfect. It takes time to mold and remold and remold and then put in the fire, only to find that there are still some things wrong. I am so pleased and thankful for God’s eternal mercy and grace He gives to me and to all of us. God will never give up and He will complete what He has started. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV)

Friend, all of God’s people should honor God in every aspect of our lives. And part of honoring God is giving Him our worship and praise for the things He accomplishes in our lives. We are undeserving of anything from God, yet His grace and mercy is poured out on us time after time after time. It is never ending. Will we sometimes make mistakes and find ourselves in trouble and in need of God’s assistance? I know I probably will. I think you will as well. But thanks be to God that we can come to Him. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

Remember, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 NKJV) I will sing of God’s great power and mercy over my life every day for He has been my defense and my safe refuge. He has never left me and is as close as my call upon His name.

Dear Lord, thank You for being my refuge and strength. I will sing praises to Your Name. Your mighty and glorious power is new for me each morning. Forgive me Lord when I walk outside of the path You have placed me on and find myself in trouble. Thank you for not turning away from me in my cry for help and rescue. Thank You for Your mercy and grace that is applied to me when I come to you humbly and repent. Teach me Lord through Your Word to recognize the traps of the enemy and to be aware of the snares that are left to capture me. I give You the praise, in Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Deuteronomy 7:9 NKJV – Great is Thy Faithfulness

“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”

Well, AMEN and AMEN. God is faithful. I have been meditating on the faithfulness of God; even to the point of the sound of “Great is Thy Faithfulness” resounding in my mind’s ear.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

God’s faithfulness is an integral part of His nature. His limitless power and steadfast love imply complete faithfulness which is contrary with human nature. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV) God’s mercies are not consumed by the world and the things the world throws at us. His Compassion, His Power, and His Glory overshadow everything. When we feel we need so much more, God provides. The enemy would like us to believe that there is only a single level of God’s faithfulness that is available and that we have to apply for the rest. That’s a LIE!!! God’s faithfulness is abundant in power and grace and always surpasses what we need. Don’t believe the enemy’s lies.

God’s is faithful to His name and His character. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV) God’s faithfulness is known through fulfilled promises. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) God’s faithfulness is not negated by human unfaithfulness. God’s desire has never changed since before time began. He has always desired to spend eternity with His creation. That’s you and me.

Jesus Christ is the ultimate evidence of God’s faithfulness. “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:20-22 NKJV) Jesus is one with the Father and the Father is one with Him. “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21 NKJV)

God is faithful. It’s the grace and the mercy of God that are the qualities of God’s character by which he shows himself compassionate, accepting, and generous to sinful human beings, shielding them from his wrath, forgiving them, and bestowing on them His righteousness so that they can live and grow in faith and obedience. God’s faithfulness, grace, and mercy are made known in Jesus Christ. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17 NKJV) “Great is Thy Faithfulness” ends with this last verse:

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings are mine, with ten thousand beside!

Friend, a relationship with a faithful God begins with a prayer; a humble conversation with a loving God who desires to pour out His love and faithfulness over your life. He desires nothing more than to spend eternity with you. His love for you is everlasting and Jesus Christ has already paid the price for your sin. Why don’t you pray today and ask God to forgive you and cleanse you and come into your life and heart. Jesus died and rose from the grave so that He could lift you out of the miry clay and snatch you away from the grips of the enemy. Sin and death have no power over you if only you would believe.

Dear Lord, I no longer want to walk in this life without hope. I am tired of living for myself and desire a relationship with You. I am a sinner and I am in need of a Savior. Forgive me Lord and come into my life and my heart. I submit my life into Your hands and believe that You died for me and rose from the grave to defeat sin and death once and for all. Even for me, Lord. Be my Savior and wash me clean by Your blood, today, Jesus. I love You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Proverbs 14:13 NKJV – Why do I feel this way?

“Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief.”

Have you ever been just plain old sad and didn’t know why? I mean, deep down in your heart you ached and on the verge of tears at a moment’s notice. I can tell you, I have. In the stillness of trying to understand what all the emotion was about, you burst out in weeping and the tears don’t seem to end.

This has happened to me. Now I will share with you that I am a man of emotion. When I encounter God and His presence, I typically begin to weep in that knowledge. I am reminded of how majestic and glorified God is and how incredibly small I am. I understand that it was by God’s great mercy and grace that I am even alive. And I begin to weep.

But this particular season of grief, I just couldn’t understand. God blesses me every single day. He watches over me and guides me. He calls me His own and He knows my name. He loves me with an everlasting love. Yet, my heart weeps. I was profoundly sad.

Psalm 6:6 NKJV says it this way, “I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears.” Yup. That pretty much describes it. So what is someone to do? Well God’s Word says that He is close to those who grieve. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NKJV) And if we know that God is near, we need to pray. Keeping God close during these times is a great comfort. Just resting in the knowledge of God’s love for me takes the sorrow and sweeps it away.

Friend, there will be times when we feel sad and sometimes deep sorrow and simply can’t place our finger on the reason why. But I will tell you that no matter what, God is near. God is ready to send His Holy Spirit to comfort you. We might not even know what to pray for, but God is able to turn our tears into joy. “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV)

Gracious Lord, thank You for being near when sorrow overtakes us. Thank You for taking away the tears and replacing it with joy. Even when we don’t seem to understand, Your mercy overcomes us and by Your Holy Spirit we are comforted. Thank You, O Lord. May we fix our eyes on You in our times of grief. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJV – Fill us to Your fullness

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Oh how wonderful our Lord Jesus Christ is and how wonderful His love is for us. Sometimes we take that for granted. We forget where His love and riches and strength comes from. We forget that Jesus paid it all at Calvary. He paid the price for you and me and for all that we face so that one day we would comprehend the magnitude of His love for us.

Jesus Christ’s total giving of Himself for us is shown by His obedient suffering and death on the cross. This act reveals His amazing love for us and it continues to motivate us even today. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16 NKJV) Christ accepted the painful death of the Cross so that we might be saved from eternal punishment.

Scripture offers an understanding of the source, character and value of love, based on the nature and actions of God. God’s very character is love. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7 NKJV) We are rooted and grounded in love; the love of Jesus when we call upon Him to be our Lord and Savior. Jesus comes into our hearts through faith and that faith should be active in our lives. When our faith is made active in us, we are transformed. Transformed by the love of Christ. God’s desire is for us to overflow with the love of Jesus so that those we come in contact with see that same love. The love of God the Father for His only Son is the source of the love that binds the fellowship of believers together as a family. By giving us His Son, the Father introduced us to the perfect love and eternal life that the Father and the Son have always enjoyed. And Jesus has prepared a place for us to join Him and the Father in eternal glory. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3 NKJV)

Friend, there is a reason why we bow our hearts to a living God, in Jesus Christ. We bow because we have been purchased for a price. The price was Jesus’ life. His death and subsequent resurrection enables us to call upon Him as Lord and Savior. Then we have assurance that we will share with Him all His riches, we will be strengthened and in the end we will be able to fully comprehend what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; and be filled with all the fullness of God.

You might be asking, “How do I start? I’ve taken Jesus love for granted. How can His love in me be made active?” Well, it begins with prayer. Humble prayer, asking God to reveal the magnitude of His love through His Word. When we go to God in prayer, seeking to understand His Word, we are asking God to take residence in our request and He will. Prayer is the power by which God’s promises are released. Let’s take time daily to pray and seek the love of Christ in us so that we can return that love to Him and to a lost and dying humanity. When we do that God promises that we will be filled with all the fullness of God.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice for us. Thank You that You paid the price for our salvation. Lord, we come to You in humble prayer. Reveal to us the magnitude of Your love for us so that we can be a lighthouse to a lost and dying world. May we love others as You love us. Fill us Lord to Your fullness. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

1 Corinthians 1:9 NKJV – Never give up!

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Never give up! Keep pressing in! Turn your eyes upon Jesus! Again, I say never give up!  Your victory may be just ahead of you.  Face the future with optimism; with confidence.  For this is possible to those who believe!   We have assurance that God is faithful.  Our confidence rests in Him.  “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” (Psalm 125:1 NKJV) 

There are times when our confidence in the faithfulness of God is challenged.  Those times of great loss, or extreme heartache, but also times when we just simply walk away from the steps God has ordered.  We think that God would never take us back.  We stumble and fall and figure that there is no one to help pick us up.  In times of great loss or heartache we wonder why and what is the meaning of it all.  But friend, our confidence is founded on God’s incredible grace.  “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” (2 Corinthians 3”4-5 NKJV)

Our future is out there.  We don’t know what lies ahead.  For me, that’s a good thing.  If I knew what lay ahead, I’d probably mess it all up.  But our confidence is also ground in the truth that God orders the steps we take and knows what is in our future.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

We have fellowship with God made possible through Jesus Christ.  In fellowship, God is an active partner with us and we can rely on His faithfulness.  We are in friendship with God.  A relationship of love and faithfulness into which God calls all people through faith.  And prayer is a response to the fellowship and friendship of God.  Prayer is relational.  Prayer offers believers a means of acknowledging the character and purposes of God and the opportunity to seek guidance concerning His will for us.  Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask for what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:7-8 NKJV) These words are the result of a saving union with Jesus Christ received through His incredible grace, and not of merit.  You don’t have to prove yourself.  God is full of grace and mercy and is faithful.

Friend, God promises to hear and respond to the prayers of His people.  Faith and blessings come from a confidence in the ability and the willingness of God to act in supernatural power to advance His kingdom, and a commitment, expressed in prayer and action, to be the means by which He does so. Never give up! Keep pressing in! Turn your eyes upon Jesus! Again, I say never give up!  Your victory may be just ahead of you.

Great and glorious God, thank You that You are faithful; that we can place our trust and confidence in You.  Thank You that we have fellowship with You through Jesus.  God, You promise to hear and respond to our prayers and You are the power that works in us to bring into action those prayers into our lives.  Forgive us, God, when we think there is no hope; when we think about giving in and giving up.  Turn our eyes back to you, Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  In Jesus Name.  AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!