Written by Martin Luther in 1529, it’s truth is still relevant for today.
“A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe;…”
The beauty and relevance of these verses are due to the Biblical truths contained there in.
“…The Spirit and the gifts are ours, Thro’ Him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also: The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever. Amen.”
Old English is at times difficult to understand, but the truth he’s speaking is priceless: our lives are temporary, God’s Word is everlasting, His kingdom is forever.
Nothing anyone can do to us can change God’s love for us and the security our souls find in Jesus Christ.
Let us join in worship and praise God our Savior!
2 Samuel 22:47 NKJV — “The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, The Rock of my salvation!
1 Chronicles 16:23 NKJV — Sing to the LORD, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Psalm 13:5 NKJV — But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for these words of song and Your scripture. Lord, please continue to bring us to a place of worship, praise, and prayer. Please keep us from being afraid of those outwardly things, the circumstances of this temporary life, but instead help us to cling to You and Your Word. Lord, in Your Word is life, in Your Word is true love. Please help us to abide in it and to reflect Your love and Your truth to those around us. Please protect the innocent and guard the weak. Please heal the sick and hurting. Comfort the needy and save the lost. Thank You so much for all Your great and mighty works! Thank You for Your salvation! Thank You that Your kingdom shall never end! Glory be to You, Lord Jesus! Glory and praise and honor. Amen.
Numbers 17:11 KJV — And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he.
Leviticus 8:4 KJV — And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Numbers 27:22 KJV — And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:
Here are a few examples of Moses’s obedience to God.
Between the time of Israel’s leaving Egypt and sojourn in the desert, up til the time to move to the Promised Land, we see Moses only disobeying God once.
Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Numbers 20:11-12 NKJV
His disobedience cost him.
Yet, his humility is inspiring.
He didn’t complain, he didn’t make excuses, he didn’t argue, he simply took God’s discipline and we never see him disobeying again.
God says something to Moses and Moses does it.
And it wasn’t like the children of Israel were an easy people.
Complaining and contending seemed to be their most common act.
Numbers 11:1, the people are tired of Manna, complain about this free meal, and want to return to Egypt.
Numbers 12:1, Aaron and Miriam don’t like Moses’s wife and spoke against Moses because of her.
Numbers 13:31, ten of the spies sent to the Promised Land bring back a bad report, not because the land is bad, but because they do not believe the Lord will grant them victory, they state: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
This bad report causes havock among the people, only Joshua and Caleb remain faithful to God and His leaders: Moses and Aaron.
And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Numbers 14:2 NKJV
…because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. Numbers 14:22-23 NKJV
Numbers 14:40, they admit they have sinned, but decide they will enter the Promised Land. Moses warns them not to.
Numbers 14:44-45 the Israelites go anyway and are defeated.
One would think they had learned, but no.
Numbers 16:3 a man named Korah stirs up rebellion along with others.
All of those who presume to defy the Lord and His appointed servants die.
Numbers 16: 41 On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord .”
And the people’s poor behavior, doubt, pride, and stiff-necked disbelief continued.
One can well imagine how difficult and disheartening being their leader was for Moses.
His example of following God and His commands is a high standard, but through Christ Jesus we have this same opportunity to obey the Lord.
Moses met with God.
He talked to Him about everything.
Each time something came up, Moses went to the Lord.
Moses’s entire leadership was marked by his relationship with God Almighty.
Through Jesus Christ, we can also have that relationship.
God used Moses in an incredible way, he was God’s leader for that time.
Each of us is unique and created by God for a purpose.
He has opportunities in each day for us to grow in our relationship as well as serve those He puts in our lives.
May your heart be encouraged to follow Jesus today, as Moses followed God so long ago.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for these verses. Thank You for showing us Your ways are best. Lord, I want to be like Moses, to obey everything You command me. To hear Your voice clearly and to walk in it. Lord, I want to be humble like Moses. To be able to take every difficulty before You, every circumstance to You and to follow Your Word. Lord Jesus, for the times I have not obeyed You, please forgive me. Please help me to see before I transgress, that I might not sin against You. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for salvation. May Your name be glorified. Amen.
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:3 KJV
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. Psalms 4:5 KJV
God’s Word is full of verses telling those who put their faith in God to trust Him.
In fact, the Bible is clear that those who do not choose to trust the Lord are choosing sorrow:
“They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you.” Duet. 28:52 NKJV
“You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? 2 Kings 18:20 NKJV
It is very much like any other relationship we have.
We spend time with someone and they gain our trust through their daily behavior or they loose out trust through the same thing.
The difference with trusting in God is we can not base our opinion of His trustworthiness upon our personal experience.
We are limited as to our understanding, our perspective, our ability to see all frames of history, science, and the spiritual dimension.
God, knows that our ability to understand all of the truths of life, the universe, and spirituality is a tiny fraction of the whole.
Therefore, He put in His Word a command: trust God.
He then backs up why we should do this with story upon story of the lives of those who put their trust in Him as well as some who did not.
Their backgrounds, status, and livelihoods are as different as any group of people across the globe today, but those who put their trust in God are blessed.
Those who do not, are not blessed.
It is that simple.
Of course, our self-important emotions are offended.
“Where does He have the right to choose?”
“Why can’t my good intentions weigh in for something?”
“This isn’t fair!”
But all this means very little.
If you buy a brand-new car and fill the gas tank with olive oil you will ruin your engine.
You can be offended by this.
“Gas is so expensive!”
“I didn’t have any at home, just olive oil.”
“Why did the car maker get to choose what my engine runs on?!”
A gas engine runs on gasoline, because that is how it was designed.
God knows how the universe was crafted, He is the designer and carries authority, but on a much larger scale.
He created it all.
He understands all the parts and pieces.
He knows we need to trust Him.
And once we lay down our self, put our own opinions as secondary, and choose to walk in trusting God, we have an enormous gift.
Responsibility for our lives suddenly becomes a shared burden, the Lord Almighty and us.
What an incredible opportunity to live beside the Lord, simply following His lead and letting Him guide us.
And Who better, than the Creator of the Universe?
If my dishwasher is acting strange I look at the manual or call a repairman from the company who made it.
How much more important it is to read God’s Word and spend time seeking His plans and following through by trusting Him daily.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth that we need to trust You each and every day. Lord, You know it is difficult for us to learn to walk daily in trust. Please help our minds and hearts realize the enormous benefits of trusting You. Lord, let us be humble before You, not prideful, thinking we know what is best. Please continue to lead us, as we walk with You. And for those who have yet to put their trust in You, help them to see what an incredible blessing it is. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
“μένω ménō, men’-o; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):—abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for)”
The other definitions of the word abide in John 8:31 and Psalm 91:1 all are similar.
The idea is to remain, live, permanently stay.
To abide is to choose to continue in something.
He said it Himself, this abiding means to be in the Word, living it.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10 NKJV
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7 NKJV
If our hearts’ desire is to follow God’s commandments, to love God more than anything and to love others as ourselves, then He will give us the desires of our heats.
He will teach us how to love.
He will hold us in His paths and guide us in His truths.
His Word will become more and more a part of our every day and more a part of who we are.
Just like the branch of a vine must be connected to the main vine to have life so we, as Christ followers, must be connected to Christ Jesus.
It is a beautiful picture.
The branch can do nothing apart from the vine.
We can do nothing apart from Christ.
It is not a list of rules which need to be checked off daily.
It is a flow of love, communion, and conversation between Jesus and each of us.
Out of that, fruit is born.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for these verses. Thank You for encouraging us to abide in You. Lord thank You for the wonderful truths we see throughout scripture, that You never intended us to simply “try harder” to earn Your love or Your forgiveness. Instead it is a free gift and with that comes the opportunity to live in You. To walk and be who You created each of us to be before sin marred and stained it. Lord, we often forget to dwell in You. We get off plan and tread into dangerous areas, in those times, please bring us back. Let us not wander far, but bring us back quickly. Lord, we know that there are often things which happen that cause pain, suffering, and loss. In those times please remind us of these truths all the more. Help our hearts to dwell in You and to obey Your Word. Thank You. Amen.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:13-18 NKJV
These verses make it clear that peace is a fruit of living daily in the wisdom from God.
God’s wisdom brings peace.
The shear weight of this truth should be enough to cause one to pause and meditate.
How would the world look if everyone followed God’s wisdom?
If every person, for all of time simply “loved your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18b), how much more peaceful would our world be?
The facts are easy to see if one simply looks at history.
Whether it is one’s own history or the history of a nation, the wisdom of God makes a incredible impact on the peace of the people.
Unfortunately, those who walk in God’s Word, practicing His wisdom each day are rare.
But that does not discontinue the fact that God’s wisdom brings peace.
He also gives us a pattern of conduct to follow when we are feeling anxious.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
It is through Jesus Christ we find the answer to the lack of godly wisdom around us and in us.
“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. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 27-28
Through the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts we can find the understanding, we can find comfort, we can be reminded of God’s Word.
Daily time in prayer and in God’s Word is where God’s wisdom is planted in our hearts and where peace will grow.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word and for the Holy Spirit. Thank You for the help we can find. Lord Jesus, please continue to teach us Your wisdom, let our hearts never grow weary of seeking after it nor our eyes tire of looking into Your scriptures, but instead let our minds be receptive and our hearts fertile ground. Please continue to open our understanding that we might discern the times and seasons we are in and look to You for the answers we seek. Lord Jesus, please help our lives to bring forth the fruit of peace, that others might see that Your truths are true and Your ways are best. Thank You, Jesus. Amen
2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2 Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
Psalms 119:105 – NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
John 5:39 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
God’s Word is permanent truth, testifying of God and Jesus, and is a guide and direction for everyday life, and it was written for us.
The Word of God is where we can learn about God and where we can learn about His creation: nature, relationships, eternity, heaven, and the future.
It is also where we can learn about ourselves and how God sees us.
It is an opportunity to gain wisdom beyond anything man could concoct.
The Word of God is where we can find fulfilment in life through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thank You for giving us the Bible and for the way You have preserved it for thousands of years. Thank You for the truth, wisdom, guidance, and love we find in Your Word. Thank You for the direction, protection, and provision You give us through Your Word. Lord, please help us to read Your Word and to understand it. Please keep the enemy from twisting it into meaning something You never intended as he did in the wilderness, when he tried to tempt You. Lord, let us learn from Your example and find Your truths pure and unblemished. Let us understand the Truth. Thank You. Amen.
(I highly recommend A Case For Christ by Lee Strobel if you want more information on the facts which support Christianity. He gives a lot of information and other titles if you want to dig deeper.)
And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. II Chronicles 20:15 NKJV
You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord , who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.” II Chronicles 20:17 NKJV
From their perspective, the people of Judah, they had a major problem.
An enemy so numerous they described them as: “A great multitude” 2 Chronicles 20:2b.
But Jehoshaphat’s fear set him to seeking the LORD. 2 Chronicles 20:3a
And God’s answer is: “Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord,”. 2 Chronicles 20:15b
And what position did they take?
So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord , and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord , For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. II Chronicles 20:20-22 NKJV
They took the position of praise.
Yes, I’m certain they had their weapons, but they didn’t trust in their own strength.
Instead, they trusted in God’s promise and praised Him.
They literally praised God for His mercy while facing a horde of their enemies.
“Now when they began to sing and to praise,…and they were defeated.”
The enemy was defeated.
It’s still true today.
Psalm 9:10 NKJV — And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
No matter the circumstances we face, as believers in Christ Jesus we can praise God for He has already defeated the enemy.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NKJV
Nothing on Earth compares to the blessed assurance of one’s soul being safe in the Lord’s care.
Therefore, those called by the name of Jesus should praise God.
It’s a privilege to worship the Lord.
It’s an opportunity to defeat the fear, discouragement, and doubt of the enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy.
John 10:10 NKJV — “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
As a follower of Christ, I’m taking the position of praise.
Like Jehoshaphat, I’m trusting in God’s promises.
I pray that for you as well.
Romans 15:13 NKJV — Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Lord Jesus, How great is Your name and how wonderous Your mighty works! You have conquered fear and death and the enemy of our souls. Your power and might and love are beyond anything I can comprehend. You defend the weak, You save the lost, You heal the broken, You restore the sick. Lord, in You is all that we ever need. No matter what is occurring around us, no matter what the past has held, we can look to You and be safe. For great are Your works and mighty are Your commandments. There is safety in the shadow of the Almighty, because no matter what the enemy may do to us here on Earth, our souls are safe with You, because we place our trust in Your name, Jesus. Thank You so much for all You have done and are doing on our behalf. I love You, Lord. Amen.
This opportunity to have a safe place I can breathe.
It’s really a blessing.
My family who serve me, love me, pray for me.
It’s really humbling.
This taste of confinement, so comfortable and pretty, when others experience poverty, illness, need, displacement, fear, and persecution.
It’s really sweet.
All the texts and prayers of others.
Those who are concerned about me and our family.
It’s really incredible.
To think about how I stopped counting the days of confinement when I was too sick to get out of bed.
To realize how much God has healed me and how blessed I am to have another day.
It’s really an opportunity.
To stay safe in my room and pray for those who are out working to stop the blaze, those who are helping others find safety, those who have left everything behind, and those who are frightened and uncertain what tomorrow will bring.
“Lord, please be with each one.”
To spend time before my Lord lifting up so many.
To praise Him for His faithfulness and His mercy.
To worship Him, no matter what tomorrow brings, because:
He is worthy.
Bless the Lord , O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Psalms 104:1 NKJV
I will call upon the Lord , who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. II Samuel 22:4 NKJV
And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. It is such a comfort. There is such depth of wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement. Lord Jesus, please stop those who would harm others or put people in danger. Please strengthen those who are serving communities and providing for others. Lord, let those who are struggling find their comfort in You. Please protect the innocent and place a hedge of protection around the weak. Lord, nothing that is done is missed by You. Thank You for watching over us all with such love and compassion, mercy and grace. Thank You for being God Almighty, our place of refuge. Amen.
Yesterday, I was surprised as I opened the map on the internet.
Our area is dealing with poor air quality due to the smoke, but I wasn’t prepared for the West Coast to be on fire.
And the fires didn’t improve as the day went on, they grew worse.
Thankfully the air purifier is working well and we still have power.
The kids spent a good portion of their day with me in the bedroom where my air purifier is.
My husband had to work late.
When he arrived home, he informed me that there’s ash in the garage where it has blown in under the door.
The smoke is better today and I was hoping to get to leave the bedroom, but upon inspection, my husband thought it best I stay in our room again today.
Of course, when something like this happens you want to know what the latest information is.
Especially when I received texts all day as to the fires down south near our friends and family.
I wanted to know what the evacuations were for today, so I got on the internet.
To see all the fires burning from California, Oregon, and Washington is sad.
As I was reading the evacuation notices, my heart had to ask:
“Where will everyone go?”
Revelation 1:8 KJV — I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
God is where we should go.
Yes, there are people who need to change locations, but where will anyone find peace in the midst of disaster is only in Christ Jesus.
Just because things look bad doesn’t mean God is less able than before.
Our perspective is so limited, there is no way for us to truly see all that God is doing during this.
I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalms 91:2 NKJV
My heart looks to Jesus.
I don’t know what is best, nor how this will all end up, but that is all the more reason to look to the Lord.
God is not surprised by any of this.
I’m positive He is working through it all.
Through the Lord ’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV
And so, I’m praying.
Because God is still in control, no matter the circumstances.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Please continue to guide and direct us. Please be with our fire workers and emergency staff. Please help people to have compassion, understanding, and wisdom in this time. Lord, show Yourself, reveal Your truth to the people, both in our State and in our Nation. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your loving kindness. Thank You for Your protection and a refuge in times of trouble. May our hearts realize that as long as our souls are safe in You, there is nothing to fear. Thank You. Amen.
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord , Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12 NKJV
Just the first line is enough to ponder.
Do not despise the chastening of the Lord.
Which means there will be chastening.
Chastening is a verb.
It’s a “doing” which means to correct by punishment or suffering, and can also be defined as discipline according to Merriam-Webster.com.
The point is clear.
There will be discipline, from God, and the command is not to despise or detest it.
Yet, who has endured a discipline they earned with gladness?
It takes a humble heart to realize the consequences of our own choices and to thank God for bringing us what we deserve.
But, we must not stop there, the next section tells us something amazing about God and shows us why we should be thankful for discipline.
For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:12 NKJV
If we are receiving correction from God, it’s because He loves us.
His love is such that He’s not willing to stand by and watch us hurt ourselves and others through our unchecked sin.
Instead, He chastens us, to help us realize the consequences of our choices, and to teach us how ugly sin really is.
That kind of love is costly.
After all, He bore the most for our sin.
If God didn’t love as He does, He wouldn’t have paid such a high price to free us from eternal separation.
But He does love.
And because of that He chastens those He loves.
With this perspective it’s much easier to accept correction.
God loves us so much, He wants what is best for us and sometimes what is best is for us to experience the chastening of the Lord.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for such a love as Yours. You never stop loving us. Jesus, You alone paid the largest price for our sin than anyone ever. Thank You for doing that. The next time I’m feeling the discipline of the Lord, help me to not despise nor detest it, but instead be thankful for Your correction. Lord, I want to be cleansed from the things which would harm those around me and myself, please continue to show me what those things are, that I might repent. Thank You for Your love. It’s truly amazing! Amen.