Blessed Is The Man

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Psalm 1 1-3

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Once we begin to realize how important and vital  scripture is, we will no longer read merely out of obligation. Instead, we will hunger for its revelation and life-changing power.

Here’s how you can prioritize God’s Word so that it impacts your heart and behavior.

1. Read it daily eagerly with expectation for what the Lord will reveal to you.

2. Meditate upon the Word by thinking about what you’ve read and absorbing its meaning and implications.  Meditation engages not just the mind, but requires using our mouths. This entails memorization, as well as recitation of the Scriptures.

3. Believe what the Lord says.

4. Obey. In other words, take what you read and apply it to your life circumstances. This often requires courage and discipline.

5.Share what you’ve learned. Doing so will encourage others while strengthening your own heart and walk with the Lord..

When you experience the Word of God like this – as so delightful and so satisfying that it captures your mind and heart day and night and weans you away from the counsel and path and seat of the world -when you experience the Word like that, you are blessed.

The Bible may look like just another book. But it is living truth that can protect and guide, pierce and encourage. It holds the story of Christ’s sacrifice and our salvation, so we can eventually dwell with the Lord in heaven. The way that we look to and depend on God’s Word will reflect to others the value we place on it.

So I urge you to memorize Scripture, and meditate on it day and night. It will change your life in many good ways.

Christians, may we be deep-rooted trees who drink deeply of God and walk in His ways through the discipline of meditation on God’s good Word!

 

 

 

 

May you lay hold of the blessing of Psalm 1 as you delight in the beauty and value of God’s revealed Word and seek to sustain and strengthen that delight through intentional meditation.

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Value Of Life

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When we lose our value of Life, we lose our value of God

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).

Yet You brought me out of the womb; You made me trust in You even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon You; from my mother’s womb You have been my God (Psalm 22:9-10).

And now the LORD says–he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength (Isaiah 49:5).

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

We do not need to decide when life begins but accept what God has already shown, that life begins before birth. It is impossible to take a life before birth and be justified. The beliefs and ethics of God are not situational and do not provide the exceptions.  It is only as our human self-centeredness grows that we look for exceptions or man-based rules to govern when we can take a life of a baby.

 

God’s Great Love For Us

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It is sad how our world has skewed the meaning of true love but God’s Word remains a steadfast, true source of knowledge on how to love.  I thought in honor of Valentine’s day, I would share some scriptures on God’s great love for us!

By looking over these Bible verses you can see that no matter what our circumstance may be or how much we may sin, God’s love is always powerful and never wavers.

Don’t ever think for a second that you can love anyone more than God loves you. God is the creator of love and it is because He first loved us that we love others.
Although, I cannot boast about my love for the Lord because I am so unworthy and I fall so short of His glory. One thing that I can boast about is that God loves me greatly and He is working in me daily to help me understand it more and more. If you are a believer write it down, highlight it in your Bible, put it in your mind, put it in your heart, and don’t forget that God loves you.
“God loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime.”
“Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” C.S. Lewis

 

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Romans 8:37-39 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Ephesians 2:4-5But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

1 John 4:9-11In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not put us to shame, becauseGod’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

1 Corinthians 13:8 Love will never end. But all those gifts will come to an end—even the gift of prophecy, the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, and the gift of knowledge.
Psalm 109:26 Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
John 15:9-17 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.Abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine.”
Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.

 

The Goal Of The Bible

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Without God’s written word — explaining and preserving for us who God is and what he has done — there would be no saving knowledge of God, no new birth, no faith, no seeing and savoring of God’s glory, no experience of forgiveness, no transformation, and, in the end, no completed and beautified Bride for the Son.

Oh, how thankful we should be that God has given us, and preserved for us, his Word!

Thank you Father for making yourself known to us, showing us the way of salvation through faith in your Son. We ask you now to teach us through your word, so that we may be ready to serve you, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

God Takes Great Delight In His Children

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This is one of my favorite verses in Scripture, it describes the deep and abiding love God has for us.

Zephaniah 3:17 is full of emotion. God, our Heavenly Father is the One who holds His daughter Jerusalem and sings joyfully in her presence. Just as a loving parent cradles their child and sings to them in love to calm them.  This is born of His great love for us. After a time of hardship, our loving Father will dry our tears, comfort our hearts, and welcome you to a new family.

Can you imagine this beautiful picture, that God is literally dancing over you with shouts of joy and singing? Many of us have missed out on this beautiful image of God’s love. How beautiful the sound of His voice must be.  How awesome it must be to see God dance. And it is all over you, His beloved child.

He will rejoice over you with gladness: We often underestimate the joy God has in His people and too often think God is annoyed or irritated with us. “Faulty as the church is, the Lord rejoices in her. While we mourn, as well we may, yet we do not sorrow as those that are without hope; for God does not sorrow, his heart is glad, and he is said to rejoice with joy – a highly emphatic expression.” (Spurgeon) 

Do you know that God thinks about you all the time? Do you know that God’s love for you is immeasurable and unfathomable and to such a degree that it transcends all human understanding? He wants you to know He loves you, He wants you to know He cherishes you, God longs for you to fall into His embrace and to cleave unto Him with all your heart and strength?

He longs to have a relationship with His children.  He wants to be wanted by you, He wants to be adored, He wants to be treasured, and He wants to be worshiped? The Psalmist says that God’s thoughts toward us are so many and so wonderful that they cannot be numbered.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you. Psalm 139 17-18 

When we feel like we are not good enough to be loved by God, we should remember that God’s love is greater than our doubts. We must silence the sounds of condemnation so we can hear the voice of God’s loving assurance and remember that He has chosen us to be part of His family.

I John 3:1:2  Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children. And in the same way the world didn’t recognize Him, the world does not recognize us either.  2: Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is.

We are God’s poetic masterpiece; the ultimate evidence of His unboundless love. The unfathomable richness of His love and mercy is focused on us. He chose us when we were dead in trespasses and sin and gave us true life in Christ and we are an eternal testimony of the riches of His grace.  Consider and take to heart these beautiful words expressing God’s love for you. This is one of the most incredible sections of Scripture about the wonders of God’s love for us.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10

So, people, we should stand in awe!  God’s beloved children He treasures you and loves you, and He dances and sings over you with great joy. God has great plans, great purposes and great treasures stored up for you. God cherishes every thought of you and longs for an intimate fellowship with you. He is always looking for you. His love, goodness, and mercy will relentlessly pursue you all the days of your life.  Will you reach out to Him and accept His Love?  He is waiting, isn’t time to come home?

‘And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Renew Our Strength

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When our hope is in the Lord our strength is renewed. Whatever you are facing today you have a choice. Where will you put your hope?

God has a purpose and plan for your life, and His timing is perfect. Sometimes He answers our prayers with “yes” or “no.” But at other times, He says, “Wait.” When this is the case, we can avail ourselves of the rich rewards that come while we wait.

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORDwill renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40 28-31

God promises to strengthen us as we lean on Him during delays. Isaiah 40:31 describes an eagle soaring—a beautiful metaphor for how the believer who abides in the Lord will be lifted and sustained by His Spirit.

When David faced his greatest battles, he waited upon the Lord. God delivered him from destruction and set his feet on solid ground (Psalms 40: 1-3). He will do the same for you. When you abide in Him, He gives us the energy to accomplish the things He requires of you—His Spirit does for you what you cannot do for yourself.

I waited patiently for the Lord;  And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord. Psalm 40 1-3

Please help me to learn to quietly wait upon You and to rest in Your love – knowing that you have scheduled every day of my life. Give me the courage and wisdom to be still and to wait quietly, patiently and expectantly knowing that Your timing is perfect and that You know the plans that You have purposed for my life, even though I do not!

God’s Word, Our Playbook

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All my life, I have loved sports, I love playing it and watching it on T.V.  I loved being active and enjoyed spending time with my teammates.  I grew up playing softball and if I must say myself, I was pretty good.  Why?  Because I loved the game, I practiced it, I studied it, I was dedicated to being the best I could be. I learned to take criticism and direction from my coach, we learned what position we would play and what was expected of us.  We studied our opponents and what we needed to do to overcome them.

I guess that is why I always thought of God’s Word (Bible) as my playbook for life.  Have you ever thought about that?

I like to think of our lives as believers, being like a football player.  When a football player is looking to be recruited his two priorities are; to be on a winning team and playing for a good coach.  He is looking for one that will motivate and inspire.  First off, he needs to learn the team’s playbook, because this will become the most important part of his life. This book contains a set of codes and directions for each play, so that they all know exactly what to do when the quarterback calls the play, where their positions will be, and if executed right, how to make a successful play.  Therefore having a winning season.

God has given us a playbook, His scriptures.  God’s playbook will teach us what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  He has given us everything we need! It gives us the confidence to not only know our opponent, but how to defeat him with an expectation of success and victory.   Just as the football player looks to his “coach” for direction and inspiration, so should we look to our Heavenly Father.  He gave us the instruction and lovingly inspires each play.  He knows exactly what position suits us best and how to use the gifts he’s developing in us.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3 5-6

God has not given us His word to just reflect on, we are called to know His word.  We are to live by His word.  Just as with a football players playbook, God’s word should be our number one priority!  But you will never know God’s playbook, much less what to do with it, until you know the One who wrote it.  So, study Him, know Him and talk to Him daily, moment by moment.

 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11 18,19 

I want to encourage you to make it a habit to read your playbook (the Bible).  Think of the Holy Spirit as our “quarterback” the ultimate play caller.   He has the perfect vantage point and will whisper His thoughts (plays) into your head, giving us the perfect play for that specific moment.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left Isaiah 30:21

Allow God to take the Scriptures we have studied and bring them forth out of our memory, and remind us of what we need to do in each situation. Make it a habit of calling upon the Lord for everything you do and know with confidence He will faithfully provide it. Time is short, don’t wait until 4th down before you ask Him!

The best part is; With God’s playbook we know we will end with a winning season….As Greg Laurie say’s “I know how it ends and it ends real good”  Praise the Lord..We are Victorious in Christ!  Doesn’t that make you want to join this winning team!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.
No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 24-27

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

Father, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for the perfect play when I call upon You.  I seek Your will for my life this day Lord.  Show me what You want me to know as I read Your Word, and as I meditate upon Your Word.  Continue to lead me in all aspects of my life so I may glorify Your Son.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

God Bless, Cheryl Downum