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Friday, September 21, 2018

September 21 – Trusting our Hope

“...and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5 (NASB)

The Apostle Paul, in writing the letter to the Romans, takes time to encourage the Christians in Rome because they were facing some fierce tribulation and sufferings for their faith.  In the fifth chapter Paul tells them the value of the testing is a series of character developments.  He finishes with the verse we have today. The final result is a hope that means assured expectation.  Our hope is a sure thing and it will not let us down, it will not disappoint.  We will never be put to shame for the hope we get from suffering for Christ.  Knowing that God loves us leads us to trusting His love and that trust results in more than knowing, but also in feeling the love.  We have this expectation because God has poured His love out in our hearts.  This action is done by the Holy Spirit who we have received.  The Holy Spirit was promised to us and sent by the Son from the Father. We are promised a hope that is sure, we can trust it. 

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

September 20 – In the Family

“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”  Matthew 12:50 (ESV)

These words were spoken by the Son of God.  He was involved from the very beginning of the creation of the universe.  We have a wonderful relationship with our Father in the family of God because of what His Son, Jesus has done for us.  Jesus makes this clear in this statement recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.  Even though He is the Son of God and is all-powerful, is every where present, and is all knowing, He is willing to accept us, His creatures into this eternal family relationship.  For it is by faith you are or can be His brother or His sister and a member of His family.  You are not just His creature, you are not just a far-off relative, you are related to Him as His brother or His sister.  He calls us to live in a way that is pleasing to Him throughout each day by doing the will of His Father who is also our Father.  Our relationship with God our Father is direct, just as a son or daughter, without any mediator other than Jesus, the Son of God. 

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

September 19 – More Than Enough

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 124:8 (NASB)

Today, we are considering two of the many reasons these words from the Bible have great meaning for us.  First of all is the fact that our God is the Creator of the universe which convinces us of His great power.  Even to create the earth on which we live would require immense power.  Add to that what it would take to make the planets and the stars and all the celestial bodies that exist.  All this would take power beyond comprehension.  That is why we can trust His ability to help us no matter what our situation.  Secondly, it is remarkable when we realize that such a great God would even think of helping us, who are so very small in comparison and whose problems are dwarfed in the light of God's power.  What a loving compassionate God He is, and He promises us that our help is in His name.  Let's be open, honest and thankful for this promise when we call on him for that help today.  Whatever our challenges are, none are too great for God to help us face them and have victory over them.  

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September 18 – Truly Opened Minds

“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45 (NIV)

We have considered this verse before – especially during the days after our Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.  The joys of His resurrection are available for us to consider anytime and not only during Easter time.  What Jesus did for the disciples in this passage, He can do for us every day.  Even though Jesus had taught them much during His time with them before his death, they were not fully comprehending what had happened.  We too might find times when we are not comprehending lessons from God's Word even though we may have studied it and heard it preached many times.  What Jesus did for these two, He is doing for us today.  He promises to open our minds so that we can understand the Scriptures.  Without His work of opening our minds, we will not be able to comprehend what the Bible is teaching us. We need Him to help us understand. 

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Monday, September 17, 2018

September 17 – Personally Revived

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)

If we take a moment each day we can reflect and remember how blessed we are to have the assurance that our God who is in heaven also lives with us.  He abides in the high and holy place and he is with us when we are perplexed and dismayed.  He knows our situations and is very anxious to be a part of our lives.  Even though we are so small and so weak in comparison to God's greatness, and His power, yet He desires and promises to be involved in our lives.  And our verse today tells us why. He wants to revive us, to revive our spirits and our hearts.  Remember the times when we are low and feel ashamed or regretful, even in those times, God wants to lift our spirits and boost our confidence in His love for us.  So, today, let us remember to be humble and recognize our weaknesses and our need for His help.  And let us walk through the day rejoicing that we have such a Holy God who loves us so much. 

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

September 16 – Searched and Examined

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;  And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139: 23-24 (NASB)

Our verse today is from a prayer offered by David and written as a psalm.  It begins acknowledging that God searches and knows us and it ends with a specific request to search and examine our hearts.  This prayer is an acceptance, a recognition of spiritual truth.  God does know our hearts and our thoughts.  If we pray as David did we are recognizing that God knows how we feel and what we are thinking.  The second part of this prayer opens the way for God to reveal what there is in our heart and mind which doesn't please Him.  It also expresses confidence that God will lead us to feel and to think properly if we let Him.  Let's leave ourselves open for Him to do that.  And, as he reveals to us the anxious and hurtful ways, we can respond and follow His lead in the everlasting way he has made for us.  God will make our paths straight, that is a promise if we will but trust Him. 

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

September 15 – Peace to Guard Us

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Our selected verse today may be very familiar to many who follow this blog.  Even so, each time we read it and consider what it says we are confronted with the promise it brings to us.  The promise here is in one word – a verb – which we want to focus on today.  It's the verb “guard.”  When we bring our concerns to the Lord with an attitude of thanksgiving instead of worry or anxiety, we are promised the peace of God to guard our hearts and our minds.  What is the guard for? Isn't it to keep anxious worrisome things out of our hearts and minds?  Yes, these undesirable things don't belong and God promises to give us His peace to guard against them entering our mind and heart.  This peace removes the anxious feelings and thoughts which are not desirable from our lives when we bring our concerns to God in prayer with thanksgiving.  That is a promise we can trust and be thankful for.

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