He is our Refuge and our Fortress!

The psalmist says of God that He is his Refuge and his Fortress – a God he can really trust! What about you? What about me? What are we saying of the Lord? We need to speak aloud the goodness of our God. He is a faithful God. He is the Source of all blessings; the very Source of all goodness in our lives. He is our Refuge and our Fortress. We need to acknowledge God and make verbal confessions about His goodness an essential part of our personal fellowship with Him. 

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“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” ~ Psalm 91:1-2

We are on the battlefield every day. We are faced with dangers every day, and everywhere. Only God knows what traps the enemy has laid to bring diseases, accidents, violence, evil and destruction to our lives and to the lives of those we love. But our good Lord has promised that even though “the wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him, the Lord will not leave him in his hand” (Psalm 37:32, 33). Our faithful God has promised that He would be “a shield to those who put their trust in Him” (Proverbs 30:5). He can be a shield to someone we pray about because of our faith!

 

May this day be a day that you will find confidence in the promises of God provided in His Word. When it seems as though you’re surrounded by enemies, remember that your God is your Refuge and your Fortress. Put your full trust in His unfailing strength because He has already won this fight with the enemy. You can rest in the assurance that if you need defending, He will defend you. If you need protection, He will protect you. If you need courage, your God will encourage you!

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How to Experience the Peace Jesus Promised!

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“My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). Jesus spoke these amazing words just hours before His crucifixion. His peace isn’t dependent upon external circumstances, but rather, it transcends them. Sadly, many Christians live their whole lives without consistently experiencing this incomprehensible peace. Perhaps faith and submission are the most challenging issues. But only as we surrender control of our lives to Christ and trust in His plans for us will we discover tranquil rest for our souls. Although He gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths:

God is in control of everything. Without this assurance, the world is a scary place. He loves us and will see us through every circumstance, no matter how difficult or painful it may be. To have Christ’s peace, we must surrender our lives to Him. When we hold onto our ways and plans, we’ll experience turmoil. We have a limited perspective and understanding of our circumstances and God’s purposes for allowing them. His goals for us are greater than our immediate comfort. The Lord promises to work all things out for our good. He is continually working to transform our character into Christ’s image. We must live in sync with God, walking in the Spirit and promptly confessing and repenting of sin. Scripture is our foundation for peace. It increases our trust in the Lord’s goodness, assures us that He keeps His promises, and reminds us of His sovereignty over every situation.

 

Bet Bold with Your Prayers!

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Did you know it pleases God when we pray bold prayers and ask Him for big things? The God we serve doesn’t want us to just barely get by in life. He wants us to thrive and experience the fullness of His blessing. He wants us to not only have our needs met, but be in a position to reach out and help meet the needs of others, too! It’s time we all get bold with our Prayers!

“Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession” ~~ Psalm 2:8.

When we ask God for something, a supernatural door is opened. We are showing our faith in Him, and faith gives God something to work with. In fact, scripture says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. He wants us to come to Him and know His goodness. He wants us to believe that He is good and that He has good things in store for us.

Today, I encourage you to get bold with your prayers. Ask God for big things. Believe that He is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Put your faith to work because God is faithful. He has big things in store for you and promises to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that you can ever imagine

Have a wonderful day in the presence of the Lord.

God’s Love Renews us when we Lose Hope!

What a powerful promise in this passage we have from God! When we put our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that things will always go our way. There may be temporary disappointments, but we will never be permanently disappointed. Somewhere down the road, God will cause it to all work out for our good. With God on your side, you will always end in victory! 

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“…those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:23, NIV)

What a powerful promise we have from Almighty God! When we put our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that things will always go our way. There may be temporary disappointments, but we will never be permanently disappointed. Somewhere down the road, God will cause it to all work out for our good. With God on your side, you will always end in victory!

Are you carrying frustration, worry or aggravation about something? That’s usually a clear sign that your hope is in the wrong place. If you hope in circumstances, it will deplete you of joy and peace. But when you turn those circumstances over to God, when you refuse to worry, when you refuse to allow the temporary things of this world to dictate your happiness, that’s when God can do a work in your life. When you trust in Him, He will make your crooked places straight; He will cause you to mount up with wings like the eagle.

Today, choose to put your hope in the Father; you won’t be disappointed. Trust Him because He is faithful. Find rest for your soul in knowing that He is good, and He has good things in store for your future!

Holidays can be bittersweet

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Holidays can be bittersweet as past memories of family gatherings bring smiles followed closely by tears as the face of those we love come to our minds and we remember that they have gone on before us. While we are thankful that they are celebrating every day in praising our LORD in His Throne Room, there is still grief for separation.

I don’t have all the answers to explain difficult circumstances. I can say that I know God is right here, right now in all facets of my life as well as in yours, joys as well as deep sorrows. He is an involved Father who holds His child during sickness and listens no matter how many times the child cries out in pain. He sees every tear and His heart is tender to your despair. He will sift through my emotions with His Spirit and separate truth from deception. He gives wisdom, love and mercy in a never-ending stream, filling me when I am dry and thirsty.

So if you find yourself in a difficult holiday this year, allow Jesus to walk with you through the day. Grab hold and cling to the truth that you are not alone. Jesus will tell you about the darkness of one Friday in His life and then remind you of the glory that came 48 hours later on a quiet Sunday morning. Things are not always as they seem. You can count on Him seeing you and staying with you whether your world seems joyously light or darkly cloudy. And that may give you the reason to turn to God and say, “Thanks.”

Become a Living Monument of Grace!

Storms come in life. It is a fact. But storms do not have to overtake us and cause us to drown beneath the waves. No matter what storm you are facing today, no matter if it is a small squall or an all out hurricane, God can be your Rock on higher ground. Don’t let trouble turn you away from God. Trust Him right in the middle of the storm and make your daily prayer one of “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I”. (Psalm 61:2). 

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“I call as my heart grows faint, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” ~ Psalm 61:2

How do you get to the Rock that is higher than you? How do you keep from going under when the waves splash hard?

Tell God you need Him in your life. Tell Him you want His help. Admit you cannot do it alone. Tell Him you need His strength to hold you right now and to give you direction in your very next step. Tell Him you want Him to carry you by His grace. Be deliberate in focusing on God and drawing your strength from Him one-step at a time. Don’t run ahead and borrow tomorrow’s concerns today.

Talk to other Christians, feed your soul through reading, going to church or Bible study, praying and sometimes just sit quietly and ask His presence to surround you. Ask God to lead you to Him.

As you reach out to be filled with God’s strength in your storm, you will become a living monument of grace. Others will see the strength and difference your God makes in your life and in your storms, and others will be drawn to that same “Rock” of shelter.

There Was Once A Man Who Didn’t Believe…

There was once a man who didn’t believe in God, and he didn’t hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays, like Christmas. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.

Snow_church One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him to come, but he refused.

“That story is nonsense!” he said. “Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That’s ridiculous!” So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn’t see more than a few feet.

When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn’t go on. They were lost and stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.

The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It’s warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside.

The geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn’t seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumbs trail leading to the barn, but they still didn’t catch on.

Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

“Why don’t they follow me?!” he exclaimed. “Can’t they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?” He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn’t follow a human.

“If only I were a goose, then I could save them,” he said out loud.Geese winter

Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn – and one by one the other geese followed it to safety!

He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind:

“If only I were a goose, then I could save them!”

Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. “Why would God want to be like us? That’s ridiculous!”

Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese – blind, lost, and perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized!

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come.

Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer:

Mangercross “Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!”

~Author Unknown