PEACE AMIDST CHAOS

Scripture:

“In keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” – 2 Peter 3:13

 

Message:
In times of crises many people tend to collapse in defeat against what they perceive to be impossible problems. But to everyone who believes in Him, Jesus offers a life of abundance.

The Lord offers you His holy Spirit if you surrender yourself to Him. It is His Spirit who gives you the ability to handle life’s problems successfully. Whatever your circumstances may be, remember that Jesus is constantly at your side, guiding you and helping you. Place your trust in Him He is guiding you toward God’s eternal kingdom where there is only harmony and peace.

 

Prayer:

Beloved Guide, I know that this life’s struggle and problems will soon pass, and then I will enter into the eternal peace of Your Kingdom. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

BELIEVE WITHOUT SEEING

 

Scripture:

“Therefore we are always confident. We live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:6-7.

 

Message:

When you are faced with difficult situations and problems, do you trust God to make everything work together for good?

Jesus came to confirm that God loves you unconditionally. His care, help and compassion are unquestionable. If you are sure of this, then you will be assured that Christ will not allow anything to harm you. He wants what’s best for you. With this assurance you can trust God unconditionally in everything you can undertake.

 

Prayer:
Lord, take me to the place where You perfect peace surrounds me, and I trust You in all things. Amen.

 

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

10 BIBLICAL PURPOSES FOR FASTING.

Scripture:

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashesDaniel 9:3

 


Message:

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the Bible we most often find God’s people turning to fasting as the natural, inevitable response to a grievous sacred moment in life, such as death, sin and tragedy. But other times a fast is not a spontaneous reaction and we have time to prepare to respond both physically and spiritually.

Fasting is not an end in itself, but a means of focusing our minds and bodies for a spiritual reason. Whenever we fast, we must do so for a reason that is mentioned or modeled in the Bible. Here are ten primary purposes for fasting mentioned in Scripture:

  1. TO STRENGTHEN PRAYER; “So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” – Ezra 8:23

Numerous incidents in the Old Testament connect fasting to prayer, especially intercessory prayer. Fasting does not change whether God hears our prayers, but it can change our praying. As Arthur Wallis says, “Fasting is calculated to bring a note of urgency and importunity into our praying, and to give force to our pleading in the court of heaven.”

 

  1. TO SEEK GOD’S GUIDANCE; “Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and presented burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord.” – Judges 20:26

As with prayer, fasting to seek God’s guidance isn’t done to change God but to make us more receptive to His guidance.

 

  1. TO EXPRESS GRIEF; “Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.” – 1 Samuel 31:13

Expressing grief is one of the primary reasons for fasting. Ever notice that when you’re moved to tears by grief you lose the urge to eat? When we grieve, our family and friends often have to plead with us to eat because our body’s appropriate response to grief is to fast. A prime example occurs in 2 Samuel 1:12, where David and his men are described as having “mourned and wept and fasted till evening” for their friends, their enemies and their nation.

 

  1. TO SEEK DELIVERANCE OR PROTECTION; “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek Him. – 2 Chronicles 20:3 – 4

Another common reason for fasting in the Old Testament was to seek deliverance from enemies or circumstances. In Scripture, this type of fast is generally carried out with other believers.

  1. TO EXPRESS REPENTANCE AND A RETURN TO GOD;When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.” -1 Samuel 7:6

This type of fasting helps us to express grief over our sins and shows our seriousness about returning to the path of godly obedience.

 

  1. TO HUMBLE ONESELF BEFORE GOD; “When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackclothand fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.” – 1 Kings 21:27 – 29

“Remember that fasting itself is not humility before God,” reminds Donald Whitney, “but should be an expression of humility.”

 

  1. TO EXPRESS CONCERN FOR THE WORK OF GOD; They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”- Nehemiah 1:3 – 4

As with Nehemiah, fasting can be a tangible sign of our concern over a particular work God is doing.

 

  1. TO MINISTER TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS; “Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? – Isaiah 58:3 – 7

We can use time we’d normally spend eating to fast and minister to others.

 

  1. TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION AND DEDICATE YOURSELF TO GOD; “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” He said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.” – Matthew 4:1 – 11

Fasting can help us focus when we are struggling with particular temptations.

 

  1. TO EXPRESS LOVE AND WORSHIP FOR GOD; “and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” – Luke 2:37

Fasting can show, as John Piper says, that “what we hunger for most, we worship.”

PREPARING TO FAST

How should we equip ourselves when God calls us to “declare a holy fast”? Here are some four things to consider as you prepare for fasting:

  1. PRAY AND CONFESS YOUR SINS

A necessary step before fasting is to humble yourself before God – Psalm 35:13 and confess your sins – 1 Samuel 7:6. Prayer should be our sustenance throughout the fast, but it is imperative we begin the fast with a contrite heart.

  1. TURN TO SCRIPTURE

Spend additional time meditating on God’s Word, before and during the fast. – Psalm 119:15

  1. KEEP IT SECRET

Fasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality – Matthew 6:16 – 18 or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others – Isaiah 58:1 – 11. Don’t boast about your fast; tell people you won’t be eating only if necessary. Fasting should not be done when imposed for false motives – 1 Samuel 14:24-30.

  1. PREPARE YOUR BODY

Fasting, especially for days or weeks, can have unexpected and even detrimental effects on your health. There is no scriptural warrant for harming yourself to undergo a fast. Be sure to consult a doctor before starting any fasting regimen to make sure you can fast in a healthy manner.

Fasting is an appropriate bodily reaction to the grievous state of our soul. If it is done correctly you can expect many results, including growing closer to God, feeling more solidarity with those who suffer, and increasing self-control.

 

FOR REFLECTION

Rather than wondering whether you should fast, ask why you would want to miss out on the Father’s reward.

Stay blessed!

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THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS ME.

Scripture:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him” – Jeremiah 17:7.

 

Message:
Everybody is searching for peace. No one can avoid the strain of life or the severe stress it brings with it. Jesus radiated love, serenity and peace; no matter how turbulent or chaotic the circumstances were around Him.

This was the result of His intimate relationship with His Father. Jesus regularly withdrew in solitude to pray and pour out His heart to His Father. Then He was able to return to a stormy life with the peace of heaven in His heart.

Whatever life may have in store for you, you will be victorious in His strength because, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13. 

 

Prayer:

You are my Keeper, O Lord, I place myself under Your control and in Your care. That is why I am assured of Your peace. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

INTEGRITY IN PSALM 15

Scripture:

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken. – Psalm 15.

 

Message:

INTRODUCTION

The book of Psalm can also be called the “Christian’s Psalm.” It sets forth, not so much the way a person finds the Lord, as it does the way we are to live after the Lord has entered our life. In other words, it doesn’t deal with how someone becomes a Christian but rather how a Christian should maintain a life of integrity. It sets forth many of the day-to-day lifestyle, both in public and in private.

ELEVEN SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS

  1. He who walks with Integrity: This has to do with who we are as well as where we go. The word integrity means “to be solid, wholesome, complete.” The believer who is interested in maintaining temporal fellowship is careful about how he lives and where he goes – he walks in the realm of truth. He refuses to live a lie.
  2. He who works righteousness: This has to do with what we do. Righteousness is to be the habit of our conscious life. Our dealings are to be honest; our activities clear of compromise. In today’s vernacular, we’re to “keep our nose clean.” To do less is to weaken our integrity.
  3. He who speaks truth in his heart: This has to do with how we think. Notice that the truth mentioned here is spoken “in the heart” – attitudes, reactions, and motives are in David’s mind. The source of these things (the heart – Proverbs 23:7) is to be a bedrock of truth, no place for deception or lies or a hidden agenda!
  4. He who does not slander with his tongue: This and the next two characteristics have to do with what we say. The Hebrew word translated slander literally means “to go about, to foot it” – we might even say “to hoof it”. It would include one who walks here and there spreading malicious slander, pouring out verbal venom and poisoning others behind their backs.
  5. He who does not do evil to his neighbour: The Spirit-filled believer is loyal and consistent – not fickle, not erratic. He does not consciously bring difficulty upon others.
  6. Nor takes up a reproach against his friend: This means he does not say sharp, cutting and scornful things about others, either behind their back or to their face. There is honesty yet gentleness in his character. – Galatians 5:22-23
  7. In whose eyes a reprobate is despised: This has to do with who we are with. A reprobate mentioned here is literally a “worthless reprobate”, someone who is totally disinterested in spiritual things. The genuine believer with strong integrity will discern the impact such a person can have on his own walk with the Lord, and will not cultivate an association with him. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’1 Corinthians 15:33.
  8. He honours those who fear the Lord: Like the preceding phrase, this is still dealing with our associates, only this phrase is the other side of the coin. It addresses those with whom we should keep company. The believer who walks with the Lord has a scale of values that is determined by biblical principles. Since we become like those with whom we spend our time, a Christlike friend needs to be sought out for companionship.
  9. He swears to his own hurt, and does not change: This means that we perform what we promise, even when keeping our word is difficult to achieve. Our word should be our bond. The Christian with integrity makes it his aim to do what he says he will do, even when it hurts – even when it is inconvenient.
  10. He does not put his money at interest: According to Deuteronomy 23:19-20 and Leviticus 25:35-38, the Jew was commanded not to loan a needy Jewish brother money on interest. He was to assist generously and unselfishly. The believer in Christ who offers to extend personal financial assistance to his brother in Christ should do so without interest, love being his only motive. (Needless to say, discernment must accompany love… or we will have more love than money!) Not every financial need among believers is a “need”. Some “needs” stem from careless spending.
  11. Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent: My Webster’s dictionary defines a bribe as “money or favour bestowed on or promised to a person in a position of trust to pervert his judgement or corrupt his conduct.” We have all read about what has come to be known as “influence peddling.” Not even Wall Street has been protected from such schemes. The Psalmist’s point is clear: One with integrity won’t stoop to that level.

THE PROMISE

We are promised that if these things become our practice, we will live stable, solid, dependable lives. Those who bring these areas under the control of the Holy Spirit will live wholesome lives as solid citizens of heaven. Or, using Ben Franklin’s suggestion, whoever lives like this will be considered a “Christian gentleman.” Such people are rare, indeed. No wonder they are not easily shaken! Integrity reinforces a life with steel.

Remain Blessed!

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YOUR WILL BE DONE

Scripture:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him” – Jeremiah 17:7.

 

Message:
Everybody is searching for peace. No one can avoid the strain of life or the severe stress it brings with it. Jesus radiated love, serenity and peace; no matter how turbulent or chaotic the circumstances were around Him.
This was the result of His intimate relationship with His Father. Jesus regularly withdrew in solitude to pray and pour out His heart to His Father. Then He was able to return to a stormy life with the peace of heaven in His heart.

Whatever life may have in store for you, you will be victorious in His strength because, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13. 
 

Prayer:
You are my Keeper, O Lord, I place myself under Your control and in Your care. That is why I am assured of Your peace. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

OMNIPOTENT PROTECTOR

Scripture:


“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior.” – 2 Samuel 22:2-3.

 

Message:


When we are afflicted and needy, the love and omnipotence of God protects us. We can overcome any challenge, adversity, and problem if we only steadfastly trust in His loving care and grace.

He will command His angels to watch over us and protect us from any danger. He enables us to think quickly and act wisely and this is our protection against attacks and temptations from Satan. Our ability to adapt to our circumstances, to always have a song in our hearts, and to be joyful regardless of the situation, protects us against loneliness and depression, filling our hearts and minds with peace and joy.


Prayer:


Father, thank You for giving me Your light and Your wisdom so that I can always do what is right. Amen.

 


STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

PEACE AND PROSPERITY.

Scripture:
“You will keep in perfect peace Him whose mind is steadfast, because He trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3
Message:
When our minds are focused on the love of God, we experience indescribable tranquility and peace of mind. When you trust God during every day, and through every problem, you will be able to enjoy His peace.

By focusing on Jesus Christ and the peace and prosperity that He gives, you are set free from worry because you know that God is in control of your life – therefore no person or circumstance can disturb your tranquility.

His love enfolds you and covers your loved ones as well. This freedom cannot be taken away by anyone or anything – simply because you put your trust in the Lord.
Prayer:
I want to trust you with every aspect of my life because of Your great love. Then my heart will be filled with peace and I will fear no evil. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.

GOD IS WITH YOU.

Scripture:

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you.” – Zephaniah 3:17

 

 

Message:

When things go wrong in life it is easy to despair and become overwhelmed by a sense of complete helplessness and hopelessness.

If ever anything seemed hopeless, it was on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. The hopes and dreams of those who thought that He was the promised Messiah were shattered when He died on the cross. But then God intervened and miraculously turned apparent defeat into victory. The sorrowful Good Friday was transformed into the triumphant resurrection of the Easter Sunday – when Christ rose victoriously from the grave.

 

Whatever circumstances you might find yourself in, however dismal, always remember that God is with you and that He is in control of your circumstances.

 

 

Prayer:

Redeemer and Friend, thank You that I can be sure that God loves me and is always with me. Amen.

 

 

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment Devotional.