He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. —Psalm 147:4
It is estimated there are 10 times as many stars as there are grains of sand on all this world’s beaches and deserts. One survey estimates there are 70 sextillion stars… that’s 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars. How would you like to stand out under the night sky and count those? http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/07/22/stars.survey/
When we start thinking in terms of those numbers and the size of the universe we begin to feel very small… and we are! Yet it is truly astounding that our Lord God Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of all things, cares for each of us. Amazing that He even knows us as we consider, compared to the stars, the mere billions of people that live on this planet— 7.5 billion or 7,529,124,948 as of 6:30am this 31st of August, 2017. He knows the length of our days, the number of hairs on our head and everything about us and every other person who has lived, is living or will live. Isn’t this a marvel? Thank God that He cares for us intimately! Remember that as you go through this day!
Dear Father, my little brain cannot comprehend your greatness, but I thank You for that greatness and for knowing me, loving me and guiding me. I am grateful and look forward to being with Jesus in Heaven and all who love Him. May I be faithful until then in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. —Psalm 143:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. —Psalm 32:8
God has promised to guide us and we can be absolutely sure of that fact. We need to be willing to yield to His guidance however He guides. That is key to faithfulness. If we have some pre-conceived idea of what we believe God’s will is, when it is not, then we will be headed off in the wrong direction. How many times have we done that? We can thank Him for His great patience with us.
Have you entrusted your life fully to the Lord God Almighty, our Father of Lights who only gives good gifts? This is also a key to faithfulness. If we do not fully trust Him then how will we be able to trust His guidance… especially when it does not make sense to us or others?
I remember when Elaine and I headed off to college with 3 pre-schoolers. There were some people, especially some of our relatives, who though1 we were crazy. I quit my job, though they treated me like I was retiring, giving me plagues and a monetary award. Our house did not sell and the Lord sent two sets of renters 2 days before we left to rent our two-family home. A brother in Jesus told us he would watch over the house and not to worry about it…
We loaded up a 26 foot Ryder moving truck and headed off to South Carolina with no idea where we were going to live. Elaine drove the van with the girls and I drove the truck with Jeremy. It was a long drive to Columbia, S.C. and we arrived late evening. We stayed in the women’s dorm for about a week as we looked for a place to rent, but the Lord lead us to a place to buy instead. He provided for us in so many ways the 3 years we were in S.C. for college. We had entrusted our lives to Him and He took care of us. But, we had to do our part as well. He led us to start a lawn/landscaping/odd jobs business to bring us through those years. Elaine also had a product selling business. Yes, we entrusted Him and He took care of us.
We will never know His faithfulness in any area of life until we fully trust Him in that area. What is He prompting you to do? Trust Him fully for it and see His wonderful Hand at work! He is fully trustworthy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXMPNXXnCls
Dear Father, thank You that I can fully trust You in the way You desire me to go. May I be sensitive to Your direction and go forward doing what You desire me to do and trust You for what I cannot do. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus my Lord. So be it.
Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. —Psalm 141:3-4
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. —I Corinthians 10:13
Temptations will come! They are common to man in this fallen world and when they come we need not think we are the only ones that experience them. Oh, that we would not be drawn to evil to take part in what the lost world does. God is faithful at all times and when we are tempted it is not a temptation that we cannot bear. He will not let us be tempted beyond what we are able to endure and provides a way out. There is always a way out at the moment we are tempted. Unfortunately we do not always take the way of escape away from temptation and sin.
The longer we know the Lord Jesus the greater sorrow when we sin against Him. When we sin against Him let us run right to Him and confess our trespass. He already knows and wants us to acknowledge to Him that we have sinned so we can be forgiven and stay in fellowship with Him. Don’t allow unconfessed sin to keep you from the only One who loves you perfectly and as our Great High Priest understands when we are tempted—- “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16). Hear that? Jesus empathizes with us! He understands us, identifies with us and has compassion toward us. When we are tempted “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” and when we sin, let us also be quick to go to the throne of grace to confess— “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us” (I John 1:8-10). Confess and turn from sin, stay in fellowship with Him. So be it!
Oh Father, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus Your Son and my Lord.
When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me. —Psalm 138:3
Need boldness? Do you really want it? Then call on the Lord and trust Him to give it to you! Personally I have seen this over and over. I ask the Lord for boldness to serve Him in ways that I plainly would not do in my own strength. In my own strength I would not even attempt to do many things that He has given me the boldness to do.
Let me give you an example of what happened last evening. Six of us went to the University of New Hampshire with the express purpose of sharing the gospel. We paired off and planned to speak with people for about an hour… it would be dark by then. We went different ways and the group had all kinds of opportunity to share the gospel.
Matt and I teamed up. We have been out sharing the gospel a few times together and have gotten to know how to serve together in sharing the gospel. Well, we approached guys walking alone or in pairs and shared the gospel with them… planting or watering… Then at one point there was a mixed group of people playing games or sitting on the grass watching or talking.
I said to Matt, “O.K.” and he responded, “Oh boy…” We walked up the sidewalk and stopped near the group. We had prayed for the Lord’s help and He gave it. I addressed the group and said, “You guys want to do something a little different?” I had their attention. This is something I would never do on my own and the Lord definitely gave the boldness to say this.
There were around 17 university students in this group and we had the opportunity to speak with them for about ½ hour. Many of them took New Testaments. The Lord God Almighty gave us a great opportunity to share the gospel with these students to plant or water. Without Him giving us this boldness we would not have done this and shared the gospel with this group. May He bring about an increase in their lives to the point of harvest and then may they become faithful followers of Jesus. May it be so!
Need boldness? Ask the Lord for it and then act, trusting Him to give it to you. He will! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwvGFWKBo4o
Dear Father, I am grateful for the boldness You give through Your Holy Spirit. May I call on You always for boldness to do Your will. Thank You that Jesus has given us His authority to go forward in sharing Your gospel. He told us He would be with us until the end of the age and I trust Him for that.
May you live to see your children’s children…— Psalm 128:6
What a joy it is to see your own children’s children! I saw most of my children being born. My oldest son was a c-section which I was not allowed to go in to watch… that was too bad! It is such a joy to see your child born into this world. It is quite another joy to see your own children’s children. Yes, it is a marvel. These super six grand-girls will someday have children of their own. What a super blessing it would be to see their children— my children’s children’s children. Hmmm… I would surely be getting along in years by then. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A8bbXdxTac
Father, thank You for the blessing of each of my children and now their wives— Jeremy & Bonnie, Rebecca & Jonathan, Hannah & Joe, Ben and Ashley— and for grand.-girls Abigail, Jordyn, Maria, Caroline and the twins— Josie and Julia. Yes, thank You for blessing me and may each one of them be blessed by You and be a blessing to others. May they all live for You in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. May it be so!
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. —Psalm 126:5-6
Do our hearts go out to the lost or are we callous toward them? Your answer will be seen in whether or not you seek to share the Lord Jesus Christ with them? If we truly have hearts after the Lord Jesus we will share the gospel with others and step out of our comfort zones and not allow fear to snare us – “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25). Just as a snare holds a helpless rabbit from freedom, so fear will hold us back from the freedom to share the gospel.
Every believer probably struggles with fear to some degree in this spiritual battle. Being courageous is not necessarily a lack of fear, but an overcoming of that fear to act. Firemen overcome their fear and rush into burning buildings to rescue people. Policeman overcome their fear and act in the midst of gunfire or other difficult situations. Soldiers overcome their fears in the midst of battle. Others overcome their fear of flying and get on a plane. There are those who overcome their fear of public speaking and rise to talk in front of a group. With the help of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God we can overcome our fear and act according to the will of God. He gives us that ability.
Recently I was at a Ray Comfort Academy. Here’s a man that shares the gospel regularly to multitudes of people and he acknowledges that he does so by overcoming his fear. So it is not just you that has to overcome fear, believers at all maturity levels have to do so, but we don’t do so in our own strength. Fellow follower of Jesus– be courageous! Is He not with us? Let us go out today in the power of God to do exploits! Yes, go in His Name with a heart for the lost with seeds to sow and expectation that He will bring a harvest. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbqPQkH5HYA
Dear Father, whatever You want me to be and do today may I have the courage to obey Your will. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus!
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. —Psalm 119:114
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. —Psalm 119:130
May my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word. —Psalm 119:169
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” —I Corinthians 5:9-13
Ok… here’s a challenging passage for the church. God’s Word, whom we say we put our hope in, gives light and understanding. Will we do what it says? The paragraph above tells us that we need to judge those in the church (believers), not those outside the church (unbelievers). God will judge those who do not trust Him. We need to be around those people who do not know Jesus to bring the gospel to them!
Now we hear people say all too often… don’t judge me! But for those in the church they are to judge other believers in the church if they are living immoral. That is, they need to come to a decision, as in the paragraph above, to “not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people” and to “Expel the wicked person from among you.” Wow! Is the church being faithful in this? Are we truly living holy lives and hating sin in our own lives? Or are we allowing “a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?” Instead we are to “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are” (I Corinthians 5:6-7). May we truly “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25-25). Yes, may we spur each other on to love (Matthew 22:37-40) and good deeds (Ephesians 2:10) and make the decision when we need to about a professing believer who is living a sinful lifestyle in the local church. May it be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZGzu6oI9b4
Dear Father, oh, that I would hear what You have to say and then be obedient to You. May Your priorities be mine. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. —I Corinthians 4:20
Talk, talk, talk… There is so much talk put no power. But when the power of God is truly present there will be a changed life—- thoughts, words and deeds. There will be a changed focus away from the worldly and toward the heavenly. More concern will be for the eternal and not on the temporal. There will be a desire for the lost to be saved and the saved to be sanctified. Love for God and love for people will be evident. So are you living by the power of God? Is the local church you are attending existing in the power of God? Where is the evidence that this is surely the case?
“Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:17-19).
The power of God was surely evident in Paul’s life by his words and deeds which came out of the thoughts of his inner man. “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance” (Romans 6:17). And Paul was surely aligned with that pattern of teaching that renewed and was renewing his mind (Romans 12:2). This should be true of every follower of Jesus Christ. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9_0jiO5ZRM
Dear Father, may I live a life not filled with talk, talk, talk and not power. But, may I live according to the power of Your Holy Spirit in the authority of Jesus my Lord. May it be so!
Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. —Psalm 115:2-8
Leave God out of the picture and you get a sinful mess. This is clearly seen in our country and the world. Violence of all sorts— some overt which makes the news and some covert which nobody or hardly anybody hears about. We only hear of the violence that those news outlets we listen to speak of or that we know of in our sphere of influence. But this is a minute portion of the violence that is happening at any time in our country or the world.
What are we to be and do? We should be that which we are to be and do all the time— worshippers and servants of God however He leads us. Circumstances may change but the character of follower of Jesus should be godly focused at all times… or at least to be seeking to be such.
Idols are destructive… any idol. It may be one of wood or stone or it may be a philosophy, a movement of some sort or an idea. These can be very destructive when the Spirit of God is not in control of them. When people are not yielded to God and what He has to say, then anything can happen… anything! Just look at our prisons and jails that are bursting at the bars… and they are only the ones that got caught! Fallen, sinful people without the power of the Holy Spirit to guide them will end up doing the will of Satan who has “ensnared them, holding the captive to do His will” (II Timothy 2:26). The only hope for this world is Jesus and the Church has been given the responsibility to bring that simple Gospel message to the world however God leads an individual, a local church, a denomination or a movement of any kind. The questions are: Am I being a faithful servant of God? Am I being a faithful follower of Jesus? Am I yielded to the Holy Spirit of God? That is what is important! Yes, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” (Psalm 107:2). How will we impact the world unless we bring His Story to them? (Romans 10:13-15). We won’t!
A team is developing with the specific focus of going out wherever and sharing the gospel with people. The Lord blesses every time we go out. We have focused on York Beach and the Rochester commons so far in New Hampshire, but we will go where the Lord directs to share the gospel in this area. If you would like to be put on the e-mail list in case you might want to join us sometime send a reply to email@example.com. You will get an e-mail a few days in advance (typically) as to where we will be going out to share the gospel. This will also sharpen you up in your daily walk as you come into contact with people.
Dear Father, please help me to tell of Your Wonderful Story of Jesus to the world around me. I may not be able to do so on the other side of the world, but I surely can right here around me. And if you do lead me to some other part of the world, may I be faithful to proclaim Your Story there as well in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. May it be so!
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— Psalm 107:2
Last night I was at the State Prison in Concord, NH for an evangelistic ministry. The speaker, Jim, sat at our table during supper and heard me sharing the gospel with one of the men sitting at the table I was hosting. He said, “Ted I’d like you to share your testimony and give the invitation when I finish preaching from God’s Word. Would you?” Well, of course I said, “Sure!” I love to tell others how the Lord redeemed me! 8 men responded to the gospel call for salvation! Now, may they be faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When was the last time you told your story of how the Lord redeemed you? It is a powerful testimony to God’s awesome grace in our lives. Today, tell your story to someone. There are plenty of people that will listen! Take the step and share God’s goodness to you!
Dear Father in Heaven, oh, today may I tell others the story of how You redeemed me through the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. May it be so!