By Still Waters I

Breath on me,
Oh, Creator God,
You Who created
Heaven’s host
By this whisper.
Give me relief,
Oh, able breath.
But the heavens are still.

“With food and raiment
Shalt thou be content.” Food and raiment.
Is that enough?

I am the Bread of Life.
I am Living Water.
I am your Portion in this life.

Give me this day
My daily Bread.
Draw out for me
This Living Water.
Clothe me with
This Robe of Christ.
With Food and Raiment
I shall be content.

Breath of Life

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By Still Waters I

“And God remembered Noah.” Genesis 8:1.

“And God remembered Noah.” I wonder what Noah was thinking while he and his small family, in their large boat, experienced day after day after day, the never-before-imagined, violent, and wrathfully wild torrents from above, the fierce and vehement waters bursting from below, the angry waves that lifted and dropped, the black skies that were sliced through with knives of furious lightning, and the thunder that was deafening to the ear. And then there was the care of his family during this raging storm – not to mention the care of all the animals. Did Noah expect this tempestuous chaos as the result of his faithfully obeying God’s command to build this huge boat? Was he tempted to question God and tell Him that this was not how it was all supposed to turn out? Did Noah and his family feel forgotten by God while their floating home was unceasingly buffeted by strong, angry waves and judgment-bent winds?

“And God remembered Noah.” Does God ever forget His children? Does He forget you when you are experiencing waves of trials for days on end: fatigue, sickness, unrelenting schedules, financial difficulties, temptations, difficult family relationships, difficult church situations, death of loved ones?

“And God remembered Noah.” Believer, are your days tumultuous? Have you sought to obey the Lord’s commands only to find that you are caught up in a life-storm that seems to be out of control? Don’t forget, God remembered Noah. God knew when to stop the storms, when to make the waters recede, and when to make the ark rest on solid ground.

“And God remembered Noah.” Noah went into the ark – and through the chaos – under God’s command, direction, and protection; and Noah left the ark under God’s command, direction and protection. Noah was brought to a place of rest and new beginnings. In thankfulness for his deliverance, Noah offered a sweet-smelling sacrifice to His God. Let us also, who have been delivered – and who will be delivered – offer ourselves as living sacrifices – holy and acceptable unto God – to the One Who remembers and saves.

And God Remembered Noah

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By Still Waters I

gemsWhat is Your Inheritance?

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18

In our last devotion (see Debt Free and Rich!!), we rejoiced that God releases us from our spiritual debt through the work of His Son. We then marveled that not only does He release His children from the debt we owe Him, but that He also makes us unbelievably rich! This is something!  We don’t owe anymore, and now we are rich beyond our dreams! What riches are these? The Egyptian royalty believed that after their death, they could still enjoy the riches they had in this life. Special tombs were built to accommodate this vain hope. The disappointment of the actual after-death-reality, not to mention the horrors of hell, must have been shocking and great. Proverbs 23:5 “Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

I want you to ponder God for a while. I want you to ponder Who He is. This holy exercise really takes a lifetime and beyond,  therefore, I only want to jump-start your meditation and guide your thoughts of Who God is in terms of the riches a believer has. I will list many attributes of God that will give you a hint of what riches are our own as redeemed children: Our God is Powerful, Our God is Faithful, Our God is the Comforter, Our God is Love, Our God is Unchangeable, Our God is Sovereign over all, Our God is Truth, Our God is our Father –  and has prepared a place for us with Him in glory. Each one of these attributes of God, and there are more, is in the everlasting heart-treasury of the child of God. As we walk through this pilgrim land, we pull out these treasures to lovingly handle them, to be in awe over them, and to make use of them in the many facets – joyful or otherwise – of our lives.

If you are an unbeliever, you do not have these treasures. You do not have them now, and you will not have them in eternity. The things you rely on now in your daily life are broken cisterns. And though you may not view your afterlife exactly as the Egyptians of old did, you are holding to a belief that your afterlife is going to be something along the lines of being pleasant. However, without seeking God’s mercy given through the blood of His Son, you still owe an eternal debt that you cannot pay. Life on this earth will, in reality, be truly miserable, and your afterlife will be as shocking and horrible as what the Egyptian royalty are experiencing.  Seek the LORD while He may be found….“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David… Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”  Isaiah 55:1-3,6,7

This is our second post in our mini-series on forgiveness. The first post, Debt Free and Rich!! , addressed spiritual debt and forgiveness.  Our final post (I Just Don’t Remember) will discusscuss forgiving others as we have been forgiven.

 

What is Your Inheritance?

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By Still Waters I

open-gatesThe New Year stands before us like an open door to an unknown land. What will be waiting for us after we cross the threshold? How will we know what paths we should take and what paths we should avoid? What decisions will we face, and how will we discern the right way? Psalm 25:9 reads: “The meek will He guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach His way.” Ah, here we have it: going to God in true humility, understanding that we have and are nothing and that God is all Wisdom. As the minute hand sweeps around the clock face, bringing us closer and closer to the threshold of the unknown, may our fervent prayer and desire be to walk in meekness in 2017.

The Meek He Will Guide in Judgment and Teach His Way

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By Still Waters I

Life! We all wa_MG_7146nt it. We all need it. We all strive to have it. Our goals and endeavors are all aimed toward living. We work so that we may eat. We sleep to maintain our health. We exercise, take vitamins, supplements, medicines, have check-ups, operations, procedures – all to sustain our life. We put locks on our doors, and employ various means of self-defense. Ultimately, we are life preservers. Even those who seek to kill themselves have some motivation of preservation in a twisted sort of way, i.e. “If I am dead, I will be better off.”

Today in my reading of 1 John, I was struck by the emphasis on eternal life.

  • 1 John 2:25. “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”
  • 1 John 4:9. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
  • 1 John 5:11. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
  • 1 John 5:12. “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
  • 1 John 5:13. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
  • 1 John 5: 20. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”

Though God commands us to maintain our physical life, I am so thankful that, beyond and beside this physical life, there is eternal life in Jesus, and that I have it right now!

Praise God!!!

LIFE!!!

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By Still Waters I

polorized sunset2Blessed Instructions for the Day of Persecution

The persecution of Christians has been the norm since the very earliest days of this world. Satan, upon witnessing the redemption of Adam in the garden, knew that his short-lived attempt to be God failed eternally. In his unending hatred for God, and through his wicked spiritual and worldly army, Satan began to do and is continuing to do all that he can to persecute God’s people. Satan is unwittingly fulfilling God’s eternal plan by filling up the cup of iniquity, that once full, will be one of the catalysts for the day of the Lord’s return in which He will execute wrath upon those who hate Him. By God’s bidding and in His redemptive wisdom, there have been seasons of rest from heavy persecution, but these respites are always followed by renewed waves of fierce persecution – again, by God’s wise design.

In the 200 plus years of the existence of the United States of America, Christians have, for the most part, been left unmolested. By God’s grace, our country began with an acknowledgment and belief of God and His Ways. The gospel flourished here for a time. And this country experienced many and various types of successes unknown to any other nation in the history of time. But history teaches us that when a nation rejects God, the eventual downfall of that nation into comprehensive misery and ruin always occurs. In this year of 2016 we can state with certainty, that our nation has almost completely rejected God, and we are in the resulting downfall. Whether or not the ruining of this nation is one of the last chapters of this world’s history, God only knows; and to Him, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day. What we definitely can say is that commiserate to this nation’s downfall, the persecution of believers in the United States is on the rise.

The Scriptures tell us that because the world (Satan’s army) hates God, the world will hate us: John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” And John 15:19, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” As we see this hatred for God being manifested in hateful persecution of His people, the big question of the day is: how are we to respond? Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives us the following blessed instructions for the days of persecution.:

First: Take heed to His Word. 2 Peter 1:19: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” And 2 Peter 3:2: “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.”

Second: Be confident in God’s preserving of you. 2 Peter 2:9: “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”

Third: Seek to live holy lives. 2 Peter 3:11: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” And 2 Peter 3:14: “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

Fourth: Remember our Lord’s promise of a new heaven and new earth, where righteousness will dwell. 2 Peter 3:13: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

Fifth: Beware of falling from steadfastness. 2 Peter 17: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”

Sixth: Instead of falling from steadfastness: “ …grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

Blessed Instructions for the Day of Persecution

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