Suffer towards God

Psalm 119:71-72 NLT – My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. [72] Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.

Suffering is never easy. But when we suffer as a Christian we have two options. To run towards God, or to turn away. When we choose to run towards God as our refuge and strength, He is there as our ever present helper (Psalm 46:1). We allow Him and His Word to comfort us, help us and heal us. When we turn away in our anger, disappointment or frustration, we miss out on so much. Not only do we miss the intimate relationship, but we miss out on His wisdom in His Word. Something that is more precious than gold and silver.

Dear God, help me in my times of suffering to run towards You and not away. I pray that when I suffer I will look to You and Your Word to give me strength, encouragement and healing. Amen

A trustworthy anchor

Hebrews 6:18-19 NLT – So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. [19] This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

We all need an anchor for our souls. An anchor on a boat keeps it in place regardless of the conditions. Having an anchor for our souls is vital for us to stay in place as Christians. If we build our lives on our faith in Jesus, He becomes our strong foundation. He doesn’t change. He doesn’t move. He is our solid rock for this life and our great hope for the next. He is our strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.

Dear Jesus, thank You that You never change. You are our rock, our fortress, our refuge. You are a trustworthy anchor for our souls. Amen

Walking in His will and His ways

Psalm 25:4-5 NLT – Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. [5] Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

Psalm 25 has some wonderful words for those who want to walk the path of discipleship to Jesus.

In verse 1 David starts with “O LORD, I give my life to you”. Giving our lives to Jesus is the best thing we can do in this life. God is our Creator, Jesus died for us and offers eternal life. It just makes sense to give our lives to Him.

In verses 4 and 5 David asks for direction. He wants to know the right path to follow. He also asks to be taught by God and led by His truth. This is the true path to discipleship.

When we put our lives in the hands of the eternal King and we want Him to guide and lead us in all we do, we put ourselves in the place God always intended us to be. He created us to be in relationship with Himself and walk in His ways.

As Ephesians 2:10 reminds us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago”.

My heart is to love God, to know His Divine will for my life, and walk in His ways. How about you?

Prayer

Dear God, like David, I give my life to You. My desire is to follow You and walk in Your ways. Teach me, guide me, lead me down the right paths. He me to do Your will. Amen.

A firm foundation

Isaiah 28:16 NLT – Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.

This foundation that Isaiah was talking about is the coming Messiah – the Christ. Fast forward 2700 plus years, we now have faith in Jesus Christ. He is our firm foundation that does not change. Our lives and circumstances change. But Jesus does not. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. It makes sense to build our lives on the eternal, unchanging, unshakeable foundation that is Jesus.

Prayer

Thank You Jesus that I can build my life on You. You are my solid foundation that does not change. Help me to remain anchored firmly to You each and every day. Amen.

Four ways to get wisdom

Proverbs 1:1-7 NLT These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. [2] Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. [3] Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. [4] These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. [5] Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance [6] by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. [7] Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

If you want wisdom from God there are a number of ways to get it.

1. Read Proverbs – the first few verses of the Book of Proverbs tell us their purpose – to give wisdom and understanding. Read a chapter of Proverbs a day to become wise. Read whatever chapter the date it is today. Then do the next one tomorrow.

2. Ask for wisdom – The best way to receive wisdom is ask God. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” God wants to give you wisdom and it is just a prayer away.

3. Spend time – to become wise we need to spend time with wise people. Wisdom has a way of rubbing off Proverbs 13:20 NIV reminds us to “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

4. Fear God – the last verse in the passage above tells us that the “Fear of the Lord is the beginning on wisdom”. Having a reverentual fear of God puts God in the right place and us in our. We need to remember that His ways are above our ways and His thoughts are above our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

Prayer

Dear God, I ask for wisdom today. I seek understanding from You. I pray that as I read Your Word in Proverbs that I will grow wiser. Help me to spend time with the right people so their wisdom will impact me too. Help me to understand Your ways and thoughts are above mine. Amen.‭‭

Generosity from God

I was reading 2 Corinthians for my devotions this morning and something in chapter 9 reminded me of how God’s blessings not only bless us, but it flows on to others.

2 Corinthians 9:10-14 NLT – For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. [11] Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. [12] So two good things will result from this ministry of giving-the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. [13] As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. [14] And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. [15] Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!

Seven things jumped out at me today…

1. God provides the seed. Which in turn provides more seeds, which provides more seeds.

2. God’s provision helps us to be generous. 

3. When we are generous peoples needs are met.

4. When we are generous people praise God.

5. Our generosity proves we are obedient to the message of Christ.

6. People will pray for us with deep affection because or our generosity.

7. We need to be thankful to God because of His blessing that blesses us in so many ways.

It is amazing how God blesses us in so many ways. He provides for us, but in that provision there are many more blessings. Not only are we provided for, but when we extend His generosity to others the blessings are mulitplied. 

We receive more seed, people see the genuineness of our faith, people praise God and we get to be a part of God’s plan to bless those around us.

Dear God, thanks You for Your many belssings to us. I pray that we will take these blessings and be generous with them. Thank You that we are blessed to be a blessing. Amen.

Power from on high

Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT is one of my favourite passages on Scripture. It says…

[28] Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. [29] He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. [30] Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. [31] But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

There are four things I love about this passage. Four simple, but profound thoughts.

1. God is the all wise, all powerful, eternal Creator, whom no-one can fully understand.
2. He never grows tired and weary like human beings do.
3. He gives power and strength to the weary and weak from His unlimited resources.
4. He promises to help us soar like eagles and not grow weary.

Understanding that our all powerful Creator empowers us is a key to being effective in this life of following Christ. His power enables us to do all He created us to do.

God Bless,
Dave