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Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - March 21st 2023 Peace That Passes All Understanding

Our text this morning is one that we all need to take note of, not only of what these verses are saying, but also of what they mean to you personally.
I want to draw my remarks from the colorful Hebrew language, which is the original text of (Isaiah 26:3-4).
Remember, the prophet is not writing about “international peace”.
He's talking about an “individual” at peace with himself, with God, and with others.
“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
Did you see the word “steadfast” used here?  It’s from a term that means "to lean, to rest, to support."
It's the idea of being “sustained” as a result of “leaning” on something supporting you.
The words "of mind" come from one verb that means "to frame" or "to fashion, or to form."
In the original Hebrew language, this particular wording has the idea of  "a frame of mind."
If you put the two thoughts together, they convey this: "A frame of mind that is receiving support from leaning and therefore is being sustained."
That brings us to the main verb, “will keep”.
The term “will keep” means "to guard from danger, to watch over."
Jesus said “come unto me and I will give you rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:29)
How does God know when to give us that rest?
Well, it happens when we come to Him and because we trust in Him.
In the Arabic (occasionally closely related to the Hebrew), the term for “trust” has a very picturesque meaning: "to throw one's self down upon one's face."
I think of a trampoline when I think of that imagery.
I think of jumping up and down and letting all of my weight fall in an almost relaxed manner on a trampoline.
The thought here is that you “abandon” all other crutches you could lean on, and place all of your anxiety, all of your being, and all of your circumstances on the only One who can ”support” you.
(Isaiah 26:4) says that He (God) is an everlasting Rock.
The thought with this statement used is that He is unmovable, unshakeable, and solid.
The idea here is that of “leaning on something” that will be perpetually supportive, and solid enough to sustain your weight.
This is the scene of a tranquil, restful mind in spite of circumstances.
What a marvelous, limitless promise!
Over the last couple of years with the challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic have been faced with some very stressful challenges placed in front of me.
And it’s partially due to the words from (Isaiah 26:3-4) that carried me thru the storm and the stress of it all.

It was a sustaining force and source of strength in my own life, particularly during a pre Covid season when I lost my Dad and my youngest brother eight weeks a part.
Dealing also with the demands of running this non for profit “faith ministry”, the financial stress at times can be weighty if not down right overwhelming.
Often there are disappointments, unexpected challenges, surprises, illnesses and constant demands that come from out of nowhere.
But behind the scenes . . . there is a “super natural measure of peace” in my heart.
Yes, there were times when I became anxious.
Yes there have been sleepless nights, but for the most part, when I claimed the truth of Gods Word and entered into a personal decision to embrace (Isaiah 26:3-4), there was a distinct difference.
When I said, "Lord, I consciously lean on You and abandon myself to you and your strength care and support," He held me up.
This is not merely “print” from a page in the Bible.
This is a “biblical principle” that works in the trenches of life and it begs to be applied.
It reaches out from the page with long arms and stretching hands, saying, "Take me, I'm yours”.
Christian, please take hold of me?
You have to claim me!"
Today you need to join me in doing that!
He says “perfect peace give I unto you” (John 14:27)
Good day!
Monday, March 20, 2023 - Be Ye Doers Not Hearers Only

(Matthew 7:24) "Everyone who hears these words of mine and doeth them,
I will liken (or consider) him a wise man."

Paul told his young trainee Timothy to "Study to show thyself approved" (2nd Timothy 2:15)

Certain products carry a label that says, “Warning! This can be hazardous to your health.”

Instead of helping you, certain kinds of Bible study can actually hurt you.

It's all in your "attitude and purpose" for attaining spiritual knowledge that is causing you to study in the first place.

The Bible says, “Knowledge puffs up” (1st Corinthians 8:1)

The Greek word for “puffs” contains the idea of being inflated, like a hot air balloon.

By the time a Pharisee was ordained, he could quote hours and hours of Old Testament law to you.

Yet Jesus said the Pharisees were like "beautifully painted gravestones: filled with dead men’s bones". (Matthew 23:27)

Satan knows the Scriptures so well that he was able to quote them to Jesus in the wilderness temptation.

And what is Satan’s chief quality?

It’s the sin that got him thrown out of heaven.

The whole point in studying the Scriptures is to make you more "dependent on God" and give you the right approach to life.

To give you a "clearer view" of Gods love and intent for humanity.
We study the bible not to make us more spiritual than the next, but to glean from it "pearls of wisdom" to help us help others.
The bible has been described as Gods "love letter" to mankind.

Its also been described as Gods "instruction manual" for living in this life.

People mainly read the Scriptures for three reasons:
(1) To find proof texts (scriptures) that support their views
(2) To find promises that apply to their particular needs
(3) To discover principles to live by

If you’re wise, you’ll be a member of this third group.

Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

When the storms of life came, the wise man’s house stood firm while the foolish man’s—the one who didn’t practice what he knew—came crashing down.

Added knowledge brings added responsibility.

(James 1:22) tells us to "be doers of the word not just hearers only".
As children of God we need to be in touch with our Heavenly Father as much as we possibly can.

Reading, studying His word will help us in that goal.

That’s part of the reason Jesus instructed His followers saying, “It is written: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Luke 4:4) and (Matthew 4:4)

There is something supernatural that happens in our lives when we study the word of God.

It's as if a spiritual power, energy, and transformation begins to happen of it's own volition.

(Hebrews 4:12) "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing of soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart"

So, do you want to "know" God?

Then "know" His word; It’s the key to a wonderful relationship with Him.
I woke up this morning with this beautiful prayer of devotion on my heart.
Why not make it your prayer today;
“change my heart O God, make it ever new,
change my heart O God, may I be like you.
That’s what the Word of God does and as a result we become “better”, not “bitter” if we will apply it to our own lives.
Today, and every day forward, determine to be “doers of the Word not hearers only” (James 1:22)

Good day!

Sunday, March 19, 2023 - March 19th 2023 How to Study The Word

(Psalm 119:18) "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."
The most important education we can receive or develop for our success in life is found in the Word of God.
Paul tells us in (2nd Timothy 3:16) that “the Word of God is profitable for for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work”.
I can attest to that, because when I made a commitment to myself to study the Word and start posting these devotionals each morning on Facebook; (that was back in 2014) my understanding of the Word, and my awareness of the presence of God in my life has become something that I never dreamed could or would happen in my younger days.
This scripture text this morning from (Psalm 119:18) "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."
Is my prayer each morning and each time that I sit to feed on the Word of God.
It hasn’t always bee easy to do or to find the time to do, but as I sacrifice certain activities to make time, I have been rewarded with understanding and revelation within His Word that has brought so much peace, joy and confidence in Who this God is that I call Lord and Master.
And yes my faith has grown beyond any thing I could have thought possible before I started this journey in the Word.
Here are some helpful keys to getting more out of your Bible study time.
(1) Ask questions. The more questions you ask, the more you’ll get out of it. 
Questions like; Who was this written to? 
What was the situation the writer was facing? 
What was the main message the author was trying to get through to them?
As you ask such questions, you begin to discover things you’ve overlooked or never seen before.
The Psalmist was a meditater and an in-depth studier of God’s Word.
That’s why he prayed, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
(2) Write down the answers. 

The purpose of asking questions is to get answers.
Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, used to say, “Thoughts disentangle themselves as they pass through the lips and fingertips.”
So have your notebook handy and write down the nuggets of truth God gives you.
If you don’t, you’ll lose them.
(3) Don’t just discover it, do it!
And in doing it, purpose to practice it.
Learning a new game or a new sport or developing expertise at something doesn’t just happen.
It takes practice!
Evangelist D.L. Moody said, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change your lives.”
James wrote, “Do not merely listen to the word…Do what it says” (James 1:22).
Ask yourself, “What attitudes do I need to change? 

What do I need to stop doing, or start doing? 

What do I need to believe, or stop believing? 

What relationships do I need to work on? 

How should I be treating others?”
Don’t go to your Bible with the attitude of finding some truth nobody’s ever seen before or something to impress others with.
Find out what God is saying to you. From their He will start using you to encourage and inspire others.
Good Day!
Saturday, March 18, 2023 - March 18th 2023 Study To Show Yourself Approved

(Psalm 119:96) "Your commands are boundless."

Jesus said in (Luke 4:4), "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

The scripture also teaches us to "study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2nd Timothy 2:15)

The Psalmist wrote, “To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless.”

So ask yourself, "what does that mean"?

It means each time you read a Scripture, you’ll see something different in it.

It’s like shining light on a diamond.

Each time you turn it slightly, you see another facet of its beauty.

That’s why the Bible is different from any other book you’ll ever read.

You’ll learn things about God from personal experience and from listening to the thoughts and experiences of others, but you’ll never get to know Him better any other way than by the reading of 
His Word.

You can study the same Scripture over and over again, dig into it, leave it for three or four months, 
and when you come back to it, there is always something new that will speak to you.
The key is this, stick with it!

There’s no limit to the number of questions you can ask, no limit to the observations you can make, 
and no limit to the applications you can make.

So don’t give up!
The best attitude to have in Bible study is the one Jacob had when he wrestled with the angel of the Lord: “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” (Genesis 32:26)

As a result, God gave him a new name, a new nature, a new walk, and a new future.

Bible study has no shortcuts; it takes effort.
But if you’re diligent and patient, you’ll reap great rewards.

Once you’ve felt the joy and satisfaction that comes from finding a great spiritual truth on your own and applying it to your life, you’ll never approach the study of Gods word the same way again.
(Psalm 119:105) “Thy word O Lord is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”!

Good Day!

Friday, March 17, 2023 - March 17th 2023 Acceptable Through Him

(2 Corinthians 5:21) "He made Him, (talking about Jesus) who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Do you realize that God loves you so much that He will do anything (short of sinning Himself) to win, you redeem you, bring you back into a right relationship with Himself?

Jesus, who never sinned one time while he was alive  became sin from head to toe at the cross.

He was perfect, the only human to ever be so since the creation of Adam. 

Thats why He could be the perfect sacrifice.

The Bible says, “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

That’s is amazing! Yes—and here’s something even more amazing:

The moment you put your trust in Christ, God views you as “righteous” from head to toe.

Does that mean you don’t have faults and flaws or that you will never sin?

No, it means that God has chosen "to see you" as being “in Christ” and therefore you are always acceptable to Him.

It takes faith to believe that God sees you as righteous.

And where does such faith come from?

By looking at yourself and examining your performance?
No, if you do that it will totally discourage you.

So what’s the answer?

Accept and believe what the Bible has to say to us: “Looking away from all that will distract, to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith, giving the first incentive for our belief and is also its Finisher, bringing it to maturity and perfection” (Hebrews 12:2 from the amplified bible)).

Where does such faith come?
It comes from Jesus.

You are saved by His performance, not your own (Ephesians 2:8-9). "For by grace are ye saved thru faith and that not of yourselves but it is the gift of God".

The more you look to Jesus and consider His "finished work for you on the cross", the greater your faith will be.

Faith for what?

(1) Faith to believe that all your sins are truly forgiven.

(2) Faith to see yourself positioned “in Christ,” which will motivate you to become more Christ like in every area of your life.

"For you have been bought with a price" (1st Corinthians 7:23)

God in His great love for you wants to walk with you, and you with Him.

Realize today, what great lengths He and Christ went to, to set you free, to come home to Him.
Good day!
Thursday, March 16, 2023 - March 16th Blessed Not Cursed

(Numbers 23:20) "He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it."

After the Israelites crossed the Jordan River they conquered the "Promised Land" and took possession of it, one town and one city at a time.

As they approached Moab, one of its princes named Balak hired a prophet named Balaam to pronounce a curse upon the advancing Israelite armies.

Standing on a mountain overlooking the camp of Israel, Balak expected curses to come pouring out of Balaam’s mouth.

But instead came blessings.

When he demanded Balaam tell him why, Balaam replied, “I have received a command to bless; He (God) has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.
He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, nor has He seen wickedness in Israel.
The Lord his God is with him” (Numbers 23:20-21).

It wasn't because there was no “iniquity” “wickedness” or "sin" among the Israelites? 

It was because of the covenant that God had made with them.

And it’s because of the covenant that God made with us thru “the shed blood of Christ" that we are not judged and or condemned.

He does not "see our sin" any longer because of "the blood of Christ", that covers our sin.

Not only does it cover our sin but it "eradicates" it as well so that it is no more.

God says in (Psalm 103:12) "as far as the east is from the west has He removed our sins from us".

God no longer sees your faults and failings—because He has chosento see you “in Christ,” who is perfect, and whose "atoning blood" covers all your sins from the new birth to the new Jerusalem.

I was taught years ago in my biblical studies (by men more "biblically knowledgeable" than myself),

That when the Israelites would set up camp each night, their tents formed the shape of a big cross; picture the tents of eight tribes running vertically and four tribes running horizontally.

Getting the picture?

As a redeemed child of God, that’s how your heavenly Father sees you.

He looks at you through the cross.
And since the blood of Jesus paid for every sin you would ever commit, God sees you as “accepted”, “righteous” and “complete.”

So remember this, "because God sees you in Christ, you are irreversibly blessed".

Just as Balaam could not curse the Children of Israel, so too are you free from the curse of sin in and on your life.

Jesus said "Him whom the Son sets free is free indeed" (John 8:36)

You did nothing to earn it, it is His gift to you!

So today walk with your head held high giving thanks for the blessing and the freedom we enjoy together, because of Gods "great love and faithfulness" to each if us.

Good Day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 - March 15th 2023 Power In The Blood

(Revelation 12:11) "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony."

By the blood of the lamb!
Have you any idea what that statement means?
First of all the Blood being talked about here is none other than the blood of Jesus Christ
By the power of His Blood, peace is made between man and God.
By the power of His Blood, there is forgiveness of sins and eternal life for all who put their faith in the Lord Jesus.
By the power of His Blood, Satan is overcome.
By the power of His Blood, there is continual cleansing from all sin for us.
By the power of His Blood, we may be set free from the tyranny of an evil conscience, guilt ,condemnation, to serve the living God.
By the power of His Blood, we have infinite power with God.
By the power of His Blood, the most unworthy have liberty to enter into God’s presence and live (stay there) continually!
Irene Park was once “a high witch” in the state of Florida, seducing boys and girls into occult activities.
However the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good news of Gods love for even her, invaded her mind and soul and she became a committed Christian.
Her story is remarkable.

She stated that the children she could never entice or seduce with her deception were those whose parents protected them by praying over them in the name of Jesus, covering their children on the 
merits of “Christ’s atoning blood.”
Today the occult has made its way into some of our public school systems under the guise of “pluralism” and “free speech.”
And if you’re a parent, you should be very concerned!
It’s wise to give your child a cell phone or pager so they can stay in touch with you.
But the most powerful defence you can give them is “praying” over them in “the name of Jesus” 
and standing on the merits of His shed blood.
Jesus defeated Satan at the cross.
And today He’s saying to you, “My victory is your victory, and My authority is your authority—use it!”
You are a foolish person not to acknowledge or be aware of the existence of the devil and his agenda.
(Ephesians 6:12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
He (satan or the devil) is the reason that our lives have so much calamity involved.
(1st Peter 5:8) says, “Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”.
 But you don’t have to be afraid of him because “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1st John 4:4).
To deny the existence of Satan or underestimate his power gives him an advantage over you.
But God has given you the key to overcoming Satan’s power in your life,
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony”
Start declaring what the blood of Jesus has done on your behalf.
When you do, you’ll begin to experience victory in your daily walk with Christ.
And a confidence in the maintaining and staying power of God at work in your life,
All because of the shed Blood of Jesus Christ on yours and my behalf.
Good day!

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