Christian Growth, Devotionals, Prophecy

Fear of the Dark

photo credit: Working Image Photography <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/44791826@N08/49907239871″>Night light at Prettyboy Dam.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

Are you afraid of the dark?

Maybe you fear what could be in the nighttime darkness.  

Fear not.

The darkness is only temporary!

“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever (Revelation 22:1-5 NASB).”

 

 

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

Woe is Me…

photo credit: avlxyz <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/10559879@N00/42125733261″>Pokemon Go gym raids before dinner are a bad idea – Liam bawling his eyes out after missing out on a Gengar</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Woe is me…

Were you a Hee-Haw fan?

Maybe you still are.

If so, you likely recall a regular segment.

Several of the cast regulars were sprawled out on the floor. Sometimes, guest stars joined in the singing lament. 

“Gloom, Despair & Agony On Me (If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all)!”

What a pity party.

The group needed a good dose of old time religion.

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (James 1:2-3 HCSB).”

It’s easy for me to fall into the devil’s trap of despair, despondency and depression.

That’s when I need to turn to God.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.

Many adversities come to the one who is righteous,
but the Lord delivers him from them all (Psalm 34:17-19 HCSB).”

 

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Christian Growth, Crucifixion, Devotionals, Redemption, Resurrection, Salvation

But God!

photo credit: callmetim <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/10698035@N00/475800630″>Not Jesus’ tomb, but a tomb none the less.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst,  just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power (Acts 2:22-24 NASB).”

He’s Alive!

“and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living One among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,  saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:5-7 NASB).”

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Bible Studies, Devotionals, Resurrection, Salvation, The Church

Palm Sunday… where will you be?

photo credit: kreg.steppe <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124421278@N01/442507486″>Palm Sunday</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest (Matthew 21:9b NKJV)!”   

Palm Sunday… where will you be?

Most of us will remain in our homes; worshiping through television, radio or internet connections. Others will gather at church drive-in Palm Sunday worship services.

We may not be waving palms.

We will be praising the LORD Jesus.

“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:

‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!’

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

‘Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever (Revelation 5:11-13)!”

 

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Christian Growth, Devotionals

Shut In

photo credit: Lisa Zins <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/94846844@N04/32332038137″>Noah’s Ark Brooch</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

COVID-19 has us shut in.

Don’t fight it.

God shut Noah in.

“In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.

And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth Genesis 7: 13-17 KJV).”

The LORD protected Noah, his family and the animals.

“And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

And God spake unto Noah, saying,

Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth (Genesis 8:14-17 KJV).” 

The earth is in the grips of Coronavirus. It’s in multiplication mode.

Fear not; wait for the rainbow!

 

 

 

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Missions, Salvation

The Great Compelling

photo credit: Trevor Butcher – Artist <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27888428@N00/15765141041″>Jesus Cross</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

The Great Commission…

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV).”

What is my reaction, my response?

Am I compelled to obey by a sense of compassion and urgency?

Has the Great Commission of Jesus become the great compelling need?

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:23 KJV).”

Christ followers are commissioned, called to go, to share the gospel.

I can’t help but notice the opening and close of the Great Commission.

It opens with “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV).”

The passage closes with “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen (Matthew 28:20 KJV).”

Jesus is the authority behind the commission. He provides His presence and power to carry it out.

 

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

Horseshoes Superstition

photo credit: TravelBakerCounty <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/38506525@N04/30172049264″>Baker County Tourism – basecampbaker.com 26371</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The superstitious believe that horseshoes bring them good luck.

I’m not superstitious; I don’t believe in luck (good or bad). In case you’re wondering; I don’t have a horseshoe hanging over my door.

I do believe in blessings.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them (Numbers 6:22-27 NASB).”  

Blessed by horseshoes?

No; yet, my feet are shod with the gospel of peace.

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:14-15 NASB).”

 

 

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Redemption, Salvation

We hide; He seeks

photo credit: Lili Vieira de Carvalho <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49052514@N00/3505349701″>Peekaboo</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>  

 

Ready or not, here I come!

Most have played the childhood game of hide-n-seek.

God found Adam and Eve in their hiding place.

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’

So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:7-10 NKJV).”

Why hide from the LORD?

He seeks to save. 

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.  But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.’

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’

And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:5-10 NKJV).”

 

 

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Prayer

The Intercessors

photo credit: David Paul Ohmer <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50965924@N00/10464291346″>Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Praying Hands”‘</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

Solitary confinement…

Do you feel confined?

Those who are shut in and home-bound often become powerful prayer warriors. True; there is strength in numbers. Yet, alone we draw close to the LORD. He seeks intercessors.

“He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him (Isaiah 59:16 NKJV).”

All people need our prayers of intercession.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men (1 Timothy 2:1 NKJV).” 

We must persevere.

“… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV).”  

As we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession  for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26 NKJV).”

We are weak; yet, we’re conquerors through the intercession of Christ.

It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us (Romans 8:34b NKJV).”

 

 

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Redemption

No Fishing!

photo credit: Au Kirk <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/64441474@N06/28028288265″>No Fishing Sign on a Pier Dock</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

Discovering areas are off limits to us; we are restricted or refused entrance in certain places.

‘Keep off the grass.’

‘Keep out’

Land owners set property boundaries.

‘Posted: No Hunting or Fishing’

Authorities and private property owners make the point very clear; we are not welcome there.

If we choose to ignore the warnings the law is on their side; we could be arrested.

Does God post an invisible ‘No Fishing’ sign?

As His children, we might decide to disobey His restrictions.

Our confession of sins is followed by His generous forgiveness.

The merciful Father removes sins and the weight of guilt.

“He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea {Micah 7:19 NKJV).”

Deep sea fishing is outlawed.

I refuse to take the bait of Satan’s accusations.

No fishing!

 

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