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He Gives a Greater Grace

October 19, 2018

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He Gives a Greater Grace

We all struggle  in this world.     We struggle  with the sins  that bug us the most — we struggle  with our desires and needs  that seem unfulfilled — we struggle  with decisions as to what will be best  for us — we struggle  with the demands and influences  of other people — we just struggle  to make our way  through this world  and want to achieve a sense  of goodness and accomplishment and satisfaction.

In our desire  to be God pleasing  in life’s struggles,  James 4:6 gives us comfort,

But He gives a greater grace.     Therefore it says,  ‘God is opposed  to the proud,  but gives grace  to the humble.’

James is just saying we need  to look to God  for guidance  in this life.     God our Savior is so willing  to liberally give us  the gift  of His influence  in our lives,  if we would just stop being  so proud  and self-sufficient.     We need  to confess  that we really don’t know everything there is to know  in this world.     We don’t know  what is best  for us.

We don’t know  why certain struggles  are good for us  in this world of  trials.     We don’t know  why we are presented  with decisions between finding immediate satisfaction  and learning  to look at the eternal aspects  God shows us.     We don’t know  why we even have a problem  in deciding what really is best  for us.

All we need to know is  that God really is God.     There is no other God.     He is our Savior,  our Creator,  our heavenly Father — and He loves us dearly.

When we humbly present our problems  to our heavenly Father and say something like,  “Abba, Father,  You alone are LORD and God  over all.     I am only Your little child.     Please guide me  through this trial  and help me  to glorify Your holy name.     For Your name’s sake, Amen.”  —  then,  with our humbleness  of heart,   “He gives a greater grace.”

Honestly looking  to God  for who He is  and humbly realizing our lost estate  as sinners  trying  to make it through this world  is what opens up God’s heart  to give us that “greater grace”.     Then God is able  to help us  because we’ve stopped being so proud  and self-sufficient.     We realize  that we aren’t  “know-it-alls”  or the numero uno over anything.

We are God’s children.     We really need  to depend on Him  for our every need.     The  “greater grace”  God wants  to give us is so much better  than what our pride  leads us  to and through.     We will still have to face plenty  of trials,  but God’s grace comforts  and leads us  in His truth.

Hand in hand  with our heavenly Father,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Father,  I’m so glad You love us  for Jesus’ sake.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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Obedient from the Heart

October 18, 2018

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Obedient from the Heart

People can change — big time.     Sometimes we look at someone,  shaking our heads   and declaring,  “He will never change!”     That’s our opinion  and our opinion  does not count.

Sometimes people look at  all their own past sins  and sadly moan,  “I’ll never be able  to change.     I just don’t have the guts.    Everybody will be talking  about me.”     We can be wrong  about ourselves, too.

The people in Rome were accustomed  to quite the life  of debauchery and dissipation.     They thought they were cool  with their orgies,  loose morals,  drunkenness,  adulteries,  etc.     Everybody was doing it  and they wanted  to be a part  of the in-crowd.

Then,  along came Paul preaching  about our Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ.     Paul told them straight out  that their lives were headed  for eternal hell.     Many seriously listened  and realized the truth — and became Christians,  instead of idol worshipers.     But,  sometimes these new Christians  slipped back into some  of their old sins.     They needed  to be strengthened  in God’s truths.     So, Paul tells them  in Romans 6:17-18,

But thanks be to God  that  though you were  slaves of sin,  you became obedient  from the heart  to that form  of teaching   to which you were committed,  and having been freed  from sin,  you became slaves  of righteousness.

The big change was formerly being  “slaves of sin”  and then becoming  “slaves of righteousness”.     The big change that happened  in their lives  can also happen  in our lives.     We cannot do it  all by ourselves.     Our own efforts  are useless.     But,  by the grace of God,  big changes  can happen  in our lives — just as  in the lives  of the Romans.

In verses 22-23,  Paul shows them  the difference God makes  in a person’s life.     He says,

But now having been freed  from sin  and enslaved to God,  you derive your benefit,  resulting in sanctification,  and the outcome,  eternal life.     For the wages of sin  is death,  but the free gift  of God  is eternal life  in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The big-time changes  in our lives can also be  like that:

From:    
Slavery to sin
The wages of sin  is death

To:
Enslaved to God
Sanctification
Eternal life in heaven

Thinking about it,  it shouldn’t be  a hard choice.     But yet,  many choose slavery  to sin — maybe because they can’t think  beyond the here and now.     We need to pray  for our Savior  to lead us.     He’s waiting  for us to ask.     We need  to consider our eternal future.

Then,  as we walk  with our Lord,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  it is so wonderful  to be free  from slavery  to sin.     With You as my Master,  I’m truly free  and ever so blessed.     Be with me  every  step  of my way.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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“All” Means All

October 17, 2018

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“All” Means All

“All”  looks like a small word,  but it is so all-inclusive  —  dealing with every detail,  even things we’ve long forgotten about.     It becomes a very important word  to note  and treasure,  because it affects  our most basic  needs.

Since we live  in a sinful world,  we often see the word  “all”  used pretentiously.     Not all people  really mean  what they say  and often hold back  and renege  on their promises.     That leads us  to thinking  that  “all”  doesn’t really mean all.     But,  when God says  “all”,  that is exactly what He means.     In 1 John 1:7,  we read,

If  we walk  in the light  as He Himself is  in the light,  we have fellowship  with one another,  and the blood  of Jesus His Son  cleanses us  from all  sin.

“The blood  of Jesus His Son  cleanses us  from all  sin.”     Not just some — not just the little sins — not just the ones committed  on that day — but,  ALL sins.

So,  when Satan tempts us  to doubt and fear  that we are not really  totally forgiven,  we need to remember  this word  of God.     God is holy.     God cannot lie.     It is Satan  who is the liar  and the father  of lies.

Take courage.     Believe the Lord  who cannot lie.     All of His word  is truth  and He is always faithful.     He cannot help but be faithful — His love for us  on the cross  compels Him  to surely forgive  all our sins  and cleanse us  totally  from all sin.

Free  from the burden of guilt,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  You have proven Your faithfulness  and truthfulness  over and over  since the beginning of time.     Thank You  for letting Your love  and truth  comfort us again.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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That We May Present to Thee

October 16, 2018

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That We May Present to Thee

Most everyone knows  of a person  who died early  in life.      As we look at the obituaries,  there are a number of people  who die quite young.     Time passes so quickly — and what have we accomplished?     We don’t know  how long we have  to live.

What do we plan to do  with the days given  to us?     It would be a shame  to just waste our days  on earth.     And,  it would be grievously horrible  to just jump  on the fast track  to hell — with no thought  about eternity.

Our end is coming.     I need  to ask myself,  “Am I really ready?     Am I on my way  to heaven  or hell?     What am I doing  with my time?     Is my life a waste?”

Moses asked similar questions  when he wrote Psalm 90.    In verse 12,  he wrote,

So teach us  to number our days,    
That we may present  to Thee  a heart of wisdom.

When we die and face God’s judgment seat,  it would be a shame  to have to just lamely admit  that our life was wasted  in faithlessness,  lovelessness,  the hopelessness  of worldly living,  and the rebelliousness  of sin — even though we knew  the word of God  and all about salvation  in Jesus Christ.

Just knowing  about Jesus  is not the same as believing  in His promises  and trusting His ways.     When we’re trusting  and believing,  we have to step forward  each day  with the courage  to live  according to God’s word.

That’s what Moses was so concerned about.     Every day,  he had to lead the Israelites  and continually straighten them out.     It was a thankless job.     They were grumblers,  complainers,  faithless in battles,  disobedient.     There were many times  when Moses wanted  to quit.     But,  he did not want  to have to be ashamed  before the Lord God Almighty  on his judgment day.

Moses wanted  to be wise enough  in this life  to present to God  a “heart  of wisdom”.      Moses wanted the wisdom  of knowing  that no matter how tough things are  on this earth,  God is still God  and He is  in control.     We need wisdom  to really trust the Lord.     Moses wanted the wisdom  of remembering  that God allows us  to go through  all sorts  of heart-rending trials — just to prove,  strengthen,  and purify  our faith.

We need to pray  with Moses  that our compassionate Lord  would  “So teach us  to number our days,  that we may present  to  Thee  [Him]  a heart  of wisdom.”

Only God can help us.     Let us go  to Him  every day  for the  “heart of wisdom”  we need.

Assured  of God’s tender care  and salvation  in Jesus Christ,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     My Lord,  Your word teaches  that  ‘The fear  of the LORD  is the beginning  of wisdom.’     Let me always be wise enough  to respect You  and Your ways.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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What Are You Doing on the Road to Egypt?

October 15, 2018

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What Are You Doing on the Road to Egypt?

We have a tendency  to get so easily side tracked.     We’re not really sure  how we got  on the path we’re traveling on  through this world — or why we started  heading this way  in the first place.     However  we came to be where we are,  God knows  we’re lost.

So,  our Lord wants  to wake us up  and show us  that we are headed  for disaster — eternal disaster.     The message God had Jeremiah give  to the Israelites  years ago  applies to everyone  through the ages.     Jeremiah 2:18-19  reads,

“But now  what are you doing  on the road  to Egypt,    
To drink the waters  of the Nile?    
Or what are you doing  on the road to Assyria,   
To drink the waters  of the Euphrates?    
Your own wickedness  will correct you,    
And your apostasies  will reprove you;    
Know therefore  and see  that it is evil and bitter    
For you  to forsake the LORD  your God,    
And the dread  of Me  is not in you,”  declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

Being on the  “road”  to Egypt and Assyria and  “drinking”  their waters  was God’s way  of showing the Israelites  that their whole life styles  were mimicking the ways  of the Egyptians and Assyrians.     The Israelites were getting  to  prefer  the morally loose  and sensuous ways  of these countries.     Their idolatrous practices  were interesting and enticing,  compared to worshiping the Lord.     The Israelites began accepting  the ethics  and moral philosophies  of these countries,  even though they were contrary  to the LORD’s standards.

Our heavenly Father had to warn them that,  “Your own wickedness  will correct you,  and your apostasies  will reprove you.”     Things work the same today.     When we allow ourselves  to become influenced  by the philosophies,  ethics,  religious practices,  morals,  and life styles  of non-Christians,  we are no longer  on the  “road”  to heaven.     We are way off  the beaten track — and we are  lost spiritually.

Knowingly allowing ourselves  to become lost  will bring about an evil and bitter price  because  we are no longer respecting the Lord,  our Creator and Redeemer .     Only the Lord  is God Almighty.     His ways can be trusted  to be totally right and good  for us.     When we live  according to God’s word,  we can rest assured  that there will be blessings  in store.     But,  if we choose  to forsake the Lord,  we can be sure  to come  to an evil and bitter end.

We have options.     God is always asking us  to get back  on the road  to heaven.     All our lives on earth,  we need  to always be making sure  we are following God  and not the world,  because it is to easy  to get side tracked.

Becoming grounded  in the word of God,  we will have the peace and joy  of following God’s leading,  and say,  “Hallelujah!     My Savior,  Your ways  are so much better  than anything  in this world.     Your ways are holy.     Keep me  near You.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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All Flesh Shall See

October 14, 2018

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All Flesh Shall See

Isaiah 40:3-4 prophesied the coming  of John the Baptist,  and we read the fulfillment  in Luke 3:4-6,  where it quotes the prophecy,

The voice  of one crying  in the wilderness,    
“Make ready the way  of the LORD,    
Make His paths straight.    
Every ravine  shall be filled up,    
And every mountain and hill  shall be brought low;    
And the crooked  shall become straight,    
And the rough roads smooth;    
And all flesh shall see  the salvation  of God.”

People all over this world have heard  of Jesus Christ — but that does not mean  they believe  that Jesus can give them  the gift  of forgiveness  and eternal life.     The majority  of people  still would rather try  to get to heaven  through their own efforts  and self-righteousness.     So,  it is one thing  to know  that Jesus existed,  and a totally different thing  to really know Jesus  as Lord and Savior.

There is only one way anyone  can have any sort  of comprehension  of the salvation of God  in Jesus Christ.     One needs to realize  that Jesus is God,  come in the flesh,  to suffer and die  to pay  for our sins.

Isaiah and Luke point out what happens  to people  as they come to Christ.     First, Isaiah said,  “Make ready the way  of the LORD,  make His paths straight.”     We need to straighten out our lives  and realize  the LORD will be our Judge.     We know what God calls good  and what He calls evil,  so out of respect  for God’s authority,  we are to get on the straight and narrow path  of His way of living.

Then,  Isaiah said,  “Every ravine  shall be filled up.”     That means  that everyone who feels low and downtrodden  because of their sins  will be given peace and joy  in knowing  that Jesus will wash away  all their sins.     They don’t have to worry  about their guilt any more.

Thirdly,  Isaiah said,  “And every mountain and hill  shall be brought low.”     That’s saying every self-righteous person  will have their sins pointed out  by the Savior  so that they will be brought down  by the reality  of their sins.     No matter how good  a person thinks he is,  we are all sinners  in great need  of repentance.     It is good  to realize our need  for repentance.

Fourth, Isaiah said, “And the crooked  shall become straight.”     Those who have lived crooked lives  will have the fear  of God instilled  in them,  when they learn  that they are headed  for hell.

Fifth, Isaiah said, “And the rough roads smooth.”     Those who face  all sorts of trials  and have fears and doubts  of all sorts  will be comforted  by knowing their Savior has come  to show them the way  of faith.

Last,  Isaiah said,  “And all flesh shall see  the salvation  of God.”     Yes,  the gospel is being spread  throughout the whole world.     People from all nations know  that we call Jesus our Lord and Savior.

How well they see  and understand  is partially up to us.     We need  to keep on sharing the gospel  so that they at least can learn  about their need  for repentance  and putting their faith  in the Son of God,  who has paid  for their sins.

Just knowing  that Jesus wants to get us  on the right path  to life  and that His ways are proven  to be good and right,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  only You  can straighten out my sinful ways  and lead me  in Your righteousness,  through faith,  hope,  and love.     Come into my heart  and help me  to live  for You.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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Near to All Who Call Upon Him

October 13, 2018

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Near to All Who Call Upon Him

Psalm 145:18

The LORD is near  to all  who call upon Him,    
To all  who call upon Him  in truth.

These are the words  of King David.     He was filled with praise  to the LORD  for His unsearchable ways.     Who  can understand   God’s faithfulness   and the great depths  of His love  for us,  even though we are often faithless  and stumbling around?

David thought about  all the times we fall  and was deeply appreciative  of God’s willingness  to raise up everyone  who humbly bows  before Him.     That is why David speaks  of God being near  to everyone  who calls upon Him  in truth.     The truth is  that we are all sinners.     We all need  to admit  that truth.

There is no truth  in trying to hide our sins  and pretend  that we are good  in God’s sight.     We are not good — not even one of us.     If we want  to be honest  and truthful,  we will confess our sins  to the LORD  and ask  for His forgiveness  through the merits  of Jesus Christ  on our behalf.

Only then  can the LORD draw near  to us  and fulfill our desires.     Realizing God’s love  in drawing near  to us,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  blessed be Your eternal love  for us.     You always keep Your word  to forgive  and bless.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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