Comfort for Today: The Lord is our Shepherd – Part Two – Our Refuge and Fortress.

Psalm 23 ends by saying “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (v. 6 ESV).
Psalm 91 begins, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (v. 1).
Just before the crucifixion, Jesus instructed his disciples, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4).
Psalm 91:2 says, “I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
Can you see the pattern here? Proverbs 18:10 promises, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous [person] runs into it and is safe.”
Preparing his disciples to face the testing of the crucifixion, Jesus encouraged them by saying, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).

The shelter, or secret place, of the Most High that we read about in Psalm 91:1 is not some faraway heavenly location that we can only enter if we are super-spiritual monks who pray for eight hours a day and fast six days a week. The psalms were written between around 1140 and 586 B.C. by various authors including Moses, Solomon, David and others.  Although King David was empowered by the Holy Spirit as a prophet to envision and write about the crucifixion in Psalm 22, he did not comprehend the mystery of the Church and the salvation of the Body of Christ.
Paul described this mystery in Romans 16:25-27, “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.”
The mystery was kept secret for long ages, even though it was spoken of by the prophets who did not fully understand it or know when the things they envisioned would take place. Peter describes how the prophets, and even the angels, desired to understand the mystery of the Church: “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:10-13).

Everything in the Old and New Testaments ultimately points to Jesus. In the Old Testament and the gospels, the mystery of the Church was hidden inside Christ - until the day of Pentecost when God breathed life into his Church, in Acts chapter 2.
As the Church, we abide in Christ, and he abides in us. Jesus himself foretold this before his crucifixion: “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). “In that day” refers to the moment that we receive the Holy Spirit at salvation. As Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
The secret place is actually found in Jesus, and the mystery of the Church is that Jesus is also inside us. We contain the secret place of the Most High, because God’s Spirit dwells in the Holy of Holies, and once we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, he sends his Spirit to dwell in our hearts. We are the Temple of God and he dwells in the Holy of Holies within our hearts. God is in us, and we are in him. Paul wrote, “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Therefore, in the same way that we don’t have to put on and take off the Armor of God to be under his protection, we don’t have to try and figure out how to enter in to the secret place of the Most High. We are always protected by God’s armor and we abide forever in his shelter. The problem is not that we don’t know how to get there. The problem is that we don’t know where we are and under whose wings we can find refuge!
And Beloved Friends, the enemy constantly takes advantage of our ignorance in this. His desire is to confuse us with a spirit of fear, while God has already given us his Holy Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. The enemy doesn’t want us to claim God’s promises, and he doesn’t want us to use our faith in God’s promises as our testimony. Remember in Part One of this series, we read in Revelation 12:10-11 that the Saints of God overcome the enemy by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony? Our testimony comes from our faith and trust in God.
Once we are covered by the Blood of the Lamb through salvation, all of God’s promises become yes and amen for us, and it is our birthright to trust in them. When we trust that God is who he says he is and that he will do what he says he will do – and that we are in him who he says we are – then the schemes of the enemy – his fiery darts – cannot confuse us and make us afraid. Therefore, when we realize that we do dwell under the shelter of the Most High and that God is our refuge and our fortress, and when we pray the promises of protection that God provides for us in Psalm 91, our hearts and minds are strengthened and we are not afraid. When we trust God and are not afraid, the enemy must flee from us, because he knows that in the presence of the Blood of Christ and the Testimony of our Trust in God, he has no power and no authority.
Now that you know this, you can be empowered to pray the promises of protection in Psalms 23 and 91 over yourselves, your families, your loved ones, and the whole Body of Christ with confident faith in Almighty God. Because no weapon that is formed against us can prosper. That is the inheritance of the servants of the Lord (Isaiah 54:17).
Psalm 91:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord our dwelling place – the Most High who is my refuge – no evil shall be allowed to befall you, the plague will not come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.

 

 

 

 

All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.

Series Repost: The Whole Armor of God.

The Holy Spirit woke me up before 4:00 am to pray for the Body of Christ. He also instructed me to re-post our series on the Whole Armor of God for you today. When I came to the computer this morning I used the search bar, above, to pull up Part One so I could review it, and to my amazement I discovered that I posted the first installment exactly one year ago on March 25, 2019! God’s timing is always perfect, and I completely assure you that he cares about each one of us very intimately. We are in God’s hands and he will never leave us, nor forsake us! His thoughts are always directed toward us, so much so that he woke me up very early this morning, asking me to remind you that you are covered and protected by his Armor! So be strong and of good courage and do not fear what the enemy is trying to do. God has not given us the spirit of fear; we are forever sealed by his Holy Spirit – the Spirit of courage, peace and a sound mind!
Our Speak Comfort team is praying for you and your families.
“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19 KJV).
The Whole Armor of God – Part One:      Link to the Article
The Whole Armor of God – Part Two:      Link to the Article
The Whole Armor of God – Part Three:   Link to the Article

 

 

We Are NOT Afraid

We have an invisible enemy. We call him Satan. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. ~1 Peter 5:8 He is a thief whose goal is to steal, kill, and destroy ~John 10:10, especially those with the favor of God upon their lives. Most of the time he uses unfortunate souls to do his bidding, such as Cain, Nimrod, Pharoah, Jezabel, Haman, the Herods, Judus Iscariot, etc. Throughout history there have been others with these same characteristics and goals. Evil works in secret until it has power, through schemes of deception. Because we are like sheep among wolves, we must continuously be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. ~Matthew 10:16  More so now than ever.

But..... DO NOT FEAR, beloved ones, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine. ~Isaiah 43:1  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. ~2 Corinthians 10:4-6    And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  ~Romans 8:28 

A Prayer Of Warfare

Father in heaven, we come before You, in the mighty name of Yeshua Ha Machiach. We praise You for your power and great Glory. We declare that Your name is Jehovah Gibbor (Psalm 24:8), the Lord Who Is mighty in battle. You Are Jehovah Saboath (1 Samuel 1:11), the Lord of Hosts.

We suit up with the armor of God, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, our feet, they are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We take up the shield of faith, which quenches every fiery dart of the wicked one and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:14-17). We also take up the garments of vengeance and the cloak of zeal (Isaiah 59:17). We surround ourselves with a smoke screen (Exodus 19:18) acting as a sight and sound barrier against satanic agents, interlopers, and evil spirits.

We identify the evil spirits and satanic agents that have taken up assignments against our nation, our leaders, our homes, our marriages, our families, our workplaces, our businesses, and our economy. We speak that our weapons of warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God to the tearing down of strongholds, the casting down of arguments and of every high thing which exalts itself against the knowledge of Messiah (2 Corinthians 10:4). There are more with us than there are with them (2 Kings 6:16) and we declare that your angels hearken unto the voice of your Word (Psalm 103:20).

Therefore we arm Your angelic armies with Your Word and loose carnage against the enemy that has surrounded us, persecuted us, opposed us, and resisted us. We release arrows, lightnings, hailstones, and coals of fire (Psalm 18:13-14). We scatter the enemies that have gathered themselves against us with famine (Ezekiel 5:16) and devouring storms (Psalms 83:15-17). We engage the spirits that have assembled from underwater locations and speak a sea quake. We speak that they are trapped in prisons assembled round about them locking them into pocket realms characterized by dry wind (Jeremiah 4:11). We call for the drying up of the enemy's waters. We release engines of war (Ezekiel 26:9), instruments of war (1 Samuel 8:12), and instruments of death (Psalm 7:13) upon the agents and devices of darkness, in the name of Yeshua.

We choose to tread upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:10). The evil agents must be smitten by the rod of iron (Revelation 2:26-27). We loose the battle axe of God (Jeremiah 51:20) into the encampments of darkness and target obstacles at their roots. The choirs and harmonies of darkness will suffer at the release of the blast of God (Job 4:9) and the rebuke from the voice of the Most High (2 Samuel 22:14). We are children of God and ambassadors of heaven (Ephesians 6:20). We were not put here to suffer bullying at the hands of a defeated kingdom. We spite our enemies and exalt the name of Yeshua, the name that is above every name, at Whose name every knee must bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Philippians 2:10).

We set fire to the enemies strategies with the fiery stream of God (Daniel 7:10). We plant snares and traps on every evil assignment against our lives calling them booby trapped. Ravenous birds devour wondrously in the encampments of darkness (Ezekiel 39:4). Locusts (Exodus 10), devour the evil words and curses spoken against us, our households, our destinies, our ministries, and everything under our stewardship. We engage with the heavenly bodies and employ the stars, declaring that just as the stars fought from their courses against Sisera (Judges 5:20), so the stars are deployed  in agendas to advance the government of God in heaven and on the earth.

We are more than conquerors in Messiah Yeshua (Romans 8:37). We declare that as we move out of fear, for perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), fear of the day and fear of the night (Deuteronomy 28:66) is overtaking the governments of evil in the spirit realm. Tempest, strike the evil powers and do not relent (Isaiah 29:6). Deep sleep (Isaiah 29:10) overtake the enemies that are fleeing, impaling them in their efforts to escape such that they feel the full impact of their rebuke.

We declare portals, wormholes and escape routes are shut down in every realm, age timeline, dimension, frequency and vibration, past, present, and future to infinity. May the warhorses of heaven tread down those that rise up against the name of Yeshua Ha Machiach and the power of His might. We declare a massive clearing in the spiritual atmosphere and environments of our lives and those connected to us and we thank You, God Most High, that You came to punish the hosts of the high ones on high and the kings of the earth (Isaiah 24:21). AMEN.

Note: The assembler of this prayer is unknown/anonymous. This was passed to me from another believer.

Comfort for Today: The Lord is our Shepherd – Part One – The Blood of the Lamb.

Revelation chapter 12 foretells great signs appearing in the heavens, and Michael the Archangel fighting with the armies of Satan, the great dragon who is cast down to the earth in the middle of the Tribulation.
Revelation 12:10-11 declares, “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers  has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.  And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, they loved not their lives even unto death’” (ESV).
These verses explain that Satan is the accuser of our brothers (Greek adelphos, or fellow believers, which includes men and women) and that we overcome him, his schemes and accusations by the Blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony. You may have heard this before, but have you ever wondered how to put it into practice?

Psalm 23 is one of the most well-known of the psalms. It begins, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…” , but in order to fully understand the 23rd Psalm, first we must read Psalm 22 which begins with a cry to God that may already be familiar to you from the gospel of Matthew 27:46: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” Psalm 22:1 describes King David’s prophetic vision of the crucifixion, beginning with Jesus’ cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?”
Psalm 22:14 foretells of Jesus suffering on the cross, saying “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast…” This is a description of the Blood of the Lamb, poured out for us. Although Psalm 22 describes the horrors of the crucifixion, it also foresees our greatest victory over the enemy.
Psalm 22: 27, 30-31 declare, “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before [him]…Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.”
Before you read Psalm 23, begin by reading Psalm 22 and you will see that it is because Jesus was humble and obedient even unto death as the Lamb of God that we can depend on his protection as our Lord and Shepherd. It was through the cross that Christ defeated death, hell and the grave. His shed Blood is our victory over sin and the enemy.

Therefore, in times of trouble we will overcome when we claim and pray the promises of Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads 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 mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Please stay tuned for Part Two – Our Refuge and our Fortress.

 

 

All scriptures are from the English Standard Version.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

In these difficult times we may be blessed to be with our families, we may be out in the world practicing social distancing, or we may be spending time alone, but wherever we are and whoever we're with, may Saint Patrick's Prayer for the Faithful bring us comfort in remembering that God is watching over us. Christ is our strength and shield!
The Prayer of Saint Patrick:
May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and evermore.
Amen.

Draw Near to God.

It seems that all of a sudden, the world has entered a time of great fear. However, this did not happen suddenly. The intensity of world events has been increasing gradually over a long period of time and now, with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have reached a tipping point.
Matthew 24 and Luke chapter 21 record Jesus’ description of things that would take place at the end of the age, including wars and tumults, earthquakes, famines, and pestilence. But Jesus said, “…See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6b ESV), and no one knows the day or the hour when the end will come, except for our Father in heaven. Nevertheless, as students of scripture we should not be surprised to witness these things taking place now. The question really isn’t “What is happening?” as much as it is, how will we respond to what is happening – with confidence in the power and goodness of Almighty God, or in fear?
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (ESV). We can boldly approach the throne of God because we have a great high priest who intercedes for us continually. Jesus died and rose again for the purpose of opening the way for us to come directly to God in prayer and supplication for all our needs.
James the brother of Jesus wrote, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8 ESV). One of the things we are being told during this health crisis is that we should wash our hands well and often. This is sound advice, and we should definitely follow it. But let me ask us all this, as many times a day as we wash our hands, are we being double-minded? Are we cleansing our hands in the spirit of fear or while we wash, do we give thanks that God is on the throne and in control?
Today has been declared a Day of Prayer, and in light of that let’s listen to how Paul encouraged Timothy, his son in the Spirit, who pastored the church at Ephesus, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:1-5 ESV).
Can you imagine why God would allow something like a pandemic to force people all over the world to stop what they’re doing, self-quarantine, and wait? I am not saying that God forced this virus on the world, but I am saying that he will most certainly use it for good if we will cooperate with him and align ourselves with his purpose. Paul, who understood what it means to suffer, wrote “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 ESV). Beloved Friends, we are the called according to his purpose, and as Paul wrote to Timothy, God’s purpose is for all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Therefore, the question is, if we are not going to cleanse our hands and pray now, then when would you suggest we start? I don’t think we need a clearer indication that it’s time to set everything aside and make prayers, supplications, intercessions and thanksgivings for all people than the opportunity we have before us.
Our church participates in a jail ministry, and when we visit the men and women at our small county jail, one of the things that we stress to them is that God has allowed them to be in jail to intervene on where they were headed, call a full stop, and orient them in a better direction. Could this be true for all of us right now? Is it time to put all our differences aside, come together as one people who live together on God’s good earth, and pray for each other? Is it time to ask God for help, healing, and guidance for the whole world?
Listen, you’ve heard this scripture before, but please, open your hearts and minds to hear it in a very literal way now because God has given us this promise: 1 Chronicles 7:14 says, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (ESV).  
We are the people who are called by his name, and it’s time for us as the whole Body of Christ to humble ourselves and pray that God will heal our land. The Covid-19 virus has touched every continent on this planet in some way. In response to this crisis, as the Body of Christ on earth, let us come together and cover the land with prayer.
King David wrote in Psalm 24:1-2, “The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,  for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers” (ESV).

The earth belongs to Almighty God, the One who created it. Not only does the earth belong to God, but it is written that all those who live upon the earth belong to him also. Because we belong to God, we should not be afraid. And because we belong to God, it is our duty and our privilege to come boldly to his throne of grace and make intercession for all people.

Beloved Friends, let’s claim this opportunity to come together as one Body, humble ourselves, cleanse our hands, and pray. Because I assure you, God is listening.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16 ESV).

Comfort for Today – Jesus is Knocking.

In the book of Revelation chapters two and three, Jesus dictated seven letters for seven churches to his apostle John. In the final epistle, Jesus chided the church at Laodicea for being lukewarm. Their spiritual fire had dwindled, and they were neither cold nor hot. Jesus spoke to them about being distracted by earthly riches and earthly conditions. He instructed the church to buy from him gold that had been refined in the fire, to put on unstained garments, and to ask him for a salve that would heal their vision and allow them to really see.
He said, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19 ESV).
And then Jesus said something that explains why the hearts within the church had grown so cold. He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” (3:20). Can’t you just picture Jesus, standing at the door, and knocking? Well if you can, and it would be helpful if you did right here, you’d notice that the most obvious thing about this image is that Jesus is standing and knocking because he is on the outside, and not on the inside! Nobody stands at a door and knocks to leave a room. We only stand and knock if we are outside and we want to come inside! The Holy Fire Bringer was locked out and standing on the front steps!
What would you do if you woke up one morning to the sound of someone knocking at your door, and when you peeked out of the curtains, you saw that it was Jesus! Would you run and hide, or would you throw open the door and invite him in?
To make things even more interesting, Jesus goes on to say that if we open the door and let him come in, he’d bring breakfast! He said, “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him (or her) and eat with him and he with me” (3:20).
Have you been feeling a little lukewarm? Distracted by the events strewn across the world stage? Feeling fear? Wondering how you’re going to make it through the day, or even the next fifteen minutes? If so then the question to ask yourself is, “Where is Jesus?” Is he standing on the threshold, yearning to come in and fellowship with you? Or is he like a hot flame, burning in your heart? If you’re not feeling the heat, it’s time to open the door and invite Jesus in!

This can be done in a very simple and practical way. Jesus promised that if we hear his voice and open the door, he will come in. He doesn’t say that we must somehow convince him to show up, or beg and plead with him to pay us a visit. He said that he’s already standing at the door, knocking and calling. All we have to do is realize he’s there, open the door, and invite him in.
We can do this by taking a moment, before we get out of bed in the morning, before we begin our day’s work, before we meet with a friend, or speak to a child, or answer the phone, or have lunch with a colleague, or walk to the store - we can stop for a moment, open our hearts and invite Jesus in. Ask him to come and take charge of every circumstance and event of our lives, no matter how big and no matter how small.
Enjoying a cup of tea? Invite Jesus to share it with you. Taking a walk? Ask Jesus to come along. Going to work? Remember to bring Jesus. Facing a difficulty? Don’t face it alone. Stand with Jesus and let him direct the outcome and be your shield.

Psalm 46:1-3 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (ESV).
Notice that the Psalm says that God is “very present.” The Hebrew for “very” tells us that God is not just present, but he is immediately, exceedingly, mightily, abundantly, vehemently present; while the psalmist assures us that God is exceedingly, mightily present in trouble, diversity, distress, anguish, tribulation. Jesus isn’t just standing around waiting to see what happens! He is immediately, powerfully present whenever we need him!
But he can’t help us if we’re distracted by the world (by both our “riches” and our “troubles”), like the lukewarm Laodiceans!  Psalm 46:10 proclaims, "Be still, and know that I am God.” We must not allow the clamor of the world to drown out the sound of Jesus knocking. He is both our refuge, and our strength. All we need to do is be still, and invite him to come in to every situation and place it in his hands. Jesus won’t push his way in. And he will never leave us nor forsake us. That means he’s standing with each one of us right now and he is immediately, exceedingly, mightily available, as our helper, protector and guide.

Remember Jesus had John write to the church, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19 ESV)? Be assured that Jesus loves you. Without limit and without conditions! But are you too nervous to open the door and invite him in because you’re afraid that he might be angry with you? Are you afraid of his discipline? Child of God, if you have accepted Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior, he has paid the price for God’s wrath, and it is not going to fall on you. So what did Jesus mean when he said that he reproves and disciplines those whom he loves?
Are you aware of a stirring in your chest, thinking about how you’ve been too distracted to ask for his help? Do you feel anything when you picture him standing outside the door, knocking, calling to you to invite him to come inside your life again? Can you feel a yearning for him? Have you felt dry, cold, and alone? If so, then you’ve been experiencing the conviction of the Holy Spirit, reminding you that it’s time to set the siren song of worldly worries and pleasures aside and return to your eternal abode in Jesus. That is how God reproves his children and calls us back under his Lordship. “Be zealous and repent” could be translated “stoke up the fire in your hearts and come home.” Jesus is already waiting for you, on the doorstep. Unlock the door and invite him in. He’s brought a wonderful, life-giving meal to share with you.
“When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’” (Luke 24:30-32 ESV).

Happy Purim 2020

Do you have influence? Everyone does to some extent whether we are royalty or not. In the scheme of things, God has placed each one of us in a sphere of influence. He has given each person gifts, talents, wealth and even lack thereof, to use as tools for the purpose of His glory. Remember, Esther, even though she was a favored queen, she was also a harem slave. Even she had her limits.

Who is in your sphere? We have family, coworkers, acquaintances, which can cause enough stress and turmoil in our lives. And then we also have enemies within our close circles, our communities and in the world, many of whom we are unaware of and if we did know, exposing them would be risky. We would like to be at peace with our enemies, but we must never appease evil merely to get along.

When we become a part of God's kingdom, we get to participate in what He is doing. Sometimes this can involve great risk in which we must be vigilant in prayer to make sure we carefully follow His instruction because innocent lives including our own are at stake. 

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you should say, for it shall be given to you in that hour what you should say. For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." ~Jesus, Matthew 10:16-20

Life is valuable to God. He created each and every life for His purposes (Psalm 139). The enemy, Satan and those who follow him (even unintentionally), comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but he uses deception as cover. God created nations and governments for the purpose of keeping order and justice, for preservation of life and punishment of crime. When this gets out of order, it takes good honest people (many times only a few) put in positions of influence at all levels by God to set things right. This is delicate and there is always opposition.

I encourage you to read the book of Esther out loud with your family. She and her uncle Mordecai put their own lives at risk for the sake of many innocent lives. Because of their obedience to God, their people, the Jews, were given the means and permission to defend their lives against the orders set in place by the evil schemes of Haman and his henchmen. In the end, Haman was hung on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Poetic justice, this is Purim!!!

More on Purim Here in the links below:

In The Kingdom For Such A Time As This

 

Purim, The Scroll of Esther: God's Fingerprints Everywhere - Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat Explains

Psalm 91 – A Prayer For Protection

He Is our hiding place, our strong tower and we are commanded not to fear. We know that until Yeshua returns, that sickness and disease are part of this world. Corona virus is merely the latest threat. Take precautions, be careful where you go, keep your immune system strong, wash your hands throughout each day and pray for protection over yourself, your loved ones, and the world. Regardless of the circumstances, our trust is in Him alone.

Psalm 91

My Refuge and My Fortress

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I trust."

For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place-- the Most High,

who is my refuge-- no evil shall befall you,

no plague come near your tent.

For he will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;

the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

"Because he holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver him;

I will protect him, because he knows My name.

When he calls to Me, I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.

With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation."

 

Enjoy the shared links below:

Psalm 91: Security For Those Who Trust In The Lord

Chris Tomlin - Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies] [Lyrics]

Pray for Nashville.

At least 24 people are dead and many more missing, after tornadoes ravaged Nashville, Tennessee and the surrounding area early Tuesday morning, March 3. Rescue efforts continue as utility companies work to restore power to thousands of homes.
Please join us as we mourn the loss of precious life and pray for the families of the victims and those who are missing. May God comfort his people as they grieve and strengthen their hands as they restore their vibrant community. Jesus Christ is our shelter in every storm.
“And I say, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
 yes, I would wander far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness;
I would hurry to find a shelter
    from the raging wind and tempest.’”
(Psalm 55:6-8 ESV)
If you would like to help, please contact the Red Cross at:
https://www.redcross.org/local/tennessee.html
And Franklin Graham's relief organization, Samaritan's Purse, at:
https://www.samaritanspurse.org/
For more information:
https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/2020/03/04/tennessee-nashville-tornado-damage-victims-what-to-know-wednesday/4945975002/