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A flock of wild ducks were flying in formation, heading south for the winter. They formed a beautiful V in the sky, and were admired by everyone who saw them from below.

One day, Wally, one of the wild ducks in the formation, spotted something on the ground that caught his eye. It was a barnyard with a flock of tame ducks who lived on the farm. They were waddling around on the ground, quacking merrily and eating corn that was thrown on the ground for them every day. Wally liked what he saw. “It sure would be nice to have some of that corn,” he thought to himself. “And all this flying is very tiring. I’d like to just waddle around for a while.”

So after thinking it over a while, Wally left the formation of wild ducks, made a sharp dive to the left, and headed for the barnyard. He landed among the tame ducks, and began to waddle around and quack merrily. He also started eating corn. The formation of wild ducks continued their journey south, but Wally didn’t care. “I’ll rejoin them when they come back north in a few months,” he said to himself.

Several months went by and sure enough, Wally looked up and spotted the flock of wild ducks in formation, heading north. They looked beautiful up there. And Wally was tired of the barnyard. It was muddy and everywhere he waddled, nothing but duck doo. “It’s time to leave,” said Wally.

So Wally flapped his wings furiously and tried to get airborne. But he had gained some weight from all his corn-eating, and he hadn’t exercised his wings much either. He finally got off the ground, but he was flying too low and slammed into the side of the barn. He fell to the ground with a thud and said to himself, “Oh, well, I’ll just wait until they fly south in a few months. Then I’ll rejoin them and become a wild duck again.”

But when the flock flew overhead once more, Wally again tried to lift himself out of the barnyard. He simply didn’t have the strength. Every winter and every spring, he saw his wild duck friends flying overhead, and they would call out to him. But his attempts to leave were all in vain.

Eventually Wally no longer paid any attention to the wild ducks flying overhead. He hardly even noticed them. He had, after all, become a barnyard duck.

Sometimes we get tired of being wild ducks-followers of Jesus Christ. It’s not always easy to be obedient to God and to discipline ourselves to hang in there for the long haul. When we are feeling that way, that’s when Satan tempts us to “fall out of formation” and to join the barnyard ducks – the world.

But look what happened to Wally. He thought he would just “check it out” for awhile and then leave when he wanted to. But he couldn’t do it. Sin is like that. Sin is a trap, and it has a way of changing us into people we don’t even want to become. Eventually we lose touch with who we really are–the sons and daughters of the Most High. We become barnyard ducks.

~Unknown Author

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

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~Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

What do you concentrate on when you are by yourself? Do you worry about the stock market? Do you think about how much month will be left at the end of your paycheck? Do you worry about the sickness you have and how you will make it one more day? Do you worry about your children? Whatever it is that you think about when you are alone, will more than likely tell you what kind of lifestyle you are living.

Our lifestyle usually reflects what is in our hearts. What kind of lifestyle do people see you living? Does your faith in Christ reflect in your daily walk? Yes, faith is definitely a lifestyle. (2 Cor. 5:17) Christians are new creatures and their “old” lifestyle is to be done away with. Others can see the difference between the former and the present.

When the storms of life appear, do people witness you fretting or witness you resting in the Father’s care? Or do you “inwardly” run around in circles and wonder if anyone out there cares?

~Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

We are a child of the King, oh Christian! Our Heavenly Father has us in the palm of His hand. (John 10:29) He is quite aware of what we are going through and He never sleeps. (Psalm 121:4) He will catch us when we fall – He will help us when we need it (Hebrews 13:5) – He will carry us when we can’t press on even one more step! I love the poem “Footprints in the Sand”! There have been many times where God has had to carry me – and He did!

(Psalm 37:7a) Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself …

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Devotionals

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Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Worry is one of the top personal issues in lives today. It’s a common problem amongst born-again Christians as well.  However, let’s cover this today.  Why would a Christian have the need to worry when his Heavenly Father owns everything on this earth (Ps. 50:10)?  Why would a Christ have the need to worry when the Heavenly Father never sleeps (Ps. 121:3).  Is not our Saviour the King of Kings? His children do not have any needs that He doesn’t already know. We may believe all these things but do we really? Your thought life will reveal whether you truly believe. Where do your thoughts take you when you are in the midst of a trial? The Lord exhorted us to “take no thought” for our needs. His Word reveals His nature as our Heavenly Father.

A search in the King James Bible for the words take no thought shows seven verses all found in the Gospels. It’s interesting to note that seven is God’s perfect number and symbolizes spiritual perfection. It blesses me to think that God placed seven verses to communicate how perfectly and completely He cares for us. Even more so, these verses speak to my heart that when I rely on God to completely care for me, I won’t have a need to worry about anything. God will provide for my food, clothing, grace for daily circumstances, and as well as enlightenment when I need to defend the faith.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Luke 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

Luke 12:22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

Each day that we rely on the Lord to take care of our needs in every area of our lives brings us closer and closer to Him! We won’t reach spiritual perfection until we get to Heaven but as we walk this pilgrim’s path, we will be at peace!!

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~Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

In one of my Bible studies, we were challenged to live out the meaning of these verses, starting at home! As we practice doing good and esteeming those in our home more than ourselves, joy enters our hearts and helps us to take our eyes off the discouraging circumstances around us.

This is wonderful therapy for the dear Christian who is weary. I speak for myself, and surely I cannot be the only one, when I say that the longer my eyes and thoughts are focused on the hardships of my life, the less they are focused on Christ and His ministry of love and reconciliation. Why would an unbeliever want Christ if he observes me in my discouraged state? Why would an unbeliever want my Jesus if he observes me being grumpy to my own family? An unbeliever would want my Jesus if I were displaying the Lord’s qualities.

Yes, it is work to become selfless. It’s not easy esteeming another better than myself! But the word of God tells us to. (Philippians 2:3) My natural man within me wants everything to be about me! But it’s not all about me! It’s ALL about Jesus Christ! If we are Christians, we should have this same selfless heart every day. And, as Paul points out, we should have this generous heart especially toward other believers!

May I challenge you today to stop focusing on your day-to-day circumstances and start focusing on Christ’s purpose for us? Find someone in need and take action, Christian! Those in need are all around us. Every day I hear of someone committing suicide, or their house has burned down – such devastating circumstances! Let’s have an impact by starting in our own family. Then reach out – stretch your arms as Christ would have you to do and touch a heart in need today!

Do one thing every single day that will impact someone’s life – even if it is simply a phone call or card – there is a heart in need of encouraging somewhere!!!

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Tumultuous Waves

~Matthew 14:25-32 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

How many times have we been on fire for the Lord and willing to go to any lengths to serve Him?  Then, the minute the turbulent storms of life appear, we take our eyes off the Saviour, and we see our circumstances.  Fear sets in and we begin to sink.

I’ve often wondered what would have happened to Peter had he not looked around to see the storm around him but had focused on Christ instead.  Would Peter and Jesus have walked on the water to the ship to meet up with the others?  Instead, he began to sink and cried out for Jesus to save him.  The Word says that Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and caught Peter.  Jesus asked him why he had doubted?

What a lesson for me to learn!  As I go through my storms in life, I will feel as though I am sinking and all alone when I take my eyes off Christ and place them on my circumstances.  Thank You, Lord, for giving me the peace that You will immediately stretch forth Your hand and catch me!!  What comfort this brings to me!

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~Psalm 92:5 O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

It is not difficult to notice God’s handiwork as it is all around us! Take a moment to look around today and challenge yourself to see God’s beauty. Give Him the glory and the praise for He is good! All His creation testifies of Him! His creation gives us a tiny glimpse of God’s nature! As we behold His works, we see that God loves color – for look closely at a Painted Bunting and a Cardinal and see the Master’s paintbrush at work!

Painted Bunting and Cardinal

The songs of the Painted Bunting and Cardinal are so melodious! Not only is our God an artist but He also loves sounds! He loves variety as well. For when I walk in the forest, I see thousands of different trees, bushes, plants, flowers and ground coverings. I could sit on this subject for quite some time but I think you probably understand where I am going with this topic!

When you are at a loss for words and feel as though your words during your prayer time, wrap your thoughts around the Father’s creation and you will find plenty to praise Him for!

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~Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Not one person can truly say he has experienced true peace, rest and freedom from life’s burdens until they have been born again and entered into a genuine Father/child relationship with the Heavenly Father. This comes only through salvation.

Do you have this kind of true peace and rest? If not, I challenge you to question the path you are on and read the Gospel of John through three times. Please contact me when you are finished 🙂

No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

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~James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Everyone changes in life. We are not the same person we were 20 years ago. Those closest to us change throughout the years. Those we were able to count on a year ago are not always there today.

However, God never changes. He will never let you down. What He said He would do 20 years ago, He will do today. When His Word gives a promise, you can bank on it!

~Malachi 3:6a For I am the LORD, I change not;

God is always the same and will continue to be the same – He is not subject to change … EVER! That is why He is referred to as a rock in the Scriptures. A simple search in your Bible software or Concordance will show countless references to God being a rock.

It is comforting to know that our unchanging and unmovable God is in control. The Captain of our ship is ever waiting to take the helm and lead us. Look at your life with an honest heart. Is the path that you are on going in a direction that brings you peace? There is peace even in the midst of a storm with Christ at the helm. The storms of life are still there but He provides inner peace. We know that nothing will happen that He hasn’t already given the go ahead.

Take comfort, Christian. These are tumultuous times and the Word says that we are in for far worse storms in the years to come. But we have the God of comfort at the helm and He will direct our ship!

~Isaiah 40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

~2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

~2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

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~Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Christ did not want us to be like the rest of the world. His ministry was consistently pointing people to their sin and encouraging them to forsake their worldliness. He did not just make a suggestion but also gave us directions as to how to accomplish this task. Renewing of our minds comes as a result of having a new nature.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Our old worldly nature can only become new if we are born into a new nature – if we are born again.

~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

~Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God’s Word lives and abides forever and is what pierces the heart to lead us to salvation. Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit guides us to live righteously and not like the world!

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

This isn’t to say that we will be “sinless” but after salvation we will desire to grow and “sin less.” Herein lies the difference between those who are born again and those who are not. The new nature we receive at the time of salvation nudges us, through the Holy Spirit’s leading, toward righteous living. That is why we are different from the world … we do not desire the same things we did prior to our salvation. We are now children of the King, and as any parent guides and teaches his child, so does our Heavenly Father!

~2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

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~Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

It is not a natural thing for us to obey this verse. Our first reaction is to “get even”! But to the born-again believer with a new nature, it should be our first reaction.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Our old nature that desires to sin, to bicker, etc. is the same nature that thinks we are right and everyone else is wrong. This same old nature is not willing to be taught that it is better to be at peace.  (Psalm 119:165) However, the new nature given to us at salvation does not need to yield itself to the reactions of the “old man.”

Granted, Paul’s letter to the Romans is talking about being persecuted for the faith. Remember Nero and how he persecuted the early Christians and many were martyred for their faith? We are not at that point in these United States … yet. But that time is coming! [Side note: I read in the news that a street preacher was being cursed by a Muslim for preaching about Christ and against the sin of sodomy.] The persecutions of faith that we see from day-to-day is that of family and friends who disagree with our relationship with Christ. They are religious but they do not have that relationship and, thus, do not understand why we are excited about our faith. (Luke 12:53)

It is in these persecutions that we must remember with what we are dealing. They need Christ – they need salvation (John 3:16) – they need to hear the blessed Gospel of mercy! (Ephesians 2:4)  How can they hear it if we are at odds with them? Can our boldness lead them in the opposite direction?  Must we point out their sin with hatred in our voices? Instead of approaching our family with a defensive attitude, how about showing them the Scriptures and letting the Holy Spirit of God do the convicting? Sometimes in our boldness we are passing judgment – we know we have reached that point when we get angry, rather than desiring to share the blessed Gospel with love for their lost souls. (Matthew 7:3) It is not for us to judge but for God and God alone.

~Psalm 50:6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

Therefore, it is up to us to show Christ to our family and friends. Yes, Christ was not hesitant in pointing sin. But no where in Scriptures have I read where Christ put His finger in sinners’ faces and yelled at them. The only time I read about Him displaying anger was when he cleansed the temple. (Matthew 21:12-13) We need to remember that once we were as our lost family members and friends. In fact, we still sin. With this merciful approach, we can keep the doors of communication open. It is God’s holy word that will do the convicting, just as it did for us, amen?

When we rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us, He will place someone in our path that He wishes for us to speak to. When that opportunity presents itself, the Holy Spirit will prepare the heart of that person to hear what He would have you to say. When a heart is ready to hear the blessed Gospel, our words filled with mercy and grace will point them to the Cross and the Holy Spirit will be able to do His job!

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

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Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The Scriptures speak of Jesus Christ, our Rock and Saviour, seven times! Seven is God’s perfect number. It excites me to see that He would refer to the Rock (proper noun) seven times – the perfect Rock – the perfect plan of salvation – the perfect Saviour!

~Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

~Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

~Deuteronomy 32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

~Deuteronomy 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?

~Deuteronomy 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

~2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

The Word describes the Rock’s attributes to us. The final verse in the New Testament tells us just who that Rock is: Jesus Christ!

(1) Rock = Works are perfect, ways are judgments, God of truth, God without sin, God is just and right
(2) Rock = Salvation
(3) Rock = Creator of man
(4) Rock = Does not forsake us
(5) Rock = Not the god of this world, but the one and only!
(6) Rock = God of Israel and Christians
(7) Rock = Jesus Christ

No other “religion” on earth can describe their god to such perfection through perfect scriptures as Christians can. Our Rock is God. Our Rock left His throne to take on flesh. Our Rock never sinned so He could be the perfect Lamb. Our Rock shed His blood so He could pay the ransom for our sin. Our Rock arose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Our Rock awaits His return to reign over this earth.

~Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Our Rock is Wonderful! Our Rock is our Counsellor! Our Rock is the mighty God and everlasting Father. Our Rock is the Prince of Peace! Glory be to God in the highest!!

Maranatha Devotionals, Bible Studies, Good Reading, Devotionals

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~Exodus 21:22-23 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

The Sixth Commandment is “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Today’s judicial system has totally missed the mark when it comes to abortion. They do not see that a baby inside the womb is a human being! Today’s opening verse spelled out the Law a little further but yet mankind has managed to eliminate this portion of the Law to follow after their own lusts. Plainly worded, this Law states that any pregnant woman who is attacked and loses her unborn child, the attacker will be punished and even put to death in some instances.

My word, people, what more can one say? How more clearly can the Word of God describe this horrible situation? The woman spoken of in this verse is not the cause of losing her unborn child. But the women of today who deliberately and willfully partake in aborting their child fall under the same punishment!

One may not be afraid of what God thinks at that particular moment in life. But there will come a day when God will judge the unbelieving world according to their works here on earth. Some of those deeds that will not go unpunished are listed in this verse:

~Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

It is never too late to turn to Christ and be forgiven completely of your sin! Abortion is the shedding innocent blood! That life inside a pregnant woman has blood. The baby’s heart is formed after 18 days (from conception) and starts to pump at 21 days. There is blood flowing through that baby’s body from that point. This is the beginning of innocent blood! Please think again if you are thinking about aborting, dear one!

~Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

If you have already gone through with an abortion, don’t be one of those who will be cast into the Lake of Fire because of your sins. It is never too late to turn to Jesus Christ, the One who died for all your sins so that you may be set free from your bondage.

~John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

~Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

~Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

~John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

~Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Accept Christ’s forgiveness today!

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~1 Chronicles 16:11-12 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

On those difficult days where the trials of life seem never ending, turn your pain to the One whose compassion never ends.  (Lamentations 3:22) Our pains may be physical, spiritual, or they may be emotional. Either way, we are able to turn to the Father and pull from His strength. Relying on our own strength will not yield any good! (Job 9:4) Once we rely on the strength of the Lord, we can be certain that He will direct us. (Psalm 18:32)

Nothing separates us from God’s love!

~Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

God has a remedy to life’s discouragements. Seek Him (Deuteronomy 4:29), His strength (Psalm 105:4) and remember His marvelous works and wonders (Revelation 15:3). When combined with knowing that nothing separates us from His love, we encourage ourselves in Him! (Romans 8:39)

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As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times.

I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only somehow mustering the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, ‘Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.’

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

~Author Unknown~

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~Psalm 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

My Shepherd guides me and provides for me – not just my physical needs, but also my emotional and spiritual needs. I shall never lack anything as long as I stay close to my Shepherd. James 4:8

~Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

I find rest for my weary body, spirit and soul when I search His word – when I glean from it and apply it.  He provides water from His word which gives me everlasting life.  John 4:10

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

My soul could not be restored unless it was lost to begin with.  I was born a sinner (Romans 3:10) – we all are. However, at the moment of salvation, Christ restored me and placed His righteousness upon me.  Colossians 1:20 and Colossians 2:14

~Psalm 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.

God removes the sting of death for me, therefore I have no need to fear evil because Christ conquered sin and death. I Corinthians 15:55  The Lord guides me and directs me.  When I fall into sin, He uses His rod to correct me. When I stray from the path I should be on, He guides me with His staff!

~Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

One day I will eat at His banquet table at the marriage supper of the Lamb and I will be in His presence forever! Luke 22:30  I am so overwhelmed at God’s goodness! Praise be to God in the highest!

~Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Because I am a child of the King, His mercy and His goodness are always with me.  I have a promise that I will dwell with Him forever!

Thank You, Lord!

Good Reading

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There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had got into his shell.

It was only a grain,
but it gave him great pain.
For oysters have feelings
Although they’re so plain.

Now, did he berate
the harsh workings of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?

Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should
Have given him protection?

‘No,’ he said to himself
As he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it,
I shall try to improve it.

Now the years have rolled around,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate
Destiny ­ stew.

And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.

Now the tale has a moral,
for isn’t it grand
What an oyster can do
With a morsel of sand?

What couldn’t we do
If we’d only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.

~Author Unknown

Good Reading

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While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground.

“That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.

“He’s a fine looking boy,” the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.”

Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?”

Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes!”

The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?”

Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes!”

The man smiled and said, “OK.”

“My, you certainly are a patient father!” the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa.

She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get five more minutes to watch her play.”

Life is all about making priorities, what are your priorities?

Give someone you love 5 more minutes of your time today!

~Author Unknown

Good Reading

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Once upon a time there was a leafy tree in a field. Leaves grew densely on the tall branches. The roots were deeply into the ground. The tree was the most remarkable among the rest.

The tree then became the home for some birds. They built their nests and they lived on his branches. The birds made holes on him, and they hatched their eggs within the greatness of the tree. The tree felt so delighted because he was accompanied as he walked through his long lasting days.

People were grateful for the presence of the tree. They often came over and sheltered under him. Under his branches, they sat down and opened their picnic baskets. “This tree is very useful,” that’s what the people said every time they went home from shelter. The tree was very proud hearing those compliments.

However, time went on. The tree was beginning to be sick. His leaves and twigs were falling, then his body became thin and pale. The greatness he used to have was fading away. Birds felt reluctant to build their nests there. No one would come to sit under the tree to shelter anymore.

The tree wept, “Oh God, why is it so hard for me? I need friends. Now no one would come close to me. Why do you take all the glory I used to have?” The tree cried loudly, so it echoed throughout the forest. “Why wouldn’t you cut me down, so I don’t have to bear this suffering?” The tree kept on crying, and his tears were running down his dry body.

Seasons came and went, but his condition had not changed. The tree was still feeling lonely. His branches became drier and drier. Every night the tree wept and cried, until the morning broke.

“Cheep…chirp….cheep” Ah, what was that noise? Oh, it’s a little baby bird who has just pipped from the egg. The old tree woke up from his daydream.

“Cheep…chirp…cheep”, the noise became louder and louder. There was another baby bird. Not long after that, the tree became noisy because of the birth of new baby birds. One…two…three…and four baby birds have been born to this world. “Ah, He has answered my prayers,” exclaimed the old tree.

The day after, there were many birds flying to the old tree. They were going to build new nests. The dry branches have turned out to attract their attention to nest there. The birds felt warmer to stay inside the dry branches instead of their place before. The number of birds was increasing and there were more kinds of them. “Wow, now my days are brighter with their presence here,” murmured the old tree gladly.

The old tree was back to cheer again. And when he looked down, his heart was flowing with joy. There was a new little tree growing near his roots. The new tree seemed to smile at him. The tears of the old tree has grown a little tree who would continue his devotion to nature.

Dear friends, that’s the way it is. Is there any lesson that we could take from the story? God always has secret plans for us. The Almighty God will always give answers to our questions. Even though it is not always easy to guess what the resolution is, be certain that the Omniscient God knows what’s best for us.

When there are times He sends trials for us, in other times He gives us His overflowing blessings. The test He gives us isn’t something that can’t be overcome. When God gave the trial to the old tree, actually He DELAYED in giving His glory. God didn’t choose to cut the old tree down since He kept some secrets. God was testing his patience.

~Author Unknown

Maranatha Devotionals, Bible Studies, Good Reading, Salvation, Scriptures, Devotionals

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~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.

Picture this in your mind’s eye as you read about the Psalmist’s description of his God. Mind you, David had just been delivered from the hands of Saul and he knew exactly Who had helped him!

1. God is his rock. David didn’t say that God was “a” rock but “his” rock. That’s personal – that says that David knew that his ground was solid – his ground was sure because of his personal relationship with God. God was David’s rock and his God was unshakable – solid – unwavering!  The Word says that Christ is our rock.

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Our Rock, Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, is unshakable, solid and unwavering as well.  Hallelujah!

2. God is his fortress. Again, David personalizes this statement. God wasn’t just any fortress, but “his” fortress. Have you ever seen pictures of biblical fortresses? A fortress sat upon a hill so the people could see whatever was coming their way from far off. What a beautiful depiction this is! We see that nothing takes God by surprise as He sees everything!  He is omniscient and omnipresent, therefore He knows what is coming in ten years from now and He will protect me!  I picture a mother hen in my head as she sees the enemy afar off and gathers her chicks under her wings to protect them. Just as the people would run to the fortress for protection!

~Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Our God desires that we run to His fortress, Jesus Christ.  The prophets of old penned time after time warnings to the Jews but instead they killed their prophets.  In Christ, we can hide and He will protect us!  It is His salvation that has been given to us and it is safe in His care!

3. God is his deliverer. Once again, another personalized characteristic of God from David. Do you remember when Moses delivered the Jews out of Egypt? They called Moses their deliverer. Moses saved the people from slavery and bondage at the hand of Pharaoh! David’s God delivered him from the enemy as well. God, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, delivered us from eternity in Hell through His work on the cross!

~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:

This same Rock and Fortress is our Deliverer!

4. God is his strength. David recognized that his own strength was nothing. His enemies were many and they were indeed strong. He needed God to take charge here and provide him with exactly what he needed for that moment.  David knew his weaknesses and was well aware that he had no power over his enemies.  David believed this so much so, that he trusted in the Lord. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that his God would come to the rescue and strengthen him at the time he needed it most.  Just as God did for David, Christ does for us!

~Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

There is nothing we can’t do for the work of Christ that He won’t equip us with!

5. God is his buckler. Just what is a buckler, anyway? Noah Webster defines it as:

A kind of shield, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war. It was composed of wood, or wickers woven together, covered with skin or leather, fortified with plates of brass or other metal, and worn on the left arm. On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off. The buckler often was four feet long, and covered the whole body.

I absolutely loved this! David compared his God as a buckler! His God was David’s defensive armor and shield in the time of war. We battle a spiritual warfare every day. But God is the one who protects us! Just as the mother hen noted above, He covers us under His wings just as the buckler covered the whole body. The devil does not have power over the believer because we are sealed by the Holy Spirit!

~Ephesians 6:12-13 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Who knows, maybe the day is coming where Christians may have to fight a physical battle against the enemy. We know the end times are here and our time on earth is short.  In the mean time, we can trust God to strengthen us in time of need and to be our Buckler!

6. God is his horn. Have you ever seen a Texas Long Horn? Oh my word! A full grown bull is as tall as I am when he stands erect! The horns can have a seven-foot spread from tip to tip! You wouldn’t want to mess with those horns, that’s for sure! The horn is a sign of strength and David used that comparison in this verse. There’s nothing that would be able to defeat his God. Christ is our horn of salvation! The devil cannot defeat the born-again believer! Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost as the time he made the statement that Jesus would be the horn of salvation for His people.

~Luk 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

How wonderful!! David knew that his God was his own “personal” horn of salvation. I immediately thought of my upbringing where I was taught that salvation came from the “church.” Salvation can only come from God and then we are added to His church. Salvation is of the Lord (~Psalm 37:39), not of man or of a “church.”

7. God is his high tower. I picture a high tower to be an extremely inaccessible place – one protected from the enemies of life. David personalized this characteristic of God as well. Again, his God was so high and so mighty that nothing could reach Him and pull Him down or defeat Him. When I think of this high tower, I think of Christ being in Heaven awaiting His return in the clouds to rapture His children to be with Him!

~Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

These seven characteristics of God, our Saviour, are so potent to me! They comfort me because I know that my salvation is not dependent upon me – it is all about God through Jesus Christ! My salvation cannot be taken away from me because He purchased it and keeps it safe. He guards my salvation – He is my buckler. He is my fortress and protects my salvation! He is my strength and my high tower and one day I will meet Him face-to-face and sit with Him in that Heavenly place!! Praise the Lord!

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Devotionals

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~1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

When I repented of my sin and received the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I received an inheritance! That inheritance is eternal life in Heaven with my Saviour. An inheritance was given to me by Christ Himself because He purchased me with His own blood! Furthermore, today’s text says that this inheritance is incorruptible!

Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines incorruptible as:

1. That cannot corrupt or decay; not admitting of corruption. Thus gold, glass, mercury, are incorruptible. Spirits are supposed to be incorruptible. Our bodies shall be changed into incorruptible and immortal substances.
2. That cannot be bribed; inflexibly just and upright.

This sense of permanence is encouraging to the believer! I wondered what other verses contained this word in the Bible.

~1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

~1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Four times the word incorruptible is used. We learn that our inheritance of eternal life is incorruptible – we receive an incorruptible crown – at Rapture, we will receive an incorruptible body – and we are born again from an incorruptible seed by the Word of God.

What an encouragement for the true born-again believer! When God gives us something incorruptible – it is permanent. There is nothing we can do to revoke it. We are sealed – we have inherited eternal life, not by anything we have done but by everything Christ has done for us! Praise the Lord! Since my inheritance is not based on my works but Christ’s, I can be assured that it is settled! He entered my heart and His Spirit resides within, never to let me go! No wonder He convicts me and His desire is to mold me into someone that will bring Him glory! Yielded to His leading I must stay!

~Hebrews 13:5b … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.