Rest

God’s presence can give you peace in any situation, including a difficult workplace or a home that is in constant upheaval. It can enable you to show love in the face of abuse and patience in the midst of stress; to bring positive change without a lot of words, and to end up feeling good about the way you handle things. So today, spend some time in God’s presence and allow Him to give you the rest you need. Love you all.
The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

What is true for Moses is true for you and me. If we’ll humble ourselves before God, He will be faithful to teach us His ways and guide us on the right path. As we go His way there is this wonderful promise of His presence. When we live in His presence, this is the place of true rest. His Word is true when He says: “I will give you rest.” We all can experience this rest today as we hear His voice and allow Him to speak reassuring words to our hearts.

I find in this conversation between God and Moses the secret to true rest for all of us. We need to set our heart to always be in a listening and learning mode so that our Heavenly Father can teach us His ways and guide us in making wise choices. I find this morning that as I let the Lord speak to me, He calms my spirit and my heart and reassures me that He is in control and He will be faithful to accomplish His purposes in me and through me.

Life is so busy, and schedules can be so full, that there seems to be little time for rest. It is important to take Sabbath rests to give our bodies and minds a break. It is also important to acknowledge that there’s a rest we can experience each day when we know we’ve obeyed and pleased our Lord.

The promise of His Presence is there for me, as it is for you. By God’s grace, we no longer have to ask for it as Moses did. But perhaps we have taken all that for granted and totally missed the significance, Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Will we run into His Presence? Will we enter His rest?

Thank you, Father that in your presence there is fullness of joy and true rest. I set my heart to please you this day as I follow you. Lord Jesus, come and fill us with your love and your Spirit, so that we can recognize your voice and direction for our lives. Thank you for giving us rest in our soul and spirit as we walk in your ways. In Jesus name Amen!

Hardships

Hardship tempts us to think that God is unmoved by our plight or is against us, and so we despair. When we experience difficult times, we need the strength of God to show us by the riches of the cross of Christ that he is for us, and not against us. When we experience difficult times, we can be strengthened by the knowledge that God was so filled with love and concern for us, that he came in his Son to suffer hardship and to die on our behalf, to transform our suffering into something worthwhile. If this powerful truth dominates our lives, then we can face the worst human hardship with a strong faith, and we can rest assured that God is working out our salvation, even in the midst of hardship.

We need this strength as much when we experience affluence as when we experience poverty. When life is comfortable, we are tempted to forget the grace of God and rely on ourselves. We forget easily that many have worked as hard as us but have not had our success. God has given success to us, not because we deserve it, but as a concrete reminder that he is a gracious God. In the midst of affluence as much as in the times of deprivation, we need God’s help to survive spiritually.

Stop the world, I want to get off!

We create much of our own unhappiness and we create much of our own frustration by constantly resisting and fighting what’s going on in our lives. We don’t understand why our prayers aren’t being answered; why things aren’t changing sooner, then we end up with all this unrest and uneasiness on the inside. But I want challenge you today to learn to relax and to just accept where you are it may not be a great place we all have things we want to see change, things we want to see happen sooner, but if we really believe God is in control, if we really believe he is directing our steps then each one of us is exactly where we’re suppose to be and we shouldn’t be resisting it all the time we shouldn’t be fighting and struggling with it turn it all over to God.

Our attitude should be God I’m trusting you I know that you’re in control of my life and I may not understand everything that’s happening but, God I believe you have my best interest at heart so I’m not going to go around resisting and struggling, I’m going to relax and start enjoying my life, that will take all the pressure off of you.

The Bible says “to be still and know that I am God”, you need to get at peace of where you are right now. Things may not be perfect you may have some areas you need to improve in, but as long as we’re living upset, worried stressed out we’re just tying the hands of almighty God.

If you can just get to a place of peace then God can fight your battles for you, then He can turn those situations around. The scriptures says “those who have believed enter into the rest of God”, being in God’s rest means that you have a problem but you’re trusting God to take care of it. It means that you have a situation that you don’t understand but you’re not constantly trying to figure it out. It means you have a dream in your heart, but you’re not in a hurry you’re not frustrated because it hasn’t come to pass yet. In other words when you’re really in God’s rest you know that God has you in the palm of his hand and no matter where you are you accept it as the place God wants you to be right now.

I’m not saying God wants you to stay there but if you’re really trusting Him and if you really believe He’s in control then wherever you are, either good or bad, is exactly where you’re suppose to be. We have to understand that God has promised He will use whatever comes into our lives for our good he’ll use that difficult to do a work in you. It may not be good but if you keep the right attitude he’ll use it for your good. Just remember where you are today is exactly where God’s want you to be learn to embrace the place that you are that will take all the pressure off of you.

Are you a Chicken or an Eagle?

I’d like for you to use your imagination for a moment. Imagine a chicken in a chicken yard. She’s scratching in the dirt looking for something to eat. It’s hot, dusty and dirty. Now imagine an eagle. He’s sitting high on a cliff, his sharp eyes scanning the valley in search of food. Finally, imagine a storm coming. Dark clouds looming in the distance. Rolling thunder and the threat of hard wind and rain just moments away.

What do you think these two birds will do in the face of the storm? They’re both birds but they face the storm in radically different ways. They both have wings and feathers and beaks. But the main difference between an eagle and a chicken is how they think. It’s what’s inside that counts as much as what’s outside.

The chicken will immediately become worried. She’ll run in circles and flap her wings. Of course, she won’t actually fly, but she’ll flap and cluck and run for the chicken house and the company of all the other scared chickens. She’ll try to get to shelter so she can stay out of the approaching storm.

Now what about the eagle? The eagle won’t run, and he won’t cluck and make a fuss. He’ll actually turn his face into the storm, feeling the strong wind on his face. Then, when the time is right, he’ll spread his wings, leap off of his perch, and fly directly into the violence of the storm. With his wings outstretched, he’ll catch the violent updrafts caused by the storm and be immediately swept up above the clouds and into the bright sunshine. He’ll remain above the clouds until the storm blows over and the skies become calm.

Which bird do you identify with? What do you do when the storms of life gather on the horizon? Do you immediately get anxious and start to worry about all the things that might happen to you? Do you find others who are also worrying and discuss the danger of the impending storm?

Or are you like the eagle that faces the dark clouds and uses the energy of the storm to rise above the fray? God has called us to be eagles. Isaiah 40:31 says, But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired (The Amplified Bible).

God doesn’t want us to cower in the face of our storms. He doesn’t want us flapping around, causing a bunch of commotion and confusion. He wants us to be still, to face the storm, and then put our confidence in Him. He will see us through. He will give us the strength and wisdom we need to ride out the storm.

Okay, so what do you do if you really wish you were an eagle but you’re a chicken? Good news! God loves to make eagles out of chickens! A chicken becomes an eagle by the way she chooses to handle adversity in her life. When you begin to see yourself as a conqueror and not a loser, you will find yourself becoming more eagle-like.

We all love the good times, but we don’t really grow until we go through adversity. It’s the tough times that we all go through that turn us into eagles. In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he said, Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us (Romans 8:37, The Amplified Bible). Through God we are more than conquerors! He’s the One who gives us the faith to believe in Him. He is the One who will see us through the difficult times of life.

I love the phrase they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun] from the verse in Isaiah. Just the thought of seeing that eagle lift his wings and mount up to the sun gives me courage to face whatever storms might be bearing down on me. I might have been a chicken at one time, but God has taught me to fly like an eagle!

“O God, listen to my cry! Hear my Prayer!

When you and I are overwhelmed by emotions, we have a place to run to. God is the Towering Rock, Safe Refuge and Fortress where the enemy cannot reach us. We can take our cares, burdens, and worries straight to His Throne coming boldly (Hebrews 4:16) before His Throne and getting the answers we need to go on. He will remind us with His Word and by His Spirit as He confirms His Promises and lifts us above our circumstances so peace is established in our heart and mind again. Have a wonderful day as you remain in His presence. Love you all.


“O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!” Psalm 61:1-4

As we learn to live in His Presence and wait on His Way, we will be at peace and satisfied with our life so there is no need to be angry or resentful because we know He prefects that which concerns us (Psalm 138:8) and He is making every detail work out for our good! (Romans 8:28) Why? Because He loves us. You see God knows the end from the beginning, so His Primary Concern is that we make it to the finish line of faith to receive the prize. When we are overwhelmed with any emotion, the Lord promises to show us what to do with those feelings and which way to go. (Psalm 142:1-3) He’s a Good God! He is for us not against us. There is no need to be mad – He is working this out for our good!

Are you mad today? Are you angry or frustrated? Get rid of it. Do away with it in your life. Be free to accept all that God has for you and let His Peace rule your heart and life now and forever more.

Let the Lord be our Guide!

I love how David writes show me the right path. First off he is saying show me the right path God. What he is saying is when we need guidance in our lives we should say God show me the right path in how I should approach this. Too often we we want to take our approach to how we should handle a situation and then want God to fix our mess. Doesn’t that just seem a little backwards? Now granted we may get in situations and need His help, but first and foremost we need to be seeking His guidance, His directions, and as David wrote show me the right path O Lord. Once again my brothers and sisters be encouraged and seek God for His guidance. Have a wonderfully blessed day. Love you all.

“Show me the right path O, Lord, point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.” Psalm 25:4-5

Next David continues with teach me. It is not enough that we know His ways, but that He instructs us. How does He do that? He instructs us by His Word. Friends God is our schoolmaster. He teaches us daily and we need to be glad to learn daily. We must realize that we don’t ever get to a point where we have it figured out and can say we can walk on our own. Instead we need to know that everyday we depend on God to help us get through by leading us. As you can see the end of verse 4 and the beginning of verse 5 link together. They link together in that how He leads us and teaches us is in His truth which is His Word.

Friends we can’t rely on our mind or our heart to guide us. One reason is our heart is deceitful above all things( Jeremiah 17:9 ). We can’t rely on our mind to lead for there is a way that seems right to man and that leads to death( Proverbs 14:12 ). So it is quite obvious we must be lead by God’s Word and use His Word to lead our hearts and minds as well.

As Christians we must totally rely on God to guide us. For this guidance we need to be lead by His Word which is the truth just as David wrote lead me in your truth. Friends when you are approaching big decisions seek God’s face and if it takes all day for a response wait. Don’t just give God 5 minutes or a few seconds, wait till you hear from God. Just as David wrote He is the one who gave us our salvation and why is it we can’t wait? Why can’t we just wait to hear from Him? Shouldn’t waiting on a response from God be important to us and vital as the food we eat? As it is written man can not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God( Deuteronomy 8:3 ).

“Can faith really move mountains?”


In order to correctly interpret a passage such as Matthew 17:20, we first look at the overall context of the passage. Jesus, along with Peter, James and John, had just come down from the “mount of transfiguration,” and they encounter a man with a demon-possessed child. The man tells Jesus that he brought his son to Jesus’ disciples, but they couldn’t cast the demon out (recall that Jesus earlier, in Matthew 10:1, gave His disciples the authority to cast out evil spirits). Jesus then chastises them for their lack of faith and then casts the demon out of the boy. When His disciples inquire as to why the demon didn’t obey their command, Jesus replies with the statement in Matthew 17:20. Their faith, He says, is small and weak. If it were the size of even the smallest of the seeds, the mustard bush, they would be able to “move mountains.”

The first thing that needs to be considered is the Bible’s use of literary techniques. The Bible is first and foremost God’s revealed Word; we want to be clear on this point (2 Timothy 3:16). While the Bible is God’s revealed Word, it is revealed to us by way of language. God condescended—He lowered Himself—to speak to us in ways in which we would understand. Consider a father trying to communicate with his young child. The father has to condescend in order to be understood by the limited intellect and understanding of the child. This is analogous (though not identical) to the way in which God speaks to us.

The Bible employs many forms, or genres, of literature. There is historical narrative, poetry, prophecy, apocalyptic writing, and epistolary literature (to name a few). Among these various literary genres, several literary techniques are used—metaphor, simile, imagery, parable, allusion, irony, personification, paradox, and hyperbole. As readers of the Bible, we must recognize when these techniques are being used so we can properly interpret the meaning. For example, in John 10:7, Jesus says, “I am the door of the sheep.” How are we to interpret this verse? If we are too literal, we might start looking for a doorknob hidden somewhere on His body. However, if we understand this to be a metaphor, then we can begin to understand His meaning (Jesus is the way of access to eternal life, much like a door is the way of access into a room).

Another thing to consider in biblical interpretation is the context of the passage. More often than not, when we take a single verse out of its native context, we end up misinterpreting the verse. In the context of Matthew 17, Jesus rebukes the disciples for their weak faith and says that even if they had mustard seed-sized faith, they could command the mountain to move. Contextually, the mountain must refer to the demon that was afflicting the man’s son. Jesus tells His disciples that, if their faith was stronger, they could have commanded the demon to leave the boy, and it would be so. This was clearly the case in Matthew 10 when Jesus sent them out to cure diseases, cast out demons, and spread the gospel. Therefore, it is clear from the context that Jesus does not intend to assert that mustard seed-sized faith can literally move mountains. Rather, the expression Jesus uses was a common colloquialism of that day; to a Jew of Jesus’ day, a mountain is a metaphor signifying a seemingly impossible task.

Faith that can move mountains is not meant to imply a faith that can literally move literal mountains. The point Jesus was making is that even a little bit of faith—faith the size of a tiny mustard seed—can overcome mountainous obstacles in our lives.“Can faith really move mountains?”

Answer:
In order to correctly interpret a passage such as Matthew 17:20, we first look at the overall context of the passage. Jesus, along with Peter, James and John, had just come down from the “mount of transfiguration,” and they encounter a man with a demon-possessed child. The man tells Jesus that he brought his son to Jesus’ disciples, but they couldn’t cast the demon out (recall that Jesus earlier, in Matthew 10:1, gave His disciples the authority to cast out evil spirits). Jesus then chastises them for their lack of faith and then casts the demon out of the boy. When His disciples inquire as to why the demon didn’t obey their command, Jesus replies with the statement in Matthew 17:20. Their faith, He says, is small and weak. If it were the size of even the smallest of the seeds, the mustard bush, they would be able to “move mountains.”
The first thing that needs to be considered is the Bible’s use of literary techniques. The Bible is first and foremost God’s revealed Word; we want to be clear on this point (2 Timothy 3:16). While the Bible is God’s revealed Word, it is revealed to us by way of language. God condescended—He lowered Himself—to speak to us in ways in which we would understand. Consider a father trying to communicate with his young child. The father has to condescend in order to be understood by the limited intellect and understanding of the child. This is analogous (though not identical) to the way in which God speaks to us.
The Bible employs many forms, or genres, of literature. There is historical narrative, poetry, prophecy, apocalyptic writing, and epistolary literature (to name a few). Among these various literary genres, several literary techniques are used—metaphor, simile, imagery, parable, allusion, irony, personification, paradox, and hyperbole. As readers of the Bible, we must recognize when these techniques are being used so we can properly interpret the meaning. For example, in John 10:7, Jesus says, “I am the door of the sheep.” How are we to interpret this verse? If we are too literal, we might start looking for a doorknob hidden somewhere on His body. However, if we understand this to be a metaphor, then we can begin to understand His meaning (Jesus is the way of access to eternal life, much like a door is the way of access into a room).
Another thing to consider in biblical interpretation is the context of the passage. More often than not, when we take a single verse out of its native context, we end up misinterpreting the verse. In the context of Matthew 17, Jesus rebukes the disciples for their weak faith and says that even if they had mustard seed-sized faith, they could command the mountain to move. Contextually, the mountain must refer to the demon that was afflicting the man’s son. Jesus tells His disciples that, if their faith was stronger, they could have commanded the demon to leave the boy, and it would be so. This was clearly the case in Matthew 10 when Jesus sent them out to cure diseases, cast out demons, and spread the gospel. Therefore, it is clear from the context that Jesus does not intend to assert that mustard seed-sized faith can literally move mountains. Rather, the expression Jesus uses was a common colloquialism of that day; to a Jew of Jesus’ day, a mountain is a metaphor signifying a seemingly impossible task.
Faith that can move mountains is not meant to imply a faith that can literally move literal mountains. The point Jesus was making is that even a little bit of faith—faith the size of a tiny mustard seed—can overcome mountainous obstacles in our lives.