Ashamed?

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2 Timothy 1:12b … for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Prior to salvation, my heart was never settled in this area. I had been taught all my life that good works would out weigh the bad and that the only way to Heaven was through the church. There was never any guarantees and the burden was just too great for me. I was constantly carrying what felt like a heavy 100-lb. burden on my shoulders. I didn’t know it at the time but that burden was my sin. My heart was never at peace, no matter how much I tried to deceive myself. Going to church regularly only made me feel clean on out the outside but when I got right down to business, I knew that I wasn’t clean on the inside, despite my frequent trips to confession.

The fact of the matter is, after a dear friend lead me to the Lord and showed me what the Bible said about salvation, I learned that salvation had nothing to do with what I needed to do but had everything to do with what Jesus did for me!

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

There is nothing I can do to compare to what Jesus did – no amount of good works can even come close. His blood, and only His blood, paid the debt for our sin.  When we finally realize that our own works aren’t enough, we can understand just what Christ did for us. And since Jesus did it all, He is able to keep my salvation until I meet Him.  I cannot lose it – it is not the church’s to give – it is His.

Fearful Respect

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~Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.

~Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.

~Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever. 

~Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding. 

~Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.

~Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD [is] the instruction of wisdom; and before honour [is] humility.

It is quite clear that fearing God is the very foundation of faith.  However, this “fear” is not the typical definition of fear.  We are not to be “afraid” of God.  If you wonder why I use Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary for my definitions, it is because meanings of words today are diluted.  When words were translated into English at the time of the 1611 King James Bible, they were translated based upon the definition at that time.  Today, however, those same words have been “weakened” or no longer pack the punch that was intended.  Noah Webster has a wonderful definition for this fear of God that we should have.

In scripture, fear is used to express a filial or a slavish passion. In good men, the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience. This is filial fear.

I will put my fear in their hearts. Jer. 32.

Slavish fear is the effect or consequence of guilt; it is the painful apprehension of merited punishment. Rom. 8.

The love of God casteth out fear. 1John 4.

7. The worship of God.

I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Ps. 34.

8. The law and word of God.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever. Ps. 19.

9. Reverence; respect; due regard.

I find that you can gauge a person’s personal relationship with God by his/her attitude toward God.  If a person doesn’t really know God, this same person views God as a tyrant.  If a person is truly born again, this same person views God as a loving Father worthy of praise, honor, reverence, and worship.

My correct biblical “fear” is dependent on my position with God.  If I am His child, I long to please Him and show Him my love – it’s a natural response to what He has done for me.  If I am not born again, I am not His child but the devil’s child (John 8:44).  Therefore, I really don’t care.  It amazes me that people are quick to call God a cruel judge when His judgment stems on their choices and decisions.

Fearless

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Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. ~Isaiah 12:2

The born-again Christian has received the most blessed gift – eternal life in Heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. The penalty that we deserved was taken upon the Lord Himself and we are no longer under the bondage of sin! That alone should be enough to cause the Christian to rejoice.

However, the Lord tells us that we also can trust in Him to be with us during those difficult times. God never sleeps so He is always watchful of what happens to us.

~Psalm 121:3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

We have no need to be afraid of anything in our lives because the God who loves us and never sleeps is watching … waiting … diligently protecting us. Therefore, we can rest in His care! We can be assured that the problems of the day will be handled by the Master and we can enjoy peaceful rest. In fact, this verse says our sleep will be sweet.

~Proverbs 3:24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

God’s strength cannot be measured – after all, He is not a man! What better arms to rest in than those of the Lord’s?

~Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Serving the Lord and resting in His care will put a song in your heart!

~Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Fears

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10845733_1059963597366497_8193251703727178533_oPhotography by Cecelia Becker

Is. 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

We as Christians are so blessed because he does not only have access to God at certain times in our lives as those saints of the Old Testament. Today, the believer has full access, 24/7, to as much of God as he desires. But does the average Christian take advantage of this? If this were an exercised privilege by each and every believer, the world would be experiencing a revival as never before.

Isaiah needed reassurance and God was quick to give it to him. What compassion our God has! God’s child is not left to a cold, uncaring Father. Not at all! In fact, the scriptures tell us that He pities us in our weaknesses. (Psalm 103:13) As we dig into Isaiah 41:10, it is a blessing to see the verse picked apart and applied to the child of God. I discovered golden nuggets I had never seen before. God starts out dealing with Isaiah’s weaknesses: fear, dismay, weak, and lack of faith:

Fear not: What a weakness this is in many believers :-( Oh that the Christian would get a handle on this early on in his spiritual life. Why was Isaiah fearful, I wondered? Old Testament saints did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as Christians do today. Isaiah must have been feeling overwhelmed and fearful of the tasks at hand. So what was God’s response to him? … “for I am with thee.” God was reassuring Isaiah that He was there for this task. What a blessing for the New Testament saint because God is always with us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He never leaves us!! 1 Cor. 6:19, 2 Tim 1:14 – The Holy Spirit lives within us and is, therefore, always to deliver us from our fears!

Be not dismayed: The word dismayed means “deprived of courage.” Poor Isaiah. I have felt this way many times; especially when I am trying to give the Gospel to an unbeliever! Just look at God’s response to Isaiah’s dismay!! God said, “for I am thy God.” Nothing is too hard for God. It is He that gives us the ability to witness in His name. When we know that the Creator of all is the One who helps us in all of our endeavors, there is no reason to be deprived of courage. In fact, because the Holy Spirit resides within us, we have full resources! (Gen. 18:14, Jer. 32:17, Jer. 32:27) The word dismayed is not mentioned at all in the New Testament!! The Holy Spirit is God (1 John 5:7) and, therefore, God never leaves us (Heb. 13:5).

Our God will strengthen us. The word strengthen is only mentioned once in New Testament! However, it refers to us strengthening the brethren (Lk 22:32). I find that quite interesting, actually. Not because God won’t strengthen the Christian but because God is ever present in us to continually strengthen us. (1 Cor. 6:19, 2 Tim 1:14)
Our God will help us. Another truly interesting golden nugget in God’s word is that the phrase “help thee” is only found once in the New Testament (Phil. 4:3) and, again, it refers to us helping others. (1 Cor. 6:19, 2 Tim. 1:14) Since our precious Holy Spirit lives within us, He is, therefore, always there to help us in time of need. We don’t have to wait for a priest or a special occasion to receive His help :-)

Our God will uphold us. Notice that it is not by our own hand or might that we uphold our lives and circumstances, but it is with the right hand of HIS, God’s, righteousness! There is no righteousness in us (Isaiah 64:6). If there were, we would be inclined to believe that we can do it on our own. If there were, we would be inclined to believe that we can win our own way to Heaven! (Eph. 2:8-9) Isaiah points out that there is nothing good in our own righteousness. (Isaiah 64:6) Since we are being upheld by God’s righteousness because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then we can be certain that it is lasting and secure!

Praise the Lord that it is ALL God that does the caring for us and not us! We will fail but God never fails! He is consistent and constant!

Fears

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1 Samuel 1:6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. 

Fear can be likened to dominoes lined up one in front of the other. Once you allow fear to enter, you have knocked over the first domino in the row and down will come all the others, one by one. Fear not only creates havoc but reaches a point where it snowballs, then consumes us. We must confront the fears in our life, understand them and what God’s word has to say about the subject. Only then are we better able to deal with it.

FDR once said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-” But that was just part of the quote. I love the rest of that sentence: “- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Fear can incapacitate us and prevent us from moving forward.

He was right – I have experienced fear that was nameless; I didn’t know why I was afraid but I just was. I wasn’t afraid of a particular person – but an unnamed problem. As well, there is no reasoning with fear and it will fill us with terror causing us not to take action. I have been in these shoes and, no pun intended, it is a fearful place to be – a dark place! So what does the Bible have to say about fear? Does God teach us how to deal with it? I shout a resounding “YES”!

First, where does fear come from? The Scriptures tell us:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8 (KJV)

When we focus on our fears and become consumed by them, we are not being sober and vigilant. Peter tells us that the devil does not play fair. Have you ever watched a nature show about lions? They do not go after the fastest and strongest gazelle. In fact, they will go after a young one or an injured one. This is how the devil works, my friend. He will kick you while you’re down. He will eat you alive. So how does a Christian overcome fear? We know that God does not desire His children to live in fear.

1 John 4:15-18 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

As we learn about our position with God and His love for us, we can realize the depth of His love. After all, He gave us His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to take the penalty for a punishment that we so deserve. That is love! Once we are secure in God’s love through His Son, we must read, read, read! Reading the Scriptures opens our eyes to God’s love, His power, and how He guides His people. Do you recall all those men of Israel who were so afraid of Goliath that they all ran from him? David’s response was:

1 Sam 17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

In the same chapter, we read that when David finally confronted Goliath:

David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 1 Sam 17:48 (KJV)

This does not sound like someone who was fearful. If anyone should have been afraid, it should have been David. Yet, he ran towards Goliath! David knew his God and he knew that he was not alone to fight the battle.

Neither are we alone to fight our battles! The same God who helped David with Goliath will help us with our giants – our fears! God’s word is filled with verses of encouragement in this area. This is how we grow in the areas of being sober and vigilant – we read God’s word and glean from its pages! Is there anyone in the Scriptures we can learn from better than David?

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Psalms 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 118:6 The LORD [is] on my side; I will not fear: what can man do to me?

God desires that we rest in Him. (Matthew 11:28-30) We do not have to be afraid of upcoming circumstances because we have a Heavenly Father who is on top of the entire situation in our lives! When we become fearful, we become consumed with doubts and do not think clearly. (2 Timothy 1:7)

God wants us to rest in His care. What are these problems in life that the God of David cannot solve? (1 Samuel 17:26) This same God who helped David defeat his giant will help us defeat our giants: whether they are giants with flesh or abstract giants! Not all our fears are based on issues with people. Sometimes circumstances can stir up fears. These are giants nonetheless! The bottom line is fear. The Lord will not leave us or abandon us. He loves us! (Deuteronomy 31:6, 1 Chronicles 28:20) It’s always easier to go through difficult times when you have someone who will go through those times with you. We always have Someone with us. God promises us that He will never leave us or abandon us! (Hebrews 13:5) Praise the Lord!

Once we fully grasp God’s love for us, the fears are replaced with a trust that helps us to understand that nothing happens without God’s approval. Our fears will turn into child like trust and then will we be able to experience God’s power in our lives.

Psalm 56:3-4 In the time when I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do to me. 

Friend, are you afraid? Get in the Scriptures! Do you find yourself fretting over circumstances in life? Get in the word of God. In its pages are countless verses dealing with fear and courage. Each time I begin to fear, this is where I turn. I use different colored highlighters in my Bible. The color pink is the color I’ve designed for comfort verses. When I am afraid, I can easily open my Bible and spot the pink verses. As I turn each page in search of the pink highlighted verses and read them, I remember the circumstances which led me to highlight the verse in the first place. Each one is a testimony to God’s faithfulness!

If I don’t have the opportunity to open my Bible, I pray and ask the Lord to take my fears from me. I made Proverbs 3:5-6 my life’s verses about 20 years ago and have committed them to memory. Each time I cannot open my Bible when I am afraid, I quote these verses back to myself. They remind me of those times prior where I feared my giants and how the Lord defeated each and every one! I have lived Psalm 56:3-4 and the result has been the beautiful rest Jesus Christ told us He would give in Matthew 11:28.

Read, read, read your Bible! That’s the solution to fear! Your fears will be replaced with trust.

Fear Not!

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Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine.

Love motivates us to do great things, doesn’t it? Just how far would you go to show someone how much you love him? Would you go so far as to die for them? God is love and He did just that. He paid the price for our sin so that we would not have to. Now that’s love!

God knows us by name, dear reader! We’re not some accident of evolution but His precious creation! We are His! What comfort that brings me – what do I have to fear in life. There is nothing that can happen to me without the Lord first knowing about it. If it happens, then He allowed it and will help me! Amen? We have such a wonderful Heavenly Father – we lack nothing! Thank You, Lord!

My Constant Companion

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10931647_915874575098254_2806204772266512045_oDeuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

The born-again believer is promised by God that he is not alone and the Lord goes with him every step of the way! What an encouragement to the spirit! There is nothing to fear because our all-knowing Father is aware of every need we have, every task that needs to be accomplished, and every step we take. How comforting!

The unsaved have every reason to fear in life because they are walking alone – they do not have the assurance of where eternity lies for them. Are you one of those, dear reader? What is stopping you from reading your Bible and finding answers? It is your responsibility to search the Scriptures. The devil does not want you to do so as this is where the power of God lies and salvation lies within its pages.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Mark 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

I challenge you to find that peace that comes with salvation!

Philippians 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid?

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10926268_915873368431708_5186166446508399169_o(1)Psalms 27:1 – ([A Psalm] of David.) The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

The person who is not truly born again cannot possibly have the peace that comes with salvation. Salvation is not all about what we do but what God has done for us! (John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9)  Now that would bring fear to the unsaved person’s heart … or at least, it should!

Each day brings greater and greater uncertainty. I hate to think that someone would be purposefully delaying their decision to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He is truly our only hope in this world gone mad. It is only through Christ that we can have this peace.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Without Christ, there is no peace on this earth. Nor in the life to come after. Upon death, the unbeliever will be waiting to experience the second death: going from Hell to the lake of fire for all eternity. Now that is surely something to fear! Please, unbeliever, don’t delay your decision! Please, I beg of you!

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Christ died for your sins and paid the penalty so you would not have to pay it. That was the only way because mankind could not live a sinless life and all mankind would be spending eternity in this lake of fire. Wake up! You can’t be assured of tomorrow!

Fear’s Results

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Photography by Connie Wentworth

Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

When I was a youngster, I was Daddy’s little girl.  I loved my father so much and wanted to please him. When I did things I shouldn’t, all he had to do was to look at me in a certain way and I knew that I was in trouble.  I feared my father but not in a way where I was afraid of him. I respected him – I knew that he was the head of our home and when he spoke, I listened. I also knew that if I misbehaved, I would suffer the consequences.  I learned to follow my father’s directions and to live by his standards.

So it is, or at least it should be, with our Heavenly Father.  God’s Word provides us with all that we need to live for Him. First and foremost, we must be born again (John 3:3) and become a child of the King. Then, we learn to hate what God hates and love what He loves. It’s not rocket science! :) Today’s verse tells us what God hates and, therefore, we should hate those things as well.

One can park on those four items for a while and do a study on them. :)  The word fear int he Scriptures is not always necessarily being afraid. It also means reverencing God and recognizing/respecting who He is. When you love someone, you strive to please that person. If only we kept that foremost in our minds when it came to serving Him!

Peace of Mind

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Photography by Cecelia Becker

Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Peace of mind … commercials speak of life insurance providing peace of mind. But does insurance really provide peace? In today’s chaotic, busy and noisy world, one is hard pressed to find peace and quiet unless he retreats to some favorite spot, and even then, it is merely an outward peace.

True inner peace can only come when one is guilt-free. Sin permeates our lives every day. Praise the Lord that the penalty for that sin has already been paid by Jesus Christ – what joy that brings to the forgiven sinner! To the one who is not born again, there is no peace – there is only “fear of the unknown.” The unsaved do not have the peaceful assurance that they will spend eternity in Heaven.

Total peace can only be achieved if one is truly born again. The born-again child of God has been set free from spending an eternity in Hell. That alone lifts an enormous weight from his shoulders, amen?

The uncertainties of life are replaced with peace knowing that God is in control. As we make our requests known unto Him (Phil. 4:6), God gives us peace knowing our prayers will be answered. This is not so for the unbeliever.

(Pro 15:29) The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

Oh what a blessing to be able to go to our Father, crawl up on His lap and whisper our needs into His ear! Thank You, Lord!

Fear of the Unknown

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77508_10151935547354077_1857118933_oProverbs 14:27 – The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

If people are honest, they will admit that the fear of death weighs on their minds from time to time. But to the true born-again believer, the fear is removed because the believer knows where he is going once he dies. It is like walking through a door from one room to another. God has promised us that the sting of death (the fear and the feeling of being alone) will be removed!

1 Cor. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

But to the unsaved, it is not so. The unsaved does not know the outcome after he dies. He has no assurance of peace but only one of doubt.

To the one who has been “religious” his whole life still has no assurance.  He can only “hope” that all the good he has done will out weight the bad. It just does not work that way friend! If good works could earn you a place in Heaven, then why did Jesus have to die on the cross? Jesus was sent as a gift to us to receive. He is the one that paid the price for our sins. Just as you would gladly make bail for someone you love who has been arrested, Jesus did just that. He paid the penalty so you could be free from eternal damnation in a burning Hell. It’s not your deeds that will count. What will count on the judgment day is what you did with God’s gift, Jesus Christ.

Eph. 2:5-9 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Can you imagine if one could go to Heaven because of what he did on this earth? It would no longer be a gift, as the Bible clearly states (Romans 3:23 is another verse). One would boast of his accomplishments and it would be all about the person’s abilities and not about God at all. Friend, your good works are all for nothing if you are not born again. God compares them as filthy rags!

Is. 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

If by reading this, you have seen the error of your ways, read the Gospel of John three times and read about the goodness of God and His precious gift to you, Jesus Christ, and what He has done for you. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sin. Repentance brings a change in one’s life. (2 Cor. 5:17) The old sinful nature will be replaced with a new nature that wants to please God. Write to me and let me know of your decision! :)

Established

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Proverbs 16:3 – Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

When reading today’s verse, I think of those times that I plowed ahead in life in my own abilities only to come crashing down to reality. I had not committed those tasks to the Lord nor did I pray about them. My flesh desires to sin and live a worldly life but my spirit desires to live a godly life according to the Father’s will for me. It’s a daily battle but not one fought alone!

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to focus not only our thoughts on Him but every area of our lives as well. The battle is His, after all. (1 Samuel 17:47)

This is what today’s verse refers to as “established.” It’s as if we take a step from a wobbling trampoline to standing firmly on land. Spiritually speaking, we go from bouncing around aimlessly to walking on solid ground. God does not desire to have us rocking back and forth on the waves of life with no stability. He has given us His Word to guide and direct us. The bible provides us with answers – the Father speaks to us through it – we have a guide through the Holy Spirit who Christ has promised will teach us all things we need to know. I feel that the Holy Spirit is a gift from Christ to us – a gift that never leaves us but resides within us. We are able to “pull” from His resources and encourage ourselves through what the Spirit teaches. What a comfort for the believer! We are not alone but have the Lord walking each step with us!

In these uncertain times, the Word gives us assurance that nothing is happening without the Father’s knowledge. We have nothing to fear because God knows what’s up ahead and is working to steady our foot. Committing our every action and thought to Him assures us that the Lord will establish our thoughts and remove doubts and fears. What a wonderful Father we have!

Unmovable!

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Psalms 16:8 – I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Indecision … doubt … fears … all stem from a heart that is not planted firm on God’s Word. When I fear what life is throwing my way, my eyes have gone from looking up to looking to myself.

The Psalmist knew this as well. Did you notice the cause and effect here? David kept his eyes on the Lord and the effect was spiritual stability. All things in life can be going wrong, but when our eyes are on the Lord, we know that there’s no need to fear. He is our strength. Look at the lighthouse in the picture above. It’s as if it’s roots are firmly planted in the sea and the storms of life cannot shake it. So are we when we fix our eyes on the Lord and rely solely on Him.

2 Samuel 22:33 God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

The Shadows

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Psalms 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

I think the worse fear a human being can have is the fear of death. To the Christian who knows where he will spend eternity, the fear is removed and replaced with anticipation; or at least, it should be.

Notice that the Psalmist said that the Lord was with him during that time? God promises to never leave us! Isn’t that comforting to you? It is to me! I know that I am never alone in this world, even though I as though I am.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

If you are not born again today, Reader, then you cannot feel the comfort from these verses… you cannot feel the assurance that God is there walking with you through the mountains and valleys. How very sad that one would choose to feel so alone! My Heavenly Father never leaves my side! His Holy Spirit resides within me and is there every step of the way!

What a comfort this brings! I am not alone – no matter what shadows are lurking, the Lord is with me! He is my Shepherd and He watches over me!  Praise Him!

Nothing is Impossible

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Photography by Cecelia Becker

Luke 1:37 – For with God nothing shall be impossible.

There are times when a problem appears to be impossible to overcome. But we serve the Master of impossible situations! He who calms the raging storms (Mark 4:39). Think about it for a moment, Christian … Jesus calmed that storm completely.

Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Not only did the wind stop blowing but Jesus calmed the raging sea! Just how calm did Jesus make it? He made it a great calm!  Think of the calmest waters you’ve ever seen, where you can drop a pebble and the rings seem to go out to infinity – that’s how calm the sea was.

This same Jesus can calm your storms so what is there to fear? Nothing is too hard for Him.

Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

God told His people three times that nothing was too hard for Him! How wonderful this is for the Christian to grasp … what seems impossible to us is a “piece of cake” to the Lord. The one he calms the raging sea has things under control! :) Stop trying to take control – be still and let Him take the reins. :)

Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

A Constant Companion

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Photography by Cecelia Becker

Joshua 1:9 – Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.

There’s nothing like calling a friend on the phone at the last minute and make plans for an outing. That friend is ready at the drop of a hat to go anywhere with you.  I had a sweet friend in Oregon who was always ready to go for a hike along the beautiful Oregon coast or up in the woods near Heceta Head Lighthouse. It never took any coaxing! :)

The Lord doesn’t need any coaxing either. In fact, He is always with you, Christian. The precious Holy Spirit, whom Christ gave to us at the time of salvation, is there all the time. There is no period during our Christian walk where He is not present. Just think about it, the Creator of the Universe has given us a “part of Him,” the Holy Spirit, and He resides within us. He’s right there – ready to encourage, to help, to listen, to teach, to discipline. Where we go, He goes! We are never alone!

The unbeliever does not have the Holy Spirit living within him. He walks alone and it is no wonder that the unsaved lives in a dark place in his heart. But the Christian, the child of the King, has a light shining brightly within! :) What is there to fear? Amen?

Life’s Rudder

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Photography by Cecelia Becker

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Going through the storms of life can be difficult for anyone. But to the Christian, that storm is no longer raging out of control. Today’s verses teach us to trust in the Lord rather than our own hearts. What makes absolutely no sense to us makes perfect sense to God. He has seen the future and is working things out to reach that goal. What’s even better for the Christian is that God always has our best interest in heart. He would never put us through something that we can’t handle!

What produces that trust in God? It’s seeing how He has helped you through all those difficult storms of life along the way. Each one builds on your foundation of trust in Him … The stronger the foundation, the deeper the trust. Look at the last part of verse 6 – … and he shall direct thy paths.  When you accept the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is at the helm of your ship and you are allowing Him to control the rudder, then you can be assured that He will direct your path!

Even through the raging seas, Jesus is still at the helm and He will still bring you through the storms of your life. :) He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
1 Chronicles 28:20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.