I Will Not Fear

I Will Not Fear

Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.  I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.  I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.  I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.  (Ps 3:2-6 NIV, underlining added)

Have you faced situations in life where unsaved people who knew you thought that you were crazy to trust God to help you?  I know that I have, and I suspect that you have, too.

But we can see from the passage above, that the psalmist placed his faith and trust FIRMLY in the Lord.  He decided that he would not be shaken, no matter what the circumstances.  This is the commitment to faith in God and His Word that we all need to make. 

God has certainly told us in many ways, in many verses in His Word, that He will be with us (Josh 1:9; Deut 31:8; Heb 13:5 NIV). He also assures us that His Word will not fail.   (Josh 23:14; Rom 9:6 NKJV)

Believe God, dear saints!  He cannot lie.  (Num 23:19; 1 Sam 15:29; Heb 6:18 NKJV)

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.  (Ps 55:22 ESV)

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs off deliverance.  (Ps 32:7 NIV)

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  (Ps 34:17 NIV)

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds . . .   (2 Cor 10:3-4 NKJV, underscoring added) 

Read Psalm 91 entirely and see how strongly the Lord commits Himself to protecting and delivering His people.  He has not changed!  (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8 NKJV)

Familiarize yourself with the Scriptures concerning God’s help and deliverance, and meditate upon them.  It will strengthen your faith, and remind you that God is on your side!  God bless you. 

Unjust Suffering

Unjust Suffering

The Bible gives us notice in numerous passages that followers of Jesus Christ will experience unjust suffering.  We are told that any suffering that we go through is not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us!  (Rom 8:18)

Christ suffered for us, and He left us this as an example, so that we would follow in His steps—being forewarned.  (1 Pet 2:21)

For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.  (1 Pet 2:19 NIV)

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.  (1 Pet 3:14a)

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  (2 Tim 3:12)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  (Joh 16:33)

In all situations of life, we can never be separated from the love of God for us.  (Rom 8:35)  God promises to comfort us in all of our troubles.  (1 Cor 1:3-4)  These passages of the Scripture are meant to support us and to encourage us when we suffer.

Our perseverance in suffering, holding on to our faith in Christ, proves the genuineness of our faith according to the Word of God.  (1 Pet 1:6-7) 

We are told to count it a joy when we face many and various types of trials. (Jas 1:2-4, see also Rom 5:3-5) 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  (Mt 5:10-12)

Prepare your heart, mind, and will to follow Jesus in every circumstance; and when you arrive in eternity, you will be filled with rejoicing and extreme thankfulness that you did.

Be an Encourager

Be an Encourager

That’s why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing. (1 Thes 5:11 CEV)

So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32 Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.  (Ac 15:30-32)

The Bible reminds us to encourage one another in our faith.  That also means that we should encourage each other in every area of life, since faith touches literally everything in our lives.  The Scriptures are full of encouraging words to guide our lives and to spur us on to faith and action.  Here a just a few of those passages:

  • For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. (Deu 20:4)
  • Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Ps 34:10b)
  • But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isa 40:31)
  • Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isa 41:10)
  • Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  (Mt 11:28)
  • No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)
  • I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
  • And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

Take as many opportunities as you can to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ to cling to the Lord and to their faith in Him.  You will be blessed and encouraged as well.

Humility & Glory

Humility & Glory

The Lord has destined each one of us for great things, among which is the joy of serving the Lord and being in relationship with Him.  But sometimes, we struggle with our self-image; and we all need to know how to deal with this issue victoriously. 

Just remember this:  Thinking less of yourself is not humility!  Thinking of yourself less frequently is humility.  Believe in who God made you to be.  Be imitators of God like the beloved children that you ARE!  (Eph 5:1) 

God has put His own glory within each one of us!  (Isa 60:19-21; Rom 8:18; Col 1:27; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Pet 5:10)  He wants to display His glory through us, so that we may bring Him glory, honor, and praise.  However, we must yield to Him in order to allow Him to fulfill His good plans for us.  If we will cooperate with the Lord, and obey His Word, we’ll be changed into a brand new person.  Which makes sense, because God makes all things new.  (Rev 21:5)

The Lord wants us to be fully alive—not to be a cheap imitation of someone else.  God created each one of us to live as a unique and irreplaceable individual in His family. 

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (2 Tim 1:6-7)

Stir up your gifts, and learn to enjoy the fact that God has created you as a matchless and dazzling individual!  Don’t be fearful because fear has bondage and torment attached to it.  (Rom 8:15)  Reject those things outright.  They do not come from God.  God has made you FREE indeed!  (Joh 8:36)  God has blessed you and poured out His supernatural favor upon you. 

You have God’s permission and encouragement to soar and to far surpass your former self for Jesus’ glory!  All glory to God most high!

The New Covenant is Better!

The New Covenant is Better!

Today we’re thinking about various way in which the New Covenant is far better than the Old Covenant.  Please read 2 Corinthians, chapter 3 in preparation (only 18 verses). 

Here are some ideas on how the New Covenant surpasses the Old: 

NEW   1.  The Holy Spirit validates God’s people. (Rom 14:18; Eph 1:6)

OLD    1.  The Holy Spirit strove with God’s people who were rebellious. (Gen 6:3)

NEW  2.  The law is written in our hearts. (Heb 10:16 NLT)

OLD   2.  The law was written on tablets of stone. (Ex 24:12; Deu 4:13)

NEW  3.  We have confidence to draw near to God. (Jas 4:8)

OLD   3.  Only the priests could draw near after performing rituals. (Ex 19:22-24)

NEW  4.  We serve a spiritual truth–salvation is real. (Joh 3:16-17; Col 2:16-17; 1 Pet 2:9)

OLD    4.  The Old Covenant priests served symbols and shadows. (Heb 10:1)

NEW   5.  Gives spiritual life. (John 1:4; 14:6; 2 Cor 3:6; 1 Joh 3:5)

OLD    5.  Revealed spiritual death because the law could only condemn. (Eccl 7:20; Ps 51:5; Isa 59:7)

NEW   6.  God’s glory lives within each of us. (Ps 3:3; Col 1:27; 1 Cor 6:19-20)

OLD    6.  God’s glory was seen for a time upon Moses’ face; it was temporary. (Ex 34:33)

NEW   7.  Gives us a living righteousness. (Rom 3:22; 2 Cor 5:21)

OLD    7.  Could not impart righteousness but could only offer forgiveness. (Num 14:19; 2 Sam 12:13; Rom 4:13)

NEW   8.  Unveils the heart. (2 Cor 3:16)

OLD    8.  Required a veil. (2 Cor 3:13, 15)

NEW   9.  Sanctifies and transforms us. (Acts 26:18; Rom 15:16; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 3:18)

OLD    9.  Could only unmask, condemn and slay people. (Gen 6:5; Eccl 7:20; Isa 59:7; 64:6)

I hope that this article has encouraged you and reminded you of how greatly we are blessed through Jesus Christ, our Savior.  

God Is In Control

God Is In Control

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.  (Pro 19:21)

This article is a meditation upon the concept that our God and Savior is in control of life’s events.  Even in those cases where something that is negative or harmful occurs, the Lord can ultimately bring glory to Himself by delivering us.  He can also cause something that was intended to harm us turn into an opportunity for us to receive a blessing!  (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1) – God is not with us in trouble merely to comfort or strengthen us, but to protect and help us.  Hallelujah!

The Lord has made all for Himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.  (Pro 16:4) – The Lord has created everything for His own purposes, and He gave human beings a free will even though He knew that a percentage of us would rebel against Him and reject Him.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  (Pro 16:9) – We make our own, fleshly plans; but the Lord in His mercy and goodness directs the circumstances of our lives according to His good plan for us. 

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.  (Pro 16:33) – Even the most seemingly accidental, chance, unexpected, or unplanned events are under God’s control. Trust Him and rely upon His love for you.

But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.  (Ps 115:3) – Our God is a merciful and loving God, so He will show mercy whenever and wherever He chooses to do so.  Because He can see the end from the beginning, He knows what events need to take place in our lives in order to accomplish His good plans for us.

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand . . . (Isa 14:24) – God’s good purposes and plans for us shall stand for He will bring them to pass.

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”  (Jer 32:27) – Whatever our difficulty or challenge or heartache, NOTHING is too difficult for God to turn it around.  Praise the Lord!

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.  (Mt 10:29) – We know that God cares for us vastly more than the sparrows, so this verse opens our eyes to the truth that He diligently watches over us in all of the details of our lives.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  (Rom 13:1) – We must recognize that God even determines who will have authority at every level of a nation’s hierarchy.  He determines when and for how long a person will be in authority, even our employers, overseers, or business partners. 

God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God.  (Ps 62:11) – All power comes from God because it all belongs to Him.  Therefore, whatever position of power, authority or influence that you may have, be conscientious, kind, respectful and merciful to others.  You will one day give an account of yourself.

. . . not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.  (1 Pet 3:9)

We are called to bless others and to be a blessing.  Living in obedience to God’s will always causes us to inherit blessings.  Recognizing that God is not only in control of all things, but that He watches over us in order to be able to bless and help us will make it quite easy for us to want to help others.

Walking in His Footsteps, in Glory

Walking in His Footsteps, in Glory

Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make HIS FOOTSTEPS our pathway.  (Ps 85:13 – emphasis added) 

This verse has captured my heart on more than one occasion.  This Psalm is a prayer that God will restore favor to the land. 

A few verses previous to verse 13, the Bible states that God’s salvation is near to those who fear Him that glory may dwell in the land. (see Ps 85:9)  The very fact that we are born again—SAVED by the grace and the plan of God—means that glory does dwell in our land! 

How?  My view is that God’s own life in us—His glory in us—IS the glory in the land.  (See Ro 8:18; 2 Co 1:20; Eph 1:6) 

By His grace we are saved.  (Eph 2:5; 2:8; 2 Tim 1:9)  According to Ephesians 1:6, there is GLORY within the grace of God.  Since His grace has been poured out upon us, and since He lives within each one of us, it is logical to come to understand that God’s glory has been placed within each believer. 

As we live our lives in obedience to God and to His Word, and as we display God’s unselfish love to all mankind, we bring Him glory, honor and praise.  We literally walk in His footsteps and in His righteousness always–living life according to His personality, His Word, and His standards.  We also follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

What an unfathomable and precious honor we have been given.  Living life in continuous praise and thanksgiving to God.  Let each one of us shine brightly for Jesus, O glorious ones!