Friday, January 29, 2016

Dwelling in the Secret Place of God

       Dwelling in the Secret Place of God 

                           Psalm 91:1-2,14-16 KJV 
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

What does Psalm 91:1 mean, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty?” The Word of God says we are to abide in Christ (John 15). To abide means a continual and constant dwelling under His shadow. How near do we have to be in order for His shadow to fall upon us? The closer we walk to Christ the closer His shadow is to us to provide for us His great and precious promises.

He promises He will answer our prayers and comfort us in times of difficulty. He promises to remain with us and protect us when we are troubled. Can anyone claim these precious promises? No! They are promises only to those who “know my name” and love the Lord with all their heart, mind and soul (Psalm 91:14). A personal relationship with the Lord is required to have such special promises.

Are you dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and abiding beneath the shadow of the Almighty? Special promises and privileges come with remaining in that secret place. The Most High God is Elohim, the true God of absolute authority and supremacy. To abide under the shadow of the Almighty is to be in the presence of El Shaddi, the ever-existent One, the One mighty to nourish, supply and satisfy.

Lord, thank You, that I know Your name.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Does Prayer Increase My Faith?

Does Prayer Increase My Faith?
Matthew 6:5-8
 ... But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly...

You may ask, “Why pray? What purpose does God have in mind when urging me to pray? What is God accomplishing in me through prayer?” These are certainly challenges to think about regarding your prayer life. The truth is–––prayer strengthens your daily walk and increases your faith to live for Him.

Prayer is a great privilege that God has given to you through the death of His Son on the cross.  When the veil of the temple was rent in two, everyone at that moment had full access to God as a believer (Matthew 27:51). The curtain, then blocking the entrance to the Most Holy of Holies, was open to you and you are now free to enter into the presence of a Holy God. Coming boldly to the throne of God is a great honor and because of Jesus’ extreme sacrifice, we have liberty and freedom to come before Him. What an immense and unsurpassable price He paid for you that you might have the privilege of coming to Him freely in prayer.

Prayer is not a quick list of wants and desires set before you, but it is the humbling of oneself before an Almighty God. It is recognizing His unspeakable gift of grace and compassionate mercy given. Picture the throne room of God in Isaiah 6, “high and lifted up.” Imagine yourself before the throne of God hearing these words, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.”  Would not your faith increase?

As you confess your sin before God, and remember His attributes, give Him praise for His priceless redemption,  Be mindful of His awe-inspiring strength, and mighty power to conquer sin and death. When you bow the knee in worship and prayer, inevitably your faith will increase and endure.

Lord, gratitude fills my heart for the great privilege of prayer.

Friday, January 15, 2016

In the Garden

In the Garden
Matthew 26:38 
Then saith he unto them, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me."

Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11

When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew He would be arrested, shamed, humiliated and put through severe testing. The Word of God makes it clear that Jesus knew all things that would happen to Him and that nothing was a surprise to Him or out of His and the Father’s control. 

This same Jesus understood fully all that His dying would entail. He knew what pain he would bear before He ever set foot in the garden. He knew of the floggings he would endure leaving him to the point of death. He knew of the metal spikes that would pierce His body–––the most excruciating pain one could experience. That night during His prayer, every sorrow He had ever known seemed to fall upon Him. We could never comprehend the depth of Christ’s agony or the terror of divine wrath He would suffer that night.

The disciples were familiar with the Garden of Gethsemane they had gone there with Jesus before (John 18:2). On this particular night, the disciples were given instructions to, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation” (Luke 22:40). Jesus told them of the horrible trial they would  witness and yet, they fell asleep leaving Jesus to bear His anguish alone.

The prayer of Christ gives us a look into His heart as He suffers the supreme sacrifice and surrenders to the Father’s will. The Holy Son of God never knowing even the most insignificant sin would become sin for us. When Christ finished praying, He had the victory He had sought for during that long agonizing night . In perfect harmony with the will of His Father, Christ would shed His blood for sinful man. May we nerve forget what our Lord endured on our behalf.

Lord, thank You for Your supreme sacrifice in obeying the Father’s will.

Friday, January 8, 2016

"But for the Glory of God"

“But for the Glory of God”
John 11:l-4 
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha... This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Have you ever considered that your suffering is a gift from God to you? I knew the suffering of Jesus was a gift to me, but I hadn’t thought that my suffering was gifted to me by God. It is hard to think that suffering is a gift when you are in the midst of the suffering.

Mary and Martha had sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was very sick. In that message they included an important word to us whom suffer, “he whom thou lovest is sick.” The sister’s of Lazarus were hurting for their brother and wanted Jesus to be there for him. Jesus did not come to Bethany immediately, but waited awhile before coming to them. Mary and Martha both said to Jesus, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

Jesus knew Lazarus was sick and that he had already died before He even came to Bethany. What was His purpose in waiting to come to Lazarus and to Mary and Martha? “But for the glory of God” is what Jesus told His disciples. Jesus allowed Lazarus to die so that God would be glorified in Lazarus’ resurrection from the dead.

What a great gift the Lord gave to them in their suffering. In the sorrow of death, (and there is immense suffering in death) the Lord, Himself, came to them in love, to whom He loved, and raised Lazarus from the grave. We may never be healed in this life from our suffering, but will it be said of you, “They suffered, ‘but for the glory of God’  in their life and in their death?”  Is your suffering a gift from God to you to bring glory to His name? 

Lord, I am loved in my suffering, may I glorify You through it.

Friday, January 1, 2016

When Life Hurts

When Life Hurts
2 Corinthians 12:9 
 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Have you ever hurt so bad  that you felt like your heart would burst inside? The pain you were experiencing was overwhelming and there seemed to be no end in sight? A Christian’s life is not excluded from perplexing circumstances that are uncomfortable or even painful. If you read the story of Paul,  you will see that the events of his life were filled with distressing and traumatic trials.

Without experiencing the agonizing days of being shipwrecked, beaten, once stoned, and afflicted with a thorn in the flesh ( 2 Corinthians 11:25; 12:7-8), how could he ever write, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Paul realized that the power to fully endure such adverse situations came only through the power of God. How else could he rejoice in prison and be able to sing praises to God in the midst of such hostile and unfavorable times.

You too, have His unsearchable grace that enables you to endure life when it hurts so bad.  His “grace is sufficient for you” means, it is enough, and is necessary to be able to go through the hard times of life. His grace enables you to forgive those who have wounded you beyond what you thought you could ever endure. And, His grace gives you the assurance, “that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). Knowing that His grace is “sufficient” is essential in the life of a Christian. When you realize that His divine grace is one of His richest attributes, then His power to endure rests upon you. Paul wrote that he could have the strength to withstand all things “through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Lord, through You I know I can endure all things, even when life hurts so bad.