22 Cast your burden on the Lord [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall, fail). Psalms 55:22 AMP
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You so much for Your Word. Lord, in it we find all we need. Thank You for being the One who sustains us. Thank You that You guide and direct our paths. Please continue to teach us how to live each day unto You. Please help us to hear Your voice and respond to Your Word. Lord, please do not let us wander from the truth, nor walk in our own ideas. Please help us to learn quickly from our errors and to live wisely. Lord, we want to redeem the time and to live honorably before You. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for salvation! I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Handsome’s work schedule has him either on nights or graveyard, and through the weekend, which isn’t bad, I’m just not adjusting to it quickly.
We’ve received some concerning news about people we love.
The suffering of fellow believers has been heavy upon my heart.
Yet, in the midst of these things God is so present.
His Word’s been so relevant each and every day.
I’ve found such peace in prayer and comfort in His promises.
My heart can surrender these burdens and I can rejoice in Him.
And He has answered prayers!
Praise the Lord!
His mighty works are such a blessing!
I find rest in His truth.
I need not strive.
I need not worry, simply bring Him my concerns, my limitations, and trust the outcome to His sovereignty.
For today belongs to Him.
Yesterday belongs to Him.
And I know He has tomorrow in hand as well.
Psalm 18:2 KJV — The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 34:22 KJV — The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for using these things in my life to encourage me to seek You more. Lord, thank You that I don’t need to know what is going to happen, I simply need to live for You in today and walk with You, listening carefully for Your still soft voice. I know You are guiding me through Your Word and I thank You for it. Lord, for all these prayer requests, these people in need, I humbly request You meet them where they are. Please provide and sustain them. Lord, let these things, these circumstances be used to bring glory and honor to Your name. Lord, our lives are not our own, they were bought with such a high price. Please let our lives be lived wholly unto You. Thank You Jesus for Your love. I love You. Amen.
One of those choices we all make each day, sometimes minute by minute, is what we choose to do.
What we think on, what we meditate on, what we listen to, what we read, all are choices.
These choices either build our faith or tear it down.
When faced with uncertainty, tragedy, and pain we have a choice.
Despair or trust.
Will we praise God through the current circumstances or will we complain about the havock?
Throughout history we see God using the things Satan meant for evil and turning it to good.
As followers of Christ, we need to choose to find joy in Him, even in the midst of incredible pain.
For we can choose joy even while we suffer.
Acts 5:41 KJV — And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Yes, there will be trials and tribulations.
Yes, we will struggle, suffer, and experience tragedy.
No, it won’t last forever, because Jesus promises eternal life in Paradise.
And thus, we can choose joy.
Not a false pretense of faking it.
Not denying the fear or hurt or loss we are experiencing, but in those things choosing to cling to Jesus.
Choosing to praise Him for He is worthy.
Choosing to find hope and joy in life eternal.
It’s not easy, nor is it popular.
Yet God’s Word is truth and in it we find our example:
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.
Romans 5:8 NKJV — But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In God’s Word we have the answer.
Romans 5:3-5 NKJV — And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
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.
In His promises we can find joy.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for life eternal in You because You sacrificed Your life on the cross. Thank You for showing us how to handle tragedy, fear, and pain. Please continue to guide and direct us as we walk daily with You. Lord, let our hearts be full of Your Word and our lives settled securely in Your truth. For this is not our home, that awaits us in heaven. Praise You, Lord Jesus! Amen!
1 Chronicles 12:32 KJV — And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
These men of Issachar were living in days where people were divided.
King Saul had lost his mind and his leadership had splintered his people’s allegiance.
David fled from the king and God not only preserved him, He sent others to join with him.
1 Chronicles 12:1 NKJV — Now these were the men who came to David at Ziklag while he was still a fugitive from Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men, helpers in the war,
Thus, these men were not living in a time when their country was secure nor at peace, conflict raged from within as well as without.
King Saul had an on going war with the Philistines which continued into David’s reign.
The king was insane and tried to murder those who were supporting him, including his son and heir.
1 Samuel 19:9-10, 1 Samuel 20:30-33
He even wiped out the entire family of priests, because they had helped David, being unaware of the contention between him and the king.
1 Samuel 22:17-18NKJV — Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not tell it to me.” But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the LORD. And the king said to Doeg, “You turn and kill the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men who wore a linen ephod.
The scriptures are clear, a godly leader is a blessing to all.
Proverbs 29:2 KJV — When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
These men of Issachar were living in perilous times and yet the Bible records something astounding.
“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…”
These men understood the times and acted accordingly.
They not only made themselves alliance with God’s man, David, they were recorded in God’s Word as men of understanding.
As a woman, I see this passage as an opportunity.
God has outlined specific duties to men and specific roles for women so we can join together in love and honor before God and work as a team.
As a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a woman my role is to stand before God in prayer for the men in my life.
Beginning with my husband and continuing on to my sons, and then on to our leaders.
These words about these men of Issachar inspire me to pray for men of understanding.
That God would raise up my husband and my sons to be men who understand the times and act accordingly.
To seek God for their protection and their personal walks with Him.
For great godly leaders we need great godly men and women who will stand for what is right, love no matter the price, and not be deceived by the lies of the wicked one.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for these men who understood the time and acted. Lord Jesus, please help us, each of us to understand the times and to respond with Your wisdom and discernment. Lord, please speak clearly to our men and help them to know the actions they should take, please guide them as they lead our families. Lord, our lives are Yours and our families belong to You. With all my heart, I want each one of us to be a witness to Your goodness, Your love, Your truth, and Your salvation. Please raise up godly leaders, men who understand the times, and know what should be done. Thank You. Amen.
Nehemiah 9:6 NKJV — You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word and Your truth. How great is Your faithfulness. Lord, we thank You for all Your wonderous works! You are God alone, Maker of Heaven and Earth! What wonderous things You have done and how great is Your love for us! Thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for going to such great lengths to save us that You died to save us. Lord, please continue to reach those in need, providing for them, sustaining them. Lord, please grant wisdom and discernment to Your people. Help us to be in line with Your Word and Your ways. Please continue to shine the light of truth into our hearts and minds. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
My heart finds deep sorrow in the events around the globe, especially when it comes to persecution.
I’ve read of kidnappings, slavery, beatings, and murder all because these people will not deny Jesus.
Not long ago, I was deeply saddened to hear of a teacher whose personal convictions and commitment to Jesus cost her her job.
And when these stories of tragedy, pain, and loss come, I look to Scripture and find peace.
Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV — “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus’s words bring clarity to these tragedies.
Although, our hearts should break for our brothers and sisters experiencing these afflictions, as followers of Christ, we should not be surprised.
Jesus spoke these words, because He knew something we often overlook.
From the beginning persecution has been a result of wickedness.
1 John 3:11-12NKJV — For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
The Bible records many stories of those persecuted for their faith.
Acts 7:54-58 NKJV — When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Nothing should surprise us when it comes to the children of God being persecuted for our faith.
After all, if they killed Jesus, why would we expect anything else?
The most wonderful and beautiful thing about it all is how God uses this persecution.
He chose to take the punishment of those who were persecuting Him and redeem them by His sacrifice.
If He can turn that into such an incredible blessing, He can use the tragedy today.
We may not see it.
We may not understand it.
But we can and should praise God through it all.
1 Peter 1:3-9 NKJV — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
For this world is not our home, this is not the end, it is our opportunity to testify of the greatness of God.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for the truth of what we cannot see. You are both loving and righteous. You hold both judgement and mercy in Your hands. Lord, You know what is best and You are sovereign. Lord, please help us to look on the things in this life from Your perspective. Please help us to revere Your Word and to walk in Your truth. Lord, thank You for teaching us that persecution will come and although we may not understand everything, You do and You are working in it and through it. Thank You that we know what the enemy means for harm You can and will use for good. Lord, for those of us not experiencing persecution, please teach us to join with those who are in prayer and support as You provide the ability. Lord, please keep us from leaning on our own wisdom or understanding, for we are shortsighted. Thank You Jesus for being the reason we have hope, no matter the circumstance. I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.
Mark 12:42-44 NKJV — Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He (Jesus) called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” ( pronoun clarification added)
Jesus not only noticed this poor widow, He knew her.
For there’s nothing else in scripture which tells us she was going everything she had, only Jesus’ words.
He made a point of stating she’d given “her whole livelihood”.
We never know more about this woman’s story, but we can be inspired by her faith in God.
For scripture doesn’t even tell us that she knew Jesus, or that she spoke to Him.
Yet, her act of faith is noticed by God Himself.
This, we too can be encouraged by this woman’s example.
God doesn’t choose to tell us her whole story, just this moment where she freely gives her all to Him.
Those two coins equalled her entire future.
Yet, she gave them to God and did so with a humble heart.
Her astounding faith isn’t the first story in scripture of a widow who was willing to humbly give everything.
1 Kings 17:10-13 NKJV — So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.
A mother is not likely to place a stranger’s need above that of her child.
Yet, this widow did as Elijah told her to, she made food for him first then for herself and her son.
How different this story could have been if she’d not obeyed.
1 Kings 17:14-16 NKJV — “For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’ ” So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.
Neither of these widows knew what God was going to do with their moment of freely giving.
Through them God shows His care and both women are inscribed in God’s Holy Word as an example.
Truly, giving God our future, placing our complete trust and faith in Him is a daily pleasure.
For with it we find provision in His eternal salvation and faith for today.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for these two widows. Thank You for the application we can glean from their lives. Lord, when the future is uncertain we need to cling to You even more, to walk with integrity, faith and trust. Lord, please keep us from the folly of trusting in ourselves, our jobs, our plans, but instead teach us how to daily put everything we have in Your hands. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for salvation! May our hearts rest in Your peace and praise You continually. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Our daughter and son-in-law had a combined birthday party for our grandchildren.
Bubba turned one last week and Faye turned two in April.
It was a blessing to be able to join in their outdoor celebration.
The following day we had planned on picking up some furniture for Anne.
It was a Craigslist post. After prayer and family discussion, Anne felt she should buy the settee, rocker, and a chair.
They are all Eastlake Victorian furniture and we were happy to go get them for her.
She’s down with Grandma and hasn’t gotten to see them yet, but I know she’s going to be pleased.
In the midst of this venture to bless our daughter we got to see how God was blessing some strangers.
The couple were selling these items to help pay for their needs.
The husband had under gone back surgery three months ago and still was obviously in a great deal of pain.
They talked about all the things they were doing to make ends meet.
The furniture had been given them by an old couple who’d had it from their parents.
They’d specifically given them the furniture to sell and help them with their living expenses.
It blessed my heart to hear how God was meeting their needs in unusual ways.
I told her we’d be praying for her husband and she made sure to let me know they’d pray for my mom’s foot surgery. (I had mentioned her in explaining why Anne wasn’t with us.)
My heart was so thankful to God that this purchase was a win-win and He allowed us to be in the middle of it all.
While the furniture sits in our living room, I have an every day reminder to pray and praise.
Prayer for this couple and God’s continued provision, healing, direction, and relationship.
Prayer for others who are suffering or going through a difficult time.
Prayer for Anne and Grandma, and the road ahead.
Praise to God for His faithfulness, His provision, His wonderful works.
Philippians 4:19 KJV — But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Jesus supplied our need at Calvary and it’s truly worth praising Him for continually!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your faithfulness. Thank You for salvation. Lord, thank You for allowing us to be in the middle of You blessing others. Lord, thank You for using something small to remind me of how great You are. Your faithfulness is incredible. Your salvation is awesome, the most incredible gift ever. Lord, please continue to reach those who have yet to know You, that they might be saved and added to the flock. Lord, thank You for the wonderful ways You reach others. Thank You for Your love! May the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You. Amen.
Genesis 19:26 NKJV — But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
This coloring page is a common depiction of this tragic Bible story.
This picture and others like it give one the impression Lot’s wife just failed to fight fear and couldn’t help one more glimpse.
Like she was trying to “make sure” they would get away safely and forgot the command not to look back.
Yet, this is a misrepresentation of the scriptures.
Genesis 19:16-19 NKJV — And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die.”
Genesis 19:20-22 NKJV — “See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
Genesis 19:23-25 NKJV — The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
Genesis 19:26 NKJV — But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Lot, his wife, and their two daughters were inside a city, Zoar.
Why a city?
Because Lot had specifically requested that he be allowed to flee there and this city was spared the fate of Sodom,Gomorrah, and the surrounding region.
They weren’t running for their lives while God rained down judgement.
They were secure, safe in His provision.
And it was from this place of safety and mercy that Lot’s wife looked back.
The spiritual application for the believer in Jesus Christ is staggering.
When our souls are safe with Him, when we know His sacrifice has covered all our sins, we must be careful.
Our hearts can not “look back” to the life of sin we had before.
2 Peter 2:22 NKJV — But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
We should be on our guard not return to those things of the former life before salvation.
We need to be guarded against this snare.
For we do not fight only our sinful nature, but also the enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy us.
Thus, we must be aware of the danger of “looking back”.
Luke 9:62 NKJV — But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for this warning, that we might not grow careless when we have security and safety. Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice which paid the price for my sins. Thank You for Your Word which guides me daily. Lord, please continue to teach me the way to go and show me those things the enemy or my own sinful nature are prone to that I might avoid them. Lord, thank You for Your mercy and truth. Please continue to save those who are lost and provide for those who are Yours. In Your name, Jesus, I humbly request these things. Amen.
Mark 12:43 NKJV — So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; Mark 12:44 NKJV — “for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that You sacrificed Your life to save us from sin and death. Lord, I want to give all I am to You each day. I want to be authentic with my life, living real before You in Your name for Your glory. Lord, if there is anything which I’m holding back from You let me realize it, for I do not want to walk in the way of Ananias and Sapphira, I don’t want to lie to You nor to myself, it always leads to spiritual death. Lord, I humbly lift up prayer for those who are hurting and in great need, please touch them, please comfort them and supply their greatest need, salvation. Lord, for those who have yet to know You, please soften hearts, please open their understanding and shine Your light of truth into the darkness. God, please return the hearts of mankind to serving and worshipping You and heal our land. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. May Your name be glorified today. Amen.