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Archive for the ‘refuge’ Category

Lord Help

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.s2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.- Psalm 122:1-3 (KJV)

Lift up your eyes.
Lift up your voices.
Let the burdens of your heart ascend to heaven.
Call on the Lord, for He is your Helper.
Call on His name, for we are in need of help.

God offers us help.  We need to see that God, He who is all-knowing, knows all too well about our troubles.  He has us in sight.  He has us in mind.  He has yet to forsake us.  He has yet to abandon us.  He has yet to leave us without help.

Share your concerns with the Lord.  Let them be heard as you speak aloud boldly towards His inclined ear.  Let your voice be heard lifting up both petitions and praise in His name.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.- 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)

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Kindle Bible - The Holy Bible Formatted for the Amazon KindleGenesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of BeginningsSo Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.- Genesis 50:26 (NIV)

The last word in the book of Genesis is Egypt.  It seems appropriate that this book of the Bible would end in such a place.  Right after the death of Joseph, one of the final figures of the first book of the Old Testament, the book of Genesis ends right there in Egypt.

Joseph & His Brothers (Hanna Barbera the Greatest Adventure Stories From the Bible)The Life and Times of AkhnatonThink about Egypt’s history and how the coming of the Hebrews changed its social structure.  A famine throughout the world caused people to come from all parts of the world to Egypt.  God placed Joseph there through some extreme circumstances.  Yet, Joseph was placed in a position of power.  God used him to smooth things out when the shepherds from Canaan came to Egypt to buy grain.

Praying God's Word: Devotional JournalPromises to Keep: Daily Devotions for Men of IntegrityThe Christian may not see the blessing found in Egypt.  Jacob reunited with his son in Egypt. Joseph forgave his brothers and wept with them in Egypt.  Joseph and his kinsmen stayed in Goshen in Egypt.  Joseph had favor with Pharaoh and his people throughout the land of Egypt.  God had shown Joseph favor in Egypt.  Perhaps, as believers, we need to see where are the places that God has helped us to reunite with family and friends.  We need to rethink about how God allowed us to forgive othersThank God for giving us a place to stay.  Praise God for granting us favor

I believe we all have our own little “Egypt” when it comes to this walk of faith.  Thank God for leading you through this far to your Egypt.

Joseph in Egypt, Animated Stories From the Bible

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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
– Luke 17:3 (NIV)
“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realising you were the prisoner!”
Max Lucado
I don’t forget what I have done.  All of the bad that I have stirred up still has its lingering effects.  I try to cover the scars and the tattoos with navy blue and banker’s grey power suits.  I hide the tears that I want to shed for my wrongs behind the dark lenses of wrap-around shades or under the low-riding brim of a fedora. 
Then, always right before I get totally worn out and weighed down, He speaks softly to my spirit through His Holy Spirit.
I took care of that for you already.
I stand in awe, wondering how could that be.
I fight with myself to come to some understanding why.  Why would the Savior do so for me?
Me? I have all of this baggage, though.
I wonder what I am to do without all of this junk to carry around.
But I sin, Lord.
I forgive.
 No, I mean I really sin. 
I forgive.

I am a real big sinner.  I know I do not  please You.
I forgive.
What about from here on and I mess up?
I forgive.

And if it is more? Or, even worse?

I forgive.

Yes.

And again?

Yes.

And again and. . .

Yes.

How long will you keep that up?

Forever.

Eternity.

Day after day.

Until you make it to your new home with Me.

Amen.*

Amen.*

* Amen is translated as “so be it” or “it is so.” It offers a response of agreement or declared affirmation.

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But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works. – Psalm 73:28 (NASB)

 This psalm speaks of man’s lack of understanding the things observed and obsessed over in this life.  The pressure of life is what emerges from the psalm when the writer speaks of being “plagued with problems all day” in verse 14.  Pressure can cause a lot of things to happen with us and within us. Does your pressure lead to your praise of the Lord?

Being under pressure can cause us to stress, strain and struggle.  We can seem to barely make it.  Some of us just don’t make it.  The pressure seems too great to keep going on and dealing with it.  Pressure can be positive when it produces something beneficial.

Yes, I am serious.

When your pressure produces praise, there are some direct benefits as a result of such pressure.  Am I right? Look at the psalm again.

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. – verse 23, NIV

You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny– verse 24, NLT

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – verse 26, NIV

 . . .I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.- verse 28, ESV

What does your pressure produce?

Pain or promise?

Pity or praise?

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Going Astray

All we like sheep have gone astray…Isaiah 53:6 (ESV)

It is true.  We have strayed.  We have wandered away from the Good Shepherd.  Our own thinking has led us to a desolate and forsaken place, leaving us helpless and in harm’s way.

The key question is not why.  We know how we can be as mere human beings.  We understand our own inklings and behavior can get us into trouble.  Yet, we must why we go astray.  Why do we leave the protection of God provided by the Him for His flock? We must ask why and not dwell on the answer but develop a reminder for ourselves of how badly we need a shepherd to help lead us to green pastures and beside still waters.

As the sheep of His pasture, we wander and whine.  We do so as individuals (Psalm 119:176).  We do so as a collective body as Isaiah said in Isaiah 53:6. Since we know this, let us stay under the care of the Good Shepherd.  Let us never leave His protective and provisional care.  We may wander, but we have a loving and kind Shepherd who will seek us and save us, welcoming us back into the fold and accepting us with great joy.

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The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him.
-Nahum 1:7 (NIV)

Consider the challenges before President Obama and his cabinet. From untangling a monetary mess of an economy to restructuring and rewriting some key policies for labor, stem cell research, and other hot-button issues, these national leaders face countless challenges with bipartisanship and those who are bummed-out over bailouts. In comparison, look at today’s spiritual leaders such as T.D. Jakes, Charles Swindoll, and Billy Graham. Imagine what they have to face as they seek to shepherd the flock of God. Take into consideration what weighs heavy upon them as they seek to serve the Lord with gladness.

The prophet Nahum spoke out against the wicked and cruel nation of Assyria. The name Nahum means “comfort,” and it is certainly comforting to read this description of God in times of trouble. Imagine Him as a refuge, a place where you can feel protected and guarded from danger and harm. Not only is He good, but He extends His care to those who trust in Him. Peter was saying something similar when he wrote: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). We are blessed to be in the care of one such as God Himself. Trust Him with your worries. Trust Him with your burdens. Trust in times like these like you’ve never trusted Him before. He’s worthy!

For Your Information:
Recently, I started trying to get back into shape. Yes, I mean physical shape but I was also intrigued on staying balanced spiritually. What do I mean? Oftentimes, we can become out of balance as Christians, even with our intake of the Word. We can get wrapped up in reading Psalms so much that we rarely visit the pages of the Pauline epsitles. Our attention can be on the Gospels without giving any attention to minor prophets. a friend of mine in the ministry made the suggestion of taking on a Bible reading plan such as the One Year Bible to keep such a balance. If we are what we eat, then we must be mindful of maintaining a balanced diet, even with the Word.

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