Who’s Your Safety Net?

God will catch you

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1

There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.

Deuteronomy 33:26-27 NLT

When you are at the end of your rope, God is there to catch you — but not before.

Erwin W. Lutzer

God’s everlasting arms

Our world seemed to be falling apart. My husband was severely depressed, and his business was crumbling. As I tried to support and nurture our children, help my husband, and take up the slack financially, I became drained physically, spiritually, and mentally. I cried out to God in exhaustion, and I felt his everlasting arms underneath me. Quieting my racing heart, the Lord reminded me that although my own resources might be exhausted, his resources were limitless.

During that difficult season I experienced God as my refuge when there was nowhere else to turn, and I felt his security in the middle of a very uncertain, insecure time.

In today’s passage Moses praises the Lord and assures the Israelites that God will be with them no matter what adversity or trial they encounter — that he is their refuge and underneath them are his everlasting arms. Do you need to feel God’s everlasting arms carrying you today because your strength is exhausted? Do you know someone who is in desperate straits and needs God’s help? Pray these verses for yourself or for someone else, and proclaim God’s faithfulness.

LORD, there is no one like you! You ride across the heavens in majestic splendor to help us when we cry out to you. May we experience you today as our refuge and sense your everlasting arms of protection and love holding us. I praise you for your faithfulness and unparalleled power!

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), entry for April 9.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Do We Please the Lord?

How can I please the Lord?

But Samuel replied [to Saul], “What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebelling is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT

If you love me, obey my commandments.… You are my friends if you obey me.

John 14:15; 15:14 NLT

True Friends of Jesus Obey Him

How do we demonstrate our friendship with Jesus? Quite simply, we do what he says. If we refuse, we have no right to call ourselves his friends.

In 1 Samuel 15 the Bible tells how King Saul disobeyed the Lord’s command to completely destroy the enemies and their livestock. When Samuel asked the king why he heard the bleating of sheep and the lowing of cattle, Saul basically replied, “Oh, right, thanks for reminding me. We’re saving those to offer to the Lord later!”

Samuel recognized a lie when he heard one and replied, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV). God wants the same from us, not some great annual recommitment that we soon break. He wants consistency. Regularity. Faithfulness. He wants our obedience.

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie,
(Tyndale House) p 162

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Rewards on Earth or Eternal?

Are you looking for rewards on earth?

“…we who are still alive and remain on earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17 NLT

Awaiting our day

The story is told of an old missionary couple returning to the States after many years of thankless service in Africa. They happened to be on the same ship to New York as President Theodore Roosevelt, who was returning from a big game hunt in Africa. As the ship pulled past the Statue of Liberty and into the dock, huge crowds were gathered to welcome him home. The press was out in full force, and thousands of people had come to get a glimpse of the president.

In the middle of the chaos, the aged missionary couple fought their way through the crowds with their large suitcases in tow. Silently they hailed a cab and made their way to a cheap hotel. The missionary sat on the bed and said to his wife, “It just doesn’t seem right. We gave our lives to Christ to win souls for the Kingdom in Africa, and when we arrive home there is no one here to meet us. The president shoots a few animals and receives a royal welcome.”

His wife sat beside him on the bed and said softly, “That’s because we’re not home yet, dear.”

It may seem at times as if our work for Christ is going unnoticed. Faith doesn’t bring a lot of praise on this earth. But that’s only because our trip is not yet over.

Our day will come, you can be sure. And when it does, the ceremony will last for an eternity.

From Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins and Frank M. Martin (Tyndale) p 346

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

What is your concept of heaven?

God has great rewards for those who remain faithul

What is your concept of heaven?

“How happy are those who fear the Lord — all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How happy you will be! How rich your life!”

Psalm 128:1-2 NLT

Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 NLT

He died for us so that we can live with him forever, whether we are dead or alive at the time of his return.

1 Thessalonians 5:10 NLT

Made for another world

Most of us find it very difficult to want “Heaven” at all — except in so far as “Heaven” means meeting again our friends who have died. One reason for this difficulty is that we have not been trained: Our whole education tends to fix our minds on this world. Another reason is that when the real want for Heaven is present in us, we might not recognize it. Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.


“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

C.S. Lewis

From the The Quotable Lewis edited by Jerry Root and Wayne Martindale (Tyndale) pp 286-87

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

NO MORE SORROW

God will wipe away sorrow forever

JESUS SOON COMING

 

Faith does not isolate us from sadness

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5

I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:27 
Truly, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy when you see me again. It will be like a woman experiencing the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives place to joy because she has brought a new person into the world. You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.
John 16:20-22 

Bond of understanding

There is an immediate bond of understanding between people who have suffered similar hardships or losses. Parents who have lost children, widows and widowers, and families of terminal-disease patients, all find comfort and encouragement in the presence of those who have known similar pain.

Paul urges believers to see opportunities for giving comfort as both a way to share the comfort of God and to use their own experiences of sorrow for good. We rarely know why suffering or trials enter our lives, but we can know that God wants to do through our sorrow.

Who do you know right now who needs a word of encouragement or comfort that your experience has prepared you to give?

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


 

GOD’S FORGIVENESS OF SINS

 

God forgives all sins, no matter how big

Why would God want to forgive?

“I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives. And anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There will be people on Mount Zion in Jerusalem who escape, just as the Lord has said. These will be among the survivors whom the Lord has called.”

Joel 2:30-32  

If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.

1 John 1:8-9 

Bound by His Word

“Why would God want to forgive people who have spent a lifetime denying him and hurting him? Why doesn’t he just zap them? In our humanity we say that certain people don’t deserve forgiveness. In his sovereignty and perfect love. God says, “I love and forgive those who, to others, appear unsalvageable.” This is just one of the ways in which God’s thoughts are beyond our own. His mercy is so overwhelming that it can seem unreasonable to us. Are you willing to let God’s mercy do as it wishes  with anyone?1


If His conditions are met, God is bound by His Word to forgive any man or any woman of any sin because of Christ.

Billy Graham2

1from the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 760
2quoted in Wise Words & Quotes by Vernon McLellan (Tyndale) p 102

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Awareness of justice

God is always fair and just

Do You Understand Justice?

TITUS 3:7
so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely.

Proverbs 28:5

Awareness of justice

Justice means righteousness, lawfulness, and moral rightness, the quality of being true or correct, the moral principle determining just conduct. So justice has a moral quality. It contains a concept of what is right and, therefore, must also have a concept of what is wrong. Only people who understand these concepts of right and wrong can understand and administer justice. By extension, only those who follow the Lord can understand justice. Why? Because they subscribe to the foundational laws of the one who created them.

Thus, as this proverb points out, evil people don’t understand justice. Because they refuse to subscribe to justice’s moral underpinnings given by God in his Word, they are left to discover their own truths. As a result, many conclude that there is no truth. Others conclude that everyone can have different truths. Both perspectives are hopelessly doomed. And as a building without a foundation will crumble, so justice can never be served without the foundation of right and wrong as given by God in his Word.

WISE WAYS  What are you using for your foundation? Where do you get your concept of truth, of right and wrong?

Today, Lord, teach me the foundational truths about life that are given in your Word.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Proverbs, by Neil S. Wilson, Tyndale House Publishers (2002), entry for February 28


Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy.
G K CHESTERTONDelay of justice is injustice.
WALTER S LANDOR

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing Hou