Wednesday, June 23, 2021

To Protect And To Provide

A biographer once wrote of Christopher Columbus that “He discovered no island or sea as lonely as himself.”

How different for those who trust God!

David wrote, “When You, God, went out before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness...You provided for the poor!”

The writer of Hebrews echoed those words when he wrote of the risen Christ, “I will never leave you nor ever forsake you.”

King Nebuchadnezzar refused to hear the testimony of three young men. He bound them and threw them into a fiery furnace. In amazement, when he looked into the furnace he did not see three men, but four: unharmed and unbound. He shouted, “Servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” God went before them, protected them and rescued them.

On one occasion the disciples of Jesus were frightened by the winds and the waves that were threatening them. They were in a little boat with little hope. Then Jesus appeared and said, “Take courage. Don’t be afraid. It is I!” He went to them, calmed their fears and then said, “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?”

A Psalmist was traveling through a deep valley with dark shadows. He was filled with great fear as he faced the “unknown.” Yet, he was able to say, “I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff will comfort me!” He trusted God because he knew God would never abandon him.

The Lord always goes before us to protect us. He will provide for everything we need now and through eternity.

Prayer:  Thank You, God, for assuring us that we do not face the threats of life alone. Thank You for Your protection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today:  When You, God, went out before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness...You provided for the poor. Psalm 68:7 & 10b

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Destination And Direction

It was the end of our summer break, and my roommate and I were returning for our final year in seminary.

After driving several miles I asked, “Fritz, why is the sun shining in our eyes when we are supposed to be going west?”

Suddenly he realized that instead of turning right at the end of our driveway, he had turned left, and we were going east and not west. Realizing our mistake, we laughed at ourselves, turned the car around and headed in the right direction.

No one can travel in the wrong direction and expect to reach the right destination. A wise Psalmist once wrote, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine on us so that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.”

God has made His ways known through Jesus Christ, His Son who said, “I am the way!” Every person on earth is going “somewhere” but if they refuse His “where” they will end up “nowhere” and spend eternity in hell.

Some of those we know are traveling the “Religion Roadway.” They have respect for what is sacred but have not accepted God’s Son as their Savior and made Him their Lord. They are depending on “something” to get them “somewhere” in life but do not know that there is “Someone” who can save them and give them eternal life.

Everyone we know is on their way going somewhere depending on something to get them some place. But it is our responsibility to show them the right way – His way!

Prayer:  Father, may we accept our responsibility as Your disciples to present the right “Way” to those who are lost. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine on us so that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Psalm 67:1-2 

Monday, June 21, 2021

"Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep..."

One night before climbing into bed, Brad knelt with his mother to pray. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray Thee Lord, my soul to keep; if I should die before I wake...” There was a long pause and suddenly he stopped praying.

“Go on,” said his mother, gently encouraging him.

“I can’t,” he cried and ran from the room.

A few moments later he returned and finished the prayer, “I pray Thee Lord my soul to take.”

“What happened?” his Mother asked.

“Well,” he confessed, “just before we knelt to pray, I went into James’ room and took all of his toy soldiers and hid them. Then I hid his tanks, cannons and trucks so he couldn’t see them. And after I started to pray, I had to stop and make everything right because I knew that God wouldn’t hear me.”

Many times we pray and get no answers. Often we think that God is not willing to hear us or unable to help us. But that is not true.

We cannot knowingly have sin in our hearts and lives and go to God and expect Him to answer our prayers. If we expect God to hear and answer our prayers, we must make things right first.

Said the Psalmist, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” It is only when we willingly confess and forsake our sins that we can expect God to answer our prayers. It may be time to stop in the middle of a prayer, right some wrongs and then pray. God is always able to answer our prayers, but not willing because of sin!

Prayer:  Help us, Lord, to accept the fact that we cannot expect You to answer our prayers if we keep sin in our lives. May we confess our sins first, and then pray! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:18 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Triumph Through Tragedy

A fierce tornado destroyed his home. Finally, when the rains stopped and floods subsided, he returned to look at the damage. All he had once valued and worked for was destroyed. His home was gone. His belongings were washed away. There was little more than the foundation and piles of rubble.

But as he stood at the site, dazed and discouraged, he noticed something shining in the midst of a pile of debris. As he looked closely at the glimmering object, he discovered it was a large piece of gold bullion. He did his best to find the owner but to no avail. No one knew where the gold came from or who it belonged to.

After waiting for weeks for an owner to come identify the gold, he was told by his attorney and the police department to keep what he had found. What the flood destroyed and took from him also brought him wealth.

Many of us have stories that are similar to this one. What we once viewed as a tragedy turned into a triumph. What we once believed was a trial and time of testing eventually turned into a gracious gift of God’s grace as He protected us from being destroyed by the Enemy.

Beethoven, the great musician, lost his hearing but became a great composer and his music still lives. John Bunyan was thrown into prison and forgotten for years. But through his adversity he glorified God by writing Pilgrim’s Progress. Fanny Crosby lost her sight but wrote over 6,000 Christian songs that we continue to sing.

“We went through fire and water,” wrote the Psalmist, “but you brought us to a place of abundance!”

Prayer:  Enable us, Father, to trust in the wisdom of the plan You have designed for each of our lives. As we walk through the valleys of life, stand with us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance. Psalm 66:12 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

He Rules Forever

He who created all things rules everything! Kingdoms that were once great and powerful can no longer be found on a map. Nations that were once feared and wealthy are now weak and impoverished. Countries that once were respected are now looked upon as failures.

God has been, is, and always will be the Creator-Ruler.

His sovereignty began when the universe began and kingdoms, nations, and countries came into existence according to His divine plan. He reigned before time began and will continue to reign even when clocks cease to tick. “He rules forever by His power.”

His eyes are never closed as He watches over every nation and individual. Deeds that show compassion and deeds that are cruel do not escape His careful observation. Though He is invisible to us, nations are not invisible to Him. He is aware of every citizen in every country and carefully records the actions of the rulers and leaders. “His eyes watch the nations,” wrote the Psalmist.

The rebellious and unrighteous, the godless and the god-restricting will not escape His judgment. No nation has ever succeeded when they have rebelled against God, His laws or His truth. Nations sin, people sin and God warns them and waits for them to repent.

If they repent He spares His judgment and voids the punishment that is rightfully theirs because of their wrong-doing and unrighteousness. But when nations continue to sin, they will collapse from within or be destroyed from without.

Only nations who have honored God have survived.

Prayer:  We pray, Father, that our nation will repent and return to our heritage that once followed Your Word. If ever we need You as our Lord, it is now! Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance. Psalm 66:7