Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. Psalms 119:1-3 NKJV
How good the ways of the Lord!
Although, I am not brand new to the concept of walking in God’s ways, I’m not over the awe which my heart felt in the beginning.
It’s not a small thing.
But God’s ways are always best.
For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling with illness.
Since I already have some health issues, it’s not been an enjoyable experience, but it has been another opportunity to learn to walk in God’s ways even more fully.
For as I’ve been unable to do, I have been able to pray, to listen to my Bible, and to meditate upon His precepts.
These days have been as much a blessing as a challenge.
I want to encourage you, as you walk through challenges, look for the Lord.
Choose to examine yourself and your walk through the lens of scripture.
You might be surprised by how much blessing God can bring from the season of challenge.
I know I have been.
For He promises us, in His Word, the blessings follow those who walk in His ways.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your blessings and the promises we find in scripture. There’s simply no other way to live which brings such peace than in following diligently after You. Lord, I thank You for the blessings of trials, the lessons You have taught me through pain. Thank You. For You alone are worthy of our adoration and praise. Lord, please help me to walk in Your ways each day with fervent love for You loved me first. Thank You! Amen.
Romans 10:17 KJV — So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
How do we build our faith?
Through God’s Word.
Jesus told a parable which helps us understand this truth of building one’s faith.
And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Luke 8:4-8 NKJV
The disciples were unsure of the meaning and asked Jesus for the interruption.
And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’ “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:4, 9-15 NKJV
How the seed, Word of God, is accepted and allowed to grow is different per the individual.
God’s Word guides us in how to live for Him.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 NKJV
It warms us of the snares of the enemy.
1 Peter 5:8 KJV — Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1 Peter 5:9 NKJV — Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Scripture instructs us how to cut down the thorns of the sinful nature, which wants to crowd out room in our lives for God and His Word.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:15-21 NKJV
The Bible gives us clear direction in how to live fruitful lives.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:3-8 NKJV
May we purpose to build our faith through time in God’s Word applying it continually to our thoughts, our actions, and our attitudes.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your scriptures! Please help each one of us to walk daily abiding in You and applying Your Word to our lives. Lord, please open our understanding of Your Word, continue to instruct us through Your Holy Spirit, washing our hearts daily with scripture. Lord, unto You alone do I want to live. Unto Your precepts do I want to be faithful. Lord, please build my faith today that I might bear a life of fruitfulness for You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.
I began, years ago, to save recipes and ideas to make my holidays easier.
Our family is extra blessed to have three of our four children all born in December and I found the Christmas season overwhelming at first.
(No, we didn’t plan this, but thanked God for each one.)
It was time consuming and frustrating to dig through my recipe box every year, in search of the recipes my family loved, so I began compiling them and some magazine pages.
(Yes, this was before Pinterest!)
The scrapbook was a gift I’d never used and has been the perfect place for me to coral ideas and recipes.
As the years have passed I’ve added to the book and it now contains not only Thanksgiving and Christmas ideas, but gardening, house keeping, and decorating inspiration which I can refer back to as needed.
With this Thanksgiving approaching, I decided to get it out and read some of the ideas I’ve saved.
I was surprised at how much of the information I’ve put into practice.
It’s been a blessing.
I’m very thankful to God for His gift of this book which helps me organize my Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
Yet, I think there’s a far greater blessing to be found and it’s not in my scrapbook.
God’s Word is the greatest book of all time.
It’s filled with practical advice on everything I deal with daily: attitudes, choices, relationships, perspective,…
It’s truly an engaging read with stories of sorrow, victory, oppression, redemption, trials, blessings, miracles, and love.
Looking back, my time has been used well in my efforts to organize and plan, but an abundance of blessings come from time spent in the Word of God.
One is temporary and the other is eternal.
Luke 11:28 KJV — But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your blessings. Thank You for teaching me to be organized and productive. Thank You for Your Word which gives me clear direction. Thank You for Your truth. Thank You for salvation. Lord, You are great and Your Word is perfect. Please help me apply Your truths daily. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
The enthusiasm of our grandchildren having preschool at our house is such a joy.
When Bubba found something green in the kitchen he gladly pointed it out multiple times stating proudly, “Green one!”.
When Faye discovered my socks were the color she was searching for (blue) she excitedly pointed, shouted the color, jumped up and down while clapping her hands.
Scripture is clear that we as parents and grandparents are to train our children.
They are not always excited about that training, but our responsibility is equal whether teaching something they enjoy or not.
God never intended us to “guess” what was the best things to teach, He gave us a guide.
We should revere God and teach our children to do so.
Proverbs 1:7 NKJV — The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
We should be reading, studying, memorizing, and applying God’s Word to our lives as well as using it for the foundation of all we train our children in.
Proverbs 30:5 KJV — Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV — For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
As parents, we should avoid using anger as our motivation for obedience, for even young children resent being bullied into action.
Ephesians 6:4 NKJV — And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Rather, we should train them to honor God and the authority God has placed over them, steeping our attitudes and actions in the reality of the value each person has before God, every single one so precious that He died for them.
Romans 5:8 KJV — But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
There are more instructions for parents within the scriptures and it’s both our pleasure and responsibility to seek God’s guidance as we train up the children He has placed in our families.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV — Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Clearly, the way we should go and train our children to follow is the one Jesus opened to us through His sacrifice and resurrection.
Matthew 7:14 KJV — Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your gift of Your Word. Thank You for children. Lord, please help each one of us to apply Your Word and Your truth daily. Thank You for how You have given us all we need in scripture, especially the instruction to train our children in Your ways. Lord, You are the One who not only created us, You understand us completely, You died to save us from our rebellion against You. Lord, thank You for Your gift of salvation. What an awesome God You are! Thank You for the opportunity to raise up others in the training and admonition of the Lord. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Titus 2:1 NLT
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit which instructs and guides us through Your scriptures. Lord Jesus, please continue to teach us, that we might be made more like You everyday. Lord, please continue to help us know how to pray, that we might not ask a miss, but rather stand in prayer for the circumstances and people You are placing on our hearts. Lord, please help us to be honest and humble with our personal struggles, bringing our needs and concerns to You with trust and surrender. Lord, please keep us from taking up a response to circumstances from our own wisdom, rather let us respond with scripture, humility, and truth. Lord Jesus, please teach us daily, honing our hearts, shaping our lives, walking out each day to bring glory to Your name. Lord, help us to make disciples as You did with the 12, daily pouring into each one, teaching the scriptures, honing their understanding, patient and full of love. Lord, thank You for continuing to teach me, honing my heart, patient and loving me. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
“No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.”
“Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
The scriptures speak so eloquently.
Though sin has marred our understanding and warped our perspective, we can clearly see, through God’s Word, just how holy and righteous He is.
The truth is visible to those who chose to seek God with a humble heart and teachable mind.
(Above scriptures, in order: 1 Samuel 2:2 NKJV, Exodus 15:11 NKJV, Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV)
God is holy.
Isaiah 5:16 NKJV — But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.
We should revere and praise Him.
Psalm 99:5 KJV — Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
Psalm 99:9 KJV — Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.
He is holy and righteous, merciful and full of grace.
He has made a way for us, those who are stained by sin, to be saved, to be redeemed.
No wonder the four beasts never stop singing!
Revelation 4:8 KJV — And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”
Let us join together with those who are around the throne of heaven and say:
“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come!”
Dear Lord Jesus,
How great and awesome You are! You are holy and so far above us, yet You chose to dwell on Earth for a season that we might be saved through Your death and resurrection. Thank You! Lord Jesus, please keep me from growing so familiar to You that I forget You are holy. Lord, let me never grow apathetic to Your righteousness and truth. Lord, I want to always revere Your holy name and to live a life of continual praise and worship. Lord Jesus, there is much to distract, there’s are many things demanding attention, please place a guard upon my eyes, my lips, my mind, and my heart that I might not be drawn into worthless things or waste my efforts upon the vanities of this world. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your holiness. Thank You for Your salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
Not a mix of activities, but a mix of information.
Our history class had carefully told the horrible, but true facts of the acts of those who committed violence against the innocent in opposition to the Reconstruction after the Civil War.
I’d read a blog about bullying and the horror they had inflicted upon another.
My daughter asked me about the attack on the Ukraine: why was it happening?
Earlier, I’d read that very question as the title of an article from a news source.
A thread seemed to be the same throughout.
Those causing the violence felt completely justified in their behavior.
“How can anyone think it’s okay to hurt others like this?” my daughter asked.
And the Lord answered clearly for me.
“It goes all the way back to the beginning.”
Genesis 4:6-9NKJV — So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Murder of innocent people is a direct consequence of a life in rebellion against God.
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
The violence being distributed is horrifying and it’s understandable why our hearts are outraged at these abuses.
For the follower of Christ it is our responsibility to stand in prayer for others.
To recognize the real truth behind this kind of behavior and to remember we have an adversary.
1 Peter 5:8 KJV — Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Although, our attention is grabbed by the people inflicting these atrocities, the battle is not with them.
Ephesians 6:12 KJV — For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The spiritual battle is often overlooked, but the Bible makes it clear that the enemy is the one who steals, kills, and destroys.
As followers of Christ Jesus, we have hope for eternal life and a command to train up disciples in the truth of Scripture.
No time is more valuable for that than now.
Let us take up our cross daily, speak the truth in love, fulfill the calling to make disciples, encouraging, teaching, helping, and stand in the gap for the innocent, the helpless, and those who have yet to know Jesus.
Ezekiel 22:30 KJV — And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
May it never be so again.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your truth which helps us better understand why horrifying violence is carried out, it’s all the result of sin and the enemy of our souls. Lord, thank You that we know it will not always be this way. Thank You that You paid for my sin and saved me from living a life separate from You. Lord Jesus, it is so painful to know that people are hurting and killing one another, but I thank You for Your promises. Thank You for Your mercy, which stays Your judgement. Lord, thank You that we can stand in the gap for others. Thank You for Your helping the helpless, freeing the captives, and saving the lost. Thank You for Your scriptures which clearly outline not only the why of all this, but also what is to come. Lord, may our hearts remain steadfast, our feet not stumble, and our eyes see clearly, open our understanding through Your Word. Lord Jesus, I humbly lift up those who are being oppressed and harmed by wickedness. Please continue to save them and give those who stand literally in the gap for the innocent the courage and integrity they need to stand in the way of evil and defend those who cannot defend themselves. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your salvation. Amen.
John 14:1 NKJV — “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
When I opened my Blue Letter Bible app this morning, my eye fell on this verse.
It was exactly what I needed this morning.
For although I have a long list of “to do”s, I didn’t breathe well last night and am feeling the consequences of such today.
So, when I spent my morning in prayer, the Lord reminded and comforted me with His truth.
I am responsible for obedience to Him,
To rely completely on Him for my everything,
To trust Him.
For He is faithful.
He has every part of all these things in His hands.
He’s aware of the things which need to be done and I’m sure He will show me what He wants me to accomplish today.
What doesn’t get done will, in His timing.He knew I needed a reminder this morning.
He knew I needed a reminder of these truths this morning.
How faithful He is!
What a blessing to serve Him.
Truly, I can walk in peace, because He cares for me.
1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV — Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, thank You for caring for me. Thank You for Your Word which teaches me and reminds me of what is right and true. Thank You for Your Word which lights my path before me. Lord, thank You for my family who are so patient with me. Thank You for using them to supply my need. Please continue to teach me to be humble, that I might wait upon You and not rush ahead in my own strength or ideas. Please continue to help me to completely surrender myself before You, daily. Thank You for Your salvation. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Thank You! Amen.
Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool. Proverbs 10:18 NLT
Is there any who can not see themselves in these words, at one time or another?
God’s Word cuts through our excuses for ungodly behavior and reveals the truth of what these attitudes are:
lies and foolishness.
Rather, we must be on guard against allowing such things in our lives and be quick to repent when they are discovered among us.
For our tongues are to be under submission to the Lord Jesus.
When they are not we bring ridicule to our Savior.
James 3:9-10 NKJV — With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
If we are followers of Christ Jesus, our actions, our attitudes, and our words need to be in line with what God says is His expectation for His children.
Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV — Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
God’s Word is sharper than any two edged sword.
Hebrews 4:12 KJV — 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.
And it is a wonderful gift for us, the children of God, to teach us, admonish us, encourage us, and to bring us life.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV — All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Praise the Lord!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth, direction, guidance, and correction we find in Your scriptures. Lord, please help us to read, understand, and accurately apply Your truths daily. Lord, our lives often get bogged down in the muck of our sin and the more of a sinful world. Lord, please help us be on guard against sin and to repent quickly when we have sinned. Lord, please place a guard over our lips that we might not curse our fellow man nor mock another of Your creation nor slander or neighbor. Lord, please keep us from bring dishonor to Your name by walking in ways which are counter to Your character. Lord, please teach us how to love well, to live selflessly, and to be totally surrendered to You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
God’s Word cuts through our facade, it deals with those inner secrets we have hidden, even from ourselves.
The Lord sees what our heart’s motivations are and through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit we too can see the truth.
For Jesus taught us, we often see the errors in others far more readily than our own.
Matthew 7:3 NKJV — “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”
After showing us our error, our sin, our folly, the Word teaches us what to do next.
Romans 10:9 KJV — That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Scripture also admonishes us to be accountable to one another.
James 5:16 NKJV — Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
God’s Word does not only convict us of sin, it cleanses us in truth and encourages us with His loving kindness.
Titus 3:4-7 KJV — “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Scripture builds our faith, teaching our hearts to seek the Lord and gives us inspiration for each day.
Psalm 119:11 NKJV — Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
1 Chronicles 16:23 KJV — Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.
It is where we find truth to live by and hope for eternity.
1 Peter 1:3-5NKJV — 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.
Truly, what an incredible gift God has given us in His Word.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word and all the blessings of it. Lord, please open our minds to learning and our hearts to truth. Lord, please speak clearly through Your Word to each of us, divide the sin from our souls and do not allow lies, pride, or any unclean thing to reside in us. Lord, please purify my heart and remove anything which would hinder my walk with You. Let me cherish nothing before You. I want You to sit on the throne of my heart and none other. Thank You for Your faithfulness, mercy, grace, goodness, love, and salvation. Thank You for truth. I love You, Lord. Amen.
Psalm 119:47 NKJV — And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love.