Sunday, January 13, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Assurance... & Priorities
Here is a devotional from Charles Stanley, and after that, part of a letter:
Assurance for Trials –
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord watches over you-- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; 8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore
Trials will erupt in every life. Thankfully, though, we can rely on our Father to help in times of need, as Psalm 121 assures us.
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (vv. 1-2). Though thieves would hide in the mountains and prey upon innocent travelers, the psalmist knew where to turn for help. Similarly, when we encounter unknowns, fears, or trials, our sovereign Lord will sustain us (Psalm 103:19)—even when others let us down or our own strength fails.
“He who keeps you will not slumber” (v. 3). With billions of people in the world, it is difficult to comprehend how the Lord could possibly know every detail of our lives—or why He would care enough to number all the hairs on our heads. But this passage confirms that God is alert to every aspect of our lives and attentive to our needs.
“The Lord is your keeper” (v. 5). In Hebrew, the word for “keep” comes from the same root as “guard” and “protect.” We use this term when a parent asks a trusted person to “keep” her child while she is away temporarily. The childcare provider is expected to protect and provide for needs. God promises to keep His children, which means that He will defend us, give us what we need, grow us into His likeness, and guard us from evil.
Without these promises, the world could seem dangerous and lonely. But we can face unknowns and difficult times with confidence, knowing that the Lord will keep us and help us.
and here are portions of a letter I received from his ministry recently:
"Years ago, before I finished seminary, God spoke to my heart about an important principle that has helped shape my life and ministry. What he showed me was so crystal clear that I will never forget it: No matter what I hoped to achieve, no matter what He called me to do, I could accomplish it only on my knees. ...if I wanted God to fulfill His purose for me, prayer would need to become the central focus of my life.
It was as true then as it is today: prayer must always be a priortiy because it is how we invite God to exercise His power in our lives and provide for our needs. However, when we fail to communicate with the Father, we miss out on the blessings of knowing Him better and watching Him work mightily in our lives.
So as we look forward to 2008, I want to ask you: Is prayer the priority of your life? Do you go to God first whenever you need wisdom, counsel, or direction? If not I encourage you to start the New Year off right by getting on your knees before God and making your time with Him a daily discipline. Thank Him for all of the good things He has done for you. Bring your hurts and concerns to Him. Lift up those who need to know His Son Jesus christ. Be available to the Lord and obey whatever He tells you to do. Because it is during those times of prayer that you will grow most in your intimate relationship with the Father and experience life at its very best.
The truth is, none of us know what this year will bring - but God does.... Heb 4:16 - Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
I pray that 2008 is your very best year yet. May you be greatly blessed in the days and months to come as you grow closer to the Lord and allow Him to fulfill His purpose in your life. - Charles Stanley
Ok well maybe that isn't for you guys, but I guess I needed to hear that twice today because the letter (which I did not open until this afternoon) .... well it is very similar to the sermon at church this morning.... I'm getting the message ;)