Sheltered in Love

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me…” Psalm 27:5

Father God, Yours kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (Ps. 145:13), and it is Your truth that endures to all generations (Ps. 100:5).
Help us to keep our eyes on You today and our faith steadfastly planted in Your hope. Though the world may seem chaotic at times, You, O God, are the sureness upon which we rest. You never fail, nor shall Your mercies ever fade. For, when we place our trust in You, we are planting it upon He who is eternal, and good, and perfect. In You, O God, we have unending joy, solid peace, and the immutable security of Your love. When all else seems to shift and the times seem to be tumultuous, Father God, You have us carefully sheltered in Your love.

My life is hid
In the secret place.
Sheltered in love,
Held by God’s grace.

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Released to Love

 

“Therefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Luke 7:47

What does it mean to be forgiven?  We may immediately think of becoming unburdened from sins, a chance for a new start, and so forth.  And you are right.  All of that comes in the package of forgiveness.

But looking at the story of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet at the dinner, I saw something more.  I saw that she was released to love in a way she had never loved before.

She was a woman of ill-repute, according to the thoughts of one of the Pharisees in attendance at the dinner (Luke 7:39).  He knew her to be a sinner.  He saw her as a sinner.  And he labeled her as a sinner.

She had a past filled with indiscretion and immorality.  Apparently, she had made wrong attempts to fill the love gap in her life, which would come undone once the pleasure associated with that dissipated.  She conducted a futile search to find the missing ingredient in her life that would give her something more – until one day, she met Jesus.

Like the Pharisee, Jesus, too, knew her past.  Jesus knew what she had done.  But, unlike the Pharisee who only offered criticism and disdain, Jesus offered her a chance, a way out.  Jesus offered her something she could not refuse.  He offered her forgiveness.  And, when the fullness of forgiveness landed in her heart, mind, and soul, an explosive release of love came over her, and she could not contain what she was feeling.

The woman known to be of ill-repute was seen as valued and treasured, something she could probably have never imagined.  The former sinner knew she was cherished and loved by the only One who could love her perfectly despite her past, and she, in turn, had the floodgates of her heart lifted, and a rush of love for her Savior came flowing out.

Forgiveness will release an uncontainable flood of love in your life.  This woman loved a lot because she had many bad judgments against her from which she was now free.  Thousands of years have passed since then, and the same forgiveness that Jesus Christ offered her (Luke 7:48) is still available today.  Are you ready to experience that great release?

“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

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Your Heart Wants God

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Many hearts walking around today want God.  Feeling void without Him, they fill it with things they think can satisfy the longing deep within.

More and more, the search goes on to try this and that to fill the place only God can fill.  Attempt after attempt is made to try something, anything, that will occupy the space called your heart.

Friend, this is where God wants to be.  Successes, things, and even people will never be able to do for you what God can do.  All the things we try to put in place and accept into that sacred space of our hearts, outside of Him, will never last, will never fill, and will never bring you to the peace you are truly seeking.

Your heart wants God.  Your heart will never be happy with anything or anyone else. You may not completely understand how it all works, what it all means, or what this is all supposed to look like, but your heart wants God.

All you have to do is invite Him into that sacred space. Yes, you may have questions, and for some of those questions, there may not be an immediate answer revealed to you. But take that simple first step of faith, and trust God enough to let Him come into your life with His love and saving plan even if you do not immediately have all the answers to the questions you are looking for.

Your heart wants God, and Jesus gave us this promise: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).

Your heart wants God, and all you have to do is open the door and let Him in.  If you do, Jesus said, “I will come in to him.”  He loves you, and in your heart is where He wants to be.

Your heart wants God, and God wants your heart. Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37).

Even if you do not understand everything, the Bible encourages us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6).

Today, with all sincerity of heart, look to God.  “Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” (Lamentations 3:41).  “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22).

Jesus is the only way you will ever find to get to God. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Jesus is the only answer and plan for our spiritual healing. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16, 17).

Today, your heart can have what it genuinely wants.  Turn to God through Jesus Christ and be saved.  Let Him fill your heart as only He can. “For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:21).

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8

Above image by rony michaud from Pixabay

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“To know that You are near!”

To know that You are near - my pic

“The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him,
to all that call upon him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

You are near, O God, thank You that You are
near. What comfort, what solace we find in the
truth of the fact that when we call, You are very
present in our life and circumstance.

There is no battle we face alone. There is no
burden we shoulder on our own, for You are
near. Your love for us has drawn You close.
In Your presence, we secured. And though
many storms may rise – You are our comfort
and our stay because You are near.

“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth
them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them
that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a
contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
John 14:18

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“Thank You, God, for Your presence in my life!”

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“And he said, My presence shall go with thee,
and I will give thee rest.” Exodus 33:14

The promise given to Moses was sure: “My
presence shall go with thee…” Oh, what comfort
and confidence do those words speak to a life
endeavoring to move toward the Promised Land.
Oh, what peace do those words encourage the
heart traveling the wilderness towards their
final home.

As we are traveling our course in this world toward
our promise of heaven, know the course we take
and the paths we walk we do not walk alone. The
roads may seem treacherous at times, and we may
seem unsure of the journey, but trust God’s guiding
presence, for He will never fail to do all He has
promised. We may not have a pillar of cloud or one
of fire, but we do have His promise (Hebrews 13:5).
And, if He said He is there for you and with you, He is.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy
right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

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“The Sweetest, I Know!”

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Sweeter than the ripest fruit. Sweeter than the
honey from the most abundant honeycomb is
the love of our God. No wonder David penned
these words, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is
good” for unless you have partaken of this
goodness, you haven’t experienced the Divine
in all of His glory in your life.

Take Him unto yourself. Savor the blessedness
of the Savior in your life. Take all of Him and let
Him fill you with the sweet wonder of His unfailing
love. Let Him satisfy the hunger of your soul as
only He can.

I promise you, once you really taste Him in your
life, You will not want to let Him go or lose His
flavor. For the sweetness that comes from being
united in Him in holy fellowship, there is no
compare.

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“I Am With You!”

I am with you - my pic

There are days when the mission will be rough.
There will be days when it seems no matter which
way you turn, you face adversity. But God still
says to go. He still calls you to step out into faith
and follow His leading. He still says, “Be not
afraid of their faces…” (Jeremiah 1:8).

God urges you on; His desire is for you to go
where He calls because when you go, you do
not go alone. “For I am with thee…” He says.
Those blessed words God has repeatedly
promised in His Word. Today, wherever you are
called, and wherever your feet may travel,
trust in the One who says, “I will never leave
thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

“And they shall fight against thee; but they shall
not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith
the LORD, to deliver thee.” Jeremiah 1:19

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“I will remember My covenant!”

There once was a time in our history where God, due to His righteousness in comparison to the sinfulness of mankind, had to take actions to cleanse what had become polluted. We know the familiar story of Noah and the flood, when only eight people out of all the people who lived on the earth at that time, were saved (Genesis 6-9).

In chapter eight, after the events of the flood took place and Noah built an altar to worship God (Genesis 8:20-22), God determined in His heart that He would not curse the ground in such a way ever again to destroy everything and that while the earth remained so would seedtime and harvest.

God, in chapter nine, relayed this promise to Noah and his sons, saying, “And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh” (Genesis 9:14-15).

In the future, they had this promise to cling to because some days there would be gray skies and fearsome weather. Some days storms will blow and cause the world to look like it was being torn apart, but God said to them they had no reason to fear these times because “I will remember my covenant.”

How much comfort must those words have brought in turbulent times? How much peace must they have felt by holding on to God’s Words of His faithfulness to keep what He has spoken?

Remember the time of the Exodus? When God commanded the lamb to be slaughtered and blood to be placed on the doorpost to cover His people (Exodus 12). God spoke, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13). God had a promise that would keep His people and bless them from being destroyed.  As His covenant people, God was going to protect them!

Words such as these are pivotal to our Christian faith. They stand as reminders that, we too, are covenant people and God always keeps His covenant.

On the night of His arrest, the last Passover celebration Jesus would celebrate here on earth with His disciples, also to become known as the Lord’s Supper, Jesus spoke these words, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Through His sacrifice, they who by faith accept the Lord Jesus Christ, are found in a covenant relationship with God: “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6).  

In Christ, you are secured in His holy covenant. In Christ, you have a blessed and better promise to hold on to:

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:11-15)

Regardless of the gray skies in your life and the storms that blow or even the floods that rise, God is never far from His people. The Bible reminds us of this wonderful truth, saying, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). The blood of Christ has placed us in the safest place we could be, in a pure covenant with God, and God always remembers His covenants and those who are part of it.

“I will remember my covenant”, though spoken to Noah, are words of promise that we can hold on to as children of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, today, and forevermore.  

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“My soul shall make her boast in the LORD!”

Boast, soul. Go ahead, and boast. Not in what this flesh has done. But, in what our God has done. Today is a testimony of His goodness in your life. Today says that He still wills to work in you. Therefore, boast, oh my soul, boast.

The greatness of our God is incomparable. He is lovely. And the wonder of Him is beautiful to hold in the heart.

Boast. Let His praises flow from not only your lips but from your heart, let the greatness of Him swell therein. Sing to the Lord within – carry the amazement of Him – for this is where your true boast begins.

Boast, oh my soul, boast in your God, for He alone is worthy.

“My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.” Psalm 34:2

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According to His Purpose…

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Romans 2:28

Don’t you know that God has a special plan in mind for every one of us? You and I are uniquely designed by the Father with a beautiful, heavenly intent. Whether or not an individual chooses to get on board with His plan for their life is up to them. But, the plan is there.

And in that plan, God can make “all things work together for good…” (Romans 2:28), “according to his purpose” regardless of how it appears to us presently.

Keep in mind, how we view something as working out for our good and how God views it could look very different. Something that may bring sadness now, God may see a better benefit down the road. After all, He did say in Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD,” (55:8). Therefore, we know that His thinking on any subject and circumstance is far more advanced than our own. 

When God looks into the meat of our lives He’s looking beyond the here and now. He often operates with one’s future in mind; in a realm we cannot yet see. Therefore, faith compels us to hold on and believe that something will come out of the current messiness of life. That something beautiful will arise even out of these ashes. We are assured of and know that what God has spoken in His word concerning His people and His plan will always come to pass, and in His eyes, it is always good. 

Therefore, let not your hope be in the current circumstances you may be facing today. Rather, let it be in our great God whose purposes will never fail in and for our lives. 

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