Lord , my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever. Psalms 131:1-3 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your faithfulness. In a time and season such as this, these words are so applicable. Help us to quiet ourselves before You and to walk with understanding in Your ways. Lord Jesus, please guide and protect us, that we might walk in Your ways and live honorably before You. Lord, let our hearts not strive to “do” or “make” or “force” but instead help us to hear Your voice and to obey. Lord, it is only in You that we find truth. Only in You that we find security. Lord Jesus, please hold us in Your ways and teach us what Your will is daily. Let us not be distracted by arguments, nor slide into selfishness, but instead with humility bring all our needs before You. Thank You for all Your wonderous works. Please, free the captive, save the lost, heal the hurting and sick, protect the innocent, provide for the needy, and return the prodigal. Thank You. Amen.
Luke 2:11 KJV — For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Jesus is the Son of God.
John 11:27 KJV — She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
Jesus is the Son of man, born of a virgin.
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 NKJV
Jesus is the unblemished Lamb of God.
John 1:36 NKJV — And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
Jesus is the Light of the World.
John 8:12 NKJV — Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Jesus is a teacher.
John 1:38 NKJV — Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
Jesus is the Savior.
Acts 13:23 NKJV — “From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus—
Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Revelation 17:14 NKJV — “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
Jesus is a friend.
John 15:15 NKJV — “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:13 NKJV — “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
He also told us how to be His friend.
John 15:14 NKJV — “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
To be the friend of God…
What an incredible privilege!
And Jesus is the Way.
He leads us.
He gave us His commandments.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31
And He provides the perfect example of these.
His life is our standard and inspiration.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all Your love. Thank You that You call us friends. Please help us to live today unto You and to follow Your example. Lord, You alone are the only one who can teach us how to live, the way to walk. You are so good, so patient, so gracious, so loving. Thank You. Amen.
Israel (Isaac’s son) buried his wife Rachel there.
Genesis 35:19 KJV — And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.
One of the men who judged the children of Israel was from Bethlehem.
Judges 12:8 KJV — And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.
And one of the most beautiful romance stories in history is set in Bethlehem.
Ruth 1:22 KJV — So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.
If you’re unfamiliar with this story, please take the opportunity to read the book of Ruth.
This sets the stage, because a baby boy named Obed was born there.
He’s the grandfather of another baby boy, named David.
Through this boy, God grew a man, a king, and a nation.
Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a name like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. Also I will subdue all your enemies. Furthermore I tell you that the Lord will build you a house. And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.” ’ ” I Chronicles 17:7-14 NKJV
The Lord spoke through the prophet Micah.
Micah 5:2 KJV — But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Jesus is the Son whose kingdom will never end.
And He is the king of Kings, the lord of Lords.
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. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16 NKJV
Let us never forget,
Jesus is a babe no longer.
He is a king.
He’s kingdom is everlasting.
And one day He’s coming back.
Let us come and adore Him!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for being our Savior. Thank You for giving us Your Word. Thank You for being Lord! Please help us to remember Who you are and what You have done. Please teach us how to honor You in all we do. Thank You. Amen.
For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people. I Samuel 12:22 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for choosing the Israelites. Thank You for opening that door of salvation to the Gentiles through Your death and resurrection. Thank You for being so faithful, so loving, so true. Lord Jesus, please let me and my family honor You no matter the circumstances. Please hold us fast to Your ways and Your Word. Lord, please do not allow us to look on any evil or worthless thing, that our hearts might not be tempted away from serving You. Lord, please let us be wise and aware of the tricks and snares of the enemy. Please help us to see the pitfalls and avoid them. Lord, please bless my husband. Lord, please continue to make him a Mighty Man of Valor. Please let his words be truth, his thoughts pure, and his ways steadfast before You. Lord, our sons, please let them be Mighty Men of Valor. Men of renown who are faithful, full of integrity, wise, and loving. Lord, please let me be a woman of worth, godly in my attitudes, my actions, and purposeful with my time. Lord, please help me to be of soft heart and filled with Your praise, unafraid of the future. Lord, please let our daughters be the same, women who follow You and are an example of quiet strength, beautiful surrender to Your will daily. Lord Jesus, thank You for so many blessings. Please reach those who have yet to know You. Let Your name be spread throughout the whole Earth. Lord, please stop the violence against the innocent and the helpless. Please raise up leaders of integrity and honor, who will stand for justice. Lord, please open the eyes of the blind and hard hearted, that they might see You and turn. Thank You so much for salvation! Thank You for Your faithfulness and love. I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.
2 Samuel 22:33 NKJV — God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for being perfect. Thank You for being my strength. Lord, You know exactly what is happening around me and in me. You know all the details of my life. Lord, I give You my day, my week. Lord, I look to You for all my needs. Lord Jesus, I trust You. Please, help those who are sick and hurting. Lord, please be their comfort. Please be their strength. Lord, please bring the prodigal back to their senses, that they might realize You are waiting for them to return to You. Lord Jesus, thank You for salvation. Please continue to soften hearts and spread Your Gospel throughout the world. Lord Jesus, please continue to speak to Your children and to hone the hearts of Your people. Please, Lord, let those called by Your name be praying and seeking You in all things. Raise up a generation of dedicated followers of Christ, who shun evil and cling to You. Thank You, Lord. Thank You. Amen.
Proverbs 16:24 NKJV — Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
…are like a honeycomb,”
How true this is.
For what one of us can not attest to the truth of a word spoken well bringing healing or joy or wholeness to our hearts?
Words can hold such meaning.
Truth, kindness, love can all be communicated through words.
The best, most pleasant words ever spoken are those which speak the good news of the Gospel.
The words of truth, those of the Bible, are the most valuable words of all.
“Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
What could possibly be sweeter than hearing about salvation through Christ Jesus?
What could bring more soundness to one than security of life in Christ?
Truly, those who are called by the name of the Lord have such pleasant words to share.
Words of hope.
Words of truth.
Words of encouragement.
Let us, this day be thoughtful of our words.
Let’s spread a little sweetness this week through pleasantwords.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Nothing is sweeter than Your truth. Please continue to pour into my heart and mind Your Word. Please help it to reside within me that I might share it. Lord, please fill my mouth with Your pleasant words. Please keep a watch over my lips, that I might speak only things which would edify those who listen. May my life glorify Your name. Thank You. Amen.
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests the hearts. Proverbs 17:3 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for being the One who tests the heart. Lord, You know exactly what is in my heart and all my ways are before Your face. Lord Jesus, my deepest desire is to live righteously before You. To walk in Your ways, to be a blessing, to shine Your light and Your truth. Lord Jesus, I am unable to do anything on my own, it is only in You that I find my strength. Thank You for teaching me every day. Thank You for humbling my heart, that I might see and understand how helpless I am without You. Lord Jesus, I love You. I thank You so much for loving me. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for providing for me. Thank You for my family. Thank You for providing for them. Thank You for Your unwavering goodness and uprightness. Lord, thank You for being holy. Thank You for being truth. Thank You for Your Word which brings wisdom, life, and love. Thank You for guiding and directing all things, even when I can’t see You nor understand. Thank You for Your faithfulness. May Your name be glorified throughout the whole Earth, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Amen.
The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecc. 7:8 NKJV
Do we believe this?
Do our lives reflect this truth?
Is a funeral really better than a wedding?
It can be.
Look at Billy and Ruth Graham as an example.
When both died, many people mourned their loss, but the legacy of love, marriage, family, and most importantly, devotion to God has been left as an imprint in the fabric of history.
Yes, their end was better than their beginning.
Their lives reflected the hand of God.
And there are many other people God has done the same through.
People who followed this verse:
“eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;” Romans 2:7 NKJV
People whose lives inspire others to live unto the Lord, to be diligent in their walk each and every day.
Men and women who are servants of God, not full of pride or self importance, but truly looking to serve with gladness where ever and how ever God chooses.
Truly it is better to be patient than proud.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. James 5:7 NKJV
Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Psalms 100:2 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. It is full of such life and truth and wisdom. Please let my heart be open to Your Words and help me to walk in them. Lord, I want to have my end be better than my beginning. Lord, I want to be patient, serving You with gladness wherever You call me, however You choose. Lord, I want to be humble; not proud, not haughty, not mean, not angry, but instead full of love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self control. Lord, I know all these things come from You alone. Please, help me to walk in Your ways and teach me these things. Thank You, Jesus. I love You. Amen.
Psalm 37:7 NKJV — Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Resting in the Lord is a choice.
It’s not based on circumstances.
It’s not acted on by our perspective.
Resting in the Lord is choosing to trust God and putting all faith in Him.
Scripture gives us many examples of those who chose to rest in God and those who did not.
Isaiah 30:15 NKJV — For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not,
Yet the option is still open.
Each day is another opportunity to trust God, to rest in His sovereignty.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
For the burden of sin is heavy and exhausting.
Psalm 32:10 NKJV — Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV — For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The two paths, trusting God or trusting mankind (including self), are before us each day.
But those who trust in the Lord Jesus have rest.
While on Earth there is peace and security for their souls in the eternal life which awaits them in heaven.
Doubt, fear, and the world bombard our senses with lies about how to find peace and security, how to fill our lives with pleasure and good times.
The stark contrast of eternity with Christ and living a life surrendered to Him, brings rest which can never be attained by the world’s ways.
It is a choice.
Each one must choose, daily, who they will serve, what they will put their trust in.
But only one path brings rest.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your promises. How wonderful it is to rest in You. How blessed we are to walk in Your ways, to find security and comfort in Your Word, to walk in this life with the knowledge that You are sovereign. Lord Jesus, please help us to remain humble and teachable, looking daily for opportunities to surrender ourselves before You. Lord, please guard our hearts and minds against the lies of sin and the doubt which would rob us of Your truths. Thank You for loving us always and being the Savior of our souls. I love You, Jesus. 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.