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Where is Your Safe Place?—Psalm 91

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Psalms 1-2; Psalm 10, Psalm 33; Psalm 71; Psalm 91

Our Heavenly Father knew we would need a safe place from time to time; Psalm 91 gives us perfect directions to that safe place.

S-T-O-P, get your Bible and read Psalm 91 out loud– I would suggest doing this each night before you go to bed if you suffer from a wild imagination in the horizontal position!

Every verse of Psalm 91 is encouragement for those of us who battle fear, whether it’s once in a while or every day :

  • If you “live” close enough to God that He could shelter you from the rain, you WILL FIND REST (91:1).
  • There is no other person or piece of equipment that can compare to the safe refuge I have in God—He can be trusted (91:2).
  • He will hide me from danger like a mama bird protects her new-born chicks (91:4).
  • His faithful promises are my armor and protection; no one or nothing can penetrate (91:4).
  • God knows we’re prone to night fear; He tells us not to be afraid of the night or the day (91:5).
  • The Lord knows how our minds can go crazy at night and turn a small pain into a terminal disease; He says, “don’t dread disease or disaster!” (91:6).
  • It doesn’t matter if a pandemic is going on, these evils will not touch you (91:7).
  • Hide and watch—the wicked will be punished!  (91:8)
  • There are some “IF” conditions to His Promises— (91:8)
    • If you make the Lord your refuge
    • If you make the Most High your shelter
  • THEN— (91:10-13)
    • No evil will conquer you
    •  No plague will come hear your home
    • He will order His angels to protect you WHEREVER you go
    • You will trample upon lions and cobras
    • You will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet
  • Here’s the kind of people God rescues— (91:14)
    • Those who love Him
    • Those who trust His name
  • If you do these two things you can know—
    • When you call on God, He WILL answer
    • He will be with you in your times of trouble
    • He will rescue and honor you
    • You will be rewarded by your Heavenly Father with a long life
    • He will give you His salvation                                                                        Psalm 91:15-16

 

To Psalms 91 add these two verses:

  • For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13
  • No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  Romans 8:37 (NIV) 

Thanks to our Heavenly Father and the promises He made in His Word, we can enjoy rest from our fear and worries in His safe place.

Resting Under His Wings!

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Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Psalm 92 through Psalm 97

President Obama, You Belong to God—Psalm 47:7-9

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Psalms 47-49; Psalms 84-85, 87

Mr. Obama, when you became president you joined an elite group in history.  Some of your peers are Pharaoh, Saul, David, Solomon, Ahab, Manasseh, Herod, Caesar, Pilate, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush; just to name a few.  All of these historical leaders came into their positions with agendas, plans, and goals, but little did they know…

For God is the King over all the earth.
      Praise him with a psalm!
 God reigns above the nations,
      sitting on his holy throne.
  The rulers of the world have gathered together
      with the people of the God of Abraham.
   For all the kings of the earth belong to God.
      He is highly honored everywhere.

                                                                    Psalm 47: 7-9

As we have journeyed through the Kings, we have seen some really good leaders and a lot of  really bad leaders and many just average kinds of leaders, but through it all we have seen God get His will accomplished through those leaders, whether God was sending blessings or cursing upon the people of God, it was usually done through the leaders of the day.

How appropriate that we should ponder this thought on this Independence holiday. I think we are pointing our fingers in the wrong place when it comes to the problems of the world.  Yes, we look to our leaders to lead well, but as the people of God must do our part or God will use those leaders to administer His judgment upon our country.  If each of us took 100% responsibility for the state of our country instead of blaming everyone else, we would see God use our “kings” to guide us into prosperity.

What is our responsibility?

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.    2 Chronicles 7:14

America is a great nation because we are a people who do our part.  Our leaders will be held accountable for their leadership, but we too will be held accountable to 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Heavenly Father, teach us how to humble ourselves; in our selfish culture, we aren’t sure how to do it.  Lord, forgive our sins and heal and restore our land.  Jesus, you’ve told us that our prayers can change circumstances; help us to believe You! 

In Jesus Name— Amen and Amen!

Let’s become 100% responsible to 2 Chronicles 7:14!

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Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Psalms 1-2; Psalm 10; Psalm 33; Psalm 71; Psalms 91

Happy Birthday America!

 

This Week-end’s Scripture Reading:

Saturday–Proverbs 30:1 through Proverbs 31:31

Sunday—Psalms 42-46

Happy July 4th Week-end!  

I hope that attending church this Sunday is at the top of your July 4th plans.  How fitting it would be if every Christian made it a point to attend church this Sunday and earnestly pray for our country. 

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

Thanking God for our religious freedom!

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What’s Your Top 5?–Proverbs 25:1 through Proverbs 29:27

 

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 25:1 through Proverbs 29:27

Happy Friday Everyone!  Today begins the second half of our journey.  Can you believe it, we’ve been reading everyday for six months?  Is this a life-changing experience or what?  I really appreciate your faithfulness to this study!  I know “It’s Not about Me,” Max Lucado is constantly reminding me of that fact as I’m reading his book by that title, but knowing we are doing this together makes it much more fun!

I have read today’s scriptures twice trying to narrow down a topic, but there’s so many amazing nuggets it’s just impossible to choose one, so I decided to give you my Top 5 Proverbs for the day.  What’s your Top 5?

Here’s my Top 5:

  • It’s God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them (25:2).
  • A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls (25:28).
  • As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend (27:17).
  • As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person (27:19).
  • Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised (27:21).
  • Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad (28:17)

Oops!  That’s six.  Oh well, I just can’t choose which one to delete!  🙂

 As I read and re-read each verse in these five chapters I was amazed how these Proverbs covered it all.  We got expert advice on—

  • Dealing with those in authority over us
  • Our neighbor
  • Our self
  • Our enemies
  • Our employer
  • Our spouses
  • Our children

Where else can we go and find answers to every question we will ever have in one volume? There’s only one place–the Living word of God! 

I’m so thankful for God’s Word!  As I lay my hands on the pages I’m brought to tears that the God of the Universe would make a way for me to know Him!  Friends, we are blessed!

Thanks for being that iron that sharpens me!  I pray I do the same for you!

Blessings!

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This Week-end’s Scripture Reading: 

Saturday–Proverbs 30:1 through Proverbs 31:31

Sunday—Psalms 42-46

“No Hesitation” Hezekiah– 2 Chronicles 29:3-11

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Chronicles 29:3 through 2 Chronicles 31:21

King Hezekiah did not waste a minute beginning the process of repairing and reopening the temple.  In the very first month of the first year of his reign he summoned the priests and Levites to meet him at the courtyard east of the Temple (2 Chronicles 29:3-4).

Let’s get a picture of this in today’s world…let’s say you got a new CEO, administrator, or commanding officer at your job.  What if he/she called a meeting of the managers or officers within his/her  first week of being there and said:

 “Listen to me you leaders, it’s time to clean house!  You are an embarrassment to the founders of this organization.  This is why our business is in the tank.  I’ll be meeting with our board of directors today to lay out a plan to return to the company we once were.  There will be no more slackers.  You have been chosen to lead; now it’s time to lead, follow or get out-of-the-way!”

If you read 2 Chronicles 29:3-11, that’s “sort of” what Hezekiah told the priests and Levites.  When he spoke his last sentence, they got right to work:

  • They purified themselves (the first thing Hezekiah told them to do)
  • Then they began to cleanse the Temple
  • They were careful to follow all the Lord’s instructions
  • They carted all the defiled things from the Temple to the Kidron Valley

Hezekiah must have put the fear of God in those priests and Levites; they completed the project in only sixteen days!  As soon as they finished, they immediately went to King Hezekiah and gave him a full report—we cleansed the entire Temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offerings and it’s utensils, and the table of the Bread of the Presence with all its utensils.  They also recovered all the items discarded by King Ahaz when he was unfaithful and closed the Temple and they are now in the front of the altar of the Lord, purified and ready for use. (2 Chronicles 29:18-20)

What was the result of Hezekiah’s House Cleaning?

  • The Temple of the Lord was restored to service.
  • God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them all one heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the Word of the Lord.
  • King Hezekiah prayed for the people; God listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.
  • There was great joy in the city for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon.

As I read the account of Hezekiah’s passion to purify the priest and Levites and clean and restore the Temple I began to think about another temple…

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself… 1 Corinthians 6:19

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have our “temples” repaired and restored like the Temple of the Lord in Hezekiah’s day–To have our health restored, a new-found desire to follow the Word of the Lord with our whole heart, God hearing our prayers and restoring our bodies, minds, and spirits to the way He meant them to be, and sense of joy that we haven’t know for years…

Yes Lord!  We want this!  But, (here’s that word again) are we willing to do what Hezekiah did?

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for not keeping this temple, our bodies pure and clean.  Holy Spirit, help us to understand at the heart level that our body, soul and spirit are where you live.  We want to be pure for you.  Speak to us loudly with your Fatherly conviction about the areas that aren’t pleasing to you.  Jesus, help us to learn from “no hesitation” Hezekiah and clean our spiritual house–NOW!  In Your Name we pray.  Amen and Amen!

A “No Hesitation” Hezekiah wan-a-be!

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Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Proverbs 25:1 through Proverbs 29:27

The Magic Eraser—Isaiah 14:1-2

Today’s Scripture Reading:  2 Kings 16: 19-20, 2 Chronicles 28: 26-27; Isaiah 13:1 through Isaiah 16:14

Have you ever had a parent, teacher, or employer pull you aside and give you, in great detail a long list of punishments that are going to be administered? Then when you feel your heart in your throat, they say…

But you are exempt from that punishment.

That’s exactly what happened to Israel in today’s scripture.  In Isaiah 13, the prophet painted a graphic picture of God’s’ wrath coming down on Babylon, that would scare the mightiest warrior; 22 verses of gloom and doom.  Can you imagine the Israelites standing in the courtyard of the Temple (not sure where they were, but let’s pretend) and listening to Isaiah go on and on with the gory details—screams in terror, every arm is paralyzed in fear, every heart melts, pangs of anguish grip them like those of a woman in labor; to mention just a few. 

Then in chapter 14, the word that is like Mr. Cleans’® Magic Eraser® comes on the scene—BUT.

And suddenly everything changes.

But the Lord will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. He will choose Israel as his special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and unite with the people of Israel. The nations of the world will help the Lord’s people to return, and those who come to live in their land will serve them. Those who captured Israel will themselves be captured, and Israel will rule over its enemies.         Isaiah 14: 1-2

 

The Israelites were being held captive by the Babylonians and God was going to rescue them!  I’m sure as Isaiah was prophesying doom on Babylon the Israelites were thinking, ‘but WE live here, what’s going to happen to us?”  Can you imagine the celebration when they heard the “but” word?

Friends, there are 4035 “buts” in the Bible (KJV).  They’re either erasing good things or bad things.  Each time we have a choice—which side of the “but” will we be on; will we reject Him or accept Him…

Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

   “The stone that the builders rejected
      has now become the cornerstone.”

 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble,
      the rock that makes them fall.”

 They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

  “Once you had no identity as a people;
      now you are God’s people.
   Once you received no mercy;
      now you have received God’s mercy.”              
1 Peter 2:7-10

I’m so thankful for this amazing promise!  I challenge you as you read each day’s passage, look for the “buts” and circle them. 

Here’s one you need to circle immediately, the greatest “but” of all time:

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Just a side note—remember if you use a “but” after a compliment, it erases the compliment!

Thanking God the Magic Eraser!

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Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Chronicles 29:2 through 2 Chronicles 31:21

In the Last Days–Isaiah 2:1-5

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 1:21 through Isaiah 5:30

This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be the highest of all—
the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion;
his word will go out from Jerusalem.
The Lord will mediate between nations
and will settle international disputes.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
nor train for war anymore.
Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

In the prophecies of restoration which are prominent in Isaiah’s book, he was not specific as to the exact time they would be fulfilled.He simply said in the last days. Other Bible passages make it clear that these predictions will be fulfilled in the Millennium, Christ’s 1,000-year reign on the earth. Because of God’s covenant promises to Abraham, Moses, and David, Isaiah knew that Israel will again be in the land and will again have a superior position among the nations.  (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Can you imagine all the earth having…

  • One God
  • One Temple/one church/one religion/one denomination
  • Everyone wanting to learn God’s ways and walk in them
  • Being taught by God Himself
  • The Lord settling disputes between nations
  • No more war
  • No need to plan, prepare, and train for war

Ahhh…Sounds like heaven—

We are living in tough times.  Frankly, most of what I read in today’s scripture reminds me of today’s world.  Just like Isaiah we don’t know when Jesus will come back and get the church or when his 1000 year reign will begin but we can rest assured if God said it, it will come to pass.

But Isaiah did tell us what to do until that day comes–

Come, descendants of Jacob (yes, that’s you and me), let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Heavenly Father, help us to focus on You in these tough times.  Holy Spirit, draw us close to you–to be able to walk in Your light we must be close to you.  Help us to discern Your light from all the other imitations.  We look forward to Your reign, but until that day, reign in our hearts Lord Jesus!

Amen and Amen!

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Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Kings 16: 19-20, 2 Chronicles 28: 26-27; Isaiah 13:1 through Isaiah 16:14

We are What We Worship–2 Kings 17: 14-15

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 28:1-29; 2 Kings 17:5; 2 Kings 18:9-12; 2 Kings 17:6-41; Isaiah 1:1-20

Have you heard the cliche, “We are what we eat”?  The saying on this t-shirt says it all about the food most of us eat in today’s world—fast, cheap, and easy.

In the 21st century that’s pretty much the way we want to worship—fast, cheap, and easy.

  • “We don’t have time to go to discipleship classes  AND worship on Sunday morning…No way that’s our family time!” –We want to get in and get out.
  • “I’ll worship when it’s convenient”—in other words, worship can’t cost me any time, money or energy, if it does, I’m outta here.
  • “I don’t understand the Bible and I just can’t overcome my bad habits; it’s just too hard to serve the Lord!”

So just like we are what we eat; we are what we worship:

 But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the Lord their God.   They rejected His decrees and the covenant He had made with their ancestors, and they despised all His warnings. They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.       2 Kings 17: 14-15

It’s so easy to read these two verses and say, “Those bad Israelites, they were so stubborn.

  • Why did they refuse to believe in the Lord? 
  • Why didn’t they obey His decrees and keep the covenant their ancestors had made?
  • Why didn’t they listen to warnings from Almighty God?
  • Why in the world would they worship idols when they had the one true God to worship?
  • Why would they act like the nations around them when they were God’s chosen people?

I wonder what future generations will think about the 21 century church.  Will they say—

  • Why did they refuse to believe God and allow Him to be the Lord of their lives?
  • Why didn’t they obey His decrees and keep the covenant when they had a Bible in every room of their house?
  • Why didn’t they listen to the warnings written in Daniel, Matthew, and Revelation?
  • Why in the world would they worship the idols of time, pleasure, and materialism when they had the one true God to worship?
  • Why would they act like the people of the world when they had been rescued by Jesus Christ and given the Holy Spirit to help them become who God planned for them to be?

They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves.

Father, we don’t want to become worthless!  Show us the idols in our lives.  Draw us to you Lord.  Help us not to be deceived.  Use us for Your Glory today!

In Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

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Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 1:21 through Isaiah 5:30

Half-Way Celebration!

This Week-end’s Scripture Reading:

Saturday: Hosea 2:14 through Hosea 8:14

Sunday: Hosea 9:1 through Hosea 14:9

Happy Week-end and Happy Summer!  Can you believe it, next week we’ll be half way through our journey?    To celebrate, we’re going to have ten days of reflecting on what we’ve learned.  Here’s how it will work:

From June 26 through July 5,  leave a comment of any length, on any days’ post, and your name will be entered entered into a drawing.  On July 6th, we will give away two One-Year, New Living Translation, Chronological Bibles  to two of our commenters. 

I can’t wait to hear from you! 

Thanks for your comments this week!

Blessings!

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Hosea 1:2–A Marriage with a Message

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 12:1-6; Isaiah 17:1-14; 2 Chronicles 18:16-21; 2 Kings 16:10-18; 2 Chronicles 28:22-25; 2 Kings 18:1-8; 2 Chronicles 29:1-2; 2 Kings 15:30-31; 2 Kings 17:1-4, Hosea 1:1 through Hosea 2:13

Have you ever had God speak to you and say, “I want you to do _________.  I feel that God has spoken those words to me a few times over the years.  Some of the things He’s told me to do:

  • Pray for someone
  • Visit someone
  • Teach a class
  • Speak a word of encouragement to someone
  • Write letters of encouragement to folks in desperate situations
  • Quit my job
  • Lead this 365 day journey

While each of these things took a step of faith on my part, they can’t be compared to what God told Hosea to do.

When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.” —Hosea 1:2

Hosea’s mission was both special and painful. He was called to experience the anguish caused by an unfaithful wife: a wife whose sexual adultery mirrored the spiritual adultery of the nation Israel, which had been unfaithful to the Lord by worshiping idols and rejecting the holiness in His Law. The names of his children were chosen by God as reminders of Israel’s unfaithfulness.    (The Teachers’ Commentary)

The whole point of Hosea’s marriage to Gomer was to send a message to Israel.  How did Hosea say, “yes” to those instructions?

In the culture of that day, it would have been a disgrace for a prophet to marry and prostitute.  I wonder if Hosea had anyone who understood, except the Lord.

It seems that standing firm and strong in our faith has been a theme in this week’s reading.  Our Heavenly Father wants our faith to lead to trust and then our trust to lead to obedience.

Dear Heavenly Father, You know where we are in our faith walk.  Help us to move closer to trusting you daily.  We want to be obedient.  Holy Spirit, please consider our humanness and speak loudly; if we miss your voice the first time, speak again.  Jesus, I know there are some of my friends who are on the journey who aren’t sure You have ever spoken to them; speak to them I pray.  Thank you for using us Lord!  We are privileged to be Your child.

In the Name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen and Amen!

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This Week-end’s Scripture Reading:

Saturday:  Hosea 2:14 through Hosea 8:14

Sunday:  Hosea 9:1 through Hosea 14:9

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