Tag: faithful

Friends that bless

Scripture reading for March 21: 1st Samuel 20-23

1 Samuel 18:1 “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 23:16 “And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God.”

When I was in school, I had a best friend named Kendal and we were in the same class from kindergarten until our junior year of high school.  We tried to sit together and be together.   We camped out during the summer and loved to hunt birds and fish.  We often shared our hearts with each other.  Kendal was drafted into the Army and went to Vietnam.  I had gone to college and had enlisted in the Iowa National Guard.  Kendal gave his life serving our country.  I had the privilege of being a pall-bearer at his funeral!  Best friends are hard to find, and even harder to loose!

David and Jonathan were best friends.  The Scripture records their love for each other and how their hearts were knit together.  (1st Samuel 18:1-4) Jonathan was Saul’s son and the probable heir to the throne of Israel.  David was a shepherd and musician who God had selected to be the next king of Israel.  God placed David in Saul’s court to prepare him for his kingship.  Jonathan recognized the favor of the Lord on David and was drawn to him in a covenant love.  They became best friends and shared their hearts with each other.  They made a covenant to help each other and even their extended families.

King Saul became jealous of David’s reputation and was afraid of David’s anointing.  He was insecure and tormented by an “evil spirit from the Lord” because he was in rebellion.  (1st Samuel 17:14, 23)  David played his harp and the evil spirit would leave for a time.  The evil spirit would return and sometimes turn murderous towards David.  Saul tried to kill him on several occasions and David was forced to flee.  Jonathan always tried to patch things up or help his friend. 

Finally, David realized that King Saul was going to kill him.  Jonathan tried one more time to patch things up, but was himself attacked with a spear by his own father!  Jonathan sent David away with tears and reaffirmation of their friendship. (1st Samuel 20:41-42)  When he could, Jonathan would slip away and meet with David.  He always encouraged him in the Lord!  (1st Samuel 23:15-18)

We have a Friend in our Lord Jesus Christ!  He is faithful and true to us, even when the going gets rough!  He provides encouragement and shares his armaments with us!  We can call on Him at any time and he will come.  He will warn us of danger and help us to either face it or escape.  He is a friend by covenant and promises to help our descendants as well!  Praise the Lord–He has called us friends!  (John 15:15-17)

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Declare God’s faithfulness!

Scripture reading for March 6: Joshua 18-21

“So the Lord gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there.  The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as He had sworn to their forefathers.  Not one of their enemies withstood them, the Lord handed all their enemies over to them.  Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” (Joshua 21:43-45)

Our family has been through a number of trials during our journey here on earth.  When we farmed, we experienced a severe drought in 1974 and harvested very little.   But God brought us through!  We had a fire in 1975 that destroyed a large hog building and a large number of animals.  It was the only building not listed on the insurance policy, but God brought us through again!  In 1976 a tornado struck our farm.  destroying barns, cattle sheds, machine sheds and trees on both sides of our house.  We all survived and God took us through!  In 1981 a severe economic crisis hit agriculture.  Many farmers lost their farms and we were deeply in debt.  God showed us a plan and brought us through again!  In 2001, we were 2 miles from the center of a 6.9 earthquake that shook our house, church and city in Olympia, Washington.  God brought us through again!  I could go on, but the point is that God is faithful!

Joshua was dividing the land because the war to possess the land of Canaan was essentially over. (Joshua 18:2)  Joshua followed God’s instructions for seven years.  Not one enemy could stand up against them when they were obedient!  Not one promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ever failed!

Are you currently walking with Jesus through the land of His promises? Have you listened to His plan for giving you victory? What’s stopping you from declaring His promises true in your life and situation?  

“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as He has promised.  Not one word has failed of all the good promises He gave through his servant Moses.” 1st Kings 8:56

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God loves F.A.T. people!

Scripture reading for February 10: Numbers 1-4

Numbers shows that  God cared about each person and family group.  He wanted the leaders to know how many they had to help with the work and protection of the nation.  God used His people and knows each one by name!  He knows even the hairs on their heads.  He knows the purpose and jobs that He has designed and gifted them to do.  It doesn’t matter so much what you do, as long as you are (F)faithful, (A)available, and (T)teachable!

The book of Numbers is so named because of all the counting and lists. Moses recorded that there were 603,550 men twenty years old or more that could serve in the army and fight from eleven of the tribes.  (Numbers 1:46) The only tribe excluded from the duty to fight was Levi.  The Levites belonged to God and were set apart to serve Him in the Tabernacle.  (Numbers 3:5-7)

There were three clans of Levi. The Gershonites clans were given the care of the tent curtains and coverings.   God assigned the Kohathites to be in charge of the sanctuary.  (Numbers 3:27-32) He assigned the Merarite clans  to carry the poles of the tabernacle. (Numbers 3:33-37)  The Levites were to serve Aaron and his sons. (Numbers 3:11-13)  He had redeemed them by the blood of the Passover Lamb!  All these men were called by God to do a specific job and to do it as unto the Lord. 

God is looking for faithful and available workers.  They must be teachable and humble enough to obey orders.  When He finds these workers, He shows Himself strong on their behalf.  They are blessed and God’s love and protection covers their homes and families.  It is not how much you do, or what kind of talent and position that makes you special to the Lord.  He blesses all “F.A.T.” people!

Do you find it hard to commit to membership in a church? Are you willing to commit to a church leader to be part of a team of ministers placed by the Lord? Are you faithful, available and teachable?

1st Corinthians 12:18– “But in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, exactly as He wanted them to be.” Isaiah 6:8–“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  and I said, “Here am I.  Send me!”

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God’s Word speeds onward!

Scripture reading for November 23rd: 2nd Thessalonians 3, Psalms 84, Proverbs 17

2nd Thessalonians 3: 1-5 “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

As Paul closed out this letter to his friends in Thessalonica, he asked for prayer. His request was that God’s Word would be spread quickly by believers and his own ministry and that it would be honored by many more trusting in Jesus Christ. He asked for deliverance from evil and wicked men who because of no faith were under Satan’s deception. He knew that God was faithful and would answer prayers that aligned with His will. Paul prophetically declared his confidence in God concerning the believers in Thessalonica. He was confident in their faithfulness to apply God’s Word and pray. Paul prayed for them that God would direct their hearts deeper into His Love and the steadfastness of Christ Jesus, Who is eternally Faithful and True. All who trust in the Lord will walk in light and God’s Shield of Christ’s love!

Psalm 84:11-12 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing faithfulness and that of Jesus Christ, our Example and Paul, the Apostle. Thank You for the privilege of prayer and answering prayer. Cover my sins today and protect me from the evil one. May Your Word speed forth to every person You direct me to today through my attitude, actions and words. I declare my trust in You today as my Sun and Shield!

Proverbs 17:9 “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”

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“You follow Me!”

Scripture reading for November 13th: John 21, Psalm 76, Proverbs 9

John 21: 20-24 “Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against Him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray You?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” So the saying spread around that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say that he was not to die, but, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

After the resurrection, Jesus Christ met with His disciples to complete their equipping for the mission He was sending them on–to be His witnesses. Peter had denied Jesus three times and Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him. Peter responded in the affirmative, vowing his love. After each response, Jesus reiterated His command to Peter to feed His lambs and sheep. After the third time, Jesus prophetically told Peter how he would give his life for the Master and Gospel. This caused Peter to wonder about John, who was also near at the time. What about John’s future before Jesus’ return? Jesus told him that was not to be his concern, instead Peter was to concentrate on following Him day by day. Jesus has a unique path for each of His followers that requires focus and daily obedience! Wisdom must prepare, set the table and wait.

Psalm 76:11-12 “Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around Him bring gifts to Him Who is to be feared, Who cuts off the spirit of princes, Who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience in restoring Peter and reaffirming Your call. Thank You for calling me to follow You. It is my choice and desire to follow You each day of my life. Keep me from distractions and looking at other disciples with wonder or jealousy instead of keeping my focus on Your appointed work for me. May my testimony of You be steadfast and true and I be found faithful to You.

Proverbs 9:1-2 “Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.”

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God is faithful–are you?

Scripture reading for August 14th: 1st Corinthians 10, Psalm 11, Proverbs 6

1st Corinthians 10: 8-13 “We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Writing to a church in an immoral and idolatrous culture in Corinth, Paul gave examples from Scripture that would be useful for avoiding temptations. God sees and knows each person. He is faithful to those who humbly put their trust in Him for help and mercy. Every temptation comes with a way of escape. Sexual immorality requires use of the feet to run away and resist. Twenty-three thousand Israelites died when they gave in instead of running away! Proverbs says the adulterer will not go unpunished and that sexual immorality will burn the garment of our flesh! It affects our body and soul. We must avoid pride and humbly use the means of escape provided by our Lord! God is watching us and is for us!

Psalm 11:4-5 “The Lord is in His holy temple the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes see, His eyelides test the children of man. The Lord tests the righteous, but His soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your faithfulness to us in sending Your Son to live perfectly under Your law and offer His body for our sins. Help me remember each time I am tempted to use the way of escape You graciously provide. Protect me from sexual temptations, grumbling, and testing God by my attitudes. Use me to proclaim Your Name through a life of love and ability to resist temptations.

Proverbs 6:27-29 “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished.”

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Faithful to His last breath!

Scripture reading for July 28th: Luke 23, Psalm 150, Proverbs 26

Luke 23: 44-49 “It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit!” And having said this He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this Man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all His acquaintances and the women who had followed Him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.”

God gives each of us the breath of life. Every breath we take is a gift to be cherished and used to praise the Lord and fulfil His Word and will. Jesus’ example of perfect faithfulness to His Father is recorded here in Scripture as He took His last breath. He placed His Spirit (Pnuema) (breath) and ultimate destiny in His Father’s hands. John’s Gospel records “It is finished,” as His last words before giving up His Spirit. Jesus totally obeyed His Father in perfect love and honor. This act of service and sacrifice brought a hardened Roman centurion to declare Jesus’ innocence! We can use our breath to declare God’s truth or to share lies and gossip and quarrel with others. We never know when our last breath is coming!

Psalm 150: 1-2, 6 “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens! Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! . . .”Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”

Prayer: Father God, I ask You for mercy when I have not used my breaths wisely during my time on earth. Forgive me for gossip, quarreling, and lies. I give my breaths to You to use to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and declare Your praise and glory in prayer and worship. I ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit each day that I might give every breath to You until I breath my last here on earth!

Proverbs 26:20 “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.”

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Are you faithful in the ‘very little?’

Scripture reading for April 1st: Joshua 9-13, Luke 16

Luke 16:10-13 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Faithfulness is the first requirement of a good steward. Jesus said that what we have to manage here on earth is a test of our faithfulness and He considers all earthly wealth as ‘very little.’ Earthly wealth is also ‘unrighteous’ and fleeting. When we leave this earth, nothing will go with us. Scripture also teaches that the love of money is the root of all evil and this might be why Jesus called it ‘unrighteous.’ As a steward we actually serve God, Who owns it all. (The earth is the Lord’s!) The Pharisees were lovers of money and justified themselves concerning their use of it. Jesus reminded them that God knows all hearts and what we justify that’s sinful is an abomination in God’s sight. Not one person can serve both God and money!

Luke 16:14-15 “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the stewardship that you have given me. Forgive me for not always being faithful in the little. Help me to use the money and resources You give me to manage in ways that further Your kingdom. I realize that like the tribe of Levi, You are my priceless Inheritance, my Portion, and my eternal Reward!

Joshua 13:32-33 “These are the inheritances that Moses distributed in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan east of Jericho. But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; the Lord God of Israel is their inheritance, just as He said to them.”

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The Lord as final Judge!

Scripture reading for August 30th: 1st Corinthians 4

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 4:1-5 “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, Who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”

Each person is given a ‘conscience’ and has God’s inner witness that their deeds are on target or missing the mark. Paul admonished the believers about being judges of another believer. It is impossible for us as humans to fully know another person and their true motives. In fact, Paul said he couldn’t accurately judge himself. Only God can truly and fairly judge each believer. At the judgement seat of Christ all hidden motives and purposes will come to light. Christ alone is the perfect and final Judge Who never misses truth.

1st Corinthians 4:6 “I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for making me a servant of Christ and steward of the mysteries of God. Help me to stay faithful and true to Your Word and avoid the temptation to make judgments of people and their motives. May I set an example for other believers to follow in the power of the Holy Spirit. My highest desire is to be commended by You as my judge.

1st Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but in power.”

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Who is your master?

Scripture reading for March 24th: Luke 16

Key Scriptures: Luke 16:10-14 One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed Him.”

Jesus had just told his disciples and those listening, including some Pharisees, the parable of the dishonest manager. The Pharisees who were given management in God’s house were lovers of money. They made fun of Jesus because He was not rich and had no possessions. They viewed money as a measure of God’s blessing for obedience. Jesus spoke plainly of our stewardship of money and possessions as “very little” that demanded faithfulness. How we manage the little determines if we can be given more. All we have here belongs to God and He is keeping an account. He is our Master, not the money! We serve Him alone in how we steward His money.

Luke 16:15 “And He said to them, “You (Pharisees) are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You alone are my Lord and Master, not the money or possessions You have blessed me with. Help me to be the faithful steward of “very little” so that I can bless You and Your kingdom.

Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.”

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