Friday, January 28, 2022

In The Name Of The Lord - Peace

Bee researchers have discovered that there are more than 20,000 species of bees. Each species of bee has its own colony or community, and bees can be found in most parts of the world. Each species has three types of bees: the queen bee, the worker bee and the drone. Bees can see all colors but red and have a strong sense of smell that helps them find flowers to gather pollen that produces honey. The honey that bees produce has been prized for years because it is a source of sweetness and energy. Recently, however, honey has been identified as a resource that may be helpful to contribute to certain types of healing.

While information about bees may be interesting to some, most of us care only about their honey or the fear that we might be stung by one. At least that was the attitude of the Psalmist. When surrounded by his enemies he said, “They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns.” Obviously, he was terribly threatened by those who would destroy him, but his faith and trust in God put him at ease. “In the name of the Lord I cut them - my enemies - down.”

Each day we face many “enemies.” They come at us from every direction. Whether our “enemies” are doubts or fears, a life-threatening disease or the loss of a loved one, financial woes or being abandoned - you name it - enemies come in all sizes and shapes and from every direction.

No one is immune from the “sting” of an enemy. But, thank God, when we Christians are besieged by the hurts that come from the “stings” of life, the Lord will heal them.

Prayer:  How grateful we are Lord, to know that when we are “swarmed” by the “bees” of life, You will rescue us! We are safe, protected by Your power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today:  – They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them down. Psalm 118:12

Watch a video of this devotional: https://youtu.be/wmvXCLhRWQg

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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Is The Right Person On Your Side?

The Civil War was a dark period in the history of the United States. President Abraham Lincoln had little time for anything else in his life. The demands on him were overwhelming, and he went for days without enjoying his family.

On one occasion while meeting with Secretary of State William Seward in the Cabinet room, his son burst through the door in tears and said, “I want my father!”

The secretary could have said, “Your father is too busy for you. Let me get you a teacher who can help you with your problems.” Or, he could have said, “Let me get you an attorney who will represent you wisely and get you out of any problem you might have.”

The child knew who he wanted, and it was not the Secretary of State or some other highly qualified person. He wanted his father. No one else could fill that need.

And, that is essentially what the Psalmist said when he cried, “In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free.” God was his first responder.

Sometimes it is easy to turn to the person who we consider to be our closest friend when we face a tough time in our lives. Or, we may look for a person who is known for his brilliance or knowledge or wisdom or status to rescue us from any number of problems that are beyond our capabilities. That may not be wise.

When we face the uncertainties of life, the first person we need to call on for guidance is God. We must go to him as a child to a father knowing He is waiting to help.

Prayer:  Lord, we know that no one cares for us as much as You do. Teach us to look to You first when we are in need, knowing that You are “for” us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today:  – In my anguish, I cried to the Lord, and He answered me by setting me free. Psalm 118:5

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

It's There - Waiting

Mary and I had been on a long trip. We had been driving for hours. We arrived home in the midst of a storm. The wind seemed to be coming from every direction, and the rain was cold and biting. We sat in our car for a moment looking at our home that was dark and empty. I left the lights on in the car and made my way up the steps, turned on the lights and turned up the thermostat. Suddenly, what had once been dark and dismal was now warm and welcoming.

Although our home was cold and dark, power was available to eliminate the darkness and provide energy for warmth. But it was necessary for me to do “something” to change things.

In a spiritual sense, this is true of prayer. The writer of Psalm 118 was in a situation where he desperately needed help. He knew there was a source of power that was beyond himself that he could go to if he chose to. And he did! Hear his words: “In my anguish, I cried to the Lord, and He answered me by setting me free!”

The prayer of faith is far more powerful than any source of power we know. It is the most unused force for good that is available to man.

It was Jesus who challenged us to go to this Source of power for anything and everything: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” Jesus set no limits on what we might ask for as long as it is in keeping with His nature and character. Whatever we ask for, if it will bring honor and glory to His name, He will give us.

Prayer:  Help us, Father, to take Your challenge to pray for anything that we might need as long as it honors You. Thank You for Your light and warmth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today:  – In my anguish, I cried to the Lord, and He answered me by setting me free. Psalm 118:5

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Which Is Better: Long Or Short?

One of my childhood memories is standing for great lengths of time while certain people prayed long, boring prayers. I remember asking God more than once if there was not something more important for Him to do than to listen to Mr. “whatever his name was.” Occasionally I would put my fingers over my eyes, slightly spread two of them apart and then look around to see what everyone was doing. Most of them, if I recall correctly, were slightly shifting their weight from one foot to the other, trying not to disturb the person standing next to them.

It was later in life that I discovered length was not all that important when we pray. It is our sincerity and the purpose of our prayers that gets God’s attention.

Perhaps Psalms 117 was included in the Bible to make this point. It is a prayer of praise written by an unknown author. Notice also that it begins with an invitation to the Gentiles to “Laud Him” - the “Lord.” The Psalmist wants everyone to know that everyone is invited to worship Yahweh.

And, after the invitation, the Psalmist gives a reason for this special call to worship: “For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.” Then, he shouts in gratitude: “Praise the Lord.”

The Psalmist made a special effort to announce the fact that all nations are included in this call to worship. It is echoed in the words of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Prayer:  We thank You, Father, for Your great love and faithfulness that is limitless, all-inclusive and everlasting. What a blessing to know that I am included in Your love and faithfulness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today:  – Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD. Psalm 117

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Monday, January 24, 2022

Does Size Matter?

Have you ever heard that “bigger is better” or that “smaller is insufficient?” Some think that size makes a difference. And there may be times when both are true.

Psalm 117 provides a significant statement on size. It is the shortest chapter in the Bible. Yet it contains some of the largest themes in the Word of God.

For example, “Praise the Lord, all you nations.” The Lord is not limited to any one nation or country. God did not send His Son to be the Savior of one particular group. His Word states that “The Father sent the Son to be the savior of the world...”  There is no Biblical basis to believe that our Lord loves some one more than He does every one. The word world includes every continent - from the most God-hating to the most God-honoring.

It also states that His love is not limited: “For great is His love for us.” Our God has no favorites. We may question why others are more prosperous than we are or have more of life’s goods than we do. But that does not mean that they are loved more than anyone else. God gave them what He did for a particular reason, and He gives us what He did for a particular reason. They, as well as the rest of us, will be accountable to Him for each of His gifts. It is never what He gives us, but how we bless God and others with His gifts that He gives us.

Finally, His “faithfulness endures forever.” God is not nice today and spiteful tomorrow. Who He is today He will be tomorrow and throughout eternity. His pledges and promises are predictable. His Word proves that fact.

Prayer:  Thank You, Father, for a love that includes all of us and Your faithfulness that will not waver. You truly deserve all our praise! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: – Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD. Psalm 117

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