Time After Time

Lord, God, my history, to You is no mystery.
You know every moment, both present and past.
You know the future which I can’t imagine,
And yet You still love me with love that will last.

Like Your people Israel, I’m so prone to stumble
And think that my way is the one that is best.
Yet when I repent and acknowledge Your lordship,
I find I’m forgiven, and my soul finds its rest.

As we enter the New Year, let us do what the apostle Paul did, and that is to let go of past failure or shame and press on to what God has for us in the days ahead. (Philippians 3:12-14)

Nehemiah 9:28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.” NIV

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Look What God Has Done!

Can you believe it? God points to us as examples of His grace and kindness! That’s what Ephesians 2:6-7 says: “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” (NLT) Maybe He says something like this:

“Angels, Principalities, Powers! Look at __. See all I, God, have done for them—forgiving, reshaping, renewing. See what they were and what they are now in Christ Jesus. And look at My light shining through them to others. Notice how I have planted a flower garden in their heart, taking toxic memories and redeeming them to promote spiritual growth.”

When we get discouraged, let’s remember what God has already done and choose gratitude and trust instead of discouragement.

(Image -The Gift of Grace, –-LightForEachDay.com. Found on Pinterest)

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Praise from My Heart

“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the gods I will sing your praise.”

All hail the power of Jesus’ name….” I will sing! Thank You God for a voice to sing. I will rejoice in You. You are my joy.

“I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”

How can I thank You enough for Your unfailing, everlasting love and for Your Word which always accomplishes what You send it to do (Isaiah 55:11)? Without You, I am nothing, and yet You chose to love me and give me purpose. Not only that, You do that for any of us mere people who seek You!

“When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.”

Therefore, I will receive Your strength and take courage, and abound in Your work (1 Corinthians 15:58).

“Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.”

So I humble myself before You and thank You and praise You forever.

“The Lord will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever….”

Thank You, Lord. Every praise belongs to You. I will praise You for Your enduring love and faithfulness.

Amen.

(From Psalm 138)

[Pinterest image of Ps 138:8 –

http://rachelwojo.com/confident-bible-reading-week-1-summary/ ]

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God’s Treasure Chest

“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.”

Father, thank You for a new day to listen to what You say. I want to do better at listening than I have done.
I will treasure and value and obey Your commands. Again, may I do better than I have in the past.

“Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.”

Dear Father, please help me as I tune my heart to hear Your wisdom. I want to concentrate on wisdom. Grant me insight and understanding. I need to seek these as the treasures that they are. Please show me what this means in my life today. Help me put Your Word into practice.

(Proverbs 2:1-4 NLT)

Psalm 19:9-11

“…The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are …a great reward for those who obey them.” (NLT – New Living Translation)

(Picture from Pinterest)

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We Can Make Better Choices

Adam and Eve made a tragic choice with global consequences. They didn’t do it because they were bad people. God declared them very good from the beginning. That “very good” included their power to choose to believe and trust God or to believe and trust the liar and his lies.

But God’s love didn’t give up on Adam and Eve. He told them the consequences of their sin, yet included His promise of the One who would come to “crush Satan’s head.” He also provided the animal skins to cover their now-exposed nakedness, making the first animal sacrifice Himself.

We sometimes choose hurtful rather than helpful actions too, but making bad choices doesn’t make us bad people. God doesn’t give up on us either. He allows consequences so we will learn. He keeps loving us. And just because we made wrong choices or even if we have developed a habit of those ways doesn’t mean we can’t choose a better way today.

God provided forgiveness through Jesus Christ His Son by His sacrificial death on the cross. Each time I fall short, I will choose to receive forgiveness again by confessing my sin and believing God’s promise to forgive.

It’s never too late to make better choices. God gives us grace to get back on the right path.

(Picture courtesy of Pinterest)

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Do What It Says

A friend and I discussed how to pray for a mutual friend who reads Scripture every day. She said, “We could pray that they can and will apply their Bible reading to their life.”

“Oh yes,” I thought. “That will really help.”

Then the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart, “How are you doing in that department?”

Uh-oh! How many times have I read, for example, Proverbs 3:5 (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding”) and went on trusting in what I thought was best? And how about Philippians 4:8 (“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, …noble, …right, …pure, …lovely, …admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things”)? Do I think about those things or about how irritated I am about seemingly unsolvable yard problems? I almost know Ephesians 4:29 by heart (“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen). So why do I hear complaining and criticism coming out of my mouth?

Image from Pinterest.

Oh Jesus, I’m struggling to practice what I read too! I need to obey James 1:22 (“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says”). Please let Your Holy Spirit help me as I turn from my own foolish way onto Your right paths. Thank You for Philippians 1:6 (“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”). Amen.

Bible Verses from the NIV.

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Can Anyone Win Against God?

“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome” (Genesis 32: 28, NIV). So said the “man” who wrestled with Jacob.

How could Jacob win against God? Maybe God let him win. Or maybe the victory was Jacob overcoming his own stubbornness of doing his own way instead of submitting to God’s ways.

I struggle myself sometimes with that submission. I tend to try to manipulate people or circumstances to make things turn out the way I think they should. Maybe I’ve even tried at times to manipulate God.

I’m so glad that You, God, won’t allow that! You are sovereign, all wise, good, and faithful. Your plans are always better than mine. Sometimes I forget.

(Image from Pinterest)

A hymn from my childhood by Eliza E. Hewitt (Verse 3):

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Spirit divine;“ All that thou hast to My keeping resign; Grace more abounding is Mine to impart—Make full surrender and give Me thy heart.”

(Lyrics from Timeless Truths https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Give_Me_Thy_Heart/ )
(A trio sings the hymn on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgv7cvnyaIg )

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Perfect Words

Your Words are perfect, Lord—flawless, pure, absolute, and true. They tell me of Your love and about who You are. They lead me in right paths and will bring me home to You when it is the right time. Therefore, I will bow before You and humbly receive the spiritual nourishment, the knowledge, and the guidance of Your Word. (James 1:21)

I come to Your Word for refuge from the lies of the enemy.

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

Proverbs 30:5 NIV

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Put Away Anger

When my anger flares up because someone offends me, maybe I could humble myself and remember that You, Lord, are God. No one and nothing, whether high or low or near or far or spiritual or physical, compares to You.

Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, You are more powerful and glorious than 10 billion times 10 billion suns. I can’t imagine Your greatness. Teach me to fear You alone because You alone are the life-giving God. You poured Your infinite power and wisdom and love into the body of Jesus (Colossians 2:9)!

The person who offended me and I are mere human beings, while from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. I will quiet my soul and trust You to make things right in Your view and in Your time.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (Proverbs 19:23 NIV)

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Trust Jesus Start to Finish

Jesus, You are the author and finisher of my faith. As You begin Your work in me, You teach me to set my mind on things above and on the Holy Spirit. You empower me to end a mind set on what I want or what might please others.

You start my mind remembering what I need to remember, such as Your mercy, forgiveness, and love which extends all the way to Calvary. You are the author of the sound mind that forgets what You have forgotten like forgiven sin carried away at the cross and the shame of imperfections which are covered by Your love.

(Verse graphic from (Pinterest.)

Lord, You have begun a good work in me and will continue it until the day of Your return when I will see You face to face and will be like You.

I could never thank You or praise You enough for all Your works. Let Your name be glorified forever and ever. Amen!

Hebrews 12:2 “[Looking] unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….”

Philippians 1:6 “[Being] confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

(Scripture quotes are from the New King James Version.)

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