Great is the Lord and Mighty in Power!

We Cannot Begin to Fully Comprehend 
The Greatness of God’s Power & Might!
Psalm 147:4-6 NIV

He determines the number of the stars
    and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
    his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
    but casts the wicked to the ground.
 When I am faced with a hardship, it is a challenge for me to remember the power and might of my God. He will and has sustained me many a time in my life. For God made all the stars in the heaven and knows the by name. He holds them in place as well. There is nothing my God cannot do. Yet, I am feeble and fickle that I crumble when trials come. Having looked back over my life and seen His hand at work, I can trust Him to be there for my future trials as well. He is a gracious and merciful God. I came across something in Nehemiah that is so beautiful and reminds me of His faithfulness.
Nehemiah 9:31-33 NIV

31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
32 “Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today. 33 In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly.

 
What this says to me is that whatever comes my way God will remain faithful and see me through even when I fall short. I have seen the footprints in my life where Jesus carried me through and the times where He had to drag me too. I know that there will be times ahead where Jesus will need to carry me again and I am forever thankful that He is there. For now I enjoy the peace He has given me and I hope to encourage others in their time of need.

Have you taken the time to look back and see where Jesus has carried you?


My Prayer: Dearest Jesus, I cannot begin to thank You enough for the times in my life where You have carried me through to the other side. Help me to encourage others who are struggling with the comfort You have given me. Amen.

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Jewels in the King’s Crown

That is What We Are as Christians.
Zechariah 9:16 NIV
The Lord their God will save his people on that day
    as a shepherd saves his flock.
They will sparkle in his land
    like jewels in a crown. 
 
 Malachi 3:17 KJV
 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 
 
This is what I read in my devotion today. It focused on the passage in Zechariah 9:9-17. Jesus’ sacrifice washed us clean so that we now shine like jewels in God’s crown. God no longer sees our our sin. When He looks at us He sees the righteousness of Christ. This is what makes us shine like the jewels that we are. What comfort there is in that when the world tells us differently. May the good Lord help us all to see ourselves the way that He sees us now.
 
 
 My Prayer taken from a hymn: O Father, thank you for sending Your Son, the bright jewel of Your crown, from sin and sorrow to set me free. Amen 
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How I Know that God Loves Me

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him; His praise was on my tongue. Psalm 66:16-17
My son likes to watch top ten list so I thought that today I would make a top ten list of ‘How I Know that God Loves Me.’ It is my way of telling you what He has done for me. So here it goes;
  1. Jesus died for my sins and rose again that I, too, may have eternal life. This is first and foremost. Eternal life is a changed life now and to live with Him forever in the next.
  2. Even though my son was diagnosed with Autism, I am blessed to be a mom and he is now a strong young man of faith. I see his disability as a blessing now because we did not have any troubles with bad behavior.
  3. When I was widowed at 25 and three months pregnant, I was able to fly from Germany to the U.S. God gave me the strength I needed to make it home.
  4. In both my first and current marriage, God gave me men who love and treasure me. I am married to my heart’s desire since 2006. I am blessed to be a part of a family of six now. God has gifted me with three wonderful children of my heart. I am honored to be a part of their lives.
  5. God sustained me through the loss of loved ones; my baby brother in 1977, my first husband in 1990, the passing of my maternal grandparents, and the death of my biological father this year.
  6. Before my bio father died, I was able to visit with him and make amends. God also gave me little hidden treasures along the way.
  7. God brought about reconciliation between my mother and I in 2014. We now have a better relationship.
  8. God continues to change me from the inside out. He made uncomfortable at times in order that I would grow. This occurred more than once, I assure you.
  9. God has blessed me with so many wonderful people to be connected with.
  10. I am not who I used to be. I no longer live in my past and I know who holds my future.  

These are just a few of the ways. There are so many more. To God be the glory for things that He has done and yet to do.

I challenge you to think of 10 ways that God has shown His love for you.

My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I cannot possibly begin to tell you how grateful I am to You for all the ways that You have revealed Your great love to me. I want to tell everyone what You have done for me. All praise and glory belong to You. Amen. 

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My Prayer for You and For My Family

Taken From Ephesians 3:14-21
As Found in the Amplified 
 
14 For this reason [[a]seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name].
16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].
17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,
18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, [b]through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses [c]mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] [d]unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and [e]become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 3:14 Many manuscripts consider that Paul here resumes the thread of verse 1.
  2. Ephesians 3:19 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  3. Ephesians 3:19 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  4. Ephesians 3:19 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  5. Ephesians 3:19 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
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In The Compassion of God

You Find Forgiveness & Mercy
Theses are just a few of the examples.
There are several places in the Bible that describe God as compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love. Everyday is an example of His compassion as well as a gift. God forgave King David when the King repented of his sins before God. God called many people who did not seem to fit the picture of a prophet but He showed mercy by equipping them for the task that they were called to. Yet, the greatest show of His compassion was sending Jesus to pay the price for our sins that we could not, for the wages of sin is death. He sends rain to everyone and answers the prayers of those who love Him. 
Mercy is not receiving that which we deserve – punishment for our sins.
Grace is receiving that which we do not deserve – forgiveness through the cross.
Embrace God’s compassion and mercy for it is to all who believe in His son. 
Nothing on earth or in heaven can separate you from the love of God. When times are tough and the way seems too dark remember who is on your side. He will see you through it to the other side while at the same time helping you to grow and to learn to trust Him more. Believers were not promised a rose garden but a God who is closer than any friend or brother and who will provide grace and strength to the weak. Once forgiven, He remembers our sins no more. He rejoices over us with singing. 
When I look back over my almost 50 years and I see numerous times that God’s compassion was there. I have lost loved ones but I am forever grateful for the times that I had spent with them. Some I have regrets for not having spent more time. If it were not for the tough times in my life I would not be where I am today. He sustained me in the valleys and brought joy on the mountaintops. God is good all the time.
Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who trusts and takes refuge in Him.
My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I am forever thankful for Your compassion in my life. For You have sustained me many a time and have changed me from the inside out through it all. To Your glory. Amen.
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God’s Amazing Love

No One Can Fully Comprehend His Love
Zephaniah 3:17 in the Amplified
  The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.
I really like the way this verse reads. God rejoices over me with joy and He makes no mention of my past sins. He exults over me with singing! When God sees me He sees the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). His love was made evident in His Son, Jesus. 
Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESV)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  
 No greater love is there than a man lay down his life for a friend, but yet, Jesus laid down His life while we were His enemies. Why is this so hard for people to grasp? My sister put it together nicely when she said that Jesus would rather die than live without us. We did not ask for it nor did we deserve it but Jesus gave His life so that in believing in Him we could have so much more. This, too, calms my fears and takes away any anxiety because I am completely forgiven and loved beyond all measure. 
What greater expression of love is there?
My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for Your great love and for sending Your Son, Jesus to pay I price that I could not. Amen. 
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What is Fear to a Believer?

It is False Evidence Appearing Real!
 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([a]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Philippians 4:6 AMP
 Casting the [a]whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [b]once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you [c]watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 AMP
 
Today, I struggled with anxiety over that which I have no control. An old tape was playing in my head and my fear was irrational. I was fearful over someone’s, dear to me, reaction to something I am creating for my son. This fear seemed to hang on for quite a long time too. I am reminded by a good friend to take it to the Lord, thus the above scripture. God cares for me and everything about me, my hurts and my fears. This project I am working is for my son and it is important to him and how someone else may see it is not for me to fret over. I give thanks for the young man I am blessed to have given birth to and though there are some regrets, I need to be thankful for all that I am blessed to have received. I can take my concerns to God that He would mend the broken places not only in my heart but also in that heart of someone dear to me. I so desire that this creation will be a wonderful gift of remembrance for my son.
 
What false evidence appearing real are you letting hold you back?
 
My prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You know my heart and thus You know my fear. Please mend the broken places not only in my heart but also in someone dear to me. Bless this gift for my son that it would be one of remembrance and joy. Amen.
 
Footnotes:

  1. Philippians 4:6 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  2. 1 Peter 5:7 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  3. 1 Peter 5:7 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  4. 1 Peter 5:7 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.

 

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Meekness: Fruit of the Spirit

What does it mean to be Meek?
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5
….Meekness, temperance against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:23 (KJV)
Meek does not equal weak! The English Standard Version, NIV, and the AMP use gentleness in place of meekness. Yet, the AMP includes meekness. In my Thompson Chain Reference, it pairs meekness with its opposite, retaliation. Dictionary.com defines meek as humbly patient or docile, as under the provocation from others; overly submissive or complaint; spiritless or tame. Synonyms for meek are forbearing; yielding; unassuming; pacific; calm; soft see gentle. I looked up gentle and I liked what I found under synonyms; gentle, meek, mild refer to an absence of bad temper or belligerence. Gentle has reference especially to disposition and behavior, and often suggests a deliberate or voluntary kindness or forbearance in dealing with others (from Dictionary.com). The way that I see it; meekness is an attitude towards others of forbearance and an easy temper not one that is a quick temper. It is also one that will stand firm yet not feel threatened by what others think or say that is contrary to what one knows to be right. 
As for an example, I think of David in the Old Testament. There were two occasions that David had the opportunity to take King Saul’s life but he refrained. When his own son sought his life David did not seek his son’s or try to persuade him from doing so. David said,Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me,[a] and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.” (2 Samuel 16:11-12 ESV) Jesus is, of course, an excellent example of meekness. When He was brought before His accusers, there was a moment when He remained silent as a lamb before its slaughter. 
Meekness is knowing when to speak with restraint and not to insight the anger of the one to whom you are speaking. It is not getting easily angered over something that is trivial or seeking retaliation. It does not seek revenge. It is however precious in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:4 (KJV),
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Being that it is a fruit of the Spirit I know that of myself I cannot be meek on my own. I can seek after it through prayer and study of His word. God can and will enable me to be meek in my dealing with others.

Footnote:
  1. 2 Samuel 16:12 Septuagint, Vulgate will look upon my affliction

My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I ask that You would enable me to be meek in dealing with others. Help me not to be quick to become angry and to speak up when it is called for. All to Your glory. Amen.
 


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Peace Promised to Believers

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165 (KJV)
The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
 because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1
These are just a few of the verses that talk about peace. This peace is bestowed upon anyone who puts their faith in Jesus. I particularly like the way Psalm 119 verse 165 reads in the King James because nothing offends the one who loves the Lord and His word. By keeping my mind on God, He keeps me in perfect peace because I trust Him. People today seem to be so easily offended. It takes a good deal to offend me now. Should I get offended I need to realize it is my problem and get over it. I have to stop and recognize what is really going on. Sometimes it is someone just trying to see how I am going to react and in turn get some kind of pleasure out of it. The peace I now have in God helps me from getting angry over minute details. When I am weak, I do tend to overreact and when that happens I need to promptly admit my mistake and ask for forgiveness. Peace now flows like a river inside me and I rejoice in the love, grace, and forgiveness that is found in Jesus. It is this kind of peace that should draw others to Christ because it passes all understanding and is life changing.
May the peace of our Lord and Savior be with you!
My Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the peace You give me when my mind is steadfast on You. May others come to know this peace too. Amen. 
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Find Rest for Your Soul

Jesus Said,
 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 
Matthew 11:28-30

This world keeps me busy and there are times when I need rest. That is when Jesus’ words come to mind. My soul longs for rest as did David’s did in Psalm 62:5-6,  
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from Him.
Truly He is my rock and my salvation;
    He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
 and David mentions rest again in Psalm 91:1-3,
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely He will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
  One of my challenges is to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). The Amplified reads To let be and be still. I like that because it reminds that I cannot control others and I am to be still before the Lord. It is all too simple. I find myself needing more direction but none really is needed when I do as the Word says, Be still. This is the rub. Being still takes patience. Yet, there is great reward. It says so in Isaiah 40:30-31,
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. 
The last part of Nehemiah 8:10 tells me that the joy of the Lord is my strength. So why is it that I struggle to find time to be still before the Lord? Yes, it is the struggle between my spirit and my flesh. It is much like a child not wanting to take medicine in order to get better. God has proven Himself time and time again, therefore, I am the one who needs to make the change and be obedient.
May you, too, find rest for your soul in God.
 My Prayer: Father in heaven, forgive my reluctance to be still before You and let things/others be. You know me better than I do. Thank You for Your faithfulness and Your mercies. Put in me the desire to be still before You and help me to create the habit. Amen.
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