My Rock, My Fortress, and My Savior

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1  I love you, Lord; you are my strength.  2  The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;  my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.  3  I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. — Psalm 18:1-3

How blessed are the children of God!  We can cry out one word and our Lord hears and saves us! How marvelous and wondeful are the works of our God! He is our all in all! He is the air that we breathe, the sustenance for our souls and our bodies, a friend in need and deed!  He is a spouse to those that will receive Him, a child, a brother, a sister, a Mother, a Dad, an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather, a grandmother!  He longs to fill every void in our life!

He is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider!

He is Jehovah-Ropha, our Healer!

He is Jehovah-Shalom, our Peace!

He is El-Shaddai, Almighty God, our abundant Blesser!

He is Immanuel, God with us!


3  Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! 4  I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. 5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.  I will praise you with songs of joy. — Psalm 63:3-5 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-28-18

Me Too

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7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” — Mark 16:7 N​KJV

Peter had boasted to Jesus that he would never deny Him. He was adamant that he would stand by Jesus no matter the situation or the cost.

35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”  And all the other disciples said the same. — Matt. 26:35 NIV  (Emphasis mine)
 
We sometimes overlook the fact that they all ran away that night in the garden. Where the others went, we aren’t told, but John was with Jesus and Peter followed at a distance.  We. like Peter, often think that we are stronger in our faith than we really are. If we tell Jesus we will do this or that, He will most often give us the opportunity to do exactly that.  And, if we try to accomplish whatever “that” is in our own power, we, too, will fail.  Peter denied Christ with his actions and his words. Most of the time, we deny Chirst with our inaction and lack of words.  Whether we deny Him passively or actively, it is still denial.  When I fail to speak to someone about their eternal destiny when the Holy Spirit urges me to do so, I have denied Jesus.  And when the Spirit brings conviction, my heart is broken and I repent with remorse and bitter tears.  But the conviction is not punishment or isolation from God, it is discipline and an invitation to come back to God.  When those times come that I fail to speak out and I feel like Peter must have felt that night, I read this verse and put my name there instead of Peter’s.  I make it personal and read it ; “go tell His people –and Wally– that He is still going before us and we will see Him”.   Then I know that I am forgiven and Jesus wants to hold me and comfort me.  My tears of remorse become tears of joy!  My sadness becomes praise to the One who will never exclude me.  Such wonderful, glorious, amazing grace and love encourages me to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”.  I am still on the team,  Jesus has chosen me and I want to shout “Me, too!”  He has chosen “Me, too”!
 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post -09-04-2018

Recall – Rest – Rejoice – Repeat

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3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. —– 1 Peter 1:3-5​ NIV
 
We should spend as much time as possible each day praying and praising God for all that He has done and is doing for us. We should make every effort to start and end our day with a conversation with God.  That prayer will lead us to praise and we will find that our days go so much better.  We, of all people, should be filled with praise and joy all day long.  We are the only ones with a hope of eternal life with a living Savior and Lord.  We have received this hope as a gift from God that was purchased with the death and resurrection of His Son.  Through the blood of Christ, we have become sons and daughters of God and we have an eternal inheritance that “can never perish, spoil or fade”. No religion on this earth can make such an offer, a gift that is available to everyone but only received by those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are kept and shielded by God’s power.  That resurrection power will keep us until our “the coming of the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.  Until that comes for each of us, we should practice the three Rs of Christianity:

 

Recall all the good things that God has done and is doing for us.
Rest in His everlasting arms that will never fail to catch us.
Rejoice because you are filled with the Holy Spirit and have eternal life.

 

If this doesn’t fill our hearts with joy and our mouths with praise, perhaps we need to re-examine our relationship with Jesus.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-17-2018

Practice Praise!

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12 saying, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength be to our God forever and ever! Amen!” – Revelation 7:12 ISV

Rev. 7:9-12 ISV

While John was on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus Christ gave him a vision of things that are happening in heaven and things to come.  This passage is a scene that will happen after the great tribulation.  All of God’s children are now gathered home. The celebration is in full swing and what does John see that is going on in heaven?  Everyone is worshiping and praising God and Jesus!  We will be standing before the Lamb and praising Him with a loud voice.  All the elders and the angels fall on their faces and worship God.  We do not know a lot about heaven, God has chosen to keep most of it a mystery.  But one thing we do know is that we will spend time praising and worshiping Jesus, the Lamb Who was worthy to be slain.  My guess is that the celebration will go on for a few million years before we get involved in whatever else God has prepared for us.  After all, time, as we know it, means nothing in eternity.  So, it is a good idea to practice praising Him every day here and now, so that we can join in with all the tribes and nations in heaven!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-11-2018

Rejoice! Pray! Praise! Repeat!

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11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Cor. 13:11-14 NIV

Rejoice!  Isn’t it amazing that after all Paul has gone through and was still going through at this time, that he could say rejoice?  Through all the persecutions, beatings, attempts on his life and bearing the burden of wayward people in the churches he had established, Paul was still rejoicing and encouraging others to continue in faithfulness. One of our highest priorities as Christians should be to pray for and encourage others. Compared to what Paul went through and what our brothers and sisters in other countries are going through today, anything we have to suffer through is certainly “a light affliction”. Yet, some of us are so focused on our own problems that we walk around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh thinking “Woe is me.”.  All of us need more encouragement and more reminding of who we are in Christ Jesus. We need to “zoom out” on our lives and look at the whole panorama that God has given us. The more time we spend focused on Jesus and others, the less time we will have to focus on our own issues. When we take time to fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we find that our spirits are lifted and we can truly rejoice.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Phil. 4:4-7

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-25-2018

Singing Comes Easy When Our Cup Is Overflowing

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15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
– 2 Cor. 4:15 NLT
“I believed; therefore I have spoken.” is a reference to Psalm 116 (KJV). The Psalmist is referencing a time when God had delivered him from death either physically and/or spiritually.  Paul says that we who have this same spirit of faith can have confidence, believe and therefore speak of the saving grace of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.  We know that the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead has already raised us from spiritual death. Since we know this, we can be confident of the hope we have that one day He will raise us from the dead physically. We will die as mortals and be raised as immortals clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  If we were not changed into His image, we would not be able to stand before God. This knowledge of God’s amazing grace and our hope for the future should cause us to continually give thanks and explode with joy and praise that overflows to the glory of God.  Through this power, we can be over-comers and participants in the abundant life with which God wants to bless us.  Our rejoicing will bring more and more people to the Kingdom!33 I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.  — Psalm 104: 33, 34 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-09-2018

Praise! Pray! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  – Phil. 4:5​ NIV

Rejoice!

Some of the things that Paul wrote are hard for us to understand. “rejoice in the Lord always” and “pray without ceasing” come to mind. In our busy society how does one spend 15 minutes a day rejoicing and praying, much less continually, and still get everything accomplished. I believe that what seems impossible is the key to how we accomplish Paul’s admonitions. Happiness is caused by externals and is temporary. We sometimes confuse that with joy, which is internal and eternal because it is given to us by God. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  What God gives to us cannot be taken away from us. We can lose our focus on the joy but it is still there all the time. Praying is a gift from God as well as an attitude, not a body position. we can mentally pray while doing anything else. Verse 8 is the key to being prayerful and joyful all the time. We need to change our thought patterns so that they focus on the goodness and mercies of God instead of the sin in the world around us.  Then we can enjoy the joy and thank God for it.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-27-2018