We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life.
We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness.
Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. Many of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease. The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God. (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest)
For our adversary, Satan is prowling around LIKE a roaring lion trying to find some Christians to DEVOUR. He is not prowling for those already in his kingdom. He is our adversary, not theirs. Resist him in the name and blood of Jesus–the true King and as His stewards, on earth as it is in heaven. Hold on to what He has entrusted you with uncompromisingly and unwaveringly standing firm in the faith that is Jesus is stronger than Satan. This is the Key to overcoming all that you are undergoing for your faith must be tried to be manifest and proven
genuine and pure.
Remember, the thief does not come EXCEPT to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
Jesus has come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Oh Father, help me to fight the good fight of faith and overcome my self-importance
and achieve the victory over sin and self to achieve a true perspective of my significance in Christ in the earth as it is in heaven.
Let the Rewards of Your true prosperity, the Kingdom successful living–never the risk of failure (which is fear, not faith-based) take my personal and professional life to the place You appointed. Help me to see all risk and every obstacle as challenges to meet and surmount–never as excuses for backing out and quitting for I know that those who come to You must believe and further, that You are a Rewarder of those who diligently seek You. May I never be consumed by the trivial transient things of this world and keep my eyes fixed trained on Your eternal city in Christ Jesus, I ask for the release of all held bondage and to keep my domain free of all that entangles for Your name’s sake and glory, Amen.
Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:9)
“Do you mean to say that you didn’t understand My parable of the sower?
That was the key parable. If you don’t see what I was trying to teach there, how will you be able to understand any of the others?” —Jesus speaking to His disciples
“The seed the farmer is sowing is the good news, God’s word.
Some people are the seed thrown onto the path, and the tempter snaps up the word before it can even take root.
Others are the seed thrown among the rocks. Those people hear the word and receive it immediately with joy and enthusiasm; but without deep roots, doubt, trouble, or persecution instantly withers their faith.
Still others are the seed tossed among weeds and brambles. The word has reached them, but the things of this life—the worries, the drive for more and more, the desire for other things—those things cluster around close and choke the life of God out of them until they cannot produce.
But those last seeds—those sown into good soil? Those people hear the word, accept it, meditate on it, act on it, and bear fruit—a crop 30, 60, or 100 times larger than the farmer dropped to earth.
Jesus’ teaching often includes parables: stories that explain the truth about the Kingdom with examples from everyday life. Considering that most of His listeners know about farming, it’s no wonder most of Jesus’ parables are based on agricultural realities.
Parables like this force Jesus’ listeners to think about the kingdom of God differently. He challenges their ideas, and He also knows they are unlikely to forget it. When they see farmers broadcasting their seeds, they will remember this parable and ponder the mysteries of the Kingdom. It never seems to bother Him that people are confused by His teaching. He doesn’t expect them to understand everything; He wants them to wrestle with His teachings so His words will sit in their hearts and germinate—much like the seed sitting in good soil that eventually grows to bear fruit.
Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children, for in every street they are faint with hunger. (Lamentations 2:19)
A song of David.
The Eternal is my light amidst my darkness
and my rescue in times of trouble.
So whom shall I fear?
He surrounds me with a fortress of protection.
So nothing should cause me alarm.
The psalms provide us with a way to think about and pray through the various threats we face. Our enemies today may not be the same as in biblical times, but they are no less real. Consider the threats on the horizon. Some may be national. Others may be more personal. Still they come to surround us and destroy us if they could only get the chance. The reality is there are times when our enemies appear to have the upper hand and our cause is lost. But wait and listen to the psalm! All is not lost because, ultimately, God is our light and salvation. The darkness will lift, and our Savior will come. He will settle all scores, and we will live in the beauty of His presence.
When my enemies advanced
to devour me alive,
They tripped and fell flat on their faces into the soil.
When the armies of the enemy surround me,
I will not be afraid.
When death calls for me in the midst of war,
my soul is confident and unmoved.
I am pleading with the Eternal for this one thing,
my soul’s desire:
To live with Him all of my days—
in the shadow of His temple,
To behold His beauty and ponder His ways
in the company of His people.
His house is my shelter and secret retreat.
It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil.
Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God.
He will set me on a rock, high above the fray.
God lifts me high above those with thoughts
of death and deceit that call for my life.
I will enter His presence, offering sacrifices and praise.
In His house, I am overcome with joy
As I sing, yes, and play music for the Eternal alone.
I cannot shout any louder. Eternal One—hear my cry
and respond with Your grace.
The prodding of my heart leads me to chase after You.
I am seeking You, Eternal One—don’t retreat from me.
You have always answered my call.
Don’t hide from me now.
Don’t give up on me in anger at Your servant.
You have always been there for me.
Don’t throw me to the side and forget me,
my God and only salvation.
My father and mother have deserted me,
yet the Eternal will take me in.
O Eternal, show me Your way,
shine Your light brightly on this path, and make it level for me,
for my enemies are lurking in the recesses and ravines along the way.
They are watching—hoping to seize me.
Do not release me to their desires or surrender me to their will!
Liars are standing against me,
breathing out cruel lies hoping that I will die.
I will move past my enemies with this one, sure hope:
that with my own eyes, I will see the goodness of the Eternal
in the land of the living.
Please answer me: Don’t give up.
Wait for the Eternal in expectation, and be strong.
Again, wait for the Eternal.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our Refuge. (Psalm 62:8)
For the Eternal watches over the righteous,
and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening.
But He will punish evildoers,
and nothing they do will last. They will soon be forgotten.
When the upright need help and cry to the Eternal, He hears their cries
and rescues them from all of their troubles.
When someone is hurting or brokenhearted, the Eternal moves in close
and revives him in his pain.
Hard times may well be the plight of the righteous—
they may often seem overwhelmed—
but the Eternal rescues the righteous from what oppresses them.
He will protect all of their bones;
not even one bone will be broken.
Evil moves in and ultimately murders the wicked;
the enemies of the righteous will be condemned.
The Eternal will liberate His servants;
those who seek refuge in Him will never be condemned.
There is a promise of rest for the people of God. The righteous will WALK in peace, quietness and confidence. But for that to be realized, we must first make the time and find the place to be still before the Lord.
“Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at Ne, your High God,
above politics, above everything.”
There is an INCREASED rest in His presence, and goodness that will be missed if we fail to make the effort to stop, listen for His voice, and be washed in HIs grace.
As we seek His presence for ourselves, let us pray the same blessing for the church of Jesus Christ in our appointed territory and enlarge the place of our domain.
Father, help me today to quiet myself from all the busyness and be still before You.
May I bear the fruit of righteousness because of being in Your presence.
Then, as the Psalmist says, You will be exalted among the nations and in the earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Lord Has Done Great Things For Us
Restore our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:4-6)
Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 51:11) Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. (Isaiah 61:17)
(Inspired by 2003-2004 Throne Of Grace Prayer Guide)