Jeremiah 39:17-18 You Will Be Saved

But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear. I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 39:17-18

As the Babylonians began to overtake the city of Jerusalem, the king of Babylon gave orders to protect Jeremiah. Jeremiah was allowed to stay in the courtyard of the guards, under their protection. While there, God gave him a word to a Cushite man. This Cushite man had chosen to trust in God, so God chose to protect him and save his life.

There are times when God allows a major disaster to strike an area. In the process of that disaster there are many that are injured or even killed.  The ones that are injured or killed are those who are believers and those who are non-believers. There are also many who are not injured or killed because God chose to have mercy on them.

In the Old Testament, the people did not have the assurance of life after death, as a believer does today. For those who are believers, one thing that stands true, regardless of the physical outcome of the situation, is that they will have life in the end.

God has promised a day will come in which He will judge every person on this earth. He will also completely destroy the earth. For most people, that is a day to be feared. However, those who are believers in Jesus do not need to have any fear. Their trust is in God.

Believing in what Jesus had done for you, means you trust God has forgiven you of all your sins. You do not need to be afraid of the judgment that will come. In reality, you do not need to be afraid of any destruction that comes your way. You have the assurance of eternal life, because you trust God.

As each day goes by, there will be times that you may face terrible things, but you can rest assured that you will live. You may not live on this earth much longer, but you will live for eternity with God in heaven. Trust that God will take care of you and keep you alive in Christ Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that you will know God’s promises to you; that you will know that Jesus will save you in the end; and that you will live for eternity with God someday. 

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Isaiah 4:6 Shelter And Refuge

It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. Isaiah 4:6

Despite the fact that God was in the process of destroying Judah and Jerusalem, He had plans already in store to build it up again. God was going build a shelter over Mount Zion–Jerusalem. In the manner of protection that God gave Moses and the Israelites in the desert, He would be a cloud by day and a flame of fire during the night.

At times, clouds can seem like a bad thing. They tend to indicate rain or storms, and they block the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Yet, they can be a blessing in blocking out the heat of the sun. Knowing that rain is coming can be a blessing for the farmer.

In the same way, a flame of fire can appear sometimes as a bad thing. Seeing flames in a field or on a home is usually a bad thing to be occurring. Yet, flames will also provide warmth. In the night, the flame can keep the wild animals away while one is camping. Burning a field, can often remove the unwanted weeds, diseased plants and cut back the bugs, all of which can be a blessing.

God is over your life both day and night. He provides shelter and refuge for you to dwell in. When you are in His presence, nothing can do anything to you without His permission.

The world is going to try hard to get you to fall and give up on God. The world does not want you to succeed as you follow Jesus. Satan does not want you to be a good witness of who Jesus is.

Yet, God will put a hedge of protection around you that will shelter you in the heat of the day. When the world is putting pressure on you to commit a sin, you can run to God for shelter. When the world is threatening you in the dark to harm you, you can flee to God for refuge.

God will never leave you out in the cold to be destroyed. He is there for you, to take care of you and provide for all of your needs. Trust Him and do what He asks of you and see His great hand of love and mercy.

I pray today that you will know God’s protection in your life; that you will run to God for shelter; that you will know God’s peace in the storm; and that you will not give in to the ways of this world.

God’s Protection And Favor

IMG_1037.JPGWe live in a double-wide manufactured home in the country. We have oak trees all around the house, several within just a few feet of the house. This gives you a slight picture of what our place is like.

This last weekend we had a large storm that rolled through the area. On Sunday evening, at about 7:30pm, we heard a large crashing sound and the house rumbled some. A couple of my boys suddenly noticed that there was a tree laying down on our porch outside.

I went out in the rain and looked at it. Along with that tree on the porch, there was another tree leaning up against the corner of the house. I immediately went back inside to see if there was any internal damage.

At the corner of the house where the tree hit, is a bathroom. Above the bathtub in the corner, the ceiling was partially caved in. Water was coming through in a solid stream. The amazing part in the water coming through, was that it was running straight into the tub and down the drain. This was the first protection of God in this terrible situation, along with that fact that no one was hurt at all.

With it raining hard, I knew that we could do nothing about it that evening. I just praised God that it was draining into the tub.

About one hour later, the power shut down on us. We had no lights and our water supply is from a well with a pump, causing no water available.

As this was happening in the great storm, we lost cellphone reception and all internet connection. We could not look up what was happening or if the power company even knew about the power outage. There was no way of knowing how widespread the outage was or when to expect power back on.

Since it was extremely dark in the house and there was nothing we could do, everyone went to bed around 9-10 pm. I have a family of eight children. All were home at the time this was happening.

Around 1:30 am, I was awoken with a very loud bang that rumbled the entire house. I jumped out of bed and began to head through the house to find out what had happened.

As I was going through by flashlight, the power was still off, I met one of my boys coming towards me with a flashlight, also trying to find out what had happened. I looked outside and could not see anything other than a large tree covering our porch.

I went back in to the bathroom and saw a large surprise…part of the ceiling was completely missing and one wall had a huge hole in it. I could see the sky with no problem through the bathroom.

Going back outside, I went around the porch and the fallen tree to see what had happened. The second tree that had been leaning on the house had fallen the rest of the way. It took out the wall behind the bathtub from floor to ceiling, along with a section of the roof.

The next blessing at this point, that God had blessed us with, was that it had stopped raining.

Four of my children helped me then to start putting a tarp over the hole and roof of the house.

While we were doing that my wife stayed with my youngest children and worked to calm them down. Two of my boys were sleeping in a room right next to the bathroom and so they heard and felt the shake really bad.

It took about 3 hours to get the tarp on the roof and over the missing wall. I knew the plastic that I used was not great, but knew it would be better than nothing. It would at least keep some of the rain out of the house.

At about 4:30am I was able to go back to bed. Since I normally get up around 5am, I was wide awake by about 6:30 and unable to sleep.

I got up and started doing my devotions and normal morning things. At about 7am someone drove up to our house. I did not recognize the vehicle so I went out to find out who it was. It was a friend from our church that had heard of our situation and showed up with a chainsaw ready to work at removing the trees.

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Immediately we set to work at cutting the tree branches down and moving them off the porch. At about 8am two more friends showed up to help. Several more called and said that they would be there at some point in the day. One of the friends that came, had come with two of his friends, who we did not know, to help out. Several people had a chainsaw. Our neighbor allowed us to borrow his tractor to move the parts of the tree to a burn pile area on our property.

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One lady showed up with food and water for everyone to eat. It was enough food and water to feed an army. This provided more than enough food for everyone working. This was the next blessing from God.

By around 2pm, we had both trees completely cut up and moved over to burn piles, the house had two tarps covering the hole in the roof and the wall completely, and the hole inside the house was patched over.

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The amazing thing in all of this was that the weather forecast the entire week was to be rain every day. God gave us the entire day with absolutely no rain at all. It was very beautiful weather to work in, not too hot, not too cold. God was pouring out His blessings on us in the midst of an extremely hard and dangerous situation.

God also blessed us with the fact that during the time of the cleanup, no one was injured in any way.

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Right now we are waiting on the insurance company to get an inspector come out to see what the damage was and how much they will pay. We don’t know how God will get all of this fixed, but we know that He is in control.

Not all of the people who helped us were members of the church that we go to, but they were believers in their own churches. This was a great example of how the family of God takes care of its members, regardless of denominational differences.

Along with this, throughout the entire situation, God helped me to remain calm and not get angry, as I normally would have. I had a peace that was supernatural and a strength that was only from God. God provided help and strength above what I had expected. Without His help and the help of all the friends, it would have taken us several days to get the trees cleared.

I want to encourage you, that no matter what you are going through God is right there by your side. He can give you the strength that you need to make it through your situation. God loves you and I and promised that He will take care of all of your needs. Trust Him today and give Him praise, even in the storms of life.

Proverbs 2:11 Getting Protection

Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:11

Security is a hot topic everywhere a person looks. People want to know that they are safe from any harm. Businesses have security cameras everywhere, with security guards walking around also. People have security systems installed on their homes, many with cameras to stop thieves from entering. Multiple door locks are placed on doors to keep people from coming through.

One area that many individual people miss in seeking protection and security is in using proper discretion. God pours out His wisdom and direction for His people to know what is best for their lives.

Solomon wrote that discretion will protect a person. Many may ask how that is possible? Think about a person getting ready to cross a street. If the person has no discretion at all, he may walk straight out in front of a car coming down the street and get hit. Discretion will see the car coming and determine that it is unsafe to walk at that moment.

In life you may have a lot of friends and other people you know and are around. There is nothing wrong with having friends, but some of those friends may not be the best for you. They may be leading you down a wrong path.

Many people claim to be serving God, but are in reality serving themselves. They may go to church, speak Godly sounding words, but still be teaching the ways of this world. “Christians” in “churches” are claiming today that there are actions that are not sinful and acceptable in God’s eyes. Discretion will allow you to see that.

God’s understanding of what is going on will help guide you in what is best for you. It will open your eyes to what is going on around you. As a human you cannot always see the spirit of things happening. The spirits of this world are trying to deceive you and get you to sin and move away from God.

Seek God to know what is happening and how to best react to it. Use discretion in what you say, think, and do. Use discretion in who you follow. Use discretion in what you believe. Line everything up with the God’s Word and follow His guidance, not this world’s.

I pray today that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit; that God will guide you in your life; that God will give you His wisdom and understanding; and that you will accept the leading of God’s Holy Spirit in your life.

Psalm 59:11 Do Not Kill Them

But do not kill them, Lord our shield, or my people will forget. In your might uproot them and bring them down. Psalm 59:11

Saul had sent men to kill David and David cried out to God for help. He was trusting God to deliver him from his enemies. In asking God for help, David asked that they would not be killed because then his people would forget what God had done for them.

One of the most common prayers for a lot of people is that God completely destroy their enemies. People would often love to see a bad dictator or some other evil person be destroyed to get them out of the way of living safely. Many rejoice when a bad person dies.

David had used great wisdom in asking God not to destroy his enemies. Destroying the enemy completely removes the need for God’s protection. Where there is no threat of an enemy, there is very little trust in God. The appearance of a need for God is diminished.

Every believer needs to live his life in complete dependence upon God. When things start going “good,” it is common for people to stop depending upon God. They often become self-sufficient and forget what God can do or has done in the past.

God is allowing enemies in your life for several reasons. One is to build your trust in Him to protect you. Another is to allow you to be a witness to them. And to allow you to live your life like Jesus–giving you a chance to love your enemies as Jesus did.

When you are faced with an enemy, ask God for strength to endure what is happening. Ask God to show you ways to love your enemy and be a witness to them. And do not be afraid to ask God to frustrate the plans of the enemy to attack you.

God allows people to rise up and He removes people from position. He does that with believers and with non-believers. God is in control. Allow Him to be in control with your life and enemies.

How loving are you to your enemies today?

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for all people; that you will know God’s protection in your life; that God will remove all fear of the enemy; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to your enemies.

Psalm 28:7 Strength And Shield (part 1)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Strength is what gives a person the ability to accomplish something and to keep going. People find strength in many different ways. For some they find it in their family, others find it in the work, or their bank account, or their position, or in the support of others, or in just physical strength, or in one of many other ways.

Stories have been told of people who were able to lift a vehicle off of a crushed loved one. It was done with supernatural type strength. Many will say it was the extreme love for that person that gave them the ability to lift the car.

All of these methods of getting strength can be good for a short time, but they will always fall short in the end. God is the One who gives a person the ability to live and breathe and do anything at all. Without God giving a person strength, nothing could be done. With God, everything is possible.

Along with strength, is the shield. The shield was used to protect a person from an attack. That attack could come as a sword, spear, stone, knife, or some other way, but the shield would protect him.

Many people trust in the wealth or position for protection. Or they trust in the various government officials. All of these are temporary and can only protect from the physical.

In life, there will be many attacks against a person. Some will be the physical ones of this world, but the majority will be the spiritual ones against his soul. God is there to protect the person from those attacks. Satan cannot attack without permission from God. Take a look at the life of Job.

Who or what are you trusting in for your strength?

Who or what are you trusting in for your protection?

God is the One who created everything. He is the One who has all the strength. He is the One who is in absolute control. Trust Him for everything today.

I pray today that you will know the strength God can give you; that you will trust the shield God gives you; that you will rely on God first in your life for strength and protection; and that you live in the strength of God.

Psalm 7:1 Taking Refuge

LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, Psalm 7:1

David was being pursued by men trying to capture and kill him. He called out to God to protect him from his enemies who were after him.

People are chased by enemies all the time. Some of these enemies are physical ones, out to do harm, as was in the case with David. Most are not physical enemies, but spiritual enemies that try to rob the soul of the abundant life God wanted each person to have.

These enemies come in the form of hunger, debt, greed, jealousy, suffering, pain, sickness, pride, and the list goes on forever. These are things that attempt to pull a person away from God. Most of these bring on a spirit of fear and will cripple a person in his walk with God.

As people are chased by these things, often they look to the world to protect them. Many live in fear because of these enemies. They seek a new leader in the government, government programs, doing good things, going to church, going to friends, and other ways.

There is nothing saying that some of these things are not good, but they are not the real protection a person needs. None of these will provide true rest and protection for very long.

As you are going through life, there will be enemies that pursue you. Do not live in fear of your enemies. Do not be like the world and go to the world’s ways for protection. Those ways are only temporary and will fall.

David took up his place of peace and safety in God. He trusted God and God alone to protect and save him from all his enemies.

Turn to God and take up your refuge in Him. Seek God on a daily basis, even hourly or every minute, for your protection. Cry out to God for His mercy to protect you.

God is there for you, not against you. He is the One who is in control of the entire universe. He made everything, so He can also protect you and give you the peace and rest you need from all of your enemies.

I pray today that you will find rest in God alone; that God will remove fear of any enemy in your life; that you God will strengthen you to not be overcome by any enemy; and that you will be His witness in this world.