Never Forsaken

God will never leave you; God will never forsake you!

Because God speaks … Because you are welcome in God’s presence … Because Christ died for you … Because you are God’s child … boldly, confidently and with thanksgiving, live your life in a way that is pleasing to God, and not to man.

Boldly continue to love your brothers and sisters, eagerly sharing God’s blessings with them, even when their humanity threatens to evaporate your love for them. Courageously show hospitality to all people with compassionate deeds and genuine caring – for they are created in God’s image, and Christ died for them.

 

Honor your spouse and keep your marriage bed pure. Shamelessly turn away from immorality, adultery and pornography.

 

Confidently go about your day, knowing that the eternal God will never leave you or forsake you. Your prayers are rising like sweet incense before his throne. He knows your laughter and tears, joys and frustrations. When your life is right with Christ, you do not have to be afraid of anybody. The Lord, robed in Majesty and armed with strength is your helper, there is nothing anybody can do separate you from our Holy God who loves you.

 

Demonstrate your contentment with what God has blessed you with by doing your best as a worker, a parent, a spouse, or a friend. Leave the outcome of your work in the hands of a providential God who knows what is best for you.

 

Allow gratitude to fill your life so that there is no place for greed, selfishness, jealousy or lust.

 

Give thanks with a grateful heart for your brothers and sisters in Christ, for your spouse and family, for what you have materially and most of all for the Lord. Give thanks that Jesus is unchanging, that God is with you! Give thanks for God’s grace, for Christ’s sacrifice, for God’s discipline, for the warm invitation to come into God’s presence.

 

God Speaks

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth (Ps 119:103)

I know God speaks, but do I want to listen? I am doing just fine on my own.

Am I afraid of what God is going to say me? I am told God is a consuming fire and a jealous God – will he speak words of punishment that will cause me to beg him to be silent? Will he command me to do things that I am unable or unwilling to do?
Will I turn away from the one who warns from heaven? Will I refuse the God who speaks?
God’s powerful words laid the earth’s foundations in place and set the heaven’s in place. His trustworthy words call out at the city gates.
God’s eternal words lead to the paths of righteousness, shining ever brighter until the full light of day. His words lead to safety, away from snares that cause feet to stumble. His words cast out all fear, and bring sweet sleep. His words are the way of faithfulness.
God’s unblemished words are words of unfailing love. His good word leads to blessing, and to the favor of the Lord. His words are right and true. Words that open eyes to see amazing things.
God’s flawless words offer wisdom, knowledge, judgment, understanding, insight, discretion and discernment. His words are more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. They are more precious than rubies. His words are words of counsel and sound judgment. They are words of insight and power.
God’s perfect words are a bubbling brook of love, grace, compassion, that cleanses with comfort and healing. His words provide strength to face the day. God calls you by your name.
God’s desires to teach his words. His Sweet words are the only way to stay on the path of purity. His words light the path. His strong words lead away and rescue from sin and shame.
God’s wonderful words are a refuge and shield in times of trouble. His delightful words sustain and uphold those who are lonely, despised, in trouble or distress. His words answer every cry for help through the watches of the night.
God’s words are alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, they penetrate even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. They judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart 1.
Each of God’s words will accomplish what he desires, and will achieve the purpose for which they were spoken. Not one of his words is wasted.
The paradox of listening to and obeying God’s words is that his words lead to freedom.
Hope anchored in God’s words will never be shaken for his words are eternal. God’s words stand firm in the heavens.
Living a life responding to God’s word is proof of the existence and character of God.
Prayer:
My ways are in full view of you Lord. You examine all my paths. Search me and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me 2.
Today I choose to write God’s words on my heart that I might not sin. Today I choose to obey God’s words with grateful trust and love. Today, with thanksgiving that God has spoken, I choose to worship with awe and reverence. Help me to hear your voice as you walk in righteousness through my workplace and city.
Scripture – Hebrews 12:25-29 
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire”.

 

A Royal Invitation

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28

Come with joyful songs! For the Lord is good and his love endures forever!

Come, enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise!

Come as God’s precious child and worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, for God’s faithfulness continues through all generations!

Come to Christ when your work burdens you down and find rest for your soul!

Come, when the process is long and your losing your song in the night, and hear the cloud of faithful witness cheering you on!

Come, when your spirit has been drained by your cares for the people around you, and let your soul be refreshed in God’s Kingdom!

Come with your broken heart or your pillows soaked in tears, and allow God to comfort you!

Come from the turmoil of your work and experience God’s peace that passes all understanding!

Come in humility and trust out of the midst of the noise of bullies and self-proclaimed heroes to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Come when you are hungering and thirsting for righteousness in your workplace, and allow God to fill your soul to overflowing with love, joy, peace and the deepest longings of your heart!

Come in purity of heart and see God in all his glory, majesty, splendor and holiness!

Come as a child and crawl confidently into God’s lap, or leap into God’s arms and soak in God’s love as he hugs you tightly!

Come when you are persecuted for righteousness – for you do not belong to this world, but to the kingdom of heaven!

Come when you have sinned and allow the blood of Christ to cleanse you from all unrighteousness and wash your sins away never to be remembered again. Then bow down at the feet of the Living God, the Holy and Righteous Judge – you won’t be condemned!

Come, you won’t be chased away! You will be welcomed! This is where you belong!

Come joyfully to worship and celebrate with the assembly of angels in God’s presence!

Come proclaiming “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!”

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Heb 12:22-24)

Why do we need God’s Discipline?

The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. (Heb 11:6)

What thoughts go through your mind, when you read the phrase “The Lord disciplines the one he loves”?

God’s discipline is not an isolated character trait. God’s discipline is intricately and intimately woven into his character and love for you. God’s discipline is not meant to discourage you, or impede you from running the race God laid out for you before you were born. It’s the complete opposite!

God’s discipline is a demonstration of the depths of God’s love for you. Those times when God out of his infinite wisdom and mercy chooses to discipline you is your assurance that you are God’s precious son or daughter. God’s discipline is not the natural consequences of your choices. God’s discipline is absolutely not punishment for your sins, because Christ has already paid the price for your sins. God’s discipline is not the effects of living in a fallen world. God disciplines you because he loves you.

God’s discipline and God’s provision of our daily bread enable us to persevere, to keep our eyes focused on Christ and to experience the joy of running the race. God’s discipline comes from the same right hand that delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and the same loving hand that raised Jesus from the dead. God our Heavenly Father disciplines us so that we can enjoy the depths of intimate fellowship with him.

God’s discipline is not just for your benefit, but also for the benefit of those around you. God’s discipline is training you to live at peace with everyone, including those you really wish you didn’t have to live at peace with. By discipline, training, perseverance, and obedience in the ordinary everyday things of life, your right relationship with God brings peace and joy to those around you. Through God’s discipline you are able to make level paths for the feet for the physically, emotionally, or spiritually wounded so that they can come to Christ for healing and strength. Because of God’s discipline you are an example of a life of holiness to those around you.

God loves you so much that he will discipline you how and when he deems best. Don’t resent God’s rebuke, don’t become hardened or discouraged or anxious under God’s discipline. Instead pour out your soul to God and plead with God to show you his grace and love so that you can humbly submit to his discipline. Because Christ died for you, because God loves you, because of God’s discipline you are being transformed into his likeness and sharing in his holiness so that you will be present with Christ in glory!

Read Hebrews 12:4-17 on BibleGateway

Persevere

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.(Hebrews 12:1-2) 


Persevere in your faith. The multitudes of Christians who have gone before you, living lives grounded in God’s grace, are cheering you on to continue to be faithful. They have proven that God is faithful. Their lives are a testimony of God’s unseen power to deliver. They assure you that God’s promises are real, reliable and trustworthy.

The life of faith that you are called to live was chosen for you by God before you were born. God is too wise to have made a mistake about the unique path of faith you are called to follow. Endure to the end on the path God laid out for you with patient obedience and reliance on God’s promises and power.

Be careful! There are many things along this path that will tempt you, burden you and drag you down, or tangle up your feet so that you can’t move forward.

Don’t fall in the trap of comparing yourself or your path to other people. Your journey of faith is unique. Jesus reminded Peter, that Peter must follow Jesus and not worry about God’s plans other disciples.

Don’t be tempted by the god’s of this world. Heed the warning given by the lives of the Israelites who didn’t remove all the idols from the land of Caanan. Those idols ensnared them and they ended up forsaking God for idols.

Guard your tongue. “For the mouths of fools are their undoing and their lips are a snare to their very lives” (Prov 18:7). “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare” (Prov 21:6).

Perhaps you are like Jonah, or David and Bathsheba and find yourself caught in sin. Sin which has entangled you keeps you from moving forward in your life. Sin clouds your vision so you can’t see God’s light along your path. The same peace that David testified to in the Psalms when he confessed his sin, is available to you. When you confess your sin and admit your mistakes Jesus will freely forgive you, and once again you will be able to relax and rest as you enjoy the grace, joy and peace of our loving Savior.

As you are faithfully doing your job day in and day out, as a parent or an employee be assured that there are no little people and no little places in God’s Kingdom. You have the same infinite value as every person of faith.  Ruth and Naomi bear witness to the possibilities of an unassuming life of faith.

Maybe some of you are looking at all you have accomplished like the man in Jesus’ parable who had just reaped an abundant harvest and was looking to build bigger barns. Others of you know that what you have built is holding together precariously like a house of cards and you are afraid that it will all fall apart if you move on. Just as Joseph faithfully believed that God would deliver his descendants back to the Promised Land, you can release what you have built (your church, your company, your department, your program, your ministry) into God hands and trust God to redeem, restore and deliver.

Maybe you feel like you aren’t qualified or capable, like Moses when God called him from a burning bush. Moses life demonstrates that God equips those he calls with the right stuff at the right time. Moses is cheering you on as you obediently take each step in faith, trusting in God to equip you.

Persevere with your eyes fixed on Jesus so you don’t have to worry about being snared by sin. Jesus sees the temptations and snares around you, and will safely guide you past them. If you have taken your eyes off Jesus, look again at Jesus and see the compassion and love in his eyes for you. He understands your struggles and doubts for he has experienced these himself. He is your High Priest who offers you the cleansing and forgiveness you need so that it is possible for you to enter God’s presence right now.

Your faith depends on Jesus alone from start to finish. Jesus has blazed the trail of faith to its triumphant finish at throne room of heaven, and now walks beside you. Jesus is the fully sufficient Savior who alone is enabling you to persevere and attain the goal of your faith.

As you look at Jesus, see the joy that awaits you in God’s Kingdom. Persevere in your faith with your eyes fixed on Jesus who is waiting for you at the finish line. Jesus is fully sufficient! You don’t need anything else or anyone else. Your destiny is not in the hands of other people, managers, rulers or the government. Your life is safe in the strong hands of Jesus, the King of Kings, who is sitting at the right hand of God in Heaven.

Persevere to the end! Finish the race! Keep the faith! There is in store for you the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to you on that day. (Heb 4:7-8)

Read Psalm 91 on Bible Gateway

Do Not Be Discouraged

He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities. 
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, 
so great is his love for those who fear him; 
as far as the east is from the west, 
so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 
(Psalm 103:10-12) 

When you hear the names Gideon or Samson what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is your first thought about Gideon’s fleece, or Samson and Delilah? Or do their stories remind you of God? It is interesting that when we think of people, we often think of their colorful faults or weaknesses.

The author of Hebrews reminds us that when God sees Gideon, or Samson he doesn’t see someone who is frightened, or someone who was just as interested in women as serving God. God remembers their faith! Their stories are examples of God’s grace, forgiveness, mercy and power.

Do not let your faults and mistakes discourage you! Do not believe Satan when he tells you that you are unworthy when your faith fails at times. For in each one us something sinful can be found. My faith is halting and imperfect many times. However, none of that changes how God sees us. God sees us as men and women of faith.

When our faith falters at times, when our faith is imperfect and incomplete Jesus intercedes on our behalf to God, his Father and our Father. Jesus says “I died for their imperfections, and faltering faith.” And with great joy God replies, “Yes my son, because you willingly shed your blood for them, I have taken away their sins! I find no fault in these my precious children”

Hear the words that God has to say to you today … “I find no fault in you!”

Do not be discouraged! Press on in faith!

Your life is a story of God’s grace, forgiveness, mercy and power. Your story brings renewed hope to the people around you, and to future generations!

Since God sees no fault in you, in faith fulfill the calling God has placed in your heart! Continue to be a faithful husband or wife! Continue to be a faithful worker, manager, student, entrepreneur, or author!

May many people be inspired as your life story demonstrates God’s ability to turn weakness into strength and to deliver in times of need!

Read Hebrews 11:32-40 on BibleGateway

What is the Essential Ingredient for Life?

This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4b NIV)


Faith is the potent, energetic, active ingredient essential to life.

Faith refuses to accept any situation as it is, or as unchangeable. Faith believes that God is active in every situation. Faith moves forward in grace and love with God’s wisdom. Faith sees God’s creative alternatives when surrounded by sin, death and destruction. Faith wins moral and spiritual victories, alongside temporal victories. Faith knows that God’s promises are a present reality even when they are not visible. Faith manifests God’s power, the power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Faith exchanges weakness for strength, sorrow for joy. Faith realistically evaluates the present and anticipates the future that God has promised. Faith is the anchor of hope!

But faith isn’t an assurance that you will always see the victory this side of glory …

Faith isn’t a guarantee of worldly possessions, or a promise of a rose garden. In fact faith was never intended to change your social status or economic status in this life. What faith does change is your spiritual status. Faith transfers your citizenship from this earth to heaven. Faith brings the sweet fragrance of God into your life on earth as you live as a citizen of God’s Kingdom.

Faith enables you to endure suffering and adversity with serenity.

Faith is all that remains when you live in the middle of man’s inhumanity to other men. Faith is the strength to continue to love God when the world tries to compress you into a common mold. Only faith can resist Satan. Only faith can endure the evil you currently face in your life.

You are not a fool to be pitied because of your faith. No! You possesses the greatest and only hope – God the Holy Spirit! By faith you possess God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control! The world can never, ever, ever tear or squeeze these out of your soul!

Read Psalm 119:30-36 on BibleGateway

Abraham’s Story

When one rules over people in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings grass from the earth.
(2 Sam 23:3-4 NIV)


 A life anchored in faith, living as a citizen of heaven, sets you free to enjoy everything this world, God’s creation, has to offer. As a person of faith you can live here and now your life to the max. With your faith grounded in God’s Kingdom, as an employee, manager, or executive, as a parent, a friend, a spouse, or a student you have the privilege of enriching the lives of those around you.

 

In Genesis 12 God appears to Abraham with a call and a promise. A call to follow God to a land that God would show him, and a promise to bless Abraham and to make Abraham a blessing.

 

Abraham chose to obey God leaving behind the ‘seen’ world of his former days and launched into a project of ‘daring faith’ believing that the riches of the God’s Kingdom immeasurably surpassed anything this world had to offer. Abraham kept his focus on heaven – a city with foundations whose architect and builder is God.

 

When Abraham got to the Promised Land, by faith he made a reality of what wasn’t obvious to an onlooker. He started farming, he raised sheep, he dug wells. He worked hard, and was financially rewarded for the fruit of his hard labor. At the same time, he became respected by the people he lived among as a ‘Prince of God’ (Gen 23:6). He was viewed as a ruler among the people living in that area, and went so far as to go to battle to free the Kings of that area. Abraham’s servants (or employees as we would call them today) acknowledged that God was source of Abraham’s blessings (Gen 24:27).

 

While he enjoyed the wealth and prestige he earned by his labor, people knew that Abraham’s life rested on the stability of the promises of God, not on material things.

 

By going in faith where God sent him to go, Abraham brought glory to God. Abraham’s hard work and leadership amongst the people where he lived honored God. Abraham worshipped God by his quite faithful obedience throughout his life. And so God was not ashamed to be called the God of Abraham, and Abraham was counted as a righteous man.

 

When people observe your life, what do they see? Do they see your abilities, do they see what you have, or do they see your faith in God?

Rahab’s Story

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.(Prov 3:5-6 NIV)


Men from all over the known world came through her door to stay at her place. Over the years they told many stories. Stories of the Nile River teeming with frogs, and grasshoppers. Tales of flies swarming across Egypt and unprecedented thunderstorms and hail storms. People described to her how the Red Sea dried up, and a hundreds of thousands of people walked across safely to the other side like they were on dry ground. Then over a few drinks they laughed as they recalled the sight of the Egyptian chariots tossing and turning in the swirling waves of the Red Sea. Others guests told her of the amazing sight of seeing a flock of quail fly overhead and land amongst these people. Over breakfast a few people tried to compare the taste of Manna to the food she served them. She heard stories of water coming from a rock, and a mountain roaring with thunder and lightning. She heard stories of the magnificent tent that the people carried before them, and wondered what its purpose was if the people never used it for shelter.

There were rumors of strange rules that these people were to obey. Rules carved into two stone tablets that were carried inside a wooden box ornately decorated with gold. A box carried on two long poles, never touched by human hands. Rules that condemned what her guests would do with her at night.

More recently came stories of the towns that had been conquered by these nomad’s.

Strangers at her door …

One day two strangers showed up at her door. These men were different, they weren’t interested in her body.It didn’t take Rahab long to realize that these two men were from that nomadic group she had heard all the stories about. They told her they were Israelites, and confirmed the stories she heard. They explained to Rahab that it was the Lord God, creator of heaven and earth who had brought them out of Egypt, and to the other side of the Jordan River.

Rahab was faced with a choice that would define her destiny on earth, and for eternity. For her the choice was easy. Hearing all these stories, Rahab was convinced in her heart that the Lord God, is the supreme God of heaven above and earth below.

Rahab protected the two strangers. Rahab placed her faith in God, trusting that God who had brought the Israelites out of Egypt to the gates of her city, would faithfully protect her.

In the coming weeks after the spies returned to Joshua, Rahab’s faith in God would be thoroughly tested. Would they come back and rescue her?

Waiting … in faith (mixed with a little doubt?)

With her house built into the town wall, with a crimson cord lowered from her window she waited in faith. She waited in faith until the Israelites were camped outside Jericho. She waited for another seven days as day by day the Israelites walked around the walls of Jericho and passed under her window.

Did doubts swirl in her mind? Did she wonder if God would forgive her and redeem her on that seventh day as she watched the crimson cord in her window flutter seven times as the Israelites walked around the walls and passed under her window? She waited as the Israelites blew their trumpets, as her house shook when the walls around her came crashing down. She waited as she heard the Israelite army charge into town, as she heard the screams and noise as the Israelites killed, destroyed and burnt everything in sight. Would God remember her? Would God save her?

And then somebody was breaking down the door to her home …

God is faithful!!!

God was faithful. God was powerful. God rescued Rahab and her family. By faith she and her family moved out of her home and lived among the people of Israel. Her sins were forgiven! Her life was redeemed! Because of her faith, Jesus was not ashamed to call Rahab his ancestor.

God continues to be faithful. God is powerful. By faith you live in God’s Kingdom, among God’s people. Your sins are forgiven! Your life is redeemed! Because of your faith, God is not ashamed to call you his child!

Read Joshua 2 on BibleGateway

Looking To Christ

Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you (Matt 6:33, NKJV)


Where are you focusing your attention and energy? Do you focus on the people around you or the King of Kings?

When you focus your attention on the unseen Kingdom of God, you are proclaiming that there is a realm that can only be perceived by faith. When you focus your attention on what is happening at work you are declaring that this tangible, physical realm is all that exists.

When you look to the invisible, living, faithful, loving God, you don’t have to be intimidated by those around you. When you have seen God who is invisible, you don’t have to be terrified by that which is visible. When you have seen God’s power, your fears of the dangers around you can dissolve.

Faith in God means moving forward one step at a time in your life here on earth with bold confidence that each step toward your future continues on the solid foundation of God’s kingdom.

The secret to persevering faith is a lifelong vision of God and God’s Kingdom. This vision enables you to constantly remember that God’s invisible order is more real and permanent than the fleeting pleasures, activities, treasures and battles of this world.

Faith in God is a choice everyone has. The only condition for faith in God is that your sin cannot co-exist with faith. Therefore God made a way through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for your sins to be forgiven, so that you can live by faith.

Living by faith is not about the legacy that you will leave behind, or how the world will remember you. Living by faith is all about how God sees you, how God sees your works, and what God will say about you. When you live by faith God sees you as holy and righteous! When you go about your work by faith, you are working from a solid foundation where God sees the fruit of each task as gold, silver and precious stones that will survive his purifying fire. When you walk in faith, with your eyes focused on the invisible Kingdom of God, God is pleased to be called your God.

God continues to be faithful. God is powerful. By faith you live in God’s Kingdom, among God’s people. Your sins are forgiven! Your life is redeemed! Because of your faith, God is not ashamed to call you his child!

With eyes always looking to Christ, rejoice in God’s power, be inspired by hope, and continue faithfully in obedience to God.

Read Hebrews 11:20-31 on BibleGateway