“God Keeps Me”

“And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be,” Exodus 8:23

I really admire people who can or preserve their own products at home. I had a neighbor who does her own canning and her strawberry preserves were really sweet. You didn’t need to add much of it to flavor whatever you were using it on. Delicious!

I think it’s an awesome thing to grow your own produce out of your own garden or to make your special homemade soup and such, and then store them for a future use. Everything I have read about canning encourages me, but also frightens me a little bit. It encourages me because it gives the idea that this is something special I produced. Look how beautifully they’re lined on the shelves for me to take down and use at will. But, it also frightens me a bit because of the potential for bacterial growth if everything is not sterilized and handled correctly.

I know somebody out there who is an experienced canner is shaking their head at me right now. That’s okay, I’m not offended. But, you guys are awesome!

If you read through the book of Exodus, you will come across the story of the plagues. With that, you will also read about the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart each time a plague had come. Even after dealing with an invasion of lice and flies he still refused God. Some people have to learn lessons the hard way, I guess.

As you continue reading, you will come to Exodus 8:22-23 where it says, “I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.” This is what had me thinking about the ability to preserve and can one’s own stuff.

I am amazed at the keeping power of God. Thinking from a human perspective, how difficult would it be to keep flies and other plagues from entering a land adjacent to the one being afflicted for their wrong? This wasn’t a bother-you-at-a-picnic-fly-issue. This was a completely nasty situation!

Verse 21 really opens our eyes to the severity of the situation that God, through Moses, was warning Pharoah of. “Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.” – EWW! Flies all over the ground that you are stepping on – YUCK! I can imagine the difficulty of opening your mouth to speak to one another without a fly taking refuge on your tonsils – GROSS!  It is what God warned of, and it is what happened.

It was very intense, but through it all, God kept His people separated from that nasty situation (vs. 22).  He put a division between good and evil; between those who were for Him and those who were against Him. Those that were for God didn’t end up singing some sad song which entails swallowing flies.

God is a keeper of them that put their trust in Him. Psalm 16:1 says, “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.” There’s a lot of junk that goes on around us each and every day but God has a special watch over them that belong to Him. What seemed like an impossibility of not having any flies enter Goshen, God did it! “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:37; emphasis mine).

There are a lot of things swarming around us every day. Whether it lands on us or not, God is my keeper in the midst of it all. Trust Him today! He is preserving you to take you off the shelf to use one day.  I may not be confident in my abilities to sterilize, keeping bacteria from entering in (I need a garden first, anyway). But, I don’t have to question God’s ability to properly preserve me. “CAN ME UP, LORD – AND KEEP ME!”

Photo: Pixbay/RitaE

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“8 Ways to Speak God’s Blessings Over Your Children!”

God wants everyone in your family to be blessed.  From the least, unto the greatest, it is His desire that all that is in your household be entrenched in God’s favor.  What better gift to give to your children than to extend the blessings of the Lord over their life.  These little ones will be the next carriers of God’s word.  They will be the conduits through which generations after them will find their way to the Lord and His salvation.  It all starts with what is planted in them today.  When we step off the scene we want to be sure these future leaders are strengthened in His might and power.

Below are verses you can begin to pray over your children today.  Sow the seed of God’s Word into their life through intercession and may the Lord bless their growth.

  • A prayer for beautifully, mature growth – “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace,” Psalm 144:12.
  • A prayer for the instruction of the Lord and peace – “All thy children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children,” Isaiah 54:13.
  • A prayer for understanding and judgment; to be opened to receive guidance – “My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment, for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions,” – Proverbs 4:1-2, NLT
  • A prayer to stay on the paths of the righteous – “That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous,” – Proverbs 2:20.
  • A prayer for God’s blessings – “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace,” – Numbers 6:24-26.
  • A prayer for a deep relationship with God – “For in him we live, and move, and have our being . . .” – Acts 17:28.
  • A prayer for protection –  “The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.  The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore,” – Psalm 121:7-8.
  • I declare today, My children are a gift and a blessing from God – Psalm 127:3-5.

There are numerous verses you can proclaim over your family today.  Many of these I have prayed over my own children down through the years and though many are of adult age, some with children of their own, I still find myself praying for them.

God’s Word is powerful!  Why not use it to pray over and bless the lives of your children?

What are some ways, verses, or prayers you use to bless and/or pray over your family and children?  Share them with me and they may appear in a future article.

Photo: Pixabay/cherylholt

“The Lord is on my Side!”

Oh, the grace of another day.  Yet, every day is not peachy, rather often with it comes turmoil, upset, and unrest.  Sometimes, battling the seen and the unseen.  Sometimes, fighting to keep one’s spiritual head above the waters of this life that seek to take you under.  Oh, the peace to know that despite it all, the Lord is on my side.

If you’ve ever gone to the circus, one of the most impressive feats to witness in the performances there are the trapeze acts.  It never seems to lose its awesomeness as we watch men and women fly through the air with what appears to be a complete disregard for life and limb.  Actually, it is quite the opposite.  They fly through the air with abandon because of the trust they exhibit in their partner to be by their side and to catch them at that pivotal moment; to catch them when it matters most.  There is an awesome relationship of trust that goes on between the two.  One that neither can doubt in lest the outcome be less than desirable.

What about our relationship with God?  Do we exhibit the same trust in Almighty God that these acrobats seem to place in human confidence?  Do we sport the confidence that He is by our side to catch us when we need Him the most?

Sometimes it may feel like you are in the boxing ring alone.  Well, you’re not!  Sometimes it may appear that you are fighting armies that encamp against you by yourself.  You’re not!  God is on our side and He promised to never leave us nor forsake us, Hebrews 13:5.

Daily, we are upheld by Him!  Our lives are not in our own hands rather in the hands of Him that never fails!  We may swing to and fro, sometimes feeling up and sometimes down, yet He is the ever-present strength that keeps us flying high above all these adversities, above all these troubles, above all these trappings of this world.

Difficulties will arise.  Oh yes, they will.  But, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.  In other words, He is on our side.  He is our overcomer.  He is our victor.  He is our deliverer that will see us past all that is presently before us that we might experience the peace that He so offers.

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27.  Some may say this is easier said than done especially when the upsets of life seem to be all around and the strength to carry on, well, it’s just plain hard to find.  You’re exhausted!  I get it.  God gets it.

That’s why His Word declares and reminds every one of us, we don’t have to carry on on our own.  The Lord is on your side.  You are not in this alone.  This is the message of the whole Bible.  No matter how dim, gloomy and bleak it may seem, we are not in this alone.  We have a Strength that is beyond our human capabilities.  We have a Force fighting for us that cannot be reckoned with by human standards.  We have the one and only true God and He is on our side!

Who are you flying with today?  Secure your life in Him, let go and know that “The LORD is on my side,” Psalm 118:6.  Trust Him, He will catch the life that honestly reaches out for Him, trusts, and believes.

Text Free Photo: Pixabay/Pexels

“Your Hearts Shall Live!”

“And you who seek God, your hearts shall live,” Psalm 69:32

How many go through their day complacent in the status quo?  No passion for life.  No zeal for better.  Just run the ordinary course of the ordinary life jogger, following the crowd, content with a heart that’s just beating but not alive.

A heart that is alive thrills at the unknown.  A heart that is alive craves to pump its life source throughout every crevice of its being.  Those who seek for God are not content with just the rhythmic beat of every other man.  Their heart wants to thump against the chest wall to express the life that lives in it through Him.

When one seeks God it stirs up something on the inside of them.  It stirs a wanting of more.  Kind of like a first love.  You seek to be near that person or to simply hear their voice.  When contact is made it makes the heart beat a little faster and you feel alive!  God promises those that look for Him with that same passion your hearts shall live.  Your heart will tell a story all its own about the love that dwells in it for the one you seek.

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10).  He wants hearts alive; hearts that live for seeking Him more and more.  From that they will reap not the status quo rather an abundance of life that flows from Him.  If the beat of your heart is a little slower these days, or your faith is not getting as excited as it used at the first, check to see who or what you have been seeking after.  It may be that you have been looking for love, acceptance and passion everywhere but the right place.  But, we have this promise, “you who seek God, your hearts shall live!”

“The King to My Rescue!”

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“Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call,” Psalm 20:9, NKJV

 I am definitely a girly girl, to an extent.  I love the idea of love.  I can bury myself in stories of romance and rescue.  What is a lovelier picture than that of a knight in shining armor coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress?  I’ll tell what a lovelier picture is, when the King himself gets personally involved in the rescue.

As long as we live in this earth days of trouble are never far from any of us.  There will always be an occasion that we need to be rescued, be it mind, body or spirit.  We will never be the end all of every answer to every trouble we face.  There will arise at one point or another a situation or a trial where nothing and no one can help unless the most powerful in the land intercedes on our behalf.

“Save, LORD!” becomes more of a desperate plea than a battle cry.  When adversity has made itself too comfortable in your presence and you don’t know how to rid this awful pest, a plea to the King to answer our most urgent request comes forth from the lips, seeking a life saver to lift us up out of the drowning depths.

Our King is not too high that He cannot hear.  Our King is not so secluded behind palace walls that He doesn’t see the plight of His people.  Our King has granted us an open access policy to be able to reach Him when hard times are weighing us down.  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).  Therefore, we cry out, “Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call,” (Psalm 20:9).

“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me,” (Psalm 86:7).  Over and over again we see the plea.  Over and over again we see the promise.  The King is waiting to hear from you and me.  Stop carrying the trouble alone.  Seek the King’s intervention in your life.

Sometimes a knight in shining armor just won’t do.  You need the King to come to the rescue.  Be blessed.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Don’t Change Your Glory!”

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“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit,” Jeremiah 2:11, KJV

Changing your glory?! What does that even mean? It means anything that takes precedence over your worship of the one true God. It’s exchanging the life that was once rendered to service and obedience to God, to fulfill one’s own will and desires.

In God, we have love and security. In Him, we find peace, refuge and salvation. Yet, every day the battle ensues for us to give it all up to follow after that which “does not profit.” It reminds me of the story of the prodigal son. He had a hard time seeing what he really had going for him at home where he was. He thought the grass was greener on the other side and his perception of the other side drew him away from the blessedness he already had. He gave up everything his father secured for him to go off in the wild blue yonder to pursue his own desires.

Such was the calamity that befell the Israelites also. They had exchanged the worship of the one true God to follow after idols. This same God, whom throughout history, has sought to love them, protect them and pour out His promises on them. He has stomped down enemies for them. He has overthrown kingdoms for them. He has multiplied them, blessed them, led them, covered them, fed them and saved them. Yet, they had reached a point when they decided in themselves that they needed more.

I once heard someone teach that grass is still grass, no matter what “side” it’s on. Here, the prodigal son and the Israelites have been deceived into believing more in the imagination of the “other side” than in the reality of the powerful love they already had. It’s a truth thing! We have to be sure that truth is not misinterpreted because it can hinder one’s growth or cause one to step all the way out of the faith to the point of changing their glory.

From the beginning of time truth has been under attack and glory has been fought against. But, Hebrews 10:35 tells us, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward,” (KJV). In the garden, Adam and Eve cast away their confidence and believed deception. The Israelites cast away their confidence and went after that which does not profit. The prodigal son cast his confidence away and broke the relationship between him and his father. The book of Hebrews was written to the saints – to the church – to them already in a relationship with God through Christ, and the yellow tape of “CAUTION” has been spread out! It is warning those who are thinking about following the footsteps of those I mentioned. Hebrews is encouraging them not to give up on their faith! Don’t break your relationship with God! Don’t exchange your glory!

There are a lot of things and imaginations that seek to draw you away. Hebrews teaches that if we will just hold on to the truth, to the confidence, the reward is coming! 1 Corinthians 15:58 supports this by admonishing us to “. . . be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord, (KJV). If you stay rooted in the Lord, it will all pay off in a little while. It’s not in vain! Don’t change your glory!

Hold on! “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise,” (Hebrews 10:36, KJV). Wait for it! Do His will! Receive His promises! But, don’t change your glory! “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back into perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul,” (Hebrews 10:38-39, KJV).

There are many things that appear to profit but end in ruin. Ask Adam and Eve, or the prodigal son, or even the ancient Israelites. They suffered for the choices they made. Today, we can look at their examples and decide to do it differently. We don’t mock them, but we learn from them of what we don’t want to do. And, we don’t want to change our glory!

“Today I Believe I am Big Enough!”

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“And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight,” Numbers 13:33

Feeling outsized in life?  The fact of the matter is that many of us feel too small for the task ahead.  Goals, dreams, and possibilities are alright to fantasize about, but when it actually comes down to implementing what needs to be done, we often feel inadequate, as if we don’t have enough in us to see it all the way through to the end.  We feel too small to go in and take hold of what we can be.

Too often we get stuck in a rut because of this line of thinking.  The pressure of what it actually takes to step out into something new, to believe there is a chance for you to be better and to have better, is a little overwhelming to most.  Dealing with the unusual and stepping into the unfamiliar takes a strong act of courage.  It involves one having enough strength and faith to look past what they view themselves as now and see something bigger.

For any area of life where we want to see improvement, there will always be barriers.  There will always be “giants,” whether real or imagined, that will say and make you believe that you are too little; that you don’t have enough in you to be big.

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” (1 John 4:4).  The world doesn’t want you to make it.  And, he that operates in the world wants your faith to diminish to the point that you feel like you’re a little “grasshopper.”  It is time for you to stop listening to the world and turn a deaf ear to the “giants.”  If God brought you to the edge of the promise, then, He is most certainly able to bring you all the way into it.  The main factor that can hinder you is you!  It is what you believe about yourself!   It is what you believe God can do in and through you!

“Greater is He that is in you!”  Our belief in ourselves and what God can do through us rises when we realize who it is on our side and what He can do.  That’s the beautiful thing about this.  Life may outsize us but it will never outsize God!  God dwarfs to nobody!  He is greater than all.  So much so, that when He was telling Abraham about his promises, “He could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,” (Hebrews 6:13).

God is the greatest there is.  The buck stops with Him.  He can’t be outdone.  He can’t be belittled.  He is king and will be king forever.  And, He is “in you!”  That means you are big enough!  You are nobody’s grasshopper!  You can do it because of who you have on the inside of you!  Your job is to wholeheartedly believe, understand and know His bigness, so that you can believe, understand and know that today, “I am big enough!”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Love Makes a Difference!”

"Love Makes a Difference!" 1 Peter 4:8 www.wordforlifesays.com

“Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”1 Peter 4:8

Love makes the difference!  There’s no way around it.  God is love (1 John 4:8).  Jesus died because of love (John 3:16).  And now we are admonished to have that same “fervent charity/love” toward one another.  Christians are to have a love for each other that cannot be easily extinguished by life’s difficulties.  Paul wrote, “Ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another,” (Gal. 5:13; emphasis mine).  The love and compassion we have in us should be poured out freely to one another.

“For charity/love shall cover the multitude of sins.”  God’s love, through His Son Jesus, covered a “multitude” of my sins and yours.  We are to be imitators of our heavenly Father.  Proverbs 10:12 tells us, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”  Both of these verses pronounce love as a covering.  It’s not that we don’t see, feel or hurt at the wrongs of others, it’s all about what we choose to do with it.  Much like God (although we can never touch the capacity of His love), our love is to be so on-fire for one another that it causes us to look beyond the faults of others and see to the core of their very need.  That’s how love makes a difference!

Poem – “Before”

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Before . . .
Before any pain . . .
Before any disappointments . . .
Before any tragedies and hurts . . .
Before any suffering . . .
Before any upsets . . .
Before any misunderstandings and curse . . .
 
God knew you and formed you and created you to be,
a child victorious; sanctified to lead.
 
What you see right now is not all there is,
God designed you with potential for such a time as this.
 
He created and filled you with anointing for the task.
don’t let what you see make you question and ask,
“Is this me? Do I make a difference? What’s the point of it all?”
You have it in you to succeed; to climb mountains so tall.
 
Believe more in His design of your life
over any proposed animosity and strife.
Believe His perfect plan for your life will win out –
therefore, shhh . . .  silence the voice of doubt.
 
He formed you; He knew you; He brought you to be.
Go ahead and claim it – you’re a child of victory!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . .” – Jeremiah 1:5, NKJV
~ © Word For Life Says~

“It Should Be Me!”

It should be me there on that tree
to perish for all eternity.
Bearing the burdens of all my wrongs,
crying and wailing the sinner’s song.

It should be me who suffered on that night
bearing the brunt of the whipper’s stripes.
But when He looked down through the ages,
passing by the kings, wise men, and sages,
He saw something special in me
that compelled Him to still mount that tree.

It should be me who readily paid the cost
because I was the one that was truly lost.
But Jesus didn’t see it that way,
which is why on this earth He could not stay.
Doing all at the Father’s holy will,
mounting higher and higher on Calvary’s hill.
He was lifted up that we might be free,
to draw men to Himself, that was the key.

It should be me is what we need to say,
because we are the sheep that have gone astray.
Doing everything in our own stubborn way,
far from the King’s heavenly highway.
But Jesus stepped in looking down from the cross,
viewing with battered eyes all that were lost.
He and His Father they did agree,
for the world to be saved, it should be Me!

 Thank you, Jesus, for stepping in for me!

 John 3:17  “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

John 10:17-18 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

Text Free Photo: Pixabay/geralt