A Word for Today: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

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There may be things you face today; things that don’t seem favorable or in your best interest.  There may be mountains you have to face, making your dreams seem out of reach.  There may be people you have to deal with who work against you and not for you.  In everything, I hear that whisper from Psalms saying, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When everything within wants to fight with human intuition, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When everything wants you to quit and give up, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When faced with seemingly insurmountable situations, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When the undeserving comes your way, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

When enemies lift up their voice against you, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

God is there for you.  God is fighting for you.  God sees every unfair thing that tries to attack you and bring you down.  In it, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  He is our “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” (Psalm 46:1, NKJV).  We can trust Him with our daily concerns and struggles.  Troubles don’t last always, but God does, and He said, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

For everything you face today, I urge you to stop and take a breath in the midst of it all and remind yourself of this powerful verse, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Say it over and over again to yourself throughout the day.  Let the truth of His Word do the fighting for you.

 

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“3 Things to Remember When Rising Above the Accusers of Your Anointing!”

 

Photo: Pixabay/Mary1826

Jesus was perfect in every way.  There was no fault found in Him.  He always had peoples best interest at heart in anything He did.  He never sidestepped the will or the purpose of God.  He never compromised or fudged the truth.  He never sought to hurt, harm, or destroy others.  Yet, despite His flawless nature, there were those who still sat in wait and watched Him suspiciously.  What did they watch for?  “They watched him . . . that they might accuse him,” (Mark 3:2).

Jesus was above sin in every way but He was still susceptible to the flapping tongues of people who didn’t believe in His ministry.  He had to deal with people who shunned the very idea that He was the Son of God.  He had to deal with people who didn’t believe He was anointed to do what He did.

Know this, just because you’re anointed, doesn’t mean people won’t try to find fault in what you do to accuse you.  If anything, they will look all the more.

So, Jesus had these men watching Him for the sole purpose of seeing what they can say against Him.  Nonetheless, Jesus could care less about their verbal attacks and suspicious thinking.  What He cared about was the soul standing in front of Him.  He cared about doing what He was anointed to do.

At that time there was a man in the synagogue with a withered hand who needed to be healed.  The problem the accusers had with this is it was the Sabbath day.  Therefore, they watched.  They purposely looked for a reason to talk about Him and to try to discredit His ministry.

No one is above the scheming knick picking of the naysayers.  If they sought to attack and accuse Jesus, what more will they do to His followers?

But, Jesus didn’t let it deter Him from His purpose.  First, He asked, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?” (Mark 3:4).  When they refused to answer He knew they were motivated by nothing but the “hardness of their hearts,” (Mark 3:5).  When your anointing is attacked you have to keep peoples possible motives into proper perspective (Jesus wasn’t the problem, it was the hardness of their hearts.)

Next, Jesus spoke to the man who needed to be healed and said, “Stretch forth thine hand,” (Mark 3:5).  The rest of that verse tells us when he did, “his hand was restored whole as the other.”  Jesus was anointed to heal this man.  In Luke 4:18 Jesus read and proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”  He was walking in the ministry God set apart for His life.

What is it God has called you to do?  Are we afraid to move into that area because of what people might say?  Please know, if they weren’t afraid to talk about Jesus, they will not be afraid to talk about you either.  Instead of letting it get Him down, Jesus continued doing what He was anointed to do.  He healed the man in spite of it all.  He knew their motives weren’t justified against Him.  He knew they were literally just looking for a reason to talk, Mark 3:2.  Does that mean we stop doing what God has called us to do?

Nay!  We are to rise above the accusers as Christ did and work the calling of God on your life. Jesus didn’t seek to justify Himself before their eyes, He just did what He was anointed to do.  More often than not one’s actions speaks volumes more than their words.

Does it mean it will stop them from talking and accusing?  No.  It goes with the territory.  It means in spite of what they say you do what God says.

I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt when people talk about you, put you down, and speak against your ministry –  because it does.  No matter what they say about sticks and stones: words do hurt.  But Jesus even encouraged us in this area by letting us know, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,” (Matthew 5:11-12).

Anybody who has done anything significant for His Kingdom gets talked about and attacked (see Daniel 6:4-5 and Acts 23:28-29).  Our job as individuals is to rise above the naysayers and accusers and do what God says; to be about our heavenly Father’s business no matter what. 

SO REMEMBER, if you are walking in the will of God, just keep these three things in mind when your anointing is under attack:

  1. JUST because you’re anointed doesn’t mean you won’t be attacked.
  2. KEEP their possible motives in perspective.  Often the problem isn’t you.
  3. DOING what God anointed you to do is what matters most, regardless of the accusers.

Therefore, it all boils down to one sure-fire way to rise above the accusers of your anointing:

JUST KEEP DOING!

“Repent ye, and believe the gospel!”

Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15

“Rain on us, Lord”

Rain on us, Lord, as we seek You. Cause Your righteousness to overflow in our lives as we turn to You with humble and sincere hearts. Let the fruit of who You are grow in us abundantly.

“Encourage Yourself!”

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There are going to be times when people won’t have your back.  There will be moments when you feel like you are going alone.  Rest assured, God knows where you are in life.  Encourage yourself in the Lord even if no one else is supporting you!

“Remembering the Covenant” Sunday School Lesson Summary and Activities, 1 Corinthians 11:23-34

What Paul teaches us is there is a right way and wrong way to draw near to the remembrance of the covenant, the Lord’s Supper. May we all properly remember what Jesus has done for each of us and approach that celebration with the sincerest of hearts.

Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of me,” (Luke 22:19).

This week’s Sunday School Lesson Summary and Activities are available once more. ENJOY, and have a very blessed weekend 🙂

The Reason for Thanks

 

Photo: Pixabay/hollasteph

Yes, I know.  Trust me, I know.  It is too easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and forget to stay focused on the real meaning behind them.

After all, I am expected to have an immaculate house, be able to put a five-star feast on the table, look happy even though I have been up half the night, and on, and on, and on.  I FEEL YOU!  In this area, we all do our very best to make the holidays most enjoyable for everyone involved.  We primp, we cook, and we do what we have to do to pull it all off.

Can I tell you, Thanksgiving is a day not like another?  Its whole focus rests on a God who keeps His promises.  God has promised that every need we have will be supplied.  He declares in His Word that with Him there is no want.  That fact that we are here to see another Thanksgiving is celebration enough.  Not only are we here, but we are here because He has provided the way.  He has orchestrated our lives so well, that we ended up right where He intended – to see this day; to celebrate this day; to enjoy love and fellowship this day.  We have this day!

Let us not lose that focus.  I know it’s easy to follow mainstream society and just look at this day as a football/feasting day as we put together our lists of stores we want to hit afterwards to rack up the Black Friday deals.

It is so much more!

Think now, as you read this, just from the time that you have opened your eyes this morning, are you able to even begin to count all the blessings He has done for you?

Are you?

When you think of every breath you have inhaled and exhaled; every morsel of food you have placed in your mouth; every sickness or disease He has kept you from or brought you through or is currently bringing you through . . .

When you think about every bit of warmth that wraps around you as you lay cozy in bed at night . . .

When you think about every blessing – period; do we (me included) really want to shortchange God?  Do we want to leave Him out of a day that was proclaimed to praise Him for all that He has done for us?

No, we don’t!

In your celebrating don’t leave out the main reason for celebrating: God; for this isn’t just a normal day.  It’s a day of giving thanks to the One who only truly deserves it.

Don’t let mister gobble gobble or all the festivities take over this wonderful day.  Enjoy this day.  Enjoy your family and friends.  Even, enjoy your feast and such.  But, more importantly – enjoy your God because He is enjoying you.  After all, He is our reason for thanks.

Have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!

Psalm 75:1, “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks: for that thy

name is near thy wondrous works declare.”

Words To Live By – “A Life Spent Loving God is a Blessed Life!”

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“…But Lord, I Thank You!” – Word For Life Says

Job 1:20-22 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

Ephesians 5:20 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Job 19:25-27 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”

Anytime we see a “…” in a sentence it expresses a train of thought and direction or a transition if you will.  That “…” is very important to this message.

Times of transition can be good and bad.  When one is engrossed in unpleasant circumstances a nice change of pace can be just what the doctor ordered.  It breathes new life into you and lifts your spirits high making you feel as if you are on cloud nine.  At the same time, when one is entering times of affliction, lack of any sort of substandard anything compared to what they are used to, the feelings of dread and just suffering through take over.

There are different seasons that everyone goes through in life.  There are times of joy and there are times of pain.  While we don’t mind dealing with the seasons of joy and happiness that come our way, a whole other story could be told for the times of pain and suffering we encounter.

There are seasons, even for the Christian, that come that are not too pleasant.  There are times when the people of God had to endure trials and tribulations.  There are episodes of turmoil that have wiggled their way into our families, our lives, our jobs, and our finances.

Sometimes difficult and new stuff pops up out of nowhere, things you weren’t looking to happen in this season of life, and it has blindsided you and caught you off guard.  There may be things that surprised you and now you just don’t know which way you are going.  The road hasn’t always been easy to travel.  We are looking for the new.  We need a transition.  We are in need of a “…” moment.

It’s time to move from the victim mentality and don a praise mentality.  It’s time to move from the feeling defeated mentality to no matter what’s going in my life, “…Lord, I just want to thank You” mentality.

A praise mentality says no matter the situation we are going through I still have a reason to worship.  We still have a reason to lift our hands in utter adoration!  We still have a reason to fall to our knees in prayer!  We still have a reason to believe His grace and mercy is at work in our lives!  I still have a reason to say, “Thank You!”

Job is one of the most figurative Bible characters who we surmise as suffering outside of Jesus Christ our Savior.  So, I figured if anybody can teach us how to be thankful despite what we’re going through it could be Job.

Job was a man whom God describes in the Bible as being upright and perfect, Job 1:8.  He is known for turning himself away from the path of evil, not giving it a foothold in his life.  Yet, in his righteous living, he was still susceptible to being tested in some of the worse ways possible.  He lost everything from possessions down to the very people he loved the most in life.

Job’s experiences can be summed up in that one word: suffering. Job knew suffering.  Job knew what it was like to love and lose; to have and to have not.  What’s more is he lost everything at the same time, piling traumatic event after traumatic event on till he thought his heart couldn’t take any more (read Job 1-2 for greater detail).

Sitting in a pile of ashes with seemingly nothing left, could he at least find comfort in the good word of a friend? Will they speak encouragement to help him carry the weight of his burdensome troubles?

The answer sadly is, “No.”  His friends started out with good intentions but by the time they reach chapter 4, Job’s friends became what is known as “miserable comforters.”  They decided to chime in with their opinions of what was right and wrong.  This was where their attempts at comfort went downhill.  They berated Job and blamed him for all that he was going through.

Job literally had no one and the weight of the world was upon his shoulders, but his response to his trials is what blew my mind away.  When things first began to unravel for him, in the verses we read in chapter 1 he shaved his head, fell down on his face and he worshipped.

The words that came out of his mouth were of praise and thanks.  He said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!

That word “blessed” is synonymous with celebrating God with praise in spite of.  That word blessed is acknowledging God is good no matter what the circumstances around me say.  That word blessed is also translated in the New and Old Testament to give thanks!  “Blessed be the name of the LORD!”  Job, with his shaved head of sorrow and humble spirit, gave God thanks amid the sorrow he was going through!

His response reminds me of Psalm 34:1 where the psalmist proclaimed, “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth!”  I will thank God always and I will never stop celebrating His goodness!  I will show God gratitude always and I will never stop lifting Him up.  I will appreciate God even in this and I will never stop recognizing that He and He only is God of my life.

Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  My always for all things may not look the way I want it to right now, but Lord I thank You, is what he’s saying!  I am not saying thank you because I like problems, but I am saying thank You because I know the God I serve.  I am saying thank you because He is working on the inside to change things on the outside.  I am saying thank you because God is setting us up for a future that is glorious in Him!  Therefore, “…Lord, I just want to thank You!”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  I am in Christ; therefore I give thanks!  I have been washed by the blood, therefore I give thanks.  Yes, life hurts sometimes and yes, the walls come crashing down sometimes, but I owe God a praise.  I thank God for seeing me through every trouble, every storm that blows my way!  “…Lord, I just want to thank You!”

Job’s response went even further than this.  In Job 19, he said, “For I know that my Redeemer lives.”  Things were not exactly turning in his favor.  At that time, his today didn’t look any better than his yesterday.  His friends are still in his face challenging him with their accusations.  But, despite his personal persecutions, he emphatically declares, “I know . . .”

Knowing speaks of assurance. A declaration of knowing tells doubt there is no place here for you. “Know” is certain that this is what it is. And, what he is certain of is “my redeemer liveth.” God is alive and will always be alive. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty,” (Revelation 1:8).

“He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.”  Job knew that God was and is the end-all of all authority, victory and power. Standing upon anything denotes mastery and dominion of said object.  Job knew where his trust lies.  In God who is victorious: “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him,” (Psalm 68:1).  Paul, speaking of Christ said He, “hath put all things under his feet…,” (Ephesians 1:22).  Even this.

“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”  There is hope beyond the here and now. Physically, it didn’t look good for Job. He had “sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown,” (Job 2:7).  He, in dealing with the pain of his body and the pain of his heart must have thought there is not that much more time left. At one point of desperation, things had gotten so bad, Job prayed for death (see Job 6:8-9).

Despite it all, he knew that there was a better day beyond the corruption of his flesh.  His body, when the time came, would lie in the ground and the worms would have their way with him, but he looked forward to another glorious time when “in my flesh shall I see God.”  Things were hard for Job, but in his speech, you can still see his faith alive and active in what he believes: and he believes GOD!  Therefore, “I bless God!  I give God thanks!”

Job teaches us how to respond to God in midst of trials and troubles.  He may have been down, especially when his friends attacked him, but he still recognized God for who He is.  He basically transitioned his mentality to shift his focus from what was before him to the God who can save Him.

Yes, he grew weary and even questioned why he was going through what he was going through.  Who wouldn’t?  But, through it all you still see his faith in God come to the forefront in the midst of his story.

In the end, Job was blessed with a double portion of blessings.  God testified of Job to his friends.  God spoke up for Job and said, “My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath,” (Job 42:7).

It’s not too late for God to turn it around and to testify on your behalf.  The week of Thanksgiving is here, and this year is not over yet.  There is still room for a blessing.  And, even if not – if God never does another thing for us, can we say, “Lord, I thank You?”

At the end of the day, as hard as it may be sometimes, we must transition our thinking and say “… But Lord, I thank YOU!”

 

“Mediator of the New Covenant” Sunday School Lesson Summary and Activities, Hebrews 12:14-15, 18-29

This week’s Sunday School Lesson Summary and Activities are available once again. Enjoy, and have a wonderful upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!