Category Archives: Protector / Deliverer

The Lord Is Good To Those Who Wait For Him

It is easy to get discouraged at times when we feel as though we are doing what God has commanded, but we do not see the results coming as quickly as we expect. We trust Him, but then we also expect to see results and quickly. We may find encouragement in reminding ourselves to be patient and trust in God while we continue to do what He has commanded. His ways are not our ways… they are better.

Isaiah 55:8-9

      8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

      9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

As we continue to submit to and follow God in our lives, we come to realize that not only does God do things differently than we expect in terms of “how”… but often He does things differently in terms of “when”. We tend to be impatient and look for quick results. It can be discouraging at times, but be encouraged and place your trust in God and in His timing.

Lamentations 3:25-26

25The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.

26It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the LORD.

Isaiah 40:31

31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Even Moses was discouraged  when things did not turn out well at first (Exodus 5)… and God actually told Him ahead of time that Pharaoh would not let the people go until God compelled him to do so (Exodus 3:19-20).

Exodus 3:19-20

19“But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. 20“So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go.

Exodus 5

Israel’s Labor Increased

      1And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.’” 2But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go.” 3Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” 4But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labors!” 5Again Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now many, and you would have them cease from their labors!” 6So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying, 7“You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8“But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are lazy, therefore they cry out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’ 9“Let the labor be heavier on the men, and let them work at it so that they will pay no attention to false words.”

      10So the taskmasters of the people and their foremen went out and spoke to the people, saying, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I am not going to give you any straw. 11‘You go and get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, but none of your labor will be reduced.’” 12So the people scattered through all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13The taskmasters pressed them, saying, “Complete your work quota, your daily amount, just as when you had straw.” 14Moreover, the foremen of the sons of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not completed your required amount either yesterday or today in making brick as previously?”

      15Then the foremen of the sons of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, “Why do you deal this way with your servants? 16“There is no straw given to your servants, yet they keep saying to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are being beaten; but it is the fault of your own people.” 17But he said, “You are lazy, very lazy; therefore you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.’ 18“So go now and work; for you will be given no straw, yet you must deliver the quota of bricks.” 19The foremen of the sons of Israel saw that they were in trouble because they were told, “You must not reduce your daily amount of bricks.” 20When they left Pharaoh’s presence, they met Moses and Aaron as they were waiting for them. 21They said to them, “May the LORD look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

      22Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? 23“Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all.”

Often the immediate results we face when we begin a mission for God do not appear to be successful or turn out the way we expect. We do well to remember to be patient and continue to obey God’s instruction, put our faith in Him, and wait upon His timing.

Are there any areas of your life where you are discouraged? Always good to humbly and prayerfully consider if you are obeying what God instructed you to do. If so, continue to come before Him for help and continue to obey His instruction… and wait upon His timing for the results. God is never late… He is never early… He always completes something precisely when He intends to.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Pray for Deliverance From The Worldly

I invite you to pray with me today for deliverance from those around the world who attack and persecute true followers of Christ. Many are the political leaders that reject Christ with their hearts and actions, even while their lying lips claim the name of Jesus to fool people into following them. Arise O Lord and confront the wicked who seek only after the things of this world. Raise up revival amongst your people who behold You in righteousness and truth.  Let this revival sweep across many regions and nations and across the globe. Deliver us as Your followers from the wicked and worldly in political office and leadership at all levels. Raise up a generation of godly men and women who will stand for you in righteousness.

Psalm 17:13-15

     13Arise, O LORD, confront him, bring him low;
Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword,

      14From men with Your hand, O LORD,
From men of the world, whose portion is in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your treasure;
They are satisfied with children,
And leave their abundance to their babes.

      15As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What He Says He Will Do…He Will Do

God makes a variety of promises to His people which are documented in scripture. Some are true for all followers, such as the promise of salvation through Christ (John 3:16-18), and some are specific promises to individuals for specific circumstances. One thing we can be sure of is that what God says He will do… He will do.

Acts 18:9-22

       9And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; 10for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.” 11And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

      12But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, 13saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.” 14But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you; 15but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters.” 16And he drove them away from the judgment seat. 17And they all took hold of Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio was not concerned about any of these things.

      18Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. 19They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent, 21but taking leave of them and saying, “I will return to you again if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus.

      22When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch.

When God told Paul that He would protect him, He meant it. Paul did not even have need or opportunity to open his mouth to defend himself. God took care of it, as promised. Further, we see that Paul was in no hurry to leave after this display of open hostility, despite having been chased out of several other cities on the same missionary journey. This time he had God’s promise of protection and specific guidance to continue proclaiming the gospel here.

While this is just one specific example, it should encourage us to trust in God no matter our circumstances. This was no small matter to Paul, who had been chased out of several cities up to this point on this missionary journey. People wanted to hurt or kill him to silence the message of Christ.

Take some time to reflect on some of the promises that God has made to all of His people. Are you living like you trust Him to do as He says?

Now reflect on any promises you believe God has shown you specifically. Are you trying to bring these promises about by your own will and action in your timing, without waiting on God? Are you avoiding doing it all together because you know you can not do it on your own? Both approaches are tempting at one time or another, but in truth we must walk in faith and do our part to obey what He tells us and then trust Him to do what He says He will to help us.  I sure appreciate that He will help us to do what He calls us to do and that I can trust Him to do so in His way and in His timing… even when it conflicts with my ways and my timing.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

To Whom Shall We Go For Help?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed because of a difficult situation you face? Has there been a time when you felt that there was no way you can resolve the situation by yourself? I sure have. I believe most of us have felt that way at one time or another. To whom shall we go for help when we feel like the situation is bigger than we can handle on our own? Turn to God. He is at the same time our loving Father and our all powerful Creator.  He wants to help and He wants us to ask Him for help.

Psalm 35

Prayer for Rescue from Enemies.

A Psalm of David.

     1Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.

      2Take hold of buckler and shield
And rise up for my help.

      3Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me;
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

      4Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life;
Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.

      5Let them be like chaff before the wind,
With the angel of the LORD driving them on.

      6Let their way be dark and slippery,
With the angel of the LORD pursuing them.

      7For without cause they hid their net for me;
Without cause they dug a pit for my soul.

      8Let destruction come upon him unawares,
And let the net which he hid catch himself;
Into that very destruction let him fall.

      9And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD;
It shall exult in His salvation.

      10All my bones will say, “LORD, who is like You,
Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him,
And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?”

      11Malicious witnesses rise up;
They ask me of things that I do not know.

      12They repay me evil for good,
To the bereavement of my soul.

      13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled my soul with fasting,
And my prayer kept returning to my bosom.

      14I went about as though it were my friend or brother;
I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.

      15But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together;
The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me,
They slandered me without ceasing.

      16Like godless jesters at a feast,
They gnashed at me with their teeth.

      17Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue my soul from their ravages,
My only life from the lions.

      18I will give You thanks in the great congregation;
I will praise You among a mighty throng.

      19Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me;
Nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously.

      20For they do not speak peace,
But they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land.

      21They opened their mouth wide against me;
They said, “Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it!”

      22You have seen it, O LORD, do not keep silent;
O Lord, do not be far from me.

      23Stir up Yourself, and awake to my right
And to my cause, my God and my Lord.

      24Judge me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness,
And do not let them rejoice over me.

      25Do not let them say in their heart, “Aha, our desire!”
Do not let them say, “We have swallowed him up!”

      26Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress;
Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me.

      27Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication;
And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified,
Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”

      28And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness
And Your praise all day long.

I am always inspired by David in that he praises God even while he is still in the middle of difficult circumstances… still facing what seems like an overwhelming number of enemies.

What situations are you facing that you feel are too much for you to solve on your own? Have you asked God for His help yet? He wants to hear from His children and He wants to help. Bring your concerns no matter how big before God and ask Him to help you.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Let Our Hearts Rejoice As We Trust In His Holy Name

Take some time today to simply rejoice in our loving Creator. Praise Him as you reflect on who He is and how He demonstrates love for those who choose to obey Him.

Psalm 33

Praise to the Creator and Preserver.

1Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.

      2Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.

      3Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

      4For the word of the LORD is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.

      5He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.

      6By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

      7He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

      8Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

      9For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.

      10The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.

      11The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

      12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.

      13The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;

      14From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,

      15He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.

      16The king is not saved by a mighty army;
A warrior is not delivered by great strength.

      17A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.

      18Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,

      19To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.

      20Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.

      21For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.

      22Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.

We can trust in our Lord. We can rejoice in Him regardless of our circumstances.

Are there areas in your life where you have neglected to give thanks and praise to God? Are there areas about which you are worried? Seek comfort and peace by remembering who God is and that we can trust in Him regardless of our circumstances.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Prayer For Him Was Being Made Fervently By The Church To God

Have you ever experienced some breakthroughs in your life in terms of living for God only to find that the resistance and obstacles increase? Indeed that is common. Often when Satan sees a Christian or Christians having a significant breakthrough or possibly on the verge of reaching many for Jesus, he steps up his opposition. So, too, do men who reject Christ. Sometimes you face both at the same time.

In Acts 11, the early church was growing, reaching out to Gentiles and receiving them in large numbers. Fellow believers were helping one another, even across different geographies… not just home town help. Then Herod stepped up his resistance to followers of Christ, much to the pleasure of the Jewish religious leaders of the time. Herod killed James, brother of John, and then arrested Peter.

The followers of Christ were not strong enough on their own to resist or overpower the government at the time. Instead, they turned to the power which God provided. The believers responded with fervent, intercessory prayer on his behalf. Prayer is a powerful weapon and brings about mighty things from God. Do not underestimate it and do not limit yourself to half-hearted, “when it is convenient and I have nothing else to do” prayer. Fervent prayer for a righteous purpose made by those who submit to Jesus can be very powerful.

Acts 12:1-19

Peter’s Arrest and Deliverance

      1Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. 2And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. 3When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. 5So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.

      6On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. 7And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. 8And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate. 15They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.” 16But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. 17But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to James and the brethren.” Then he left and went to another place.

      18Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers as to what could have become of Peter. 19When Herod had searched for him and had not found him, he examined the guards and ordered that they be led away to execution. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and was spending time there.

There is no about how Peter got out. There can be no credible “conspiracy theory” that someone bribed the guards or such. The guards surely would have revealed it and brought Peter back … they were led away for execution due to their failure!

Trust in the power of God to protect us. Of course we must also trust in God’s decision about whether or not He does so and how. Remember that James was killed at Herod’s hands.

Perhaps the principle lesson we should focus on from this scripture is the power of wholehearted, fervent, righteous prayer on someone’s behalf, especially when a team of believers come together in this prayer.  This is specifically highlighted in this scripture and is pivotal in the situation with Peter.

Do you know of some specific individuals or situations which could use the kind of help that Peter received in Acts 12 from God? Gather together with other followers of Christ and pray fervently for God to act in this situation for the glory of His kingdom! Expect Him to answer and keep praying. You just might be amazed by the response you see from our Creator and Lord.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

In You, O LORD, I Have Taken Refuge

Wherever you are in your walk with the Lord today, there is no doubt in my mind that you (and everyone else) have personally experienced suffering in this world. You have found yourself at times feeling overwhelmed with how to deal with the problems and people that oppose you and try to do harm to you. Let us cry out to God in faith… seek refuge in Him… and never be ashamed of Him for He will deliver us.

Psalm 31

      1In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.

      2Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me.

      3For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.

      4You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.

      5Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.

      6I hate those who regard vain idols,
But I trust in the LORD.

      7I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,

      8And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a large place.

      9Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.

      10For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my body has wasted away.

      11Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.

      12I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.

      13For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.

      14But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,
I say, “You are my God.”

      15My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.

      16Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.

      17Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You;
Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.

      18Let the lying lips be mute,
Which speak arrogantly against the righteous
With pride and contempt.

      19How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!

      20You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man;
You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.

      21Blessed be the LORD,
For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.

      22As for me, I said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried to You.

      23O love the LORD, all you His godly ones!
The LORD preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.

      24Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the LORD.

The older I get, and the more difficulties I face… the more I find joy in reading, studying, and praying the Psalms. David truly strikes an important note in verses 7-8.

      7I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,

      8And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;

David rejoices and praises God for His lovingkindness even when his situation has not been resolved yet. David rejoices in that God has seen his affliction and knows what he is going through… that God sustains him through the difficulty.

This can be really difficult to do in our lives. Even in the midst of hard times, rejoice in God… rejoice in knowing that He is with us and understands what we face and that He can sustain us and deliver us.  What a powerful demonstration of faith to give glory to God while still in a difficult situation! I pray God would lead me to do the same as I encounter difficult situations in this fallen world. May I give Him praise and honor even as I lean on Him to sustain me through suffering and hardship.

What situations are you facing in your life  that you may find encouragement and joy in remembering that God is with you and understands what you are experiencing? He can sustain you and deliver you.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Trust In God Fearlessly, No Matter What You Face

When we put our trust in people, organizations, or things of this world we will most assuredly be let down. However, do not be downhearted! Rejoice that we can learn to put our full trust in God, no matter what situation or enemy we face. We can trust Him fearlessly.

Psalm 27

A Psalm of David.

1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?

2When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.

3Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.

4One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.

5For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.

6And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.

8When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.”

9Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!

10For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the LORD will take me up.

11Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.

12Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.

13I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

14Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.

Developing a strong relationship with God, as David had, requires commitment to study scripture and pray on a consistent basis. We must seek Him in order to find Him. As we grow in our relationship with God, we will also learn to trust Him more and more no matter what we face. The outcome may or may not be what we ask for or expect, but we can trust God… knowing that He is in control and that we serve Him in this life and we can enjoy the hope of looking forward to spending eternity with Him after we die.

1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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Obey God Rather Than Men

True followers of Jesus Christ have faced persecution since Jesus came to walk among us in His earthly ministry. In truth it may actually serve at times for an external measure of our personal testimony for Christ. If we claim to follow Christ but never suffer even the slightest bit of persecution or rejection from others there is likely one of two things happening. Either we have compromised the true message of the gospel and watered it down such that it no longer makes non believers uncomfortable or we are not proclaiming Jesus amongst non believers.

When Jesus and His disciples preached, people were moved in one direction or the other… there is no middle ground. You either accept Jesus and follow Him, changing your life to be more like His example, or you reject Him as God and probably get tired of hearing genuine Christians keep telling you about it.  Someone who hears the true gospel of Christ, that we go to hell and suffer for eternity because of our own sinful nature unless we submit to follow Christ, can not accept it as true and then continue to ignore it, changing nothing in their lives. If this message does not move you to change your life… you have not accepted it genuinely and wholeheartedly. You are just going through the motions, or “checking a box” on a checklist. Perhaps you are just following traditions of what your parents did before you… but this will not lead to salvation through Christ.

Because the message of Christ makes people uncomfortable, many will come against you when you live and share a life and message that truly reflects Jesus Christ and God’s revealed word in the Bible.  We must decide whom we shall obey… will we obey God or men. The disciples faced strong persecution over and over following the death of Christ. All but John ultimately died for their faith in Jesus. John was exiled to an island, Patmos. Acts 5:17-32 shows one such example of persecution and how the disciples reacted to it.

Imprisonment and Release

      17But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20“Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.” 21Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought. 22But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back, 23saying, “We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside.” 24Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come of this. 25But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned).

      27When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31“He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32“And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

What a powerful testimony! Imagine yourself in their place… arrested when you stood up to proclaim Jesus. Then God sets you free in a powerful way. How many of us would then run and hide? The disciples, filled with courage from the Holy Spirit, obeyed God and went to a public place where they could be easily found and preached the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

I pray God would prepare me to respond in a like manner as the disciples. I am convinced it requires the presence of the Holy Spirit. We must each pray for God’s help in this area so that we would proclaim the gospel boldly in all circumstances. We must also prepare through consistent, daily study of God’s word and prayer.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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The Lord Is My Shepherd

Psalm 23 is a beautiful commentary on our Lord and how He cares for us. We are sheep who need a good shepherd.

1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

3He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

I find this Psalm brings me great peace in troubled times. I pray it comforts you as well. How glorious that we can trust completely in our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ!

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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