Questions for Today, What will be Your Answer?

One thing I’ve noticed about favorite verses. Some are ones you cling to as a life line for a lifetime, others are tailored to specific seasons of our lives. All are good and remind us that God’s Word will always sustain and encourage us in our walk with Him.

Today’s verse comes from my friend Patty. She chose Proverbs 4:20-22. and I added verse 23. I chose the New Living Translation.

My child, pay attention to what I say.
    Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
    Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
    and healing to their whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life
.

These verses call for us to look into God’s Word diligently and listen to His directions for living. We are to meditate upon them and let them sink deep into our hearts. The promise is that in doing so, we will find life and healing for our whole body- heart, mind, and soul. We are admonished to guard, hold fast, protect, our hearts for where our hearts lead us determines our life’s direction. Jesus taught this same principle in Matthew 6:20-21  “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The questions for us today are: Am I listening to God when I pray, worship and read His Word? Acts 16:14 gives the story and attitude of Lydia. Is this you? “One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. She was open to God and was ready to listen and respond. Am I listening with a heart that is ready to respond to what God has for me?

Am I letting His Word penetrate my life and guide my actions and words? Psalm 119:9 and 11 “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” God’s Word needs to be internalized to help us live and think biblically.

Am I praying and studying God’s Word with the expectation of healing and guidance? Psalm 143:1 “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. and James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Am I praying like Paul for the things Christ has for me, Colossians 1:9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,”

Am I taking steps daily to guard my heart? Philippians 4:6-7 tells us how “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Pray with a thankful heart and submit to Him. He will guard your heart. I love the promise in 2 Timothy 1:14 “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

This is our blessed assurance: we do not have to do all of these things in our own power and strength. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Check your power source. Recharge with prayer and the Word. Then ‘just do it!’ for the Lord!! He is always with you and will guide your steps.

Linda

Peace, essential footwear for the Believer

After putting on the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness the believer needs to tend to their footwear.  Usually the picture of messengers is one running with bare feet.  Here the soldier, ready for all terrain conditions,  has his feet covered and Ephesians 6 15protected.  But what kind of foot wear is Paul suggesting, spiritual footwear that only comes through the gospel’s good news = peace.   “For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.”  Ephesians 6:15

How does the peace given through the Good News of Jesus protect us?  Jesus promised through faith an other worldly peace that keeps away fearJohn 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  His peace also gives us strength and blessing.  Psalm 29:11 “May the Lord give strength to his people!  May the Lord bless his people with peace!”   His peace acts as a guard against Satan’s attacks and keeps us from being anxious.  Philippians 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  The gospel message also brings peace through the assurance of salvationIsaiah 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace,  who bring good tidings,  who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,  “Your God reigns!””  Lastly, His peace is brought to us through faith in an attitude of thanksgiving.  Colossians 3:17 colossians 3 17“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  This attitude of thankfulness allows God’s peace to rule in our lives.  Peace will guard and keep us  moving forward with confidence in God and His plan to give out the Good News of Jesus.

As you pray and think on God’s Word today, remember the peace that comes through Jesus confounds Satan and brings glory to God.  When have you experienced this other worldly peace that gave you strength, kept away your fears, assured you of your salvation, caused you to be thankful and gave you a mind that was calm and resting in Him?  It is this peace that all believers need to possess, grab hold of, hold close, as they witness and walk each day living for Jesus.  Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can have peace filling my life as I strive to walk in witness to His truth.

Linda

Holy Week – on Monday Jesus cleansed the temple and cursed the fig tree.  He was  righteously angry at the greedy money changers that were keeping the Gentiles from worshiping and treating His house with disrespect.  Matthew 21:13 “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”  Jesus also cursed the fig tree which was fully leaved and yet had no figs.  This was a foreshadowing of the coming judgement on the nation of Israel for rejecting the truth of His coming.