Romans 8:26-27 NKJV – A Dear Friend thought to share this with me

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

FOR MY FRIENDS NEEDING PRAYER AND GOING THROUGH TOUGH TIMES

Have you ever just NOT known how or what to pray? Perhaps you have run out of words, or a situation has left you speechless or in so much pain that all you can do is groan? In Romans 8:26 Paul explains a prayer resource we may not realize we have or do not take advantage of: the Holy Spirit. When circumstances or pain leave us without words to pray, we can yield to God’s Spirit. This means that we do not pray out of our own understanding or try to figure out what to pray but we rest in the fact that HE knows our heart and HE knows the situation. Verse 27 says that the Father who knows all hearts also knows what the Spirit is saying on our behalf in the most baffling or distressing times. HE makes prayers out of our tears, our sighs and our groaning’s. What a wonderful thing to know that the Holy Spirit is interceding and, even beyond that, pleading for us believers in harmony with God’s will. In addition, Jesus, at the right hand of the Father in heaven, the place of highest honor is praying for us! Thank-You, Holy Spirit, for praying through us in perfect agreement with God’s will and, with Jesus, interceding for us at the throne of God. When we don’t know the words to say or have no words at all, you carry our sighs, groans, and tears into God’s presence for us. What Amazing Grace!” (From “The One Year Book of Praying Through the Bible”, Copyright 2003 by Cheri Fuller, www.tyndale.com)

Thanks, Rachel.

Dear God. Thank you for my dear friend who thought enough to share this wonderful study from Your Word. Holy Spirit when we don’t have the words to pray, You are already there. All we need to do is submit to Your love. When our tears run dry and our hearts are breaking, You make prayers out of our sorrows. Direct to the Your throne room where they will reside in God’s presence. Thank You Jesus! Help us understand that when there is nothing left in us, even words, that You are always there. We love You Lord and pray in Your Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Deuteronomy 28:13 – Am I looking ahead or am I looking back?

And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.

Obedience to the Lord will bring you blessings. That’s a powerful promise. This is a covenant promise given to Moses by God and a gift to the children of Israel if they chose the blessing. God would make them “above and not beneath”. The blessing included personal blessings, family blessings, national blessings, and the favor of God which can be described as the fountain of all blessings. Or the curse which would have real effects like utter ruin and destruction.

You see, we all have a choice. Either we choose the blessing or we choose the curse. It seems like a simple choice on face value, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to choose the blessing? Especially, the blessings of God. But what if you didn’t know for sure what the blessings of God were or the world on face value seems too good to pass up. Hey, we’ve all been there. I’m not trying to be preachy here. But, I’ll be transparent, I still make bad choices. Hopefully, not as many, but I mess up.

When I first heard this Scripture passage, I likened God’s promise this way: I would always rather be “The head and not the tail” because I wanted to always know where I was going instead of seeing where I’ve been. Ya know what I mean? God’s plan for you is absolutely filled with blessings, and favor, and abundance. He promises, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) And God is leading the way. All we need to be is obedient and choose wisely.

Jim Cymbala, in his book, “Breakthrough Prayer” he says, “Do you know that in addition to describing God as Creator, Comforter, and King, the Bible also calls Him “the Hearer of Prayer”. This is the sweetest yet least known descriptions of the Lord in Scripture. “O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come”. Or, more literally, “Hearer of Prayer, to you all men will come.” (Psalm 65:2 NKJV)”

Jim also points out that, “Many of us fail to call on God because we don’t understand the need to pray about something God has already promised to you.”

So you see, you have a great promise given to you in Deuteronomy 28:13 that obedience to the Lord will bring you blessings. And another great promise, that God promises to prosper you and give you hope and a future. And finally, God promises to hear your prayers. So I ask you, can you take some time in prayer this week and pray the promises of God for yourself, your family, your friends, your co-workers, and even your enemies? Why not start out with thanking God for His promises and begin to believe and speak truth into your life and the lives of others from the promises of His Word.

Heavenly Father. Thank You for being the Hearer of Prayer and for establishing a plan for each of us that is filled with blessings. Help us to remain obedient, always looking toward your promises that give life. Protect us and help us turn away from the shallow promises of the world that cause us to look back and do not give life, but take it away. Build a hedge of protection around our family, our friends, our neighbors and co-workers against the schemes of the enemy. Help us understand how much You love us and desire to bless us. And Lord, bless our enemies so that they may understand that their hope lies in You Lord. Use us Lord to be a lighthouse to them. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 37:23-24 NKJV – Our steps are not Ours

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

When we look at this familiar passage, there are some words that jump off of the verse. At least for me. For example, “good man” and then “ordered” and then “delights” and then “Though” and then “shall” and then “upholds” and finally the last two words “His hand”. Whew. That’s a long list. I want to talk a little about each one.

“good man” –The New Living Translation puts Psalm 37:23 in this way: “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.” A good man is then a godly man. That would be true because God is utterly good and faithful.

“ordered” – The word ordered tells me that it wasn’t suggested or tossed out there to see if it worked. God “ordered” or really it means “established”. God not only orders our steps, but He “determines” or “directs” or “establishes”. It’s that important to God that He is fully involved every moment of time. Like someone else has said, “The good and the bad; the happy and the sad.” For our good and His glory!

“delights” – According to Strong’s Concordance it means to take pleasure in, desire, be pleased with. God of all creation. The Miracle Maker. Almighty God, Himself delights and takes pleasure in our way as we follow His steps. God is pleased. So here is an answer to a long time question heard from time to time, “How can I please God?” Well, here you go. Follow the steps He as ordered. Hallelujah!

“Though” – From “Though he fall”. Some translations say, “When he falls”. It does not say, “If he falls”. We can be absolutely sure that we will fall. But there’s another absolute truth. When we fall, God will be there. Always. Every time we fall.

“shall” – As in “he shall not be utterly cast down.” Shall is a definitive word. It really means, “count on it”. Not maybe, not should, but shall. And “shall not” is even better. When God stretches out His hand to pick you up, it’s not a joke to Him. He won’t pull His hand back. Again, I say, “count on it.”

“upholds” – God upholds us. Who better to uphold you then God Himself. There’s power in understanding this. There is no one stronger. When God holds you up, nothing will be able to take you down. Nothing.

“His hand” – When we fall, God stretches our His hand for us to grab a hold of and get picked up. Always and every time. He doesn’t keep walking the path so that you have to catch up to Him. NO!!! When we fall, God STOPS!!! So that when we look up we can see His grace and mercy and His finished work, we can reach up to His hand. And with a mighty, yet gentle grip, we are lifted up. Glory to God!!!

There’s a lot of promises in this relatively short verse. Promises that are the truth. And anyways, who would want to follow their own steps. They’d end up lost. Whoops, did I say that? That’s for another devotion. Thank You Lord!!!

Precious God. Thank You for establishing and ordering our steps with You. What a blessing we have to follow Your way. And thank You Lord, for picking us up when we fall. Oh Lord, we will fall. Help us to understand that You are always and eternally there for us. To reach up to You and to grab a hold of You. We love you Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Proverbs 9:9 NKJV – Things everyone should know

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

During my lunch hour one day at work, I was just paging through the internet and found a blog that really caught my eye. It was titled, “50 Things Everyone Should Know How to do” Wow. How interesting. So I scrolled down the list and was quite surprised by the things listed. So I got to thinking. This is a world secular view of the 50 things all of us need to know. What about things we should know from a spiritual viewpoint; like Prayer. I’ve trimmed the lists down to 5 things, but the exercise is the same. So below are two lists: a Secular Viewpoint and a Spiritual Viewpoint.

Secular Viewpoint –

5 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do.

1. Build a Fire – Fire produces heat and light, two basic necessities for living. At some point in your life this knowledge may be vital.

2. Operate a Computer – Fundamental computer knowledge is essential these days.  Please, help those in need.

3. Use Google Effectively – Google knows everything. If you’re having trouble finding something with Google, it’s you that needs help.

4. Perform CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver – Someday it may be your wife, husband, son or daughter that needs help.

5. Drive a Manual Transmission Vehicle – There will come a time when you’ll be stuck without this knowledge.

Spiritual Viewpoint:

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Prayer (from The Word of God). I chose these 5 but God’s Word is filled with lots of “things everyone should know”. Hallelujah!

1. God hears and answers ALL prayer – The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17 NKJV

2. Your prayers need not be wordy or impressive in speech, but a conversation with God – And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Matthew 6:7 NKJV

3. Prayer develops our relationship with God – Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV

4. The Holy Spirit will help you in prayer when you don’t know how to pray – Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 NKJV

5. Jesus is our model for Intercessory Prayer – Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 NKJV

So I guess I need to ask. Which list is important to you?

Dear Lord, thank You that Your Word is filled with wisdom and knowledge. It is filled with Your Will, Your guidance, Your direction, Your love, Your peace, Your commands. All of which are designed specifically for each of us as we pray to You. Help us Lord to know Your Word and Your ways. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Romans 10:13 NKJV – The Lord is waiting and listening

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

So what does “call on the name of the Lord” mean? Well, that’s prayer. Matthew Henry, the great commentator said, “What is the life of a Christian but a life of prayer? It implies a sense of our dependence on God, an entire dedication to Him and a believing expectation of our all from Him.”

I love the preciseness of this Scripture passage. It clearly tells us who it is written for. There is no mistaking. It is for “whoever calls” without exception. It is a promise with no strings attached. We live in a world where so many times things are promised to be “FREE” or a “Money Back Guarantee” is given only to find out that there were other hidden charges or conditions attached.

I’m so thankful that God loves us and He sent His Son, Jesus to us without us meeting any special circumstance or conditions. I don’t have to “just pay for the shipping and handling” to have eternal life in Heaven. I just need to call on the Name of the Lord and declare that I am a sinner in need of Jesus, believe that He died and rose from the grave for me, and He will save me. Not only will He give me and you eternal life in Him, but He will also save me and you from every single thing that the world and the enemy will throw at us to try to steal, kill and destroy us. Everything!

Understand the devil has already lost. The enemy is defeated. Sin and death has forever lost its grip on us. Our life is secure in Jesus Christ. A true promise and there’s no strings attached. Thank You Jesus!!!

God of all creation. Thank You for Your Word and the truth within it. Thank You Jesus that when we call on Your Name, YOU HEAR US, and YOU ANSWER US, and YOU SAVE US from all the schemes of the enemy. Living in this world, we need You, Lord. You are as close as our call. Glory to God!!! We give You the praise. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 119:105 NKJV – The Lamp, the Light, the Path, the Way

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

I have always been a firm believer in having enough light to do whatever I need to do. What I mean to say is, enough light so that whatever you are working on is clearly illuminated OR there needs to be enough light in the room in the evening so that as you traverse between rooms there isn’t the spine tingling sound when someone has just stubbed their toe.

I remember when we first were married, my wife and I each tried to settle in and learn each other’s idiosyncrasies. We wanted to learn what made each of us “tick”. So we watched each other, listened to one another, and then finally gathered enough information so that we could feel somewhat comfortable in any circumstance together. But there is still one thing that I just can’t figure out. You see, my wife can work and walk and cook and do just about anything in the lowest light possible. She said when she was growing up, there wasn’t any light turned on that wasn’t absolutely necessary. I, on the other hand, believe the more light there is, the better. So one thing led to another, and we have night lights placed in strategic locations around the house to help ME see and to keep ME from having an accident. I know this may sound like a lot of joking around, but seriously, light is beneficial.

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God’s Word promises to be the lamp and light we need to clearly see. Clearly see what you may ask? It illuminates that which we cannot see by ourselves. God’s Word shows us what is amiss, it directs us in our work and in our way, and without it the world would even be darker. It is a lamp which we may take up ourselves and carry for our own use. It must not only be a light unto our eyes, but also a light unto our feet and our path to direct us.

The cool thing that came to my mind while writing this is that it’s God’s Light. His Word. The illumination coming from it cannot be measured. The Glory of God resides in it. Hallelujah!!! Now that’s what I call a well-lit path.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word which brings light into a dark, dark world. Thank You that I can carry this Lamp and use this Light to instruct me, to guide me, to teach me, to restore me, to encourage me. Help me show others Your Light in my life so that they too, can follow the path that You have designed for them. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Because God said so…

I want to share with you a little secret. You have to promise not to tell anyone. From time to time I talk to myself. Yup. I try not to be too conspicuous. But sometimes people see and hear me. It’s not because I’m “a fry short of a happy meal.” It’s something that I was taught. Really. You see, I endeavor to speak positive things into my life every day to keep the negative things from taking residence in my mind. Some days I’m better at it than other days.

There was a time in my walk with the Lord that I felt bogged down and maybe even burned out. It seemed that nothing could restore the joy of the Lord in me. I thought I had tried everything. I prayed a lot. I shared what I was facing with my wife. I talked with people. But then God intervened and he sent to me a man who lived at the time in Florida. He called me on the phone and told me God had placed me on his heart. We talked for a while and I shared with him about how I was feeling. He immediately said to me, “I’m giving your phone number to a friend. He, too, lives in Florida. He helped me when I was facing the same thing as you.”   Well long story, now made shorter, his name is James and he is my life coach. He is a Spirit filled, gifted man of God and took me on a journey of “Self-Talk” or speaking the promises of God into my life. Sounds better than, “Talking to yourself.”

Over the next six months, we talked to each other and shared God’s Word and slowly I began to proclaim the promises of God. Each morning before work. And it worked. The more I spoke God’s promises into my life, my situations, my every day troubles, the more joy returned.

God promises many things in His Word. Below I have given you a few promises that I cling to. I hope it helps you.

John 3:16 NKJV

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Matthew 11:28-29 NKJV

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.

Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV

He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Philippians 4:19 NKJV

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:37-39 NKJV

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Proverbs 1:33 NKJV

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.

John 14:27 NKJV

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Romans 10:9 NKJV

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 8:31 NKJV

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

Dear Lord, help me to speak into my life the promises of Your Word. We have a choice Lord to speak blessings or curses into our life and those around us. Let us always choose blessings. Your Word says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” May You be always glorified in what we speak. In Your Name Jesus. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!