“What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?” (Deuteronomy4:7)
God is near and hears our prayer no matter whee we are when we pray. The nearness of God is a promise for those who call on Him. (After Abel was killed by Cain, Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel since Cain killed him. Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:26)
Christ is a “better hope” through whom we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19). In today’s times, more and more people are rejecting God, prayer, churches, and so on. Now more than ever before, people should be praying to God, reaching out to God, worshiping God. It’s easy to praise God and worship in good times beloved, but it is important in those times when we are wondering where our leaders are, wondering when things will get better, praying and reaching out to God’s people, because we need both He and His people close to us. Are you one who says, “I’m blessed,” but then leave a room to cry. He loves us all and wants us to reach out to Him at all times.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, there are so many people angry and hate-filled, that we need you more than ever before. We need to feel Your Presence in our daily lives, and know Your comforting embrace, which for many has never been felt. We know You are aware of what is going on not only in this country, but all around the world. We need the peace that only comes from You, for many are hurting and dying around in our world. Some from the pandemic, yet many from wars being waged, some from destructive actions within our communities, but mostly because Your are the source of all peace and comfort. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Why don’t people people stop trying to figure God out and stat trying to figure Him in?”
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:1-6)
Beloved God is the loving Shepherd and caring Host. At the beginning, the sheep looked to the Shepherd for leadership, guidance, and protection. In the end the guest, now situated securely in the safety of the Lord’s sanctuary, described the abundance of eternal provision.
Life faces us with dangers and enemies. We can face life with confidence in God. We gain confidence through prayers of confidence. He loves us dear ones, and only wants the very best for us. It is not He that has turned away from us; rather, it is us that have turned away from Him. If we will but repent of our sins to Him, He will forgive us and come back into our lives.
“And as we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fears has to do with punishment. The one who fears s not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” (1st John 4:16-19)
So many times I have studied the minor prophets of the Old Testament and they all begin pretty much the same way. They are prosperous, their animals are healthy and plentiful, their crops are producing in abundance, and the people turned their backs on God and everything changed, and not for the better. The people were trying to figure out what had happened and then someone remembers, they were not worshiping or honoring God!
They return to God, repenting of their sins, their mistakes, their dishonor of Him and they are forgiven. Suddenly, everything starts to go back to the way it was, until it is finally restored. How many times have we done similar things in our own lives? We get a promotion and do not tithe on the additional monies that came with it; we go do involved in community activities, that we stopped going to church; we began working more hours to make more money, but no tithe, as we are not going to church. We get involved with people who are not going to church, because our friends are not, so Sunday becomes just another day, instead of the day to honor our Lord. I could go on, but I’m suspecting the point is getting across. Honor God and He will honor you. Usually when I say these things, people respond by saying, “I know God.” My response is, “So does Satan, he want to be God.”
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (John16:26-27)
Beloved, I wish I had a simple answer to those who have turned their back on God and rejected Him in their lives. I do not have that answer, except to say, If you think God turned His back on you, you are wrong! In those minor prophets stories I alluded to, in every single case, when the people turned back to God, He was right there waiting for them. Have I had hardships in my life, yes I have. Last September I dealt with Covid-19 for seven weeks. I was just getting back on my feet to get back to church and my duties, when at the end of January, I suffered a series of seizures and they found I had suffered a stroke. I don’t know if he stroke came first or second, I just know that I am relearning to use parts of my body. This key board I am using is part of my rehab, among many other exercises. I have had people pour our their love and prayers, through phone calls and cards. I struggle some days to do my rehab, but know it’s critical to my getting back to what God has called me to do.
To be honest, there were many God moments during my being treated by EMS and the Fire Dept EMT’s, the emergency room staff, the ICU and Intermediate Care to the floor I was finally place in. I have two RN’s with Master’s degrees helping with my rehab and occupational care therapies. I have a multitude of doctors and nurses who are caring for me and working together. All have been compassionate with me and I’ve had to learn patience in my recovery. I get better, but still I struggle walking to the mailboxes and back and having to take a nap. Beloved, I have a loving wife and family, and I have felt the Presence of Almighty God throughout this experience. I prayed to Him and I felt Him respond in ways too long to go into, but He is REAL and He loves each and every one of us. Won’t you love Him back? He is waiting for you, He will not force you to do anything, but will love you as strong as ever. Ask Him, He is waiting.