I have once again been reminded of God’s generous provisions this past week. I’m not just talking about financial provision. More of His eternal provisions. How does the Lord faithfully provide for you in your life? Is it the roof over your head that keeps you warm and dry in this cold season? Or perhaps it’s the job you have that allows you to feed, cloth and cover your family? For some of us, it may be the way God reminds us that He is right here with us, holding us up, encouraging and guiding us toward His end. This is His true provision in my life.
No matter the circumstance in your life I hope and pray that you daily thank God for the help He lovingly, willingly provides you.
In the early morning hours of the day, before anyone else is stirring, I get up to begin my day. Armed with my Bible, a cup of coffee and a journal, I sit. What will my day be filled with? I ask Him to prepare me for whatever is to come, to be ready with love, truth and immense gratitude.
So how does the Lord faithfully provide for me? Let me count the ways.
1. He reminds me to trust in Him with all my heart, and not to lean on what I know or understand. (Proverbs 3:5 paraphrased )
2. He reminds me, that in worldly riches to not be arrogant or put my hope. They are uncertain. But hope only in God…who will provide me with everything for my enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17 paraphrased).
3. He reminds me… that the Lord my God is God; he is the faithful God, who keeps his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. (Deuteronomy 7:9 paraphrased.)
Are there more ways? Absolutely! The Bible is filled with promises of His hope and provision for us, his people.
Yet, there are so many days that I forget. I forget to whom I belong. I forget where my hope comes from. I forget what awaits me at the end of this difficult life. After all, I am a broken and sinful human, given free will, able to chose each day what to keep my eyes and heart stayed on. I remember when I first accepted Jesus as my Lord. I thought, wrongly, that once I accepted Jesus, life would be…well easy. That I’d be free from trouble, pain and suffering. Wrong indeed. Now, years later, as I have grown in my understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ, I known that it is in my trouble, pain and suffering that God meets me and reaches me. “Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known.”
(Psalm 106:8 NIV). I am a new creation, not for me, but for Him, “…to make his mighty power known.” Amen.
So you see, His provisions go far beyond my creature comforts. They take me, stretch me, towards heaven. “‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” (Acts 17:28 NIV).
My great, generous and powerful Provider, who delights in me, desires that I would delight in Him. Like it says in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” He provides. Period. So why not let Him? Why don’t you give Him all the glory and praise?
Today is a new day. What will you choose to do?
Will you hold onto worldly things, or give it all to God?
Can you look at life’s challenges, trust Him to see you through?
With blind faith, and trust eternal, in Him be deeply awed?
Today is a new beginning, may your heart be renewed
In the the beauty of the trinity-Holy Spirit, Father, Son.
May you know for sure and certain, a heart full of gratitude
That in His life and death, dear child, “it is finished,” for you it’s done.
Today is but a moment in the heart of God above,
So don’t hesitate to make the choice for eternity;
For Jesus Christ’s death is about you, His true love.
Godly repentance to salvation, a magnificent certainty.
Today will soon be tomorrow, so my friend do not delay.
Jump into the living waters with everything you’ve got.
All your sin in His death, because He loves you, He paid,
Your salvation, life in heaven, with his life he gladly bought.
As I close out my quiet time with the Lord, I hope and pray that I will keep my eyes on Him. That no matter what bumps I hit, or storms come my way, I will say, like Paul the apostle `“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV).
Our provider, the Lord Jesus Christ, it is all we need. Today. Because, my friends, today is all we have. No promise for tomorrow. So let’s live today as if it were our last, living it for Him. “In the same way, let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NASB)
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to be a light for You, let my eyes and heart and mind be firmly planted in Your living Word. I pray that today I would share Your joy, and I would delight in You. Thank you for your faithful favor as it gently falls upon my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
On difficult days like today, I cling to the words in Psalm 24. A reminder that this world, and my life, belong to the Lord. By His word it was all founded and established. By His word. Not mine. That’s why I need to cling to Gods word. I can so easily think I’ve got some control. Even convince myself I can change things going on around me. So for today I will say, with David…
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” Psalm 24:1-2
There are also days when I feel incapable and unworthy of the Lord. My hands are not clean, but filthy with sin. My heart is not pure, but dark and dank. Often my idols are not statues, but people. Specifically, my children. I want to be worthy to ascend His mountain and stand in His holy place. But am incapable on my own, in my sinful humanness. What must I do, Jesus?
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. Psalm 24:3-4
So what do I see? What I believe? That God has already cleaned my hands and purified my heart. A gift freely given to me when Jesus died on the cross once and for all. That includes you, too. That’s where verse 5 brings it home for me. A sweet beautiful blessing.
They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Psalm 24:5
In the midst of our trials, temptations and challenges…we will choose to keep our eyes stayed on His face? To raise our hands in praise and worship to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? I hope and pray, like the psalmist, David, we will say yes! Always and forever yes!
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Psalm 24:6-7
And when I question who He is,
The Lord of heavenly hosts.
May I remember that I am His;
Of God’s glory may I always boast.
The Lord is strong and he is mighty,
Through all times, be it in joy or in battle.
I’ll lift up my head and see him rightly,
My wee life in Him shan’t unravel.
Oh! King of Glory, perfecter of grace,
Let my life be a beautiful testimony.
Let all, in me, see Your face,
Forever and ever, only.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Psalm 24:8-9
In Mark 8:29 Jesus asks his disciples, “But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am.” In a bold and rock-like manner, Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
Oh, to be as bold, strong, confident and courageous as Peter. With all of my sin and imperfections, I forget that I can come boldly to His throne. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV. And suddenly it all becomes clear. Which doesn’t make it easy, just clear. Clear that He is the King of glory, the Lord Almighty. Of me, my life, my family, my finances, my health.
Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty— he is the King of glory.” Psalm 24:10 NIV
So on days like today, and perhaps even tomorrow, may we always remember that God is in control. He knows everything, sees everything and controls everything. To be a follower of Jesus, a disciple, we must take up our cross and follow Him. In so doing even though we lose our life, we are saved…because we have lost our lives for Him and for the gospel. (Romans 8:34-35 paraphrased.)
Dear Heavenly Father, I desire to live my life for You, help me to take up my cross daily and follow You. You already know my story. From beginning to end. Let me fully trust You in all of the details of my life, trust You with my husband and my daughters, with our finances and our future. Thank you, Jesus for being my Lord and my Savior. Amen!
Each day is an opportunity. Each day is a gift. Each day is…
“Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:12-14
There once was a young girl, about 16, who longed to find true love. She searched for it in the people she met, giving so much of herself away in hopes of receiving a small amount of love in return. Yet, only pain, suffering, humiliation, shame and great loss ensued.
Years past. Although her search never ceased, her heart was weary and became ever doubtful of finding her one true love. Another series of losses, pain and suffering came. Only this time she knew something had changed. Something was unsettled in her heart. Calling a friend, who immediately came to her, she was prayed over in the name of Jesus.
A strange sensation fell upon her. Was it true love? Her friend asked if she’d wanted Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. Again, another feeling. Was it peace? She said yes and asked for forgiveness of her many, many sins. Next she asked Jesus to be her personal Lord and Savior.
Then it happened. An explosion of emotion. Her heart was filled to overflowing. She found her One true love. Sins washed away by the blood of Christ, she was given new life. She was a new creation in Christ. Alive and in love with Jesus.
What this story reminds me of is hope. When we look at each day as an opportunity, we allow the Lord to show us what it means to love others more than we love ourselves. In Mark 12:30-31 we read,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all our mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
To love your neighbor as yourself means to begin to put others above you. This friend did just that. Leaving her own family and came to help her friend. That story is mine. I am the lost girl looking for true love. My friend, Lanny, was my lifeline to Christ. She loved me as she loved herself. She loved me because Christ first loved her. A precious gift indeed.
When I woke up this morning I was faced with, well, a rat problem. Not something we generally view as an opportunity. Yet, it in a weird way it has been. It allowed me to stop and problem solve. How can I rid our home of the rat while still allowing the other events of the day to still occur? When I stopped and prayed, I was able to see an opportunity for my daughter to have extra time with her friend. A slight change in plans, but better for her. Getting rid of the rodent is of high importance. However, with all of the challenges and changes we’ve been faced with as a family allowing fun and frivolity to happen is very important. So, even with a rat roaming around our home I will say, “Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.” (1 Kings 8:56 NIV)
The rest for me was sitting in the middle of a crowded mall listening to classical music and writing. My daughter was spending time with a good friend, while my younger daughter is at a junior high event with our church playing games, eating pizza and learning something about Jesus. My husband was home enjoying, I pray, much needed quite time. Hoping our dogs were quiet.
So in this unusual place, with so much chaos going on around me I am delighting in it all. I am reminded of Psalm 103:1-5;
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Of hope and joy life is reborn,
No earthly gift can change.
Pain and suffering are no more,
His death our lives were exchanged.
Be of good courage,
Praise the Lord dear soul.
Like a flower you’ll flourish,
In His garden you will stroll.
As you seek, you will find,
For He gently awaits your call.
In return is your peace of mind,
And a calming of the squall.
Be hopeful and joy-filled,
Love life and do good.
And your heart will be fulfilled,
In Christ forever understood.
I pray that each of you knows the beauty that comes from the storms in life. That you can, in the midst of your storm, bless the Lord for His faithfulness; that you remember God’s unfailing love and forgiveness. I pray that you trust in the Lord with all of your hearts. To know Jesus is to know freedom.
May God bless you and keep you.
Have you ever woken up feeling the weightiness of worry on your chest? Perhaps your mind is so full of madness that you could not fall asleep? Or maybe it’s a big decision or unconfessed sin looming in your life? I have dealt with all of these. Sometimes I still do. I ask myself, what in the world am I doing this or that for? When I search my heart, mind and spirit I find no answers. I need to take my worry, madness, big decision and unconfessed sins to the Lord. It is there, with Him, that I will find peace. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
These times of worry are often life issues that I hold onto so tightly I truly cannot breath. It is so easy for me, too easy, to get caught up in the circumstance, focus on it rather than on my Help. God doesn’t want me to be weighed down or to worry, He wants me to be free. I am reminded through scripture that even though I am burdened, “You, Lord, preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.” (Psalm 138:7) God cares so much for me and you that he saves us from our enemies. In some cases the enemy is that craziness in our wee minds. You know hat self-talk or monkey chatter nonsense that rumbles through our brains. I am so grateful for His mighty hand rescuing me.
The dark sky looms, impatiently.
It overtakes my soul.
I cannot see clearly,
only raindrops dark as coal.
A tree of Hope is visible,
my eyes begin to see,
Lord Jesus takes the darkness,
My heart and soul are free.
Restless and sleepless nights have been no stranger in my life. Sometimes its from something I said to one of my daughters that has left me feeling awful. It has also been times when my beloved and I are in conflict with one another over some life issues. Bottom line has been sleepless nights. I can feel like the Israelites in Psalm 107:4-5, “Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty; their lives ebbed away.” In these times I feel as though I’m in a desert, alone, thirsty and so very weary. But, then I read on to verse 6 of Psalm 107, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” I just need to read further, to look past my circumstance of desert wastelands and see God’s hand ready to delivery me from my distress. He’s always ready to help, all I need to do is seek Him out. I am so grateful that I serve such a loving and available God.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Life is full of decisions. From what we are going to wear, to what we will serve for dinner, to decisions about employment, housing, bills. The list goes on and on. There are days we can feel like we’re drowning in the decisions to be made. It makes me think of a small puddle where drops of water continually fall, eventually creating a pond. Where did it all that water come from?
It takes just one drop at a time to eventually create a pond or lake. It’s times like this when I need to just stop. When I feel overcome by the weight of life’s decisions. When I lack the strength or wisdom to make any decision. Jeremiah 33:33 says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Call on the Lord and
He will answer.
He will answer you.
What a beautiful verse and reminder of how much God loves and cares for us.
Bottom line is all my sleeplessness, worry and difficulty in decision making have already be resolved by the One who so intricately and beautifully made me. In my women’s Bible study we are studying Psalm 139. It is a short Psalm, only 24 verses. But so powerful, and reminds me, through King David’s understanding of God’s heart, of how well God knows and cares for me. He knows each one of us so very well. I encourage you to read Psalm 139. You’ll see how wonderful the Lord is, how much He really knows and loves you, too. Then you will want to hand over your worries and your warts to Him, and live out your life knowing God has your back.
Your life counts more than you know,
each part of you is just you.
God knit you together so carefully,
Your future He always knew.
Each hair upon your head He planned,
No detail left undone.
He knew the color of your eyes,
Before the earth had ever begun.
Like drops of water from a branch,
We don’t know where we’ll land.
But God who made the universe,
will always hold your hand.
So stand in confidence my friend,
And call on His name when you pray.
And He will surely slay your demons,
Each and every day.
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that whenever I am worrying, facing a decision or needing to confess my sins, I would run to You and place it all at Your feet. I pray for each person that reads this that they would make You their Lord and Savior. Thank You for loving me just as I am, just as You made me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
It was only yesterday that I dreamed of being a momma. Prayed for God to answer that prayer. It was about 16 years ago, just feels like yesterday. The time has gone so quickly. How about you? What do you dream of? Do you faithfully go to Jesus in prayer?
When we wanted to start a family, we were younger and filled with hope and the possibilities of parenthood. Our own attempts to become pregnant fell short. Leaving both of us feeling (me much more than my beloved) hopeless.
Then one day I woke up and felt the Lord asking me, “Do you want to be a mom?”
“Of course I do.” I responded in my mind.
God answered, “So, put your trust in Me and let’s make you a mom. I have a plan, always have. You now just need to let me work out the details.” Just like Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
And that is what He did. It took just under two years in the adoption process for us to bring our first daughter home. I was a momma. Yes, He did know, and He perfectly planned out every single detail. Twenty-one months later we brought our second daughter home. Our family was complete. God just needed me to let go of my agenda, and let Him work out His. His words says, “Your eyes saw their unformed bodies; all the days ordained for me and them were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” (italics mine) A beautiful and amazing promise from God for each one of us.
The time has flown by. Our eldest is 14 1/2, our youngest is 12 1/2. No longer babies, or even little girls. They are young women.
As I took this picture in our backyard the other day, I reminisced about them as little girls. Then the Lord nudged my heart, there were words He wanted me to say. Words that He had sitting in my heart. My beauties will always be in my heart. It is where their lives for me began. The Bible says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) The Lord is my treasure, I prayed for babies, He faithfully answered my prayer.
It truly seems like only yesterday when our daughters played on these swings every chance they could. Now this play structure sits in our backyard, lonely and abandoned. Our girls have moved on from playing in the backyard to visiting with friends, and enjoying other activities. Growing up.
Seasons of life. Like the seasons of the year. Each one offering its own beauty and gifts. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Ecc. 3:1) This season of parenting is full of rich and lovely rewards. Knowing that both of my girls love the Lord, and have a growing faith. They both have a sense of right and wrong, and mostly do what is right. I love being their mom. I love watching them grow into the most amazing young women a mom could ask for.
So, whatever you dream of, whatever God has placed on your heart, put your trust in Him. The One who lead David to write, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:15)
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for creating me, knowing me and caring so much about me. I pray that anytime I doubt that I would look back and see all you have done in my life and the lives of others.
IT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY
by Debra Scowden
These swings are calling
from days not long ago.
Of laughter and of playfulness,
with sunshine and some snow.
Brightly colored clothing
represents their cheerful ways,
today my mind remembers,
all of summers dog days.
No longer do they swing,
yet lovely they still are.
Today I sweetly cherish,
my girls, my super stars.
What I know for certain,
what I hold onto so dear,
is the beauty of my babies,
whether far away or near.
They’ve grown into young women,
with hopes and many dreams.
Someday, Lord willing, they’ll be mamas,
with babies, and they’ll beam.
Their babies will be swinging,
with delight in their eyes.
Sweet laughter and playfulness,
as they reach up to the sky.
Where the Lord will always guide them,
to each place they’ll ever go.
He will clothe them with compassion,
from them kindness will overflow.
Pride is defined as having a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority. It can be a cherished opinion in the mind or can be shown in our behavior.
There are so many times that I can be so self consumed with my own importance. Toward my daughters, my husband and other family and friends. As I looked up scriptures on pride I came across Galatians 6:3 which says, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” I don’t wish to be so self consumed that I deceive myself. No matter what I do or think, I will never deceive the Lord. He knows my heart. As I read further in scripture I find James 4:6 which reminds me, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” God alone gives grace. God gives grace. GOD IS GRACE.
There it is, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. He wants me and you to be humble, to put ourselves in full submission to His good and perfect will for our lives. I want to receive His grace. How about you?
This kind of submission is not easy. In fact we have to acknowledge that we are weak. In this weakness, can He be strong for us.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11
Pride infects my very soul,
In ways too many to count.
Pride causes me to lose sight,
Of Jesus upon the mount.
Let go-let God, I’ve heard it said.
Lord, grant me freedom from,
My pride which does debilitate
Life under Satan’s thumb.
A humble heart is my desire,
A heart exalting You.
In Your grace I long to live,
My life, my hope, You grew.
The Word became flesh upon the earth,
You breathe all things to be.
My life, my mind, my heart You’ve made,
With You, Lord Jesus, from pride I am free.
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I ask for humble confidence in all I do and say; I pray for this same confidence for my sweet husband and our precious daughters, and for all who are reading this and needing Him. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!