And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. Ezekiel!

In this passage, we see a God who is not too happy with His chosen people. Because of their disobedience, they have blackened the name of the Lord. His reputation has been smeared among the heathen people of the area. He tells Isaiah to give His people a message: that He plans to restore His own name. He will ensure that these people know that He is God. Wow! Wouldn’t it be an awful thing to let God down in this way? To “profane” His name among His enemies? Sadly, we do the same thing when we don’t give Him the honor that is due Him while we are among his enemies in the world. When we allow people to speak against Him, or when we fail to lift Him up in their presence, we blacken His name. We cause Him to have to “vindicate the Holiness” of His own name, because we have refused to make His name holy. What a dreadful and treacherous decision! To put ourselves is such a position is a foolish thing indeed.

The entire book of Romans 8 about the assurance of salvation. Every Christian wants to be assured that he is actually saved. Many people wander around “in the flesh” believing that they’re saved, but if they read this chapter, it becomes the actual measure of salvation. It is a really good chapter to read if you want the assurance that you are indeed saved. This particular verse says that those who are walking in the spirit of God are the sons of God. If we’re led by the Spirit of God, what does that mean? What Paul is trying to tell us here is that if we are walking in the spirit of God, then we are actually going to kill the sin in our lives. We’re going to want it dead in order to please God, to glorify Him. You see, people who are not in the spirit, who were still walking in the flesh don’t really want to kill their sin. People who lie don’t want to stop lying; people who gossip don’t want to stop gossiping. If they do put on some semblance of killing their sin, it’s just so they’ll look better– not because they want to please God, Paul tells us here that if we truly want to be the sons of God, the children of God, then we are going to be led by the spirit. So one assurance of our salvation is this: we ask ourselves the question, “Am I trying to kill my own sin because I want to please God?” If the answer to that question is “yes,” then you are the child of God. That is evidence that the spirit lives in You because only the spirit in You would want to put an end to the sin in Your life. If you want assurance of salvation, look within to see what your motivations are for ending your own sin.

Father, I want to make Your name Holy. I want to be Your champion and tell the world of Your goodness and righteousness. Help me not to cower in the face of Your enemies, but to stand up and defend Your honor. Help me to be strong, even when I am afraid of the adversaries around me. With Your help and with Your power, You will never have to clean up a mess I have made of Your name. Amen.

Ruth was a virtuous woman (in the Hebrew, a “woman of strength”). She was willing to endure hardship and face an uncertain future in this life for the sake of taking care of her mother in law who had shown kindness to her and to be true to her God. May we learn from her good example and not let trying circumstances cause us to cease to follow you, Lord. Amen.

Ruth had every reason, humanly speaking, to leave her mother in law Naomi as her sister Orpah had just done, but she would not do it. Why? It was because of more than mere social and emotional attachment, and it certainly was not for any financial gain. In fact, she faced the possibility of being a social outcast in Israel and of remaining unmarried for life, wheras she could easily find a new husband in Moab. But Ruth would not go back to the old gods and old ways of her past. She steadfastly clung to the Lord Jehovah, having been converted to Him in her heart.

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Ruth

The Fathers Glory! Lord, may You always be glorified. Help me to reveal Your glory in all that I do, so that not only Your glory, but the glory of the Father is made known to the world. Amen.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

When Paul preached at Thessalonica, many believed and came to Christ. This included a number of Greeks and a number of prominent and influential women. The Greeks would have had a completely different religion, believing in multiple gods, and yet they believed. Paul himself said that he was not a good preacher. It seems unlikely that these Greek men and women would believe, and yet they did. Maybe you’ve wanted to try something for God but it seems impossible. God works in miracles and all things are possible through Him. Give it some thought and prayer, and then have courage.

In His final hours, Jesus asks His Father to allow the world to see His glory. Not because of who He is, but because of who God is. His glory is God’s glory. He asks that God allows His glory to be revealed through the sacrifice of His son, who will shortly give His life for the lost. He asks God’s glory to be revealed so that everyone will know the incredible nature of the sacrifice, and experience hope for a new life.

Once I was working with a group of teenagers and had given them a project where they needed to make a picture to illustrate one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and they needed to work on it in teams. One of the teams had a young man who never wanted to get involved, didn’t contribute to the class and was not particularly liked by the other kids. This day, however, his artistic ability made him the hero of the team! The team came up with such a wonderful poster that the both his attitude and that of the class towards him changed for the rest of the year. It’s easy to miss something of value that’s right in front of our eyes. Peter is talking to the chief priests and scribes about their ignorance of Jesus’ true nature and mission. We may also overlook someone who could be a leader if we looked more closely at the individual and didn’t judge on appearance. I’ve become a fan of applying for jobs online as long as they don’t ask for a picture. Of course there will always be a face to face interview before the final hiring, but at least competent people won’t be overlooked because the picture doesn’t match the image the boss had in mind. Not that long ago, women were told they weren’t capable of doing many jobs they now have – doctors, mechanics, military personnel, etc. And men were seldom hired to teach young children. Just as the Jewish leaders were blinded by their own preconceived ideas, we can be too if we’re not careful.

Heavenly Father, I want to serve You. Lay on my heart how You want me to serve You. I will go where You want me to go. Stay where You want me to stay, and speak what You tell me to say. Lord, give me confirmation and then courage. Things may seem unlikely or impossible, but I know all things are possible with You. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit. I will follow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thanking the Father

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Paul says here that husbands and wives do not have the right to deny each other marital relations; but that they can by common agreement for a time, abstain, in order to focus on the Lord in fasting and prayer. But that time should not be too long or they might be tempted by Satan.

Lord, let us find time to focus on you every day and during special times to do so even more intensely. Let us be realistic about our own weakness and proneness to temptations. Let our marriages be strong and our relationship with you be strong as well. Amen.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. The Word of the Lord in Jesus name Amen.

It is important to have attitude of gratitude and an eagerness to praise God because time He has always shown and proven his faithfulness. God is the God above all. He created the heavens, the earth, the universe, and He still knows you by name. Isn’t that amazing?

Jesus has just cured a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years, lying beside the healing waters of Bethesda with no one to put him into the water. After Jesus heals him, he finds him to warn him against sinning. Does this seem weird? Well, let’s think about it. A man who can’t walk can’t get into too much trouble. Now, he has choices and he may be tempted to make poor ones. God answers our prayers too. When we are in trouble and praying for God’s help, our focus is on God and trying to work things out. Once everything is great again, we often forget about God and get back into the same trouble or worse. Many people have prayed to become rich, to win a lottery or get an inheritance, and then what happens? In the majority of cases, the money can lead to a spending spree, a dissatisfaction with one’s spouse, job, home, etc, and the person loses what he has gained and more as the family, the job, the home, etc. are now gone. God’s message to the man who was healed is the same for us. Just as we turn to God in times of trouble, we must not turn away from God when all is going well.

Dear God, no one can compare to your greatness. There is no one, not a single being, in this universe that can try to stand up to you. I pray that all the earth will come to the knowledge of your greatness, O God, and that we will all come to worship you and give you the praise that is truly due to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

I imagine that you may have heard the famous quote, “Keep your friends close and enemies closer.” This quote has more nefarious intentions, but Jesus wants us to keep our enemies close for positive reasons: simply put, we can help them. It is our duty to love our enemies as ourselves in order to set an example, because an example was sent to earth for us in Jesus Christ. Honor his death by living as he did, sacrificing himself to his enemies so that they too, could be forgiven.

O heavenly Father, you sent your only son into the den of his enemies, sacrificing him so that we could understand your true love for us. This is the love I wish to spread to all people, my Lord, and I am sorry for being weak and selfish so often when I should help even my enemies, for they may need it the most. I thank you every moment of my life for sending Jesus as an example for me, and I shall do all that I can to follow his ways. I pray in honor of Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

Jesus, I thank You for Your fervent prayer which unites me not only with You, but with Your Father and my Father. Help me to see the extraordinary love He has for me, and that You have for me. I am eternally grateful for Your intercession on my behalf. Amen.

Lord, Thank you for caring for me, for providing for my needs, for making me feel safe and protected. In You I see my true worth. I am treasured by You and Your love gives me confidence. In You, I am everything. Amen.

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This is a praise of joy in the Lord. The writer of this Psalm rejoices in the Lord. So should we. We should exalt in the Lord, the Highest. He is all things to us. We should praise His Holy name forever. He is worthy of all praise. Praise is one of the most powerful weapons against the enemy that we possess. When we praise, we affect ourselves, God, the enemy. When we praise, walls fall and troubles disappear. The lack of praise conversely affects everything in your life. While almost everyone would agree that praise is a good thing, many people don’t see the responsibility to praise God even when we don’t feel like it. When we give this “sacrifice” of praise unto God, we are overcomers. Praise comes naturally when we recognize the goodness in our lives. We should make it a point to praise Him every day.

The Christian life is a wondrous adventure, full of twists and turns, good times and also difficult challenges. Through all of it, God’s Word is our greatest resource for insight, wisdom, hope, and guidance. Every problem we face has its solution in the Word of God. Where there is a need for comfort, peace, or courage, He provides it. To find His wisdom, there is simply no substitute for spending time alone with Him in prayer and the study of His Scriptures. Each year I receive countless letters from people who ask if there is a way for them to know God’s will for their lives. The answer is yes. But before He will reveal this to us, we need to get to know Him—the way He thinks, acts, and demonstrates His love for us.

Are you tired of trying to overcome sin on your own? Are you worn out from trying to be perfect, in your own power? Have you tried to be righteous on your own and found yourself seriously wanting? Here is the good news: you don’t have to do this on your own. Jesus Christ paid the price for us, so that we could be saved from our sin, and so that we could also be partakers of the Father’s inheritance. The life of Christ is an unburdened life, filled with rest and blessed assurance.

Dear God, I thank you for the rest and peace I have in you as a result of what your son, Jesus Christ, did for me. Lord, I have struggled with my sin and I have grown weary from trying to be perfect on my own. Thank you, Father, for removing the burden from my shoulders and helping me overcome my struggles. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

Lord, I thank You for Your Spirit, who intercedes for me in my time of need. When I don’t know what to pray or how to pray, Your Spirit steps in and takes my petition directly to You. I am not left floundering for words and praying ineffectively. Your Spirit knows what I need and makes sure that my petition reaches You. Amen.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven. 5 And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground; 6 but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth in front of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 18 And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him. 21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: 22 and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Moses is giving the Israelites his final teaching and advice before they enter the Promised Land. He is reminding them of all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on them from the time he rescued them from Egypt. Moses knows he will not be entering the Promised Land with them because he has displeased God. He also knows that it is important for them to remember these blessings so that they might remain faithful to the commandments. We know from reading Scripture that the Israelites did forget, did disobey, did not remain faithful to the commandments. Jesus commented that the Pharisees of his day obeyed the human laws more than God’s laws. What of us today? Do we keep the commandments? I have mentioned before, that many of us consider the commandments “suggestions” or commandments for only the time in which they were given. But think of the discord caused by dishonesty, greed and abuse of authority. Moses’ advice to the Israelites is just as true today as it was millennia ago. Following God’s law is just as important now as it was then. As we proceed through Lent, let us read again Moses’ address to the people in Deuteronomy.

This is not an easy commandment to live up to for any man. Any comparison to Jesus is one that we can never live up to, but should always be our goal. Love your wives as Jesus loved the church. She will certainly be a lucky woman!

Lord in Heaven, Jesus Christ, I am so lucky to be a member of your holy family. My only wish in this prayer is that I can create a family in your image, and love each member as you have loved me. Amen.

When we’re going through storms of life, hurricanes of emotion, and waves of wallowing, we need faith in God’s power in order to stay calm. God can still the storms and hush the hurricanes in our lives if we trust him and pour out our hearts to him.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Our human vocabularies are vast. Most adults know 20,000-35,000 words in their native language. Avid readers probably know substantially more. That’s a lot of words! But even with those vast vocabularies, there are moments when words elude us. Sometimes this happens when we pray. Sometimes our need is so great that we cannot find the words to express it in our own language. That is when the Holy Spirit steps in and intercedes for us. He searches our hearts and our minds and sees what we need. He translates that need directly to God, in a language that only God understands. In a sense, the Holy Spirit becomes a “code talker.” His transmission by-passes our human brain and his code–the “wordless groans”–is unintelligible to the Adversary. In this way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we don’t know how to help ourselves.

If we hang our hopes only on this temporary world, we are pitiful this world is full of disappointments. We are bound to be let down time and again when we place our hope only in this world that we live in. Everything on this earth will come to an end. Nothing here lasts. There has to be something more. Something greater than what we know in the here and now. Something that endures. There waits for us a hope greater than anything we know on this earth and that is the hope we find in Christ and in our place with Him in eternity. His resurrection has paved the way for our own. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we set our hopes on the world beyond this one.

Today, Christianity is divided. I’m not necessarily speaking about denominational differences because as long as a denomination is accurately presenting Jesus’ message of the Good News, there is no problem. The problem comes when people who call themselves “Christian” preach and teach a false gospel. Just as there were Jewish leaders who tried to challenge Jesus in his own time because they didn’t like what he was teaching, there are people today who don’t want to follow the totality of his message. We learn from Paul that there is “One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism, One Lord of All.” If this is true, then why do we consider one baptism more valid than another? If the Lord is Lord of all, then why do some claim to belong more to the Lord than others?

Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chastises them for their divisions saying, “I am of Paul and I am of Apollos,” etc. Paul reminds them that if they were baptized into Christ, that should be the end of it. It doesn’t matter who led you to Christ, it’s more important that we came to him. Let us work together to help end a spirit of division among all of us who are blessed to be baptized into Christ Jesus, our Lord.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. Father God, Thank You for Hearing Our Prayers In Jesus Name Amen

A good husband is a jewel. A woman is blessed if her husband not only loves her and provides for her, but also treats her well and protects her. A good husband treasures his wife. He makes sure that her needs are met. He is her friend and her confidante. He makes her feel safe and he makes her feel confident. Through his eyes, she sees her own beauty and worth. This passage compares God to a husband. He cares for his Bride in the same way that an early husband cares for his wife. We can take comfort in the fact that we are safe in the arms of our husband who is our Maker and Redeemer. We have nothing to fear. We are loved and cherished by a kind and loving God.

Lord, Thank you for caring for me, for providing for my needs, for making me feel safe and protected. In You I see my true worth. I am treasured by You and Your love gives me confidence. In You, I am everything. Amen.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

God did not appoint us to wrath but to obatin his salvation in Christ, through faith. Therefore, whether we be alive physically or not, we are still alive spiritually. We are always with Christ, for wherever we are, we are in spiritual union with him.

We were all once the children of wrath as all others (Ephesians 2:3), O Lord, for in that state we were born. But you appointed us to escape that wrath and obatin salvation through your Son. We know we are not deserving of anything good and can make no demands upon you. Help us, therefore, to ever present our prayers to you in true humility as those seeking mercy and grace.

The first thing I think of on this date is that 9 months from today it will be Christmas! But this is not what we should be reflecting upon. Imagine what it must have been like for Mary. Here she was, a simple girl in a small town, betrothed and getting ready to be married and now she is told that she has been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. What must have gone through her mind! What will Joseph say? Will he still want to marry her? What does it mean to be a mother to a Savior? Joseph will answer the first two questions, but the rest she will have to learn, as most mothers do, day by day.

God has a plan for each of us as well. His plans are not made known in quite the same kind of grand announcement, but he does tell us. What do you enjoy doing? What gifts do you see in yourself? God doesn’t ask us to do or be anything other than what he has prepared us to do. He doesn’t ask one who gets F in science to be a doctor, for example. And since Jesus tells us that he has come to bring us joy, he’s not going to lead us to a vocation that will make us miserable. But the one vocation all the baptized have is to bring the message of Jesus to others. We do this by example as well as by word. He has planted the seed of faith in our hearts; all we have to do is live it.

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Solomon instructs his son to establish his paths ahead of time (verse 26) and then to not turn aside one way or the other, “to the right hand or to the left. ” We should be people of purpose who ponder our path of life, not people who wander aimlessly and are drawn ultimately into evil deeds.

Lord, help us to consider our ways and to ponder the path of our feet. Give us a clear vision of what we should do and where we should go and then keep us focused on doing your will, not distracted by the allurements of the world. The world’s “Vanity Fair” offers the pleasures of sin for a season, but lies in the heart of the “City of Destruction. ” Let us seek the pleasures of God instead and hunger and thirst after His righteousness.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

You may have heard the old Yiddish saying “Man plans, God laughs.” This saying is intended to illustrate the futility of man-made plans. The Bible doesn’t say that God laughs at our attempts to plan our own way, but it does say that He directs our steps. Goal setting is desirable. It is important to have a plan for our lives. We all need to “devise our own way” to an extent. More important than having a plan, however, is understanding that without God, no plan we devise will come to fruition. Without His direction, any plan we make will fail. It is imperative that we understand that every gift, every good thing that allows us to succeed, comes from God. Until we understand that and accept that fact, our plans will be fruitless.

Father, I know that every good thing comes from You. You have blessed every gift and skill I possess. Any success I have is because of You. I need You in every aspect of my life. I need Your strength and Your guidance. I need You to guide my steps in every facet of my life. As I make goals, I ask You to direct me in the way I should go. I trust Your plan for my life and I put myself into Your hands. Amen.

Lord, I know You have a plan for my life. Before I was even born, You knew me and made a plan for me. Help me follow Your plan and not my own. When I stray from the path You intended, help me to find my way back. When I am stubborn and want to have my own way, remind me of why Your way is best. Shut doors that I have no business walking through and open doors for me that You would have me enter. Thank You for taking care of me and setting me on a solid path for my life. Amen.

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Man is a fickle creature. It is not unusual for him to flit from plan to plan. Never really having a destination and changing with the wind. We see it even with people who root for professional football. One year they will start out as huge fans of a particular team. By mid season, when that team is no longer winning, they will begin to root for another team which has more wins. We change our minds on a whim. When we make plans in our own hearts, they are very changeable. When one dream gets too hard for us, we chase after another. When that one dead ends, we are off to yet a third endeavor. So it is with man’s plans. God’s plans are different. When God has a plan for us, it is steady. He knows the beginning and ending, as well as every bump on the road in between. So many people have left the path ordained for them by God only to wander from dream to dream and then to finally end up the path God had intended for them from the beginning. How much time would save if we just did it God’s way from the beginning? How much pain would we spare ourselves if we didn’t give in to our fickle nature? God’s plan will always be the best plan.

Police Departments Across America Have Lost Their Intarigy.

The are no more God fearing Police Officers in America. Most police officers today are only cops because they got beat up in high school.

The police today are murdering people and its legal. To get judge to forget about it because they are in on the criminal side as well.

The police are targeting reformed sex offenders. Entrapment is against the law and yet the police brake the law and get with it.

Hearsay is against the law and yet warrants are written. Magistrates fet paid by how many warrants they write.

Prophets did not always bring good news. The role of a prophet was to tell God’s truth. We don’t always want to hear the truth. Jeremiah was trying to tell the people of Judah that they were on a collision course with destruction. No one wanted to listen and Babylon soon overtook Judah and sent the citizens into exile. We don’t like prophets either. We don’t like it when we are warned that we need to change our behavior or we will run into a problem. Now, that can be as simple as letting the gas in your car get down to the warning light believing that you will always be able to find a gas station before you run out and then you get stuck because of an accident and you run out of gas on the highway. Don’t you just hate those people who were always warning you not to do that! It can be as serious as the world’s refusal to believe that over use of fossil fuels and the decimation of the world’s rain forests will result in weather changes we won’t like. But, these last few years have brought problems we now have to find ways to either fix or better prepare to survive. We are often no different from the people of Judah. We don’t want to think about what can happen when we disregard the teachings of Christ. It’s too late for us to join the group that wanted to kill Jeremiah, but we still might not want to listen to him. Let us use this time to remember the warnings of Jeremiah and also those of Jesus and work at following God’s will.

Have you ever wondered how Joseph must have felt when he found out that Mary was pregnant? He had plans, he had found a woman he loved and was getting ready to welcome her into his home. But not like this! According to the law, she had committed adultery and the punishment for adultery was stoning. What was he going to do? Joseph believed the angel who appeared to him in that dream and welcomed Mary and Jesus into his home, raising Jesus as his own son. We can learn so much from Joseph. He believed that God had a plan for him and he was ready to accept it. How do we react when our plans don’t work out the way we want them to? We can be like Joseph, in love planning our future with the one we love and boom! It could be that he/she decides he/she is not ready for marriage and backs out. Maybe he/she dies. Maybe the wedding takes place and a few years later, it just isn’t working. Do we get angry with God thinking he has failed us? What do we do? Joseph is the perfect model. He was willing to accept that God had a better plan for him, trusting him to be father to his Son. God has a plan for us as well. If we are patient and pray, God will show us the path that will lead to happiness.

Think of the people you know. Who do you trust? Who makes you feel good to be with? When you find out that someone has lied to you, how can you know when they’re telling the truth? If you lie, how can people trust you? The people we feel good to be with are ones we can trust, who are kind. They are the ones who follow through with their promises, who are always ready to help out, who go out of their way to do acts of kindness. And, when we are with them, we want to treat them the same way. If we want to be treated well, we need to be those people! When I taught, it wasn’t always easy to get through the hallway crowded with teenagers trying to get in their lockers and make their way to the next class. One day in the faculty lounge, one of the teachers was complaining about the rudeness of the kids who never even bothered to hold the door. I commented that I didn’t have that problem. The kids usually held to door for me, and of course I would hold it for them if their arms were full. She just shrugged her shoulders and said that she wouldn’t hold a door for those ruffians. The way we treat others does matter. If you are judgmental, don’t be surprised if you find yourself judged. If you gossip, you may find yourself the object of gossip. The reverse is also true. If you are forgiving, you will be forgiven. If you are kind, you will be treated with kindness. It’s your choice and mine.

One of the biggest fears that most people have is being made a fool. They are afraid to trust others because they don’t want that trust to be misplaced or misused. Often people will speak of having “acquaintances” rather than “friends”. They’re afraid to get too close to anyone or let anyone get close to them because they are afraid that their trust will be betrayed. It’s easy to transfer our feelings about people to our feelings about God. There are so many people who are afraid to trust God because they’ve been betrayed by other people. They have major trust issues with everybody and God the Father is certainly not excluded. David also had a difficult time in trusting people. His own father-in-law tried to kill him. He was on the run. He had to hide to save his life. Still he put his trust in God. David put his faith in God. He says here that he has taken refuge in the Lord. He has placed his confidence in the Lord and prays that trust will not be unfounded and make him “ashamed.” David has reached a point where he can trust no one, but he trusts God to deliver him. We can take this to heart, as well. Even when the world has let us down, we can trust in the Lord and he is faithful to deliver us with His righteousness.

Father, I thank You for being my refuge. I trust You and I know You are faithful to deliver me. I know that I will never regret my decision to follow You. Amen.

Correction Is A Blessing, My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

One of the most difficult parts of parenting is disciplining children. It’s no fun making rules, putting kids on restriction, taking away cell phones or other electronic devices. It’s just not fun but we must do these things because we want to correct behavior. We love our children and we don’t want them to grow up being irresponsible. We want them to grow up to be responsible citizens, so when they misbehave, we have to correct the behavior. They don’t like it. We don’t like it, but it’s necessary and sometimes when our children don’t understand. As children, we never really understood our parents’ corrections either. We would hold grudges against our parents when they took away our stuff or restricted us or wouldn’t let us go to inappropriate parties. In this passage we are reminded that we shouldn’t despise it when God corrects us. We shouldn’t be upset when he disciplines us. He does this because he loves us. This passage says “for whom the Lord loves, He corrects.” God is compared to a father who loves his son and corrects his son. Even though it’s difficult to be corrected by the Lord, to be chastised by the Lord, we need to learn how to bear it and we need to see it for what it is: the correcting hand of a loving God who only wants what’s best for us, who loves us and is trying to get us to walk on the right path.

Father even though sometimes I may not enjoy being chastised by You or being corrected by You, I do understand why You have to do it and I do know that You love me. I ask You that You will help me to be able to see past my own selfishness to the lesson that You are trying to teach me and help me to be able to pass this to my own children. Help me to be able to correct them with love in such a way that they will also appreciate one day what I’ve tried to do for them. Amen.

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