Sunday, February 28, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 293

The Lord said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you." (Joshua 10:8)

Marching against the 5 Amorite kings to save the Gibeonites, Joshua was given this promise by God. After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took the enemy by surprise.
The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon. As they fled before Israel, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon." So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.

Not only to Joshua, God gives you a promise this day, that the satanic forces that are troubling you will not be able to withstand you.

Wear the full armour of God and resist the devil and he will flee from you. Extinguish all his fiery darts with the shield of faith that God has given you. War against the evil forces with the "Sword of the Spirit- The Word of God" and the victory will be yours. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. God bless you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 292

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (James 2:5)

Your bank balance doesn't look healthy! It's a matter of perpetual concern! So what's to be done?

Here's something that the Lord Almighty wants you to remember. He says,
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)
Be strong and courageous.... (Joshua 1:6)
Be strong and very courageous....(Joshua 1:7)
Do not let this Book of the Law (for you and me- The Word of God) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Can you believe that? The God who provided for the Israelites in the wilderness is still the same.
The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan. (Exodus 16:35)
The manna stopped the day after they ate the food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan. (Joshua 5:12)

Times have changed but the Lord Almighty is just the same, caring and providing for those who trust in him. He is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider.

In times of doubt and unbelief, latch on to the Lord's promises.
He will never leave you nor forsake you. Some of what you need, he will provide through natural means and some supernaturally.
Praise the Lord.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 291

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27,28)

We should if not everyday, ask ourselves often, this very pertinent question...
Are we waiting for the coming of the Lord?

After Jesus’ resurrection, as his disciples watched him ascend to heaven, two angels asked: "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

Jesus himself told his disciples...
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)

Dear friend, Jesus is coming back and that too very soon...moreover he is coming unexpectedly. Are you ready to meet him? He has this to say to you today...
"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.
For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:34-36)

"...he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." This promise will be fulfilled soon. Praise the Lord.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 290

The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. (Psalm 37:18,19)

One thing that the Lord delights in is when he sees that we are living a blameless life. In the Old Testament, we read the Israelites being exhorted to live a blameless life.
You must be blameless before the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 18:13)

But is it really possible for one to be found blameless in the presence of a pure & holy God? Perhaps difficult, but this is what we read about some saints of old.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. (Genesis 6:9)
In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1)

God demands blamelessness in our lives. It is not optional. That's what he demanded from Abraham several thousand years back.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty ; walk before me and be blameless. (Genesis 17:1)

There are blessings innumerable in the Word of God for those who live a blameless life serving the living God. Here are a few...
The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever. (Psalm 37:18)
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. (Psalm 37:37)
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalm 84:11)
He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, (Proverbs 2:7)

Shall we then take a decision today as the Psalmist did long back?
I will be careful to lead a blameless life......I will walk in my house with blameless heart. (Psalm 101:2)

Remember....He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless. (Proverbs 2:7)

God bless you.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises- 289

He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." (Hebrews 1:10-12)

The unchanging nature of God is very wonderfully portrayed here by the author of Hebrews. God remains the same even though his creations come into being and then disappear. Many are they who have mouthed sarcasm at the Eternal One but eventually have fulfilled what the Bible says about their actual state.
".....for dust you are and to dust you will return." (Genesis 3:19)

The Apostle Paul rightly describes the unmatchable qualities of this mighty God when he writes to Timothy.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

Yes, he is the only God & he is eternal & immortal, whether anyone believes it or not. Sadly, there are many who live rebelliously to the divine authority and have to endure eternal punishment for their folly. Many argue about this matter, but the Bible says,
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

And to them who believe in this only eternal and unchanging and immortal God, he has promised the greatest blessing thorugh his son Jesus Christ--ETERNAL LIFE. Praise the Lord.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises-288

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:1)

There's promise of life in Christ Jesus. Yes, eternal life is promised through him who said, "God is not the God of the dead but of the living." And in this context Jesus was teaching the Sadducees about the resurrection. He said, "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead - have you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." (Matthew 22:30-32)
Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, though they had died physically when their time on earth was up, they were living eternally, according to these words of Jesus.

Jesus affirmed that again when he spoke to Martha, Lazarus sister. He said,
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die......" (John 11:25, 26)

If fact, in the gospel of John, Jesus repeatedly spoke of the promise of eternal life that comes through believing in him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:36)

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40)

If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and are living for him, this promise of eternal life will come true in your lives sooner or later. How blessed and glorious will that day be!
Here's a great verse of exhortation to all of us who have put our trust in Jesus.
Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 1:21)
Praise the Lord.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises-287

Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. (Zechariah 9:12)

The redeeming grace of Almighty God is wonderfully portrayed in this great promise to God's people who were in Babylonian captivity. True that they were prisoners; but prisoners of hope. They were now free to return to their homeland but they had nothing to bank on. All they had was destroyed by the ravages of the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. Their homes, their fields, their temple; all lay in ruins.
Yet, they had a promise to hold on to. The God against whom they had sinned resulting in their captivity had forgiven them and was willing to restore them.In fact, he was willing to restore twice as much to them.

Believers are in a way, prisoners of hope. As Paul the Apostle says,
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. (Philippians 1:21-23)

Problems in life often brings despair to the believer, yet we have hope that Jesus will not leave us nor forsake us in any circumstance. Even when we sin and punishment comes into our lives, we can always be sure that the Lord will forgive us when we repent and bear fruit that comes from a repentant heart.

Carried away by the enemy and living in a foriegn land humbled the Israelites. They repented of their sins and cried out to God who was ready to forgive them. God effected their deliverance and they returned to their own country as "prisoners of hope."

God loves you and is able to restore twice as much of what you have lost. Praise the Lord.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises-286

I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him. (Isaiah 57:18)

A promise perhaps to a person, more likely to the nation Israel which was sick spiritually. Spiritual sickness is worse than the physical, because the physical is temporary while the spiritual has permanent implications. Covetousness and idolatory had made the nation sick and God was promising to heal when he saw their repentance.

There are 3 promises in this single verse. God was going to heal, guide and restore comfort. All these are what we all desire in our lives and if we live a life of continual repentance, God is always ready to give these.

Here again the "fear of the Lord" is so very important. The Psalmist David exhorts us
in this manner:
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. (Psalm 25:12, 14)

Some believers trivialize sin and live in it justifying themselves saying that "after all we are human." But neither God nor the Bible supports that point of view. If we desire healing, guidance and comfort in our lives, we must make it a point to check our spiritual life everyday. God loves us, but neither he nor his Word has changed. God called Abraham to serve him at age 75, but even at age 99, God had this to say to Abraham.
"I am God Almighty ; walk before me and be blameless. (Genesis 17:1)
That's what God wants from us too.
May the Holy Spirit strengthen each of us to live a blameless life. Healing, guidance and comfort from the Most High will then be ours. Praise the Lord.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Simple Thoughts On Promises-285

The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. (Isaiah 41:18)

The water miracles in the Bible are many and some of them are quite astounding, like this one.
The Israelite community camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink." Then Moses cried out to the Lord, "What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me." The Lord answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. (Exodus 17)

We are not talking here of God providing water to a couple of hundred people. The community was quite large, with 6 lac men itself; counting the women and children would put the figure at 15-20 lacs.

Moses was given a command and he obeyed it. God proved to the Israelites once again that he is Almighty and All Sufficient.

As a child of this Almighty God, you can also boldy say what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians.
My God will meet all your (my) needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
God bless you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

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Simple Thoughts On Promises-284

Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. (Hosea 2:14,15)

God is All Powerful and he can change what was once a valley of trouble into a door of hope. “Achor” in Hebrew means “trouble.” Achan's sin (Joshua Chapter 7) of stealing things devoted to destruction brought calamity to him and his family. He stole a beautiful robe, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels and hid it under the ground in his tent when God had expressly forbidden that. Joshua who was not aware of this was defeated in battle in the conquest of Ai, because of this sin.
God said,
Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. (Joshua 7:11)

Finally Achan was caught and we read in the book of Joshua...
Joshua said, "Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today." Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since. (Joshua 7:25,26)

In Hosea, we read that God was going to make the “Valley of Achor a door of hope”. For Israel which had sinned repeatedly by comitting all kinds of sins and wickedness, there was still hope, for God was going to open for them a door of hope.

Making the Valley of Achor/ Valley of Trouble, a door of hope, is something only God Almighty can do. It means that the place where you saw defeat and distress will become a "door of hope" for you and your family. Can you believe that?
A place where you were ridiculed will become a place where you will bloom again because the Lord has loved you with an ever-lasting love. God bless you.