Maranatha Devotionals, Encouragement

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Do you find yourself feeling as though all the work you are doing for the Lord just does not seem appreciated – or even of benefit? You strive to help others but they just ignore your help. People take advantage of you and you feel used. You seem to have reached your limit and you are weary of well doing. You are not alone, dear Christian. We all reach that point at some time or another. It is important that you recognize the signs and nip them in the bud before the weariness overtakes you.

Noah Webster defines weary as:

WEARY, a.

1. Having the strength much exhausted by toil or violent exertion; tired; fatigued. [It should be observed however that this word expresses less than tired, particularly when applied to a beast; as a tired horse. It is followed by of, before the cause of fatigue; as, to be weary of marching; to be weary of reaping; to be weary of study.]

2. Having the patience exhausted, or the mind yielding to discouragement. He was weary of asking for redress.

3. Causing weariness; tiresome; as a weary way; a weary life.

If you were sick, you would take a day off from work and rest, wouldn’t you? Weariness can “snow ball” if it is not dealt with right away. It is at this time that we must break away from the hustle and bustle of this world and find a quiet place with the Lord. We need to refuel ourselves and get ourselves back on track.

Rewards

I don’t know about you, but I feel most rewarded when I know that God is using me. I may not see the fruit of my labor but the Holy Spirit lets me know through His Word or His still small voice that I am being used to help someone else.

~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Remedy

So what’s the remedy? Take a personal day off work and get away to a quiet place that you absolutely love. If you can’t afford an entire day, then purpose in your heart to get up early and take a few extra hours alone with God! Don’t just go into your study or bedroom. Get away from your familiar surroundings. A botanical gardens is always nice – or the woods – or a pond or lake where the ducks are swimming – or even at the top of a mountain where the vista takes your breath away! Take your Bible with you and have a “sit down” with God. It should be different from your usual prayer time and devotional time with Him. It should be special – just as special as the dates with your spouse!

Just as our cars need maintenance and fuel regularly, so do we! Daily Bible reading is good but this kind of “sit down” with the Lord is needful at times. It is especially needful if you are in full-time ministry and are on the go all the time. Those in full-time ministry are always so busy working for the Lord that everyone thinks they should always be on a “spiritual high” for their well doing. But that is not the case. Those are the people who get weary and must make time with their God and have a spiritual retreat regularly.

Retreats in the Word

Spiritual retreats seemed to be the center of David’s life, in my opinion. He knew where to get his encouragement, didn’t he? Psalms is filled with beautiful verses depicting David’s needs being met because he sought his God!

~Psalm 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

David took the time to meditate in God’s Word. Sometimes an outside stimulous can enhance our meditation time. For me, it is a quiet place in the woods! I hear the crickets and birds – the sound of a babbling brook – the breeze blowing through the trees and hearing the leaves rustle. All these things draw me closer to my Creator!

My friend, you are not alone in your work for the Master! He will be coming soon and our work here will be finished. Don’t grow weary. Encourage your spirit in the Word and keep on keepin’ on!
© Kate Plourde 2009

The picture above was taken by Carol Meyers and used here with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Bible Studies, Cancer, Encouragement, Testimony

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~Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

I’ve seen study after study and devotion after devotion on this verse. But until you personally experience a series of trials in your own life, and experience this verse, you really can’t fully appreciate what others are trying to explain. So it was for me! Although I was greatly blessed by reading those studies, I have to admit that it wasn’t until I experienced some heavy-duty trials that I was able to have the compassion I needed to help others.

It is the first part of the verse that spoke to my heart, actually. The Lord knows the way that I take! This brings me much comfort knowing that my Shepherd knows my way. He has seen the future and knows the results of all that is going on in my life! My Creator, who has numbered the very hairs on my head (Luke 12:7), knows me intimately and cares for me. No matter how discouraged I may get, I can turn to the Word and the Lord gives me something that encourages my heart! (Psalm 61:2) From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Our Heavenly Father hears our pleas of despair and comes to our rescue! (Psalm 18:6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Thank You, Lord! I glorify Your Name on high!

Job’s reputation has followed him through the ages because he was able to claim this verse in the bible. Even to this day, we hear the phrase “He has the patience of Job.” The trials that this man suffered are unbelievable, aren’t they? Job was attacked on every side by ole slew foot! The devil attacked Job’s character, he attacked Job’s belongings (cattle, etc.), he attacked Job’s servants, he attacked Job’s family, and he attacked Job’s own body! He even used Job’s friends to attack him emotionally! There is no one that I know of personally who has been through each of these in his life time – let alone within just a few weeks! I have learned that the Lord never gives us more than we can bear! With each burden, he provides us encouragement along the way. It is up to us to search out that encouragement! The word of God should be our main source of encouragement! That source is: (Psa 121:1) [A Song of degrees.] I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psa 121:2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

I also noticed that Job did not get to the point where he cursed the day he was born until after his friends came to “comfort” him! The devil kept attacking him and saw that he could not succeed; so he sent along people he could “use” to accomplish his goal – discouragement. Where do you sit today, my friend? Are you one in need of encouragement or are you to be used of God to do the encouraging? Are you the type of friend that Job had? As I searched my heart, I realized that although I was experiencing trials of my own, there are many out there who are going through things that make mine look like child’s play! What kind of friend am I to those dear ones who are suffering?

If you are one who is experiencing trials today, do you surround yourself with whiners, complainers and nay sayers? It is these types of friends who will drag you down spiritually. Surround yourself with people who love the Lord, will pray for you and are there to lend an ear just in case you need one. Turn to your spiritual mentors who will not allow you to wallow in self-pity but will help you out of the pit of despair. You cannot expect someone who cannot swim to rescue you from drowning! Therefore, do not turn to those Christians who will nurture your discouragement instead of lifting you up in the Lord.

I don’t know why the Lord laid this on my heart today. Maybe I will need this down the road – or maybe you are going through a similar trial and need to be encouraged! With that said, won’t you say as Job did, (Job 23:10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Maranatha Devotionals, Encouragement, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Toddlers, Devotionals

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Psalm 111

1 Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. 2 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. 3 His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. 5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.6 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. 7 The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. 8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. 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.

As Christians, what comes out of our mouths? Are we constantly complaining or moaning about our circumstances? If an unbeliever were listening to our conversations, would they be able to tell that we are children of the King of Kings? These are pretty poignant questions, aren’t they?

No matter what our lot is in life, we have so much for which to be thankful! Just take a look around you. Psalm 111:2 says that those who have pleasure in God’s good works seek out His works. The Lord must delight in His children’s praises as they sit in awe looking out the stars, don’t you think? The Lord made all these things just for us so that we could behold their beauty and remember Him (PSalm 111:4)! Even in our day-to-day needs, we can see how He has provided (Psalm 111:5). Every time I think of His blessings in my life, I am reminded of:

“Great is Thy Faithfulness”

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

As the heart is prepared by praising the Lord for His marvelous blessings, Psalm 111:9 then leads us into the ultimate blessing, our salvation! Even the most pessimist Christian must acknowledge this blessing! We deserve judgment and Hell because the Lord’s words are truth and He will carry out those judgments (Psalm 111:8).

The child of God who obeys God’s Word is wise and will have His praises on their lips (Psalm 111:10). So Christian, how’s your mouth today? (Matt. 15:18 and Luke 6:45) Better yet, how’s your heart?

Maranatha Devotionals, Bible Studies, Encouragement

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~Psalm 100:1 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100 is filled with instruction for the believer! I absolutely love how we are instructed on how to conduct ourselves and our spiritual life.

  1. Praise your Lord:  The words from our mouths should be a joyful noise, not sounds that grate on people’s last nerve.  I’m sure you’ve been around Christians who appear as though they have been sucking on lemons!  Nothing is ever right for them.  They are in a constant state of complaining.  This is not becoming of a Christian.  Why would the unsaved world want what the complainer has?  I think of Matthew 5:13 when the Lord Jesus said we are the salt of the earth.  Salt causes one to be thirsty and our testimony should cause the unsaved to thirst after what we have, which is salvation.  Do you really think your complaining will cause the unsaved to thirst after what you have?  What kind of testimony is a complaining spirit to your Saviour?  Who would want Him after listening to you?  Let’s rejoice!  Let’s praise the Lord who saved us from burning for eternity in the Lake of Fire!  Praise the Lord!  Sing to Him hymns of praise and rejoice!  Rejoice, Rejoice oh Christian, lift up your voice and sing!  Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King!!
  2. Serve your Lord:  Everything we do should be a joy because we are His!  Jesus told His disciples that if they gave a drink of water to someone who thirsted, it was as if they had given it to Him.  If we did each of our tasks in our daily lives as though we were doing it for our Lord, wouldn’t our attitude be different?
  3. Acknowledge your Lord:  We must remember who God is and it is He that created us!  We can’t rule the Master – the sheep can’t lead the Shepherd!  We must acknowledge that He is our Maker and He is our leader and we must follow.  When we acknowledge this daily in our prayer life, it is easier to follow.  It is when we try to do things on our own without His direction or His help that we find ourselves in trouble!
  4. Thank your Lord:  Everywhere we go we should be ready to share what God has done for us!  A grateful heart leaves no room for bitterness or discontent.  A grateful heart is ever ready to praise the Lord for all that He has done.  Some have to dig deep before they can find one tiny morsel of thankfulness!  How sad is that?  When the heart is thankful, the Lord is glorified!
  5. Embrace your Lord:  As you meditate on the Lord’s attributes, you realize just how small you are and just how big He is.  Our sinful nature is in need of His goodness and mercy!  Praise the Lord that His truths endure to all generations!  Praise the Lord that He loved us so much that He was willing to pay the price for our sins!  Oh what great love!  I know I can speak for many who say that once I enter Heaven’s gates, it will be His neck that I hug first thing so I can thank Him and praise Him for what He has done for me!  For without His mercy, I would lost for eternity!

He Lives!

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.

Chorus
He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives,
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

Maranatha Devotionals, Catholicism, Encouragement, Salvation, Scriptures

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While looking at this graphic, one can get the feeling of being delivered from harm’s way. Searching the Scriptures for this name of our Saviour really blessed me! My spirit was encouraged and lifted up!

~2 Samuel 22:2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

~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.

~Psalm 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

~Psalm 70:5 But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.

~Psalm 144:2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

~Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Noah Webster defines the word deliverer as:

1. One who delivers; one who releases or rescues; a preserver.

Christ releases us from the sin debt that mankind has owed since the fall of Adam and Eve! The catholic church would have you believe that the catholic’s debt is not fully paid until after he is released from purgatory. However, that is a work and is not covered under the Grace of God. The Word says:

~Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Therefore, to the one who believes that Christ’s payment for our sin debt is not enough but one must add penance and indulgences with purgatory, then that person is under the sin debt for certain. But Christ said that He released us from this debt, my friend!

The word deliverer also means “rescues.” Oh what a precious picture in the mind’s eye! We are rescued from burning in hell! Like the graphic above, Christ’s payment for our sins rescues us from eternal punishment! We no longer need to work our way to heaven because the payment is paid and our salvation is secure in His hands!

And lastly, the last definition for deliver is “preserver.” Oh my! Our salvation is preserved by Christ, Himself! God is not a mere man who can fail us. He is the God of Glory and securely holds our salvation forever!

~Luke 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

~2 Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

~Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

There is nothing else that needs to be done for our salvation. Christ died once for all. He paid the price once for all. When we repent and believe in Him, we need only do it once for all eternity. Jesus, our Deliverer, has our salvation securely in His hand!

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Encouragement

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This was shared in a post at The Fundamental Baptist Forum by Pastor Tim DeIello.

It is an excellent illustration helping us with discouragement. We have all been there, haven’t we?

Enjoy 🙂


Discouragement, Chipmunks and Birds
________________________________________
The Distraction of Discouragement

I don’t know of a person who does NOT battle discouragement in one form or fashion. Some pretend that it does not exist. Some choose to deceive others by stating that everything is just fine.

I have yet to find a passage of scripture which reveals that one human being has not faced discouragement…ever.

Discouragement distracts us from the proper attitude of the heart

Discouragement detours us from Him directing our paths

Discouragement dissatisfies us from the blessings God abundantly gives

Discouragement DISCOURAGES OTHERS…thereby creating a stumbling block to a weaker brother

Discouragement distances us from joy, peace, contentment, knowledge, separation, convictions, godliness, discernment

Scriptures to read about discouragement
I Kings 19
I Sam 30
Jonah 4

There was a bird in the bird feeder yesterday and it just could not get out. I saw it go in. It was getting some bird seed that was between the glass siding. About 30 minutes later, I walked past the bird feeder and saw the little bird trying to get out. It kept beating its wings trying to get out of the feeder. I thought to myself, I can see your way of escape and yet you keep going the opposite way.

Instantly my mind flashed back to last Spring, when I saw a chipmunk struggling to keep its head afloat in one of the trash cans filled with water from the melting snow. For nearly two minutes that poor chipmunk struggled to keep his head out of water. Finally, it sank below the water line exausted from its struggle. Then, it resurfaced and again attempted to get out of the peril it was in. Finally, I decided to execute my mercy on the poor rodent. I tipped the trash can over to let the water out and most importantly the chipmunk. In so doing, I had to allow the water to overcome the chipmunk as it looked at me with panic. As the water gushed out I saw that the chipmunk was not alone. another chipmunk had died in that water sometime back and stunk something fierce.

I learned something from that experience. Treading near the trash can day after day will one day cause you to fall to your doom. (spiritualize it for yourself)
I learned that what I do does affect others.
I learned that if I want out… I may just have to be overwhelmed in the problem long enough for God to let me out.I learned that God was Sovereign and nothing happens to me that He did not plan.

**Back to the bird feeder….

The bird began to panic as I tipped the bird feeder on its side. It began to flutter back and forth and bang against the sides of the feeder. I thought to myself… “YOU STUPID BIRD…JUST TRUST ME. I AM TRYING TO TEACH YOU HOW TO GET OUT… I AM TRYING TO HELP YOU HERE…. BE STILL.”

Instantly a verse popped into my head:

Be still and know that I am God” ~Psalms 46:10 And then another, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28

As I lifted the top of the bird feeder, I saw the bird fly out of that bird feeder and into the trees. Then, I heard it chirping away. One final passage popped into my head and made me smile and rejoice. …He brought me out of an horrible pit and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings…Many shall see it and fear…. ~Psalms 40:1-3

Praise the Lord! Whether frustrated at your ministry, whether troubled at your failures and insecurities, whether trapped in a dangerous perilous mistake and can’t get out, or whether you got stuck getting too much of a good thing, God knows where you are and God knows what you need and God knows just how long to leave you.

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