Quote for 07/27/2021

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ”    Isaiah 12:2

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I read this with some envy and even a little shame. Yes, I know God is my Salvation and strength. Yes, I trust Him, but just not nearly as much as I’d like. Things continue to get rough, and I find myself looking to find some way to change my circumstances.

The thought struck me that I might possibly be acting like the Children of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness. They went through some pretty harsh conditions; extreme thirst, hunger, the giants of Canaan, and more. I honestly understand their not always being very happy about things since leaving Egypt. But they were not justified; God was with them at all times, both visibly and in action.

Here I am going through trials and harsh times, but God did rescue me from worse times. God has blessed me in many ways even though my endurance is waning.

Like everyone else, I just want to live my life and have some degree of comfort. But this world is no longer for our comfort ever since Adam and Eve let Satan in the front door. Comfort is for eternity after living this life in faith and trust.

I really do need to learn to trust and not be afraid. I really do need to let God be my Strength…and my Salvation!

Quote for 07/26/2021

I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.    Psalm 138:2

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You’ve heard the phrase “My word is my bond.”  It means that’s the only contract that’s needed, that someone’s word is the gold standard!

God certainly can say this and knows how important it is for us to understand that.  David tells in this Psalm that God puts more value on His Word than His name; David saw God keep His Word time and again, elevating its importance even above God’s name.

Because His Word is His bond!

Quote for 07/25/2021

For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.    Psalm 100:5

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All generations.  That sticks out.  When we think of the many prophecies that have come true already and look at the others that await their time, we can have no doubt that God is indeed as good as His Word.

While we live in very trying times, we can easily begin to worry and lose focus on God.  Concerns for personal safety, for our children’s future, persecution, finances, and more can cause doubt.  But we can rest assured that God cares for us now and for eternity.

His mercy really is everlasting!

Quote for 07/24/2021

And in that day you will say: “Praise the Lord, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted.    Isaiah 12:4

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“That day” is Jesus’ Second Coming as described in the previous chapter; “In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people…”

This echoes a favorite passage of mine, Psalm 50:15. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

I read that years ago when I was in I was in great despair. I copied it onto my prayer list to remind me that when God turned things around for me, I would tell everyone how God rescued me from my earthly calamity.

Isaiah 12:4 tells us how Jesus will rescue the world from eternal calamity:

“…with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked…The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”

Everything will be perfect just as it was at Creation! The person Who can turn all things back to how they were when God saw that everything was good is certainly worthy of praise and exaltation!

Quote for 07/23/02021

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.    Galatians 5:13

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The church in a Galatia had completely misconstrued the Gospel.  It went something like this…

“Hold on now!  This Gospel means that when I sin, God will forgive me for Jesus sake?  Is that about right?  Yes?!?  Well, hot damn!  It’s Friday night and I have an itch!”

Alright; not a literal translation from the original Greek, but you get the drift.

There is freedom in the Gospel.  It’s freedom to know that we have hope in Jesus.  It’s freedom from sorrow that comes from facing our sins and eternity all alone.

It is not freedom to go buck-wild.  It’s about approaching God with sincere regret and sorrow over our sins but also to approach boldly, knowing that’s all He desires from us.

Quote for 07/22/2021

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.    Psalm 33:12

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The United States of America is a case study the difference of a country of God and a country without God.

We were once a country that went to church on Sunday, prayed in school, and protected our right to freedom of religion.  But then we followed the wrong people and ideas and virtually legislated ourselves into atheism.  We kicked God out of our schools – no more praying allowed!  We made it legal to kill children so long as we did it when they were in the womb and we couldn’t see the bloodletting.

God used us – faults and all – to be a world leader, to be His people to the world, to tip the balance in World Wars One and Two and be the literal breadbasket of the world.

Then we went south on God and, well…look at us, our cities, our increasing violence on the ground and in the skies.  Look at how we treat each other on a daily basis.

Is there anyone out there who wants to return our country to God?  Anyone?  Please??

Quote for 07/21/2021

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.    Hebrews 4:16

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The old Lutheran Order of Matins liturgy includes a confession of sins.  We admit to God the we are “poor, miserable sinners.”  And so we are.

When I think of how many sins I know about (we often sin without knowing it – we are so prone to sin!) and how many times I’ve asked for forgiveness for the same sins I can’t help thinking God will just cut me off.  I know I would!

In writing to the Hebrews, the author understands that dilemma of knowing we’re not worthy but needing to approach God anyway.  He’s telling them and us that God is better than we are.  He won’t grow tired of forgiving and loving.

He is Someone we can approach boldly, because he loves us so much!

Quote for 07/20/2021

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.    Romans 12:3

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This is Paul talking here.  He was a self-described “Jew of Jews.”  He was a model Pharisee, more learned than any other.  In his pride he oversaw the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr, holding everyone’s coats while they killed Stephen.

He went on to persecuting every Christian he could find and was greatly feared.

So, when he talks of grace and accepting it in humility you know it comes from a place of great guilt and great gratitude to Jesus.

God deals out faith to each as he needs.  Accept God’s grace humbly and gratefully, and use your measure of faith as fully as Paul used his.

Quote for 07/19/2021

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,    Matthew 5:44

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I confess that I do not live these instructions from Jesus very often.  Sometimes, yes, but not often enough.  Not nearly.  My problem is that I’ve seen how this world reacts to those who fight back and those who don’t.  If you fight back, people tend to back off, and you can live in relative peace.  If you don’t, you just become a target.

But here is the message that is coming to me as I type this; meeting violence with violence will indeed keep one’s enemies at bay, but it does not edify!  It does not witness the mercy and love shown by God to His enemies – us!

The answer seems to be that we should indeed fight back, but not with violence.  We fight back with love and kindness.  It certainly attests to our Christian faith.  It can certainly disarm our enemies.  It can also get us a bloody nose.  If so, well, Jesus promises us that we are blessed for suffering for His sake.

I think I’ve got it now!

Quote for 07/18/2021

And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be— “The Lord is one,” And His name one.    Zechariah 14:9

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We currently suffer under the rule of Satan. We, as a race, as the physical descendants and relation to Adam and Eve, chose him over God in Eden, and gave him the keys to the kingdom, as it were.

Then started a 4000 year plan that culminated with the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father. He won our freedom, our salvation. He won the throne, seated at the right hand of God, set to come again and claim His kingdom for all eternity.

Then we will all be one with Him. We, who have accepted His payment for our sins and acknowledge Him to the world will hear Him acknowledge us to His Father and welcome us into heaven.

If you have not yet welcomed Jesus into your heart, if you have not yet accepted His sacrifice in payment for your sins, if you still have that emptiness that comes from guilt and hopelessness in a pointless “earth-only” existence…call out to Him. He will hear you. And He will answer!

Seek Him earnestly. Read the message He left for you in the inspired scriptures, His Word, and reach out to Him.