Help 24/7

Psalm 46:1 (NASB)

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

violetjulia_pinkfogGod is our refuge and strength. In Him we can find shelter from the storms of life and renew our strength for life’s daily challenges.

He is also an ever present help in time of need. There will be times we find ourselves in need of help but pride insists that we figure things out ourselves. Asking for help requires humility, and the Bible says that the rewards of humility are honor, riches and a satisfying life (Proverbs 22:4). So we can boldly come to God for help and receive Heaven’s resources for our need. God is able to richly provide and will often use people to meet those needs.

God can take the past, no matter how bad, and make it work for you. He will help you build for an amazing future, but as well, He gives you 24 hours today and is with you in the here and now, ever available to meet your present need, because He loves you.

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Pureheart!

Earth_tree_458458Psalm 5:8 (NASB)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

We live in a materialistic world, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting things that we don’t necessarily need. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to grow and achieve in life but the problem comes when we want it so much that it becomes our only focus. Desiring things, money or status can lead to greed and ambition. The more we want, the less we will be grateful for what we have; and we can begin to make comparisons to what other people have which leads to jealousy, envy and misery.

It is very important in our walk with God to guard our heart. Negative emotions are a great indicator that we have allowed negative thinking to control us. When we begin to feel angry, sad, depressed or anxious we can go to prayer and ask God why we are feeling this way and to remove these things from our heart. The Holy Spirit is our guide and will always lead us into all truth (John 16:13).

When we exchange these negative thoughts and desire for God’s rest and peace, we will begin to see just how much we actually have, even if it’s the simplest of things, such as shelter, running water and food. We will begin to see the blessings in our life and we will see and sense how much we are kept in the palm of our Heavenly Father. When our hearts are pure, grateful and at rest, we will see God in and at work in our lives.

Hope for Today!

nature vintage photography leaves 2560x1600 wallpaper_www.wallpaperfo.com_15Psalm 42:5 (NASB)

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, For the help of His presence.

The psalmist had the answer to fighting depression and anxiety. He encouraged himself in the Lord. We can easily talk ourselves into negative thinking with “self-talk”. This usually happens because we are thinking about the past, which we can not change; or worrying about the future which does not help.

Being full of regrets and worry will weigh down the heart and cause a person to be miserable. The psalmist decided to be present in today and to choose to hope in God. He then began to praise God for His help and His presence.

God is our very present help in time of need (psalm 46:1) and in His presence there is fullness of joy (psalm 16:11). With God’s help and presence, we can choose be in the present and be grateful for today. In no time, we shall see regret and worry wane, and feel the peace of God that transcends understanding (Philippians 4:7).

 

Dream Big!

il_fullxfull.320372365Psalm 37:5 (The Amplified)

Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

When we enter this relationship with our Heavenly Father, we can be sure that every dream, purpose and plan that God has put in our heart can come to pass, if we trust Him. Our part is to keep our eyes on Jesus and walk on the water, while God’s part is to suspend gravity.

The problem comes when we try to do things in our own strength. Our dreams are always bigger than we can accomplish alone. if you are able to fulfill your dream without God or other people than it is probably not a Kingdom dream.

In the beginning of a dream it seems simple to trust God. We conceive a dream and pray about it but then we need grace when we go into action to bring that dream to pass.  When we choose each day to put all our concern, priorities, and decisions at the feet of Jesus and receive His help, wisdom, and favor, in time God will bring to pass any dream in your heart from Him.

Hold On!

nature-vintage_00368270Psalm 91: 14-16

(The Message)

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.

I’ll give you the best of care,  if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life,  give you a long drink of salvation!”

When times are tough, we often feel alone and afraid. However, when we enter this loving relationship with Jesus, we can know that no matter what we face, we are never alone. All we need to do is call out to God and He will save us.

The psalmist has instructed us to hold on to God, and He will take care of everything. Our part is to trust that God is leading us to and through the answer, even when things don’t make sense. Get to know the goodness of God and relax into His unfailing love.

All we have to do is trust Him and put one foot in front of the other. He will lead us into a long life and rescue us time after time. Trust, and He will take care of everything.

 

 

Our Refuge

Winter Tree5 SmallPsalm 91:1 (The Message)

Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.   I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you—  under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.

When we enter into a relationship with Jesus, we have full access to the omnipotent, omniscient, infinite God of the universe. Sometimes we forget that God is on our side and He is for us (Rm 8:31). So, when we are worried and fearful we just simply need to say out loud what we believe to be true.

When we declare that God is our Refuge and that in Him we are safe, we are actually reminding ourselves that God is for us, and since we’ve surrendered to Him, He now is in control of our lives.

There is no possible way to know all the dangers and hazards to ourselves and family every day. That is why there is no need to worry about what we cannot control. Our role is to understand God’s promises of protection and simply believe and receive.

We all do what we can to keep ourselves and family safe but ultimately trusting in the Altogether Lovely One, who loves us more than we can conceive, will bring about a peace and assurance deep down in the center of our souls. We can be in the present instead of being fearful, and be excited about what each new day will bring.

Peace on Earth

Free-Wallpaper-Christmas-TreeLuke 2: 6-7

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

There are layers of depth inside the Christmas story. We celebrate the birth of a baby during this time but everything in this story points to Jesus’s death and resurrection for you and me.

I have spent time in Israel and walked around archeological sites of ancient Judean homes during the time of Jesus. As we toured the site, our guide pointed out each room and what it was for. In addition to a room for living space for the family, the guestroom for visitors, and the kitchen, there would be a special room for the sacrificial animals. The sacrificial animals had to be kept in a safe secured place so they would remain immaculate for the sacrifice which would pay for the people’s sin for one year.

Our guide explained that the custom of the day for visitors in a town such as Bethlehem would be for them to be invited to stay for three days in someone’s guestroom (kataluma in the Greek). Even though kataluma is often translated as an “inn”, the bawdy hotels of the day would not have been fit for a young Jewish girl. Culturally it suggests that the guestroom (kataluma) in the Judean home where Joseph and Mary were staying was full and had no room for a woman in labor, so Mary was sent to the room for the sacrificial animals, the only room with the space for a pregnant woman to give birth.

In Luke 2:11-12, the angel tells the shepherds that “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

So Jesus was most likely born into the room with the sacrificial animals, wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in the feeding trough (manger) which resembled the tomb he would be burried in and rise from one day.

Thus, the sign to the shepherds was of a baby born to die, to pay the sins for humanity like the precious lambs in this room; but unlike the animals, the Divine Lamb’s blood would pay for their sins forever.

Jesus would bridge the gap between God and man and in the great unfair exchange take our unrighteousness for His righteousness, his well being for our sickness and his hope for our despair. The Christmas story really is the story of peace on earth and goodwill towards men. The peace is between God and us, and goodwill is God’s unmerited, unearned divine favor towards those who simply believe.

Prince of Peace

nightskyMatthew 2:11

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

We all know the story of the three wise men as part of the Christmas story, and if we are not careful we will miss a few things.

The birth of the Messiah had been foretold for years, and these men and others were waiting for Him to be born. They were aware that this man would be the Prince of Peace and promote goodwill towards men. Herod the Great, the military governor who ruled Roman-occupied Israel, saw the birth of the Messiah as a threat to his reign and legacy, so he ordered all baby boys under the age of two to be killed.

Herod symbolized everything the world saw as strength: ambition, military might, power and riches. This baby represented everything gentle, vulnerable, meek, and tender. The Gospel is counter to the world’s way of doing things.

The wise men were confident this baby was the Messiah. His birth fulfilled all of the prophecies and the phenomenon in the night sky that pointed to exactly where He would be born. They bowed down to worship Jesus and present Him with gifts. They gave of their time, talent and treasure so the Good News of God’s radical love for the world would be spread.

The three wise men had a dream of Herod’s intention to kill them and they escaped. Joseph also had a dream that He should take his family and escape to Egypt. It is interesting that we only hear about the gold, frankincense and myrrh before the family moved to Egypt. Could this gift from the wise men have been the resources they used to escape the threat against them? Our gifts today further the Good News on planet earth.

The Gospel is alive today. It is the Good News that all people can be saved through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. There are still threats against the Good News. Some come in the form of denying that Jesus is the Messiah, others in telling us we have to earn God’s love; but the truth is that Jesus is the son of God, He did die on the cross for you and me, and all we have to do is simply receive that love and we will be saved, restored and empowered for the amazing destiny God has for us. It is incredibly simple and good news.

The Cavalry is on the Way

alaskaPsalm 121 (NKJV)

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth

It is easy to be stressed out and full of anxieties in this life, particularly around the holidays. We can get bogged down with the obligations of the holiday season, the demands of family, and the stresses of money and consumerism.

Often our anxieties, worries, and concerns come from the belief that we are on our own and that we have to figure it all out by ourselves. We forget that God has promised to never leave us nor abandon us (Hebrews 13:5).

When our eyes come off ourselves and others for the answer to our troubles and turn up to our Heavenly Father, from where our help actually comes, we will see peace settle back into our souls. Then we can live with an inner rest which makes life’s priorities clearer and our decisions less stressful.

People always say, God will never give you any more than you can handle, but actually that phrase is not in the Bible. Life constantly gives us more than we can handle but with one glance to heaven or a whispered prayer, we can know that the cavalry is on the way. In our times of trouble, as we look for our help to the infinite, all-powerful God who made Heaven and Earth, we will see the salvation power of the Lord worked out in our lives; and we can walk in ease and grace confident in God’s ability to save.