Lamentations 3:26 NKJV — It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.
It’s one of the most difficult things to do.
But in the case of our salvation, it’s a pleasure and privilege.
Because we don’t earn our salvation.
Hebrews 12:2 KJV — Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We can simply wait upon the Lord Jesus.
Because He provides all our needs.
He has given us His Word.
It’s a wonderful gift which brings us knowledge, understanding, and hope.
He has blessed us with salvation, when we believe and trust in Jesus Christ.
Psalm 68:19 KJV — Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
We even have the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our hearts.
Acts 2:38 NKJV — Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 NKJV — “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
Thus, we can live unto the Lord, with confident expectation and quiet waiting.
2 Timothy 4:5 NKJV — But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Our patient endurance will be rewarded, one day Christ will return!
Isaiah 40:31 KJV — But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for salvation! Lord, please continue to teach me how to walk in Your Word daily, waiting quietly upon You in all things. I know often I get distracted and worried by many things and I get tangled up in trying to do things on my own instead of humbling myself and waiting upon You. Lord, I do not want to continue in that. Please help me to recognize when I am, that I might return to trusting and waiting upon You. Thank You for Your love, Your mercy, Your faithfulness, and Your grace.
Scripture makes it clear, we choose the produce by the seeds we plant.
Job 4:8 NKJV — Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same.
Life isn’t a vending machine, where you put in your money, press a button, and get out whatever you want.
Instead, it is a continual choice and in the choosing is where the seeds are planted.
Following the Lord is costly, but it holds enormous promise.
Psalm 126:5 NKJV — Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.
No amount of sacrifice can compare to the joy of eternity.
Hosea 10:12 NKJV — Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
What joy and gladness to know we can choose today to plant seeds for tomorrow!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your truth. Please continue to teach me what to do each day, as I want to sow seeds of righteousness. Lord, only in You can I find wisdom and truth. Only in You can I understand how to walk correctly. I want righteousness to rain down upon me and my family. Please help me to plant honorably. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Matthew 5:7 NKJV — Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
Mercy is often misunderstood or misused.
When someone is truly seeking mercy from God, they are repentant, humble, and well aware of their transgressions.
Proverbs 28:13 NKJV — He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
Psalm 25:7 NKJV — Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.
Truly seeking God’s mercy equals an acceptance of one’s status of commiting acts which bring penalty.
It’s not a place where the proud go, because pride throws out any acceptance of wrong doing.
Numbers 14:18 NKJV — ‘The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’
Thus, the prideful can not receive mercy, for they refuse it.
Nehemiah 1:5 NKJV — And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments,
Those who admit the truth of their sins are able to find incredible, long lasting mercy.
Daniel 9:9 NKJV — “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.
Acknowledging God’s truth, walking in understanding of our just deserves, and then being freed by the gift of God brings one to praise.
1 Chronicles 16:34 NKJV — Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 13:5 NKJV — But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
Psalm 23:6 NKJV — Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
Once the heart and mind have grasped the gift; the debt is paid, mercy has come, we are expected to be people of mercy.
Hosea 6:6 NKJV — For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
The Lord wants our hearts, not just our actions.
He wants us to know Him so we’ll that we live daily as He would.
Loving with understanding, not blind to the sin, but not hardened towards the sinner.
Jonah 2:8 NKJV — “Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.
Love tells the truth.
Micah 6:8 NKJV — He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
Zechariah 7:9 NKJV — “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother.'”
When we walk in obedience and humility, not taking God’s mercy for granted, life is good.
Micah 7:18 NKJV — Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your mercy. It’s such an incredible gift and blessing. Lord, please help me never to refuse to show mercy as You have shown me so much! Lord, please continue to open my heart and mind to Your Word, that I might better understand You and what it means to walk with You daily. Lord, please soften anything in my heart where I am refusing the truth or being blind to my own sin. Please help me to repent quickly. Lord, I do not want to sin against You or others. Thank You for helping me. I love You, Jesus. Amen
Jesus’s birth was the fulfillment of many prophecies and a most incredible miracle.
It was the beginning of the story.
His death and resurrection are often seen as the end.
But it isn’t the end, it’s only another amazing part of the story.
Because Jesus paid for our sins and defeated spiritual death, one can get confused that is all there is.
Instead, the Bible tells us that Jesus is still working.
John 14:1-3 NKJV — “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Jesus will return!
He ascended into heaven, but the work on earth and in heaven is continuing.
Acts 1:7 NKJV — And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:9 NKJV — Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Jesus gave specific instructions as to this work.
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV — And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Not only was His resurrection a new beginning for the disciples, it was the beginning of the His truth being spread to the whole earth.
For those who have put their trust in Jesus, we can praise God both for His gift of salvation and for the faithful who have walked in Jesus’s instruction.
It’s also important to remember we too are called to share the truth of Jesus; His birth, His death, His resurrection, and His return!
Revelation 19:11-13 NKJV — Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being our salvation and the hope we have. To know that Your promises are true, Your Word is good, and You are faithful, is such a comfort and blessing. Lord Jesus, I praise Your holy name! Thank You. Amen.
I wanted to share this Youtube link as it is one of my all time favorites:
And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. Matthew 26:6-7 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/mat.26.6-7.NKJV
This woman poured perfume upon Jesus.
And not a little, she saved none, but used it all.
Mark 14:3 NKJV — And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.
The Bible doesn’t tell us how much perfume this flask held, but it does include it’s value: very costly.
And this woman’s sacrifice was honored by Jesus.
Mark 14:6 NKJV — But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.
Mark 14:8 NKJV — “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.”
Throughout the next few days; the soldiers by night, the unjust trial and beating at the Priest’s home, the interrogation of Pilate, the mocking of King Herod, the cruel and disgusting scourging, and then the walk to where He would be nailed to a tree, the fragrance of the spikenard was still on Him.
Or if the perfume couldn’t over power the stench of the betrayal, lies, and undeserved punishment, the memory.
Mark 14:9 NKJV — “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
His body had been anointed by her selfless act; it was only a tiny hint of the anointing God was going to pour out through Jesus’s.
Because through His death and Resurrection, we have salvation and the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1-3 NKJV — When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
As we celebrate Easter, let us never grow weary of dwelling upon the enormity of the gift we have been given.
Nothing so costly has ever been nor ever will be comparable to His.
Truly, a fragrance far lasting, past death and into eternal life.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for this woman’s anointing You. How full of joy she must have been to be able to give You something! Lord, the best and most costly gift I can give is my heart and life. I want to offer it to You spotless and perfect, but I can not. Please take my gift and make it beautiful through Your blood and Your Word. Please continue to hone my heart, that I might not sin against You. Thank You for forgiving me of my sin. Lord, I am so thankful for Your love and Your gift of salvation! I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.
Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” Matthew 26:59-61 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/mat.26.59-61.NKJV
Here is the most embarrassing moment in all of history.
From the time of the serpent in the Garden, lies have been spoken about God.
Genesis 3:1 NKJV — Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Genesis 3:2 NKJV — And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. Genesis 3:4 NKJV
And so entered sin into humanity with the taking of the fruit.
Many heinous and deplorable acts of wickedness have occurred since that moment.
Yet, this trial of Jesus is the lowest point of mankind.
The creation was prosecuting their own Creator.
But lies wouldn’t stand, they couldn’t condemn Him on falsehood, no matter how much they tried.
So, instead they accused and convicted Him on the truth.
But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “ It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:63-64 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/mat.26.63-64.NKJV
How ironic, God’s own creation, plotted and schemed, to accuse and convict God for being Himself.
Because our sinful nature wants to be God ourselves.
And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/gen.11.4.NKJV
Mankind wants to make a name for themselves, instead of being called by God’s.
People want to live lives unto their own desires.
Thus, when faced with God in flesh, mankind choose to crucify Him.
If one is honest with themselves, and observant of others, we can easily see the accusations and falsehoods have not stopped.
“If God is so loving why all these wars, famine, and death?”
“If there is a God, He must not care about anyone, look at the mess we are in!”
“If God is truly all knowing and all powerful why didn’t He stop that?!“
Since the beginning, we have blamed God for our sin.
But the incredible thing about this is what God did through the accusations.
Jesus allowed Himself to be convicted and punished for being Himself.
Then, after dieing for all sin, He rose again and gave us a way to be saved.
Genesis 50:20 NKJV — “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
What a wonderful holy God, Who loves in such a way!
To turn lies aside and use the truth to set us free from sin and death!
2 Timothy 1:9 NKJV — who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
Romans 8:28 NKJV — And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being the Son of God. Thank You for Your sacrifice and for using our accusations to show us Who You are. Lord, too often our pride and rebellion towards You causes us pain, confusion, and misunderstanding. Lord, please help us to humble ourselves, confess our sins and be made new. Please help us to relinquish our own ideas, our desires, even our dreams into Your hands, that we might follow Your perfect will as the bond servants we are called to be. Lord, please help us to discern lies from the truth. Help us to walk with You daily in humility and in surrender. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
Did you ever notice when Jesus forgave those who were responsible for His death?
It was in the midst of His suffering.
Luke 23:34 KJV — Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
This truth struck me this morning as I was praying.
Jesus is the believer’s example in all things and that includes forgiveness.
Thus, we should be quick to forgive, even in the midst of the pain, right in the middle of the wrong, we need to forgive.
What about those things which happened already?
Yes, we need to forgive those who hurt us in the past as well.
Because Christ Jesus forgave us, we must forgive others.
Acts 5:31 NKJV — “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for Your example, that You chose to forgive, even in the middle of the most horrific abuse You were experiencing. Thank You that it doesn’t matter how much we are hurt, it matters how much You are willing and able to heal the hurt. Lord, thank You for Your incredible sacrifice. Thank You for salvation. Amen.
Matthew 26:1-2 NKJV — Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
There’s nothing which can really prepare someone for the death of a loved one.
But this is an even deeper shock.
The disciples had great expectations for Jesus and crucifixion wasn’t one of them.
Not to mention, that Jesus had done nothing wrong.
What would they accuse Him of?
How could an innocent man be allowed to pay the ultimate punishment?
Their minds couldn’t grapple the full truth of what was occurring.
The Gospels were written for those who came after.
So we might learn the truth as well as those who walked with Jesus.
Luke 24:15-17 NKJV — So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
Jesus, Himself, explained all that had happened to His disciples, that they might share the truth.
It was why He came.
Luke 24:25-27NKJV — Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
As difficult as it is to realize that Jesus was born to die on a cross, all of scripture points to Him as the Redeemer.
It is truly wonderful that Jesus knew exactly what He was walking to and when He rose, He had made the way to salvation.
As we walk forward in this week before Easter, let us spend time meditating upon Jesus.
What He did.
Who He is.
And why He did it.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your sacrifice. Nothing I can do or experience will ever compare to Your wonderful gift of salvation. How great a blessing! What a wonderful, beautiful, priceless gift! Lord, I want to honor You and Your sacrifice. I want my life to reflect Your love and truth. Please help me to live daily, carrying my cross with joy. Thank You for Your promises. Thank You for Your love. I love You. Amen.
Luke 1:28 NKJV — And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
No imagination can truly grasp what Mary must have felt at this moment.
Understandably, she felt confused on how.
Luke 1:34 NKJV — Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
Luke 1:35 NKJV — And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
But her faithfulness to God are evident in her humble response.
Luke 1:38 NKJV — Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
The scriptures tell the next thing she does is go to stay with Elizabeth, whom the angel had told her was with child after being barren all her life.
Upon the meeting, Elizabeth speaks such beautiful words of encouragement.
Luke 1:42-44 NKJV — Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Luke 1:45 NKJV — “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
And then Mary breaks into song.
Luke 1:46-55 NKJV — And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
What blessed joy these two women shared!
How great is the gift of encouragement!
These two ladies were family members, but their relationship is tied to their individual love and service to God.
They were very different in age.
Elizabeth had been a wife for many years.
Luke 1:7 NKJV — But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
Mary was a young woman betrothed to her husband. (Luke 1:27)
History tells us, she was most likely in her teens.
Elizabeth lives in the hill country of Judah and Mary was from Nazareth.
Their common bond was God.
For us, who are called by His name, we can gather an important truth.
We need to be encouraging and lifting up one another.
We need godly people who will speak into our lives.
We also need to be those who are godly, speaking words of encouragement.
This relationship between these two Jewish mothers is something worth repeating.
An individual love and devotion to God which comes alongside one another in love and support.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all Your wonderous works! How encouraging Your Word is. What beautiful life and truth are to be found! Lord, thank You for these two women and their examples of life lived in service to God. Thank You for those who You have used to speak words of truth and encouragement to me. Please help me to speak words of truth and encouragement to others. Thank You for Your unending love. Amen.
“David! Praise the Lord for His victory today! Truly, the Lord has set you before Him to do His mighty deeds. Please, come with me.”
1 Samuel 18:3 NKJV — Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
1 Samuel 18:4 NKJV — And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.
He was the son of the king, King Saul’s oldest son.
Next in line for the throne.
He was a warrior, who trusted God to lead him.
1 Samuel 14:14 NKJV — That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land.
Jonathan could easily have been full of expectation for his future as the next king, but his heart was surrendered to God.
Jonathan’s life is a lesson in humility, he walked honorably before God.
God had not chosen him to be the next king.
His father, King Saul, didn’t follow the Lord with his whole heart and actually refused to obey God more than once.
Through King Saul’s choices, he removes his own family from the kingly line.
1 Samuel 15:23 NKJV — “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”
But Jonathan doesn’t turn his back on God.
Never, not even once, does Jonathan envy David for being God’s chosen king after King Saul.
Instead, he sees the man who God has anointed to be the next king and he loves him.
1 Samuel 20:17 NKJV — Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
Jonathan is an excellent example of friendship.
When King Saul was afraid of David and wants him killed Jonathan first warns David of the danger and then speaks to his father on his behalf.
1 Samuel 19:4 NKJV — Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you.
And Jonathan has to do it again, because his father had become hardened.
At one point King Saul is so enraged by his fear and hatred of David that he tries to kill Jonathan when he speaks to him in defense of David.(1 Samuel 20:33)
Jonathan is humble, and walks in honor before the Lord, no matter what.
Including, honoring his father, although King Saul was no longer an honorable man.
Nothing changed Jonathan, he continued to choose to walk rightly before God.
That same choice meant he followed his father and king into the battle which cost him his life.
He died fighting to protect his king.
1 Samuel 31:2 NKJV — Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons.
No one can choose to make others honorable before God.
Each person only has the choice for themselves.
“Will I walk rightly before God?”
That is the question.
Jonathan answered that question very well.
May his life inspire us to choose to be honorable as well.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Jonathan and his life. Thank You for teaching me so much through his example. I love how devoted he was to You, to David and to his father. Please help me to live a life which inspires others to honor You as well. Please help me to be a friend like Jonathan was to David. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness. Thank You. Amen.