God Holds Us

God Holds Us

The Word of God tells us that the Lord has engraved [inscribed, imprinted, etched] us on the palms of His own hands!  Wow!  What a concept!  That’s worth meditating upon.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands . . . (Isa 49:16a ESV) 

God also tells us that He holds us by the hand, and He reminds us that He is the One who helps us.  What an honor and a blessing to be helped by the all-powerful, living God!  He is not only “close” to us, but He is actually holding us by the hand.  Glory!

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”  (Isa 41:13 ESV) 

Even if people who are blood relatives of ours desert us, our Savior God holds us close to His heart.  He will never leave us nor disown [reject] us.  (Hebrews 13:5)  God’s love is constant, enduring and unfailing.  (Ps 136:26; Rom 8:39)

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.  (Ps 27:10 NLT) 

NO ONE has the strength, might or power to be able to take us out of our Father God’s hand.  Praise the Lord!

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  (Joh 10:29 ESV, emphasis added)

The Lord says that He is our God for our entire lives.  Once we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, He cares for us and will carry us and save us—even into eternity!

I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.  (Isa 46:4 NLT) The Lord upholds [sustains] our very lives.  (Isa 54:4 NLT) 

Did you realize that?  Return His perfect love and worship Him today!

Sow Righteousness

Sow Righteousness

The concept of sowing and reaping is an important one in the Scriptures.  We are instructed by the Lord to sow righteousness.  How may we do that?

The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.  (Pro 11:18)  We are taught by God’s Word, that those who “sow righteousness” will have a certain reward.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  (Gal 6:7)  We are warned that whatever we sow, we shall also reap. 

In other words, if a person sows corn, they will produce a corn crop.  If they sow malice and hatred, they will gather heartache and sorrow.  If we sow love and mercy in order to honor the Lord, then we will harvest blessings for ourselves and our children.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  (Gal 6:8)  If we satisfy our own fleshly desires and sinful nature, we will collect only decay and death as a result.  But if we will sow to the Spirit (or sow righteousness), we will harvest eternal life and many of God’s blessings along the way..

The Bible makes it very clear that the seed that every believer should sow is the Word of God.  When we sow the Word of God, we sow righteousness.

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  (1 Pet 1:23 NIV)

The seed is the word of God.  (Lk 8:11b NIV)

Sharing our testimony with other people, inviting people to visit our church so that they can hear the Good News, and praying for the salvation of people that we know are also beautiful ways to sow righteousness.  Praising God and supporting the Kingdom of God financially, as well as doing good works, are other righteous seeds to plant.  Blessings upon you!

The Word of God and Healing

The Word of God and Healing

How is healing connected to the Word of God?  This is a thought that occurred to me and made me interested in pursuing the subject for study and meditation.  And for sharing with you!

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.  Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.  (Pro 4:20-22)

The Scripture passage above tells us to pay attention to God’s Word!  Listen to the Word (obey it); and meditate upon the Word.  Keep them in your heart which means to memorize them.  And the equation is that when we follow this advice, we will find LIFE and this life will be health [healing, medicine] to all of our flesh.  It is indeed a crucial point that we, as believers and followers of Jesus, must hear and obey God’s Word.

He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  (Ps 107:20)

Notice that this verse says that God sent His Word, and IT (the Word) healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  Destructions means ruins, devastations or annihilations! God’s Word is alive and active and powerful. (Heb 4:12)

He who is of God hears God’s words . . .  (Joh 8:47a)

Hearing God’s Word means listening and obeying it.  God says that when we do that, we are “of Him”!  We belong to Him and can be recognized as being His children.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.  It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.  (Pro 3:7-9)

Rather than relying upon human wisdom, we must live with a deep respect and regard for God and for His Word.  We must depart from evil of every kind, including sin.  And living in this way will give health to our flesh and strength to our bones at every age.  Hallelujah!

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  (Mt 9:35) If we will live in harmony and obedience to the word of God, using the gift of faith that we have each been given, then we will be empowered to pray for others (just like Jesus did in the above verse) and witness Him heal them right before our eyes.  Be encouraged and be bold in the Lord.  Glory to God most High!

Purify Yourself as Unto the Lord

Purify Yourself as Unto the Lord

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  (1 Joh 3:2-3 NKJV)

Just as the Lord is holy, He desires His children to live morally clean, wholesome lives guided by obedience to the Word of God. 

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.  (Col 3:4)

If we live a life of Christian purity and devotion now, ‘when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall also appear with him in glory.’  This is a promise from God that shall absolutely be fulfilled. 

That’s why it’s crucial that we keep our relationship with the Lord Jesus in good shape and current by reviewing ourselves daily.  If we slip and commit sin, turn to the Lord in repentance, knowing that He forgives and provides repentance and the grace that we need to renew our commitment to holiness.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  (Rom 8:18)

Living obediently for the Lord has its certain rewards.  One day, we won’t even remember the pain and suffering that is a consequence of living on this sin-filled planet!  All of the pains that we receive from human frailties, betrayal, abuse or wickedness will be as nothing when compared with the glories that will be revealed in the future to all who believe in Christ.  Such glory is incomprehensible to us now but God promises that we will surely experience it.  Glory to God!

Don’t Be a Stumbling Stone

Don’t Be a Stumbling Stone

This study is about causing people to stumble spiritually, and it is a serious matter in God’s sight. 

As followers of Jesus, we have a grave responsibility to expose people to the light of the true gospel of Jesus Christ as outlined throughout the entire scriptures.  The gospel of salvation sets people free and makes the promises of God available to them.  It also gives them the blessing of an eternity in heaven.

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!  (Mt 18:7 NIV, emphasis added)

My reading of the verse above is this –

This present world is an evil and dangerous place. It’s full of attacks, sins, traps, and sorrows.  We all recognize that it’s a treacherous road that we must travel through life, full of stumbling-blocks, precipices, and false guides.  But God forbid that any one of us should be the cause of spiritual or moral stumbling on the part of another person.

Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!  (Lk 17:1 NIV)

Here a similar idea to that of Matthew, above.  The truth of Luke 17:1 is that God is warning that a great wretchedness shall come upon anyone who causes injury or harm—in word or deed—to one of His little lambs.  Who qualifies for God’s punishment?   

  • 1. Anyone who has in some way discouraged a believer in serving Christ and in fulfilling their calling.  Or anyone who has discouraged a Christian so deeply that the believer is in danger of being driven away from serving Christ completely. DO NOT discourage other people in any way that would undermine them or discourage them from achieving their goals.
  • 2. Those who corrupt the truths of Christ and His Word, and so distress and hassle the minds of believers. This is an evil practice of planting seeds of doubt into the hearts and minds of those who have faith. WE ARE NOT CALLED TO hassle or distress brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • 3. Those who profess to be Christians, but who live scandalously (shamefully, sinfully), and thereby weaken the connections between and sadden the souls of God’s people. We must live in OBEDIENCE to and in agreement with the Word of God.

May each one of us live in harmony with the standards of God’s holy Word. Blessings upon you.

Jesus Reveals the Father

Jesus Reveals the Father

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  (Mt 11:27)

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  (Lk 10:22)

As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  (Joh 10:15)

Jesus has a distinctive and unmatched relationship with the Father.  Since His relationship with the Father is personal and direct, ONLY Jesus can accurately disclose God the Father to us. 

How has Jesus revealed the Father to us?  Through His life and through His acts, He has displayed His Father’s character and heart for all to see and understand.  Here are just a handful of gifts that the Father has given to believers:

  • Love (Joh 3:16; 1 Joh 3:1)
  • Freedom from Guilt (Rom 8:1)
  • Health, healing (Ex 15:26; Isa 53:5; Mt 12:15;Lk 5:17)
  • Daily benefits [blessings]  (Ps 68:19)
  • God hears and answers our prayers  (1 Joh 5:14-15)

As we study the Word of God and think deeply about it, we gradually learn more and more about the character and nature of God.  And the more we learn of Him, the more confident that we can be in the fact that He loves us; that He enjoys blessing us; and that He’s always with us.  Have a wonderful day!

BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY

BRIGHTEN SOMEONE’S DAY

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.  (Pro 12:25 NIV)

A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . (Pro 17:22a NIV)

We all experience days when we feel a little down or maybe worried or stressed out.  On days like those, we all appreciate a cheerful word or a phone call from a friend.  We all need encouragement, and we need other believers to come alongside of us occasionally to strengthen us.

We need a fellow believer to encourage our faith, to remind us of God’s goodness and glorious attributes, and to let us know that we are loved by God.  Only another person who follows Jesus, and has experienced life’s challenges and victories is able to help us in this way.  I encourage us all to cultivate friends who are fellow believers and who have been serving the Lord longer than we, ourselves, have.

Jesus taught us to love one another, and to be kind to one another.  He gave us His own example of how to live like this.

Offering hope, support, and cheer to one another is a wonderful and practical way to spread God’s love in this stress-laden world.  It’s important to encourage yourself first, in the Word of God. Another way to encourage yourself in the Lord is to remember all of the answered prayers you have experienced, and to remember all of the miracles that God has performed in the past in answer to your prayers. Rejoice! Thank and praise the Lord for these past testimonies and victories. Once you have done these things, you will have the strength to minister to others.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.  (Joh 16:33 NIV)

The Good News is still true.  The Lord is always reliable, and we can depend upon His Word and His matchless love.  He has overcome! 

So take a little time every day to share joy and cheer with everyone around you—with your family, friends, and co-workers.  Hallelujah!

Make Every Effort to Do Good to All

Make Every Effort to Do Good to All

The Bible invites us to do good to everyone.

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.  (1 Thes 5:15 NIV)

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Gal 6:10)

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord . . .  (Heb 12:14)

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.  (3 Joh 1:11)

As children of the most High God, we desire to live holy lives that obey the Word of God.  We serve a good God who is full of mercy, forgiveness, and love.  God has given every believer the blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who leads us and teaches us. 

We should:

  • Strive to do whatever is good—for each other and everyone else;
  • Never pay back a wrong; never seek revenge;
  • As we have opportunity, do noble, virtuous, kind things for everyone—especially other believers;
  • Seek to be at peace with ALL; and
  • Pursue holiness always.

Jesus, our Good Shepherd, demonstrated “doing good” to all.  If we follow His example, and emulate our Prince of Peace, we will be blessed.

Two Things That Can Never Be Changed

Two Things That Can Never Be Changed

God’s promises and God’s vows are two things that can never be changed.  What a firm foundation for faith this fact provides for us!

The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.  (Ps 33:11 NKJV)

So when God wanted to prove for certain that his promise to his people could not be broken, he made a vow. 18 God cannot tell lies! And so his promises and vows are two things that can never be changed.  We have run to God for safety. Now his promises should greatly encourage us to take hold of the hope that is right in front of us.  (Heb 6:17-18 CEV, emphasis added)

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 NKJV)

The Bible tells us in various passages and in different language that God cannot and will not lie.  (Tit 1:2; Isa 40:8)  You can count upon and rely upon the promises of God.  His Word is tested and true.  Let’s see what else the Bible says about this.

Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.  (Pro 30:5 NASB)

Your word has been tried and tested; your servant loves your word!  (Ps 119:140 CEB)

Your kingdom will never end, and you will rule forever.  Our Lord, you keep your word and do everything you say.  (Ps 145:13 CEV)

We must stand upon the truth of the Word of God and rely upon His promises to us.  God is the One who guarantees that His Word will most certainly come to pass, and all that we need is faith and perseverance.  Don’t give up and don’t watch the clock or the calendar!  Focus upon God’s nature and His faithfulness.  Focus upon His love for you and upon His past blessings upon you.  Meditate upon all of the answered prayer that you have received, and remember that God hasn’t changed. 

God is the only Being who is the very definition of reliable.  Praise the Lord most High!

Obedience to God’s Will

Obedience to God’s Will

The Bible says that all those who obey God’s will (which is His Word) live forever and are members of His family. 

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.  (1 Joh 2:17)

For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.  (Mk 3:35)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”  (Mt 7:21)

Clearly this an important subject to the Lord, and it should be important to us, as well.  The Lord says that obedience is better than sacrifice.  (1 Sam 15:22)  Jesus obeyed His Father by coming to earth to become the Savior of the world.  And we are all the beneficiaries of Jesus’ obedience.

Let’s look at the Bible again:

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.  (Pro 21:3 ESV)

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him . . .   (1 Joh 2:4 ESV)

There is no way to follow Jesus without obedience to the Word of God.  This is an ongoing choice that we make daily—even moment by moment—as we continue to live by faith.  Blessings upon you.