Month of Prayer, Day 25

Truly Your word is very pure, Lord.  I love it.  You are righteous!  Though trouble and anguish have attempted to overtake me, Your commandments have saved me.  I do not forget Your precepts.  The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding, and I shall live.  I would rather live with You as my God, than die in sin.

Do not let me falter before the wicked, like a murky spring or a polluted well.  Let my confidence be in You.  Help my countenance reflect the unspeakable joy that comes from knowing and serving You.

Through Your Holy Spirit, give me rule over my own spirit, so that I am not like a city broken down, without walls.  Self-control protects my heart from wandering from You and Your precepts.  Your Word gives me protection.  You are a shield to those who trust You.  Thank You, Lord!!!

I love You, Father.  Forgive me for anything I have placed before You.  Help me to break down every idol that has attempted to interpose itself between You and me.  You alone are my God.  You alone have brought me salvation.  You alone are my Healer.  You alone are the One, true, living God!  You alone are the Resurrection and the Life!  I want to live in You alone.

I love you My God and My King,

jamie

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How a 4-year-old fights temptation

Pr. 25:28:  “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.”

We’ve been learning this great verse about self-control in Sunday school this month.  Yesterday I heard the perfect example of what it means.

My friend’s 4-year-old son told her that the devil was trying to get him to break his bed.  He said, “I’m going to tell him to leave, and I’m going to read my Word of God!”

We all have different struggles and temptations.  For a teenager, it might be stealing.  For a married adult, it could be adultery.  For another, it could be hate and unforgiveness.  For a 4-year-old boy, it might be the temptation to break his bed.

We can learn a lot from this 4-year-old.  He had enough rule over his own spirit that he didn’t simply give in to his temptation.  As adults, our justifications and excuses sure make it seem complicated to resist our temptations; however, it couldn’t be more simple.

Note what he did:  He identified the desire as coming from the devil.  He told the devil to leave.  He read his Word of God!  Isn’t this what the Bible tells us to do?

Thank you for the lesson, Isaiah,

jamie

Are they singing along?

Pr. 25:20:  “Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, and like vinegar on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.”

This is an interesting verse.  Of course we want to cheer up those around us who have a heavy heart, but this verse is speaking more about not showing a caring attitude toward those around us who are hurting.

When we were camping a few weeks ago, there was one night when I was so cold that I couldn’t sleep.  At some point, my husband became aware of how cold I was and he gave me his toboggan.  Normally, I would have tried to refuse, worrying that he might need it; however, that night I was so cold I was almost in pain and I certainly wasn’t sleeping at all.  I accepted the toboggan with only an intense thank you.

Him giving me that garment when I needed it most was like such a relief, and was the start of a more restful and pleasant night.

Most of us care.  I have no doubt that most of us care enough to try to offer help and encouragement to someone who is hurting or in need.  Sometimes, however, we can be moving so fast or be so consumed in our own affairs that we maybe don’t notice their pain.  When we’re singing our songs of cheer, it’s good to take notice if those around us aren’t singing along.  If we recognize a long face in the presence of our cheer, we may need to stop and find out if there is some encouragement needed.

We don’t want people to think we don’t care.  Of course we don’t want them to hurt.  It’s certainly ok for sing songs of cheer; however, upon noticing a heavy heart around us, we need to be quick to show concern and to offer a warm garment of encouragement.  It may just be the start of a more restful and pleasant pilgrimage.

Carrying an extra garment,

jamie

They will realize you’ve been with Jesus

Pr. 25:11:  “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

In Acts chapter 4, after healing a lame man, Peter and John had been arrested for preaching about Jesus and His resurrection.  The next day they were brought before the rulers and asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”  vs. 8:  “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit said to them…”

vs. 13:  “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled.  And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”

The words Peter fitly spoke, through the power of the Holy Spirit, were like apples of gold in settings of silver.  It was even more of a testimony to the rulers that he and John were uneducated and untrained.  Because of this, and the words that had been spoken, they marveled.  “And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”

We don’t have to be Pastors, Bishops, certified teachers, or even seminary students to speak of Jesus and His resurrection.  John 15 tells us to abide in Him.  Simply being with Jesus gives us what we need to do His work.

When we spend time in God’s presence, we are not only being fed His wisdom, but also strengthened, equipped, and more confident in Him and who we are in Him.  When questioned, Peter didn’t have to pull out his credentials in order to be heard or set free.  He who had been with Jesus, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit did the work.

Vs. 14 says, that after this and “seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.”  God took care of everything.  Peter and John simply did what they were called to do and the Lord did the rest.  The rulers could say nothing against it.

The lesson for us:  Spend time with Jesus

Learning from the Master,

jamie

To persuade a ruler

Pr. 25:15:  “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.” 

I am reminded of the story found in Luke 18:1-8 of the judge and the persistent widow.  The judge eventually avenged the widow, saying, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

The point Jesus was making in that parable was that we always ought to pray and not lose heart.  Hearing what the unjust judge said, how much more will our Father answer our requests?  When we pray, God hears our cries.

Mark 7:24-30 tells the story of a Gentile woman who asked Jesus to cast a demon from her daughter.  Jesus was not yet prepared to help the Gentiles, but the woman was simply persistent.  He was impressed that she did not quit and did as she asked.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, forbearance means:  the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.

We see no evidence of anger in the widow or the Gentile woman, but we certainly see patient requests given more than once.  Is there something you’ve been asking the Lord to do?  I encourage you not to give up.  I encourage you to forbear with a gentle tongue.

God did not put these parables in the Bible for no good reason.  He could have left them out if He didn’t want us to follow them.  The truth is that these aren’t even the only times in the Word where the Lord tells us these things.  Over and over, He tells us to present our requests to Him.  Sometimes it takes time.  That is where patient forbearance comes in to play.

If you know the Father, and you know His love for you, then you know that He will not leave you or your family broken.  Perhaps that is why we see in Ph. 4:6-7 that we are instructed, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

We request with forbearance and thanksgiving, (with a gentle tongue), and God’s peace guards us.  Our Father loves us.  His plans for us are for good, and truly He has an eternal plan for those who love Him.  Do not give up.  With forbearance, ask your Father for what you want.  You will find Him faithful to answer you with what is truly needed.

Patiently,

jamie

I have good news

Pr. 25:25:  “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.”

I have good news.  Jesus is coming back for us!

“Behold, I am coming quickly!”  Rev. 22:7

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.  See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.  You also be patient.  Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”  James 5:7-8

We must establish our hearts, to choose Him once and for all; and wait patiently on our reward.  Like the crop, long-awaited, He will return.

Rev. 21:1-5 tells us, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also, there was no more sea.  Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

No more death.  No more pain.  No more tears.  If we but patiently endure while on this pilgrimage in this foreign land, our reward will be given.  Sometimes our lives can be painful and even feel consuming, but we can trust in the Word that is proven, that is pure, and that endures forever.  God says He will make all things new.  His return and our great reward will redeem all the pain we’ve experienced in this life.

We must find the strength to trust Him in all things.  He has plans for our lives, and more importantly for our eternity, that are perfect.  We must allow Him to be the refuge for us in this life, patiently enduring and trusting in Him.  If we do that, we will dwell in the place where there is no more curse.  Our pain will be over and we will be surrounded by the glory of God for eternity.

Be ready.  The King is coming!

Enjoy the refreshingly great news,

jamie

What are you seeking?

Pr. 25: 27:  “It is not good to eat much honey; so to seek one’s own glory is not glory.”

This verse tells us not to seek our own glory.  Who’s glory are we to seek?  Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Mt. 5:16

Do we need seek our glory in order to gain man’s approval?  Solomon warned that, “the fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”  Pr. 29:25.  Worrying about what others think of us only traps us.  Paul encouraged the people in Colosse that it is only God’s opinion that matters:  “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”  Col. 3:23-24.  Man’s opinions are fickle and they can offer nothing of eternal value.  When we seek the approval of the Lord, we will be rewarded with eternal life.

What should we seek?  While on earth, Jesus said, “I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”  John 5:30.  In Mt. 6:33, He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (food, clothing, etc.) will be added to you.”  Paul implored Timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  1 Tim. 6:11.

The only reward we receive when seeking our own glory is a temporary surge in our pride.  That surge will soon wane and we will have to seek glory once again.  We will never be satisfied.  Ps. 107:9 tells us that “He (the Lord) satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”  The Lord is the only One who will ever satisfy.  Heb. 11:6 tells us that “God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Let us continue to seek and pursue things outside of ourselves and trust God to keep us safe, reward and satisfy, and turn us into more patient and gentle people.  In doing so, our light will shine before men and point them toward the Savior.  He’s the only One whose opinion will ever matter.

Seeking His glory,

jamie