Tag: God’s care

“Do not be afraid!”

Scripture reading for May 12th: Acts 27

Key Scriptures: Acts 27:21-26 “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to Whom I belong and Whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.””

God likes to encourage His people when they are in the midst of a trial. Paul was a prisoner of Rome, being transported from Caesarea to Rome during the winter. As it got later and later, sailing became more treacherous with the stronger winter storms. Paul had advised the captain not to set sail. Of course, who was Paul to give him advice? They set sail anyway and a terrible storm caused them all to despair of life. After 14 days of constant wind and waves, Paul had an angelic visitor with a word of knowledge. He shared it with the crew and others while boasting on God and His mercy. He spoke out in faith and it happened just as he had been told. The ship was lost but all survived by God’s amazing grace!

Acts 27:43 “But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, and the rest on planks or pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for encouraging words of knowledge when Your people are in dangerous situations. It is comforting to know that in every situation, You are with us and for us! Use me to give words of knowledge and encouragement as fearful times come.

Proverbs 4:13 “Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.”

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Earnest Prayer in Christ’s Church

Scripture reading for May 21st:  Acts 12, Psalm 101, Proverbs 8

Key Scriptures:  Acts 12:1-5 “About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.  He killed James, the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.  This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.  And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.  So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.”  

King Herod hated the believers and followers of Jesus.  He also wanted to please the Jews to appease them.  So he violently seized James, the brother of John, and put him to death.  He arrested Peter, but it was during the Passover celebration week.  Not wanting to disrupt this, he decided to postpone Peter’s execution.  But the church was praying!  The result was an angelic intervention that freed Peter and brought about the death of his guards and the death of King Herod.  God knows how to turn the tables when His people pray!

Faith Confession:  Lord, thank You for Your care for Your people.  I trust Your care and ways for both James and Peter and for me and Your church.  Help me to always earnestly pray and seek You in times of persecution.

Proverbs 8:35-36 “For whoever finds Me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find Me injures himself; all who hate Me love death.”  

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The Beautiful Land of Canaan!

Scripture Reading for February 24: Deuteronomy 8-11

In 1995, my son and I went to Israel and Egypt on a three week study tour of the Holy Land plus the route of the Exodus and Egypt.  In Egypt we visited the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and several museums.  The land of Egypt was primarily desert and dry rocky mountains until we got to the Nile River where the water and irrigation made some green areas and lush groves of tropical plants.  The land was fairly flat and sandy.  Israel, on the other hand was varied in topography and had many different areas of climate and vegetation.  The Jezreel valley was a rich agricultural region with big farms. The vineyard country was terraced and had trees and vines.  The area around the Sea of Galilee was lush and had banana and pineapples growing.  There were herds of cattle and sheep in the Golan Heights.  Shepherds drove their flocks of goats and sheep and camped in tents in the Negev desert.  It was a varied land full of milk (goats and cattle) and honey (bees pollinating vines and flowers).

In our reading today, God describes through Moses in his sermon the land that they are going to.  I thought it was interesting to read Deuteronomy 11:8-12 in light of my own journey to both places. It is a land flowing with milk and honey! (vs.9)   It’s a land of hills and valleys! (vs. 10) God sends the rain of heaven on Israel where in Egypt, by hand and foot, the land had to be irrigated! (vs. 11) In Canaan, God cares for the land and His eyes are upon it to bless His people! (vs.12)

As Marshal and I walked and rode through that land, God’s presence was evident to us.  It is a special land, although it is not remarkable or extraordinary.  God’s presence and His people make it special!  God’s promises to Israel and His love for His people and our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob stand as a testimony of God’s faithfulness.  Four thousand years after Abraham, his descendants are still in that land and are taking possession of it yet!  They have defeated armies more numerous and stronger, because God is with them and His Word is still true.  (Deuteronomy 11:23,25)  They are still being gathered from the nations and settling in that land after years of being scattered!  It is a land that God cares for and His eyes are upon it continually!  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and support God’s land and people!  A blessing is on those who bless Israel!  (Genesis 12:3)

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